City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

New Orleans (La.) Commission Council/City Council. Special Citizens Investigating Committee.

Date range: 1953-1963
Size of collection: 40 boxes
Acquisition: Transferred to the City Archives from Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University, August, 2011
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Historical Note

The Special Citizens Investigating Committee (SCIC) was a crime commission organized by the Commission Council and the Metropolitan Crime Commission to help overcome crime and corruption and to correct situations that bred crime. The SCIC was formed in reaction to the blatant role of organized crime in New Orleans as revealed by testimony given to the investigating committee headed by Senator C. Estes Kefauver (D-Tennessee) in January, 1951. (See The Kefauver Committee Report on Organized Crime, 1951; Louisiana Division call # 364.973 U58k.) Interviewed by the New Orleans media on May 22, 1951, Kefauver recommended the local formation of a crime commission to suppress crime on a grand scale. In May 1952, a group of New Orleans businessmen and clergymen organized the Metropolitan Crime Commission. However, subsequent public scandals led to the formation of an independent investigative body, authorized by ordinance of the Commission Council on April 24, 1952. The committee consisted of three citizens (Leon D. Hubert, Jr., George C. Stohlman, and Dudley C. Foley, Jr.). Aaron M. Kohn, lawyer and former FBI agent, was selected to run the SCIC.

Scope and Content

The records of the SCIC were originally donated by Aaron Kohn to Special Collections (now the Louisiana Research Collection) at Tulane University; the records were transferred to the City Archives in August, 2011. During the records' tenure at Tulane, staff arranged and described those housed in Boxes 1 - 24. The original Tulane arrangement has been retained (available below as a PDF file), which provides a detailed description of the records. Below, we have added additional descriptions of Boxes 25 - 40, which consist of index cards of various types created for record keeping by the Committee staff. Some of these cards may be useful in locating specific information within boxes 1-24.

  • Boxes 1 - 24
    Link here for Tulane's finding aid for this portion of the collection

  • Boxes 25 - 30
    Index, by name, linking witnesses to issues or hearings before the Committee, using one or more "key numbers" (e.g. "21-1-10"), devised by Kohn or his staff.

    Box 25 -- A - C
    Box 26 -- C - H
    Box 27 -- H - L
    Box 28 -- L - P
    Box 29 -- Q - U
    Box 30 -- V - Z

  • Box 31
    78 rpm recordings of statements to New Orleans Item reporters

  • Box 32
    Police roster cards, listing name, badge number, rank and "key number"

  • Box 33
    Cards arranged alphabetically by street address, giving names of owners of various bars or other establishments under investigation, linked to "key numbers"

  • Box 34
    Cards, arranged alphabetically by name of NOPD personnel or to an individual "complainant," summarizing newspaper coverage

  • Box 35
    Cards labeled "Violations -- Alphabetized by Name of Bar"
    Copies of drivers' licenses and mug shots of witnesses or individuals under investigation

  • Box 36
    Photographs of NOPD personnel

  • Box 37
    Cards labeled "Gaming Stamps," arranged alphabetically by street address
    Cards labeled "Coin-operated Gaming Devices, 7/1/52 - 6/1/53, Jefferson Parish
    Cards detailing unidentified "stamps," arranged alphabetically by name

  • Box 38
    Cards labeled "Gambling Stamps -- Wagering," arranged alphabetically by name
    Cards labeled "Gambling Stamps," arranged alphabetically by street address

  • Box 39
    Cards labeled "Master Cards," arranged alphabetically by subject, listing all cases (by key number) within the subject range
    Cards, arranged alphabetically by name, of undetermined purpose, but possibly giving docket numbers for cases related to the investigation that went to trial in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

  • Box 40
    Cards, arranged alphabetically by name, of undetermined purpose, but possibly giving docket numbers for cases related to the investigation that went to trial in Jefferson Parish court
    Cards labeled "Roster of Names of All Persons Holding U.S. Internal Revenue Gambling Stamp, Wagering, as principles for 55/56 in the State of Louisiana"
    Cards labeled "Gambling Stamps -- Coin"

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