Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


The Papers of Harry S. Truman
Staff Member and Office Files:
James I. Loeb, Jr. Files

Dates: 1951-52

Consultant to President Harry S. Truman's Special Counsel

James I. Loeb Jr. served as a consultant to President Harry S. Truman's Special Counsel between 1951 and 1952. The Loeb Files are largely comprised of letters, outlines, draft reports and handwritten notes from his work on Twenty Years of Progress, a summary report of the Federal government that published in 1952. The Loeb Files also contain a small amount of research and analysis materials generated by the Democratic National Committee.

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


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Approximately 2400 pages, less than 1 linear foot
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)
Updated by: Tracy L. Burgess (2003) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and Amy Williams.


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

August, 1908 Born in Chicago, IL
June, 1929 Graduated with an A.B from Dartmouth College
1930 Traveled to Montpelier, France
1936 Received Ph.D. from Northwestern
1937 Began teaching at Townsend Harris High School, City College, New York City.
1941 Became involved with formation of the Union for Democratic Action.
1945-47 National Director, Union for Democratic Action
1947-51 National Director, Americans for Democratic Action (formerly Union for Democratic Action)
1951-52 Consultant to Charles S. Murphy, President Harry S. Truman's Special Counsel
1952 Executive Assistant to Governor W. Averell Harriman
1952 Co-publisher and co-editor of Adirondack Daily Enterprise (with Roger Tubby)
1960 Editor and publisher of Lake Placid News
1961-62 U.S. Ambassador to Peru
1963-65 U.S. Ambassador to Guinea
1965 Resumed publishing/editorial position with Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Lake Placid News newspapers
1992 Died

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

James I. Loeb Jr. served as a consultant to Charles S. Murphy, President Harry S. Truman's Special Counsel between 1951 and 1952. The Loeb Files are comprised of documents from this period. (Loeb dropped the "Junior" from his name after his tenure with the Truman Administration.)

The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically; most contents are arranged in reverse chronological order. The majority of these documents were generated between November, 1951 and April, 1952.

Under the authority of Senator Clinton P. Anderson (New Mexico), in December of 1951 Loeb began a 90-day project compiling and editing an assessment of the federal government and its agencies. The project was originally proposed by Charles Van Devander earlier that year. These summations would be combined into one document, Twenty Years of Teamwork. The aim of the project was to bring together, in an easily understood and usable form, a factual record of the significant accomplishments of the federal government between 1932 and 1952. The Department of Agriculture's work on the project was held up to all agencies as the model to emulate.

The Chronological Files (Box 1) probably provides the best overview of the Twenty Years of Teamwork project. These files contains copies of Senator Anderson's initial request letters, Loeb's notes to agency heads on their draft outlines and reports, as well as memoranda and "to do" lists addressing the actual execution of the project. Material concerning the project is also filed by agency or department title. These individual files contain more a bit more documentation - correspondence, notes, draft reports, and the like - which pertain exclusively to that agency's participation. A copy of the official printed report, as well as the original memo from Charles Van Devander detailing the criteria and format for the project can be found in the "Loeb, James Jr." file (Box 2).

As might be expected, the bulk of the papers in this collection are devoted Loeb's work on the Twenty Years of Teamwork project. However, the collection also contains some Democratic National Committee research and analysis on both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Loeb remained active with the Democratic Party, though he had stepped down from his directorship with the Americans for Democratic Action in 1951. These materials discuss officials, candidates (with particular emphasis on presidential candidates), congressional lobbies, campaign strategies, and general public opinion. Some documents are interspersed with other materials throughout the collection. The Memorandums to Bert M. Gross File, the Miscellaneous File, and the "Odd Jobs" for Mr. Murphy File are almost exclusively Democratic National Committee material.

The Truman Library conducted an oral history interview with James I. Loeb in 1970, during which Loeb discussed his involvement with this project. The transcript of the interview is available in the research room and online. (OH 74). Further information may be found in the Charles S. Murphy Files, within the Harry S. Truman Papers. The personal papers of Clinton P. Anderson and Charles S. Murphy may also be of interest.

Further information about the specific departments, agencies, or individuals referenced in the Loeb Files may be found in the White House Central Files: Official Files (OF) and President's Personal Files (PPF). Materials concerning the Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee can be found in OF 299: Democratic Party.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-4 SUBJECT FILE, 1950-52
Correspondence; reports; article summaries; handwritten notes; memoranda; outlines; printed material; and speech drafts.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST
Box 1
    SUBJECT FILE, 1950-1952
  • Agriculture
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Bureau of the Budget
  • Campaign
      [1 of 2, November - December 1951]
      [2 of 2, January - March, 1952]
  • Chronological
  • Commerce
  • Council of Economic Advisers
  • Defense
Box 2
  • Democratic National Committee
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Expanding Economy
  • Federal Security Agency - Office of Education - Public Health Service
  • Foreign Policy
  • Housing and Home Finance
  • Interior
  • Justice
  • Labor
  • Loeb, James Jr. (contains printed copy of "Twenty Years of Teamwork")
Box 3
  • James Loeb, Jr. - Outlines from Agencies
  • Leave-Attendance - Loeb and Higginson
  • Loyalty
  • Memorandums to B.M. Gross
  • Miscellaneous
  • National Science Foundation
  • “Odd Jobs - for Mr. Murphy
  • Outlines
  • President's Administration
  • Press Releases
  • Price Controls
  • Publications
  • Research
Box 4
  • Senator Clinton P. Anderson (New Mexico)
  • State
  • Treasury
  • Twenty-Years Progress Report
  • Veterans Administration
  • List of Subject Files (incomplete)

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