Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
6 documents - page 1 of 1

Father Charles E. Coughlin Collection

Topic:
Liberation Journal
Social Justice
Dearborn Independent
Creator:
Coughlin, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1891-1979  Search this
Names:
Ford, Henry, 1863-1947  Search this
Pelley, William Dudley, 1890-1965  Search this
Extent:
9 Cubic feet (27 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Letters (correspondence)
Pamphlets
Periodicals
Lectures
Articles
Photographs
Books
Sermons
Speeches
Audio cassettes
Date:
1919-2015, undated
Scope and Contents:
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.
Arrangement:
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.
Separated Materials:
Objects related to Father Charles E. Coughlin are held in the Division of Cultural and Community Life.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Anti-communist movements -- United States  Search this
Religion and politics  Search this
Catholic Church  Search this
Radio in religion  Search this
Priests  Search this
Catholicism  Search this
Radio broadcasting  Search this
Radio in politics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Pamphlets -- 20th century
Periodicals -- 20th century
Lectures -- 20th century
Articles -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Books -- 20th century
Sermons
Speeches -- 20th century
Audio cassettes -- 20th century
Citation:
Charles E. Coughlin Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1389
See more items in:
Father Charles E. Coughlin Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1389
Online Media:

Redeeming the dial : radio, religion & popular culture in America / Tona J. Hangen

Author:
Hangen, Tona J  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 220 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2002
C2002
20th century
Topic:
Radio in religion--History  Search this
Evangelicalism--History  Search this
Religious broadcasting--Christianity--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_711947

Radio priest : Charles Coughlin, the father of hate radio / Donald Warren

Author:
Warren, Donald I  Search this
Subject:
Coughlin, Charles E (Charles Edward) 1891-1979  Search this
Catholic Church Clergy Biography  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 376 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1996
C1996
1919-1933
1933-1945
Topic:
Right-wing extremists--Biography  Search this
Radio in politics  Search this
Radio in religion  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Call number:
CT275.C85 W2 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_496655

Radio in Africa : publics, cultures, communities / edited by Liz Gunner, Dina Ligaga and Dumisani Moyo

Author:
Gunner, Elizabeth  Search this
Ligaga, Dina  Search this
Moyo, Dumisani  Search this
Wits University Press  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 320 p. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Africa
Date:
2011
Topic:
Radio  Search this
Radio and theater  Search this
Radio in propaganda  Search this
Radio in religion  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1028926

Equivocal resonances : Islamic revival and female radio 'preachers' in urban Mali / Dorothea E. Schulz

Author:
Schulz, Dorothea Elisabeth  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Mali
Date:
2011
Topic:
Radio broadcasters  Search this
Women broadcasters  Search this
Muslim women  Search this
Radio in religion  Search this
Revivals  Search this
Call number:
TK6548.A35 R33 2011
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1036789

Radio and religion : a case of difference and diversity / Maria Framh-Arp

Author:
Frahm-Arp, Maria  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
South Africa
Date:
2011
Topic:
Radio in religion  Search this
Radio stations  Search this
Call number:
TK6548.A35 R33 2011
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1036798

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By