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Inventory of the Jesse M. Unruh Papers
LP236  
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Series Descriptions

 

Legislative Files

LP236:1-81

Series 1 Bill Files 1959-1970

Physical Description: 84 file folders

Arrangement

Bill files are arranged chronologically by legislative session and numerically by bill number.

Scope and Content Note

These bill files were created by Jesse Unruh while he served as Assembly Member, 1955-1970. Bill files from the 1955-1961 time period were destroyed by fire in his district office sometime in the early 1960's. The files may include amendments, analyses, letters, resolutions, telegrams, testimony, position statements in support and opposition, Legislative Counsel opinions and conflict letters, author's floor and committee statements, press releases, newspaper clippings, and background information. Unruh's bill files reflect his interests in consumer protection (particularly consumer credit and installment plans), oil industry regulation including off-shore drilling and protecting California's coast from oil spills, improving educational opportunities in disadvantaged communities, and school finance reform.
Microfilm copies of bill files are available for the years 1959-1970 as indicated by (mf) following the LP number. A list of individual bill files included and their subject matter is available in Appendix A in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
1959: AB500 - Unruh Retail Installment Sales Act, 1959-1969 (2ff) L236:1-2 (mf)
1959: AB594 - Unruh Civil Rights Act, 1961 (1ff-1 document) LP236:3 (mf)
1961: Proposed legislation (1ff) LP236:4
1962: ACA5, AB41X (1ff) LP236:5 (mf)
1963: AB1-AB3112, ACR12-ACR64, HR53-HR532 (5ff) LP236:6-10 (mf)
1964: HR16, AB46X, AB132X, AB145X, ACR68X, HR55X-HR349X (7ff) LP236:11-17 (mf)
1965: Proposed legislation (1ff) LP236:18
1965: AB18-AB3345, ACR79-ACR156, HR5-HR589, AJR1XX (15ff) LP236:19-33 (mf)
1966: Proposed legislation (1ff) LP236:33a
1966: AB23X-AB156X, ACR3X-ACR73X, AJR20X, HR33x-HR526X, HR3XX (6ff) LP236:34-39 (mf)
1967: Proposed legislation (1ff) LP236:40
1967: AB272-AB2457, ACA30, ACR16-ACR91, HR64-HR596, RCR177-RCR377, HR8XX-HR74XX (14ff) LP236:41-54 (mf)
1968: Proposed legislation (1ff) LP236:55
1968: AB265-AB1465, ACR62-ACR138, AJR12, AJR35, HR75-HR576, HR10X, HR28X (12ff) LP236:56-66 (mf)
1969: Proposed legislation and co-authored bills (1ff) LP236:67
1969: AB325-AB2116, ACR19, AJR3, AJR47, HR40-HR290, RCR529, RCR582 (9ff) LP236:68-75 (mf)
1970: Proposed legislation (1ff) LP236:76
1970: AB277-AB2354, AJR3-AJR69, RCR111-RCR626 (5ff) LP236:77-81 (mf)
 

Speaker's Office Files

LP236:82-378, 1860-1893

Series 2 Correspondence Files 1959-1970

Physical Description: 336 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence files may contain newspaper clippings, press releases, correspondence, reports, notes, memorandums, and other materials. These records reveal Unruh's involvement as Assembly Speaker in the day-to-day management of the Legislature and include files on each Assembly Committee (appointments, expenditures, studies), individual legislators, his efforts to professionalize the Legislature by hiring expert staff to research and analyze the issues, and contracting with outside firms to conduct numerous public opinion surveys. Also evident are Unruh's legislative priorities such as consumer protection, civil rights (including response to the Watts Riot), the Rumford Fair Housing Act, education, and school finance as well as his interest in state and local politics.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix B in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1764-1859

Series 3 Larry Margolis Subject Files 1957-1968

Physical Description: 97 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

Larry Margolis served as Jesse M. Unruh's Chief of Staff in the Speaker's Office from 1961 until 1968. Prior to that, Margolis was Administrative Assistant to Unruh on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
The files consist of correspondence, memoranda, speeches, and reports and cover a wide range of subjects relating to Unruh's roles as Speaker, Assemblyman, and leading figure in the State Democratic Party. The materials are generally useful for understanding issues of the day and for the light they shed on the organization of Unruh's office, his use of staff, and the flow of work related to Unruh's activities. Some information may be found relating to Unruh's revitalization of the Assembly (see LP236:1813-1814-"Legislature, Organization"). Major subjects include education, elections, the Legislature, and the 1960 Olympic Games.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix C in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1894-1927

Series 4 Speeches 1959-1969

Physical Description: 34 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Contains copies of speeches given by Unruh including drafts and different versions in many cases. Most indicate when, where, and to whom the speech was given and some are marked with the alpha-numeric coding used in the Issues Files (see series 10-12 below). Topics range from the Legislature (ethics, need for strengthening, legislative issues), to education, taxes, health care, reapportionment, and politics. Also included are statements which pertain primarily to specific legislation. An index (1959-1969) is available in folder LP236:1894. For speeches on or after Dec. 4, 1969 (date Unruh officially announced his run for Governor), see 1970 Campaign for Governor below. Some speeches are available on audiotape; see series 23 below.
LP236:1928-1934

Series 5 Press Releases 1964-1969

Physical Description: 7 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date and/or number.

Scope and Content Note

Press releases issued by Unruh mostly pertain to legislation and his schedule. A numbering system was imposed in Oct. 1968; before then, releases are filed by date issued. Indexes are available in LP236:1928. Some are marked with Issues Files codes (see series 10-12 below). For releases after Dec. 4, 1969, see 1970 Campaign for Governor below.
LP236:1935-1942

Series 6 Press Conferences, Transcripts 1965-1968

Physical Description: 8 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of press conference.

Scope and Content Note

Transcripts of press conferences were primarily joint events held by Unruh and State Senate Pro Tempore Hugh M. Burns. Index to transcripts available in folder LP236:1935.
 

Political Files

LP236:379-439, 1943-1964

Series 7 Subject Files 1958-1972

Physical Description: 86 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

Subject files containing correspondence, press releases, newsletters, campaign materials, newspaper clippings, and other materials reflect Unruh's activities in state, local, and national politics. Most prominently featured are records relating to his role in the 1968 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy--from its early stages before Kennedy decided to run through Kennedy's California Primary victory--followed by his assassination and, finally, at the Democratic National Convention. Evidence of Unruh's behind-the-scenes involvement in Pierre Salinger's run for the US Senate, his conflicts with the California Democratic Council, and his own legislative campaigns is also represented.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix D in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
 

1970 Campaign for Governor

LP236:440-482, 1438-1446, 1965-2010a

Series 8 Subject Files 1965-1970

Physical Description: 98 file folders and 1 item

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, campaign materials, newspaper clippings, and other materials document Unruh's unsuccessful campaign against Ronald Reagan for Governor in 1970. Of particular interest are Unruh's political biography covering his 16-year political career up to that point, the master file of campaign materials, and the county organization files documenting local campaign activities. Also includes a dart board with photo of Casper Weinberger.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix E in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:482a-863

Series 9 Issue Files - Unruh 1959-1970

Physical Description: 360 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject or subject coding system. Key to coding system filed in folder LP236:482a.

Scope and Content Note

Files pertaining to potential issues for the 1970 campaign appear to have been created by pulling out or photocopying materials from existing Unruh files. The Unruh issue files consist of two groups - one arranged alphabetically by subject and the other alphabetically by a subject code. Files may contain press releases, statements, speeches, newspaper clippings, correspondence, biographies, and other materials. Issues in both groups represent the most controversial of the period such as unrest on college campuses, education finance, the Vietnam War, crime, subversive activities, minority groups, the environment, political parties, welfare, abortion, taxes, and rapid transit.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix F in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:864-1282

Series 10 Issue Files - Reagan 1966-1970

Physical Description: 420 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject or subject coding system. Key to coding system filed in folder LP236:482a.

Scope and Content Note

The Reagan issue files are similar in subject content and arrangement to the Unruh issues files. Files may contain press conference transcripts, press releases (some with speech excerpts), newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other materials. The main focus is on Reagan's activities as Governor.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix F in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1283-1437

Series 11 Issue Files - Alioto 1963-1970

Physical Description: 155 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject or subject coding system. Key to coding system filed in folder LP236:482a.

Scope and Content Note

Joseph Alioto, then Mayor of San Francisco, was a potential Unruh rival in the June 1970 Democratic Primary. An unfavorable expose in Look, a national magazine, linking Alioto to the Mafia as well as a lawsuit relating to his legal practice derailed his candidacy. Alioto issue files primarily contain newspaper clippings relating to his activities as Mayor, and to the fallout from the Look article and the libel suit he filed in response to it.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix F in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:2011-2017

Series 12 Speeches 1969-1970

Physical Description: 7 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Includes speeches made during Unruh's campaign for Governor beginning with his Dec. 4, 1969, speech officially announcing his candidacy. Also included are drafts of speeches and speeches which were not used. Some speeches are available on audiotape; see series 23 below.
LP236:2018-2022

Series 13 Press Releases 1969-1970

Physical Description: 5 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Campaign press releases are numbered from 1 to 263 and date from an Unruh biography released the day before his announcement through election night, November 3, 1970.
 

1973 Campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles

LP236:1447-1495

Series 14 Subject Files 1972-1973

Physical Description: 62 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

A majority of the subject files concern organization and operation of the campaign, various strategies, and the candidate's relationship with particular groups such as blacks, Chicanos, young people, and labor unions. The files include correspondence, speeches, reports and studies, clippings, memoranda, and ephemera such as campaign stickers and brochures.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix G in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1496-1498

Series 15 News Releases 1972-1973

Physical Description: 3 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of release.

Scope and Content Note

Press releases issued by Unruh campaign staff cover most issues and personalities associated with the campaign. The files date from November 15, 1972 to March 30, 1973.
LP236:1499-1550

Series 16 Newspaper Clippings 1972-1973

Physical Description: 52 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

Clippings reflect the course of the campaign as well as relevant or controversial issues in Los Angeles upon which Unruh commented. Headings include black support, ecology, Jewish community, labor unions, law and order, and rapid transit.
 

Los Angeles Office Files

LP236:1551-1593

Series 17 Administrative Files 1965-1987

Physical Description: 45 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by type of document or subject.

Scope and Content Note

Files may contain correspondence, reports, press releases, and other materials spanning Unruh's activities while he was speaker, through his campaign for State Treasurer, until his death in 1987. Also included are files pertaining to his work at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.
A list of folders is available in Appendix H in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1594-1643

Series 18 Public Relations Files 1966-1987

Physical Description: 34 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by type of document or subject.

Scope and Content Note

Files may contain newspaper clippings, speeches, press releases, correspondence, and other materials. Includes drafts of a textbook on advocacy as well as a proposal for a book about politics and the legislative process - neither of which appear to have been completed. Also, a considerable portion of these files relate to Unruh's death in 1987 and the memorials that followed.
A list of folders is available in Appendix H in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1644-1675

Series 19 Subject Files 1959-1974

Physical Description: 34 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

Files consist of background materials regarding legislative reform, revenue sharing, as well as information about no-fault auto insurance gathered by students in a class on legislative politics taught by Unruh. Also included are files relating to two Unruh legislative bills - Unruh Civil Rights Act-AB 594, 1959 and AB 1020, 1967, concerning the creation of a state government ombudsman. Files may contain reports, articles, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other materials.
A list of subject headings is available in Appendix H in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives.
LP236:1756-1763

Series 20 Personal Papers 1960-1980

Physical Description: 8 file folders

Scope and Content Note

Contains financial, legal, and personal documents. Some files are restricted under the Information Practices Act, Civil Code section 1798 et seq. because they contain personal information. Unrestricted materials include Unruh family genealogy, various Unruh certificates of election or nomination, and a few invitations.
 

Audiovisual Materials

LP236:1676-1725

Series 21 Photographs 1960-1987

Physical Description: 3,485 items

Arrangement

Arranged by date and/or subject.

Scope and Content Note

Photos document Unruh's major campaigns for Governor in 1970 and Mayor of Los Angeles in 1973, his activities as Speaker, and his involvement in other political campaigns. Unruh is depicted with Robert F. Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, Pat Brown, George McGovern, Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, as well as many state and local government leaders. Also included are a few images related to his terms as State Treasurer (1975-1987).
Formats included are color and black and white photographic prints, negatives, contact sheets, slides, and film transparencies.
A list of folders is available in Appendix I in the Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives. Detailed item-level information is available in the California State Archives online catalog MINERVA http://minerva.sos.ca.gov
LP236:1726-1734

Series 22 Audiotapes 1963-1974

Physical Description: 291 items

Arrangement

Arranged by sub-series and then by date.

Scope and Content Note

Contains primarily audio recordings of press conferences held by Unruh himself or in tandem with State Senate Pro Tempore Hugh M. Burns. A portion of these are transcribed as indicated below (see series 6 Press Conferences, Transcripts). Also included are numerous speeches and interviews with the press. Most containers of tapes which have not been transcribed include more detailed content information.
a) Burns/Unruh Press Conferences, 1963-1968, undated. LP236:1726(1-43) not transcribed; (44-77) transcribed.
b) Unruh Press Conferences, 1965-1970, undated. LP236:1727(1-39) not transcribed; (40-58) transcribed.
c) Unruh Speeches, 1963-1971, undated. LP236:1728(1-44).
d) Unruh Interviews, 1963-1974, undated. LP236:1729(1-29).
e) Reagan Press Conferences, 1967-1970, undated. LP236:1730(1-18).
f) Assembly Floor Sessions, 1963-1970. LP236:1731(1-15).
g) State Democratic Conventions, 1964, 1968, 1972, undated. LP236:1732(1-6).
h) Miscellaneous, 1963-1970, undated. Includes Unruh trip to Asia, 1963; Vice President Humphrey remarks, 1967; interview with Senator Hugh Burns, 1968, Alan Cranston rally, 1968; Senator George Moscone press conference, 1968; and, Unruh dictating a book on influencing legislation, undated; LP236:1733(1-22).
i) Kirk/Hall and Jeffe Interviews, 1972, undated. Interviews for a planned book? LP236:1734(1-21).
LP236:1735-1737

Series 23 Motion Picture Film 1970 1973

Physical Description: 14 items

Arrangement

Arranged by date.

Scope and Content Note

Includes one film entitled "Jess Biography" by Lester M. Goldsmith, 1970 (16mm color film) and five films entitled "Jess Bio" and "Jess Unruh", 1-9-70, 5-5-70, 5-7-70, 10-9-70 (super 8mm color film cartridges) all likely a product of his 1970 campaign for Governor. Also contains film footage used to create Unruh television commercials for his 1973 campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles (16mm color film in 8-15" film cans).
LP236:1738-1739

Series 24 Videotapes 1968-1970

Physical Description: 25 items

Arrangement

Arranged by subject or date.

Scope and Content Note

Videotapes consist of two groups:
a) "JMU Kick-off Tour," 1970 campaign for Governor (17 - 1/2" black and white)
b) Miscellaneous: Unruh speeches, 1968 (2 - 1/2" black and white); "News conference, KNBC", 1969 (1 - 1/2" black and white); "Election '70", 10-10-1970 (1 - 2" color); "Jess Unruh Press Conference, KNTV-11, San Jose," 10-20-1970 (1 - 2" color); "Jess Unruh 30 sec," 10-28-1970 (1 - 2" color); "JMU, KRON-TV, practice," and "JMU, Alioto, Brown," undated (2 - 1/2" black and white).
LP236:1740

Series 25 Microfilm circa 1955-1970

Physical Description: 22 items

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by code number.

Scope and Content Note

Contains microfilm of newspaper clippings from the Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle pertaining to Joseph Alioto (rolls 1, 16-17), Ronald Reagan (rolls 2-15, 18, 20-22), and Unruh (rolls 1-2, 9, 19). These were probably used to create the "Issues Files" for each candidate as described in series 10-12.
LP236:1741

Series 26 Dictabelts 1970, undated

Physical Description: 48 items

Arrangement

Arranged by date.

Scope and Content Note

Includes dictabelt recordings of a few Unruh press conferences held in1970, and many unidentified recordings.