Register of the G. William Gahagan papers

Finding aid prepared by Paige Minister; machine-readable finding aid created by Brooke Dykman Dockter
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
hooverarchives@stanford.edu
© 1998, 2015


Title: G. William Gahagan papers
Date (inclusive): 1940-1998
Date (bulk): 1942-1945
Collection Number: 75057
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of the Material: In English, German, Japanese, Russian, and other languages.
Physical Description: 8 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 card file box, 1 oversize folder, 8 motion picture film reels (4.55 linear feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, memoranda, reports, photographs, motion picture films, printed matter, and wartime propaganda relating to G. William Gahagan's work with the Office of War Information during World War II, focusing on American propaganda operations and analyses of Japanese propaganda. Also included are a few examples of post-war American anti-communist propaganda and information on the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO).
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Gahagan, G. William, 1912-1998

Access

The collection is open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], G. William Gahagan Papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Acquisition Information

Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1975, with an increment in 2010.

Biographical Note

George William Gahagan was born on June 22, 1912 in Toledo, Ohio. His family briefly lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, before moving to Goshen, New York, in 1927. He began studying at Dartmouth College in 1935, but did not complete his degree until 1949. He also briefly attended Harvard University as a graduate student, however, he received his MA from Stanford University in 1957. He married Lorna Jane Plump in 1939, with whom he had four children.
Prior to World War II, Gahagan held a variety of different jobs. He worked as a reporter and columnist for the Times-Herald in Middletown, New York from 1935 to 1937, was an account executive at McGann-Erickson Advertising in San Francisco from 1937 to 1939, and worked as an editor for the McGraw Hill Publishing Company from 1939 to 1941.
In 1943, Gahagan joined the San Francisco branch of the Office of War Information (OWI) as an information officer and later as a public relations officer with the Overseas Branch. He also served as a foreign press liaison officer at the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), the inaugural conference of the United Nations, which was held in San Francisco in 1945.
In 1947, Gahagan left the OWI and returned to school, receiving his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1949. Following his graduation, Gahagan stayed at Dartmouth for another year to teach one of their Great Issues courses. While teaching there, Gahagan met and befriended poet Robert Frost, who was serving as Dartmouth’s Poet in Residence at the time. Gahagan later founded the organization California Friends of Robert Frost in honor of him.
Throughout the 1950s, Gahagan proceeded to teach, mainly history and English, at a variety of private, public, and parochial schools in Denver, Colorado, and in Monterey and Carmel, California. He also spent a few years in Rome teaching at the Overseas International School and serving as the director of the US Embassy Employees Association. In the early 1960s, Gahagan moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he served as assistant to the chancellor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1978, he moved back up the coast of California to Carmel, where he volunteered and served as an active member of a variety of community organizations until his death on December 8, 1998.

Scope and Contents Note

The G. William Gahagan papers consist of correspondence, memoranda, reports, photographs, motion picture films, printed matter, and wartime propaganda focusing on the analysis of Japanese propaganda and the preparation of American propaganda during World War II. The bulk of the material relates to Gahagan’s career with the Office of War Information (OWI) from 1942 to 1947, particularly his involvement with psychological warfare operations and wartime propaganda. A few examples of post-war American anti-communist propaganda are also included.
To preserve the original order of the papers, war propaganda leaflets, pamphlets, and newsletters are dispersed throughout the collection. The majority of the material can be found under the Propaganda grouping in the Office of War Information (OWI) File. Many of these items appear in other languages, some accompanied by English translations. A few examples of Japanese propaganda are also included in this section. Reports, including analyses of Japanese propaganda, memoranda, and other documents related to Gahagan’s work at OWI are also located in this series. Additional propaganda leaflets can be found in the Miscellaneous file in the Personal File series and in the Oversize Material series.
The Photographs series contains pictures of Gahagan, as well as images used as part of the OWI's psychological warfare operations. The Oversize Material and Printed Matter series contain further material from the war, including overseas editions of magazines, large propaganda posters, newsmaps, and other government publications. In addition, the Memorabilia series contains various items, such as cigarettes, soap, and fans, created by the OWI as a way of promoting the US and the Allies to other countries during the war. Film related to World War II can be found in the Motion Picture Films series.
In addition, the papers include material related to the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), held in 1945. Gahagan attended this conference as a foreign press liaison officer and helped to organize events for conference delegates with the Bohemian Club of San Francisco. Correspondence, event announcements, publications, and footage of the conference can be found in the United Nations File, Oversized Material, and Motion Picture Films series.

Arrangement Statement

The collection is organized into nine series: Personal File, Correspondence, Office of War Information (OWI) File, United Nations File, Photographs, Motion Picture Films, Oversize Material, Memorabilia, and Printed Matter. Quotation marks denote Gahagan's original folder titles or titles of specific items.

Related Collections

Poster Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.
G. William Gahagan Collection, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

United States. Office of War Information.
Japan.
Moving-pictures.
Propaganda, American.
Propaganda, Anti-communist.
Propaganda, Japanese.
United States--Foreign relations.
World War, 1939-1945--Propaganda.
World War, 1939-1945--United States.
World War, 1939-1945.

Box 1

Personal File, 1943-1998

Scope and Contents note

Contains material about Gahagan as well as some personal files he kept on the USSR post-World War II and a scrapbook-like file of material gathered during his career with the Office of War Information (OWI). Includes typescripts, clippings, photographs, correspondence, propaganda leaflets and booklets, and other material.
Box/Folder 1 : 1

Biographical file, 1945, 1998, and undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes a certificate from UNCIO, a business card, a photograph of unidentified persons, and two obituaries of Gahagan, one written by his son, Michael Gahagan. Also included are two typescripts entitled, "Interesting Personal Experiences 1940-" and "I've Made It a Habit to Keep in Touch with Prominent People."
Box/Folder 1 : 2-4

Miscellaneous, 1942-1986

Scope and Contents note

Contains material originally housed in a binder, including correspondence, clippings, a photograph, as well as propaganda leaflets and booklets, mainly related to Gahagan's OWI career. Also included are a few examples of post-war anti-communist propaganda and a silk blood chit with an image of the Nationalist Chinese flag. Contains some material in Filipino, German, Dutch, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.
Box/Folder 1 : 5

"Propaganda," course materials, 1943-1954

Box/Folder 1 : 6

"Russia - USSR," 1946, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains a chapter from the book Foreign Affairs entitled "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" as well as several clippings and a report regarding the American travels of Soviet journalists Illya Ehrenburg, Konstantin Michailovitch Simonov, and Major General Galaktionov.
Box 1

Correspondence, 1942-1957

Scope and Contents note

Contains a general file that consists mainly of thank you letters written to Gahagan and letters praising Gahagan's OWI work that were later forwarded to him. Additional correspondence can be found in the Miscellaneous file in the Personal File series.
Box/Folder 1 : 7-8

General, 1942-1957, undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes a photocopy of a letter from Harry S. Truman thanking Gahagan for sending him some booklets and a signed photograph from Joseph C. Grew.
Box/Folder 1 : 9

Collected, 1944

Boxes 1-6, 10

Office of War Information (OWI) File, 1943-1954

Scope and Contents note

Contains policy directives, memoranda, reports, and other material produced by the Office of War Information (OWI) and collected by Gahagan during the course of his work. Much of the material relates to the OWI's psychological warfare operations, particularly their distribution of propaganda leaflets abroad. Included are various examples of propaganda leaflets, newsletters, and pamphlets in various languages as well as reports analyzing OWI programs and Japanese propaganda operations. Additional OWI material can be found in Photographs, Motion Picture, Oversize Material, and Memorabilia.
Box/Folder 1 : 10

"American History," 1943-1954, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains various pamphlets, including: The Constitution of the United States, Your Opinion Counts, Las Cuatro Libertades, Unconquered Poland, and Global Relations of the United States. Also included is a letter from the War Production Board about Unconquered Poland and Tale of a City, a pamphlet produced by the OWI about the fall of the Polish city of Warsaw to Nazi Germany.
Box/Folder 1 : 11

"Captured Documents," 1943-1944

Box/Folder 1 : 12

Czechoslovak journalists' tour file, 1946

Scope and Contents note

Includes clippings, correspondence, photographs, daily schedules, a report, and other material related to a tour hosted by the US State Department for four Czechoslovak journalists: Alena Bernaskova, Frantisek Meloun, Karel Zieris, and Jan Trachta. Gahagan accompanied the journalists on this tour across the United States, which took place from June 18 to August 4. Includes photographs.
Box/Folder 1 : 13

Memoranda, 1943-1944

Box/Folder 1 : 14

"Misc. Policy Directives," 1943-1944

Box/Folder 1 : 15

Office file, 1944

Scope and Contents note

Contains a training manual for the OWI Overseas Branch, as well as memoranda, magazine clippings, and a pamphlet regarding OWI Information Centers. Also includes a map of the world. Folder was originally titled, "Pacific Operations - Status Reports."
Box/Folder 2 : 1

Outpost News, 1944 October

Scope and Contents note

Produced by the Office of War Information "to report the broad operation of outpost activities[;] to indicate objectives, methods and results[;] to stimulate and recognize accomplishment[;] and to visualize for the individual worker, his contribution to the total effort."
 

Propaganda 1943-1945, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains examples of propaganda leaflets and booklets produced by the OWI as well as underground newspapers produced abroad. Leaflets and booklets are in various languages. Many of the leaflets have accompanying English translations with explanations of the purpose of the leaflet. Photostats from these files have been replaced with archival copies for preservation purposes. The originals can be found in Box 10.
Additional examples of wartime propaganda can be found in the Miscellaneous file in the Personal File series as well as in the Oversize Material and Memorabilia series. For more information about propaganda operations, see also Functions of the 5th Army Combat Propaganda Team under Printed Matter.
Box/Folder 2 : 2-6

"German Leaflets - Newspapers," 1943-1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains material in German, Polish, Czech, and French with some English translations. Also includes memoranda regarding specific publications.
Box/Folder 3 : 1-4

Leaflets, newsletters, and pamphlets, 1943-1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains material in Afrikaans, Norwegian, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Burmese, Shan, Thai, Kachin, Japanese, Danish, German, and Polish. Some items include English translations.
Box/Folder 3 : 5, Box/Folder 4 : 1

"Overseas Editions - Armed Forces," 1944-1945, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains mainly copies of overseas propaganda pamphlets, leaflets, and newsletters, especially De Vliegende Hollander, distributed by the Allied Armed Forces. Also includes memoranda regarding select publications, an overseas edition of Outdoor Life magazine (February 1945), and a copy of a Japanese propaganda leaflet entitled "Farewell, American Soldiers!" Includes material in English, Spanish, French, Greek, and Dutch.
Box/Folder 4 : 2

"Pamphlets and posters," 1943, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains a list of OWI pamphlets and poster titles as well as two copies of the OWI Poster Distribution Bulletin.
 

Reports, 1943-1944

 

"Far Eastern Propaganda Analyses," 1943-1944

Box/Folder 4 : 3-7

1943 August - December

Box/Folder 5 : 1-5

1944 January - May

Box/Folder 5 : 6

"Program Analysis Reports," 1943-1944

Box/Folder 6 : 1

"Special Reports," 1943

Box/Folder 6 : 2

"Tokyo Lines Today," 1944 January - April

Box/Folder 6 : 3

"Weekly Media Report," 1943 April 3

Box/Folder 6 : 4

"Words with Wings: The Role of the AAF in Psychological Leaflet Warfare," article draft, 1944

Scope and Contents note

Contains a draft of an article written by the War Department Bureau of Public Relations intended for future publication.
Box 6

United Nations File, 1945-1954

Scope and Contents note

Contains directories, correspondence, event materials, a magazine, and other printed matter related to the United Nations, especially the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), which was held in San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945. Additional material on the United Nations and the UNCIO conference can be found in the Printed Matter, Oversized Material, and Motion Picture series.
Box/Folder 6 : 5

Bohemian Club, 1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains pamphlets, correspondence, announcements, and other material related to events for UNCIO delegates and attendees hosted by the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, of which Gahagan was a member. Also included is a Bohemian Club directory.
Box/Folder 6 : 6

"Directories and Lists - UNCIO," 1945-1946

Scope and Contents note

Includes a memorandum from OWI with an attached list of prominent individuals assisted by Gahagan's office from 1943-1945.
Box/Folder 6 : 7

Photo Review: A Picture Parade of the United Nations, volume 2, number 1, undated

Box/Folder 6 : 8

"United Nations in the Schools: A Teacher's Handbook and Kit," 1954

Boxes 6-7

Photographs, 1943-1945, 1988

Scope and Contents note

Contains photographs of Gahagan, WWII propaganda operations, war events in Okinawa and the USSR, as well as slides of propaganda leaflets.
Box/Folder 6 : 9

G. William Gahagan, 1945, 1988

Scope and Contents note

Includes a photograph of Gahagan in his OWI office, two images of him during the UNCIO conference in 1945, and a copy print of a portrait taken in 1988.
Box/Folder 6 : 10

Psychological warfare operations, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains images of the British 8th Army's Psychological Warfare Branch assembling propaganda shells to distribute propaganda leaflets across enemy lines, as well as other propaganda efforts in Italy and North Africa. Most photographs include captions.
Box/Folder 6 : 11

"PWB (Propaganda Warfare Branch) Slide Program," 35mm, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains 67 color and black-and-white slides, mainly of leaflets produced by the Axis and the Allies during WWII. Material is in various languages, especially Japanese. Also includes images of the British 8th Army loading "propaganda shells" with leaflets to be fired into enemy lines.
Box/Folder 6 : 12, Box/Folder 7 : 1

"Okinawa Pictures," undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains 38 photographs, with captions, depicting an incident where psychological warfare was used by the Allies to persuade Japanese soldiers to surrender following an attack on Okinawa. Contains some graphic imagery.
Box/Folder 7 : 2

"USSR Photos," 1943, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains graphic imagery of Nazi atrocities in the Soviet Union. Includes captions in English with some in Russian.
Film shelf

Motion Picture Films, 1945, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains several OWI films, including two United Newsreel films. Also included are a film depicting the UNCIO conference, a film of an Arturo Toscanini concert, and other films produced by the US Army related to World War II. All films are 16mm and are arranged by reel number.
Reel 1

Point Rationing of Foods, United States Office of War Information, Bureau of Motion Pictures, 1 reel, approximately 375 feet, undated

Reel 2

The Liberation of Rome, United States Army Pictorial Service in collaboration with British Service Unites, 1 reel, approximately 700 feet, undated

Reel 3

Fury in the Pacific, United States Army, Navy and Marine Corps, 1 reel, approximately 700 feet, undated

Reel 4

The Fighting Lady: A Drama of the Pacific, Twentieth Century Fox, color, 2 reels, approximately 1 hour, undated

Reel 5

"Japanese Sign Final Surrender," United Newsreel #171-B, 1 reel, approximately 360 feet, undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes English transcript.
Reel 6

"Japanese Shipping Paper," United Newsreel #169, 1 reel, approximately 450 feet, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains Japanese transcript. Includes the segments "China's Premier, T. V. Soong Visits United States," "Allies Reveal Details of Radar," and "Atomic Bomb Secrets to Be Closely Guarded."
Reel 7

San Francisco, The United Nations Conference on International Organization, United Films, 1 reel, approximately 575 feet, 1945 April 25-June 26

Reel 8

"Arturo Toscanini Conducting Music of Giuseppe Verdi with the NBC Symphony, Jan Peerce, and the Westminster Choir," 1 reel, approximately 500 feet, undated

Box 8, Map case

Oversize Material, 1940-1954

Scope and Contents note

Contains OWI propaganda posters, newsmaps, and various periodicals, including overseas editions of American magazines and copies of foreign newsletters and newspapers from the war. Also included are a book on WWII air transport, a Japanese propaganda booklet, a World Health Organization newsletter, a UNCIO event poster, and a collage of items from Gahagan's experience at UNCIO.
Box 8

Air Transport and the War, 1940s

Box 8

Periodicals, 1940-1954

 

American Pictorial, 1940s

Scope and Contents note

"Special edition of Victory Magazine published by the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company in cooperation with the U.S. Office of War Information." Includes seven copies of different editions in Arabic, Polish, English, Russian, and Afrikaans.
 

Arabic newspaper, 1944 June 6

 

Country Gentleman, overseas service edition, 1945 February

 

Esquire, overseas service edition, volume 23, number 2, 1945 February

 

Free Philippines, Manila, 1945

Scope and Contents note

Includes editions from May 18, May 19, and September 3.
 

L'espoir, 1943 September

 

Life, overseas service edition, volume 18, number 7, 1945 February 12

 

The Saturday Evening Post, overseas service edition, 1945 February

 

Le Soir, 1943 November 9

 

South Pacific News Bulletin, number 40, circa 1945

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on the US landing in Luzon, Philippines; the defeat of the Japanese at Leyte, Burma; and other current news of the war in Europe.
 

WHO (World Health Organization) Newsletter, volume 3, number 10-11, 1954 October-November

 

Yank: The Army Weekly, volume 2, number 15, 1943 October 1

Map case

Japanese propaganda booklet with illustrations, 1940s

Map case

Newsmaps, 1944-1945

Note

Newsmaps were created and distributed by the US War Department throughout World War II. They were published weekly and contained brief summaries of the week's military events on one side and a map of the world or areas of combat on the other.
 

"Week of October 11-18, 1944," 1944 October 23

 

"Week of May 22-29, 1945," 1945 June 4

Scope and Contents note

Features maps of Mindano, Foochow (Fuzhou), Tokyo, Okinawa, and other parts of the Pacific.
Map case

OWI posters, 1940-1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains seven propaganda posters created during World War II. Topics include: increasing aircraft production, Indian independence, vacationing at home, and Filipino and American agriculture. Also includes a poster-sized copy of the Moscow Declarations in Italian. Contains material in English, Filipino, and Italian.
Map case

"UNCIO in Bohemia," poster, circa 1945

Scope and Contents note

See also: United Nations File
Map case

UNCIO collage, 1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains two photographs, along with various invitations to events during the UNCIO conference, mounted on cardboard. Also includes Gahagan's visitor and press passes to the conference.
Boxes 7, 9

Memorabilia, circa 1942-1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains miscellaneous goods created and distributed by the OWI as a way of promoting the US and the Allied Forces to other countries during WWII.
Box 7

8.25" record on paper, undated

Scope and Contents note

Two-sided gramaphone recording mounted on cardboard with needles attached. The recording is decorated with images of planes and Franklin D. Roosevelt with writing in Turkish.
Box 9

Miscellaneous goods, circa 1943

Scope and Contents note

Includes bouillon packets, soap bars, decorated paper cups, a chocolate bar, sewing kits, a small packet of cigarettes, matchbooks, small plastic clips, and paper fans with pro-American imagery and small booklets attached. Materials contain writing in English, Portuguese, French, Danish, Arabic, and Spanish.
Box 7

Printed Matter, 1942-1952, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains booklets, magazines, and other printed matter produced during World War II. Included are items produced specifically for servicemen overseas as well as some government publications. For additional printed matter, see Oversize Material.
 

US government publications, 1942-1952, undated

Box/Folder 7 : 3

185,000 Warplanes, circa 1942

Box/Folder 7 : 4

Code of Wartime Practices, Office of Censorship, 1943

Box/Folder 7 : 5

Design and Operation of United States Combat Aircraft, Office of War Information, 1942

Box/Folder 7 : 6

Functions of the 5th Army Combat Propaganda Team, United States Army, Psychological Warfare Branch, 1944

Box/Folder 7 : 7

HEUTE: A New Illustrated Periodical for Germany, number 1, English translation, US Information Services, undated

Box/Folder 7 : 8

Let Freedom Ring: The Struggle for a Peaceful World, Office of Public Affairs, 1952

Box/Folder 7 : 9

Pointie Talkie, circa 1942-1945

Scope and Contents note

A pocketbook produced for airmen flying missions in the China-Burma-India Theater and the Western Pacific. It contains a list of English phrases with their Chinese character counterparts to be used in the event an airman was shot down over a Chinese-speaking territory. The airman would use the book to point to the phrases he wished to convey.
Box/Folder 7 : 10

The United Nations, circa 1942

Box/Folder 7 : 11-12

U. S. A., 1943-1944

Scope and Contents note

A small booklet featuring articles from various American periodicals. Contains copies of several editions in English, Arabic, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, and Spanish.
Box/Folder 7 : 13

The Weapon of Ultimate Victory, circa 1943

Box/Folder 7 : 14

ABC's of Scapegoating, Harvard University, Department of Psychology, undated

Box/Folder 7 : 15

G.I. Comics, 1945

Box/Folder 7 : 16

Meet the Anzacs! by W. L. Holland and Phillip E. Lilienthal, American Council of Pacific Relations, 1942

Box/Folder 7 : 17

Time, overseas service editions, 1943, 1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains two special editions printed for the armed forces from September 13, 1943 and February 12, 1945.