Scope and Content
Title: Pan American Society (USA), San Francisco Chapter Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1928-1965
Collection number: Mss41
Extent: 11.5 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Pan American Society (USA), San Francisco Chapter Papers,
Mss41, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
Pan American Union
Organization of American States
Alianza por Progreso
International Education -California
Latin America -Description and travel
Latin America -History
The Pan American Society was founded (1912) to foster Pan American friendship and
understanding. It is the oldest private Latin American organization in the United States.
The idea for the Society originated with John Barrett, who, at the time was Director of
the U.S. government-sponsored Pan American Union. Barrett, with the assistance of Senator
Elihu Root, organized meetings of a first chapter in New York City. By 1940 membership
had grown to about 800.
During the years of its existence, the various chapters of the national Society have
arranged hundreds of dinners in honor of heads of government, diplomats, missions on
culture, economics, and science, and Latin American students at American universities. In
addition to these social activities, the officers of the Society have participated in
radio broadcasts and delivered lectures in schools, clubs, and other institutions
espousing amicable commercial and cultural relations between the United States and its
Latin American neighbors.
From the time of its establishment in San Francisco (1930), the Bay Area chapter has also
devoted itself to fostering these goals. Among the activities of the Society, the most
important has been its annual observance of Pan America Day (April 14), in the course of
which all area Latin American university students are fed and entertained at lavish
banquets. Distinguished Latin Americans who were also guests at Society banquets have
included the President of Nicaragua, the Chief of Staff of the Brazilian Army and the
Vice Presidents of Peru and El Salvador. The chapter entertained delegates to the
Reciprocal Trade Conference (1930), members of the Brazilian Touring Club (1933), members
of the Peruvian and Chilean Missions to the Orient (1938), delegates to the
Inter-American Travel Congress (1939), personnel of Argentinian and Chilean training
cruisers (1940, 1941, and 1944), and the heads of the Latin American delegations to
United Nations Conference (1945).
Miscellaneous educational activities of the Society have included the formation of Pan
American Clubs in area high schools, the presentation of books to the San Francisco
Public Library, the awarding of scholarships to Casa Panamericana at Mills College, and
efforts to foster friendly relations with Mexican farm and field workers during the
Second World War.
Scope and Content
The papers of the Pan American Society (1928-1965) consist of correspondence, financial
and membership records, publicity, photographs, educational materials and memorabilia.