University of Chicago Library

Guide to the American Veterans Committee, Chicago Area Council Records 1946-1973

© 2012 University of Chicago Library


Processed with assistance from the CLIR funded Black Metropolis Research Consortium "Color Curtain Processing Project."

Descriptive Summary


American Veterans Committee, Chicago Area Council. Records




3 linear feet (5 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The collection contains documents from the American Veterans Council, founded in 1944 and disbanded in 2003. The American Veterans Council was a liberal Veterans’ organization that sought to protect and extend Democracy. The collection spans from 1946-1973, with the bulk of the collection from 1946-1958. Researches interested in union and or Veterans history, especially with regards to Chicago, will find this collection useful.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: American Veterans Committee, Chicago Area Council. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The American Veterans Committee (AVC) was founded in 1944 as a progressive veteran’s organization and an alternative to groups such as The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. As stated in its newsletter the organization sought, “to achieve a more Democratic and prosperous America and a more stable world.” With the motto of “citizens first, veterans second,” the AVC supported a range of liberal causes; for example, it challenged military segregation and maintained racially integrated chapters in Southern States. Targeted during post-WWII anti-communist campaigns, the AVC purged its Communist members in 1948, justifying the action through their goal to “extend and defend Democracy,” and to “keep the AVC a progressive Veterans’ organization independent of Communist Party-line control.” The AVC disbanded in 2003.

Scope Note

The American Veterans Committee, Chicago Area Council records spans from 1946-1973, with the bulk of the collection from 1946-1958. It is organized into three series, “Convention Material,” “Chicago Area Council” and “American Veterans Committee Publications.” “Chicago Area Council” series is divided into two subseries: “Correspondence” and “Organizational Documents.” Series I is arranged chronologically with a gap between 1952 and 1955. Documents consist of correspondence, memoranda, planning materials, by laws, and booklets regarding both national and Chicago-area conventions. Subseries 1 of Series II consists primarily Stanley A. Kaplan’s incoming and outgoing correspondence in his role as Chairman of the American Veterans Committee. Subseries 2 of Series II documents include correspondence, minutes, publications, memorandums, by-laws, financial documents, and booklets of the Chicago Area Council. Series III include AVC publications: The “AVC Bulletin,” a book and an issue of The Atlantic Monthly (both written by Charles G. Bolte), and other newspaper clippings about the AVC.

Of potential interest are the writings on and about the desegregation of the military and the growing anti-communist sentiments towards the AVC. Researchers interested in union and or Veterans history, especially with regards to Chicago, will find this collection useful.

The files were collected by Stanley A. Kaplan (1910-1981), Professor Law at the University of Chicago and former chairman of the AVC. A majority of the correspondence, memoranda, and AVC National Convention notes were written to or by Kaplan.

Related Resources

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Subject Headings


Series I: Convention Material and Documents (1946-1955)

Subseries 1: Convention Documents and Materials

Box 1    Folder 1-3

First Area Convention Documents and Materials, 1946-1947

Box 1    Folder 4

Second Annual National Convention Documents, 1947

Box 1    Folder 5-6

Third Annual National Convention Documents, 1948

Box 1    Folder 7

Third Chicago Open Convention and Formation of State Committee, 1949

Box 1    Folder 8

Fourth National Convention Program Docket, 1949

Box 2   Folder 1

Fourth Annual Convention Materials, 1949

Box 2   Folder 2-3

Fifth Annual Convention Materials, 1951

Box 2   Folder 4

Sixth Annual Convention Materials, 1952

Box 2   Folder 5

Tenth Convention Booklet Materials, 1955

Box 2   Folder 6

Chicago Memos and Correspondence, 1946

Box 2   Folder 7

Memos and Correspondence, 1946-1947

Box 2   Folder 8

Articles and Correspondence, 1947

Box 2   Folder 9

Correspondence, 1948

Box 2   Folder 10

Correspondence, 1948

Subseries 2: Meeting Minutes

Box 3   Folder 1

Correspondence, 1949

Box 3   Folder 2

Executive Committee Minutes, Correspondence, and Finance Documents, 1949-1950

Box 3   Folder 3

Correspondence, 1950

Box 3   Folder 4

Memoranda and Reports, 1945-1946

Box 3   Folder 5

Chapter Handbook and Organizational Documents, 1946

Box 3   Folder 6

American Veterans Committee National Planning Committee, 1946

Box 3   Folder 7

American Veterans Committee National Constitution and By-Laws, 1946-1947

Box 3   Folder 8

American Veterans Committee Area, Council Minutes, 1946-1947

Box 3   Folder 6

Caucus Documents, Platform Documents, Campaign Fliers, 1947

Series II: Chicago Area Council Records Collection (1946-1973)

Subseries 1: Stanley A. Kaplan Correspondence

Box 4   Folder 1-2

Chicago Chapter Documents, 1946-1949

Box 4   Folder 3-4

Executive Committee Documents, Reports, Financials 1948-1950

Box 4   Folder 5

American Veterans Committee Constitution Committee, 1950

Subseries 2: General Documents of the Chicago Area Council

Box 4   Folder 6

Freidman Trust, 1951-1956

Box 4   Folder 7

Blank Certificates (signed), 1958

Box 4   Folder 8-9

Memorandum, 1973, undated

Series III: American Veterans Committee Publications (1946-1958)

Box 4   Folder 10

The New Veteran by Charles G. Bolte, 1946

Box 4   Folder 11

The Atlantic Monthly, May 1947 issue

Box 4   Folder 12

American Veterans Committee News Releases, Articles and Bulletins, 1948

Box 5    Folder 1-2

American Veterans Committee Bulletin, 1946-1952

Box 5    Folder 3

Chicago News Clippings, 1946-1950

Box 5    Folder 4

American Veterans Committee and Veterans Publications, 1947-1958

Box 5    Folder 5

News Clippings, undated

Box 5    Folder 6

National News Clippings, 1947-1949

Box 5    Folder 7

American Veterans Committee National Convention Books, 1955-1958

Series IV: Addenda

Box 5   Folder 8

AVC Scope, October 8, 1946