John A. Jessup Papers
Date Span: 1942-1952.
The Papers of John A. Jessup primarily document his service with the Federal Public Housing Authority. His papers are largely comprised of conference agendas and session notes, regional housing authority reports, correspondence, minutes, and consultant studies. Many of the conference agendas feature Jessup's handwritten notes on the proceedings. There is also some material from his tenure with the Office of Education.
Size: Less than one-half of one linear foot (about 750 pages).
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The John A. Jessup Papers consists of two series. There is a four-year gap in the collection series, between the years 1948 and 1952. The first and largest series, the Federal Public Housing Authority files, contain conference agendas and session notes, regional housing authority reports, correspondence, minutes, and consultant studies. Most of the earlier conference agendas - particularly those dating from the years 1944-1946 - feature Jessup's handwritten notes on the proceedings.The Federal Public Housing Authority (FPHA) during the 1940s was part of the overall war effort. As a result of the mass migration of rural residents to cities and factory jobs during World War II, the federal government suspended traditional low-rent public housing construction, and reassessed and in most cases redesigned these projects with an eye towards worker housing. The Lanham Act of 1940 permitted the use of federal funds to build this kind of public housing for defense industry workers. Approximately 625,000 units were built between 1940-1944. Public housing became linked with urban renewal efforts later in the Truman presidency. Many of the housing units constructed for defense workers during the war were later integrated back into the federally funded public housing system. Jessup's papers reflect the rapid change in emphasis toward building and maintaining war worker housing, and the conversion back into the public housing system after the war. Jessup worked as a regional project services supervisor for the FPHA in Boston, Massachusetts.The second series, the Office of Education File, contains a small amount of correspondence and handwritten notes. Jessup worked during this period as a civilian educational requirements official. The Office of Education was then part of the Federal Security Agency. More information about the Federal Public Housing Authority can be found in the following files in the Harry S. Truman Papers: Official File 333 (National Housing Agency), Official File 1282 (Housing and Home Finance Agency), Official File 1285V (Housing Commission, Department of Defense), and the President's Secretary's File - Subject File: Housing. The oral histories of John Barriere, (OH 37), William K. Divers (OH 72), John H. Tolan, Jr. (OH 359), C. Girard Davidson (OH 270), and Robinson Newcomb (OH 246) also include discussion about federal public housing projects during this period. Further information about the Office of Education can be found in the Official File 7C (U.S. Office of Education), as well as in the oral histories of J.G. Feeney (OH 32), Harry Rosenfield (OH 350), and Oscar Ewing (OH 69).