Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Charter Heslep Papers

Dates: 1945-1952.

Radio Broadcaster

The papers of Charter Heslep consist of correspondence, news reports, speeches, handwritten notes, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, itineraries, a diary and other items mostly pertaining to Heslep’s work as a radio broadcaster during the Truman administration.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one linear foot (about 1,600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: The Truman Library received no donation of copyright from the donor of this collection. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents and their heirs.
Processed by:Willie L. Harriford, Jr., and Philip D. Lagerquist (1964).
Updated by: Caroline Dingli-Attard (2006) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1904Born, Richmond, Virginia
1929Joined Washington Daily News staff
1941Joined news staff of National Broadcasting Company
1941-1945Chief radio news censor for the government during World War II
1946-1948Worked for the Mutual Broadcasting Company
1949Employed as assistant to the director of the Atomic Energy Commission
1963 (July 29) Died, Berkeley, California

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Charter Heslep consist mainly of documents pertaining to his career as a radio broadcaster for the Mutual Broadcasting System. Heslep, a native of Richmond, Virginia, joined the Washington Daily News staff in 1929. In 1941, he was employed by the National Broadcasting Company, and from 1941 to 1945, he acted as chief radio news censor for the government during World War II. From 1946 to 1948, Heslep worked for the Mutual Broadcasting System. In 1949, Heslep was employed as the assistant to the director of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). During a tour of AEC offices on the west coast, he was stricken by a heart attack and died at the age of fifty-nine.

Charter Heslep’s papers are arranged in one series, a Subject File. Much of the collection focuses on the 1948 campaign. Included are President Truman’s campaign speeches, train schedules, and itineraries (some of them annotated by Heslep), as well as news reports, and newspaper and magazine articles relating to the campaign. The collection also contains diary entries by Heslep from 1945 and 1948, handwritten notes, the text of a newscast, correspondence from Heslep to his wife and to President Truman, and momentos from presidential trips to Key West.

The Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS) was created in 1929 as the Quality Network. Initially, the MBS was comprised of four stations: WOR, New York; WLS, Chicago; WLW, Cincinnati; and WXYZ, Detroit. MBS was an arrangement between its founding stations to share programs produced at the stations. This concept differed from practices of networks like the National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System which distributed programs to associated stations. In reality, most of MBS’s programming originated at WOR in New York, although there were a number of popular shows from other stations. For example, The Lone Ranger hailed from Detroit’s WXYZ.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-2 SUBJECT FILE, 1945-1952
News reports, speeches, itineraries, handwritten notes, correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, a diary, and other items relating to Charter Heslep’s work as a radio broadcaster and the 1948 campaign. Arranged in alphabetical order.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

  • Charter Heslep – Diary Entries, April – May, 1945
  • Charter Heslep – Diary Entries, September 1948
  • Charter Heslep – 1948 Campaign and MBS Broadcasts and Related Materials
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Clippings from Life Magazine Concerning the 1948 Presidential Campaign
  • Clippings from The New Yorker, Time, and Newsweek Concerning the 1948 Presidential Campaign
  • Draft of News Report About President Truman’s Visit to Independence at Christmas Time, 1945
  • Letter of February 20, 1949, from Charter Heslep to President Truman Concerning Admiral Leahy’s Memoirs
  • Letters from Charter Heslep to His Wife, September 20, 1948 – March 15, 1949
  • List of Books and Other Printed Materials Transferred to Book Collection, HSTL
  • List of Photographs Transferred to Still Picture Collection, HSTL
  • Messages to Congress (Printed Copies)
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign Speeches of Harry S. Truman, September 5 – 23
Box 2
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign Speeches of Harry S. Truman, September 24 – 30
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign Speeches of Harry S. Truman, October 1 – 11
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign Speeches of Harry S. Truman, October 12 – 23
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign Speeches of Harry S. Truman, October 25 – November 4
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign – Teletype Reports and Printed Materials
  • Presidential Trips to Key West
  • Teletype Report Concerning Paul Hume Incident (Xerox Copy)
  • Text of a Newscast Dated June 27, 1947, About Death and Funeral of Martha Ellen Truman

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