Date Published: 1931 to 1966
Father Charles E. Coughlin was an American Canadian Roman Catholic Priest born in Hamilton, Ontario and ordained to the priesthood in Toronto in 1916 with the Basilian Fathers. He taught at Assumption College, also operated by the Basilians, in Windsor, Ontario.
When his religious order was re-organized in 1923, he moved to Detroit. In 1926, he ministered at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan, and began his radio broadcasts, reaching an audience of 30 million people. In 1934, he organized the National Union for Social Justice (later the Christian Front) through which he argued that neither capitalism nor democracy had a future in America. However, he often engaged in anti-Semitic attacks, supported fascist policies, and became a harsh critic of Franklin D. Roosevelt. His public career ended in May 1942 with the forced cancellation of his radio program and his newspaper, Social Justice. He served as a parish pastor until his retirement in 1966.
Collection material dates from 1931 to 1966 and includes 146 items, specifically, 129 Social Justice Newspapers, 4 Books, 9 B&W Photos, 3 Ephemera and 1 Medal.
129 Social Justice Newspapers:
Social Justice (Father Coughlin’s Weekly Review, Royal Oak, Michigan, American Roman Catholic weekly periodical, an anti-Semitic periodical). 129 issues as follows: Vol. I: nos. 1-16 (13 March 1936-29 June 1936), nos. 18-19 (13-20 July 1936); vol. II: nos. 10-23 (28 September 1936-28 December 1936); vol. III: nos. 1-9 (4 January 1937-1 March 1937); 21 August 1939; 15 issues, 1 July 1940-14 October 1940; 58 issues, 28 October 1940-1 December 1941; 11 issues, 29 December 1941-9 March 1942; 4 issues, 23 March 1942-13 April 1942.
• Rev. Albert M. Hutting, The Life of the Little Flower (Royal Oak, Michigan: League of the Little Flower, 1941), hard cover book, copyright Rev. Chas. E. Coughlin, bookplate of Loretta Helen Miller, with a TLS from Coughlin to Miller, December 1942, treasuring their friendship and sending Christmas greeting and the book.
• Soft cover book entitled Answer to Father Coughlin’s Critics (Royal Oak, Michigan: League of the Little Flower, 1940), paperback. With TLS to G. Seger (addressed Dear Friend), 25 March 1940, saying that he does not relish being characterized as an anti-Semite, a pro-Nazi, and falsifier of documents.
• By the sweat of thy brow: A series of sermons broadcast by Rev. Chas. E. Coughlin from the Shrine of the Little Flower, October, 1930-February, 1931. Detroit: The Radio League of the Little Flower, 1931. Paperback, very good, first edition, tan spine. Laid in are: a membership card and a TLS (signature in facsimile) from Father Coughlin to Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Scheffer, 26 February 1931.
• Father Coughlin’s Radio Discourses 1931-1932 (Royal Oak, Michigan: Published by the Radio League of the Little Flower, March 1932), paperback, with a matching bookmark and a TLS(signature in facsimile) from Coughlin to Mrs. Joseph Constantine, April 1932, re the “Golden Hour” broadcasts, soliciting funds and asking that she say a prayer for him.
9 B&W Photos:
• Father Coughlin enjoys recreation with his pet dog at his church, 6 April 1933, International New Photo;
• “Coughlin speaks, as radio priest pledged organization to central government bank”, International News Photo, 1935;
• “Principal at Coughlin rally”, 25 April 1935, International Chicago;
• “Coughlin at Lemke mass meeting”, 27 July 1936, Acme Newspictures, Inc.;
• “Coughlin Followers attend National Convention”, 14 August 1936, Cleveland;
• Wisconsin delegation at the National Union for Social Justice Convention, 16 August 1936;
• “Father Coughlin as he arrived at his speech”, 16 September 1936, Acme Newspictures, Inc.;
• “At Coughlin ralley [rally] in Brooklyn, N.Y.” 11 September 1936;
• “Candid camera catches Couglin”, 18 August 1944
• Clarence Glaskill. Shepherd of the Air, respectfully dedicated to Father Rev. Charles B. Coughlin Pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower. Sheet music. Olman Music, 1933.
• TLS (signature in facsimile) to L. Wm. Maurer, January 1934, re “The New Deal in Money” which Coughlin has delivered as lectures on the radio, asking Maurer to write to his Congressman to restore silver to its proper price, with two membership card applications for the Radio League of the Little Flower.
• Petition to Pope Pius XI, 15 sheets, re petition to reinstate Coughlin’s radio program and the misunderstanding between Archbishop Mooney of Detroit and Coughlin. With a cartoon satirizing the gold standard with Roosevelt and other politicians and dignitaries, crucifixion scene, and people and soldiers, circa 1939-1945.
• Golden Jubilee medal issued in 1966 by the Shrine of the Little Flower in celebration of Father’s service as priest.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.