Creator: Nickerson, James F.


Provenance Note: Original manuscript and mimeographed documents pertaining to the Montana preparations for the 1955 White House Conference on Education were deposited with the Montana State University Library by James F. Nickerson sometime prior to 1966.


Historical Note: James Findley Nickerson, the youngest of three brothers, was born in 1910 in central Nebraska, where his father was superintendent of schools. An accomplished pianist, he taught science, math and music in Nebraska schools after graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan College in Lincoln. After receiving master's and doctoral degrees at Columbia and the University of Minnesota, he taught in high school and colleges, joining the faculty at Montana State College as a professor of psychology in 1954. He also served as dean of the MSC's College of Education until 1964. He became president of Mankato State College in 1966 and died on March 5, 2009.

The White House Conference on Education was held in November and December, 1955, in response to a call from President Eisenhower to involve citizens and educators in a study of current educational problems. Prior to the Washington event, individual states held preliminary meetings and organizational activities to discuss the same issues on a local level and to select delegates for the upcoming national gathering. In Montana, James F. Nickerson was actively involved in these early meetings.


Content Description Note: The James F. Nickerson education conference papers consists of original letters, brochures, and mimeographed "gray literature" primarily generated at the local and state level for the various meetings and organization activity for the White House Conference on Education. Included are a manuscript radio speech by Bozeman businessman Dean C. Chaffin made before he resigned from the effort and a manuscript outline report on the Gallatin County Education Conference held in Bozeman on May 20, 1955. The collection has been placed in two folders, the first containing the letters and manuscripts and the second housing the gray literature.


Updated: 4/19/22