University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "John and Jean Rosenberg oral history interview conducted by David P. Cline in Prestonburg, Kentucky, 2013-08-15"
Date Aug 14, 2013
Author Civil Rights History Project
Author Institution Library of Congress
External Link
Abstract - Summary: Jean and John Rosenberg begin this interview with recollections of their families' backgrounds. Jean learned about social issues as she was raised by a Quaker family in Pennsylvania, and John's family fled Germany under threat from the Nazis. Jean attended Wilmington College and became a research analyst for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. John grew up in Gastonia, North Carolina, where FBI agents kept tabs on his family, attended Duke University, served in the Air Force, and attended the University of North Carolina School of Law. He became an attorney with the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, which became effective after reorganization by John Doar. Much of this interview concerns Jean and John's work with the Civil Rights Division, including support for voter registration efforts in Georgia and Alabama, the investigation of the Hartman Turnbow case, in which a black activist was arrested for an arson attempt on his own home, and an effort to address a murder in Mississippi. John also addresses the effects of the Voting Rights Act in the South, the role of the lawyers in the Civil Rights Division in relation to the FBI and local law enforcement, and a variety of other cases and issues he dealt with. After retirement, the Rosenbergs founded the Appalachian Citizens Law Center.
- Biographical History: John Rosenberg was an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. He was a prosecutor on the trials for the murders of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman in Mississippi. He is the founder of AppalReD (Appalachian Research and Defense Fund) in Kentucky.
- Biographical History: Jean Rosenberg was a research analyst for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the wife of lawyer John Rosenberg.
- Acquisition Note: The Civil Rights History Project is a joint project of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture to collect video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of individuals who participated in the Civil Rights movement.
- Existence and Location of Copies: Copies of items are also held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.).
- Conditions Governing Access: Collection is open for research. Access to recordings may be restricted. To request materials, please contact the Folklife Reading Room at
- Related Archival Materials: Artifacts associated with the interview are at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This Resource Relates To
person Rosenberg, John M. (DC)

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