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Introduction to the Collection
The correspondence in this series begins in 1931 and contains the same format of “Selected” and “General” as Series I, which ended with the year 1930. It concludes, of course, with Walter Lippmann’s death on December 14, 1974, although some material of interest subsequent to that date is also included.
As mentioned in the introduction, the year 1931 witnessed the end of the career of Walter Lippmann as an editor, with the sale of the New York World newspaper in February, 1931. His noted career as “dean of the columnists” started with his “Today and Tomorrow” column in the New York Herald Tribune in September of that year.
Lippmann continued extensive correspondence during 1931-1974 with several correspondents from the earlier period, prominent among whom were Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Newton D. Baker, Bernard Berenson, Robert H. Brand, William M. Chadbourne, Grenville Clark, Felix Frankfurter, Ralph Hayes, John Maynard Keynes, Stanley King, Thomas W. Lamont, Russell C. Leffingwell, Allan Nevins, Ellery Sedgwick and Herbert Bayard Swope. He corresponded extensively, also, with Oscar Cox and Lewis W. Douglas starting in 1932, and with Arthur W. Schlesinger, Jr., in 1950.
As the folder listing for Series III, upon which Part 2, Section 1 and Section 2 of the microform edition of this collection depends, Lippmann corresponded with hundreds of other persons from all walks of life who became well known by the middle of the twentieth century and later.
Correspondence relating to Walter Lippmann’s important activities as an alumnus of Harvard has been separated from other correspondence and is placed under “Harvard” at the end of the alphabetical section in boxes 113, 114 and 115. His activities included election as an Overseer in 1933 and appointment to Visiting Committees for the Departments of Government, Economics, Philosophy and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Committee to Visit Harvard College.
Lippmann’s relation to the Lucius W. Nieman Fellowships at Harvard “to promote and elevate standards of journalism and educate persons deemed specially qualified…” is important to note, for he was in at the creation. A member of the Board of Overseers in February, 1936, when Harvard was notified of the Nieman bequest, President Conant consulted with Lippmann on the Nieman idea as early as May of that year. Lippmann joined fully with the plan and accepted appointment on the first Nieman selecting committee along with Ellery Sedgwick and John Stewart Bryan. The first fellowships, nine in number, were awarded for the academic year 1938-1939.
A release from the Harvard University News Office, dated September 15, 1977, announced a grant of $100,000.00 to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism in memory of Walter Lippmann. The grant derived from the bequest he left to Harvard at the time of his death in December, 1974. The new Nieman headquarters, known as the Walter Lippmann House, will be at One Francis Avenue, a structure built in 1836 in a Greek revival style by the Harvard College carpenter, Ebenezer Francis. To match the grant and also create a full endowment for the Walter Lippmann House, a memorial fund has been launched to raise $400,000.00 from journalists and others who were friends and admirers of Lippmann.
Researchers interested in the Lippmann family papers are directed to a separate “Lippmann” section at the end of the Selected Correspondence. This section, consisting of boxes 113-123, contains all correspondence between Lippmann and Harvard University, Harvard Clubs, publications and Visiting Committees (3 boxes). It also contains notes on more than twenty-five trips taken both in this country and abroad during the period 1934 to 1966 (3 boxes). Correspondence in other boxes in this section is concerned with Walter Lippmann’s 70th, 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays, financial matters, and his several residences. The transcripts of the interviews conducted by Allan Nevins and Dean Albertson in 1953 for the Oral History Collection at Columbia University are also found here.
Correspondence between Lippmann and his second wife, Helen Byrne Armstrong during 1937 and 1938 has been placed in box 124. This correspondence covers the period of the divorce proceedings of Walter Lippmann and his first wife, Faye (Albertson), and Helen and Hamilton Fish Armstrong; Helen'’ sojourn of several weeks in Reno, Nevada; and their subsequent marriage in March, 1938.
Some personal correspondence and papers of Helen Byrne Lippmann were found among Walter Lippmann’s papers. These have been placed in box 125 at the end of the Selected Correspondence.
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