Clarence Streit Papers 1913-1984

Streit, Clarence K. (Clarence Kirshman), 1896-1986


9.5 linear ft.
Organized into twelve series: I. Personal Documents, 1913-1983. II. Atlantic Union Committee, 1949-1968. III. Federal Union, Inc. IV. Association to Unite the Democracies, 1984. V. Freedom and Union. VI. International Movement for Atlantic Union. VII. NATO Information Service, 1962. VIII. Streit Book Promotion, [undated]. IX. Student Federalists, 1944-1974 and [undated]. X. Union Now. XI. Related Topics, 1939-1980 and [undated]. XII. Photographs, 1983 and [undated].
Includes correspondence between Streit and a number of the country's most influential figures in the fight for federal union of democratic nations, including Theodore C. Achilles, former Director of Western European Affairs, William Clayton, whose efforts resulted in the Marshall Plan of 1947, former Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts, and former Congressmen Paul Findley and Estes Kefauver. Other prominent figures include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon, and Mike Mansfield. The collection includes documentation concerning Streit's personal involvement in organizations such as Federal Union, the Atlantic Union Committee, and the International Movement for Atlantic Union. Records from these organizations, as well as his personal speeches and writings, make up the bulk of Streit's collection. Also included is the record of proceedings from the 1951 Conference of Strasbourg, a special meeting between European parliamentarian and members of Congress, which Federal Union and the Atlantic Union Committee helped organize with the goal of creating a North Atlantic Assembly.
Clarence K. Streit was born in California, Mo., in 1896. At the age of fifteen he moved to Missoula, Mont., where he founded the Konah, a high school paper that is now one of the oldest in continuous publication. Streit worked in the summers surveying in Alaska and the Rocky Mountains to finance his education at Montana State University (now the University of Montana), where he edited the college newspaper, the Kaimin, and served on the debate team. Streit left Missoula in 1917 and volunteered in the 18th Railway Engineers for war service. One of the first 50,000 American soldiers to land in Europe, he reached France in Aug. 1917. In 1918 he joined the Intelligence Service where for a time he served as one of the guards of President Wilson. After his time in the service, Streit returned to Missoula where he won a Rhodes Scholarship which enabled him to study history at Oxford. Once in England, Streit met Jeanne Defrance of Paris, and they married in 1921.
In 1925 he joined the New York Times as a foreign correspondent and in 1929 went to Geneva as a correspondent for the League of Nations, a post he held for nearly ten years. During his time as a journalist, Streit covered such prominent issues as the Sino-Japanese war, the depression and the rise of Nazi dictatorship. His interest in such international issues led Streit to resign his position at the Times in 1939 and publish his first book, Union Now, an appeal for a federal union of the democracies. After the success of Union Now, which admirers hailed as democracy's answer to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, Clarence and Jeanne Streit continued to commit their lives to the cause of union. In 1940 the couple founded Federal Union, Inc., an educational organization committed to universal world government. Chapters opened in towns all over the nation, including the formation of a Missoula chapter in 1940. Streit served as president of Federal Union as well as editor of Freedom and Union, the organization's magazine. Streit was one of the founding members of the Atlantic Union Committee that merged with other organizations in 1962 to form the Atlantic Council. His works on behalf of world peace earned Streit a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Clarence Streit died in 1986.
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