Papers (1971-1982) including correspondence, petitions, pamphlets, speeches, clippings, congressional voting records and post cards.
Christopher S. Barker, Jr. (1911-1987) was born in Trenton, NC, attended school in New Bern, NC, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (1933). During World War II, Barker was awarded the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. After the war, Barker was an associate professor of Naval Science at Princeton University (1945-1948), a professor of Naval Science at the University of South Carolina (1954-1957), and retired from the Navy with the rank of rear admiral (1960). Barker was a member of numerous Craven County, NC, community organizations, and was elected to the N.C. General Assembly (1969) and served in the House of Representatives through 1986. During this time, Barker chaired several committees and commissions, including the Study Committee on the Use of Illegal and Harmful Drugs in North Carolina (1971-1975) and the House Mental Health Committee (1975-1977), and was vice-chair of the Committee on Finance and the Public Utilities Committee (1983). Barker served on several other committees as well, including the Legislative Research Commission (1977-1978), the Committees on Corporations, Education, Government Ethics, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Wildlife Resources (1983), and the Election Laws Committee (1985-1986).
The collection focuses entirely on the efforts in North Carolina to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Correspondence is primarily from Barker's constituents and consists of opinions concerning the ratification or non-ratification of the amendment. Other correspondence concerns a report on the ERA in Virginia (February 17, 1975); a copy of a letter from Tennessee legislators discussing the difficulties involved in rescinding the amendment if ratified along with a report that states that Tennessee plans to extend their amendment; and views of other Tennessee legislators (April 10, 1975 and attachment January 9, 1974).
Other correspondence reflects the opinions of various religious organizations and their members including the anti-ERA sentiments of the N.C. Baptist State Convention (February-March 1975) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (February 6, 1977), and the pro-ERA beliefs of other Baptists (March 5, 1975, January 19, 1977), the Christian Life Council (January 31, 1977), and the N.C. Council of Churches (April 24, 1977).
The remainder of the collection is comprised of pro and con petitions; speeches; general information; publications, and miscellaneous materials. A particularly interesting publication included is By Her Own Bootstraps: A Saga of Women in North Carolina by Albert Coates. Much of the pro-ERA materials is supplied by the League of Women Voters, Business and Professional Women, and the National Organization for Women. Some anti-ERA publications were provided by the N.C. American Party, Phyllis Schlafly and the National Defense Committee of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Gift of Hon. Chris S. Barker, Jr.
Processed by C. Creech, June 1995
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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