This collection spans several decades with most of the material falling in the late 1960's. Ruffin C. Godwin was Craven County’s representative to the North Carolina General Assembly from 1965 to 1969. His campaign materials, records, and correspondence with fellow assemblymen are found in the first series of this collection. During his tenure many important social issues were brought to debate in the Assembly and Godwin’s constituency was not hesitant in expressing their opinions. As such, a large portion of this collection is the constituent correspondence Godwin received. Series two houses issues that had large constituent responses such as: brown-bagging, whiskey by the glass, East Carolina College’s university status, public schools, teachers, the speaker ban, and retired military and civil servants benefits.
Even before his tenure in the General Assembly, Godwin was heavily involved in Veteran Employment Services with both the federal and North Carolina Departments of Labor. The third series houses his records with both. He also was involved with prison reform, notably advocating for Vocational Rehabilitation. Records relating to his participation as well as federal and North Carolina studies of its success in the 1960’s are included in series three as well.
The fourth series focuses on Godwin’s involvement with the American Legion which he joined at its inception in 1919. These records include correspondence from both regional and national delegates, notifications of reunions, and include materials relating to celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of World War I. The American Legion’s response to the 1948 Hoover Commission that advocated the closing of the Veteran’s Administration is also included.
The final series in this collection houses oversize documents. Here, campaign posters, General Assembly seating charts and voting logs, redistricting maps, and the NC American Legion newspapers from the late 1960’s can be found.
This collection is most helpful to the researcher looking into Vocational Rehabilitation, retired military concerns, and eastern North Carolina’s political situation from 1965 to 1969.