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Samuel C. Brightman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Brightman, Samuel C. (Samuel Charles), 1911-
Title: Samuel C. Brightman Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1932-1992
Quantity: 6 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American journalist including some war correspondence, political and political humor writings, and adult education material
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Samuel C. Brightman was born in Lancaster, Missouri on June 22, 1911. He graduated from Washington University with a liberal arts degree and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He worked for the St. Louis Star-Times (1933-1935), the Cincinnati Post (1935-1940), radio station KSD in St. Louis (1937), and the Louisville Courier-Journal (1940-1942) covering education and politics. In 1941 he became the Washington correspondent for the Courier-Journal and in 1942 he enlisted in the army where he served as a Public Relations Officer. He accompanied U.S. forces during the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach (his dispatches were the first ones received from the front, for which efforts he was awarded a Bronze Star) and led the press convoy into Berlin the day it fell.

After returning from Europe he worked as Special Assistant to the Housing Expediter (a federal agency established in 1946 to deal with veterans' housing and rent control), writing a number of speeches for the director. In 1947 he married Lucy Cleaver, with whom he had four children. That same year, he began a nearly twenty-year career with the Democratic National Committee, serving as associate director of publicity (1947-1952), director of publicity (1952-1957), and deputy chairman for public affairs (1957-1965). He was also managing editor and later editor of the party organ, The Democratic Digest.

In 1965 he returned to freelance PR and journalism work, covering elections and national party conventions for the three major television networks and writing for a number of publications including TV Guide, Monocle, and the New York Times.

After his retirement, Brightman became interested in adult education, particularly as it related to the political process and civic literacy. He edited a Washington, DC-based newsletter covering adult education entitled Adult and Continuing Education Today (ACET), acted as consultant to the National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSC), served on the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Adult Education Organizations (CAEO), and was an active member of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE).

Brightman's energy, curiosity, intelligence, and sense of humor infused both his personal and his professional life throughout his long career. He died in 1992, and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Samuel C. Brightman Papers reflects its creator's lifelong interest in politics, education, and civic literacy. The collections is divided into six series. Although the majority of his writings have been collected into a single series, he often discoursed on political or humorous topics with friends and family; for this reason the researcher interested in Brightman's writings will wish to review the correspondence files as well.

Biographical and family material includes biographies written for Who's Who and other publications, family correspondence, transcripts of two oral history interviews (one for the John F. Kennedy Library and the other for the Truman Library), and a considerable amount of material on World War II, both contemporary and relating to the 40th anniversary of the Normandy Beach landings in 1984. Of particular interest are Brightman's writings, including a few letters to family and friends, a history of the army public relations office and approximately 20 pages of typescript on his experiences in Europe during and after the Omaha Beach landing on D-Day. Among Brightman's World War II memorabilia is a certificate for the Ehrenkreuzes der Deutschen Mutter (Honor Cross of the German Mother), a souvenir of Brightman's entry with the press corps into Berlin and which appears to bear the signature of Adolf Hitler.

Memorabilia contains various certificates and souvenir items, such as a 1991 Gulf War protest poster and the souvenir menu from Pan Am airlines' first transatlantic jet flight.

Correspondence-subject files consist primarily of incoming correspondence though there are some carbons and photocopies of outgoing letters. This series includes fellow journalists (Art Buchwald, Marquis Childs, Ernie Deane, Russ Baker); politicians and political entities (Democratic National Committee, Adlai Stevenson); adult educators (Alexander Charters, Mary Grefe, Malcolm Knowles, Laubach Literacy); and various civic organizations (Kettering Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, Committee for Public Broadcasting, National Council for Senior Citizens).

Writings (SCB) encompasses Brightman's journalistic and professional output over his career: articles, book proposals, a seven-article series for the Cincinnati Post recounting his travels through 1939 Europe just prior to the outbreak of war, columns from the Louisville Courier-Journal and other newspapers, press releases, speeches, and notes. Also included here are publications edited by Brightman: Adult and Continuing Education Today (ACET), the Democratic Digest, Dirge (college humor magazine), and more.

As fuel for his own writing and as ideas for his publications, Brightman amassed a substantial collection of writings by others on topics that interested him such as politics, adult education, civic literacy and the problems facing senior citizens. Writings (others) includes books, clippings, papers and articles.

Miscellaneous includes preview material for a series of audio-print courses offered by Annenberg and the Committee for Public Broadcasting and a film strip/speech for the Democratic National Committee, among other things.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by name, type, or title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

As originally received, the Samuel C. Brightman Papers included a number of items of potential interest to a wide range of researchers (see below). To increase their visibility, these items have been removed from the collection and cataloged separately. For more information on these items, please contact the repository listed above or search the Classic Catalog.

A complete run of the Democratic Digest, edited by Brightman (copies of the first and last issue can be found in the collection under Writings (SCB): Edited by SCB: Democratic Digest).
Programs from Democratic National Conventions in the 1950s and 1960s and various other Democratic National Party publications.
Several issues of Le Tomahawk, the 19th corps newspaper, published from Normandy Beachhead and other locations in 1944. Photocopies of the back page, which material may have been written by Brightman, can be found in Biographical and family material: World War II: Writings

The library holds a considerable number of collections related to adult and continuing education. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Brightman, Samuel C. (Samuel Charles), 1911-
Baker, Russell, 1925-
Buchwald, Art.
Childs, Marquis W. (Marquis William), 1903-1990.
Deane, Ernie.
Knowles, Malcolm S. (Malcolm Shepherd), 1913-1997.
Tjerandsen, Carl.

Corporate Bodies

Coalition of Adult Education Organizations.
Democratic National Committee (U.S.)
International Council for Adult Education.
National Coalition for Public Education.
National Council of Senior Citizens.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989.

Associated Titles

Adult and Continuing Education Today.
Democratic Digest.
The Brightman Report.


Adult education.
Continuing education.
War correspondents.
World War, 1939-1945.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)


Adult educators.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Samuel C. Brightman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Samuel C. Brightman, David Brightman (son).

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRR
Date: 28 Jun 2006
Revision history: 19 Apr 2016 - Box 11 corrected to Oversize 1 (MRC); 11 Jul 2019 - style/formatting updates (MRC)

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Biographical and family material
Box 1 Biographies (who’s who, etc) 1957, 1965, 1972, 1988, 1992
Box 1 Clippings about 1939-1995
Box 1 Brightman, Ruth (wife) 1944
Box 1 Brightman, David (son) 1991
Box 1 80th birthday letters 1991
See also Grefe, Mary; Gross, Ron; Knowles, Malcolm S.
Box 1 Oral history, John F. Kennedy Library 1967
Box 1 Oral history, Harry S. Truman Library 1967
Box 1 University of Missouri-Columbia 1932-1933 - includes college yearbook The Savitar, 1933 (2 folders)
Box 1 Washington University in St. Louis 1932-1933, 1991 - includes college yearbook The Hatchet, 1933 (2 folders)
World War II 1942-1991
Box 2 Army records 1943-1946
Box 2 Clippings 1942, 1944, 1964, 1983-1984, 1990-1991, undated
Box 2 "History of Public Relations Office," Samuel C. Brightman 1945?
Box 2 "Letter from Paris" 1984
Box 2 Miscellaneous 1944, undated - letters, article drafts and proposals, notes, memoranda, photocopies of back page of 19th corps newspaper Le Tomahawk
Complete original issues of Le Tomahawk are cataloged. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these.
Box 2 Memorabilia - map of France, Germany [later publication]; Eagle XX Twelfth Army Group 20-year yearbook; Sept 10, 1944 issue of Yank; "Ehrenkreuzes der Deutschen Mutter" certificate, possibly signed by Hitler, with note from son David Brightman
See also Memorabilia : Photographs below.
Box 2 Misc military 1943-1953
Box 2 Unidentified autobiographical fragments
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Box 2 Alpha Tau Omega (fraternity) Gold Circle Certificate 1980
Oversize 1 Gulf War protest poster 1991
Oversize 1 "Honorary Citizen of New Orleans" certificate 1976
Oversize 1 "Inaugural Jet Flight: Pan American" souvenir menu 1960
Box 2 "Official Inaugural Program: January 20, 1961" - program from LBJ's inauguration, Brightman's name stamped on front in gold
Box 2 Photographs
Correspondence-subject files
Box 2 Adult and Continuing Education Today 1979, 1985, 1990
See also Writings : Edited by SCB : Adult and Continuing Education Today.
Box 2 American Newspaper Publisher’s Association (ANPA) Foundation 1991
Box 2 Annenberg/Committee for Public Broadcasting 1986, 1990-1991
See also Miscellaneous : Annenberg/CPB Audio-Print Course Collection preview material.
Box 2 Baker, Russ (New York Times) 1973, 1977, 1979, 1984
Box 3 Baldwin, Dave 1973, 1977, 1991, undated
Box 3 Barrett, Charles M. 1977
Box 3 Basic Choices Inc. 1988-1990, undated - includes copy of The Millennium Survival Kit
Box 3 Buchwald, Art 1973
Box 3 Buffkins, Archie L. 1977
Box 3 CBS 1976
Box 3 Charters, Alexander N. 1989, 1991
Box 3 Childs, Marquis 1965
Box 3 Coalition of Adult Education Organizations (CAEO) 1991-1992
Box 3 Congress of the United States 1982, 1984, 1986
Box 3 Deane, Ernie 1988-1989, 1991
Democratic Party
See also Democratic Digest.
Box 3 Campaign materials 1956
Box 3 The Democrat 1961-1964
Box 3 Democratic National Committee 1952-1953, 1957, 1959-1960, 1963, 1971, undated
See also Writings (SCB) : Authored by SCB : Press releases.
Box 3 Dorland, James (SUNY Morrisville) 1991
Draves, Bill
See Learning Resources Network (LERN).
Box 3 Edelson, Alfred 1978
Box 3 Elderhostel 1991
Box 3 Elmer [Lower?] 1944
Box 3 Fischer, Ken 1977
Box 3 GED ca 1986? - includes Brightman's notes for possible book
Box 4 Godbey, Gordon 1989
Box 4 Grefe, Mary 1991
Box 4 Gross, Ron 1991
Box 4 Hackethorn, Jack 1991, undated
Box 4 Institute for Development of Educational Achievement (IDEA) 1991
Box 4 International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) undated
Box 4 International Reading Association (IRA) 1989-1991
Box 4 [John F.] Kennedy Library 1975
See also Biographical and family material : Oral history, John F. Kennedy Library.
Box 4 Kettering Foundation 1991
Box 4 Knowles, Malcolm 1991
Box 4 Laubach Literacy 1991
Box 4 Learning Resources Network (LERN) 1984, 1986, 1989, 1993
Box 4 Michelson, Edward J. 1990
Millennium Survival Kit
See Basic Choices Inc..
Box 4 Monocle 1964-1965
See also Writings (SCB) : Authored by SCB : Articles.
Box 4 National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) 1991 - includes survey on violations of the separation of church and state
Box 4 National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSC) 1991
Box 4 National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) 1991
Box 4 National Issues Forums 1987
Box 4 National Museum of American History (Smithsonian) 1984-1985
Box 4 National Press Club 1986, 1991, undated
Box 4 New York Times 1972, undated
See also Baker, Russ.
Box 4 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 1998 - certificates of origin
Ohliger, John
See Basic Choices Inc.
Box 4 Political TV [supplied title] 1989-1991, undated - includes clippings, notes, draft of article?
Box 4 Republican National Committee 1953, 1965
Box 4 Ross, Donald S. 1977
Box 5 Stern, Milton (UC Berkeley) 1991 - includes text of two speeches, both on adult/continuing education
Box 5 Stern, Philip M. 1965, 1977, 1990
Box 5 Stevenson, Adlai 1952
Box 5 Stewart, David W. 1991
Box 5 Stillwell, Hamilton 1989
Box 5 Study circles 1991
Box 5 Tjerandsen, Carl 1983, 1989 - includes monograph, "How Stands the Union? The University and Public Responsibility" (1983)
Box 5 TV Guide 1972
See also Writings (SCB) : Authored by SCB : Articles
Box 5 Unger, Paul 1967
Box 5 United States Department of Commerce 1990-1991
Box 5 University of Missouri 1989, 1991
Box 5 Vermont 1978 - "Adult Literacy Day" declaration
"Voices and Visions: A Television Course on Modern American Poetry"
See Annenberg/Committee for Public Broadcasting.
Box 5 W—, Roy 1988-1989
Box 5 Ward, Lester 1975, undated
Box 5 White House 1991
Box 5 Miscellaneous
Writings by Brightman
Authored by SCB
Articles - typescripts and/or drafts
Box 5 Titled, A-Z
Box 5 Untitled, A-Z by first word
Box 5 Book proposals
Box 6 The Brightman Report 1972-1973
Box 6 Cincinnati Post 1939 - SCB's experiences travelling through Europe just before Hitler's invasion of Poland
Box 6 Louisville Courier-Journal, humor writing
Box 6 Louisville Courier-Journal, political writing
Box 6 Miscellaneous humor
Box 6 Miscellaneous politics
Box 6 Papers
Box 6 Press releases, Democratic National Committee
Box 6 Republican National Convention coverage
Box 6 "Sam Brightman’s Washington" - column from ACET
Box 6 Given by SCB (2 folders)
Box 7 Written by SCB - written while SBC worked as special assistant to the National Housing Agency, Office of the Housing Expediter
Various topics
Box 7 ACET series
Box 7 Civic literacy
See also Correspondence-subject files : Tjerandsen, Carl; Writings by others : Papers and articles : Civic literacy.
Box 7 "Nuts and Bolts"
Box 7 Fragments
Box 7 Notes
See also Correspondence-subject files : GED and Correspondence-subject files : Political TV.
Box 7 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Edited by SCB
Box 7, 8 Adult and Continuing Education Today (ACET) 1971, 1984-1991 (9 folders)
Box 8 Democratic Digest 1953, 1961 - first and last issues only, others have been removed and sent for cataloging. See the Classic Catalog to locate these items.
See also Monocle.
Box 8 Dirge 1931 - college humor magazine
Box 8 The New America 1956 - official publication of 1956 Democratic campaign
Box 8 Politics Today 1971-1972
Box 8 Women Today 1971
Writings by others
Most are publications of the Democratic National Comittee.
Box 8 The 1956 Democratic Fact Book: The Issues and the Record 1952-1956 1956
Box 8 The 1960 Democratic Fact Book 1960
Oversize 1 Democratic National Convention Program 1964
Box 8 Campaign Documents 1956 1956
Box 8 Cannon, Clarence / Democratic Manual for the Democratic National Convention 1952
Box 8 Cannon, Clarence / Democratic Manual for the Democratic National Convention of 1960 1960
Box 8 Cannon, Clarence / Democratic Manual for the Democratic National Convention of 1968 1968
Box 8 CBS News Campaign ’72: Republican National Convention 1972
Box 9 Citizens’ Research Foundation publications (2 folders)
Box 9 "Financing a Better Election System," Committee for Economic Development 1968
Box 9 How to Win in 1952: Democratic National Committee Campaign Handbook 1952
Box 9 Hupman, Richard D. / Nomination and Election of the President and Vice President of the United States 1972
Box 9 Leibholz, Gerhard / Jahrbuch des Offentlichen Rechts der Gegenwart: Neue Folge/Band 17. circa 1967
Box 9 Campaigns and the media
Box 9 Education
Box 9 Health care
See also National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSE).
Box 9 Politics
Box 10 Senior citizens
Box 10 Miscellaneous
Printed material
Box 10 Adult Education
See also Charters, Alexander N.; Ross, Donald S.; Stewart, David W.; Stern, Milton, in the Correspondence-subject files.
Box 10 Civic literacy
See also Correspondence-subject files : Tjerandsen, Carl and Writings by Brightman : Authored by SCB : Various topics : Civic literacy drafts.
International Interaction 1973-1977 - bulletin of International Education Project
Box 10 "People and the Press"
Box 10 "Tell It Like It Was: Senior Speaker’s Fact Book"
Box 10 Annenberg/CPB Audio-Print Course Collection preview material - 6 cassette tapes and publicity brochures, in vinyl case
Oversize 1 "6-Cent Register and Vote Commemorative U.S. Postage Stamp: June 27, 1968"
Oversize 1 "Democratic Communication film strip" with accompanying speech
Oversize 1 Unidentified cassette tape

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