Chicago Citizens Commission to Study the Disorders of Convention Week

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A citizens' commission, chaired by Edward J. Sparling, was formed to investigate the 1968 Chicago peace march that ended in police confrontation. The group reconvened to examine the violence associated with the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The second committee, named the Chicago Commission to Study the Disorders of Convention Week, was informally known as the Sparling Commission.

From the description of Records, 1968-1969 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52250104

In April 1968 a peace parade in Chicago ended in a police confrontation. A citizens' committee, chaired by Dr. Edward J. Sparling, President Emeritus of Roosevelt University, formed to investigate the incident. On August 1st the committee published its report under the title Dissent and Disorder.

When considerable violence surrounded the August 1968 Democratic Party convention, the committee was re-activated, expanded its membership, and engaged a staff of part-time consultants directed by Pierre de Vise. The name of the committee was formalized as the Chicago Citizens Commission to Study the Disorders of Convention Week; again chaired by Dr. Sparling it was less formally known as the Sparling Commission. Members of the Commission with University of Chicago associations included Elmer Gertz, Harry Kalven, Jr., E. Spencer Parsons, Calvin Sawyier, and Dr. Evans.

The Commission worked toward a report, which came to be titled "Dissent in a Free Society," but which was never published. The Roger Baldwin Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which were interested in the Commission's work, were unable to support publication. A July 1970 proposal to issue the essay as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists also failed.

From the guide to the Chicago Citizens Commission to study the Disorders of Convention Week. Records, 1968-1969, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Elmer Gertz Papers, 1789-1997, (bulk 1926-1988) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Chicago Citizens Commission to study the Disorders of Convention Week. Records, 1968-1969 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Gertz, Elmer, 1906-2000. Papers, 1789-1992 (bulk 1926-1988). Library of Congress
referencedIn Gertz, Elmer, 1906-2000. Elmer Gertz papers, 1789-1997 (bulk 1926-1988). Library of Congress
creatorOf Chicago Citizens Commission to Study the Disorders of Convention Week. Records, 1968-1969 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Democratic National Convention (1968 : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Evans, Joseph P person
associatedWith Evans, Joseph P. person
associatedWith Gertz, Elmer, 1906-2000. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Illinois--Chicago
Subject
Riots
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1968

Active 1969

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