United States. National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders

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In the summer of 1967 a riots broke out in Newark, New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan owing, in part, to political, economic, and social factors including police abuse, lack of affordable housing , urban renewal projects, economic inequality, black militancy, and rapid demographic change. These followed similar outbreaks in Los Angeles and Cleveland the year before. In reaction the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also known as the Kerner Commission, after its chairman, Gov. Otto Kerner of Illinois, or less frequently, as the Riot Commission) was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson under Executive Order 11365, July 29, 1967. The Commission was instructed to investigate and make recommendations concerning the origins of civil disorders, the development of means to avert or control such disorders, the appropriate roles of local, state, and Federal authorities in dealing with them, and any other matters the President placed before it. The other commissioners were New York City mayor John V. Lindsay (vice chairman), labor leader I.W. Abel, U.S. Senators Edward W. Brooke and Fred R. Harris, U.S. Representatives James C. Corman and William M. McCulloch, Atlanta police chief Herbert Jenkins, Kentucky state official Katherine Graham Peden, business executive Charles B. Thornton and civil rights leader Roy Wilkins. David Ginsburg was executive director of the staff, and Victor H. Palmieri was deputy executive director. During 20 days of hearings in Washington, D.C., from August 1 to November 10, 1967, the Commission heard testimony from local, state, and Federal officials, civil rights leaders, ghetto residents, business and labor leaders, and scholars. The Commission also visited eight of the cities where the greatest violence had occurred to interview local officials and ghetto residents. Commission staff and consultants undertook a number of research projects and analytical studies. Field research included interviews and investigations in 23 cities and detailed studies of 10 of the disorders (“riot profiles”). The role of the news media was the subject of a quantitative analysis of reportage in 15 cities from around the time of the disturbances by Simulmatics Corporation, and a conference in Poughkeepsie, NY, from November 10-12, 1967. The Commission formed two advisory panels to investigate specific economic aspects of the riots. The Advisory Panel on Private Enterprise, chaired by Commissioner Thornton, studied “the appropriate role of the … free enterprise system in helping to alleviate the causes of civil disorders” and issued a report that was presented as an appendix in the full Commission report. The President’s National Advisory Panel on Insurance in Riot-Affected Areas, chaired by Gov. Richard J. Hughes of New Jersey, was formed on August 10, 1967, and issued its report, Meeting the Insurance Crisis of Our Cities, in January 1968. The Commission terminated upon the delivery of its Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to the President, dated March 1, 1968.
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Fliers concerning racism at the University of Virginia [manuscript], 1968. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf United States. National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Newark Riots papers, 1968. Newark Public Library, Main Library
referencedIn Alice M. Rivlin Papers, 1963-1988 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Corman, James C. (James Charles), 1920-2000. Congressional and Personal Papers, 1920-1980. California State University, Northridge
referencedIn Commission Records, 1967 - 1968 Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
referencedIn Lipsky, Michael. Michael Lipsky and David J. Olson papers, 1935-1981. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Office Files, ca. 1967 - ca. 1969 Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
referencedIn Wisconsin. Legislature. Legislative Council. Advisory Committee on the Kerner Report. Records, 1968-1969. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Cole, Malvine. Civil rights movement in Vermont collection, 1968-1996. Vermont Historical Society
referencedIn David Ginsburg Papers, 1919-2007, (bulk 1945-2005) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Newark Riots Collection (N.J.), 1967-1992. Newark Public Library, Main Library
referencedIn Sagalyn, Arnold. Arnold Sagalyn Papers, 1961-2004. American University, American University Library; Bender Library
referencedIn San Francisco Conference on Religion, Race and Social Concerns. San Francisco, a City in Crisis: a Report to the Churches and Synagogues : typescript, [1968?]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Gans, Herbert J. Herbert Gans papers, 1944-2004. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Civil rights during the Johnson administration, 1963-1969 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.). Washington Office. United States government files, 1960-1968. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Center
referencedIn Ritchie, Barbara. Papers, 1947-1969. Univerisity of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
referencedIn Commission Files, 1967 - 1968 Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
hasMember Abel, I. W. (Iorwith Wilbur), 1908-1987 person
associatedWith Abraham, Rose Lee. person
associatedWith Bass, Joey. person
associatedWith Bell, Tedock. person
hasMember Brooke, Edward W. (Edward William), 1919- person
associatedWith Brown, Rebecca. person
hasMember Corman, James C. (James Charles), 1920-2000 person
associatedWith Council, Rufus. corporateBody
associatedWith Furr, William. person
associatedWith Gainer, Hatti. person
associatedWith Gans, Herbert J. person
associatedWith Gilmer, Raymond. person
employeeOf Ginsburg, David, 1912-2010. person
hasMember Harris, Fred R., 1930-.... person
associatedWith Harrison, Ike. person
hasMember Jenkins, Herbert T. person
associatedWith Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 person
associatedWith Jones, Jesse Mae. person
associatedWith Kerner, Otto, 1908-1976. person
hasMember Lindsay, John V. person
associatedWith Lipsky, Michael. person
hasMember McCulloch, William M. person
associatedWith Mersier, Albert. person
associatedWith Moss, Eddie. person
associatedWith Murrty, Cornelius. person
associatedWith Newark (N.J.). Police Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Newark Public Library. New Jersey Reference Division corporateBody
employeeOf Palmieri, Victor H. person
hasMember Peden, Katherine person
associatedWith Pugh, Michael. person
associatedWith Ritchie, Barbara. person
associatedWith Rivlin, Alice M. person
associatedWith Rutledge, James. person
associatedWith Sagalyn, Arnold. person
associatedWith Sanders, James. person
associatedWith San Francisco Conference on Religion, Race and Social Concerns. corporateBody
associatedWith Spellman, Eloise. person
associatedWith Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.). Washington Office. corporateBody
hasMember Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981 person
associatedWith Wisconsin. Legislature. Legislative Council. Advisory Committee on the Kerner Report. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Jersey--Newark
Newark (N.J.)
African Americans
African Americans
Black nationalism
Civil rights movement
Police brutality

Corporate Body

Active 1967-07-26

Active 1968-03-01



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