M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the

RECORDS, 1898-2003

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

Finding Aid Compiled by
Rita Mignacca
with the assistance of JoAnn Hale
December 1998
Revised by
Michelle Powers
Amy C. Schindler

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: 2.5 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: The records were received from Eleanor Lattimer, President of the Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc. The initial deposit of records was received by the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, in January 1994. Additional deposits were made in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003 by club members Anne Roberts, Alice Murphy, and Ethel Severinghaus.

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.


Administrative History

Scope and content note

Series descriptions

Box and folder list:

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc.
Administrative History

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The Pine Hills Fortnightly Club was founded by Miss Mary M. Shaw in 1898 as a woman's literary and social club. According to the Club's earliest Constitution, "Its object shall be the study of history, literature and art and the literary and social entertainment of its members." [1] The Club was "federated" in 1900.[2] Virtually from the Club's inception, meetings have been held on alternate Monday afternoons, from October 1st through April 30th.[3] In the later Constitutions, the meeting schedule changed to " . . . the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from October to April inclusive, except the second meeting in December shall be omitted."[4] Originally the membership was limited to twenty with dues of $ .50 annually. By 1901, they allowed the membership to reach fifty. Currently the annual dues are $25.00 and, during the last five years, active membership has averaged twenty.

An Executive Committee of the officers governs the Pine Hills Fortnightly Club: a president, two vice-presidents, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, and the Program Committee Chairman. The other standing committees (auditing, membership, house, publicity, telephone, social, yearbook) have a chairman and the Club's president as an ex officio member. In later years, a librarian and historian were added, but there is no current record of those officers. Members are for the most part college-educated, well-read, active and engaged in various professions as is evident from the credentials cited in recommendation-for-membership letters and from the scope and content of the members' papers delivered at meetings.

According to the earliest Constitution, "At the end of each meeting not more than twenty minutes shall be devoted to business"[5]; later the Constitution raised the time limit but did not exceed thirty minutes.[6] The Club devoted the remaining meeting time, an estimated hour to an hour and a half, to the presentation of a member's paper followed by a discussion among the membership.

The literary focus of the Club's twice-a-month meetings is the presentation of papers. These scholarly papers center on a theme decided upon by the Program Committee as a year-long exploration of a particular topic. Using the available research tools a college-graduate would have at its disposal at the time, members focused on topics such as geographic locations, concepts relating to American historical development, works of fine art of particular periods or artists, and authors and their works. The collection exhibits well-researched papers addressing not only the topics but their possible social and historical ramifications; the presentation of these papers served as a form of continuing education for the membership.

By decade, the topics addressed by Club members are summarized as follows:

1900-1910: foreign countries, such as Holland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, and Russia;

1911-1920: New York State; studies of America, its progress, its problems, its neighboring countries; a literary study of Shakespeare's women; and China;

1921-1930: much literary focus on 20th century modern fiction and verse; general studies in literature; outstanding authors; and American art;

1931-1940: eclectic topics of literature; foreign countries; geography; American magazines;

1941-1950: global and national concerns regarding democracy; forging global friendships; American idealism; and literary best-selling books in the USA market;

1951-1960: decade begins with American topics of "utopias," "folkways," "legends"; and progresses into a concern with the past and history;

1961-1970: women; literature; great civilizations; education; Albany; "Island Interlude";

1971-1980: 75 years of Pine Hill Fortnightly; women writers; women pioneers; Africa; Iran; 20th century American literature;

1981-1998: Native Americans; small-town America; "Albany and the American Dream"; early America; literature; masterpieces; emerging technologies.

1999- : State parks; islands; hobbies; China

The second part of the Pine Hills Fortnightly Club's constitutional objective is the "...social entertainment of its members." The Club's formal social functions consist of a Spring Luncheon held in May (the end to the Club's administrative year), and a Christmas party held during most years. The Spring Luncheon Programs have included the presentation of the theme for the following year's papers, the presentation of new officers, and the singing of the club song. The luncheon often features a guest speaker or a vocalist. The Christmas party, when held, was often the occasion for a choral reading by members or the singing of Christmas songs.

The Pine Hills Fortnightly Club's mission and membership have changed little throughout the Club's existence.


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1. Original Constitution, circa 1898, Article II.
2. Folder: Programmes, 1904-13, Programme 1911-12, "The Empire State."
3. circa 1898 Constitution, Article IX.
4. 1991 Constitution, By-Laws, Article I, Section 1.
5. circa 1898 Constitution.
6. 1927 Constitution.

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc.
Scope & Content Note

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The Pine Hills Fortnightly Club Records, circa 1898-2001 (with gaps) include constitutions and by-laws, literary and social events programs and yearbooks, meeting minutes, attendance records, financial data, correspondence, letters of recommendation for candidates' membership, and newspaper clippings about members and other literary clubs that document the membership, history and the primary reasons for the Club's existence. Series 5 includes an account by Club members of their meeting with United Nations General Assembly President Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India.

The papers presented by Club members constitute half of the collection. The earliest paper in the collection is dated 1911. Many, but not all, papers listed with no date and no authors may be early presentations because these documents are handwritten with fountain pens. No papers exist in the collection from the 1920's or the 1960's.

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc.
Series Descriptions

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Series 1: Constitutions and By-Laws, circa 1898, 1903, 1927-1991, 0.1 cubic ft.

The collection contains the constitutions for 1898, 1903, and 1927-1991. The Constitution includes Articles, By-Laws, and Amendments. The Club's By-Laws specify the procedure by which new members are proposed. The earliest Pine Hills Fortnightly Club Constitution is handwritten in a notebook followed by the first recording of membership names dated 1900. Included in the constitutions are by-laws, articles, and amendments to the Constitutions. Constitutions often contain hand annotated revisions for incorporation into the next year's constitution.

Series 2: Programs, 1904-1913 and Yearbooks, 1913-2003, 0.66 cubic ft.

Programmes are titled by the Club's annual themes. Programmes and Yearbooks have a copy of the Club Song, list the paper titles and presenter's name, the names of officers and committee members, and a listing of all active members, associate members, nonresident members, honorary members, and members "in memoriam." Beginning in 1921, a list of reference books, or a bibliography associated with the year's theme, became a standard inclusion. Program Committee files describe the formulation of the yearly themes and the provision of direction and guidance for the subject of a member's paper. The Committee assigns the schedule where members commit to delivering a paper at a scheduled meeting.

Series 3: Administrative Records, 1902-1999, 0.43 cubic ft.: 29 folders

Sub-series 1: Secretary's Files, 1902-1931, 1941-1976, 1980-1981, 1986-1989, 1992-1999, 0.67 cubic ft.: 23 folders

The Recording Secretary's minutes of meetings have some gaps. The earliest recorded minutes in this collection are from 1902. The minutes are generally limited to one or one and a half pages. The minutes record Club activities at their meetings. The number of members present is listed, sometimes along with an attendance list. Next the secretary records the introduction of a topic, the title of the paper, and the presenter. The secretary also records briefly the actions of the business meeting following the presentations. Included also in the Sub-series are the minutes of the Executive Committees meetings for 1910-1923. Attendance records appear as part of Secretary's Minutes, except for a folder of separate attendance entries for 1903-1916 and 1941-1957.

Sub-series 2: Correspondence, 1945-1954, 1971-1973, 1986, 1988-1997, 0.10 cubic ft.: 3 folders

The Correspondence sub-series includes notes and correspondence regarding the disposition of the Club's archival records; informal and social correspondence; and letters regarding meeting sites; and correspondence with the printing company which printed yearbooks, and programs.

Sub-series 3: Committee Files, 1910-1923, 1944-1988, 0.10 cubic ft.: 3 folders

This sub-series includes records from the executive committee and the membership committee. Included in membership files are membership recommendations with the credentials of a proposed member (college[s] attended, professional development, posts held, awards won). Some recommendation letters also include the credentials of the proposed member's husband. See also Series 1: Programmes and Yearbooks for records of the Program Committee.

Series 4: Financial Records, 1913-1922, 1928-1960, 1963-1969, 1992-2003, 0.15 cubic ft.: 4 folders

Bound ledgers record the expenses of the club's activities and printing fees. Dues records are kept in the ledgers, along with "fines" before the club ceased the fining system. This series also includes budget proposals for 1990-1993 and the Treasurer's Report of 1994.

Series 5: Subject Files 1900-1996, 0.20 cubic ft.: 18 folders

Subject files include memorials, news clippings, plays presented, and press notices. There are memorials and tributes to some deceased members illustrating aspects of the social ties among the women, as well as news clippings about members and their families. Other news clippings illustrate the Club's relation to the community and the nature of long-lived literary clubs. News clippings are included in the folder that records the 1953 visit of twenty-three Club members to the United Nations to meet the first woman ever to be elected President of the General Assembly, Madam Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, as well as a transcript of the interview they conducted with President Pandit.

Series 6: Papers Presented, 1911, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1954, 1972, 1975-1976, 1979, 1981, 1984-2003, 0.78 cubic ft.
Arranged chronologically.

The author's name, the title of the paper, the date of presentation, and notation of any illustrations that may accompany a paper are included for each paper. Dates were identified from the actual paper, from the listing in Programmes and Yearbooks, or from secretary's minutes. A number of papers are titled but do not identify author or date presented.

There are 17 mounted illustrations in Box 2 to accompany papers.

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc.
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Constitutions and By-laws, circa 1898, 1903-1991

Box 1

1. Constitution and By-laws, circa 1898, 1927, 1938, 1941, 1956, 1966, 1982, 1991

Series 2: Programs, 1904-1913 and Yearbooks, 1913-2003

Box 1 (continued)

2. Annual Themes, 1900-1993
3. Program Committee Suggestions for Annual Themes and Topics, 1964-1965, 1983-1995
4 . Programs, 1904-1913
5 . Yearbooks, 1913-1927
6 . Yearbooks, 1927-1941
7 . Yearbooks, 1941-1956
8 . Yearbooks, 1956-1976
9 . Yearbooks, 1976-2003
10. Special Event Programs and Anniversary Papers, 1919, 1938, 1943, 1948, 1972, 1982
11. Spring Luncheon Programs, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1984-1995, 1997-2003

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc.
Box and Folder List

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Series 3: Administrative Records, 1902-1995
Sub-Series 1: Secretary's Files, 1902-1995

Box 1 (continued)

12. Attendance Records, 1903-16, 1941-57
13. Secretary's Minutes, 1902-1905
14. Secretary's Minutes, 1905-1909
15. Secretary's Minutes, 1909-1913
16. Secretary's Minutes, 1913-1917
17. Secretary's Minutes, 1917-1922
18. Secretary's Minutes, 1922-1931
19. Secretary's Minutes, 1951-1956
20. Secretary's Minutes, 1956-1961
21. Secretary's Minutes, 1961-1965
22. Secretary's Minutes, 1965-1967
23. Secretary's Minutes, 1967-1968
24. Secretary's Minutes, 1968-1969
25. Secretary's Minutes, 1969-1970
26. Secretary's Minutes, 1970-1971
27. Secretary's Minutes, 1971-1972
28. Secretary's Minutes, 1972-1973

Box 2

1. Secretary's Minutes, 1973-1974
2. Secretary's Minutes, 1974-1976
3. Secretary's Minutes, 1980-1981
4. Secretary's Minutes, 1986-1987
5. Secretary's Minutes, 1987-1989
6. Secretary's Minutes, 1992-1995
7. Secretary's Minutes, 1995-1999

Series 3: Administrative Records, 1902-1995
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence, 1945-1997

Box 2 (continued)

8. Archival Disposition of Records, Correspondence, 1988-1997
9. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1986, 1988, 1999
10. Printing Correspondence, 1945-1954

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Series 3: Administrative Records, 1902-1995
Sub-Series 3: Committee Files, 1910-1988

Box 2 (continued)

11. Duties of Committees, circa 1975
12. Executive Committee Meetings and copy of Robert's Rules of Order, pre-1910-1923
13. Membership Recommendations, circa 1944-1988

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc
Box and Folder List

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Series 4: Financial Records, 1913-1922, 1928-1969, 1992-2003

Box 2 (continued)

14. Budget Ledgers, 1913-1922, 1935-1936
15. Budget Ledgers, 1928-1960
16. Budget Ledgers, 1963-1969
17. Budget Proposal, 1992-1993

Series 5: Subject Files, 1900-1997

Box 2 (continued)

18. Guest Day, Photographs, 2002
19. Memorial for Member Ruth Birdseye (1904-1993), held September 1, 1993
20. Memorial for Member Martha Decker (1892-1985),"Miss Decker," from Girls Academy, publication of Albany Academy Girls, circa 1993
21. Memorial for Member Lillian A. Johnson, (1905-2003), held May 25, 2003
22. Memorial for Member Edith Owen Wallace (1896-1972), held February 19, 1972
23. News Clipping, "Literary clubs live on--but for how long?" Albany, NY Times Union, February 24, 1980
24. News Clipping, "Church council names director" on Gladys and Jim Snedeker, Albany, NY Times Union, June 12, 1986
25. News Clipping, "Former Librarian's Portrait is Unveiled," on Alice Murphy. Albany, NY Times Union, February 15, 1972
26. News Clipping, "90 Years is a very long time" on 90th anniversary of Thursday Morning Club, Troy, NY The Sunday Record, May 6, 1994
27. Plays Presented, 1960s, undated
28. Press Notices, 1937-1938, 1942, 1949, 1963, 1965-1966, 1967, undated
29. Reading of First Meeting, 1997
30. Visit to United Nations, Interview with General Assembly President Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, 1953

Pine Hills Fortnightly Club, Inc
Box and Folder List

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Series 6: Papers Presented, 1911, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1954, 1972, 1975-1976, 1979, 1981, 1984-ongoing

Box 2 (continued)

1911 - "Empire State: Social Life and Customs--1609-64," no author.
February 1933 - "New England Poetry," by Frances V. Hubbard
1933 - "Novel: The Scottish Queen," no author
1935 - "Don Quixote and Cervantes," no author
1939 - "The Lady of Godey's," no author
1941 - "The Women of South America," no author
February 1954 - "Handicaps and Triumphs of the Moslem Woman," by June Bowen
January 24, 1972 - "Passions of the Mind (Freud) by Irving Stone," by Mrs. Taylor
January 13, 1975 - "Ellen Browning Scripps," by Mrs. Taylor
October 25, 1976 - "Folk Art," by Mrs. Taylor
April 23, 1979 - "All of Time Is Still One History: Guy Davenport," by Mrs. Taylor
February 23, 1981 - "Emily Carr: Artist of the Canadian West Coast," by Georgiana Taylor
February 27, 1984 - "Roger Fry/ Duncan Grant," by Mrs. Taylor
April 23, 1984 - "Bertrand Russell," by Mabel E. Jackman
March 11, 1985 - "Sinclair Lewis: Gopher Prairie to Nobel Prize," by Elizabeth Slagle
January 13, 1986 - "The French Canadians: The Northern Flood," by Winifred Gibson
February 24, 1986 - "The Political Connection," by Mrs. Taylor
March 31, 1986 - "Eastern European Immigrants to Albany: Poles, Russians, Ukrainian, Armenians," by Charity M. Roth
April 14, 1986 - "The New Immigration: Hispanics and the Pacific Rim," by Mabel E. Jackman
January 12, 1987 - "The Spanish Main," by Gladys Snedeker
October 26, 1987 - "The Massachusetts Delegation to the Constitutional Convention of 1787," by Charity Roth
January 11, 1988 - "The Delegates from New Jersey," by Rhoda Castor
January 25, 1988 - "The Delegates from Pennsylvania," by Mrs. Robert Clarke
February 8, 1988 - "The Delegates from Delaware and Maryland," by Irene Walker
February 22, 1988 - "The Men Who Made the Constitution: A Bicentennial Portfolio," by Georgiana Taylor
February 22, 1988 - "The Delegates from Virginia," by Mrs. Taylor
April 25, 1988 - "The Finished Work," by Ruth A. Birdseye
November 28, 1988 - "Thrills and Chills: Gothic-Evil Occult," by Eleanor Lattimer
November 29, 1988 - "Novel Approaches: Discovering the Formula, Murder They Wrote," by Marion Motisher
December 12, 1988 - "Entertaining Angels Unaware, Ghost Stories--Good Occult," by Gladys Snedeker
January 8, 1989 - "Satire: Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be," by Lois V.Williams
January 23, 1989 - "Check Your Valuables: Picaresque Fiction," by Ethel Long Severinghaus
February 13, 1989 - "From The Bookish Brothers Grimm, A Flood of Fantasy, (Kathleen Burke, Smithsonian, May 1986): Once Upon a Time," by Betty Slagle
February 27, 1989 - "Listen, my children," by Marion E. Mayfield-Johnson
March 27, 1989 - "A Tale of Two Cities," by Mary G. Coggin
April 24, 1989 - "Animal Stories," by Doris Welsh
October 9, 1989 - "Constantinople," by Evelyn Jenkins
November 13, 1989 - "Minoan Crete," by Lillian Johnson
December 11, 1989 - "Xi'an: Ancient Capital of China," by Winifred Gibson
1989+ - "1950-60: The Suburban Woman as Viewed by Betty Friedan," by Doris Welsh
January 22, 1990 - "CLUNY: To the Glory of God," by Barbara Rau
February 20, 1990 - "Regarding Venice," by Mary Ellen Stewart
March 26, 1990 - "Paris in the Seventeenth Century: King Louis XIV and the Population," by Rhoda Castor
April 9, 1990 - "Peter the Great: The Man and his Impact on Russia," (Pictures and Notes on Peter the Great) by Charity Roth
April 23, 1990 - "London: The Victorian Period," (3 illus.) by Georgiana Taylor
October 22, 1990 - "The Arts of Poland," by Ethel Severinghaus
January 1, 1991 - "(Alva Nurierz) Cabeza de Vaga," by Evelyn Jenkins
January 28, 1991 - "The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux," (play reading) Cast members: Alice Murphy, Rhoda Castor,
Georgiana Taylor, Doris Welsh, Hilda Olivo, Betty Slagle, Marion Mothisher, Lillian Johnson, Frances Allee
January 14, 1991 - "The City of Dresden," by Mrs. Lattimer
May 13, 1991 - "The Gypsies," by Mrs. Welsh
October 28, 1991 - "Christopher Columbus," by Charity Roth
December 9, 1991 - "Western Star by Stephen Vincent Benet" (choral reading)
February 10, 1992 - "Henry Hudson: Magnificent Failure/Samuel de Champlain: Father of New France," by Georgiana Taylor (14 illus.)
November 23, 1992 - "Edith Wharton: The Many Faceted Woman," by Ethel Severinghaus

Box 3

December 14, 1992 - "The Fox at the Manger," (Christmas reading) directed by Marion Thortenson
March 8, 1993 - "Charlotte Bronte," by Doris Welsh
March 22, 1993 - "Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper," by Betty Slagle. "The Pyramids," by Mrs. Melius
November 8, 1993 - "Robert Oppenheimer, Father of the Atom Bomb." Also: "Peggy Church's Dream" from Peggy Pond Church's, The
House at Otowi Bridge, by Charity Roth
November 22, 1993 - "The Masterpiece: Carmen, and How it Came to Be," by Eleanor Clarke
January 10, 1994 - "The Child: John Dewey to Marion Edelman," by Evelyn Jenkins
February 14, 1994 - "The State Capitol and Its Environs," by Georgiana Taylor
March 28, 1994 - "Washington Irving and His Friends," by Charity M. Roth
May 9, 1994 - "Leonard Bernstein: From the Classics to West Side Story," by Mrs. Rau
October 24, 1994 - "Food in History," by Elizabeth Slagle
November 14, 1994 - "Losing Ground," by Charity M. Roth
December 12, 1994 - "Festival Foods from Around the World," by Gladys Snedeker
January 10, 1995 - "Food and Trade: National Monopolies on Various Foodstuffs And the Economic Results," by Vera Scadura
January 27, 1995 - "Food As Destiny: The Old World Meets the New at the Table," by Eleanor Lattimer
April 24, 1995 - "Food Taboos in Various Cultures," by Charity M. Roth
November 27, 1995 - "Eleanor Roosevelt and the Great Depression," by Charity M. Roth
October 14, 1996 - "Evolution in the Telephone Industry," by Charity M. Roth
November 25, 1996 - "From the Piggy Bank to the ATM," by Vera Scadura
1996 - "Barbara McClintock, Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, Rachel Carson," by Evelyn Jenkins
1996 - "Women in the Board Room: The Fallout from the Social Movements and the Economic Realities of the Present," by Anne Roberts
April 14, 1997 - "From The Abacus to the Internet: Computers and Their Implications," by Anne F. Roberts
January 12, 1998 - "Recollecting the Great Depression," by Charity Roth
November 23, 1998 - "Letchworth State Park," by Vera Scadura
November 12, 1999 - "Poets," by Dories Welish
January 10, 2000 - "Stamp Collecting," by Vera Scadura
November 13, 2000 - "The Isle of Man," by Eleanor Lattimer
April 23, 2001 - "Aleutian Islands," by Vera Scadura
January 14, 2002 - "Population Control in China: Where have all the flowers gone?" by Joan Taylor
February 11, 2002 - "Contemporary Chinese Music and Dance," by Eleanor Clarke
March 25, 2002 - "Profits and Problems: U.S.-China Trade," by Vera Scadura
November 25, 2002 - "Some Governors who Lived in the Mansion," by Anne Roberts
January 13, 2003 - "Cat-tails: From Deification to Demonization," by Joan Taylor
Programs, 1999-2002

Papers Presented having no date and/or no author

Box 4

undated - "North Carolina's Delegates to the Constitutional Convention," by Evelyn Jenkins
undated/no author - "Alexander Hamilton--First American Business Man"
undated/no author - "All Gaul is divided..."
undated/no author - "American Architecture"
undated/no author - "Author: Winifred Holtby"
undated/no author - "Background of the Constitution"
undated/no author - "Miracle at Philadelphia"
undated/no author - "Mormonism"
undated/no author - "New Hope For Iran"
undated/no author - "Novel: The Mother"
undated/no author - "Once Upon a Time--in a Kingdom by the Sea"
undated/no author - "Opening Utopian Gates"
undated/no author - "Rhode Island Food"
undated/no author - "Poland"
undated/no author - "The Triangle Fire: It's (sic) Effect on Women's Working Conditions 1910-20"
undated/no author - "Washington Irving--Chronicler of the Hudson"
undated/no author - "Genealogy"
undated/no author - "1920-1930: The Third Decade of the Twentieth Century"
undated - "Lindbergh Episode," by Alice Hastings Murphy

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Last updated January 19, 2004