M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND POLICY

Finding Aid for the
EDWARD J. BLOCH
PAPERS, 1939-2001
(APAP-115)

For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Michael J. Newman
June 2001
Beth Sheffer
August 2002



 
 
 
 
 
 

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 5.41 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Edward J. Bloch in May 2001.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Series Descriptions

Box and Folder List:


Edward J. Bloch
Biographical Sketch

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Edward James Bloch (Block) was born to Henry, a New York attorney, and Sylvia Bloch, in New York City on April 17, 1924. As of 2002, he is a devout Presbyterian living in a rural town in upstate New York, with his second wife, Naomi Finkelstein.

Known as either Ed or Jim to his family and friends, he lived in Scarsdale, New York until he attended college. At the age of seventeen, Bloch entered the US Marine Corps V-12 program, which encouraged college students to train for military service. Simultaneously attending Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Private Bloch rose to Lieutenant Bloch in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Leaving Williams College between 1942 and 1943, he entered Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, to continue the V-12 program.

Military service between 1943 and 1946 interrupted his academic career. During World War II he was stationed in San Francisco, California, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Okinawa, and North China. Rising from a 2nd Lieutenant to a 1st Lieutenant, Bloch became Rifle Platoon Leader in the "L" Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. While in Okinawa in 1945, he was shot in the right arm and leg. Months later, on September 30, Bloch's new assignment was the post-war occupation of North China. Interviewed years later, he recalled the atrocities committed against civilians here by a combined force of Marines and Japanese soldiers, who were ordered to prevent a further Communist infiltration in certain locations of North China. One such incident included taking part in the shooting of civilians under orders from a Japanese officer.[1] For his actions in World War II, Bloch was awarded a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Finished with his military career, Bloch returned to Williams College, receiving an B.A. in 1946. The following year, he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and obtained an M.A. From 1947 to 1949, Bloch taught science and coached basketball and wrestling at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. During this period, he also acted as a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

By 1950, the soldier turned teacher came home. Between 1950 and 1984, Edward Bloch dedicated his time to labor concerns and the labor union, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Beginning as a chief steward and rising to a field organizer and international representative, Bloch collectively bargained contracts with companies, such as General Electric, Westinghouse, and ExCello. He helped organize the Local 332 branch of the UE just outside Albany, New York. For seventeen years, he served as an international representative for UE and worked in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Vermont, and South Carolina.

From 1975 to the late 1990s, Edward Bloch served as President of the Labor Action Coalition of New York. In this position he coordinated the political action of numerous local unions, fought to save jobs and obtain employee benefits. Bloch also worked with the Labor/Religion Coalition of the Capital District for similar means.

In 1984 and 1986, Bloch ran two campaigns for New York State's 24th Congressional District seat. As a Democrat in 1984 and 1986, he faced Republican Gerald Solomon and lost both times. In 1995-1996, Bloch ran as an Independent candidate for the 21st Congressional District seat and again failed in his bid for election.

Beside his political ambitions, Bloch volunteered much of his time in the late 1980s and 1990s to interfaith organizations. Between 1987 and 1995, he served as Director of the Interfaith Impact for the New York State Council of Churches. As director, Bloch represented a collection of religious groups determined to translate their religious and moral beliefs into mostly legislative action. After eight years, Bloch left Interfaith Impact for the Interfaith Alliance (TIANYS). The Interfaith Alliance was similar to the Interfaith Impact, demanding changes in public policy based on religious understanding. As of the late 1990s, Bloch continued his volunteer service with the Interfaith Alliance.

Throughout his life, Edward J. Bloch developed his own religious and moral understanding or philosophy of life. Fearing the cruelty of anti-Semitism in America after the first World War, Bloch's parents, both of the Jewish faith, tried to hide his religious identity. Seeing the horrors of World War II in combat and in the occupation of China, he changed his allegiance from capitalism to socialism in the post-war period. During the Vietnam War, he protested US military intervention in Southeast Asia through Veterans for Peace in Vietnam. As a labor leader, he dedicated more than thirty years to workers through the UE, even being investigated by the FBI for ties to Communism in his union. Finally, while observing Presbyterian values and beliefs, he still recognized the need for interfaith organizations.

Bloch's family is mentioned frequently in his personal papers. They include his wife, Naomi, daughter Rebecca, and his three children from a previous marriage, Linda, Alan, and Susan. Other key figures mentioned in the collection are Lawrence Wittner, professor of history at the University at Albany, the late Joe Powers, former Chair of the Capital District Labor Religion Coalition, former Governor Mario Cuomo, and folk singer Pete Seeger.[2]


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Notes

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1. Bloch, Edward J.. Courage Coward Courage!! undated. p. 59-62. Oversize Box 1, Folder 15.
2. Ibid.


Edward J. Bloch
Scope & Content Note

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The collected papers of Edward J. Bloch detail his early life, his military service in the Marine Corps during World War II, his three years in Turkey teaching biology, leadership in the UE, the Labor Action Coalition, the Capital Labor Religion Coalition, Interfaith Impact, Interfaith Alliance, three unsuccessful campaigns for Congress, and personal papers and correspondence.

Correspondence and creative writing make up the majority of Bloch's papers. His letters are particularly voluminous between 1944 and 1946, when he served in Okinawa and China as a Marine. During this time span, he wrote mostly to his parents and brother, Henry, concerning the war, his current positions in Asia, and on other personal matters. His father replied specifically with news from the home front concerning the war and politics. Other letters in the collection span his career in the UE, Congressional campaign runs, and varied personal subjects. Beside correspondence, Bloch wrote poetry, plays, essays, and other literature. These writings begin in the published version of his very early poetry, Verses (1931).

Of the records kept on the UE and Bloch's other union work, those files on General Electric and FBI files on Bloch and the UE stand out above the rest. Beside these records, only the 1984, 1986, and 1995-1996 congressional election folders have a great deal of substance. Election letters, news clippings, press releases, notes, speeches, pamphlets, stickers, a poster, buttons, photos, newsletters, and position statements, are all included in these files.

Many files were originally interspersed in various folders of the collection, leaving some half-written letters, notes detached from their original position, and copies of newspaper articles with missing sections or words. Most of the handwritten notes lack dates and are difficult to decipher. Likewise, many newspaper clippings lack dates and do not specifically mention Edward Bloch.

Some of the Capital District Labor Religion Coalition papers from 1981-1985 were created by former co-chair, Lawrence Wittner, a professor of history at the University at Albany. For more information on Wittner, consult the Lawrence Wittner (APAP-100) collection. The papers of Libby Post (APAP-045) include materials created during the 1984 and 1986 campaigns to defeat Gerald Solomon. Post served as Bloch's Press Secretary. For additional labor collections in the Department, see the online Labor subject guide at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/conservation.htm. For other related collections, consult the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archvies.


Edward Bloch
Series Descriptions

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Series 1: Early Life, 1931-1943, .33 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series contains records dating from 1931 to 1943. It includes files on Ed Bloch's high school and college related activities, correspondence, news clippings, poetry, essays, short stories, papers, and miscellaneous files.

Series 2: World War II, 1942-1946, 1972, 1996, .62 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series focuses on Ed Bloch's military involvement during World War II, with material dating from 1942 to 1972. It includes files on World War II related activities, correspondence, news clippings, poetry, essays, short stories, papers, and miscellaneous files. Most of the material comes from the 1940s, with articles recalling Bloch's World War II experiences written in the 1970s and a book commemorating the 1996 reunion of the Special Officer Candidate School which Bloch attended.

Series 3: Istanbul, Turkey, 1947-1950, .37 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series is comprised of records dating from 1947 to 1950 when Ed Bloch taught biology in Istanbul, Turkey and was a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. It includes files on early Cold War related activities, correspondence, Turkish news clippings, articles written for The Christian Science Monitor, essays, short stories, and papers.

Series 4: United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, 1949-2001, .53 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series documents Ed Bloch's career as a field organizer and international representative for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America from 1950 to 1984. The files in this series date from 1949 to 2001 and include labor related activities, correspondence, news clippings, handwritten notes and rough drafts, newsletters, files related to the UE Local 332 labor organization, General Electric related files, FBI documents, and miscellaneous papers.

Series 5: Labor Action Coalition of New York, 1977-1985, .53 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series contains records dating from 1977 to 1985. It includes correspondence, newsletters, press releases, news clippings, reports, and speeches.

Series 6: Capital District Labor/Religion Coalition, 1981-1996, .33 cubic ft., Organized by subject

This series is a collection of records dated from 1981-1996. The correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, news clippings, newsletters, and press releases from 1981 to 1985, were collected by Lawrence Wittner when he was Co-Chair and given to Ed Bloch. Similar items from 1985 to 1996 were collected by Ed Bloch as executive secretary of the organization.

Series 7: Congressional Campaigns, 1982-1996, .50 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically by campaign

This series contains records dating from 1982 to 1996, covering Ed Bloch's three unsuccessful bids for Congress. It includes files on campaign related activities, correspondence, news clippings, press releases, position statements, newsletters, photographs, notes, pamphlets, stickers, posters, buttons, benefit and fundraiser ads and invitations.

Series 8: Interfaith Impact and Interfaith Alliance, 1990-2000, .33 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series consists of records dating from 1990 to 2000. It includes files on Ed Bloch's Interfaith Impact/ New York State Council of Churches activities. The majority of the series contains records from conferences, articles, and meeting minutes from the Interfaith Alliance.

Series 9: Personal Correspondence and Papers, 1939-2001, .53 cubic ft., Organized alphabetically

This series concerns all of Bloch's personal papers and correspondence from 1939-2001, including non- campaign political materials, news clippings, church related materials, poetry, buttons, a calendar, essays, short stories, papers, Vietnam and veterans' related documents, and miscellaneous files.


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Early Life, 1931-1943

Box 1
Folder

1. Correspondence, 1936-1943
2. Diary Sheet and Record Card, 1937-1938
3. Essays, Stories, and Papers, 1939-1943, undated
4. News Clippings, 1941-1943
5. Poetry, 1931-1940
6. Williams College Materials, 1941-1943, undated


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 2: World War II, 1942-1946, 1972, 1996

Box 1 (continued)
Folder

7. Brochure, "Information for Christian Scientists", undated
8. Bulletin for Concerned Asian Scholars and Correspondence, 1971-1972
9. Correspondence, 1943
10. Correspondence, 1944
11-12. Correspondence, 1945
13. Correspondence, 1946, undated
14. Essays, Stories, Papers, 1945-1946
15. News Clippings about Bloch, 1944-1946
16. Photographs, undated
17. Poetry, 1944-1946
18. Sketch of Ed Bloch, undated
19. Telegrams, 1942

Box 2
Folder

1. Candidates Class for Commission, 1942
2. Essay, 1945
3. Photographs, circa 1943-1946
4. Poetry, 1931-1940
5. Winning of the War in Europe and the Pacific, 1943-1945

Oversize Box 1

Book, The SOCs 400, 1996 [SOCs= Special Officer Candidate School]


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 3: Istanbul, Turkey, 1947-1950

Box 1
Folder

1. The Christian Science Monitor, 1947-1949
2. Correspondence, 1947-1950
3. Essays, Stories, Papers, 1947-1950
4. News Clippings, 1949

Box 2
Folder

1. Correspondence, 1948


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 4: United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, 1949-2001

Box 1
Folder

1. Articles, Essays, and Papers, 1975-1986, undated
2. Book, Them and us: Struggles of a Rank File Union, by J. J. Matles and J. Higgins, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1974
3. Correspondence, 1980-1995
4. Correspondence with FBI and Navy, 1983
5. FBI Files, 1950-1960
6. Fliers and Event Announcements, 1985, undated
7. General Electric, 1981-199, undated
8. Local 332 Ballots, 1979-1998
9. Meeting Minutes and Notices, 1987-1993
10. News Clippings, 1949-1988
11. Newsletters, UE Local #332, 1992-2001
12. Rough Drafts and Notes, 1979-1983

Box 2
Folder

1. General Electric, UE Local 332, News Announcements, Meeting Synopsis, 1974-1993
2 . General Electric, 1976-1991


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 5: Labor Action Coalition of New York, 1977-1985

Box 1
Folder

1. Agendas for Meetings, 1977-1982
2. Annual Legislative Conference Registration Lists, 1978-1983
3. Annual Reports, 1978-1983
4. By-laws, 1978
5. Correspondence, 1978-1985
6. Executive Board Lists, 1978-1979, undated
7. Fliers and Brochures, 1981-1982
8. Jobs Rally, 1982
9. Litigation, 1982
10. Meeting Minutes, 1978-1983
11. News Clippings, 1982-1983
12. Newsletters and Press Releases, 1979-1983
13. Notes and Drafts, undated
14. Papers and Reports (Non Labor Action Coliation), 1977-1982, undated
15. Payment of Dues Lists, 1979-1980
16. Poems and Songs, undated
17. Reports and Speeches, 1979-1980
18. State Assembly Member and Witness Lists, 1980, undated
19. State of New York 1981-1982 Regular Sessions in Assembly, 1981
20. Union/Community Committee for Solidarity, 1982, undated

Box 2
Folder

1. Peoples Power Coalition, 1979, 1981
2. Notes and Drafts, undated


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 6: Capital District Labor/Religion Coalition, 1981-1996

Box 1
Folder

1. Correspondence, 1981-1985
2. Fliers, Event Announcements, 1982, undated
3. Meeting Agendas and Minutes, 1982-1984
4. News Clippings, Articles, 1981-1983, undated
5. Newsletters, 1981-1983
6. Press Releases, 1983, undated
7. Reports of New York State Labor Religion Commission, 1982-1983
8. State of New York 1981-1982 Regular Sessions in Assembly, 1981
9. Reports, Summaries, and Resolutions, 1982-1983, undated
10. AFL-CIO "Current Developments", 1987
11. AFL-CIO Daily Labor Report, 1987
12. By-laws, 1995
13. Correspondence, 1981-1996, undated
14. Fliers, Applications, 1985-1998, undated
15. Mailing Lists, 1987-1995, undated
16. Meeting Minutes, 1985-1995
17. News Clippings, 1987-1994
18. Press Releases, 1986-1988


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 7: Congressional Campaigns, 1982-1996

Box 1
Folder

1. Correspondence, 1983-1984
2. Congressional Voting Record, 1984
3. County Enrollments and Committee Lists, 1983-1984
4. Expenditures, 1984
5. Fliers, Events Announcements, 1984
6. The Freeze Economy, 1982
7. Meeting Minutes, 1984
8. News Clippings, 1982-1984
9. Newsletters, 1983-1984
10. Political Action Committee Kit and Cover Letter, 1984
11. Photographs, 1984
12. Position Statements, 1984
13. Press Releases, Public Relations, 1983-1984
14. "The 1984 Campaign of Ed Bloch," 1984
15. Account Information, 1990
16. Correspondence, 1984-1988
17. Fliers, Event Announcements, 1986
18. Meeting, 1986
19. News Clippings, 1985-1988
20. Newsletters, 1985-1986
21. Press Releases, 1986
22. Position Statements and Speeches, 1985-1986
23. Various Lists of Campaign Contributors, 1986-1987, undated

Box 2
Folder

1. Correspondence, 1996
2. Mailing Lists, 1996
3. News Clippings, 1994-1996
4. Position Statements, 1995-1996
5. Resume, 1996
6. Speeches, 1995-1996
7. Miscellaneous Notes, Maps, and Election Tallies, undated
8. Pamphlets, Stickers, Photographs, undated
9. Rough Drafts and Notes, 1984-1987, undated

Oversize Box 2

Campaign T-Shirt, undated

Oversize Box 3
Folder

1.Campaign Poster, undated

Oversize Box 4

Campaign Buttons, undated

Oversize Box 5

Large Campaign Poster, circa 1980s


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 8: Interfaith Impact and Interfaith Alliance, 1990-2000

Box 1
Folder

1-2. Correspondence, 1996-2000, undated
3. Events and Events Announcements, 1998-2000
4. Income Statements, 1996-2000
5. Interfaith Impact/ New York State Council of Churches,1990-1996, undated
6. Mailing Lists, 1996,1998
7-8. Meeting Minutes, 1996-2001
9. Miscellaneous Drafts, Board Member Lists, and Fact Sheets, undated
10. Mission Statement and By-laws, undated
11. National Association of Ecumenical Staff Conference, 1989
12. News Clippings, 1998-2000
13. Press Releases and Fliers, 1996-2000


Edward J. Bloch
Box and Folder List

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Series 9: Personal Correspondence and Papers, 1939-2001

Box 1
Folder

1. Biographical Data, 1984
2. Correspondence, 1959-2001, undated
3. Church Sermons and Papers, 1990-1999, undated
4-5. Essays, Stories, Papers, 1959-2000
6-7. Essays, Stories, Papers, undated
8. Memories of Fletcher, undated
9. Miscellaneous Notes, undated
10. News Clippings, 1985-2001, undated
11. Photograph, 1981
12. Poetry, 1950-2001
13. Poetry, undated
14. Veterans' for Peace, 1985-1987
15. Vietnam Protest Marches,1965-1967

Box 2
Folder

1. Bloch's Autobiography, Courage Coward Courage!!, Two Copies, One Signed, undated
2. Essays, Stories, Papers, undated
3. Poetry, undated

Oversize Box 2

Gift from Presbyterian Church, "Elder Edward Bloch, Moderator 1993-1994, Albany Presbytery," 1993-1994

Oversize Box 3
Folder

2. International Railway Workers Action Day Calendar, 2001

Oversize Box 4

Buttons and Pins, 1960-1980, undated


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Last updated June 12, 2006