1923-1975; bulk: 1961-1975

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

The Americans for Democratic Action, Massachusetts Chapter records are stored offsite and must be requested at least two business days in advance via Portal1791. Researchers needing more than six items from offsite storage should provide additional advance notice. If you have questions about requesting materials from offsite storage, please contact the reference desk at 617-646-0532 or

Collection Summary


This collection consists of the records for the Massachusetts Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action. It includes correspondence of Massachusetts politicians, legislative reports, subject files, membership rolls, financial records, executive committee memos and meeting minutes, and printed material.

Historical Sketch

In June 1947, the Massachusetts Chapter of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) was organized when it was voted to dissolve the Massachusetts Independent Voters Association, formed in 1924, and create a state chapter for the ADA. It was formed with the goal to produce candidates at the national, state, and local levels that were in line with the organization's liberal platforms regardless of the candidates endorsed by the major political parties. Its principles promoted the ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality; opposed totalitarianism; supported the rights, dignity, and privacy of the individual; belief in an open society in education, employment, and housing; free enterprise when consistent with public welfare; government as an entity to protect and safeguard living and working standards where private endeavor fails to do so; taxation on those who can best bear it; and support of free speech, free press, and free association.


"New Liberal Group Forms Chapter Here," Daily Boston Globe, 8 June 1947, p. D10.

Collection Description

The records of the Massachusetts Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) consist of 10 record cartons pertaining to the daily operations, legislative action, political campaigning, and publicity of the organization. It includes correspondence; committee meeting agendas and minutes; executive committee memos; endorsements and denouncements of political figures and legislation; subject files on social, legislative, and political issues; membership rolls; financial records, including audits; records of local Massachusetts chapters; printed material, such as national and state ADA publications, newsletters, committee reports, the ADA World, and newspaper clippings; and slides. Correspondents include Massachusetts politicians William H. Bates, Silvio O. Conte, James Burke, Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill, Edward W. Brooke, Edward M. Kennedy, and Leverett Saltonstall, among other local and national figures.

Arrangement Note

This collection is loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically within each series.

Processing Information

This collection has been minimally processed and retains most of the original folders.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Americans for Democratic Action, Massachusetts Chapter, July 1976.

Restrictions on Access

The Americans for Democratic Action, Massachusetts Chapter records are stored offsite and must be requested at least two business days in advance via Portal1791. Researchers needing more than six items from offsite storage should provide additional advance notice. If you have questions about requesting materials from offsite storage, please contact the reference desk at 617-646-0532 or

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Correspondence, 1961-1973

Loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

This series consists of correspondence between the Massachusetts ADA and the national organization, politicians, and members.

Carton 1Folder 1-10SH 14XZ W


Carton 1Folder 11-13SH 14XZ W

Correspondence with national ADA, 1969-1970

Carton 1Folder 14SH 14XZ W

Correspondence with state politicians, 1970

Carton 1Folder 15SH 14XZ W

Correspondence with politicians, 1968

Carton 1Folder 15SH 14XZ W

Congressional correspondence, 1973

Carton 1Folder 16SH 14XZ W

Boston Globe, 1973

II. Committees, 1962-1974

Loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

This series consists of meeting minutes and agendas, statements endorsing and denouncing politicians and legislation, and records of specific task forces.

Carton 1Folder 18-23SH 14XZ W

Legislative committee, 1962-1968

Carton 2Folder 1-3SH 15EZ E

Legislative committee, 1970-1971

Carton 2Folder 4-11SH 15EZ E

Political committee, 1964-1974

Carton 2Folder 12-17SH 15EZ E

National board, 1971-1974

Carton 2Folder 18-19SH 15EZ E

Executive committee, 1965, 1968

Carton 2Folder 20-23SH 15EZ E

National executive committee, 1971-1974

Carton 2Folder 24-26SH 15EZ E

National legislative committee, 1971-1974

Carton 2Folder 27SH 15EZ E

National political committee, 1972

Carton 3Folder 1SH 15EY D

National affairs committee, 1962-1965

Carton 3Folder 2SH 15EY D

Committee on discrimination in housing, 1962-1963

Carton 3Folder 3SH 15EY D

Neo-McCarthyism committee, 1962

Carton 3Folder 4SH 15EY D

Committee of 100, 1962

Carton 3Folder 5SH 15EY D

Education committee, 1962

Carton 3Folder 6-11SH 15EY D

Health, education, and community development task force, 1968-1974

Carton 3Folder 12SH 15EY D

Legislative task force, 1967-1968

Carton 3Folder 13SH 15EY D

Women's rights task force, 1972

Carton 3Folder 14SH 15EY D

Civil liberties and criminal justice task force, 1972-1973

Carton 3Folder 15SH 15EY D

ADA organizational conference task force, 1973

Carton 3Folder 16SH 15EY D

Consumerism task force, 1973

Carton 3Folder 17SH 15EY D

Economics and budget task force, 1973

Carton 3Folder 18SH 15EY D

Civil rights task force, 1973

Carton 3Folder 19SH 15EY D

Social and human services task force, 1974

Carton 3Folder 20SH 15EY D

Task force general notices, 1974

Carton 3Folder 21SH 15EY D

Political and governmental task force, 1973-1974

Carton 3Folder 22SH 15EY D

Housing task force, 1973-1974

Carton 3Folder 23SH 15EY D

Foreign policy task force, 1974

III. Legislation, 1963-1974

Loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

This series contains material pertaining to the Massachusetts ADA's policies and platforms to enact liberal legislation reforms and advancements.

Carton 3Folder 24-26SH 15EY D

Truth in lending, 1963-1966

Carton 3Folder 27SH 15EY D

Bills of other organizations, undated

Carton 3Folder 28-29SH 15EY D

Massachusetts legislation, 1964

Carton 3Folder 30-31SH 15EY D

Civil rights and liberties, 1960s

Carton 3Folder 32-35SH 15EY D

Miscellaneous legislation, 1963-1973

Carton 3Folder 36SH 15EY D

Anti-usury, 1963

Carton 3Folder 37SH 15EY D

Tort law, 1963

Carton 3Folder 38SH 15EY D

Fair labor standards act, 1963

Carton 3Folder 39SH 15EY D

Sales tax, 1965-1967

Carton 3Folder 40-41SH 15EY D

Elections laws, 1966, 1968

Carton 3Folder 42-43SH 15EY D

Migrants, 1967-1968

Carton 4Folder 1SH 14XU R

Abolition of governor's council, 1963

Carton 4Folder 2SH 14XU R

Congressional reform, 1964-1965

Carton 4Folder 3-5SH 14XU R

Generic drugs, 1968-1970

Carton 4Folder 6SH 14XU R

Military spending (H. 2905), 1964

Carton 4Folder 7SH 14XU R

Urban renewal, BRA and WGBH, 1968

Carton 4Folder 8SH 14XU R

Model cities, 1968

Carton 4Folder 9SH 14XU R

Fair Housing Federation, 1968

Carton 4Folder 10SH 14XU R

Register bill, 1968

Carton 4Folder 11SH 14XU R

Non-proliferation, 1968

Carton 4Folder 12SH 14XU R

Graduated income tax, 1968

Carton 4Folder 13SH 14XU R

Fluoridation, 1968

Carton 4Folder 14SH 14XU R

CATV, 1968

Carton 4Folder 15-16SH 14XU R

Welfare, 1968-1969

Carton 4Folder 17SH 14XU R

Literacy requirement, 1969-1970

Carton 4Folder 18SH 14XU R

Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM), 1969

Carton 4Folder 19SH 14XU R

Tax program, 1969

Carton 4Folder 20-21SH 14XU R

Vietnam moratorium, 1969

Carton 4Folder 22SH 14XU R

Voting age, 1970

Carton 4Folder 23SH 14XU R

2/3 delegates at national conventions (H. 1914), 1970

Carton 4Folder 24SH 14XU R

Challenged voters (H. 2277), ca. 1970

Carton 4Folder 25SH 14XU R

Peace action, 1970-1972

Carton 4Folder 26SH 14XU R

Tax increment to cities and towns, 1970

Carton 4Folder 27SH 14XU R

Minimum wage, 1970

Carton 4Folder 28SH 14XU R

Drug law reform (H. 2499), 1971

Carton 4Folder 29SH 14XU R

Corporal punishment (H. 2388), 1971

Carton 4Folder 30SH 14XU R

Circuit district courts, 1971

Carton 4Folder 31SH 14XU R

Food stamps (H. 2405), 1971

Carton 4Folder 32SH 14XU R

Close of registration time (H. 2403), 1971

Carton 4Folder 33SH 14XU R

Election day registration (H. 2402), 1971

Carton 4Folder 34SH 14XU R

Absentee voting primaries (H. 2401), 1971

Carton 4Folder 35SH 14XU R

Recording-district courts, 1971

Carton 4Folder 36SH 14XU R

At-home registration, 1972

Carton 4Folder 37SH 14XU R

Absentee voter registration, 1972

Carton 4Folder 38SH 14XU R

Registration by mail, 1972

Carton 4Folder 39SH 14XU R

Election days holidays, 1972

Carton 4Folder 40SH 14XU R

Notify dropped voters twice, 1972

Carton 4Folder 41SH 14XU R

Food assistance, 1972

Carton 4Folder 42SH 14XU R

Blockbusting, 1972

Carton 4Folder 43SH 14XU R

Employers-criminal conviction, 1972

Carton 4Folder 44SH 14XU R

Corporal punishment, 1972

Carton 4Folder 45SH 14XU R

Information to defense in court (H. 2429), 1972

Carton 4Folder 46SH 14XU R

Filing political expenses, 1972

Carton 4Folder 47SH 14XU R

Presidential primary-district delegates, 1972

Carton 4Folder 48SH 14XU R

ADA national legislation, 1973

Carton 4Folder 49SH 14XU R

Self determination for Washington, D.C., 1973

Carton 4Folder 50SH 14XU R

Energy, 1974

Carton 4Folder 51SH 14XU R

Impeachment, 1974

IV. Administrative records, 1953-1975

Loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

The administrative records of the Massachusetts ADA consist of membership material, financial records, material relating to the national organization, and information on other organizations.

Carton 4Folder 52-53SH 14XU R

Membership and dues, 1968, 1971

Carton 4Folder 54-57SH 14XU R

National membership and dues, 1972-1975

Carton 4Folder 58SH 14XU R

Financial statements, 1961-1969

Carton 5Folder 1-3SH 14XX U

ADA-Massachusetts chapter state platform, 1953-1971

Carton 5Folder 4-7SH 14XX U

National policy, 1968-1973

Carton 5Folder 8SH 14XX U

State and national democratic platform, 1972

Carton 5Folder 9SH 14XX U

Democratic party reform, 1973

Carton 5Folder 10SH 14XX U

Sanford Democratic charter commission, 1973

Carton 5Folder 11SH 14XX U

National constitution, 1974

Carton 5Folder 12-31SH 14XX U

Miscellaneous, 1955-1975

Carton 5Folder 32-39SH 14XX U

National affairs, 1963-1974

Carton 6Folder 1SH 15QK B

Other organizations—Colleges and universities, 1962, 1967

Carton 6Folder 2-3SH 15QK B

Other organizations—Human rights organizations, 1969

Carton 6Folder 4SH 15QK B

Other organizations—New campaign and information organizations, 1970

Carton 6Folder 5SH 15QK B

Other organizations—Congressional Action Fund, 1972

V. Local chapter records, 1948-1974

Loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

This series contains material, mostly correspondence, pertaining to local Massachusetts chapters, as well as college and university student chapters. Also included is correspondence with local politicians, campaigning and endorsements by the Massachusetts ADA, convention material, local events, and resource material.

Carton 6Folder 6SH 15QK B

All chapters, 1967-1969

Carton 6Folder 7SH 15QK B

Arlington, 1967

Carton 6Folder 8SH 15QK B

At large, 1957-1969

Carton 6Folder 9SH 15QK B

Berkshire, 1958

Carton 6Folder 10-11SH 15QK B

Boston, 1948-1968

Carton 6Folder 12-13SH 15QK B

Brookline, 1965-1968

Carton 6Folder 14-15SH 15QK B

Cambridge, 1958-1969

Carton 6Folder 16SH 15QK B

Hampden, 1958, 1965

Carton 6Folder 17SH 15QK B

Hampshire, 1958-1965

Carton 6Folder 18-19SH 15QK B

Newton, 1967-1968

Carton 6Folder 20SH 15QK B

Out of state, 1965-1968

Carton 6Folder 21SH 15QK B

Colleges and universities—Amherst College, 1960-1961

Carton 6Folder 22SH 15QK B

Colleges and universities—Boston College, 1968

Carton 6Folder 23SH 15QK B

Colleges and universities—Boston University, 1959-1960

Carton 6Folder 24SH 15QK B

Colleges and universities—Harvard-Radcliffe, 1959-1966

Carton 6Folder 25SH 15QK B

Politicians—Bates, William H., 1964-1966

Carton 6Folder 26SH 15QK B

Politicians—Boland, Edward P., 1956-1968

Carton 6Folder 27SH 15QK B

Politicians—Brooke, Edward W., 1968-1969

Carton 6Folder 28SH 15QK B

Politicians—Burke, James A., 1962-1972

Carton 6Folder 29SH 15QK B

Politicians—Conte, Silvio O., 1966-1968

Carton 6Folder 30SH 15QK B

Politicians—Curtis, Laurence, 1956-1962

Carton 6Folder 31SH 15QK B

Politicians—Donohue, Harold D., 1956-1973

Carton 6Folder 32SH 15QK B

Politicians—Heckler, Margaret M., 1969

Carton 6Folder 33SH 15QK B

Politicians—Keith, Hastings, 1962-1966

Carton 6Folder 34SH 15QK B

Politicians—Kennedy, Edward M., 1968

Carton 6Folder 35SH 15QK B

Politicians—Lane, Thomas J., 1959-1962

Carton 6Folder 36SH 15QK B

Politicians—Lionett, David J., 1974

Carton 6Folder 37SH 15QK B

Politicians—Martin, Joseph W., 1956-1966

Carton 6Folder 38SH 15QK B

Politicians—MacDonald, Torbert H., 1956-1973

Carton 6Folder 39SH 15QK B

Politicians—McCormack, John W., 1958-1968

Carton 6Folder 40SH 15QK B

Politicians—Morse, F. Bradford, 1962-1969

Carton 6Folder 41SH 15QK B

Politicians—Muskie, William S., 1971

Carton 6Folder 42SH 15QK B

Politicians—O'Neil, Thomas P., 1968-1973

Carton 6Folder 43SH 15QK B

Politicians—Philbin, Philip J., 1962-1968

Carton 6Folder 44SH 15QK B

Politicians—Smith, Benjamin A., 1962

Carton 6Folder 45SH 15QK B

Politicians—Saltonstall, Leverett, 1953-1966

Carton 6Folder 46SH 15QK B

Politicians—Volpe, John A., 1965

Carton 6Folder 47SH 15QK B

Campaigns and endorsements—Roche, John P., 1964

Carton 6Folder 48SH 15QK B

Campaigns and endorsements—Coleman, James P., 1965

Carton 6Folder 49SH 15QK B

Campaigns and endorsements—Political campaign, 1966

Carton 6Folder 50SH 15QK B

Campaigns and endorsements—Political propaganda, 1966

Carton 6Folder 51SH 15QK B

Campaigns and endorsements—Humphrey, Hubert H., 1968

Carton 7Folder 1SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Political propaganda, 1968

Carton 7Folder 2SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Political endorsements, 1969-1970

Carton 7Folder 3SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Political campaign, 1970

Carton 7Folder 4SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Political affairs, 1970

Carton 7Folder 5-7SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Questionnaires, 1970-1974

Carton 7Folder 8-9SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—McGovern, 1971-1972

Carton 8SH 14XY V

Campaigns and endorsements—McGovern campaign slides, 1972

Carton 7Folder 10SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Judge Troy, 1972

Carton 7Folder 11SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Congress and Senate questionnaires, 1972

Carton 7Folder 12SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Candidates, 1973

Carton 7Folder 13SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Special Senate election, 1973

Carton 7Folder 14SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, 1973

Carton 7Folder 15SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Ford, Gerald, 1973

Carton 7Folder 16SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—National ADA testimony, 1973

Carton 7Folder 17SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Congress final election, 1974

Carton 7Folder 18SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Governor and Lt. Governor questionnaires, 1974

Carton 7Folder 19SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Secretary of State questionnaires, 1974

Carton 7Folder 20SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Attorney General questionnaires, 1974

Carton 7Folder 21SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Congress questionnaires, 1974

Carton 7Folder 22SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Boston candidates, 1974

Carton 7Folder 23SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Brookline candidates, 1974

Carton 7Folder 24SH 14XV S

Campaigns and endorsements—Newton candidates, 1974

Carton 7Folder 25-28SH 14XV S

News clippings, 1974

Carton 8Folder 1SH 14XY V

Democratic convention, 1974

Carton 8Folder 2-6SH 14XY V

National convention, 1969-1974

Carton 8Folder 7SH 14XY V

State convention, 1974

Carton 8Folder 8-12SH 14XY V

Garden party, 1963-1968

Carton 8Folder 13-16SH 14XY V

Roosevelt Day Dinner, 1954-1975

Carton 8Folder 17SH 14XY V

Resources, undated

Carton 8Folder 18SH 14XY V

Resources—Determinants of Interorganizational Cooperation by John R. Schermerhorn, 1976

Carton 8Vol. 1SH 14XY V

Resources—The 5th Amendment Today: Three Speeches by Erwin J. Griswold (Harvard University Press), 1955

Carton 8Vol. 2SH 14XY V

Resources—Voting Guide 1956: How to Make Your Vote Count published by Americans for Democratic Action, 1956

Carton 8Vol. 3SH 14XY V

Resources—The Common Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (Little, Brown, and Company), 1923

VI. Printed material, 1947-1975

Loosely arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

Printed material includes editions of the Bay State Citizen, Massachusetts ADA's publications, and the national ADA's newsletters, F.Y.I., Legislative Newsletter, Targets, and ADA World.

Carton 9Folder 1-11SH 14Y2 0

Bay State Citizen, 1948-1974

Carton 9Folder 12-14SH 14Y2 0

Bay State Citizen drafts and notes, 1967-1975

Carton 9Folder 15SH 14Y2 0

F.Y.I. newsletter, 1971-1974

Carton 9Folder 16-21SH 14Y2 0

Legislative Newsletter, 1964-1974

Carton 9Folder 22-23SH 14Y2 0

Targets newsletter, 1969-1970

Carton 9Folder 24-32SH 14Y2 0

ADA World newsletter, 1947-1952

Carton 10Folder 1-25SH 14Y3 1

ADA World newsletter, 1953-1975

Carton 10Folder 26-30SH 14Y3 1

Press releases, 1968-1974

Carton 10Folder 31SH 14Y3 1

Miscellaneous ADA-Massachusetts chapter printed material, undated

Preferred Citation

Americans for Democratic Action, Massachusetts Chapter records, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Bates, William Henry, 1917-1969.
Brooke, Edward William, 1919-.
Burke, James A., 1910-1983.
Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Ottavio), 1921-1991.
Humphrey, Hubert H. Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978.
Kennedy, Edward M. (Edward Moore), 1932-2009.
McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-.
O'Neill, Tip.
Saltonstall, Leverett, 1892-1979.


Massachusetts. General Court. House of Representatives.


Political campaigns--Massachusetts.
Political clubs--Massachusetts.
Political conventions--Massachusetts.
Legislators--United States.
Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-