Clarence R. Decker Papers

Dates: 1943-1967

President of the University of Kansas City, 1938-1953; Assistant Director for the Far East, Mutual Security Agency, 1952

 

The Clarence R. Decker Papers document his service in 1952 with the Mutual Security Agency as the Assistant Director for the Far East, and part of his tenure as President of the University of Kansas City. The Decker Papers consist of two series, a Correspondence File and a Miscellaneous Materials File, both arranged alphabetically. The Correspondence File consists of personal and government-related correspondence created while Decker was with the Mutual Security Agency, the University of Kansas City, the Advisory Committee for the Truman Library, and Fairleigh-Dickinson University. The Miscellaneous Materials File mostly consists of a scrapbook and photos accumulated while Decker was with the Mutual Security Agency.

 

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

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one-half of one linear foot (approximately 400 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Copyright in the unpublished writings of Clarence R. Decker in these papers has been donated to the United States of America. In addition, documents prepared by U. S. government officials in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in documents that do not fall into these two categories is presumed to remain with the authors of the documents.
Processed by: C. Warren Ohrvall (1972).
Updated by: Tammy Kelly as part of the Truman Library Internship Program and Sharie Simon (2001).
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and Amy Williams.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1904, December 19

 

Born, Sioux City, Iowa

1925

 

A. B., Carleton College

1928

 

Ph. D., University of Chicago

1929-1931

 

Chairman, English Department, Illinois Wesleyan University

1934-1938

 

Chairman, English Department, University of Kansas City

1938

 

Vice-President, University of Kansas City

1938-1953

 

President, University of Kansas City

1952

 

Assistant Director for the Far East, Mutual Security Agency

1952

 

Co-author of two books: Southeast Asia in the Coming World and World Neighbors-Working Together for Peace and Plenty

c. 1955

 

Served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Truman Library

1956-1967

 

Vice-President, Fairleigh-Dickinson University

1965

 

Member, President's Committee, White House Conference on International Cooperation

1969, November 21

 

Died in New York

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Clarence R. Decker Papers mostly document Decker's seven months of service in 1952 as Assistant Director of the Mutual Security Agency for the Far East. Decker was then on a leave of absence from the University of Kansas City, where he served as president from 1938 to 1953. Some aspects of his career as a university administrator are also documented in this collection. The Decker Papers consist of two series, a Correspondence File and a Miscellaneous Materials File, both arranged alphabetically.

The Correspondence File consists of letters to and from President Truman, personal correspondence, and material regarding the groundbreaking for the Harry S. Truman Library (Decker was on the Advisory Committee for the Library). The two most substantial folders in this series relate to Decker's service with the Mutual Security Agency and with his role in arranging the visit of Mexican President Miguel Alemàn to Kansas City in 1947. Much of the correspondence in the folder concerning the Mutual Security Agency consists of thank you letters to various dignitaries in Asia, acknowledging their hospitality during Decker's visits. The extensive folder of material concerning President Alemàn's visit to the University of Kansas City, where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, reflects the extent to which the arrangements were fraught with misunderstandings and protocol problems.

The second series, the Miscellaneous Materials File, consists of itineraries, photographs, speeches and printed material, and the contents of a large scrapbook on the Mutual Security Agency. One item, the "Book of Gold" is written in Spanish and covers the visit of President Truman to Mexico and President Alemàn's visit to the United States. Only the first few pages are included in the folder-the entire book is located in the Library's parallel file. The Asian trip photographs consist of nineteen black and white images, which are cross referenced to the Audio-Visual Archives. The largest part of this series is the scrapbook, which makes up two folders and consists of newspaper and magazine clippings, speeches, three photographs, programs from events, a transcript from a radio broadcast, correspondence, a biographical sketch, and informational brochures about the mission and activities of the United States in Southeast Asia.

Related materials in the Truman Library collections are the papers of Albert H. Huntington and Edwin Arnold, both of whom were associated with the Far East Program Division of the Mutual Security Agency. The papers of Arthur Z. Gardiner and George McGhee will also have information regarding the Far East, as they worked at the State Department in the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

1

  CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1943-1959
Correspondence relating to President Truman and the Truman Library, Decker's work at the Mutual Security Agency, and his work as President of the University of Kansas City. Arranged alphabetically.
    MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS FILE, 1945-1967
Itineraries, photographs, a book, reports, speeches, ticket stubs, a guest list, and a scrapbook that includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, brochures, speeches, a radio transcript, photos, and programs. Most of the material in this series relates to Decker's work at the Mutual Security Agency. Arranged alphabetically.
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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1943-1959

  • Harry S. Truman, 1943-1959
  • Harry S. Truman Library, 1955
  • Mutual Security Agency, 1952
  • Personal, 1947-1954
  • Visit of Mexican President [Licenciado Miguel] Alemàn to UKC, [University of Kansas City] 1946-1947

MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS FILE, 1945-1967

  • "Book of Gold"-Libro de Oro Conmemorativo De Las Visitas De Los Presidentes Harry S. Truman A Mexico Y Miguel Alemàn A Los Estados Unidos De America
  • Miscellaneous Materials [ticket stubs for Presidential Public Reception, a guest list, list of dignitaries from visit to North Vietnam, Speech of October 20, 1967 by Clarence R. Decker]
  • Photographs of Trip to Asia [cross reference to audiovisual collection]
  • Scrapbook-Mutual Security Agency [1 of 2]
  • Scrapbook-Mutual Security Agency [2 of 2]
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