Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1947-1968 House Resolution 1, 90th Congress, 1st Session

Chapter 22. Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives

Table of Contents

Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives (1789-1988) from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committee records described in this chapter:

House Select Committee Pursuant to House Resolution 1, 90th Congress, 1st session (1967)

Select Committee:VolumeCongress (dates)
Pursuant to House Resolution 1, 90th Congress8 feet90th (1967)

22.199 During 1965 and 1966 (89th Cong.), Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., of the 18th Congressional District of New York, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, became the target of widespread congressional and public criticism for contemptuous conduct toward the courts of New York and misconduct in office. There were charges that Powell misused both travel funds and his clerk-hire authority. A special subcommittee of the Committee on House Administration investigated these charges.

22.200 Powell was reelected to the 90th Congress by a large majority of his constituency in November 1966. Before the organization of the 90th Congress, however, the caucus of Democrat Members-elect voted to remove Powell from his chairmanship. When it met on January 10, 1967, Congress adopted H.Res. 1, barring Powell from being sworn in and seated in the 90th Congress pending the report of a special committee investigation and House determination. Emanuel Celler of New York was appointed chairman of the committee.

22.201 The committee held hearings in February. Powell was present only on the first day and declined to testify. The committee had access to the hearings, exhibits, and report of the subcommittee investigation during the previous Congress. Audits of expenditures of the Committee on Education and Labor and investigations of New York court records and other sources were undertaken by the select committee. The select committee presented its report on February 23, 1967, recommending that Powell be sworn in as a Member of the 90th Congress, then immediately censured before the bar of the House, fined, and stripped of his seniority. If Powell failed to appear to take the oath of office by March 13, the seat should be declared vacant.

22.202 Records consist mainly of multiple copies of the committee publications and unanswered mail. There are documents designated as the files of the minority counsel, including memorandums, correspondence, subpoenas, and briefs and other legal documents relating to the proceedings in New York. A number of extracts from Hind's Precedents and Cannon's Precedents are also among the records, as well as newspaper clippings, copies of magazine articles, a copy of Ronald L. Goldfarb's The Contempt Power (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963), and a 33 1/3 RPM January 1967 recording of Powell entitled "Keep the Faith, Baby": Adam Clayton Powell's Message to the World (Jubilee Records).

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Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.