FG 153 (National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorder) (White House Central Files: Subject Files)


These Presidential historical materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify private or personal as well as non-historical items. Such items, if found, have been withdrawn for return to the individual with primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by this act have been archivally processed and are described in this finding aid. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) has been placed in the front of each folder describing each withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restrictions. Classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear measurement of materials:   1 in.
  • Number of pages:   17
Organizational Note

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders was a Presidential advisory committee, which was established on July 29, 1967, by Executive Order No. 11365. It was terminated upon submission of its final report to the President in 1968.

The Commission was established to investigate the origins of the major civil disorders which occurred in 1967 in American cities, including the basic causes and factors leading to the disorders and the influence, if any, of organizations or individuals dedicated to the incitement or encouragement of violence. The commission was asked to suggest methods and techniques for averting or controlling such disorders, including the improvement of communications between local authorities and community groups. Also in the training of state and local law enforcement and National Guard personnel, in dealing with potential or actual riot situations, and the coordination of efforts of the various law enforcement and governmental units which may become involved in such situations.

Upon completion of its study, the Commission recommended several objectives for national action, including opening up all opportunities to those who are restricted by racial segregation and discrimination, and eliminating all barriers to their choice of jobs, education, and housing; removing the frustration of powerlessness among the disadvantaged by providing them with the means to deal with the problems that affect their own lives and increasing communication across racial lines to destroy stereotypes; to halt polarization, end distrust and hostility, and create common ground for efforts toward common goals of public order and social justice. The Commission also recommended a federally-funded program to train local police in effective riot control procedures and suggested that National Guard troops be forbidden to use machine guns and similar weapons during riots in densely populated American cities.

The Commission was composed of 11 members appointed by the President. Other members were selected from national leaders in the fields of public affairs, industry, labor, law enforcement, and racial relations.

Scope and Content Note

The records consist of correspondence and memoranda to files. Primary correspondents include Peter M. Flanigan, Daniel P. Moynihan, Robert F. Ellsworth, Edward L. Morgan, Tom Cole, John P. Sears and Chester E. Finn, Jr.

The terms "Executive" [Ex] and "General" [Gen] are used before the code FG 153 to identify the source of the materials within a specific file. The files designated [Ex] are communications between national, foreign, state and local governments and their agencies, members of Congress and other prominent people. Files designated [Gen] are communications between government officials and private citizens, institutions and other private interests.

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