Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers

Roscoe Strickland

Image #9, Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers

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Title: Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers

Dates: 1912-1991 (Bulk: 1960-1985)

Creator: Roscoe Lee Strickland

Summary/Abstract: The Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers contain materials documenting Strickland’s life as a professor at MTSU, a family man, and a dedicated citizen. The collection will be of value to researchers interested in Modern European History, Middle Tennessee State University, Strickland’s personal and professional life, and Strickland vs. Burns, a lawsuit that changed the structure of the Rutherford County School Board.

Quantity/Physical Description: Approximately 8 linear feet

Language(s): English

Repository: Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, (615) 898-2632

Restrictions on Access: None

Copyright: It is presumed that corporate and individual copyrights in manuscripts, photographs, and other materials have been retained by the copyright owners. Copyright restrictions apply. Users of materials should seek necessary permissions from the copyright holders to comply with U.S. copyright laws.

Preferred Citation: (Box Number, Folder Number), Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers, Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Acquisition: Donated by Lucy Strickland in 1998.

Processed By: Processed by Siony Flowers; finding aid updated by Natalie Goodwin, Graduate Assistant (March 14, 2011)

Arrangement: These papers are arranged by 7 series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Legal Documents, (3) Theses and Dissertations, (4) Newspapers, (5) Personal Items, (6) Audiovisuals, and (7) Monographs. Series 1-6 are arranged in boxes 1-14. Boxes 12-14 are located in the oversize area, separated from the other boxes. Series 7: Monographs are housed separately from the rest of the collection.

Biographical Note: Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr., the son of Roscoe Lee Strickland and Alma Morgan Strickland, was born at home during a snowstorm at 36 Shepherd Avenue, Newark, New Jersey, on December 21, 1917. Roscoe became very ill and nearly died during the influenza epidemic of 1918. In Newark, he attended Berkeley School and then Peshine Avenue School from which he received a Certificate of Merit for "punctual and regular attendance, correct deportment, and diligent attention to study" on January 30, 1925.

Roscoe’s family was members of First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church in Newark, and Roscoe received a Sunday school diploma on October 12, 1924, promoting him from the Beginner’s Department to the Primary Department. Rev. Dr. M. Joseph Twomey baptized him at Peddie Memorial on April 7, 1929. His family moved to 695 Prospect Street in Maplewood, a Newark suburb, in 1927 and they eventually moved their church affiliation to the Prospect Presbyterian Church there. Roscoe was in the Youth Group and Junior Choir. Roscoe spent the summer of 1931 at Camp Wapello in Maine. He played the clarinet, and he attended Tuscan School, Maplewood Junior High School, and Columbia High School.

Roscoe was a one-generation Yankee in his family. His parents and other ancestors went back several generations in Nash County, North Carolina, and Roscoe moved south to attend college and eventually married and raised his family there. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1940, where he majored in history and was a charter member and first president of the local chapter of Tau Psi Omega, an honorary French language fraternity. He went on to earn the Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 1941.

Roscoe was drafted into the United States Army on July 31, 1941, during World War II. He attained the rank of Sergeant, serving in the Infantry, Tank Destroyers, Signal Corps, and as a Russian interpreter in the Army Air Forces intelligence. Roscoe received a good conduct medal, a World War II Victory Medal, and was honorably discharged on November 28, 1945.

After the war, Roscoe attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he was a Graduate-Teaching Assistant. He also did some farming at Hardscrabble Plantation, a 640-acre farm located on St. Mary’s Road in northern Durham County, which his family had purchased in the summer of 1941. While at Carolina, Roscoe met Lucy Cole Durham, and they were married at Monument Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, December 27, 1947.

In 1949, Roscoe and Lucy moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where Roscoe taught history at Middle Tennessee State University for 23 years. He was Assistant Professor from 1949 to 1958, Associate Professor from 1958 to 1963, and Professor from 1963 to 1972. In 1958, Roscoe received the Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina. His specialty was Modern European History, and his Doctoral Dissertation was "Czechoslovakia at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919."

In 1959, Roscoe was a charter member of the local Civitan Club, and he served as its president in 1962. He also helped to organize the Rutherford County Republican Party in the 1960’s and served a term as its Chairman. He actively worked for Republican candidates running for political office, and he helped organize the first Republican Party primary in Rutherford County. In 1966, he helped organize the MTSU Faculty Senate and served as its first president. He was also president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He was a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, a member of Stones River Country Club, and he served on the board of the Tennessee Council on Human Relations in the late 1960’s.

In the mid 1960’s, Roscoe and Lucy were the chief plaintiffs in a successful lawsuit, Strickland v. Burns (T.P. Burns was chairman of the school board), filed in the U.S. District Court in Nashville against the Rutherford County school Board for reapportionment based on the precept "one man, one vote." Until then, the school board members were, at least in practice, representing individual county schools instead of the population as a whole. The city of Murfreesboro had approximately half the population of the county, but it had only one of eleven members of the board. Some schools got new gymnasiums, laboratories, etc. while others were overlooked. After the lawsuit and subsequent reapportioned district elections, the new members of the board were better able to make decisions based on what was best for the educational program of the entire community.

In 1972, Roscoe moved his family to Buena Vista, Virginia, where he served as president of Southern Seminary Junior College for Women (later renamed Southern Virginia College) from 1972 to 1976. In 1972, the 200-year-old house at Hardscrabble was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Roscoe had the house restored, and he and Lucy moved there upon his retirement in 1976.

While living at Hardscrabble, Roscoe served as treasurer and president of the Hillsborough Historical Society and edited the Society's newsletter. He also served as president and treasurer of the Historic Preservation Society of Durham, treasurer of Stagville Preservation Center, member of the Historic Hillsborough Commission, and Treasurer of St. Mary’s Chapel Restoration Committee. He was a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hillsborough, serving on the vestry from 1986 to 1988 and as senior warden.

In 1988, Roscoe sold Hardscrabble to developers who built a residential subdivision centered around the historic house. He and Lucy moved back to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and enjoyed being near the good friends they had made during their previous years there. Roscoe served as a trustee of the Middle Tennessee University Foundation.

Roscoe was an avid foreign stamp collector nearly his entire life, amassing a collection of 150 albums of mounted stamps and first day covers, plus numerous boxes of souvenir sheets and duplicates. He was a member of the American Philatelic Society from 1962 until his death, becoming a life member in 1992. He also enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, classical music, and traveling. He had a lifelong interest in genealogy and recorded much information on his family’s history.

Roscoe became ill with shingles in 1988, and he suffered from post herpetic neuralgia thereafter. He also suffered in later years from pulmonary fibrosis that eventually led to his death from heart failure on September 29, 1997. He was buried alongside two of his daughters, Alice and Tracy, who died as children, at Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro.

After his death, Roscoe was honored by the MTSU Faculty Senate in a resolution in memory and recognition of his record as a fine scholar and an admired and respected teacher. In 1998, his family established the Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Endowment at MTSU to enhance the quality of undergraduate and graduate history education. Funds from the endowment are used for the Strickland Visiting Scholar Program.

Scope and Content: The types of materials within the Strickland, Jr. Papers are correspondence, legal documents, theses and dissertations, newspapers, audiovisuals, ephemera, photographs, and monographs. The Correspondence series is arranged by personal letters written by family and friends, professional letters written by members of MTSU, and legal letters pertaining to Strickland vs. Burns. The Legal Document series is divided into two subseries: (1) Strickland’s Dissertation, which includes his doctoral dissertation, and (2) Directed Theses, which includes students’ theses directed by Strickland.

The Newspaper series includes articles and a scrapbook related to Strickland vs. Burns. The Personal Items series contains a medal awarded to Strickland, a personal appointment book, magnets, marbles, rocks, a pocketknife, and a citizen’s handbook. There are also two framed pictures: one of Napoleon Bonaparte, and one of some of the members of the American Peace Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The Audiovisual collection includes slides, slide notes, microfilm, audiocassettes, phonograph records, and photographs of MTSU faculty and staff members.

The Monographs series includes books covering Eastern Europe, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hitler, and Tennessee.The date range is 1912 to 1985.

Associated Materials: Monographs in series 7 are being housed separately from the rest of the collection on book shelves. The papers also include one box of photographs that are being housed with other photograph collections.

Related Collections: There are no other related collections.

Subject Terms

Persons
Strickland, Roscoe

Subjects (General)
Strickland vs. Burns
Eastern Europe
Russia
Czechoslovakia
Germany
Hitler, Adolf
Asia
Africa
World War I
Tennessee

Material Types:
Correspondence
Theses
Dissertations
Slides
Microfilm
Photographs
Monographs

Collection Inventory:

Box

Folder

Series

Subseries

Description of Contents

1

1

Correspondence

Personal

Letter’s to Strickland’s Aunt Rosa 1963

1

2

Correspondence

Personal

Letter’s to Strickland’s Father 1950-1968

1

3

Correspondence

Personal

Letter’s from Strickland’s Friend 1993

1

4

Correspondence

Personal

Letter’s to Strickland’s Mother 1949-1971

1

5

Correspondence

Personal

Letter’s to Strickland’s Mother and Father 1950-1970

1

6

Correspondence

Professional

Letter to a former Student

1

7

Correspondence

Professional

Letters, Misc. Professional 1965-1972

1

8

Correspondence

Professional

Lists, Advisor 1964-1970

1

9

Correspondence

Professional

Memorandums, MTSU 1966-1972

1

10

Correspondence

Legal

Letters from Bragg, John T. 1965

1

11

Correspondence

Legal

Letter to Land Developer 1951

1

12

Correspondence

Legal

Letters from Law Offices of Boult, Hunt, Cummings, & Conners/Smith & Sellers 1965

1

13

Correspondence

Legal

Letters from Law Office of Gullet, Steele, & Sanford 1965-1968

1

14

Correspondence

Legal

Letters from Rutherford County Clerk’s Office 1967

1

15

Correspondence

Legal

Letters to and from Threet, James (County Judge) 1966-1967

1

8

Correspondence

Professional

Lists, Advisor 1964-1970

2

1

Legal Documents

Affidavit – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

2

Legal Documents

Answer – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

3

Legal Documents

Complaint – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

4

Legal Documents

Final Judgment – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

5

Legal Documents

List of Magistrates Roll Call Rutherford County, TN

2

6

Legal Documents

Manual of Reapportionment 1991

2

7

Legal Documents

Memo of Authorities in Support of Plantiffs’ App. For a Preliminary Injunction 1968

2

8

Legal Documents

Method of Selecting Boards of Education and Superintendents in TN

2

9

Legal Documents

Motion – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

10

Legal Documents

Motion to Amend – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

11

Legal Documents

Opinion – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

12

Legal Documents

Plantiffs’ Trial Brief – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

13

Legal Documents

Stipulation – Civil Action 4010, 1968

2

14

Legal Documents

Trial Brief for Defendants – Civil Action 4010, 1968

4

 

Theses/Dissertations

Dissertations

“Czechoslovakia at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919” 1958

3

 

Theses/Dissertations

Theses

“American Foreign Policy in Berlin, 1943-1949” 1962

5

 

Theses/Dissertations

Theses

“German Army in WWII, 1939-1941: Hitler’s Interference in Military Operations” 1969

3

 

Theses/Dissertations

Theses

“Mystical Aspects of Hitler’s Germany” 1972

3

 

Theses/Dissertations

Theses

“Tennessee Press Reaction to the Outbreak of the First World War” 1972

3

 

Theses/Dissertations

Theses

“Wilhelmian Germany’s Military Strategy and Foreign Policy” 1964

6

1

Newspapers

“1 Man, 1 Vote in Schools” – Nashville Tennessean 7/2/66

6

2

Newspapers

“Letter Sets Ways for New Board” – Daily News Journal 9/25/67

6

3

Newspapers

“Map of the New School Zones” – Daily News Journal 4/14/68

6

6

4

5

Newspapers

Newspapers

Map of Reapportioned Civil Disrticts – Daily News Journal
“Private Acts Passed by 85th General Assembly Await Achlon” – DNJ 7/25/67

6

6

Newspapers

“Remap Rule May Hit Local Groups Next” – Nashville Tennessean 5/23/67

6

 

Newspapers

Scrapbook, Clippings 1965-1968

7

1

Personal Items

Appointment Book, Strickland’s 1963

7

2

Personal Items

Clipping, Awards Ceremony 1970s

7

3

Personal Items

“Know Your Local Government: A Citizen’s Handbook” 1960

7

4

Personal Items

Service Medallion, Middle Tennessee State College

7

 

Personal Items

3 Pictures, 2 framed

7

 

Personal Items

Small box marked “mounted transparencies,” contains gems and magnets

14 (Missing)

 

Audiovisuals

Cassettes/Records

Gooch and Strickland on Charles Darwin and the Italian Renaissance

12 located with oversize

 

Audiovisuals

Cassettes/Records

Record: Re-elect U.S. Senator Howard Baker

13 located with oversize

 

Audiovisuals

Microfilm

2 small boxes; 1 labeled “ Recueil Des Actes,” 1 labeled “C-46 709”

8

 

Audiovisuals

Slides

Slides # 1-500

9

 

Audiovisuals

Slides

Slides # 501-1000

10

 

Audiovisuals

Slides

Slides # 1001-1037 plus misc. slides

11

 

Audiovisuals

Slide Notes

Slide Notes/Descriptions

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Carroll, E. Malcolm

Germany and the Great Powers, 1866-1914 (1938)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Corlew, Robert E.

A History of Dickson County (1956)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Garrett, Mitchell B.

European History 1500-1815 (1940)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

James, Marquis

Life of Andrew Jackson (1937)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Jennings, Thelma

The Nashville Convention (1980)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Langer, William L.

Diplomacy of Imperialism 1890-1902 (1935).

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Langer, William L.

European Alliances and Alignments, 1871-1890 (1939)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Morrel,Martha
McBride

“Young Hickory” (1949)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Smith,
Walter Bedell

My Three Years in Moscow (1950)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Walsh, Warren B., ed.

Readings in Russian History (1948)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

The Watuga Press, 2 copies (1930)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

Dawn of Tennessee Valley and Tennessee History

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

Early Travels in the Tennessee Country 1540-1800 (1928)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

General John T. Wilder: Commander of the Lightning Brigade (1936)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

History of Johnson City and its Environs (1940)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

History of the Lost State of Franklin (1924)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

Tennessee During the Revolutionary War (1944)

Book Shelves

 

Monographs

Williams, Samuel
Cole.

William Tatham, Wataugan (1923)

Photographs with the Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers:

Below are thumbnail images for all of the photos included with the Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. Papers. These images are also available to the public for in-house use at the Albert Gore Research Center. Images are arranged by image number both in the Research Center’s database and in this finding aid.

Scanned reproductions: To obtain a scanned copy of the image, please provide the Research Center staff with the image number. There are additional fees for reproduction of images. Please ask our staff for a copy of the fee schedule.

Image Number
Image Thumbnail
Description

1

Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr., n.d.

2

Samuel Cole Williams, author of serial books, 1933

3

Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr. and his family, n.d.

4

Left: Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr.; Right: Melvin Scarlett, Spring, 1972 (4 copies of photograph)

5

Strickland, Jr., Boyd, Fields, and Voorhies, Spring 1972 (2 copies)

6

Students, n.d.

7

n.d.

8

MTSU NDEA Institute in History, Summer 1967

9

Roscoe Lee Strickland, Jr., n.d.

DB 6/27/2014