- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Thompson, Frank, Jr., 1918-1989
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Frank Thompson Papers
- Public Policy Papers
- Permanent URL:
- 1955-1980 (mostly 1955-1970)
- 411 boxes
- Storage Note:
- ReCAP (rcpph): Boxes 1-3; 5-412
Frank Thompson was a New Jersey politician. He was elected congressman from the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey in 1955 and was assigned to the Education, Labor, and Administration committees. The papers in this collection reflect his special interests in federal aid to education and the arts.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The Thompson Papers consist of the files maintained by Frank Thompson's offices throughout his political career, beginning with his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1955. They include speeches, statements, correspondence, copies of replies to constituents, records relating to congressional committees, agencies, and cases, government publications, photographs, and other printed materials.
The collection contains information on foreign relations, civil rights, social security and Medicare, public utilities, and New Jersey state matters. The Thompson papers also reflect Thompson's strong support of education, music, the arts, libraries, and other cultural institutions.
The order of materials at the time of their transfer has been maintained.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Born in Trenton, New Jersey on July 26, 1918, Frank Thompson, Jr. was the son of newspaperman Frank Thompson and the former Beatrice Jamieson. His maternal uncles were Frank Jamieson, an advisor to New York's Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, and Crawford Jamieson, state senator and Mercer County Democratic leader. Thompson was educated in public and private schools in the Trenton area and entered Wake Forest College and Law School in North Carolina, receiving his LL.B. in 1941.
After leaving Wake Forest, Thompson served in the Navy for seven years, which included service in World War II. He was elected to the New Jersey House of Assembly in November 1949 and served until war broke out in Korea. During the war, he served for 17 months as commanding officer of Naval Reserve Battalion 4-22.
Thompson was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1954 and initially assigned to the committees on Education, Labor, and Administration. Over the course of his Congressional career, he chaired the House Administration Committee, the Subcommittee on Labor and Management Relations, the Joint Committee on Printing, as well as the National Voters Registration Committee. Thompson placed an emphasis on education, music and the arts. Among legislation he introduced or cosponsored were bills to grant federal aid to college students, to support historic preservation, and to ease the tariff laws on art, among others. Thompson also fought to uphold and expand civil rights. He voted for the civil rights bills of 1956 and 1957. In 1956, he defended the right of a Princeton University campus society to invite Alger Hiss for a speaking engagement. In addition, Thompson took an active interest in matters of international relations. He favored a three-year reciprocal trade renewal bill, the Eisenhower Middle East Doctrine, and increasing of United States subscriptions to the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. On military matters he supported the Dept. of Defense Reorganization Act and an extension of the draft. A close political ally of the Kennedy family, Thompson ran John F. Kennedy's voter registration drive in 1960.
He voted against the Powell amendment to the school construction bill which prohibited federal funds to any state that does not comply with Supreme Court decisions. He was also opposed to killing the school construction bill of July 1957. Other domestic issues which he supported include policies to increase Congressional salaries to $25,000, restore rigid farm price supports, liberalize the Social Security Act, raise the minimum wage to $1 an hour, build 45,000 public housing units, construct the Colorado River storage project, grant statehood to Alaska and Hawaii, and authorize the Tennessee Valley Authority to issue $750 billion of revenue bonds to finance new power facilities.
Thompson's political career came to an end following his 1980 Abscam indictment and conviction. He served two years in prison near Lexington, Kentucky and moved to his home in Alexandria, VA . Thompson died in Johns Hopkins Hospital after an operation for throat cancer on July 23, 1989 at the age of 71.
Gift of Frank Thompson, Jr. in December, 1969 . According to available information, there were at least five accruals of Thompson's papers received during the 1970s .
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Box numbers that do not appear on this checklist have, after being evaluated by the archivists, been discarded. There is no indication that any other material has been separated from this collection.
- Processing Information:
This is an unprocessed collection. The contents list provided is a preliminary inventory.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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.
- Credit this material:
Frank Thompson Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Publication Note:
Sources for this biography include the July 1959 issue of Current Biography, Who's Who, The Trenton Times, and a March 19, 1970 Princeton University Press Release.
- Subject Terms:
- Arts -- United States -- Finance -- 20th century.
Bills, Legislative -- United States -- 20th century.
Civic centers -- Washington (D.C.) -- 20th century.
Civil rights -- United States -- 20th century.
Education -- United States -- Finance -- 20th century.
Federal aid to education -- United States -- 20th century.
Federal aid to higher education -- United States -- 20th century.
Federal aid to historic sites -- United States -- 20th century.
Federal aid to the arts -- United States -- 20th century.
Historic sites -- United States -- Conservation and restoration -- 20th century.
Legislators -- New Jersey -- 20th century.
- Genre Terms:
- United States. Congress
- New Jersey -- Politics and government -- 20th century.