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Guide to the United Progressive Democratic Club records 2005.018

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Quinn Lai

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 22, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Finding aid revised and entered into Archivists' Toolkit by Nicholas Pavlik.  , October 21, 2011

Descriptive Summary

Creator: United Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).
Title: United Progressive Democratic Club records
Dates [inclusive]: 1919-2004
Abstract: This collection contains the records of the United Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District in Brooklyn, N.Y. The collection material dates from 1930 to 2004, tracing the club through name changes and the re-numbering of its district, and documents the Club's activities and interests. Materials include meeting announcements and minutes, correspondence of Club chairmen, and yearbooks of the Club's annual dinners and dances.
Quantity: 1.26 Linear feet in three document boxes.
Text [Box]: 2005.018 3 of 3
Text [Box]: 2005.018 1 of 3
Text [Box]: 2005.018 2 of 3
Call Phrase: 2005.018
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Biographical Note

The United Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District has been located at 211 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, N.Y. since its founding in 1918. The United Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District underwent three name changes since the 1960s. Originally called the United Regular Democratic Club of the 16th Assembly District, the club became known as the United Democratic Organization of the 47th Assembly District after the redistricting of voting assemblies in New York City in 1972. Some time between 1985 and 1992, the club again changed its name to the Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District. The club's current name, the United Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District, has been used since 2003.

The Club began as a small community branch of the Democratic Party of New York State. Under the leadership of the Honorable Kenneth F. Sutherland (d. 1954), who served as the Democratic leader of the 16th Assembly District and New York State Executive Chairman until his death, the Club became highly active in communal activities. The United Progressive Democratic Club's involvement in Brooklyn activism included public school education and the testing of mentally-impaired children by the education board, low-income housing and re-housing of senior citizens, the rise in popularity of the American Communist Party amongst Brooklyn residents in the 1950s, and employment assistance for recently arrived immigrants living in Brooklyn.

The Club's past prominent members include former New York State Senator and New York State Insurance Inspector Albert B. Lewis (b. 1925), and the Honorable Irwin R. Brownstein (b. 1930), former Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice, New York City corporation counsel, and member of the New York State Democratic Platform.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection, which dates from 1930 to 2004, is composed of three manuscript boxes. The first part of the collection contains club meeting announcements, minutes, special events programs, rules and regulations, membership cards, and member rosters, as well as club headquarters maintenance and janitorial records. It also includes photographs of members, newspaper articles from the Brooklyn, N.Y. area about the Democratic Party and its political activities, and material on the Club's neighborhood interests and activities.

Folders 1 to 9 contain all material relating to club announcements, meetings, minutes, events, membership, rules, the maintenance of club headquarters, and photographs. Folder 10 consists of newspaper articles regarding the Club or to Democratic Party activities in the New York City area. Folders 11 to 13 comprise material on the Club's political activities and interests, such as public school education in Brooklyn and lower-income housing.

Of particular interest are Folders 12 and 13. Folder 12, "Nazi Party of America, 1960-1962" consists of a copy of a lawsuit filed by Club members Irwin R. Brownstein and Frank J. Pino in the New York Supreme Court of Kings County against the American Nazi Party and its leader, George Lincoln Rockwell, on August 22, 1960. Brownstein and Pino attempted to obtain a court order prohibiting Rockwell from holding an American Nazi Party meeting and making a speech in New York City on Labor Day, 1960. This folder also includes a letter from Irwin R. Brownstein to the editor of The Jewish Press, dated September 13, 1962, stating his disagreement with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's statement to the same magazine regarding the government's refusal to place the American Nazi Party on the federal list of subversive organizations. Folder 13, "Communism, undated" consists of two lists of American Communist Party members who live in Brooklyn and their occupations. This folder also contains an essay by Robert H. Pines about the local Brooklyn Communist Party and their congressional candidate, Lee Pressman.

The Club's topical activity files are followed by files on the Club's chairmen and other club members. Folder 17, "Frank J. Pino," includes two audio cassettes and a typed transcript of a 1993 radio interview pertaining to the Democratic Party of New York State and New York City politics. The rest of the collection is comprised of yearbooks of the United Progressive Democratic Club's annual dinner and dance. The yearbooks are arranged chronologically.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Brownstein, Irwin R., b. 1930
  • Lewis, Albert B.
  • Pino, Frank J.
  • Rockwell, George Lincoln, 1918-1967
  • Sutherland, Kenneth F.

Document Type

  • Audiocassettes
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Interviews
  • Membership lists
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • Printed ephemera
  • Programs (documents)
  • Transcripts
  • Yearbooks

Subject Organizations

  • American Nazi Party.
  • Communist Party of the United States of America.
  • Democratic Party (New York, N.Y.).
  • United Progressive Democratic Club of the 47th Assembly District (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).
  • United Regular Democratic Organization of the 16th Assembly District (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).

Subject Topics

  • Political clubs -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Politics and government
  • New York (State) |x Politics and government

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to users without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); United Progressive Democratic Club records, 2005.018, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Materials

Related archival collections at the Brooklyn Historical Society:

  1. ARC.017, Walter A. Carley collection, 1905-1956

Other Finding Aids note

An earlier version of this finding aid, containing a complete container list, is available in paper form at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Please consult library staff for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of the Honorable Martin M. Solomon, 2005.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

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