This refence collection was assembled to assist in writing a biography of the Reverend Mr. Charles E. Coughlin. The collection contains books, booklets, published sermons, published lectures, pamphlets and other printed materials. Of these, 57 were written by Coughlin. The remainder of the materials relate to him directly or have chapters or passages relating to him. Additionally, there are periodicals, including newspaper and magazine articles, and a full set of Coughlin's weekly publication, Social Justice, 1936-1942; other periodicals such as William Dudley Pelley's weekly Liberation Journal, 1938-1948; copies of Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent; original photographs, including images of Coughlin and of his church; letters; copies of the FBI's files on Coughlin; and (non-original) recordings of his broadcasts.
The collection is arranged in four series.
Series 1: Coughlin, Charles E., Writings and Speeches, 1930-1972, undated
Series 2: Photographs and Ephemera, 1927-1979, undated
Series 3: Periodicals and Publications, 1919-2012
Series 4: Reference Materials, 1933-2015, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Edward Coughlin was born on October 25, 1891 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to Thomas J. and Amelia Mahoney Coughlin. He was educated in Canada and attended St. Michael's College, Toronto. After graduation he prepared for Holy Orders within the Basilian Fathers at St. Basil's Seminary. He was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1916. Coughlin left the Basilian order after 1923 and moved to Detroit, Michigan.
Coughlin was accepted into the Roman Catholic Archidiocese of Detroit in 1923. He was eventually assigned to the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. His reputation for formidable preaching led to the growth of his congregation, and in 1926 Coughlin began broadcasting after a Klu Klux Klan cross burning on the lawn of the church.
He eventually expanded the topics of his broadcast to the political arena. It was with this programmatic change that Coughlin became one of the most controversial figures in the first half of the twentieth century. Described as the "Radio Priest," "The Fighting Priest," and the "Angel of the Airways," Coughlin broadcast weekly from a radio studio in Royal Oak from 1926-1940. Taking a strident and nationalistic tone, he lambasted immigrants, bankers, Communists and other groups. Breaching the line between religion and politics he also lectured and sermonized on government policy. While initially favoring the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, he eventually became one of the president's harshest critics.
In 1936 he began publishing Social Justice a weekly paper. Coughlin's broadcasts were so successful that between 1931-1936 a new Shrine of the Little Flower was built. The zig-zag Art Deco style of the Shrine became a tourist destination for Coughlin's fans. His increasingly harsh rehtoric coincided with the outbreak of World War II. While stating he was not antisemitic, he professed support for some of the governmental policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in part because they were a check on Communist Russia. The Vatican and many Roman Catholic American bishops disagreed and wanted Coughlin to leave the airwaves. Eventually he was forced off the air and publication of Social Justice was halted.
Coughlin remained parish priest at the Shrine of the Little Flower until his retirment in 1966. He spent his retirement publishing and giving the occasional interview. Coughlin died on October 27, 1979. He is buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan.
Objects related to Father Charles E. Coughlin are held in the Division of Cultural and Community Life.
The collection was purchased by the National Museum of American History from Todd Moriarty. Moriarty had acquired the collection from an individual who amassed the materials with plans to write a book on Coughlin.
Collection is open for research.
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
2.44 Cubic feet (consisting of 4.5 boxes, 1 folder, 5 oversize folders, 2 flat boxes (partial), 1 map case folder.)
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Accounting and Bookkeeping forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
The radio category contains material primarily related to radio company products, radio broadcasts and programs, technical documentation on the use of radios, and material documenting the effect of radio on modern life. The bulk of the material covers sales catalogues and advertisements, though no complete records for single companies are present.
The radio broadcast transcripts and programs include fictional or anecdotal stories, transcripts of contests, interviews, or speeches, and notifications about future broadcasts.
Literature concerning the effect of radio on modern life includes brief radio historiographies, discussions about the need for advanced education for the radio field, and documentation of the use of radio in leisure time or in rural life. Additional publications address the uses and effects of radio during times of war. While no extensive documentation exists on any one topic, the publications may provide general histories of the radio with snapshots of specific facets of radio history.
Radio is arranged in three subseries.
Business Records and Marketing Material
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.
Series 1: Business Ephemera
Series 2: Other Collection Divisions
Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers
Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Radio is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.