Martin M. Perley Papers, 1968-1977

Held by the Filson Historical Society

Creator: Perley, Martin M., 1910-

Title: Papers, 1968-1977

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Collections.

Size of Collection: 1 cubic foot

Location Number: Mss. A P451

Scope and Content Note

Collection is contained in 21 folders and is in one records box. It includes Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission minutes, Director’s reports, Annual reports, speeches, affirmative action material, school desegregation material, hate mail, biographical material, and newspaper clippings. Topics discussed include racism, anti-Semitism, race relations, affirmative action, women’s rights, handicapped employment, civil rights, housing conditions, police-citizen relations, school desegregation during the 1970s (busing), transportation in Louisville, and African American voter registration in Louisville and Jefferson County.


Biographical Note

Dr.  Martin M. Perley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 11 October 1910. Educated in Montreal, Canada, he graduated from McGill University in June 1930 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received his Rabbinical training at the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in June 1934.

Perley served as Rabbi of the Liberal synagogue in Melbourne, Australia from June 1934 to July 1936 and returned to the U.S. via Palestine and England. He was director of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation at the University of Illinois and at Indiana University from 1937-1941. He served as Director of the Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital, and Rabbi of Congregation House of Israel in Hot Springs, Arkansas from September 1941 until  he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a chaplain in January 1943.

Perley came to Louisville after leaving the Army in August 1946 and served as Rabbi of B’rith Shalom Temple until 30 January 1968. He has taken an active part in community affairs. From 1957-1961, he was one of four clergymen who constituted Mayor Bruce Holblitzell’s Civic Religious Advisory Committee. When the Human Relations Commission was set up in 1962, Perley served as the Co-Chairman of the Religious Groups Committee. Out of this evolved the Louisville Area Council on Religion and Race, of which he was one of the organizers and served as its first Chairman.

In March 1968, he became the Executive Director of the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission where he served the community until his resignation in April 1977.


Folder List

Box 1
Folder 1: Hate Mail
Folder 2: Commission minutes, 1968-1969
Folder 3: Commission minutes, 1970-1971
Folder 4: Commission minutes, 1972-1974
Folder 5: Commission minutes, 1975-1977
Folder 6: Director’s reports, 1968-1970
Folder 7: Director’s reports, 1971-1972
Folder 8: Director’s reports, 1973-1977
Folder 9: Annual reports, 1971-1976
Folder 10: Speeches, 1968-1969
Folder 11: Speeches, 1970-1977
Folder 12: Biographical Sketch
Folder 13: Forms on school desegregation
Folder 14: School desegregation material
Folder 15: Clippings on A&P items about Black service technicians
Folder 16: Resolution in regards to busing adopted by Commission, 8 January 1976
Folder 17: Affirmative Action statistics
Folder 18: Staff reorganization proposals
Folder 19: Miscellaneous Commission and school desegregation material
Folder 20: Miscellaneous Commission and school desegregation material
Folder 21: Newspaper clippings

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