National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. and of the NAACP Washington Bureau

refer to caption


Clarence Mitchell and President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House after the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Courtesy LBJ Library


SUNY, Old Westbury

Additional information at

Clarence Maurice Mitchell Jr. (1911 –1984) was a civil rights activist and the chief lobbyist for the NAACP for nearly 30 years. Nicknamed "the 101st U.S. Senator," Mitchell waged a tireless campaign on Capitol Hill, helping to secure passage of civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s: the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968). After his retirement, Mitchell wrote a Sunday editorial column for The Baltimore Sun every Sunday until his death in 1984.

The core documents pertaining to the legislative struggle, approximately 45,000 occupying 83.2 linear feet of shelf space, are in the NAACP Washington Bureau collection at the Library of Congress. They, as well as Mitchell’s personal papers held by his family and others document how the NAACP worked within the government to obtain passage of the civil rights laws. They provide the most detailed record of Mitchell’s success in getting the Legislative Branch to join the Judicial and Executive branches to provide protections for civil rights.

Four volumes complete of an expected 10-volume edition.


Previous Record   |    Next Record   |    Return to Index