Rare Book & Manuscript Library

James Lawrence Fly papers, 1920-1977

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0436
Bib ID 4078768 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Fly, James Lawrence, 1898-1966
Title James Lawrence Fly papers, 1920-1977
Physical Description 55 boxes (55 boxes; 1 volume)
Language(s) English .
Other Finding Aids

Legacy Finding aid

Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



Collection arranged in 7 series. Selected materials cataloged remainder listed.



James Lawrence Fly papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, drafts, notes, reports, legal briefs and other documents, books, clippings, and other printed materials dealing with Fly's professional activities and relationships in all three phases of his career. Correspondents include Roger N. Baldwin, Felix Frankfurter, Cordell Hull, Elmer Rice, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Other Finding Aids

Legacy Finding aid

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); James Lawrence Fly papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Connell, Sally Fly. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1962. Accession number--M-62.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 06/--/89.

Revision Description

May 2020 PDF replaced with full finding aid, YH

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Briefs (legal documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drafts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reports Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Civil Liberties Union Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Baldwin, Roger N (Roger Nash), 1884-1981 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Civil rights Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Freedom of speech Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hull, Cordell, 1871-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lawyers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio -- Censorship Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio broadcasting policy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Roosevelt, Franklin D (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television -- Censorship Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television broadcasting policy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tennessee Valley Authority Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States. Federal Communications Commission Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

James Lawrence Fly was the General Counsel of the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1934-1939; Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.), 1939-1944; and later in private practice as an attorney before the F.C.C., a member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a frequent lecturer about radio, television, and freedom of speech.

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Series I: Cataloged correspondence

Box 1 Angell, James Rowland

Box 1 Armstrong, Edwin Howard

Box 1 Baldvin, Roger Nash

Box 1 Barkley, Alben William

Box 1 Baruch, Bernard Mannes

Box 1 Battle, George Gordon

Box 1 Benton, William

Box 1 Black, Hugo La Fayette

Box 1 Bliven„ Bruce

Box 1 Buck, Gene

Box 1 Butler, Nicholas Nuri-ay

Box 1 Copeland, Royal Samuel

Box 1 Corwin, Norman

Box 1 Cummings, Homer Stillé

Box 1 Davies, Joseph Edward

Box 1 De Forest, Lee

Box 1 Dulles, John Foster

Box 1 Eaton, Cyrus Stephen

Box 1 Ernst, Morris Leopold

Box 1 Farley, James A.

Box 1 Frankfurter Felix

Box 1 Fox, Dixon Ryan

Box 1 Hand, Learned

Box 1 Handier, Milton

Box 1 Holmes, John Haynes

Box 1 Hoover, John Edgar

Box 1 Howe, Louis McHenry

Box 1 Hull, Cordell

Box 1 Ickes, Harold Le Clair

Box 1 Kellogg, Paul Underwood

Box 1 La Guardia, FioreIIo Henry

Box 1 Lodge, Henry Cabot, Jr.

Box 1 Luce, Henry Robinson

Box 1 MacLeish, Archibald

Box 1 McWilliams, Carey

Box 1 Meyer, Eugene

Box 1 Morgenthau, Henry, Jr.

Box 1 Murrow, Edward R.

Box 1 Nevins, Allan

Box 1 Paley, William S.

Box 1 Parsons, Geoffrey

Box 1 Randolph, Asa Phiiip

Box 1 Rayburn, Sam

Box 1 Reed, Stanley Forman

Box 1 Reid, Helen Rogers (Mrs. Ogden M.)

Box 1 Rice, Elmer

Box 1 Roosevelt, Eleanor

Box 1 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

Box 1 Sarnoff, David

Box 1 Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, Jr.

Box 1 Shirer, William Lawrence

Box 1 Shotwell, James Thomson

Box 1 Sulzberger, Arthur Hays

Box 1 Swope, Herbert Bayard

Box 1 Truman, Harry S.

Box 1 Wagner, Robert Ferdinand

Box 1 Wallace, Henry Agard

Series II: Department of Justice, 1933, 1938

Box 2 Letters, 1933

Letters recommending James Lawrence Fly for the position of The Assistant to the Attorney General of the U.S. (Antitrust Division) to which he was not appointed.

Box 15 Letters recommending J.L.F. as in 1933 and clippings

Series III: Tennessee Valley Authority, 1934-1939

J.L.F. was General Solicitor and General Counsel.

Arranged by subjects.

Box 3 Appointment & set-up of legal department

Box 3 Barr, James A.

Box 3 Congratulatory messages on TEP vs. TVA (Tennessee Electric Power Company)

Box 3 General correspondence

Box 3 Hoffman, Charles E.

Box 3 Miscellaneous opinions

Box 3 O'Brien, John Lord

Box 3 Opinion-Circuit Court Appeals: Letters of congratulations

Box 3 Personal correspondence

Box 3 Phosphate

Box 3 Photographs (of J.L.F.)

Box 3 Relationship between Authority Comptroller General

Box 3 Towsley, Frank Hathaway

Box 3 Travel expenses

Box 4 Digest of eases (5 Loose-leaf notebooks)

Printed materials

Box 5 Books, periodicals, articles by J.L.F.

Box 6 Legal briefs

Box 7 Legal briefs

Box 8 Legal briefs

Box 9 Legal briefs

Box 10 Legal briefs

Box 11 Legal briefs

Box 12 Legal transcripts

Box 13 Publicity - clippings

Box 14 Publicity - clippings

Series IV: Federal Communications Commission, 1939-1944

J.L.F. was Chairman of the F.C.C.

Subject File

Box 15 Appointments to F.C.C. and resignation

Box 15 Attorney General

Box 15 Bar admissions

Box 15 Baruch, Bernard M.

Box 15 Board of War Communications: Orders

Box 15 Collier's article re: television

Box 15 Congratulations F.C.C. appointment, 1939 September 01

Box 15 Congratulations on reappointment to F.C.C., 1942 July 01

Box 15 Dodd & Watson vs. the U.S.

Box 15 Ethridge, Mark

Box 15 Friedrich. C. J.

Box 15 General correspondence

Box 15 Kudos to J.L.F.

Box 16 Milestones in F. C.C. history since 1939

Box 16 Misc.

Box 16 O'Brien, John Lord

Box 16 Olds, Irving

Box 16 Photographs

Box 16 Press conferences, 1943

Box 17 F.D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.

Box 17 The Saturday Evening Post article, 1940 September 28

Box 17 Sulzberger, Arthur Hays

Box 17 Swope, Herbert Bayard

Box 17 Television

Box 17 Television: J.L.F. speeches & articles

Box 17 White House (including xerox copies of correspondence made by the Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, NY)

Box 17 White House Press Conferences

Box 17 Whitehair, Francis P.

Allocation hearings, 1944

Box 18 Allocation hearings, 1944

Box 19 Allocation hearings, 1944

Box 20 Allocation hearings, 1944

Cox Investigation Committee, 1943

Box 21 Cox Investigation Committee, 1943

Box 22 Cox Investigation Committee, 1943

Box 23 Cox Investigation Committee, 1943

FM hearings, 1945

Box 24 FM hearings, 1945

Free Speech

Box 24 Free Speech

Box 25 Free Speech

Newspaper hearings

Box 26 Newspaper hearings


Box 27 Wiretapping

Printed materials

Box 27 Books

Box 28 Publicity - clippings

See also: Oversize scrapbook

Box 29 Publicity - clippings

See also: Oversize scrapbook

Box 30 Publicity - clippings

See also: Oversize scrapbook

Box 31 Publicity - clippings

See also: Oversize scrapbook

Speeches & articles

Drafts, printed copies, manuscripts, correspondence, and related materials

Box 32 Suggested speeches & articles: correspondence

Box 32 References to speeches and testimony on F.C.C. problems (extracts of speeches)

Box 32 1939 - April 1940

Box 33 April 1940 - May 1941

Box 34 May - December 1940

Box 35 January - September 1942

Box 36 October 1942 - August 1943

Box 37 September - December 1943

Box 38 January - May 1944

Box 39 June - November 1944

Series V: Private Practice, 1944-1966

Subject file

American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.)

Box 40 A.B.C. - Paramount merger

Box 40 Bricker Amendment

Box 40 Bridges, Harry R.

Box 40 Committee on Freedom of Communications (pressure group censorship)

Box 40 Ernst, Morris L.

Box 40 International broadcasting

Box 40 Miscellaneous

Box 40 Passport control

Box 40 Policy on filming (courtroom proceedings)

Box 40 Scott, Robert

Box 40 Subscription television

Box 40 Taft-Hartley Law

Box 41 Wiretapping

Box 42 Arbitration

Box 42 Book by J. L. F. on radio - Chicago University Press

Box 42 Fly, J.L. - trip abroad, 1950

Box 42 Fly, J.L., Jr.

Box 43 Fly, Fitts and Shubruks, Attorneys: Office papers accounts

Box 44 Lawrence, Ruddick C.

Box 44 Miscellaneous

Box 44 Navy - Official

Box 44 Outerbridge, Jospehine

Box 44 Peek, Mr. & Mrs. Carson C. (sister of J. L. F.)

Box 44 Photographs

Box 45 Publicity - clippings, 1944-1951

Box 45 Quotations, notes, etc.

Box 45 Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Foundation

Box 45 Say, Miss St. John Cannon

Box 45 Variety

Box 45 Senate Resolution 241 - Morton Salt & Cement Institute

Box 45 Westinghouse Electric Corp.; The Associated Broadcasters, Inc.; & Wesley J. Dunn: agreement and plan of reorganization

Box 45 Swidler, Joseph C.

Box 45 White House

Box 45 Whitehair, Francis P.

Box 46 F.C.C. Allocation hearings, 1945

Printed materials: Books & magazines

Box 47 Printed materials: Books & magazines

Box 48 Printed materials: Books & magazines

Speeches & articles

Box 49 1945

Box 50 1946-1947

Box 51 1948

Box 52 1949

Box 53 1950-1955

Series VI: Materials assembled by Sally Fly Connell for her proposed biography of her father, 1934-1977

Box 54 A.C.L.U.

Box 54 "Bug thy neighbor" by S.F.C.

Box 54 Bridges, Harry R.

Box 54 BuckneII-Rosenberg

Box 54 Cohn, Marcus

Box 54 Cox Investigation of F.C.C.

Box 54 Correspondence

Box 54 Corwin, Norman

Box 54 Denny, Charles

Box 54 Durr, Clifford

Box 54 F.B.I.- accusations

Box 54 F.C.C. censorship

Box 54 Fly-biography

Box 54 Friendley, Fred H.

Box 54 Miscellaneous

Box 54 Monopolies

Box 54 "The most dangerous man" by S.F.C.

Box 54 Norris, George W.

Box 54 O'Brien, John Lord

Box 54 Plotkin, Harry M.

Box 54 Paley, William

Box 54 Porter, Paul

Box 55 Rauh, Joseph L., Jr.

Box 55 "The red and the blue" by S.F.C.

Box 55 Roosevelt, F. D. - memos

Box 55 Rowe, James

Box 55 Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr.

Box 55 Shubruk, Peter

Box 55 Siepmann, Charles A.

Box 55 Swidler, Joseph C.

Box 55 "TVA: first five years" by S.F.C.

Box 55 Printed materials

Series VII: Oversize scrapbook of clippings

Box 55 Federal Communications Commission, 1939-1944

Box 55 Publicity - clippings