Beth Campbell Short Collection

1953-1966

5.5 cubic feet

portrait of Beth Short

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Born in Rogers County, Oklahoma, in 1908, Beth Campbell Short was a journalist and press secretary.  Following her graduation from the University of Oklahoma, she served as a reporter for the Springfield (Missouri) Leader and the Daily Oklahoman before joining the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., in 1936 to cover Eleanor Roosevelt.  There she met her future husband Joseph Short, who was the Associated Press Washington correspondent. In 1950, he was named White House press secretary by President Harry S. Truman. Shortly after her husband's sudden death in 1952, Truman appointed Mrs. Short as his correspondence secretary.  From 1953-1956, she worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 1957 she became press secretary to U.S. Senator A. S. Mike Monroney.  In 1966, she left Monroney's office to join the Office of Research and Statistics in the Social Security Administration as a special assistant for research and development.  She retired in 1978. Mrs. Short died in 1988.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Short Collection consists of correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, memoranda, press releases, speeches, notebooks, calendars, bills, directories, pamphlets, and notes from the period 1953-1966. The collection is arranged into two series reflecting two periods in her career.  Both series-Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Subject Files, 1953-56, and Press Secretary to Mike Monroney, 1957-1966-are arranged alphabetically by subject. This collection is useful for understanding the Democratic Party's election aid to senators and the role and issues covered by a senator's press secretary.  Incorporated into the latter part are issues facing Oklahomans in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including agriculture, oil and gas regulation, aviation, and military development. Monroney's legislative interests, especially congressional reform and the International Development Association, are also detailed. A small photograph collection is included with the collection. The collection was given to the University of Oklahoma in 1988 by Mrs. Short's estate.

Papers relating to Short's work as President Harry S. Truman's correspondence secretary are located at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. An interview with Short, which was part of the Washington Press Club Foundation's oral history project on women in journalism, is also available through the National Press Club.

An inventory to these papers is available. For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.


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