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Rolland R. O'Hare Papers

Identifier: UP000826

Scope and Content

Important subjects covered in the collection are: Amnesty, 1975 Church-State Shared Time, 1963-64 Election of National ACLU Board Chairperson, 1976 Equal Protection for homosexuals, 1966-75 Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley, expulsion controversy replay, 1973-76 Michigan ACLU-Ernest Mazey resignation, 1974 1976 Biennial Conference Reproductive Freedom, 1975-76 Sexual Privacy, 1975 Textbook controversies, 1975-76 "Tokyo Rose" pardon, 1976 Women's Rights, 1975-76

Among the correspondents are: Roger Baldwin, Edward Ennis, Don Hackel, Ernest Mazey, Aryeh Neier, Mary Rave, Alan Reitman, and George Slaff.

Series Description: Series I, Issues File: Reports, studies, correspondence, relating to civil liberties issues, such as Church-State shared time, equal protection for homosexuals, and cable T.V.

Series II, Affiliate Operations: ACLU affiliate operations and controversies dealing mainly with the Michigan's affiliate Executive Director controversy. Also included is the Kansas-Western Missouri affiliates jurisdictional dispute.

Series III, Organization File: The bulk of this series deals with the national ACLU Executive Committee actions and matters concerning various topics. Of particular interest are the Quarterly Project Reports. Also included in this series is the 1976 election of the new national Board Chairperson, and the national ACLU financial situation, 1974-75.

Series IV, Biennial Conference File: Correspondence, agendas, memos, dealing with the 1976 Biennial Conference. The workshop papers, presented at the conference, and covering a wide range of civil liberties issues, are included.

Series V, Miscellaneous Internal Issues: Mainly correspondence about intra-organizational, non-substantive, and personal issues and matters.

Additional Material: Non-manuscript material Box 5: 6 issues of First Principles magazine, which have numerous articles relating to civil liberties issues. Also included is the official Policy Guide of the ACLU, the Privacy Report, and the annual 1976 report of Civil Liberties. These materials all relate closely to the collection.

Closed Material: Topics covered: Michigan affiliate by-laws and revisions National ACLU finances, 1976 Senate Bill S-l.


  • 1957 - 1977
  • Majority of material found within 1972 - 1976


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Box 6 is closed.

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Rolland R. O'Hare was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 19, 1925. After completing undergraduate work at Wayne State University, he was accepted into the Wayne State University Law School, from which he graduated in 1952. As a practicing attorney, he actively cooperated with the American Civil Liberties Union on both the local and national levels. He was also the Vice-Chairman of the State Bar Commission on Civil Liberties. Mr. O'Hare served as Chairman of the Detroit Branch of the ACLU from 1961 to 1966. He was also the first Chairman of the Michigan ACLU, from its formation in 1961 to 1966. Moving from the local to the national organizational level of the ACLU, Mr. O'Hare served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee subcommittee which developed the plan for the financial integration of the Northern California affiliate into the ACLU. In 1973, he Chaired the Executive Committee subcommittee which resolved the jurisdictional dispute between the National Capitol Area ACLU, the Virginia ACLU, and the Maryland ACLU. In 1974, Mr. O'Hare was Chairman of the Biennial Conference workshop on the Rights of the Poor. As of 1978, Mr. O'Hare is an ACLU Vice President, and is serving his second term as a member of the Executive Committee. He is also a constitutional Committee Board Member.

The national American Civil Liberties Union, to which the bulk of the Rolland R. O'Hare collection relates, was founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin and, as of 1976, has a staff of 330, a membership of 275,000, with 50 state a ffiliates. The primary purpose of the ACLU is to champion the rights of man as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: freedom of inquiry and expression, speech, press, assembly and religion for everybody; due process of law and fair trial for all; equality before the law for all, regardless of race, color, national origin, political opinion or religious belief. In pursuit of these ends, the ACLU is active in test court cases, opposition to repressive legislation, and protests on every inroad of human rights. The ACLU maintains committees on: Academic Freedom, Church-State, Communications Media, Due Process, Equality, Free Speech-Association, Labor- Business, and Privacy. The one Division of the ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Foundation (originally the Roger Baldwin Foundation) which was established as a tax deductible arm of the ACLU. Its main functions are legal defense and education on behalf of civil liberties. The ACLU publishes Civil Liberties quarterly, and its National Meeting is biennial.


2.5 Linear Feet (6 MB)


Rolland R. O'Hare was a practicing attorney affiliated with both the local Detroit chapter and national American Civil Liberties Union. His papers reflect primarily his activities on behalf of the national organization.


Arranged in 5 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 1), Series 3 (Boxes 2-3), Series 4 (Box 4), and Series 5 (Box 4). Folders are arranged alphabetically by topic or committee or chronologically, depending on the series.


The papers of Rolland R. O'Hare were placed in the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs on May 3, 1977 by Mr. Rolland R. O'Hare.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Rolland R. O'Hare Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA