History

Archives which hold ACLU of Ohio leaders’ papers

The following archives hold papers of the ACLU of Ohio’s leaders. We will continue to build this list in the coming years.

You may also access a listing of archives which hold ACLU of Ohio and local chapter materials.

We thank ACLU of Ohio History Associate Jessica Marra for her assistance in creating this list.

Russell N. Chase
Attorney Russell N. Chase was a former president of the Cleveland chapter of the ACLU. Following World War II, he served as president of the Cleveland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which was cited as a subversive organization by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1950. In his law practice, Chase handled mostly civil liberties cases. He defended Communists as well as persons accused of communist activities during the McCarthy era.

Russell N. Chase papers, 1920-1964
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 3935

Jack Day
Jack Day was the first chairman of the ACLU of Ohio, and also later served as a board member and a member of the Speakers’ Bureau. Day worked as a volunteer attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, and was involved in such landmark cases as Mapp v. Ohio and Terry v. Ohio. Along with his wife, he established the Ruth and Jack Grant Day Endowment Fund at Case Western Reserve Law School, which provides law students interested in civil liberties with clerkships at the ACLU of Ohio. He later became appellate chief justice of Ohio.

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, Cleveland Chapter Records, 1958-1978
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 5047

Eleanor Gerson
Eleanor Gerson was a Cleveland-area activist in Jewish, educational, philanthropic, and social service organizations. She served as a trustee and chairperson of the School on Magnolia, an alternative school, from 1973-1982, which was renamed the Eleanor Gerson School in 1985. She was also involved with the Women’s Community Foundation, the Jewish Family Service Association, the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland, the Heights Area Project, and the Cleveland Scholarship Program. Gerson was a benefactor of the ACLU of Ohio, and was honored by the ACLU of Ohio for her work in civil liberties in 1992.

Eleanor Rosenfeld Gerson Family Papers, 1817-1993
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 4660

Shirley R. Johnson
A prominent social activist, Shirley R. Johnson was one of the founders of the North Central (Oberlin) Chapter of the ACLU in 1951. She is a strong advocate of open government and open records. In 1995, she received the Distinguished Community Service Award from Oberlin College for making significant contributions to the welfare of the community and its residents, particularly with work in education and civil liberties.

Johnson, Douglas R. and Shirley, 1903(1938-2000)-2000
Oberlin College Archives, RG 30/279

Edward Likover
Ed Likover was a former board member of the ACLU of Ohio, as well as a board member and president of the Cleveland chapter ACLU. Following his retirement from the Painter’s Union, he became a full-time volunteer in the Cleveland office of the ACLU of Ohio. The ACLU named him Cleveland Civil Libertarian of the Year 1981, and he was honored by the ACLU of Ohio at the 1991 Awards Dinner. The ACLU of Ohio now holds the Ed Likover Memorial Lecture Series annually in his honor.

Jewish Painters Social Club Records, 1963-1976
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 4699

Staughton and Alice Lynd
Staughton and Alice Lynd are peace and civil rights activists, historians, and authors. They have worked both individually and collaboratively on many labor and pacifist projects. Alice Lynd worked with the American Friends Service Committee and directed day care and health center projects in Chicago. Staughton Lynd taught at Spelman College and Yale University. He was chairman of the first march against the Vietnam War in Washington D.C. In Youngstown, the Lynds helped workers to create a variety of grassroots organizations and became advocates for prisoners’ rights. They served as volunteer attorneys for the ACLU in a major class action lawsuit, Austin v. Wilkinson, which challenged the constitutionality of conditions at Ohio’s super-max prison in Youngstown. They were recognized for the their efforts by the ACLU in 2002.

Alice Niles Lynd and Staughton Lynd Papers, 1965-1995
Swathmore College Peace Collection, DG 099

Staughton and Alice Lynd Collection, 1886-1999
Kent State University

Staughton and Alice Lynd Papers, 1943-1998
Youngstown Archives, YHC MSS0152

Nonviolence in America: A Documentary Inventory edited by the Lynds
Youngstown Archives, YHC 303.61 L992n 1995

Rank and File: Personal Histories by Working-Class Organizers edited by the Lynds
Youngstown Archives, YHC 331.880922 R165f 1988

We are the Union: The Story of Ed Mann edited by the Lynds
Ohio Historical Society, PA Box 692 30

Recording of Staughton Lynd
Box 30
Oberlin College Archives, RG 18

The Antislavery Vanguard: New Essays on the Abolitionists essay by Staughton Lynd
Western Reserve Historical Society, E449 D814

Maurice McCrackin
Maurice McCrackin was the founder of the Community Church of Cincinnati, and was known as “Cincinnati’s most prominent civil disobedient.” He was involved in various social issues, including homelessness, the death penalty, hunger, anti-war demonstrations, civil rights, desegregation, and nuclear waste. Throughout his years as an activist, he was arrested and jailed more than 20 times. In the year of his death, Cincinnati-area nonprofit organizations established the McCrackin Peace and Justice Award in order to recognize individuals who have shown leadership and generosity in their work with human rights and peace and justice issues. The ACLU of Ohio honored him for his work in civil rights in 1985.

American Civil Liberties Union, Cincinnati Chapter Records, 1976-1983
Box 6, Folder 20
University of Cincinnati Archives and Rare Books Library, US-86-20

Howard Metzenbaum
Howard Metzenbaum was an Ohio Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate for one appointed term in 1974 and for three consecutive elected terms from 1976-1995. He was a champion of consumer rights, spearheading important consumer legislation such as the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1989. Metzenbaum was also responsible for significant legislation in the area of workers’ rights, particularly the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Other legislative priorities included environmental protection and gun control; he was instrumental in passing the Brady Law. Following his political career, he became head of the Consumer Federation of America. Metzenbaum was involved in the founding of the statewide ACLU in the early 1950s. He also headed the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee of the national ACLU in the 1960s. The ACLU of Ohio honored him for his work in civil rights in 1978.

Howard Metzenbaum Congressional Papers, 1928-1995, 1974-1994
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 5031

Howard Metzenbaum Photographs, ca. 1960s-1994
Western Reserve Historical Society, PG 544

James Paradise
A distinguished labor lawyer and civil libertarian in the Cincinnati area, James Paradise organized and was the first president of Cincinnati’s chapter of the ACLU. Paradise’s civil rights activities included supporting free speech and desegregation, and opposing McCarthyism.

James Paradise Papers, 1953-1979
University of Cincinnati Archives and Rare Books Library, US-85-10

Donald Pease
Donald Pease was an Ohio congressman (1976-1992) with a consistent record in the promotion of civil liberties. He championed such issues as the separation of church and state, women’s rights, and free speech. Pease had a well-earned reputation for honesty and integrity. The ACLU of Ohio honored him at the annual awards dinner in 1992. The Medina Federal Building was renamed in his honor shortly before his death in 2002.

Records of the Mayor of the City of Cleveland, George V. Voinovich, 1977-1989
Box 52, Folder 2
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 5048

Donald J. Pease Papers, 1960-2003
Oberlin College Archives, RG 30/55

Ralph Rudd
Ralph Rudd was an Ohio state representative from 1959-1963 and a volunteer attorney with the ACLU of Ohio. He championed numerous causes such as unemployment compensation, minimum wage laws, workers’ compensation, and the abolition of capital punishment. He was president of the Cleveland Civil Liberties Union in the 1950s, and was also a member of the NAACP and the Friends Committee for National Legislation.

Ralph Rudd papers, 1957-1962
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 4274

Marian Spencer
Marian Spencer is a Cincinnati-area civil rights activist and was a volunteer for the ACLU of Ohio. Spencer was involved in the struggle to desegregate Cincinnati’s Coney Island Amusement Park and was the first African American elected to Cincinnati’s City Council. She has been involved with numerous organizations including the NAACP, Women’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati, and Housing Opportunities Made Equal. She also served on the Cincinnati Public School Board. The ACLU of Ohio honored her for her contributions to civil liberties in 1979.

Marian Alexander Spencer Papers, 1944-1990
University of Cincinnati Archives and Rare Books Library, US-91-02

Oscar Steiner
Oscar Steiner was a former chairman of the ACLU of Cleveland. He also advocated in the areas of children’s welfare and urban housing. He was the founder and president of the interdenominational Cleveland Big Brothers Big Sisters Conference, which joined all Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations in the Cleveland area together. Previously, he had organized and was the first chairman of the Jewish Big Brothers of Cleveland program. He also founded the Child Conservation Council of Greater Cleveland, and the Central Volunteer Bureau, an agency designed to coordinate the activities of volunteers with welfare and other civic programs.

An Ounce of Prevention by Oscar Steiner
Western Reserve Historical Society, F34ZSD L778S82

Louis Stokes
Louis Stokes is a Cleveland-area lawyer and politician who served in the House of Representatives for fifteen terms. Stokes grew up in the Cleveland area and began practicing law in Cleveland in 1953. In collaboration with the ACLU of Ohio, Stokes argued the seminal “stop and frisk” case of Terry v. Ohio before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968. Later in 1968, he was elected to the House of Representatives for Ohio’s 21st District on Cleveland’s east side. During his tenure as a congressman, Stokes served on the House Appropriations Committee, where he was influential in bringing revenue to Cleveland. He was particularly interested in veterans’ issues and secured funds for health-care facilities for veterans in Cleveland. The ACLU of Ohio honored Stokes for his contributions to civil liberties in 1974.

A guide to collections featuring papers related to Louis Stokes, created by the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, can be found here.

Max Wohl
Social activist Max Wohl was a former chairman of the ACLU of Cleveland. He left a job as a vice president of finance in 1969 in order to volunteer full time with the ACLU, which was in decline at the time. He boosted membership and managed the office for 15 years without pay. Wohl received the chapter’s Civil Libertarian of the Century award. The ACLU of Ohio is now headquartered at the Max Wohl Civil Liberties Center in Cleveland.

Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland Records, 1839-1982
Box 1, Folder 5
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 4563

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, Cleveland Chapter Records, 1958-1978
Box 1, Folder 9
Western Reserve Historical Society, MS 5047