Register of the Witt Papers
MS 083


This is a finding aid. It is a description of the contents of an archival collection held within the Special Collections at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web.

Summary Information

Repository
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections
Creator
Witt, Raymond B., Jr., 1915-2000
Title
Witt Papers
ID
MS 083
Date [inclusive]
1953-1986
Extent
15.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
These papers and documents were the collection of noted Chattanooga attorney, Raymond B. Witt (1915-2000). Mr. Witt was a member of the Chattanooga School Board and, as a lawyer, represented the Board during the twenty-six year segregation case, Mapp v. The Board of Education (1960-1986). Chattanooga was one of the first Southern cities to announce it would comply with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education, mandating integration in the public schools. The collection includes court briefs, transcriptions, newspaper clippings and other documents reflecting community resistance, unrest in the schools, and other problems implementing integration.

Preferred Citation note

The Witt Papers, MS 083, Special Collections, Lupton Library, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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Biographical/Historical note

Raymond Witt was born in Lenoir City, Tennessee in 1915, and grew up in Chattanooga. After attending public schools in the city he graduated from Central High School. While there he was valedictorian, quarterback of the football team and editor of the school newspaper. He was a 1937 graduate of the University of Chattanooga (now University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), where he was the editor of the school newspaper, The Echo. He received a law degree from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) in 1938. Upon graduation he returned to Chattanooga to practice law, first with Miller, Miller and Martin, and then with Spurlock, Spears and Noone. In 1941 Mr. Witt enlisted in the Navy and was called to active duty in early 1942. In May of that year he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. During World War II Mr. Witt was an officer on ships in the Pacific Ocean and took part in invasions of Saipan and Okinawa. In 1943, during a seven day pass, Mr. Witt married Florence Bagley. Following the war, Mr. Witt joined the law firm that became Finley, Abernathy and Witt. During this time Mr. Witt helped form and operate the Good Government League, an organization of veterans which helped clean up the politics of Hamilton County. He was a Methodist and a Sunday School teacher as well as a church school superintendent and was chairman of the administrative board of his church. Mr. Witt led a group in 1958 which wrote a study on the state of “Neglected and Dependent Children” in Tennessee. Mr. Witt participated in numerous civic groups and activities in Chattanooga. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club, receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 1963. He was named the Distinguished School Board Member by the Tennessee School Boards in 1963 and in 1980 was given the UTC Distinguished Alumnus Award. Mr. Witt established the Professionalism Dinner Series at the University of North Carolina Law School.

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Scope and Contents note

The papers of Raymond Witt, Chattanooga Attorney, were donated by the Witt Family in December of 2001. Mr. Witt was a member of the Chattanooga School Board in 1954 and 1955, emerging as its leader in its unanimous decision to comply with the Supreme Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared racially segregated public schools to be unconstitutional. Box I contains much information related to the Chattanooga community's response to that announcement, and the efforts to develop support for that decision. After the NAACP filed a lawsuit in April 1960 to compel more rapid progress toward desegregating the city's schools, Mr. Witt assumed the dual role of school board member and attorney for the school board in this case, Mapp v. Board of Education. After his term on the board ended in the 1960s, he remained as the lead counsel for the board in this case until it was dismissed in December of 1986. Boxes 2-18 contain papers recording the course of the case and, of equal importance, the course taken by the board and the community in moving toward a school system in which opportunity for education was not only provided equally to students of both races, but also in which that equal opportunity offered an educational experience of quality and value.

Other documents reflect the turmoil of the times- community resistance, school and campus turmoil and unrest, as well as supporting documentation of other communities grappling with the same issues.

Mr. Witt died on July 28, 2000. The papers are arranged mostly in chronological order.

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Arrangement note

Series 1: 1950s

Series 2: 1960s

Series 3: 1970s

Series 4: 1980s

Series 5: Briefs

Series 6: Melton Case

Series 7: Newspapers

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections February 17, 2012

615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN, 37403
423.425.2186
archives@utc.edu

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Patrons must read and sign the "Rules for Use" form available in the Special Collections. Please contact the Special Collections of Lupton Library to use this collection.

Publication Rights

The copyright interests in the Witt Papers have not been transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. For further information, see the section on copyright and publishing on the web site for the Special Collections, under "Policies".

Provenance

The Witt Papers were willed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga by Raymond B. Witt, Jr. and donated by his widow, Mrs. Raymond B. Witt, in December 2001.

Processing Information note

Collection arranged and described by Steve Cox, 2008. Revised and transferred to Archivist's Toolkit in February 2012 by Chapel Cowden.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Personal Name(s)

  • Witt, Florence Bagley

Subject(s)

  • African Americans -- Civil rights.
  • Chattanooga (Tenn.) -- Board of Education. -- Trials, litigation, etc.
  • Mapp, James -- Trials, litigation, etc.
  • Segregation in education -- Law and legislation.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: 1950s 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to: Brown Decisions 1954-1955, Decision to Comply - Announcement, Community Reaction, Elucidation Efforts, Resistance

Box

Brown vs. Board of Education, 1953-1954; 1986-1987 

1

Chattanooga School Board- Miscellaneous Documents, 1955-1957 (1) 

1

Chattanooga School Board- Miscellaneous Documents, 1955-1957 (2) 

1

Chattanooga School Board 1958 

1

Chattanooga School Board 1959 

1

Chattanooga School Board: Pre- Brown vs. Board of Education, 1953-1954 

1

Correspondence, 1955-1957 

1

Correspondence, 1958 

1

Southern School News, 1955-1956 

1

Community Reaction, 1955-1958 

1

Decision to Comply, 1954-1957 

1

Elucidation Efforts 

1

Segregation Literature, 1954-1955 

1

Resistance & Resistance Groups, 1954-1957 

1

Clippings and Publications 

1

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Series 2: 1960s 

Subseries 2.1: 1960-1961 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Mapp Suit Filed April 6, 1960

Original Chattanooga Plan for Desegregation Filed December 20, 1960

District court orders second plan in January 1961

Board appeals (# 14,444) and files alternate plan on March 22,1961

Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, affirms district court in November (295 F2d 617)

Alternate plan filed by plaintiffs in December 1961 -all schools September 1962

Box

Published Material 

2

Desegregation and Race Literature 

2

Chattanooga School Board 1960-1961 

2

Second Plan- District Court Order 1961 

2

Original Plan, 1960-1961 

2

Correspondence 1960-1961 

2

Mapp Suit 1960-1961 (1) 

2

Mapp Suit 1960-1961 (2) 

2

Mapp Suit 1960-1961 (3) 

2

Mapp Suit 1960-1961 (4) 

2

Newspaper Clippings, 1960-1961 

2

Subseries 2.2: 1962-1964 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Amendments to original plan filed January 5 and 15, 1962

Hearing before district court February I and 2, 1962

District court order March 1, 1962, additional order filed March 30, 1962 (203 F. Supp 843, 1962)

Appeals on transfer policy-May 1962 (#15038-15039)

Implementation begins in September- Grades 1-3 in 16 selected schools

Amicus brief filed in Goss v. Board of Education of Knoxville

Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, ruling on transfer appeal - July 1963 (319 F2d 571)

September 1963 - Grades 1-4

Box

Chattanooga School Board- Miscellaneous Documents 1962-1964 (1) 

3

Chattanooga School Board- Miscellaneous Documents 1962-1964 (2) 

3

Chattanooga School Board- Miscellaneous Documents 1962-1964 (3) 

3

Chattanooga School Board- Meetings, Minutes and Agendas 1962-1963 

3

Chattanooga School Board- Meetings, Minutes and Agendas 1964 

3

Mapp Case, 1962-1963 

3

Correspondence, 1962-1964 

3

Amendments to Original Plan, January 1962 

3

Mapp Case, Hearing Before District Court, February 1962 

3

Mapp Case, District Court Order, March 1962 

3

Mapp Case, Appeals on Transfer Policy, May 1962 

3

Beginning Implementation, September 1962 

3

Court of Appeals- 6th Circuit, Transfer Appeal, July 1963 

3

Amicus Brief, Filed in Goss vs. Knoxville Board of Education, 1963 

3

Newspaper Clippings, 1962-1964 

3

Subseries 2.3: 1965-1969 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

May 1965 - hearing on request for order to accelerate implementation September 1965 - Grade 7

September 1966 - full implementation, all schools, all grades

December 1966 - Argument in Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

February 1967 - Court Appeals, 6th Circuit, remands/ faculty deseg (373 F2d 75)

August 1967 - District Court decision on assigning teachers (274 FSupp 455)

1969 - Unrest at Brainerd High (see Melton Box #19)

Box

Desegregation Publications, 1965-1966 

4

Southern Lawyers Clearing House, 1968-1969 

4

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1965-1969 (1) 

4

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1965-1969 (2) 

4

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1965-1969 (3) 

4

Desegregation Progress Report, 1965-1966 

4

Desegregation Progress Report, 1966-1967 

4

Statistical Reports in Staff Desegregation, 1969-1970 

4

Proposals for Inservice Preparation for Teachers for Desegregation, 1967 

4

Zone for Brainerd Junior High, 7-9 

4

Mapp Case, 1965-1969 (1) 

4

Mapp Case, 1965-1969 (2) 

4

Mapp Case, 1965-1969 (3) 

4

Mapp Case, Proceedings Transcript, May 1, 1965 

4

Correspondence, 1965-1969 (1) 

4

Correspondence, 1965-1969 (2) 

4

Court Appeals Argument, December1966 

4

Court Appeals Remands, 1967 

4

District Court Decision on Assigning Teachers, August 1967 

4

Newspaper Clippings, 1965-1968 

4

Newspaper Clippings, 1969 

4

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Series 3: 1970s 

Subseries 3.1: 1970-1971 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

February 1971 - District Court Order: unitary school system (329 F.Supp 1374) April-May 1971- Evidentiary hearings on issues including zoning, high schools, faculty and staff desegregation, student transfers and the planning, construction,renovation and location of schools.

May 19,1971- District Court issues oral opinion directing board to submit another desegregation plan to "maximize integration."

June 16,1971- Amended plan filed

July 1971 - District Court opinion (329 F. Supp 804) approving amended plan except for high schools; implement by September appeal taken to Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, in August (71-2006, 71-2007)

Box

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1970-1971 (1) 

5

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1970-1971 (2) 

5

Board of Education Teacher Negotiations, 1970-1971 

5

Board of Education, Emergency School Assistance, 1970 

5

Mapp Case, Miscellaneous Documents, 1970-1971 

5

Mapp Case, Correspondence, 1970 

5

Mapp Case, January-June, 1971 (1) 

5

Mapp Case, January-June, 1971 (2) 

5

Other Desegregation Cases 

5

Board of Education Screening Committee, 1970-1971 

5

Correspondence, 1970-1971 

5

Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1971 (1) 

5

Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1971 (2) 

5

Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1971 (3) 

5

Subseries 3.2: 1971 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

District Court opinion: transcripts/exhibits from April-May hearing

Transcripts of evidentiary hearing in April-May 1971

Box

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1971 

6

Correspondence, 1971 

6

Mapp Case, 1971 (1) 

6

Mapp Case, 1971 (2) 

6

Mapp Case, 1971 (3) 

6

Mapp Case, 1971 (4) 

6

Mapp Case, 1971 (5) 

6

Mapp Case, Intervention Case No. 5, 1971 

6

Mapp Case, 1971-1972 (1) 

6

Mapp Case, 1971-1972 (2) 

6

Advanced Plan of Desegregation, 1971 

6

Mapp Case, Transcripts, April 14, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 10, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 11, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 12, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 13, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 14, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 17, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 18-19, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 19, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, May 19, 1971 

7

Mapp Case, Transcripts, July 16, 1971 

7

Subseries 3.3: 1971-1972 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Exhibits

Box

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1970-1971 

8

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1971 (1) 

8

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1971 (2) 

8

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1972 

8

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1966-1971 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October 3, 1973 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October 4, 1973 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October 5, 1973 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October 9, 1973 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October 10, 1973 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October11, 1973 

8

Mapp Case, Transcripts, October 12, 1973 

8

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1973 

8

Subseries 3.4: 1972 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Hearing before Court of Appeals, June 5, 1972

Decision of Court of Appeals, October II, 1972

Request for en bane hearing granted in November

Oral argument December 14, 1972

Box

Mapp Case, Appeal File, May 1972 (1) 

9

Mapp Case, Appeal File, May 1972 (2) 

9

Mapp Case, April-May 1972 (1) 

9

Mapp Case, April-May 1972 (2) 

9

Mapp Case, Appeal File, January-April 1972 (1) 

9

Mapp Case, Appeal File, January-April 1972 (2) 

9

Mapp Case, Appeal File, January-April 1972 (3) 

9

Mapp Case, Correspondence, January-July 1972 (1) 

9

Mapp Case, Correspondence, January-July 1972 (2) 

9

Mapp Case, Correspondence, January-July 1972 (3) 

9

Mapp Case, January-July 1972 (1) 

9

Mapp Case, January-July 1972 (2) 

9

Mapp Case, January-July 1972 (3) 

9

Mapp Case, January-July 1972 (4) 

9

Mapp Case, January-July 1972 (5) 

9

Mapp Case, Appeal Argument, May 1972 

10

Mapp Case, June-July 1972 

10

Mapp Case, August-December 1972 (1) 

10

Mapp Case, August-December 1972 (2) 

10

Mapp Case, August-December 1972 (3) 

10

Mapp Case, August-December 1972 (4) 

10

Mapp En Banc Argument 

10

Newspaper Clippings, 1972 

10

Subseries 3.5: 1973 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

April - CourtAppeals, 6th Circuit, affirms District (477 F.2d 851; 463 F.2"d 745- 46)

July-Board appeals to Supreme Court (73-178)

October - Evidentiary hearing in District Court

November - Supreme Court denies review; District opinion (366 FSupp 1257)

Box

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1973 

11

Mapp Case, January-June 1973 (1) 

11

Mapp Case, January-June 1973 (2) 

11

Mapp Case, January-June 1973 (3) 

11

Mapp Case, Petition for Certiorari, 1973 

11

Mapp Case, August-September 1973 (1) 

11

Mapp Case, August-September 1973 (2) 

11

Mapp Case, August-September 1973 (3) 

11

Mapp Case, October-December 1973 (1) 

11

Mapp Case, October-December 1973 (2) 

11

Mapp Case, October-December 1973 (3) 

11

Newspaper Clippings, 1973 

11

Subseries 3.6: 1974-1975 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Full implementation

Appeal by NAACP to Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit (74-2100, 74-2101)

Response to appeal filed January 14: issue of all-black schools Case argued before appeals court on April 18

October 20 - Court of Appeals affirms District

November - NAACP requests rehearing en bane

December - Filing of Amicus brief in Pasadena Case before Supreme court

Box

Mapp Case, January-June 1974 (1) 

12

Mapp Case, January-June 1974 (2) 

12

Mapp Case, July-September 1974 (1) 

12

Mapp Case, July-September 1974 (2) 

12

Mapp Case, October-December 1974 (1) 

12

Mapp Case, October-December 1974 (2) 

12

Mapp Case, 6th Circuit Appeal 1974-1975 

12

Mapp Case, January-April 1975 (1) 

12

Mapp Case, January-April 1975 (2) 

12

Mapp Case, May-October 1975 (1) 

12

Mapp Case, May-October 1975 (2) 

12

Mapp Case, October-December 1975 

12

Mapp Case, Pasadena Amicus Curiae Brief, December 1975 

12

Mapp Case, Pasadena Amicus Curiae Brief, January 1976 

12

Newspaper Clippings, 1974-1975 

12

Subseries 3.7: 1976-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

January 27, 1976 - Court of Appeals denies en bane rehearing

January 30, 1976 - Board petitions for Supreme Court review

April 20, 1976 - District Court Final Order - attorneys fees

April 25, 1976 - Pasadena case argued before Supreme Court

May 1976 - Board opposes NAACP petition for Supreme Court review (75-1564)

July 6, 1976 - Supreme Court denies both board and NAACP petitions for review

1977-1979 - Attendance Zones, school closings. School for Academics

Box

Mapp Case, 1978-1979 

13

Board of Education Magnet School, 1979 

13

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1978 

13

Mapp Case, 1977 

13

Mapp Case-Board of Education & Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1976 (1) 

13

Mapp Case-Board of Education & Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1976 (2) 

13

Mapp Case- Motion to have Attorney’s Fees Paid by School Board, 1976 

13

Mapp Case, January-July 1976 

13

Mapp Case, July-December 1976 

13

Mapp Case- Petition to U.S. Supreme Court for Writ of Certiorari, 1976 

13

Newspaper Clippings, 1976-1977 

13

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Series 4: 1980-1990s 

Subseries 4.1: 1980-1984 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

School for Academics

1981- January hearing - compliance?

1983- closing Riverside and combining with Howard

1984 - Alternative schools proposal – District Court requests status report, filed October with motion for relief from final judgment

Box

Mapp Case, 1980 (1) 

14

Mapp Case, 1980 (2) 

14

Conference, Judge Wilson, August 29, 1980 

14

Mapp Case, 1981 (1) 

14

Mapp Case, 1981 (2) 

14

Mapp Case, 1982 

14

Mapp Case, 1983 (1) 

14

Mapp Case, 1983 (2) 

14

Mapp Case, 1984 (1) 

14

Mapp Case, 1984 (2) 

14

Newspaper Clippings, 1981 

14

Newspaper Clippings, 1983 

14

Subseries 4.2: 1985 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Other court opinions in other cases - Notebook of crucial data

Box

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1985 (1) 

15

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1985 (2) 

15

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1985 (3) 

15

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1985 (4) 

15

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1985 (5) 

15

Mapp Case & School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1985 

15

Mapp Case, 1985 (1) 

15

Mapp Case, 1985 (2) 

15

Mapp Case, 1985 (3) 

15

Mapp Case, 1985 (4) 

15

Mapp Case, 1985 (5) 

15

Mapp Case, 1985 (6) 

15

School Board- Hearing- Brainerd School for Academics, 1985 

15

Other Desegregation Cases (1) 

16

Other Desegregation Cases (2) 

16

Other Desegregation Cases (3) 

16

Chronological Reference File for Desegregation Case, 1985 (1) 

16

Chronological Reference File for Desegregation Case, 1985 (2) 

16

Assorted Publications and Court Records 

16

Subseries 4.3: 1985-1990s 

Scope and Contents note

Contains matters relating to:

Move for dismissal

1985 Transcripts of hearing

1986 Dismissal - December 10, 1986

Box

School Board, Community Schools, 1987-1988 

17

School Board, Report to the Court: Faculty Reassignments, 1986 

17

Mapp Case, Appellate File Correspondence, 1986 

17

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1986 (1) 

17

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1986 (2) 

17

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1986 (3) 

17

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1986 (4) 

17

Mapp Case, First Day of Trial, October 28, 1958 

17

Mapp Case, Second Day of Trial, October 29, 1985 

17

Mapp Case, Third Day of Trial, October 30, 1985 

17

Mapp Case, Fourth Day of Trial, October 31, 1985 

17

School Board, Miscellaneous Documents, 1990-1998 

17

Newspaper Clippings, 1986-1992 

17

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Series 5: Briefs 1960-1980 

Box

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1960-1961 

18

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1962 

18

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1966 

18

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1971 

18

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1972 

18

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1973-1974 

18

Mapp Case- Briefs, 1975 

18

Goss Case- Briefs, 1962 

18

Swann Case- Briefs, 1969-1971 

18

Spangler Case-Briefs, 1975 

18

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Series 6: Melton Case 

Scope and Contents note

This is a separate freedom of expression case which arose during some of the most intense and difficult days of the desegregation effort, and which involved the district court, the court of appeals and finally, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the opinion of Raymond Witt that this case was definitely a part of the story of the effort of the Chattanooga community to come to terms with what the Constitution required.

Box

Melton Case- Brainerd High School Unrest, 1969-1973 (1) 

19

Melton Case- Brainerd High School Unrest, 1969-1973 (2) 

19

Melton Case, September 23, 1970 

19

Melton Case, March 11-12, 1971 

19

Melton Case, March 15, 1971 

19

Melton Case, March 30, 1971 

19

Melton Case, 1971-1973 

19

Melton Case, Appeals, 1971-1973 

19

Student Disciplinary Process (1974) 

19

School Board Cassettes: School Board Conference (11/12/72), City High School 

19

School Board Cassettes: Reasons for Filing Petition of Certiorari (1/12/76), School Board Meeting 

19

School Board Cassettes: Presentation to School Board: Reasons for leaving petition before U.S. Supreme Court (2/20/76) 

19

School Board Cassettes: School Board Meeting (5/10/76) 

19

School Board Cassettes: School Board Meeting (5/24/76) 

19

School Board Cassettes: Pasadena- Report to CSB by Raymond Witt (7/2/76) 

19

School Board Cassettes: School Board Meeting (6/79) 

19

School Board Cassettes: School Board Meeting (10/22/84) 

19

School Board Cassettes: TV Interviews (Mapp Case), Channels 9, 12, 3 respectively, (3/12/86) 

19

School Board Cassettes: Dinner, School Board (3/3/87) 

19

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Series 7: Newspapers 

Box
21
Box
20

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