Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Papers of Harry S. Truman
Staff Member and Office Files:
Dallas C. Halverstadt Files

Dates: Date Span: 1945-1952.
Bulk Date Span: 1946-1948.

Acting Chief, Pictorial Branch, War Department, 1942-1946; Assistant Chief, Motion Picture Division, Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, 1946; Acting Chief, Motion Picture Division, Office of Government Reports, 1946-1947; Chief, Motion Picture Division, Office of Government Reports, 1947-1948; Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman, 1948-1953.

The Dallas C. Halverstadt files document his work during the Truman Administration in the Motion Picture Division of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion and Office of Government Reports, and later as a Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman. During this period, Halverstadt worked closely with the motion picture industry and the Advertising Council, a non-profit group that helped develop public service advertising campaigns. These documents pertain to the motion picture industry, the Advertising Council, the theater, public health, housing, federal agencies, and the military, among other topics. The files include print, radio, and television advertising materials, correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, press releases, progress reports, and other printed material related to Halverstadt's work with the motion picture industry and Advertising Council. The collection has three series, which are arranged alphabetically.

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


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 3.6 linear feet (ca. 7200 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Harry S. Truman donated his copyright interest in writings in these files to the United States government. Documents created by U. S. government officials in the course of their official duties are likewise in the public domain. Copyright interest in any other writings in these files is assumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: James R. Fuchs (1956); Tammy Kelly and David Clark (2002).


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1905 (November 7)Born in Seattle, Washington
1928-1930Attended University of Washington, Seattle
January 1933-March 1934Reporter for New Brunswick Home News
April 1934-May 1935News correspondent in London
May 1935-January 1936Reporter
January 1936-September 1937Reporter for the Washington Herald
September 1937-April 1938 Reporter for the Associated Press
May 1938-September 1940 Information Specialist, Public Works Administration, Atlanta, Georgia
September 1940-May 1941 Information Specialist, Public Works Administration, Washington, D. C.
May 1941-May 1942 Information Specialist, Office of Emergency Management
May 1942-August 1946 Acting Chief, Pictorial Branch, War Department
August 1946-December 1946 Assistant Chief, Motion Picture Division, Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion
December 1946-January 1947 Acting Chief, Motion Picture Division, Office of Government Reports
January 1947- June 1948 Chief, Motion Picture Division, Office of Government Reports
July 1948-January 1953 Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman
February 1974 Died

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Dallas C. Halverstadt Files document his work in the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, the Office of Government Reports and as Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman. The Halverstadt Files are part of the Staff Member and Office Files of the Harry S. Truman Papers. Halverstadt did not take the material in these files with him at the conclusion of his government service. When the administration ended in 1953, his files were shipped to Kansas City as part of Mr. Truman's presidential papers, which Truman subsequently donated to the United States government. The collection is approximately 3.2 linear feet in volume, arranged alphabetically by folder title in three series.

In all three of the jobs that he held during this period, Halverstadt's principal responsibility was to serve as the federal government's liaison with the motion picture industry. Halverstadt's files reflect the efforts of the federal government to use the techniques and resources of the motion picture industry to encourage popular support for a variety of causes that would serve the public or the national interest.

The Halverstadt Files are organized into three series: Subject File, Name File-Correspondence, and Miscellaneous File. Because Halverstadt's duties did not change dramatically when he moved from one position to another as a result of postwar government reorganizations, each series is quite similar to the others with regard to the subjects it documents. Much of the material was addressed to Halverstadt's predecessor and supervisor, Arch A. Mercey.

The Subject File, which comprises most of the collection, contains agenda, correspondence, handwritten notes, memoranda, newspaper clippings, printed materials, reports, speeches, draft film scripts, fact sheets, meeting minutes, radio ads, and press releases from 1946-1951. The materials in this series pertain to the motion picture industry, the Advertising Council, reconversion efforts, the Citizens Food Committee (Luckman Committee), the United Nations, education, the federal budget, agriculture, famine in Europe, disabled veterans, the military, public health, housing, savings bonds, world trade, the scrap metal campaign, the Red Cross and federal agencies. The Subject File is arranged alphabetically.

The Name File-Correspondence contains correspondence relating to people writing to both Arch Mercey and Dallas Halverstadt. The series includes correspondence with government officials, and with people in the motion picture and television industries from 1946-1948. The Name File is arranged alphabetically.

The Miscellaneous File contains correspondence, memoranda, printed materials, a journal, handwritten notes, and newspaper clippings from 1945-1952. This series contains Advertising Council materials similar to the records in the Spencer R. Quick Files as well as duplicate copies of correspondence found in other series in the collection. The materials in this series pertain to the motion picture industry, the Red Cross, better schools, automobile safety, and a scrap metal campaign. The Miscellaneous File is arranged alphabetically.

Some notable documents in the Halverstadt Files include letters dated July 8, 1946 from Harry S. Truman to John R. Steelman and S. H. Fabian and a telegram from Harry S. Truman to John R. Steelman, dated November 19, 1946. Within this collection are film scripts, radio advertising copy, and "Radio Fact Sheets," which were distributed to radio stations. These sheets summarized the goals of the ad campaign and provided suggestions for radio ads. Also included is correspondence with Walt Disney, a report on motion pictures utilized in the reconversion program, and correspondence related to the 1948 railroad strikes.

Related collections in the Truman Library are the files of Spencer R. Quick and John Steelman. Their files, like Halverstadt's, are part of the Staff Member and Office Files of the Harry S. Truman Papers.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-6 SUBJECT FILE, 1946-1951
Agenda, correspondence, handwritten notes, memoranda, newspaper clippings, printed materials, reports, speeches, draft film scripts, fact sheets, meeting minutes, radio ads, and press releases which document Halverstadt's work in the Office of War Mobilization, and Office of Government Reports, and as Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
7 NAME FILE - CORRESPONDENCE, 1946-1948
Correspondence with government officials, and with people in the motion picture and television industries which document Halverstadt's work in the Office of War Mobilization, and Office of Government Reports, and as Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman. Arranged alphabetically by name.
8-9 MISCELLANEOUS FILE, 1945-1952
Correspondence, memoranda, printed materials, a journal, handwritten notes, and newspaper clippings which document Halverstadt's work in the Office of War Mobilization, and Office of Government Reports, and as Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President, Dr. John Steelman. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST
Box 1
  • Advertising Council, The-Miscellaneous
  • Air Force
  • Allied Non-Theatrical Film Association
  • Allied States Association of Motion Picture Exhibitors
  • American Public Relations Association
  • American Theatre Association
  • Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  • Atomic Information
  • Awards
  • Budget
  • Canadian National Film Board
  • Catalogs-Non-Theatrical Films
  • Chronological, April 25-August 1, 1946-Arch A. Mercey
  • Chronological, August 1, 1946-January 10, 1947-Arch A. Mercey
  • Chronological, [August 1946-May 1948]-Arch A. Mercey
  • Citizens Food Committee-Luckman Committee
  • Clippings-Miscellaneous
  • Clothing-Research
Box 2
  • Conference Reports
  • Education
  • Educational Film Research Institute
  • Famine Emergency Committee
  • Film Council of America
  • Films-Catalogues, Lists
  • Films-Letters re Catalogues
  • Films-Miscellaneous
  • Films-Production
  • Food
  • General
  • "Give Us The Earth" [public service agricultural film]
  • Health
  • Housing
Box 3
  • Housing-Research
  • Hyde, Anthony
  • Hyde Memoranda
  • Information - Motion Picture Industry
  • International Labor Office
  • Land Use
  • Library of Congress
  • Lorentz, Pare
  • Meeting, 19 November 1946-WH Conference of Motion Picture Representatives
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Motion Picture Association-Johnston Office
  • Motion Picture-Research - Clippings
  • Motion Picture Industry - Federal Government Cooperation
  • Motion Pictures-Mercey
Box 4
  • Motion Picture Theatre Owners of America
  • National Association of Visual Education Dealers
  • Navy, Department of the
  • New Frontier for Adult Education [speech]
  • Newsreels: Fox Movietone News
  • Newsreels: General
  • Newsreels: News of the Day-MGM
  • Newsreels: Paramount
  • Newsreels: Pathe News-Warner
  • Newsreels: Universal
  • "No Help Wanted" [documentary on unemployment and disabled veterans]
  • OWMR Clippings [Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion]
  • Pacific Coast Conference of Independent Theatre Owners
  • Personal - Chronological - Halverstadt
  • Personal - Halverstadt
  • Personnel Notices
  • Physically Handicapped
  • Pictures-Miscellaneous
Box 5
  • President's Council of Economic Advisors
  • Press Releases on OGR [Office of Government Reports]
  • Procedure
  • Red Cross
  • Reports - Monthly for the Division
  • Retraining and Re-employment Administration
  • "Sad Sack" [animated short promoting National Service Life Insurance]
  • Safety
  • Scrap Metal
  • Scripts
  • "Seeds of Destiny" [documentary short on famine in Europe]
  • Short Subjects
  • 16 Millimeter Films
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Southeastern Theatre Owners Association
  • State Department
  • State Department - Correspondence
  • Steelman, Dr. John R. - Memoranda
  • Supplies, Requisitions for
  • Tax, Admission
  • Transportation
  • Travel - Halverstadt
  • Travel - Mercey
  • Travel Vouchers and Request for Printing
Box 6
  • Treasury Department
  • United Nations
  • UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization]
  • U. S. Department of Agriculture
  • U. S. Steel Corporation
  • Veterans
  • War Department
  • Wheat Harvest Film
  • World Affairs
  • World Trade
Box 7
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O-P-Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U-V-W
  • X-Y-Z
Box 8
  • Advertising Council, The
  • Articles Transferred to the Book Collection
  • Daily Journal of Events, April 22, 1946 - March 24, 1947
  • Duplicates [September 6, 1946 memo, May 4, 1948 Washington Film Council Newsletter]
  • Duplicates [various memos throughout collection, 1946-47]
  • Fawcett News Service Newsreel Announcements
  • "Give Us the Earth" [promotional flyer for public service agricultural film]
  • Halverstadt, D. C. - Pamphlets
  • Letters, Harry S. Truman to John R. Steelman, July 8, 1946 and Harry S. Truman to S. H. Fabian, July 8, 1946
  • Miscellaneous [correspondence, cross-reference sheets, promotional materials, War Assets Administration auction catalog]
  • Miscellaneous [film catalogs, meeting attendees and minutes]
Box 9
  • Miscellaneous [Washington Film Council notices, film catalogs, newsletters, memoranda, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad timetable]
  • Miscellaneous Packets
  • Miscellaneous Publications
  • Miscellaneous Requests for Films and Catalogs - 1948
  • Motion Picture Daily
  • Movietone Newsreel Announcements
  • News of Day Newsreel Announcements
  • Paramount Newsreel Announcements
  • Remarks by General Omar N. Bradley, November 19, 1946
  • Resolution by Motion Picture Committee
  • "Seeds of Destiny" [photo stills from documentary short on famine in Europe]
  • Telegram, Harry S. Truman to John R. Steelman, November 19, 1946
  • Veterans Administration Press Release - Statistical Summary of VA Activities
  • Warner Pathe Newsreel Announcements

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

The creation of this online resource was made possible in part by funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee.