Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 5B: Press Releases, 1940-1949

4 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Press Releases subseries is composed of copies of press conferences and press releases by Forrestal as Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense, as well as a small number of press releases issued while he was Under Secretary of the Navy. The Press Conferences were held on a fairly regular basis and include either a prepared statement given by Forrestal to the press or transcripts of question and answer sessions with the press. Some of the conferences were given by other top military officials, either with or without Forrestal. As Secretary of the Navy, the topics of the press conferences were generally the capabilities of the Navy, the progress of World War II, the production of equipment and ships (including the role of private industry), and the process of discharging personnel at the end of the war. As Secretary of Defense, the majority of the press conferences were concerned with demobilization and the various plans for the reorganization of the U.S. military. The Press Releases are informational bulletins, with the majority dating from Forrestal's service as Secretary of Defense. These press releases discussed appointments to positions within the new National Military Establishment, the structure of the department, and progress reports on the unification progress. The press releases issued while Forrestal was with the Navy reported on the war progress, the production of equipment for the Navy and the size of the Navy, commemorated anniversaries associated with the war, and commended military personnel and civilian groups for their efforts towards the war.


Divided into two sections: Press Conferences and Press Releases. Each section is arranged chronologically.

Collection History


Duplicate materials have been separated from this collection.


These papers were processed with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Adriane Hanson with the assistance of Clelia Douyon, Grace Haaland, Brandon Joseph, and Jamie LaMontagne in 2009. Finding aid written by Adriane Hanson in March 2009.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Phonograph recordings of speeches and television appearances by Forrestal are located in Boxes 180 and 181.

Credit this material:

Subseries 5B: Press Releases; James V. Forrestal Papers, MC051, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpph): Box 152-155

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

FOR DIGITIZED CONTENT: The papers, with the exception of Series 6: Oversized Materials, have been digitized and may be viewed or downloaded through this finding aid. To view materials, navigate to a specific folder, rather than an entire series or subseries.

Related Materials

The Mudd Manuscript Library holds a number of collections related to World War II which may be accessed by selecting the subject "World War II" on the Princeton University Library Finding Aids Subject Browse Page. Collections of particular relevance to the James V. Forrestal Papers are the papers of Harold Gardiner Bowen, special assistant while Forrestal was Secretary of the Navy, and Ferdinand Eberstadt, an advisor to Forrestal throughout his military career.

Related collections at other institutions include the records of the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, the Department of the Navy, and the Secretary of Defense at the National Archives and a collection of Forrestal papers at the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C.

The Forrestal Diaries, edited by Walter Millis, was published in serial form in the New York Herald Tribune and in book form by Viking Press in 1951.


The following sources were consulted during the preparation of the biographical note: "Forrestal, James Vincent" by Jeffery M. Dorwart, American National Biography Online. (accessed January 14, 2009). "Forrestal, James V." biography from Current Biography, H.W. Wilson Company, 1948. "Forrestal Killed in 13-Story Leap; U.S. Mourning Set" by Walter H. Waggoner, The New York Times, May 23, 1949. "James V. Forrestal," U.S. Department of Defense biography. (accessed January 14, 2009).

United States. Department of Defense
United States. Navy
Forrestal, James, 1892-1949