US Senator (1954-1978)


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Campaign flyer, The Truth About the Cliff Case Labor Record

Campaign flyer, “The Truth About the Cliff Case Labor Record,” 1954.
During his thirty-four years in Congress, Clifford Case was a reliable advocate of organized labor.  He was a moderate Republican who supported workers’ rights, the strengthening of workplace safety and health regulations, and efforts to promote full employment.  In the hotly contested 1954 U.S. Senate campaign, organized labor’s backing of Case was crucial in his victory over Democrat Charles Howell by only 3,507 votes.

Excerpts from Clifford P. Case’s remarks delivered on WNBT-TV, October 17, 1954.
The appearance in the Star-Ledger of an article attacking Clifford Case’s sister Adelaide for having pro-communist sympathies was one of a number of efforts by Case opponents to undermine his campaign for the Senate.  Case appeared on WNBT-TV in Newark, N.J., to rebut the newspaper’s claims.  Case’s forthright defense of his sister and his commitment to running an open, honest, and clean campaign illustrate his deep love for his family and his adherence to the highest standards of ethics for public figures.


TIME magazine cover, “New Jersey’s Case:  Volleys from Left and Right,” October 18, 1954.
Case’s campaign received national attention with his appearance on the cover of TIME magazine on October 18, 1954, the day after his WNET-TV speech rebutting the Star-Ledger article about his sister.  A strong supporter of President Eisenhower, Case was a committed internationalist and an outspoken critic of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s tactics in identifying alleged communists.  Criticized from the Left for not being liberal enough and from the Right for his open-minded views, Case appeared an unlikely winner when this issue of TIME appeared less than three weeks before the election.

Case receiving an honorary doctorate, Rutgers University commencement, June 8, 1955. (F.J. Higgins, Photographer)
The senator was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by his alma mater at Rutgers’ 189th commencement. At the ceremony, Rutgers president Lewis Webster Jones lauded Case’s contributions to civic life with words of warm regard for his commitment to Rutgers:  “But deep as our pride in these accomplishments may be, even deeper is our affection for you as a devoted alumnus, able trustee and loyal son of Rutgers.”  Case’s unswerving dedication to Rutgers was capped by his service as an unpaid professor of public affairs at the university from 1979 until his death in 1982.

Clipping from the New York Herald Tribune, November 6, 1956, regarding a mass demonstration supporting Hungarian refugees.
The Soviet crushing of the 1956 Hungarian revolution inspired many efforts in the U.S. on behalf of Hungarian refugees.  At a Madison Square Garden rally organized by the International Rescue Committee, Senator Case stressed the need for substantial, immediate aid to Hungary, where thousands were desperate for relief supplies.

Clifford P. Case, “A Republican Prescribes for his Party,” New York Times Magazine, February 17, 1957.
Case was a vigorous advocate of a Republican party which was progressive regarding social issues, committed to a decidedly internationalist foreign policy, and fiscally prudent.  Case believed that the Republicans had the potential to create a national party “for the people,” which the Democrats had achieved under Roosevelt during the New Deal.  In this article, Case challenges his fellow Republican legislators to realize President Eisenhower’s vision for America by demonstrating “progressive and prudent” leadership.

Case with Clarence Mitchell, September 6, 1960.
Case worked closely with NAACP leader Clarence Mitchell on legislation to expand civil rights protections.  Mitchell and other civil rights leaders could count on the senator’s courageous stands on the legislative floor and in public appearances.  Writing in the Baltimore Sun following Case’s death in 1982, Mitchell remarked, “He cared deeply for his fellow men and worked for their well being, as I know from first-hand contact that began when he was a young member of the House.”

Clifford P. Case, March 2, 1960.
Following the successful passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the first major civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Senate considered a bill to strengthen voting rights in 1960.  Despite efforts in the Senate to limit the use of the filibuster, opponents used the tactic to slow the progress of civil rights legislation.  In this image, Case appears weary but determined as he enters his office with a pillow, having slept there the previous two nights to respond to frequent roll call votes.

Case with astronaut Walter M. Schirra of New Jersey, May 28, 1959.
From 1959 to 1965, Case served on the Aeronautics and Space Sciences Committee of the Senate.  His service on this committee coincided with the growth of NASA and the rapid expansion of the United States’ manned space flight programs.  Pictured with the senator is Walter M. Schirra, a 1940 graduate of Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood and one of the first seven astronauts named in April 1959 to participate in the Mercury series of NASA manned space flights. Schirra was the only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space flight programs.

Clifford Case with staff members, August 8, 1958.
Seated at his Senate office desk, Case is surrounded by Administrative Assistant Sam Zagoria (on the Senator’s left), Deputy Administrative Assistant Frances Henderson (directly behind the Senator), Executive Secretary Albert Abrahams (standing to the Senator’s immediate right) and Jim Toscano, a student intern from Rutgers (seated next to the Senator).  Case was a firm believer in hiring the most talented staff, paying them well, and giving them substantial autonomy.  Following Sam Zagoria’s appointment to the National Labor Relations Board in 1965, Frances Henderson became Case’s administrative assistant, one of the few women to hold this position at that time in the Senate.

The Case family, November 8, 1960.  (Newark News Photo)
Pictured at Newark’s Robert Treat Hotel on election night 1960 are, left to right: son-in- law and daughter William and Mary Jane Weaver, Case’s sister Jeannette, daughter and son- in-law Ann and Jack Holt, his son Clifford III, Senator Case and his wife Ruth, his mother Jeannette McAlpin Case, and granddaughter Christina Weaver.  Clifford and Ruth Case’s devotion to their family was never compromised by his service in Congress, nor during election campaigns.  Soon after this photograph was taken, Case learned he had won a landslide victory for the Senate over Democratic challenger Thorn Lord.

Address, Six Mile Run Reformed Church 250th anniversary, November 15, 1960.
One week after his 1960 re-election victory, Case returned to New Jersey to speak at the 250th anniversary celebration of the Six Mile Run Reformed Church in Franklin Park, where his father had been pastor and where Case had played the organ during his Rutgers days.  Case reflects nostalgically on the support he received from the church community, particularly the expansive dinners with congregation members every Sunday.  Clifford Case was a deeply spiritual man whose values were shaped by his religious education.  In his speech, he addresses the universal yearning for peace during the Cold War, which, he suggests, can be achieved through a balance of strength and conciliation.