The William A. Bernrieder Collection has a great deal of information about the history of the USS Houston (CA-30) as well as the USS Texas and Franklin Roosevelt's visit to Houston in 1936. Bernrieder corresponded with many of the leading businessmen and politicians in Houston during his lifetime, as well as officers in the Navy. The collection dates from 1917- 1988, with the bulk of the material dating from 1929-1936 and from 1970-1986.
Bernrieder kept a considerable amount of material from his early work regarding having a ship named for the city of Houston and added additional materials to his files throughout his life. There are also a number of items from A. D. Simpson, who was heavily involved in the Cruiser Houston Committee as well.
For the most part, arrangement has followed Bernrieder's subject files with some modification. File folders that could be subdivided chronologically or by sub-topic have been refiled. Also, folders with materials covering the same topic which had originally been filed separately have been brought together. Because Bernrieder followed a subject arrangement for his files, correspondence is scattered throughout the collection.
There are a number of series within the collection, based on subject with the exception of the Correspondence series. The series are: Correspondence, Democratic Party, Franklin Roosevelt's Visit, USS Houston Campaign, USS Houston, USS Texas, Publications, and Miscellaneous. Within each series are additional topics, arranged alphabetically by subject heading. The largest series is the USS Houston series, which chronicles the history of the USS Houston.
Later additions to the collection have been incorporated into the subject files arrangement where possible. However, large amounts of correspondence which were donated after the initial gift of materials in 1979 have been given a simple chronological arrangement. Most of the correspondence in those files discusses the USS Houston and related matters, although there is one letter, dated August 23, 1977, which includes Bernrieder's recollections of the Camp Logan riots in Houston in 1917.
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