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Collection Number: 04583

Collection Title: Nelson Benton Papers, 1962-1987

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 22.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2700 items)
Abstract Nelson Benton (1924-1988) was a native of Danville, Va., and 1949 graduate of the University of North Carolina. Benton was a television and radio news correspondent, who spent most of his career working for various divisions within CBS News, which he joined in 1960. Prior to that, he had worked for WBTV, the CBS television affiliate in Charlotte, N.C. The collection contains subject files, appointment books, assignment notebooks, scripts, official press packs, and other papers documenting more than 20 years of Benton's career at various divisions of CBS News. Topics include Martin Luther King's movements as part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, white supremicists murdering activists, the trial of Jack Ruby, and strategic and political developments in Vietnam during 1967. There are also materials relating to Benton's coverage of George Wallace's third-party candidacy in 1968 and the Democratic and Republican conventions of that year. In addtion, there are items relating to Benton's co-anchorage of CBS reports on the 1973 Watergate hearings and on the Gemini and Apollo manned space flights. Later materials relate to Benton's specialization in reporting energy issues and the environment.
Creator Benton, Nelson.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Nelson Benton papers #4583, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Nelson Benton of McLean, Va., in August 1991 (Acc. 91106).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Nelson Benton (1924-1988) was a native of Danville, Va., and 1949 graduate of the University of North Carolina. Benton was a television and radio news correspondent, who spent most of his career working for various divisions within CBS News, which he joined in 1960. Prior to that, he had worked for WBTV, the CBS television affiliate in Charlotte, N.C.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains subject files, appointment books, assignment notebooks, scripts, official press packs, and other papers documenting more than 20 years of Benton's career at various divisions of CBS News. Nelson Benton's notebooks contain to-do lists, contact information, event notes, and drafts of news stories about a wide variety of events. Topics include Martin Luther King's movements as part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, white supremicists murdering activists, the trial of Jack Ruby, and strategic and political developments in Vietnam during 1967. There are also materials relating to Benton's coverage of George Wallace's third-party candidacy in 1968 and the Democratic and Republican conventions of that year. In addtion, there are items relating to Benton's co-anchorage of CBS reports on the 1973 Watergate hearings and on the Gemini and Apollo manned space flights. Later materials relate to Benton's specialization in reporting energy issues and the environment.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Subject Files, 1963-1986.

300 items.

Contains files relating to various issues Nelson Benton covered for CBS News, biographical information on Nelson Benton, talks given by Nelson Benton, office communications, and other materials realting to CBS News. For the most part, original titles have been retained.

Folder 1

Memos, SOP's, Dicta #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 1

Folder 2

Stories: material #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 2

Folder 3

April 21 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 3

Scripts and supporting materials concerning the Goose Creek Oil Field, 1977.

Folder 4

University of Alabama, 1963 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 4

Mainly clippings.

Folder 5

Speeches #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 5

Folder 6

SPCL, 1977 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 6

Script revisions for story about Goose Creek Oil Field.

Folder 7

Air-Skeds-Shots-Pool #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 7

Clippings, office communications, and similar materials about China, 1978.

Folder 8

Danville #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 8

Typescript draft of a talk given by Nelson Benton, 1973 clipping about Richard Nixon.

Folder 9

Virginia Bankers Association, 1973 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 9

Letters from Virgina Bankers Association to Nelson Benton, convention schedules, typescript draft of a talk given by Nelson Benton.

Folder 10

China, 1978 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 10

Scripts about trade with China.

Folder 11

Political: Wallace #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 11

Clippings and correspondence with Nelson Benton about the 1968 presidential campaign of George C. Wallace.

Folder 12

Memos, SOP's, Skeds #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 12

Mainly press releases from the Joint Economic Committee ranging from 1962 to 1986.

Folder 13

Read material, 1963-1966 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 13

Office communications and clippings.

Folder 14

Leiser and Clark, 1963-1964 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 14

Office communications.

Folder 15

Personal: miscellaneous #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 15

Clippings and biographic information about Nelson Benton's career.

Folder 16

Apollo 11, July 1969 #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 16

Notes, scripts, and office communications regarding Apollo 11.

Folder 17

Apollo #04583, Series: "1. Subject Files, 1963-1986." Folder 17

Transcripts and schedules for the 1966 Apollo Systems Symposium.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1962-1987.

2,400 items.

Contains planners, scripts of Nelson Benton's news broadcasts on various subjects, assignment notebooks, and official press packs from conventions, meetings, and other similar events.

The notebooks contain Nelson Benton's to-do lists, contact information, event notes, and drafts of news stories about a wide variety of events, including Martin Luther King's movements as part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, white supremicists murdering activists, the trial of Jack Ruby, and strategic and political developments in Vietnam during 1967. There are also materials relating to Benton's coverage of George Wallace's third-party candidacy in 1968 and the Democratic and Republican conventions of that year. In addtion, there are items relating to Benton's co-anchorage of CBS reports on the 1973 Watergate hearings and on the Gemini and Apollo manned space flights. Later materials relate to Benton's specialization in reporting energy issues and the environment.

Folder 18-43

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Planners, 1963-1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 18-43

Folder 44

Address books, 1965 & 1975 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 44

Folder 45

Business cards #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 45

Nelson Benton's business cards.

Folder 46-47

Folder 46

Folder 47

Scripts, 1962 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 46-47

Typescripts and carbon copies of scripts for news stories, mainly for CBS News. Many have Walter Cronkite's name written on them.

Folder 47-55

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

Scripts, 1963 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 47-55

Folder 56-65

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

Folder 64

Folder 65

Scripts, 1964 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 56-65

Folder 66-71

Folder 66

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

Folder 70

Folder 71

Scripts, 1965 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 66-71

Folder 72-73

Folder 72

Folder 73

Scripts, 1966 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 72-73

Folder 74-77

Folder 74

Folder 75

Folder 76

Folder 77

Scripts, 1967 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 74-77

Folder 78-89

Folder 78

Folder 79

Folder 80

Folder 81

Folder 82

Folder 83

Folder 84

Folder 85

Folder 86

Folder 87

Folder 88

Folder 89

Scripts, 1968 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 78-89

Folder 90-94

Folder 90

Folder 91

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Scripts, 1969 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 90-94

Folder 95-98

Folder 95

Folder 96

Folder 97

Folder 98

Scripts, 1970 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 95-98

Folder 99-104

Folder 99

Folder 100

Folder 101

Folder 102

Folder 103

Folder 104

Scripts, 1971 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 99-104

Folder 105-109

Folder 105

Folder 106

Folder 107

Folder 108

Folder 109

Scripts, 1972 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 105-109

Folder 110-116

Folder 110

Folder 111

Folder 112

Folder 113

Folder 114

Folder 115

Folder 116

Scripts, 1973 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 110-116

Folder 117-122

Folder 117

Folder 118

Folder 119

Folder 120

Folder 121

Folder 122

Scripts, 1974 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 117-122

Folder 123-134

Folder 123

Folder 124

Folder 125

Folder 126

Folder 127

Folder 128

Folder 129

Folder 130

Folder 131

Folder 132

Folder 133

Folder 134

Scripts, 1975 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 123-134

Folder 135-146

Folder 135

Folder 136

Folder 137

Folder 138

Folder 139

Folder 140

Folder 141

Folder 142

Folder 143

Folder 144

Folder 145

Folder 146

Scripts, 1976 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 135-146

Folder 147-158

Folder 147

Folder 148

Folder 149

Folder 150

Folder 151

Folder 152

Folder 153

Folder 154

Folder 155

Folder 156

Folder 157

Folder 158

Scripts, 1977 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 147-158

Folder 159-170

Folder 159

Folder 160

Folder 161

Folder 162

Folder 163

Folder 164

Folder 165

Folder 166

Folder 167

Folder 168

Folder 169

Folder 170

Scripts, 1978 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 159-170

Folder 171-182

Folder 171

Folder 172

Folder 173

Folder 174

Folder 175

Folder 176

Folder 177

Folder 178

Folder 179

Folder 180

Folder 181

Folder 182

Scripts, 1979 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 171-182

Folder 183-194

Folder 183

Folder 184

Folder 185

Folder 186

Folder 187

Folder 188

Folder 189

Folder 190

Folder 191

Folder 192

Folder 193

Folder 194

Scripts, 1980 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 183-194

Folder 195-205

Folder 195

Folder 196

Folder 197

Folder 198

Folder 199

Folder 200

Folder 201

Folder 202

Folder 203

Folder 204

Folder 205

Scripts, 1981 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 195-205

Folder 206-211

Folder 206

Folder 207

Folder 208

Folder 209

Folder 210

Folder 211

Scripts, 1982 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 206-211

Folder 212-219

Folder 212

Folder 213

Folder 214

Folder 215

Folder 216

Folder 217

Folder 218

Folder 219

Scripts, 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 212-219

Folder 220-228

Folder 220

Folder 221

Folder 222

Folder 223

Folder 224

Folder 225

Folder 226

Folder 227

Folder 228

Scripts, 1986 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 220-228

Folder 229-232

Folder 229

Folder 230

Folder 231

Folder 232

Scripts, 1987 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 229-232

Oversize Paper OP-4583/1

List of news stories #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." OP-4583/1

List of stories covered by Nelson Benton over the course of his career. Each entry also includes information about the topics covered.

Folder 233

John J. Caulfield statement: typescript #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 233

Typescript copy of John J. Caulfield's statement to the Senate Select Committee on Watergate in 1973.

Folder 234

Nixon: inaugural parade booklet #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 234

Describes each unit of the 1969 inaugural parade for Richard Nixon.

Box 10

Notebooks, 1963-1965 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 10

Includes notes on Martin Luther King Jr.'s involvement with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, particularly in Birmingham, Ala., and St. Augustine, Fla. and on the 1964 trial of Jack Ruby.

Box 11

Notebooks, 1965-1968 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 11

Includes notes on the Gemini and Apollo manned space flights, political and strategic developments in Vietnam in 1967, and George Wallace's third-party candidacy in 1968.

Box 12

Notebooks, 1968-1971 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 12

Includes notes on the Apollo manned space flights.

Box 13

Notebooks, 1972-1975 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 13

Includes notes relating to Nelson Benton's co-anchorage of CBS reports on the Watergate hearings.

Box 14

Notebooks, 1975-1979 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 14

Folder 235

Notebook, 1979 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 235

Folder 236

Notebook, 1980 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 236

Box 15

Notebooks, 1979-1981 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 15

Box 16

Notebooks, 1982-1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 16

Box 17

Notebooks, 1985-1986, undated #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 17

Box 18

Notebooks, undated #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 18

Folder 237

Notebook, undated #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 237

Folder 238

Notebook, unbound #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 238

Folder 239

Telephone directory: CBS News 1969 Inauguration #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 239

Folder 240

Press kit: California primary election, 1964 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 240

Folder 241

Press kit: Republican National Convention, San Francisco, 13 July 1964 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 241

Box 19

Press kit: World Series official press kit, 1965 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Press kit: CBS News Campaign 1968 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Press kit: 1968 nation-wide general election.

Folder 242

Press kit: Campaign 1968, the General Election: the Midwest, the West #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 242

Folder 243

Press kit: Campaign 1968, the General Election: the East, the South #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 243

Box 19

Press kit: Consol No. 9 re-opening, 1969 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Folder 245

Press kit: June Wedding at the White House, 12 June, 1971 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 245

Folder 246

General press information: Wedding of Miss Patricia Nixon and Edward Finch Cox, 12 June 1971 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 246

Folder 247

Press kit: Presidential Campaign and Florida Primary, 1972 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 247

Box 19

Press kit: President Reagan's trip to Quebec City, Canada, 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Press kit for President Reagan's trip to Quebec City from 17 to 18 March 1985.

Press kit: Quebec Summit, 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Press kit for Quebec Summit from 17 to 18 March 1985.

Press kit: President Reagan's trip to Europe, 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Press kit for President Reagan's trip to Europe from 30 April to 11 May 1985.

Press kit: President Reagan's trip to Bonn Economic Summit, Spain, the European Parliament, and Portugal, 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Press kit for President Reagan's trip to Bonn Economic Summit from 30 April to 10 May 1985.

Folder 248

Press schedule: President Reagan's trip to Bonn Economic Summit, Spain, the European Parliament, and Portugal, 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 248

Box 19

Press kit: Meeting of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev, Geneva, November 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Box 19

Folder 249

Press schedule: Meeting of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev, Geneva, November 1985 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 249

Folder 250

Press kit: President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, Washington Summit, December 1987 #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 250

Videotape VT-4583/1

U.S. Department of State, "A Discussion on U.S.-Soviet Relations" #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." VT-4583/1

22 minutes in length.

Folder 251

Invitation from Ambassador Gerald P. Carmen #04583, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1962-1987." Folder 251

Invitation to a cocktail party at the residence of United States Amabassador Gerald P. Carmen in Geneva.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, August 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Finding aid updated in December 2012 by: Danielle Fasig and Julie Seifert

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