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Speeches Collection: A Sub-Group of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 015

Scope and Contents

This collection is a part of a greater collection entitled The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers. This collection deals primarily with Musmanno’s speeches written throughout his lifetime. Musmanno was a productive orator, speaking to a number of different crowds on a many diverse topics. Musmanno was committed to fighting for the underdog, and a large portion of his speeches are devoted to them. He was passionate about many topics and defended them at all costs. This collection holds the copies of most of his speeches, although some writings are in shorthand, and others have additional notes or changes attached. The Speeches Collection consists of four boxes, making up approximately 4 cubic feet of space. The records span his lifetime dating from 1920-1968. This collection contains Musmanno’s speeches, and additional newspaper clippings about the speeches he made. There are a number of works written in Italian as well. There is no additional commentary on his speeches in this collection; however, various other collections in the Musmanno holdings have other copies of his speeches sometimes including commentary. The collection is broken up into a number of series the first 18 are grouped alphabetically by category. Within each individual category, the speeches are listed by date. The last three series include speeches that were found after the initial finding aid was completed, and clippings that have to do with Musmanno’s speeches. These series are organized by date when applicable. There are no further restrictions on this collection.

Dates

  • 1920 - 1968

Biographical / Historical

Michael A. Musmanno was born April 7, 1897, in Stowe Township, Allegheny County, PA. In 1923, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and worked for several years as an attorney. He served 4 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and, in 1932; he began his lifelong career as a jurist. In 1951, he became a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During the World War II, Captain Musmanno served as naval aide to General Mark Clark, Fifth Army, during the Italian invasion. Musmanno led the U.S. investigation to determine if Adolf Hitler died at the end of the war. He served as a presiding judge at the Nuremberg War Crime trials and retired from active duty as a rear admiral. He was again elected to serve as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge, a position he held until his death. In 1964, Musmanno ran an unsuccessful campaign for United States Senate. Aside from his political career, he was a prolific writer, publishing 16 books, including Ten Days To Die, Black Fury, Across the Street From the Courthouse, The Story of Italians in America, and Columbus Was First as well as a number of short stories and articles. Judge Musmanno passed away at the age of 71 on Columbus Day, October 12, 1968.

Extent

4 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

Series 1-18: Speeches alphabetized by category This series contains the speeches that Musmanno wrote and delivered throughout his lifetime. It includes a number of drafts and extra copies in a variety of topics. There is very little commentary within this series. This series is organized alphabetically by category title or theme, and then by date within each series, as that would have been the order in which the speech was given. These series make up the largest portion of this collection, with the known dates ranging from 1920-1968. These series are helpful for researchers wanting to look at Musmanno’s writing with no additional commentary. Other holdings within the Musmanno collection will more likely have the commentary and correspondence regarding individual speeches.

Arrangement

Series 19: Miscellaneous This series contains the additional speeches that were found after the initial finding aid was created with the above categories. This series ranges in a number of topics, including ones already covered in the categories listed before. The speeches are organized by date. This series is again helpful for any researcher looking for insight on Musmanno’s position regarding certain topics without additional commentary.

Arrangement

Series 20: Additional Materials This series contains the additional speeches that were found after an additional sweep of unprocessed folders within the Musmanno collection. The attempt was made to organize the speeches by category and by date within that category although no formal arrangement exists for this series. This series ranges in a number of topics, including ones already covered in the categories listed before. This series is again helpful for any researcher looking for insight on Musmanno’s position regarding certain topics without additional commentary.

Arrangement

Series 21: Clippings This series contains newspaper clippings of some of Musmanno’s speeches. This series is organized again by category and then chronologically from 1932-1968, within each category although no formal arrangement was made. This series is useful for researchers looking for some commentary on some of the speeches Musmanno made during his career.

General

The personal papers and library of the former Pennsylvania State Supreme Court justice, congressional representative, and author Michael A. Musmanno are located in the University Archives at Duquesne University. Documents include papers from Musmanno’s time as a defense attorney in the Sacco & Vanzetti trial, judge in the Nuremburg Trials, witness in the case against Adolf Eichmann, and interviews with Hitler’s associates. The collection also covers papers related to campaigns to end the Sunday Blue Laws, illegalize the Communist Party and to disband the Coal and Iron Police. This particular collection is an extension of these holdings, containing speeches from Judge Musmanno ranging in a variety of topics. Musmanno was a prolific orator and spoke to a number of different crowds on a number of different topics. So much so, that his doctors told him not to speak for a number of months after damaging his vocal cords. Musmanno spoke in support of the laborers as well as those who supported them. He spoke in support of Christopher Columbus and against those that held different beliefs than himself. This collection holds the copies of those speeches as well as rough drafts and shorthand notes written to support his ideas. Furthermore, there are a few newspaper clippings detailing a number of the speeches Musmanno gave throughout his career. The collection is broken up into a 21 series; the first 18 series are in alphabetical order by category of the speech, while 19-miscellaneous speeches and 20-additional materials follow. The last group number 21 is devoted to the clippings.

Processing Information

Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, August 2017 Processed by Gerard O’Neil

Title
Speeches Collection
Subtitle
Duquesne University Archives and Special Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Gina DelGreco
Date
August 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Edition statement
Processing Information: Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, August 2017 Processed by Gerard O’Neil

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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