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Mississippi State AFL-CIO records

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Mississippi State AFL-CIO Records

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Mississippi State AFL-CIO:

A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
404-413-2880
Fax: 404-413-2881
archives@gsu.edu

May 2001



Profile Description

Creation: Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, May 2001.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator: Mississippi AFL-CIO.
TitleMississippi State AFL-CIO Records
Dates: 1947-1986
Quantity: 48 linear feet
Abstract:The Mississippi State Federation of Labor was organized in 1918 and held its annual conventions until 1957, when it became known as the Mississippi AFL-CIO. The collection consists of the records of the Mississippi AFL-CIO and its predecessor, the Mississippi State Federation of Labor from 1947-1986. Records include President Claude Ramsay’s correspondence (1959-1986); files relating to affiliated unions (1957-1983); records relating to the Congress of Industrial Organization and the AFL-CIO (1952-1985); material relating to Ramsay’s interest in and involvement with local, state, and national government agencies (1960-1983); subject files; and a collection of photographs.
Identification: L1986-26
LanguageEnglish.

Organization of the Records

Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Affiliated Unions
Series III: CIO and AFL-CIO
Series IV: Government Agencies
Series V: Subject Files

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists of the records of the Mississippi AFL-CIO and its predecessor, the Mississippi State Federation of Labor from 1947-1986. The collection includes President Claude Ramsay’s correspondence (1959-1986); files relating to affiliated unions (1957-1983); records relating to the Congress of Industrial Organization and the AFL-CIO (1952-1985); material relating to Ramsay’s interest in and involvement with local, state, and national government agencies (1960-1983); and subject files relating to a myriad of topics from national politics to local unions. The collection also contains a substantial collection of photographs relating to labor union activity.


Historical and Biographical Notes

The Mississippi State Federation of Labor was organized in 1918 and held its annual conventions until 1957, when it became known as the Mississippi AFL-CIO. The Mississippi AFL-CIO held annual meetings until it switched to biennial conventions in 1962.

Biography of Mississippi AFL-CIO President Claude Ramsay

Claude Ramsay was born in 1916 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where he grew up. He graduated from Van Cleave High School, and attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College in Perkington. Ramsay's labor involvement began in 1939 when he helped organize the first local union of paperworkers employed at the International Paper Company in Moss Point, Mississippi. He served in the military during World War II and returned to his old job at International Paper where he was a shop steward. Ramsay was elected president of the Jackson County Central Labor Union in 1950. In 1959 he was elected President of the Mississippi AFL-CIO, a position he held until his retirement on January 1, 1986. Claude Ramsay died on January 17, 1986, leaving behind his wife, Mae Helen, and six children. He is buried in Hillman Cemetary near Leakesville, Mississippi.

The 1960's saw Claude Ramsay active in the struggle to achieve civil rights and voting rights for black citizens, a stand so unpopular that he developed the reputation for carrying a shotgun in his automobile as a precaution against the threats of racists. In addition to facing desertion of white union members hostile to the civil rights movement, Ramsay was active in the Democratic Party and tried to keep white Mississippians loyal to the national party. He worked closely with Aaron Henry, President of the Mississippi NAACP and a leader of the Democratic Party in Mississippi, and was active in the Freedom Democratic Party, the Democratic Conference, and the Voter Registration and Education League.

Ramsay was Vice-President of the AFL-CIO's Southern Labor School, on the board of the AFL-CIO Appalachian Council, a member of the Mississippi Employment Security Council, and a member of the Governor's Constitution Commission.

Biography of Mississippi AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Knight

Thomas Knight was born in Forrest County, Mississippi. His first job was at the Reliance Manufacturing Company in Hattiesburg, where in 1946 he took a leading role in attempting to unionize the plant. In 1948 the plant was successfully organized by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) and Knight was elected the new local's first President. Knight became an organizer for the ACWA but returned to his old job and the local union's presidency after four years in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

After the merger of the AFL-CIO in the middle of the 1950's, Knight was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the new Mississippi AFL-CIO, a position he held until was elected its President in 1986 after the retirement of Claude Ramsay. Among his many activities, Thomas Knight was a long time director of the Committee of Political Education (COPE), Secretary of the Mississippi Consumer Association, and on the advisory Council of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

King, Coretta Scott, 1927-
Biemiller, Andrew J. (Andrew John), 1906-1982.
Bonnanno, Nicholas S.
Colmer, William M. (William Meyers), 1890-1980.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
Evers, Charles, 1922-
Gartin, Carroll.
Griffin, Charles H. (Charles Hudson), 1926-
Haywood, Allan S., 1888-1953.
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
Johnson, P. B. (Paul B.), 1916-
Kehrer, E. T., 1921-
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
Knight, Thomas, 1919-
McPeak, Carl.
Meany, George, 1894-
Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-
Powell, Daniel A, 1911-
Ramsay, Claude E., 1916-1986.
Reuther, Walter, 1907-1970.
Riffle, John V.
Schnitzler, William F., 1904-
Smith, Frank Ellis, 1918-
Smith, Stanton E. (Stanton Everett), 1905-
Waller, William Lowe, 1926-
Wilkins, Roy, 1901-
Williams, John Bell, 1919-1983.
Winter, William F.
Wright, Fielding L., 1895-1956.
Democratic Party (Miss.)
AFL-CIO.
AFSCME.
American Federation of Teachers.
Jackson Police Officers Association (Jackson, Miss.)
Loyal Democrats of Mississippi.
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Mississippi State Federation of Labor.
Mississippi State Federation of Labor.
Mississippi. Advisory Committee for the Statewide Planning for Vocational Education.
State Advisory Committee for the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.
United States Commission on Civil Rights.
United States. National Labor Relations Board.
United States. Office of Economic Opportunity.
United States. Southeastern Regional Manpower Advisory Committee.
African Americans--Civil rights--Mississippi.
Civil rights--Mississippi.
Civil rights--United States.
Industrial relations--Mississippi.
Labor unions--Mississippi.
Labor unions--Municipal employees--Organizing--Mississippi.
Labor unions--Mississippi--Officials and employees.
Labor unions--Mississippi--Political activity.
Labor unions--Police--Organizing--Mississippi.
Municipal officials and employees--Mississippi.
Police--Mississippi.
Strikes and lockouts--Municipal government--Mississippi.
Jackson (Miss.)--Labor--Trade-unions.
Mississippi--Labor--Trade-unions.
Mississippi--Politics and government--1865-1950.
Mississippi--Politics and government--1951-

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Administrative Information

Citation

[item], [folder title], [series title], Mississippi State AFL-CIO Records, L1986-26, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.


Separated Material

Separated material: During processing, printed material, artifacts, photographs, and audio-visual records were separated to other Southern Labor Archives collections. See List of Separated Material following Detailed Description of the Collection.


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