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Edwin E. Willis Papers

Collection 46

Willis, Edwin E. (1904-1972).  Papers, 1949-1969

149 feet, 7 inches; 20 volumes

Edwin Edward Willis was born 2 October 1904 in Arnaudville, Louisiana. He was the eleventh child of Olanda Willis and Julia Harding. In 1929, he married Estelle Bulliard, and they had one son. In 1926, Willis received his law degree from Loyola University in New Orleans. He practiced law in St. Martinville, and was a strong supporter of the Long Party.

In 1948 Willis was elected to Congress from the 3rd Louisiana Congressional District as a
Democrat. He remained in the House of Representatives until 1969. He served as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) from 1955-1963, and was chairman from 1963-1969. He was a strong supporter of HUAC and a rigid anti-communist. He felt that the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s were communist inspired. However, he also opposed the anti-civil rights activities of the Ku Klux Klan and consistently endorsed Democratic candidates for president. While in Congress, Willis sought subsidies for sugar planters, federal funding for the Morganza Spillway, and federal royalty payments to Louisiana from the tidelands oil.

Willis suffered a series of strokes in 1966, and his poor health contributed to his defeat by Patrick Caffery in the 1968 Democratic primary. He died 16 October 1972.

This collection contains extensive Congressional office records including correspondence, photographs, press releases, reports, scrapbooks and other materials. Almost all series contain constituent correspondence.

Series:

A. General Congressional Correspondence 1-01 thru 88-07; 128-01 and 128-02; 245-01 thru 245-05
    1. Out-going letters arranged chronologically, 1959-1968 Box 261 thru Box 282
B. Federal and State Agencies 88-08 thru 137-05
C Committees 137-06 thru 151-07
    1. Committee reports submitted by Willis 245-06 and 245-07
      [bound items] Louisiana Room: range 19b 8:1-4  
D. Legislation 151-08 thru 174-12
E. Cases  
    1. Military 74-13 thru 205-09
    2. Special 205-10 thru 212-04
    3. Color of Title/Land Patents 258-04 thru 259-09
F. General  
    1. Post Offices 212-05 thru 218-06; 284-01 thru 286-05
    2. Press Releases and Speeches 218-07 thru 220-57
    3. Academies 221-01 thru 225-03
    4. Agriculture 225-04 thru 233-07
    5. Redistricting/reapportionment 245-08 thru 245-10
    6. Tidelands [See also: general correspondence] 250-21 thru 255-02
G. Bills Introduced 234-01 thru 235-10
H. Campaigns [See also: general correspondence] 235-11 thru 239-07
I. Aid  
    1. Schools 240-01 thru 241-04
    2. Cities 242-05 thru 243-06
J. Floods, flood control, and Corps of Engineers 243-07 thru 244-08
      [See also: general correspondence]  
K. Hurricane Planning/Recovery 245-11 thru 247-03
L. Congressional Record pages 247-04 thru 250-20
M. Political Material  
    1. Local political activities, 1949-1950 255-03 thru 255-08; 257-07 thru 258-03
    2. Other 255-09
N. Miscellaneous  
    1. St. Martin Parish History 256-01
    2. Speeches of Others 256-02
    3. Bob Angers, Jr. Editorials 256-03 and 256-04
    4. Kennedy Assassination Newspapers 256-05 and 256-06
    5. Copyright Law 259-10
    6. Miscellaneous: Reports Box 259A
O. Photographs 257-01 thru 257-06; Boxes 287 thru 311; 314-315; v. 24; Map Case 11-02; Oversized; Box 318
P. Films and Tapes Box 260; Box 314 and 315
Q. Artifacts Box 283
R. Scrapbooks, 1949-1967 25 volumes
[Note: Hardbound volumes are located on Range 19b (LaRm)]

Inventory:

Willis, Edwin E. (1904-1972).  Papers, 1949-1969