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FG 95 (Commission on Obscenity and Pornography)

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Organization Information

The President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography was established by Congress in October 1967 under Public Law 90-100 (81 Stat. 253). In January 1968, President Johnson appointed eighteen members of this Commission. President Nixon's only appointment to this Commission was Charles Keating, Jr., founder of Citizens for Decent Literature, which came as a result of the resignation of Kenneth Keating on his appointment as ambassador to India. Other members of the Commission included Edward E. Elson, Thomas D. Gill, Edward D. Greenwood, Reverend Morton A. Hill, S.J., G. William Jones, Joseph T. Klapper, Otto N. Larsen, Rabbi Irving Lehrman, Freeman Lewis, Reverend Winfrey C. Link, Morris A. Lipton, William B. Lockhart, Thomas C. Lynch, Barbara Scott, Cathryn A. Speits, Frederick Herbert Wagman, and Marvin Wolfgang. The Commission was terminated after the presentation of its final report in late 1970.

The Commission was charged with the responsibility of studying the relationship of obscene and pornographic materials to anti-social behavior and determining whether a need existed for more effective methods to control the transmission of such materials.

Scope and Content Note

The file FG 95 contains correspondence and memoranda regarding the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Principal correspondents include the President, John Ehrlichman, Noble Melencamp, Staff Assistant to the President, William Timmons, Deputy Assistant to the President, and Donald Santarelli, Associate Deputy Attorney General.

FG 95 is primarily an administrative file, and thus does not reflect the working papers and report preparation of the Commission. The bulk of the material consists of reactions to the controversial conclusions of the report of the Commission, which found no causal link between pornography, hard-core or otherwise, and anti-social behavior. The Executive folders consist largely of White House internal memoranda about the Commission's report and the Presidential statement condemning its findings. The General folders are largely made up of letters from members of the general public expressing their opinions of the report and that information about the Commission which did find its way into the newspapers.

On the folders, the terms Executive and General are used in the titles to indicate separation of documents according to source and handling. "Executive" items include communication among national, foreign, and state and local governments and their agencies, members of Congress, and selected prominent correspondents. "General" designates communications between Government officials and private citizens, institutions, and private interest groups. Where "/A" follows a numeric file designation, it indicates files relating to appointments, nominations, and resignations within that organization.

Some of the files related to FG 95 include:

White House Central Files: Subject Files

PR 2 Public Relations: Administration Complaints-Criticism
PR 13 Public Relations: Petitions-Resolutions-Multiple Signatures
PU 2-6 Publications: Pornographic-Obscene Literature

FG 95

This category contains letters and memoranda relating to the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, including the members of the Commission, the timing of the Presidential statement, the statement itself, and reactions to the Committee's activities from both government officials and the general public.

FG 95/A

This category contains letters relating to the appointments, nominations, and resignations of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.

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