FRANK J. MANNING was deeply involved in the labor movement and was politically active as a Socialist during the 1920s and 1930s. Locally, he was president of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey. Nationally and internationally he was involved in the Young People's Socialist League.
The seed of the modern, low-rent public housing system now taken for granted as part of the social structure of the city of Camden was planted back in the dark days of the depression, in the interim between the first election and inauguration of President Roosevelt, by the Unemployed Union of Camden County. This was an association formed to present the problems of the unemployed collectively and intelligently to those public officials who were responsible for the administration of relief in Camden County
Believing that the relief problem would be a permanent one, the executive board of the union established contact with civic and social organizations in Camden to initiate a Statewide movement for planning lasting civic improvements which simultaneously would provide employment and meet a pressing need for decent housing for the under-privileged.
In the furtherance of this policy, a resolution was adopted by the union and presented to the city commissioners on December 22, 1932 proposing that the city seek a loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation with which to finance construction of homes to be owned and rented by the city. Since public housing was something entirely new for Camden and little understood, an educational program was undertaken by the union. Frank J. Manning, president of the union, and Clarence E. Moulette appeared before various organizations in Camden seeking support for the housing plan.
Mayor Roy R. Stewart on August 3, 1933 convened a meeting of representatives of real estate, insurance, title and mortgage companies, labor and the unemployed to discuss problems arising from vacant properties in the city. Mr. Manning was present and, although the conference originally had been planned to consider a housing project, consideration of that subject was deferred because of the absence of Rabbi Nachman S. Arnoff, who was to have opened a discussion on slum clearance and municipal housing.
Frank J. Manning appears to have later moved to Massachusetts. In 1967, Frank Manning, a 66-year-old retired union organizer, began stirring up the previously silent masses of New England's elderly. Within three years, he had traveled the entire state of Massachusetts, attempting to create a social movement to demand elderly rights. For the next fifteen years, Frank Manning's activism set the pace for the United States. Almost single-handedly, Manning transformed his home state of Massachusetts into a beacon for the nation, boasting the country's largest budget and most progressive programs and services for the elderly. Old Warrior is a half-hour film documenting this important, yet forgotten chapter in history. The film begins in Boston in the mid-sixties and travels through two decades in New England. There are appearances by Senator Edward Kennedy, Governor Francis Sargent, City Councilor Dapper O'Neil, Congressman Claude Pepper, Governor Edward King, Governor Michael Dukakis, and a final television interview with Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.
In 1979, the College of Public and Community Service (CPCS) of the University of Massachusetts Boston established an intensive one-year program in Gerontology, targeted mainly at older learners. A grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging helped to launch the Frank J. Manning Certificate Program in Gerontology, named in honor of a much-revered longtime advocate for elder issues in Massachusetts. after his death Later Frank J. Manning Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Gerontology, University of Massachusetts was established.
Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1933
J. Manning, president of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, will
give a special lecture to the unemployed of Camden county 8 p. m.,
Sunday, at Twenty-fourth and Federal
The subject will be "Is America Headed, Towards a Revolution"? Manning recently returned from a conference of the unemployed held in Chicago, where delegates met to form a platform to cover their interests in the United States.
Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1933
QUITS RELIEF JOB IN MYSTERY CLASH
Arthur L. Stone
last night resigned as Camden city director of the Emergency Relief
decision to quit came as a climax
of a clash with Wayland
Camden county relief director
which has stirred the city for the past two days.
who "drafted" Dr.
for the municipal post last January 14, continued
to mantle in mystery the reason behind his request' for 'the resignation.
He referred inquiries
to John Colt, of Princeton, who is state director of the relief
speculation over the reason for the rift between Dr.
and Director Cramer
was spreading throughout the city the county administration
was denounced at a meeting held in Convention
announced his resignation after Director Cramer
had added to his long series of refusals to inquiring
newspapermen. Asked for a
Dr. Stone said: "I
have no statement. I have sent my resignation to Mr. Colt, through Mr. Cramer.
That's all there is to it."
response to an inquiry regarding the reason for Cramer's
action in asking him to quit, Dr.
feel it is better for the service not to say anything about the matter
at the present time,"
awfully sorry but I can't say anything about the matter. Director Colt
has instructed me to say nothing. I'm going to follow his instructions.
not trying to be nasty about this situation. When the director gives me an
order I have to obey it. Any information you desire must be obtained from
Lincoln Wood, Jr., secretary to Cramer,
answered telephone calls for the county director yesterday. He denied that
was in his office and announced the administration's new policy, that from
now on the press would be excluded from personal or telephone interviews
with the county relief director.
had my orders," said Wood, "and they are that Mr. Cramer
will grant no interviews to newspapermen If you aren't satisfied with that
arrangement, you had better call Mr. Colt, the state relief director.
will the public receive news of the activities in the relief
administration?" Wood was asked.
statements will be sent all newspapers," said Wood.
newspapermen be permitted to ask questions after the statements are
received?" Wood was asked.
was the answer.
week ago Wood and Cramer
criticized the Courier-Post Newspapers for the stand they had taken in
printing the statement of a forestry recruit who had left Camp Dix, in
protest against living conditions there. Cramer intimated that the
recruit's statement should not
been published before the relief authorities were consulted.
by telephone at Princeton, Colt, the state relief director, declared that
he had Cramer's
request for Dr. Stone's resignation under consideration, but denied rumors
he already had ordered an investigation.
due time," said Colt, "I shall have a statement to make. Until
then, I have the matter under consideration and have nothing to say."
a typewritten statement by Cramer was handed newspapermen by Captain
Albert S. Howard, deputy county relief director. When asked to
elaborate, Capt. Howard would not comment.
Camden county director of the Emergency Relief Administration, of the
State of New Jersey, Wayland
states that the situation connected with the recent publicity concerning
the city of Camden's municipal directorship has been referred to John
Colt, state director of the Emergency Relief Administration, and all
information in this matter will be released through the state
attacking the relief bureau before the unemployed union meeting Manning
demanded a "shakeup" of the whole crowd from top to
bottom." He suggested a protest parade be held July 4.
is about time we had someone in the relief organization besides army
officers and others who know nothing about the administration of
relief," he declared. "What we need is people who are versed in
social service work.
is about time the unemployed slackers wake up to the manner in which
relief is being administered. Let's band ourselves together in a mammoth
parade on July 4 and demand a shake-up of the whole crowd from top to
read this week," he continued, "about Cramer's
request that Dr.
resign. It is the right of the unemployed
and the general public to know all that is behind this request. If Dr.
is incompetent or if there is something more serious behind it, let’s
have all the information to which we- the public- are entitled. In making
this demand, I am not defending Dr.
or any other official."
looks to me," Moulette
said, "as though the politicians are trying to ease one of their
henchmen into Dr.
job as relief director. They thought it policy to oust him because he is
giving too many babies too much relief. Dr. Stone probably has been the
best man in that job, but he hasn't done as much as we expected he would
do. It appears to me as though he would like to have accomplished more for
the unemployed but couldn't.
motion was then presented and adopted that the Unemployed Union demanding
that the reason for the Dr.
resignation request be made public.
that Ralph Baccellieri, a Berlin relief official, was using his relief
office to depress wages in his mill were submitted at the meeting from
unemployed representatives of the town.
Berlin representatives," said Manning,
"charge that Baccellieri is paying the workers in his factory such
low wages that they have to apply to the emergency relief for food. What a
fine situation that is. Here is a man, the joint owner of a sweatshop, who
is trading on his relief office so that he can employ people at starvation
copy of a letter," continued Manning,
"was sent Cramer
and John Colt, state relief director, pointing to the situation in Berlin.
And what do you think I received today from Mr. Cramer?
Well, he thanked me for the information. Like hell he thanked me.
thing that Mr. Cramer
me for in his letter was the information about how the Lawnside relief
director played politics at the polls at the recent primary. There he was
at the polls despite the statement of Mr. Cramer
prior to the primaries that any relief official involved in politics would
be dismissed from the administration."
stated that the Unemployed union produced affidavits to prove his
assertion concerning the Lawnside relief situation.
Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1933
Cramer and Howard, Unemployed Ask Colt
than 300 persons filling every section of their hall, at 312 Market
street, the Unemployed Union last night adopted resolutions attacking Camden county relief officials.
letter was sent to John Colt, state director of Emergency Relief, in
which many cases of destitution and grievances of the union were
Colt to Fire Cramer
communication, signed by Frank
J. Manning, president of the union, requested the removal of the
Camden county relief director and deputy director. The deputy director
is Capt. Albert S. Howard.
can be no good will in Camden county," the letter stated,
"until the present director and deputy director are removed and
the unemployed are given representation on the relief board.
submitted a list of grievances to you from Lawnside showing a
deplorable condition among the unemployed of that community, some of
the families living on a miserable pittance of 50 cents every two
person in the family.
relief administrator in Berlin is part-owner of a sweat shop and
he administers relief in a highhanded and dictatorial fashion."
adopted a resolution demanding representation on the relief
was asked two questions in the resolution. They were:
the emergency relief allow a committee of the Unemployed Union to have full representation on the relief
you give our grievance committee
full access to the records of the Emergency Relief?"
completed for a giant mass meeting to be staged at the Convention
Hall on Wednesday, June 14, at
will join with the Congress of Civic Clubs in staging
The union plans to bring several prominent speakers to the meeting.
Camden Courier-Post- June 14, 1933
Cramer Upheld in Keeping From Public Relief Payroll and Job Holders
Wayland P. Cramer, Camden county relief director yesterday was victorious in his policy of secrecy in affairs of his relief administration when he won authority from John Colt, state relief director, to suppress from newspapers a complete salary list of relief employees.
Last Wednesday, at the request of the Courier-Post newspapers, Cramer instructed his secretary, Lincoln Wood, Jr., to write Colt and ask for his opinion in the matter. That was after Cramer had demurred when asked for the salary lists, which were demanded by several Camden organizations including the Unemployed Union.
Word of Colt's refusal was brought to Camden yesterday by Col. Joseph D. Sears, deputy state director, who explained that his chief had adopted the policy of withholding the names because it might cause "embarrassment and a hardship to little fellows" on the relief payroll to have their salaries published.
To Ask Cramer Removal
Colt's refusal to submit the complete salary lists for public inspection followed the announcement of a
mass meeting tonight in Convention
Hall, when demands will be made for the immediate removal of Cramer and all other officials of the county relief administration.
It was explained to Colonel Sears that rumors were current in this city that former city employees had been given jobs with the relief adminis tration in preference to applicants with equal qualifications.
"Of course," said Colonel Sears, "I am not familiar with the Camden situation, but I can say that I don't know the politics of two percent of persons at the state relief headquarters. Mr. Colt feels it would result in an undue hardship to little fellows in the employ of the administration to have their salaries published.
"However, if there is any evidence of unfairness or discrimination in employment it will be possible to obtain the salaries of three or four persons at a time."
Little Knowledge of Politics
Dr. Stone, at the conclusion of Col. Sears' discourse, stated that he knew the political faith of less than one percent the municipal relief offices employees. Wood, speaking for Cramer, echoed the statement of Col. Sears when he said that the politics of less than two percent of the Camden county administration was known.
Col. Sears explained that it was the policy of the state administration to employ men and women first, for their capabilities in relief work, and, second, from the standpoint of their need for financial assistance.
"If we can't make up our personnel from the first class," he said, "we turn to the second."
Other speakers at the meeting will be Frank J. Manning, president of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey; Paul Porter, lecturer for the League for Industrial Democracy, and John Edelman, vice chairman of the Industrial Standards Committee of New Jersey. The meeting opens at 8 p. m .
A demand will also be made by the unemployed union of Colt at the meeting for representation from its membership within the county relief administration. Clarence E. Moullette is executive secretary of the union, and William R. Kennedy is vice president.
"If the county relief officials attend the meeting," said Manning "they will be asked to answer some questions pertinent to the administration of relief which is inadequate and prejudiced for political expediency. Repeatedly, this organization has tried but failed to obtain fair hearings on its complaints of the inefficient relief methods."
Moullette announced today he had prepared a list of questions for relief officials to answer.
"We intend to ask Mr. Cramer to explain why he and Captain Howard receive from eight to ten cents a mile for operating their automobiles in relief service, while the usual rate for state officials is but five cents a mile," Moullette said.
Manning announced that formal protest will be made at the mass meeting against the recent conduct of Cramer in suppressing information concerning his request for the resignation of Dr. A. L. Stone as Camden municipal relief director.
"The public," said Manning, "is still awaiting an explanation from Mr. Cramer on his request for Dr. Stone's resignation. It is the right of the tax-paying public to know the reasons behind that request, and whether they had any serious bearing on the administration of relief to the poor and needy."
Camden Courier-Post- June 16, 1933
Cramer Denies County Relief Bureau Allied With Sweatshops
Wayland P. Cramer, director of the Camden County Emergency Relief Administration, yesterday ridiculed charges his bureau is allied with sweatshops, as publicly issued by the New Jersey Unemployed Union, at a mass meeting here.
At the same time Dr. Arthur L. Stone, city health officer and director of the city emergency relief board welcomed spokesmen of the unemployed to a conference. Dr. Stone announced he will accompany the committee today on a tour of inspection of the city relief bureau.
Director Cramer at first refused to "dignify with an answer" the charges of the unemployed. Later he issued a statement leveled at "insidious attacks of agitators endeavoring to break down the hope and faith in the future of our government, our home and our institutions."
Questioned as to his attitude on two affidavits obtained by the unemployed union, in which it is charged Mrs. Viola Baker, municipal relief director of Magnolia, had used her position to subsidize persons in need of aid, Director Cramer said:
"If those affidavits are turned in to me, I shall see that they are examined as to the facts and by the proper authorities."
Cramer announced that John Colt, state relief director, would have a final decision to make concerning the request of the Courier-Post Newspapers for a list of salaries of employees of the Camden County Relief Administration.
Colt, through his deputy, Col. Joseph D. Sears, refused this week to permit publication of the salary lists in newspapers, declaring it would "impose a hardship and embarrass the little fellows on the payroll." Colt is reported to be reconsidering his first decision.
"In spite of the insidious attacks of agitators endeavoring to break down the hope and faith in the future of our government, our homes, and our institutions, the vast majority of the people are 'carrying on' in a generously patriotic manner that is absolutely necessary to bring back the stable employment conditions which mean so much to all of us," Cramer said.
"Every man and woman must do everything in their power to maintain the internal security of this country. I am doing my part by giving the best of my ability to honestly and ably organize and expedite the functioning of Emergency Relief throughout Camden County.
"Unless adequate relief is given to each and every deserving person, there is a failure which we take very much to heart. At the same time, we must make certain that those who are not deserving receive punishment for taking away the portion due those who are.
"Qualified citizens will find the records open for examination; all suggestions for the improvement of
our service will be welcomed and, as in the past, will be acknowledged.
Stone Sees Unemployed
Dr. Stone conferred with Frank J. Manning, president of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey; Clarence E. Moulette, executive secretary, and George Yost, state organizer of the Young Peoples' Socialist Party.
The trio, Dr. Stone said, called on him to discuss their request for representation within the relief administration.
"I believe," Dr. Stone said, "that it is only fair that these gentlemen and any others from representative organizations should have an opportunity to look into the inner workings of the relief administration. Of course, it is human to make mistakes, but I want to show these men that if mistakes were made they were made honestly.
"I shall open the office records for their inspection and shall do my utmost to explain all details of relief work to their satisfaction.
"If, after the tour of inspection, these men still insist on representation in my department of relief work, I shall take up that question for further consideration." "
Camden Courier-Post- June 20, 1933
Hatch Estate Drives Jobless From Gardens
Sixteen unemployed gardeners have been given 24 hours' notice by the city to vacate their plots on the Hatch estate, planted under supervision of the Camden City Emergency Relief Administration, it was revealed last night.
"Some of the legal tangle between the owners of the property and the city of Camden was given as reason for the move.
The disclosure was made at a meeting of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, held at 312 Market Street. A committee of the union will call on the relief administration today to protest against the removal order.
The gardens were planted to provide fruit and vegetables for families of the unemployed. The Hatch estate tract is one of several sites throughout the city where this work has been under way.
The Unemployed Union, through Frank J. Manning, president, and Clarence E. Moullette, executive secretary, question the right of the city to order the gardeners from the field. They hold that under a New Jersey law, no contract, no matter under what terms negotiated, can be abrogated after a crop is planted until it has been reaped.
"Mr. M. Bergen Stone, an attorney representing the Hatch Estate, owners of the property on which are located the Miller Gardens, has given us notice of repossession within the next 24 hours.
"It seems that some legal tangle has arisen between the owners of this property and the city of Camden and it is necessary for the present owner to have sole and complete possession and occupation of these premises. It will therefore be necessary that the shack you have begun to build be dismantled and that the gardeners on your tract be notified of this action before noon on Tuesday, June 20.
"Be assured that I will do the best, that I possibly can to relocate your gardens and that anything that you have growing that is transplantable, you will be allowed to transplant. Please see that this information is given to your other gardeners at once so that the owners can get possession immediately."
The union urged demolition of all unsafe properties in the city and recommended the city commissioners seek a loan from the federal government to abolish "slums" of Camden. Such a project, the union points out, would greatly relieve unemployment here. .
Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933
TO TALK ON STRIKES
Conditions in the strike area of the Eastern United States will be described by Mike Shulman, national organizer of the Young. People's Socialist League, at a meeting of the Camden league to be held tonight at 311 Market street.
Frank J. Manning, president of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, will recount the history of American mine workers. Members of the league will participate tomorrow in Miners' Memorial tag day.
Camden Courier-Post - June 24, 1933
PARADE PLANNED BY JOBLESS UNIONS
for a mammoth parade and mass meeting July Fourth are being formulated
by the Unemployed Union of New Jersey. The mass meeting will be held
in front of the new city hall. Frank
J. Manning, president of the union, will be the principle speaker.
mass meeting will be followed with a picnic at Kirkwood Lake Park
where the unemployed will join with members of the Socialist party of
South Jersey, in celebrating the new Declaration of
Independence, which will be read to the assemblage. Norman Thomas,
Socialist candidate for president in the last presidential election,
will address those attending the picnic.
Camden Courier-Post - June 25, 1933
INSTITUTE FOR JOBLESS TO BE OPENED TODAY
'The Unemployed Union of New Jersey will inaugurate at 10 a. m. today a Labor Educational, Institute for students and workers, according to Frank J. Manning, president of the union.
opening will be devoted to classes in economics and public speaking. Mark
Starr, director of Brookwood
Labor College, will be the instructor in economics, and Miss
Josephine Colby, a graduate of the University of California, will
instruct in English and public speaking, Manning has requested that
those interested get in touch with him. The second series of the
Institute will include a course on Fascism, he said, and "the
danger it represents to working classes".
Camden Courier-Post - June 26, 1933
SCHOOL COURSE BEGUN BY UNEMPLOYED UNION
Fifty students attended the extension service in labor education offered by the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, yesterday, at 312 Market street. Frank J. Manning, president, obtained the services of Mark Starr, extension director of Brookwood Labor College, Katonah, New York. Starr will instruct the class in economics.
Colby, instructor in public speaking and English at Brookwood College,
will instruct the class in public speaking.
Camden Courier-Post- June 28, 1933
WORKER' PLAN OPPOSED BY UNION
Objection to a proposed employee representation plan for employees of the RCA-Victor Company's manufacturing department was voiced yesterday by the Unemployed Union of Camden, which held a mass meeting at noon in Johnson Park.
The meeting was adjourned when whistles of the factory blew, summoning its workers back to their tasks, but Frank J. Manning, chairman of the union, announced that another meeting will be held at noon today in the park.
According to an announcement by W. R. G. Baker, vice president of the company, each division of the manufacturing department may elect representatives, who, with representation appointed by the company, will constitute a joint conference to discuss and settle- subject to review by the management- all matters of mutual interest pertaining to working conditions. All employees except those identified with the management are voting.
Speakers of the Unemployed Union who condemned the plan as "against the interests of workers," were Clarence E. Moullette, executive secretary of the union, and Mark Starr, director of Brookwood Labor College, New York, now giving a course in economics here under the auspices of the Unemployed Union.
Starr declared that the Camden firm's employee representation plan was "another name for a company union," and went on to relate cases of large industrial concerns in which company unions had worked, disastrously for employees.
Camden Courier-Post- June 28, 1933
UNION TO PLAN FOR FOURTH
Plans for a Fourth of July demonstration, similar to labor demonstrations staged throughout the world each year on May 1, will be formulated tomorrow night at a mass meeting conducted by the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, according to an announcement yesterday by Frank J. Manning, president.
Manning said the meeting in Convention Hall Annex would be addressed by Mark Starr, professor of economics, and Josephine Colby, instructor of English, of Brookwood Labor College, and by three students of the college.
The Unemployed Union tomorrow night, will demand that the city commission hold a public hearing on housing conditions in Camden and the proposal of the union to establish municipally operated living quarters, Manning said.
Dr. A. L. Stone, city health director and chairman of the Camden city emergency relief administration, will be asked for his conclusions on representation of the union on the city relief board, Manning said.
The demonstration on July 4, according to Manning, will start with a parade at 10 a. m., to be followed by a mass meeting on the steps of the City Hall plaza, before the buses and automobiles leave for Kirkwood Lake, where a picnic will be held in the afternoon.
The Unemployed Union, according to Manning, will co-operate with the Socialist Party for the picnic. Norman Thomas has been invited to speak, he said.
The three Socialist candidates for Assembly - Manning, Charles W. Sherlock and Herman F. Niessner- will present their platforms. In addition. numerous athletic events; including a baseball game, have been arranged, he said.
"The Unemployed Union urges all workers and farmers in Camden county to assemble for a mighty labor demonstration on July 4," Manning said. "We shall make known our demands for action to relieve unemployment, to end inhuman wages and ruinously low prices for our products. We shall set forth the plans at the Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers, with which the union is affiliated, for wiping poverty from the face of the earth and for building a world with plenty and happiness for all.
"We shall hold a short mass meeting on the steps of City Hall Plaza at which the New Declaration of Independence of the Continental Congress will be read.
"July 4 must be made the occasion for building up, the solidarity and power of farmers and workers. A powerful well-rounded labor movement could drive corruption and graft out of our public life, abolish sweatshops and build a workers' world of peace, plenty and freedom."
Regarding the platform of the three Socialistic candidates for Assembly, Manning said:
"Our platform will be constructive and in the interests of the workers and farmers of the state. We shall go into every corner of this county with our platform and we shall also challenge our opponents to meet us in debate so that the voters may have a chance to know where all the candidates stand on important issues."
Camden Courier-Post- June 28, 1933
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