National Archives at Kansas City

Guide to Archival Holdings at the National Archives at Kansas City

Record Group 202
Records of the National War Labor Board (World War II)

Administrative History
The National War Labor Board (NWLB) was established in the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) by an Executive order of January 12, 1942. The Board was to act as final arbiter of wartime labor disputes and to pass on adjustments in certain wages and salaries. An Executive order of September 19, 1945, transferred the NWLB to the Department of Labor. The NWLB was terminated by an Executive order of December 31, 1945, that established the National Wage Stabilization Board (NWSB) with all powers, functions, and responsibilities of the NWLB relating to stabilization of wages and salaries, as well as limited functions relating to the settlement of disputes. The NWSB was terminated by an Executive order of December 12, 1946.

While the initial functioning of the NWLB was solely in Washington, DC, on October 29, 1942, the NWLB announced establishment of 10 regional advisory offices. The authority of these first regional offices was quite limited, but on January 21, 1943, the NWLB created two new regions, and converted the (now 12) regional advisory offices to regional war labor boards, with considerable independent authority in resolving disputes. The NWLB also created several special tripartite industry commissions and panels to deal with particular industries nationally.

The Region VII office had its headquarters in Kansas City. Region VII was responsible for cases in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-45
Volume: 365 cubic feet

Records of Region VII, including the office of the regional board and its divisions of information, administrative management, disputes, wage stabilization, and research and statistics. The records relate to most aspects of the arbitration and administration of the regional office. They consist of general records, case files, contracts, correspondence, minutes, office files of individual administrators, policy documentation files, and reports.

Finding Aids
Entries 165 through 167, 169, 173, 174, 177, 178, 462, and 463 in Estelle Rebec, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National War Labor Board (World War II), PI 78 (1955).

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Record Group 211
Records of the War Manpower Commission

Administrative History
The War Manpower Commission (WMC) was established within the Office for Emergency Management by an Executive order of April 18, 1942. Operating through regional and State WMC offices and local offices of the U.S. Employment Service, it recruited labor for the war effort and essential civilian industries, trained labor for essential jobs, analyzed manpower utilization practices to increase labor efficiency, and accumulated national labor market information. It was terminated by an Executive order of September 19, 1945, and its functions were transferred to the U.S. Employment Service.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-45
Volume: 50 cubic feet

Records of the Kansas City regional office, responsible for Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The records document the economic condition of the area and its response to wartime programs and controls, employment stabilization programs, and discriminatory hiring practices. Included are appeals case files, correspondence, minutes of board and committee meetings, and narrative and statistical reports.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 219
Records of the Office of Defense Transportation

Administrative History
The Office of Defense Transportation (ODT) was created within the Office for Emergency Management on December 18, 1941, to ensure that the United States domestic transportation facilities were used to win the war in the most efficient manner. The ODT was authorized to coordinate activities of Federal agencies and private groups in adjusting the transportation system to the needs of the war, to determine adequacies of facilities and act to provide additional transportation, to coordinate transportation to prevent congestion, and to determine storage and warehouse requirements. In addition the ODT coordinated with the U.S. Maritime Commission and other agencies to recommend to Congress legislation affecting wartime transportation. The ODT was authorized to limit and regulate domestic use of transportation facilities, to advise all parties on transportation service for essential personnel, and to operate transportation properties seized by the Government.

The ODT employed a network of regional offices to facilitate implementation of its activities, including regional administrative offices, which oversaw regional operating managers in significant transportation hubs. There were also district and Federal managers responsible for specific firms, and field representatives.

Region 6, with headquarters in Chicago, was responsible for regional and assistant regional operating managers in Des Moines, Kansas City, and Omaha. After the war, ODT's responsibilities steadily diminished until the agency was terminated on July 1, 1949.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-46
Volume: 2 cubic feet

Records of the Des Moines, Kansas City, and Omaha offices of Region 6. The records relate to most aspects of the transportation coordination and administrative functions of the offices. They consist primarily of correspondence, personnel records, and reports.

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Record Group 228
Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice

Administrative History
The first Committee on Fair Employment Practice (FEPC) was established in the Office of Production Management (OPM) by Executive Order 8802 of June 25, 1941, and then assigned to the War Manpower Commission in 1942. That committee was abolished by Executive Order 9346 of May 27, 1943, which created a new Committee on Fair Employment Practice in the Office for Emergency Management. It formulated and interpreted policies to combat racial and religious discrimination in employment; received, investigated, and adjusted complaints of such discrimination; and assisted Government agencies, employers, and labor unions with problems of discrimination. The Committee terminated its activities on June 28, 1946.

The first FEPC utilized six field investigators and a few field clerical employees, and held public hearings in several major cities across the country. The second FEPC initially established nine regional offices and two suboffices, continuing and expanding the network of the first FEPC's field investigators; additional offices and suboffices were added later. Among the regional offices were Regions IX and XI, with offices in Kansas City and Denver, a suboffice in St. Louis, and jurisdiction over Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

Records Description
Dates: 1941-46
Volume: 9 cubic feet

Records of Regions IX and XI. The records relate to complaints of discrimination, regional committee hearings, employment practices of firms within the regions, and routine office administration. They consist primarily of case files and correspondence.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

Entries 68 through 72, and 84 in Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice, PI 147 (1962).

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Record Group 234
Records of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation

Administrative History
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) was established by an act of January 22, 1932. It was authorized to extend financial aid to agriculture, commerce, and industry by means of direct loans to banks and other credit agencies and, upon approval by the Interstate Commerce Commission, to railroads. Later legislation authorized the RFC to purchase certain capital stock and make loans, to assist in financing construction of public works and various self-liquidating projects, and to accept drafts and bills of exchange drawn upon the RFC by purchasers abroad of American products. The RFC was organized as a Government business corporation, with considerable independence, but (unlike most Federal agencies) directly accountable to Congress.

Under the law that created it, the RFC would have expired after 10 years (in 1942), but amendments extended its life several times. It eventually was abolished on June 30, 1957.

Loan agencies were established in the field, usually in cities that had Federal Reserve banks. The agencies in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Oklahoma City were among those which existed from 1932-1953. Committees were frequently formed at field loan agencies to study particular problems as they arose.

Records Description
Dates: 1951
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Midwest Disaster Loan Committee. The records relate to loans to victims of the 1951 Missouri Valley flood and consist of minutes of meetings.

Finding Aids
Entry 34 in Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, PI 173 (1973).

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Record Group 237
Records of the Federal Aviation Administration

Administrative History
The Civil Aeronautics Act of June 23, 1938, established an independent Civil Aeronautics Authority "to promote the development and safety and to provide for the regulation of civil aeronautics." In 1940, the authority was divided into a Civil Aeronautics Board with safety regulatory authority and a Civil Aeronautics Administration to enforce civil air regulations; aid the development of a national airport system; and plan, construct, and operate the Federal Airways System. Both organizations were part of the Department of Commerce until the establishment of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) in 1958 which assumed all of their functions. The FAA became a part of the Department of Transportation by an act of October 15, 1966, and was redesignated the Federal Aviation Administration.

Records Description
Dates: 1944-78
Volume: 37 cubic feet

Records of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Civil Aeronautics Board, Federal Aviation Agency, and Federal Aviation Administration central regional office, which supervised activities in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The records document all phases of FAA activity including the construction and alteration of facilities, installation and repair of aids to navigation, certification of pilots and equipment, inspection and enforcement activities, and some accident investigations. Included are correspondence, minutes of meetings of staff and advisory committees, narrative and statistical reports, newspaper clippings, and management issuances and directives. Nontextual records include photographs and sound recordings.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 245
Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War

Administrative History
The Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935 created the first Bituminous Coal Commission. A Commission order of October 9, 1935, established 23 producer districts throughout the country. The first Commission was succeeded by the second Bituminous Coal Commission in 1937, when the 1935 act was modified to take constitutional objections to the initial act into account. Both Commissions were independent Federal agencies. On April 3, 1939, the Commission's functions were transferred to the Department of the Interior, and in July the Bituminous Coal Division was established within the department. Authorization of the Division lapsed on August 24, 1943, and many of its functions, as well as its district offices, were transferred to the Solid Fuels Administration for War.

The two Bituminous Coal Commissions and the Bituminous Coal Division determined production costs, regulated prices and wages, and regulated marketing procedures for the bituminous coal industry. To this end, they established producer districts, gathered statistics, undertook research, and compiled the Bituminous Coal Code.

On November 5, 1941, a letter from the President to the Secretary of the Interior established the Office of Solid Fuels Coordinator for National Defense within the Department of the Interior. The name of the office was changed to the Office of Solid Fuels Coordinator for War on May 25, 1942. Under both names, the office was essentially a planning and advisory agency. Executive Order 9332 of April 19 transformed the Office into the Solid Fuels Administration for War (SFAW). The SFAW had the legal authority, lacking in its predecessor, to implement an emergency distribution and controls program.

With the lapsing of authorization for the Bituminous Coal Division on August 24, 1943, the SFAW inherited its district office structure, staff, and records, renaming the district offices area distribution offices. As had been the case with the district offices of the Bituminous Coal Commissions and the Bituminous Coal Division, SFAW area offices were responsible for entire States or, for certain counties within one or more States. The SFAW area offices were responsible for regulating distribution and sale, as well as production, of all varieties of coal.

The Des Moines Area Office was responsible for the State of Iowa. The Kansas City Area Office was responsible for Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as parts of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, and Louisiana. The St. Louis Area Office was apparently detached from the Kansas City District Office, and was responsible for the counties within the eastern half of Missouri. All three offices were closed on April 30, 1947, along with all other field offices of the SFAW. The SFAW itself ceased to exist on June 30 of that year under an Executive order of May 6, 1947.

Records Description
Dates: 1937-47
Volume: 18 cubic feet

Records of the Des Moines, Kansas City, and St. Louis area offices. The records relate to regulating the production, distribution, and sale of coal, including the work of advisory councils, community committees, producers, retailers, and major consumers. They consist of correspondence, monthly estimates of distribution, and recapitulation sheets. Nontextual records include photographs.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Field Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War: A Supplement to Preliminary Inventory 34, NC 145 (1966).

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Record Group 252
Records of the Office of the Housing Expediter

Administrative History
A Housing Expediter was appointed in the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion by the President on December 12, 1945, to plan, coordinate, and expedite postwar housing programs. The Expediter was authorized by an Executive order of January 1946 to plan and coordinate a veterans' housing program. The Office of the Housing Expediter, which had been authorized by an act of Congress of May 22, 1946, was terminated by an Executive order of July 31, 1951, and its functions were transferred to the Office of Rent Stabilization of the Economic Stabilization Agency and the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-53
Volume: 63 cubic feet

Records of the Kansas City regional office, which had jurisdiction over Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The records relate primarily to rent control and are primarily registration and rent enforcement case files. Included are audit reports, advisory board minutes, correspondence, instructions, narrative and statistical reports, and numbered memorandums. Nontextual records include photographs.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 270
Records of the War Assets Administration

Administrative History
The War Assets Administration (WAA) was established in the Office of Emergency Management by Executive order on March 25, 1946. The chief WAA function was the disposal of surplus consumer, capital, and producer goods; industrial and maritime real property; and airports and aircraft located in the United States and its Territories. The WAA was abolished by an act of June 30, 1949, and its functions were transferred to the newly created General Services Administration.

Records Description
Dates: 1946-51
Volume: 144 cubic feet

Records of the regional offices in Kansas City. The records relate to real property disposal including the reporting of property as excess, notification of availability, inspection and appraisal, and approval of disposition. They document disposal, through sale or donation, of surplus real property, such as airfields, forts and other military installations, bombing ranges, munitions plants, and prisoner-of-war camps, in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The case files generally include correspondence, deeds, narrative reports, and reports of survey and title searches. Nontextual records include photographs and maps. See RG 121 and RG 291 for related records.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 276
Records of the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Administrative History
The courts of appeals are intermediate courts created by an act of March 3, 1891, to relieve the Supreme Court of considering appeals in cases originally decided by Federal courts. They are empowered to review final and certain interlocutory decisions of district courts (see RG 21) except where the law provides for direct review by the Supreme Court. They also review orders of Federal administrative bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

Records Description
Dates: 1891-70
Volume: 1,064 cubic feet

Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, St. Louis. The records document appeals of cases heard by lower Federal courts in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. (Before the establishment of the Tenth Circuit in 1929, the Eighth Circuit also included Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.) There are case files, dockets, minutes, and opinions. Nontextual records include photographs. See RG 21 for related records.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 291
Records of the Federal Property Resources Service

Administrative History
The Property Management and Disposal Service (PMDS), established on July 29, 1966, by the Administrator of General Services, assumed functions formerly assigned to the Defense Materials Service and the Utilization and Disposal Service. PMDS acquires, stores, and manages inventories of strategic and critical materials and promotes maximum utilization of Federal personal and real property through donations, sales, and other authorized methods.

Records Description
Dates: 1954-89
Volume: 68 cubic feet

Records of the Property Management and Disposal Service. The records relate to disposal of Federal property such as locks and dams, military installations, Post Office sites, prisoner-of-war camps, reservoirs, and Veterans Administration hospitals in Missouri and Nebraska. Included are correspondence, deeds, and reports of survey and title search. Nontextual records include maps and photographs. See RG 103, RG 121, and RG 270 for related records.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 293
Records of the Wage and Salary Stabilization Boards
of the Economic Stabilization Agency

Administrative History
The Wage Stabilization Board was established by Executive Order 10161 of September 9, 1950, to control wages and salaries during the Korean War. In May 1951, a Salary Stabilization Board was created with authority over administrative, executive, and professional salaries. Wage controls were suspended February 6, 1953, and the boards were terminated April 30, 1953.

Records Description
Dates: 1951-53
Volume: 10 cubic feet

Records of the Minneapolis (Region 8) and Kansas City (Region 9) boards. The records document activities of the Board in

  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
The records are bulletins, correspondence, memorandums, minutes, news clippings, press releases, and resolutions.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 295
Records of the Office of Price Stabilization

Administrative History
The Office of Price Stabilization was established within the Economic Stabilization Agency on January 24, 1951, to obtain voluntary compliance with measures to stabilize prices and to establish and administer price regulations during the Korean War. It worked through regional and district offices until it was abolished on June 30, 1953.

Records Description
Dates: 1951-53
Volume: 8 cubic feet

Records of the Minneapolis (Region 8) and Kansas City (Region 9) offices. The records document the offices' activities in

  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
They include community pricing surveys, correspondence, interpretations, memorandums, and rulings.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

Related Microfilm Publications
T460, Defense History Program Studies Prepared During the Korean War Period.

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