Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Lloyd J. Graybar Papers

Dates: 1946-1988.

Professor of History, Eastern Kentucky University.

The papers of Lloyd J. Graybar consist of correspondence between Graybar and veterans of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946, with related printed materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a scrapbook. The papers are research materials that were collected by Graybar for a book.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 1 linear foot, 4 linear inches (about 2400 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: The donor gave to the United States all his copyrights in these materials. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Rachel Gard, David Clark (2008).
Updated by: Rachel Gard (2008) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Lloyd J. Graybar received an A.B. Degree from Middlebury College, and went on to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Columbia University. He became a Professor of History at Eastern Kentucky University, where he joined the faculty in 1966.

While researching the Bikini atomic tests of 1946 for a proposed book on the subject, Professor Graybar interviewed and corresponded with many veterans of the tests. His article, “The 1946 Atomic Bomb Tests: Atomic Diplomacy or Bureaucratic Infighting?” was published in the Journal of American History in March 1986 (Volume 72: 4, pgs. 888-907).

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Lloyd J. Graybar mainly consist of correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, newsletters, magazine articles, charts, interview lists, printed materials, handwritten notes, and other items related to his research, with particular emphasis upon first-hand accounts by veterans and retired military personnel of atomic bomb testing that took place on the Bikini Island Atoll in July of 1946.

Included among the materials in this collection are articles and newspaper clippings that Graybar collected in relation to atomic bomb testing in the Pacific, letters of thanks to veterans who responded to his interview questions, and a series of articles and photos relating to “Radio Bikini,” a film documentary produced by Robert Stone on the atomic bomb tests that took place on Bikini Island.

The collection also includes photographs of the preparations leading up to the bomb testing, and typed or handwritten correspondence from the veterans relating their memories and roles in the operation, as well as their opinions in regards to Graybar’s research. Most of the correspondence is of a personal nature, and is primarily related to the form-letter questionnaire that Graybar sent out. The bulk of this correspondence dates between 1982 and 1985.

In addition to the above materials, other items in the collection include copies of articles that were written at the time of the atomic bomb testing, as well as a newsletter from the Navy (dated July 26, 1946) relating to the outcomes of the tests. Also included are lists of the individuals that Graybar interviewed. Some items of particular interest include the scrapbook that Graybar compiled (consisting of newspaper clippings and magazine articles published at the time of the bomb testing), and a photo-history of “Operation Crossroads.”

More information about atomic testing can be found at the Truman Library in the Harry S. Truman Papers: President’s Secretary’s Files: Subject File: National Security Council – Atomic.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-3 CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1946-1988
Correspondence between Graybar and veterans of atomic bomb tests, printed materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, a scrapbook, and other items related to Graybar’s research. Arranged alphabetically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • Crosley, Paul
  • D
  • Decker, Charles
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • Halliday, Robert
  • Illustrations
  • Interview List
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • Landreth, John
  • Laning, Richard
  • Lee, Fitzhugh
Box 2
  • M
  • Masterman, H.W.
  • Micco, Don
  • N
  • Navy Newsletter
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • Nichols, Herb
  • Niedermair, John C.
  • Niles, W.J.
  • Notes and References
  • O
  • Operation Crossroads, Bikini 1946
  • Operation Crossroads, Stationery
  • O’Quin, H.W.
  • P
  • Palmyra
  • Q
  • R
  • “Radio Bikini,” A Film by Robert Stone
  • Reese, Edward
  • Russell, Dana
Box 3
  • S
  • Scrapbook
  • Sherrod, Robert
  • Simpson, John
  • Snyder, Philip
  • T
  • Trainor, Joseph
  • USS Moale
  • V
  • W
  • White, Stephen
  • Whitefeather, George
  • Z

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