February 19, 1973, 7 items; Reprints of articles concerning Vietnam War and miscellaneous
April 3, 1973, 32 items; Copies of letters, antiwar articles, clippings and issues of
U.S. Farm News
May 31, 1973, 50 items; Newspaper clippings
October 17, 1974, 108 items; Papers (1965-1974), consisting of correspondence and clippings
November 15, 1974, 15 items; Letters, articles, and reprints written by General Hester
November 20, 1974, 4 items; Reprints of articles by Promoting Enduring Peace, Inc.
December 4, 1974, 49 items; Correspondence (1962-1971), articles and reprints
June 13, 1977, 750 items; Papers (1971-1977), consisting of correspondence, clippings, and miscellaneous material. Gift of Brig. General Hugh B. Hester, Asheville, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Hugh B. Hester Papers (#222), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Brig. General Hugh B. Hester
Hugh Bryan Hester (1895-1983) was born in Hester, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated in 1916. Although an opponent of World War I, Hester enlisted in the Army, attended officer training camp, and became a 2nd lieutenant in the artillery. For his war service, he received the Silver Star, the Croix de Guerre, and the French Legion of Honor. He remained in the Army as a career officer and during World War II served in the Pacific Theater in Supply and Procurement under General Douglas MacArthur (1942-1945). From 1945 to 1947, he was director of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Program in Germany and then became military attache to Australia (1947-1948). Hester served as commanding general of the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot until his retirement as a brigadier general in 1951. After retirement, he studied law and international relations at UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania, and George Washington University. Hester became an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy and devoted the remainder of his life to writing and lecturing against U.S. defense postures. From the mid 1960s through 1983, he was a special correspondent for
The Nation, The Churchman, and
U.S. Farm News, as well as a speaker on the lecture circuit.
One of the major topics of the collection concerns the Vietnam War. Hester's stance was that it was an illegal action which began during the Eisenhower administration. He saw it as a violation of the U.N. Charter, an act of aggression against the people of Vietnam, and an effort towards world domination. Specific points discussed include peace movements and demonstrations (1967), the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (1967-1968), Selective Service (1968, 1973), the abolition of ROTC (1969), and a volunteer Army (1974). I. F. Stone comments on amnesty for war resisters (undated), while Paul McCloskey discusses the Lon Nol regime and the Khmer Rouge (1975). Adlai Stevenson wrote concerning the military budget, the Vietnamese, and the Cambodians (1975). The 1972 presidential election with the hope for de-escalation of the conflict is the background to much of the early correspondence.
Watergate is an associated topic in terms of seconding a call for responsible government (1973-1974). Barbara Tuchman responds to this point directly as a member of the National Committee for Effective Congress. Sam Ervin, Jr., makes note of the ramifications of the scandal, the Cox dismissal, the tapes, the coming investigation, and the possibility of impeachment (1973-1974). George McGovern discusses Watergate in terms of political corruption, the potential for impeachment, and the Ford nomination and confirmation (1973-1974). Howard Baker (undated) mentions the presidential pardon of Nixon while Robert Drinan, Roy Taylor, Thomas Eagleton, Charles Percy, Alan Cranston, and publishers Barry Bingham and Don Shoemaker note the nomination of Nelson Rockefeller for vice president (1974).
An underlying topic throughout the collection is the development of United States foreign policy since World War I. International relations between the world powers; the United Nations and its lack of effectiveness; the position of NATO in supporting West German rearmament after World War II; and the activities of John Foster Dulles, Konrad Adenauer, and others during the development of the Cold War are noted in editorial correspondence as well as in clippings and publications.
For related material see O.H. 44. The
U.S. Farm News issues have been transferred to the Hoover Collection.