BRUCE BADON COLLECTION
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
June 2006; rev. June 2011
Size: 0.5 l.f.
Locations: United States (published at New Orleans, La.)
Inclusive dates: 1958, 1960-1963, 1965, 1966
Summary: Copies of the Radio Edition of “The Independent American” Newspaper, a conservative, anti-Communist publication of New Orleans resident Kent Courtney. Includes numerous issues of Tax Fax, a series of politically conservative pamphlets.
Source: Gift, ca. 1978
Access: No restrictions on use in the library’s reading room.
Copyright: Physical rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.
Citation: Bruce Badon Collection, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
Historical / Biographical Sketch
The Independent American was published by Kent Courtney (1918 – 1997), a leader of the “Radical Right” in U.S. politics from the 1950s to the 1970s. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, he moved with his family to New Orleans as a youngster. Courtney served in the Navy during World War II, earned a degree in business from Tulane University, and taught there for three years. As a member of the American Legion, Courtney served on the organization’s “Americanism” committee.
In 1954 Courtney ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the New Orleans City Council. Shortly afterward, he and his wife Phoebe (1918-1998) began publishing a newspaper entitled Free Men Speak, which was later renamed The Independent American. Phoebe edited the newspaper while Kent addressed right-wing groups across the country. In approximately the early 1970s, the Courtneys were divorced and Phoebe moved to Littleton, Colorado, where she remained involved with the publications. The Independent American ceased in 1991.
Courtney began broadcasting excerpts from The Independent American on April 21, 1958, presenting, as he proclaimed, “the Conservative Political-Action Side of the News.” The present collection consists of newsletters that largely contain the scripts of the broadcasts, as well as copies of Tax Fax, a pamphlet issued by the Courtneys. Beginning on two stations (New Orleans and Chicago), the broadcast prospered until the mid-1960s. It could not be determined readily when the radio broadcasts ended.
The donor, Bruce L. Badon of New Orleans, graduated from Louisiana State University in New Orleans (now the University of New Orleans) in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. While at (LS)UNO, Badon served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, Driftwood. He went on to a career as a professional planner with the engineering firm of Burk & Associates.
Sources: “Kent Courtney,” Wikipedi, accessed June 8, 2011; Bruce Badon Collection, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.
Radio Edition of “The Independent American” Newspaper.
Nos. 58-01 through 58-37. Issue no. 58-01 is dated in ms.: “1st ]]numbering): 58-13, 58-19, 58-22.
Nos. 60-88 through 60-139. Issue no. 60-122 omitted in numbering.
Nos. 61-140 through 61-192.
Nos. 62-193 through 62-244.
Nos. 63-245 through 63-297. Issue no. 63-272 missing. Issue no. 63-292 incomplete.
Nos. 65-370 through 65-401. Issue no. 65-398 missing.
Nos. 66-402 through 66-445. Issue no. 66-428 missing.
Includes copy of “Louisiana State Conference Regional Index” and several copies of a form for signing up new members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Conservative Society of America
Independent American (New Orleans, La.)
Radio Edition of “The Independent American” Newspaper
United States—Politics and government—1945-1989—Periodicals