|Creator:||Rutgers Defense Council|
|Title:||Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers Defense Council|
|Quantity:||.4 cubic ft. (1 manuscript box)|
|Abstract:||The records of the Rutgers Defense Council are those maintained by Dean Norman C. Miller, who served as Chairman of the Council from December 1941 to June 1945. The records include correspondence, mostly between Miller and other university administrators, as well as various statements and memoranda relating to defense activities on Rutgers' New Brunswick campuses. Also included are forms relating to Rutgers' function as a center for information on civilian defense, and U.S. Government bulletins, charts and communications on civil defense, air raid instructions, and materials and rosters for fire fighting and first aid training courses. Most of the material is from 1942, when local defense activities were being arranged and organized. Virtually all the correspondence, which comprises the bulk of the material, deals with the administrative and organizational activities of the council. Communications from the U.S. Government provide a detailed account of civil defense procedures deemed necessary for the protection of east coast residents against possible foreign hostilities. Within the General Correspondence series are several documents which highlight the history of the Rutgers Defense Council, and present a picture of university life and concerns during wartime. The Subject File series includes documents that relate the Council's activities to national defense efforts in general, and materials indicating the wide scope of the Rutgers community's involvement in campus civil defense activities.|
|Collection No.;||RG 41/H0/01|
|Repository:||Rutgers University Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives.|
The Rutgers Defense Council was initiated in response to the threat of enemy action against U.S. coastal residents during World War II. Creation of the council was authorized by university President Robert C. Clothier on December 7, 1941 to safeguard life and property on Rutgers' New Brunswick campuses. The Rutgers Preparatory School and New Brunswick Theological Seminary were also included in the program. The program was disbanded on June 14, 1945.
Chaired by Dean Norman C. Miller, Rutgers divisions represented on the council included: College of Agriculture, College of Engineering, New Jersey College for Women, New Jersey College of Pharmacy, School of Education, University College and University Extension Division. Council members communicated regularly regarding the administrative arrangements required to secure the university.
Important priorities for the Rutgers Defense Council were the assessment of fire equipment, evaluation of potential air raid shelters in university buildings, testing and upgrading of the university's alarm system, and establishment of blackout and air raid procedures. Plans were also made for the training of an auxiliary fire corps, for police training, and for voluntary first aid classes for students and employees.
The university received guidance from the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense, which outlined areas to be addressed by all university defense organizations. Communications from this office stressed fire fighting, air raid shelters and procedures, civilian training in emergency medical care and fire fighting, and maintenance of civilian morale.
Accomplishment of these tasks was not a simple matter. It was determined that there was insufficient shelter space in university buildings, and that the alarm signals in New Brunswick were inadequate for Rutgers' campuses. In addition, the university had no central power station or switch control panel, and a limited number of night watchmen, all of which complicated blackout preparations.
There were also the more intangible problems of uncertainty and upheaval, as the student population became subject to conscription, and enlisted in large numbers. According to Rutgers historian Richard P. McCormick, the faculty faced "unfamiliar burdens and bewilderment, along with an often-frustrated eagerness to make a positive contribution to the nation's war effort."(1) In the Statement of Rutgers Defense Council (January 9, 1942), Dean Miller recognized that a transient and constantly changing student population could not serve in an ongoing civil defense capacity. He stated "the university must rely primarily upon its permanent force such as janitors, guards and buildings men, together with such permanent clerical or staff men as may be available."
Nevertheless, by June 15, 1943 Miller was able to write to President Clothier that "there are no immediate problems awaiting solution."(2) Regulations had been imposed to curtail campus evening activities, air raid shelters had been designated, and successful practise blackouts had been completed. About 200 and bomb-spray pumps had been distributed throughout the New Brunswick campuses, and first aid and fire training programs had been held.
Council members were discharged on June 14, 1945 with the thanks of President Clothier for their efforts.
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(1) See Richard P. McCormick, Rutgers: A Bicentennial History (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers, the State University, 1966), p. 257.
(2) Rutgers Defense Council Records, Box 1, Folders 2 and 4.
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The records of the Rutgers Defense Council consist of documents maintained by Dean Norman C. Miller, who served as Chairman of the council from December, 1941 to June, 1945. The records include correspondence, mostly between Dean Miller and other university administrators, as well as various statements and memoranda, all relating to defense activities at Rutgers University campuses in New Brunswick. Also included are forms, papers relating to Rutgers' function as a center for information on civilian defense, U.S. Government bulletins, charts and communications on civil defense, air raid instructions, and materials and rosters for fire fighting and first aid training courses.
The Rutgers Defense Council was established at the request of Dr. Robert C. Clothier, President of the University, in late 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Most of the material is from 1942, when local defense activities were being arranged and organized. Virtually all of the correspondence, which comprises the bulk of the material, deals with the administrative and organizational activities of the council, including air raid and blackout precautions, police, fire fighter and first aid training, and curtailment of evening activities on campus. U.S. Government communications provide a detailed account of civil defense procedures that were deemed necessary for the protection of East Coast residents against possible foreign hostilities.
Within the General Correspondence Series are several documents that highlight the history of the Rutgers Defense Council and present a picture of university life and concerns during wartime. These include: a memorandum from President Clothier to all university employees announcing the creation of the Rutgers Defense Council, outlining its purpose and functions and listing its members (December 17, 1941), a statement by President Clothier "To the Parents of Rutgers Men," (December 22. 1941), a "Statement of Rutgers Defense Council" by Chairman Miller (attached to a covering letter dated January 9, 1942), a letter from Chairman Miller to President Clothier that is actually a progress report on the Rutgers Defense Council (February 18, 1942), and a similar letter described as a "yearly statement... for historical information," (Miller to Clothier, June 15, 1943).
In the Subject File Series, documents that relate Rutgers Defense Council activities to national civil defense efforts include: "Initiating the Civilian Defense Program" [July 17, 1941], "Local Organization for Civilian Protection," [December 3, 1941], and "Information Bulletin for Immediate Release to Colleges and Universities Regarding College Defense Committees," [January 1, 1942], all from the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense (folder 8). There are also First Army Public Proclamations 1, [August 29, 1942] and 2 [September 7, 1942] (folder 8) and a complete organization chart for the Rutgers Defense Council (folder 11). Rosters and letters of application to the first aid course (Folder 10) indicate the wide scope of the Rutgers community's involvement in campus civil defense activities.
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|I. General Correspondence, 1941-1945 (5 folders)|
|Summary: General Correspondence [1941-1945] - arranged chronologically. It includes letters, memoranda and statements about the mission and purpose of the Rutgers Defense Council. In addition, there are letters between Dean Miller and other members of the council that discuss the various administrative details of civil defense activities at Rutgers. Clippings have been photocopied. [Box 1, folders 1-5].|
|1||1||General Correspondence, Dec.9, 1941-Dec. 30, 1941|
|2||General Correspondence, January-June, 1942|
|3||General Correspondence, July-December, 1942|
|4||General Correspondence, 1943-1945|
|5||General Correspondence, ca. 1941-1945|
|II. Subject Files, 1941-1945 (6 folders)|
|Arrangement: alphabetical by subject.|
|Summary: Subject Files [1941-1945] - arranged alphabetically by subject, this series includes forms, instructions, an organization chart of the Rutgers Defense Council, information on courses related to civil defense and government communications received regarding civil defense. All clippings have been photocopied with the exception of one, from the Rutgers Owl, February 26, 1942, "School Cooperates in Preparation for War Emergencies." Forms and charts that were interfiled with the correspondence have been placed in the appropriate folders in the subject series. Air raid instructions have been placed in a separate folder. [Box 1, folders 6-11]|
|1||6||Air Raid Instructions, 1941-1942|
|7||Auxiliary Fire Training, 1942|
|8||Bulletins, Charts, Commmunications on Civil Defense, 1941-1942|
|9||Center for Information on Civilian Defense, 1942-1945|
|10||First Aid Courses, 1942|