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AFT President's Office: Carl Megel Records

Identifier: LR000510

Scope and Content

The Carl J. Megel Collection consists of correspondence, clippings, speeches, reports, meeting material, and publications related to his work as president and head of the Legislative Dept. of the AFT.

Important subjects in the collection: Academic freedom; International teachers unions; Collective bargaining; Local AFT chapters; Educational legislation; Loyalty oaths. Federal aid to education; Retirement for teachers; Integration of schools and unions; Segregated locals

Important correspondents in the collection: Borchardt, Selma; Loomer, Arch S.; Cosgrove, John; Meany, George; Counts, Dr. George S.; Randolph, A. Phillip; Eklund, John; Reuther, Walter P.; Fewkes, John; Roth, Herrick; Field, Thomas; Rust, Ben; Herrick, Mary; Selden, David; High, Paul; Shanker, Albert S.; Kuenzli, Irvin; Snow, F. C.


  • 1914 - 1993


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Carl J. Megel served as the American Federation of Teachers’ first full-time president for twelve years, from 1952 to 1964, and for another eighteen years as its chief lobbyist in the Legislative Department. A science and math teacher in Illinois public schools, he became active in the Chicago Teachers Union, AFT Local 1, in the 1930s.

During his tenure as AFT president, the union expanded its membership dramatically, integrated Southern locals, and fought for federal aid to education and financial recognition of the professional status of teachers.


26 Linear Feet (26 SB)


The collection contains correspondence, clippings, speeches, reports, meeting materials and publications related to the activities of Carl Megel while he was president of the AFT, director of legislation and in charge of Retiree networks. The papers have information the integration of AFT locals, loyalty oaths, academic freedom, education legislation, and retirement of teachers. Important correspondence include Albert Shanker, Walter P. Reuther, David Selden, George Meany, and George Counts.


PLEASE NOTE: Folders are computer-arranged alphabetically in this finding aid, but may actually be dispersed throughout several boxes in the collection. Note carefully the box number for each folder heading. A folder-by-folder listing of the boxes in this collection is also available upon request.

Related Materials

AFT collections


A number of books, serials, convention material, meeting proceedings, and constitutions have been placed in the Archives Library and photographs, buttons, bumper stickers, and audio tapes are available in the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the AFT President's Office: Carl Megel Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA