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Subseries 12. Press Secretary

Scope and Content Notes:

One of Thornburgh's first tasks as governor was to appoint a director of communications and chief spokesman for the administration, a job more commonly called press secretary. Paul Critchlow accepted this "all-important role" ( Evidence, 76). He was a former political writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and wrote one of the first Philadelphia area stories on Thornburgh's anti-corruption activities while U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh. Critchlow had been press secretary during the 1978 gubernatorial campaign and served as press secretary to the Governor until 1984. At that time Dave Runkel became press secretary for the remainder of Thornburgh's term as Governor and subsequently served in the same capacity when Thornburgh was Director, Institute of Politics, and Attorney General of the United States.

The press secretary had many critical responsibilities vital to the success of the Thornburgh administration, but chief among them was overseeing the activities of the press office. The office's main function was to monitor opinion of the administration, as seen through public media (newspapers, magazines, editorials, etc.). Thornburgh writes, "The press office would examine the media implications [of every proposed policy position]-who was likely to support us, who would oppose us and whether any of that mattered. Particular attention was given to our supporters in the press, to avoid surprising or disillusioning them" ( Evidence, p.108).

There are four sections of these files. The first is an alphabetically arranged general file (called the Press Office file) of events, people, and topics, all of which were either interesting or important to the policies of the Thornburgh administration, or became a "hot item" which required careful monitoring. Just for example, an issue of particular interest was the status of the Liquor Control Board (LCB), a "highly politicized" state agency that controlled the retail sale of liquor and wine. Files were kept on the public's opinion of the LCB, the activities of the agency and the attempts by the administration to "sound the death knell of the dinosaur" ( Evidence, p.167). Other topics documented are, for example: the Capitol Expansion project, the hostage situation at Graterford State Correctional Institution in 1981, Economic Development, and Balanced Budget Amendment.

The press office also served as a point of contact for Thornburgh to communicate with the public via news releases regarding all major issues and events, and occasional op-ed pieces written by Thornburgh for local media organizations. The general files also include administration related newspaper or magazine articles and other media-related items. Researchers should note that all issue related news releases are available here online and searching on topics of interest will be fruitful.

The second section of files relates specifically to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) and its lengthy and difficult aftermath. The accident occurred on March 28, 1979, a mere seventy-one days after Thornburgh and his administration entered office. The "worst accident in the history of commercial nuclear power" ( Evidence, 112), TMI had no precedent. In the frightening and uncertain days and weeks immediately following the accident, the press office played a major role in disseminating information, and interacting with hundreds of press from around the world. Critchlow was a member of the small "ad-hocracy" selected by Thornburgh to get the facts and to ascertain when and how best to convey them to Pennsylvanians in the area, and concerned citizens everywhere. The press office did a masterful job and discussions of the handling of the accident continued throughout Thornburgh's eight years in office.

The press office Three Mile Island files are arranged in five sections as follow: 1) Media files that include daily clippings from the week of the accident, editorials, news releases, AP and UPI wire stories, and coverage in national magazines such as Time and Newsweek; 2) Staff files, arranged chronologically, which contain notes, memos, news clippings, and correspondence from March-December 1979, and illustrate the careful monitoring of the accident by Thornburgh's staff; 3) Extensive topic files, arranged chronologically, 1979-1980, which are an important and interesting array of materials from both during and after the accident, including, just for example: news releases, transcripts, correspondence with the White House and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), studies on milk, school closing information, surveys, op-ed pieces, and testimonies by the governor's staff; 4) Cleanup Plans and Aftermath, 1981-1984, which include newspaper articles, plans for the cleanup of the nuclear accident, and questions for the future of nuclear energy in our country; 5) Plant restart, 1985-1986, with information and articles relating to the reopening of undamaged Unit 1 reactor, 6-7 years after the accident.

Researches should note that files on Three Mile Island (TMI) are included in many other sections of the collection, whether from offices (General Counsel, Office of Policy Development), or individuals (Governor, Richard Stafford, Robert Wilburn), or the principal TMI section by that name. The videos of the news conferences from the week of the accident are available here online as well as an audio of Thornburgh's speech on April 6, 1979, advising that all could, finally, return to their homes safely.

Thirdly, the Press Office also kept some files of correspondence, by Governor Thornburgh and other staff members, which are included in these files. The correspondence is arranged chronologically by year.

The fourth section of files regarding First Lady Ginny Thornburgh were kept by the Press Office, arranged alphabetically by topic. These contain, for example: articles, news releases, reports, and various other annotated notes and letters. Much of the material concerns Ginny's activism on behalf of persons with disabilities and related issues. These files, at least in part, indicate the degree of daily participation of this notable "First Lady of Pennsylvania" in the actions and achievements of the administration.

Section: Press Office Files


Box 326
Folder 1 Articles, favorable clippings and editorials 1979-1980
Folder 2 Balanced Budget amendment 1985-1986
Folder 3 "The Case for a Constitutionally Mandated Balanced Budget Amendment," Governor Thornburgh's Op-Ed article August, 1985
Folder 4 1984 Budget, Philadelphia Mayor Bill Green correspondence to Governor Thornburgh 1983
Folder 5 Fox, Tom, "Thornburgh Enjoys that Big Surplus," Op-Ed article on budget for The Philadelphia Inquirer February 24, 1985
Folder 6-8 Capitol expansion project, memoranda, articles and correspondence 1982-1986
Folder 9 Casey, Robert 1986
Folder 10 Chernobyl 1986
Folder 11 "Conversations with the Governor," scripts 1984-1986
Folder 12 "Conversations with the Governor," guests, program plans, correspondence 1984-1986
Folder 13 Deficit dilemma March-September, 1984
Folder 14 Deficit dilemma, "The Governors respond to deficit dilemma," Patriot News October 6, 1985
Folder 15 "Economic Development in Pennsylvania: A Status Report and Blueprint for the Future," by Governor Thornburgh April, 1983
Folder 16 Economic development, "The Pennsylvania of the Future: Strategies for Dealing with the Challenge of an Economy in Transition," by Governor Thornburgh April 8, 1983
Folder 17 "Economic development in Pennsylvania: A Strategy that is Working," speech by Thornburgh July 31, 1983
Folder 18 Economic development, memoranda, news releases, correspondence, clippings 1984-1986

Box 327
Folder 1 Economic development, memoranda, news releases, correspondence, clippings 1984-1986
Folder 2 Economic development, advertising 1985
Folder 3 Economic development, Strategy 21 1985
Folder 4 Economic development, praise 1985-1986
Folder 5 Economic development, clippings 1985-1986
Folder 6 Economic development, clippings, news, memoranda 1986
Folder 7 Economic development and job training, responses to Democrats' proposals, clippings, news releases, memoranda 1986
Folder 8 Economic development, report on the progress of programs funded by Pennsylvania Economic Revitalization Fund (PERF) March 1, 1986
Folder 9 Election of 1986
Folder 10 Freshie Foods 1986
Folder 11-12 Governors of other states, clippings and correspondence 1980-1985
Folder 13 Governor interviews 1979-1980

Box 328
Folder 1 Graterford, clippings, news releases, notes by Thornburgh and others (annotated) 1981
Folder 2 Graterford: The Report of the Governor's Panel to Investigate the Recent Hostage Incident at Graterford State Correctional Institution July, 1982
Folder 3 Heinz, Senator John, clippings, correspondence 1979-1982
Folder 4 "Issues and Answers," transcript of ABC News interview by Bob Clark August 3, 1980
Folder 5 Kukovich, Allen 1981-1983
Folder 6 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, "A system gone bad: a look at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board," a six-part Philadelphia Inquirer series, by William Lambert and Mike Leary November 9-14, 1980
Folder 7 Liquor Control Board (LCB), Ten Year Report 1970-1980
Folder 8 Liquor Control Board (LCB), The Bulletin, "Complaints ignored too long," Op-Ed article by Dick Thornburgh February 4, 1981
Folder 9 Liquor Control Board (LCB), KYW-TV news editorials 1981-1983
Folder 10 Liquor Control Board (LCB), clippings 1981-1986
Folder 11 Liquor Control Board (LCB), correspondence 1983-1985
Folder 12 Liquor Control Board (LCB), media coverage and ads 1983-1984
Folder 13 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, questions and answers 1983
Folder 14 Liquor Control Board (LCB), correspondence between Critchlow and David McCorkle, director of public and governmental relations for Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) 1983
Folder 15 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, news releases 1983-1986

Box 329
Folder 1 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, clippings 1984
Folder 2 Liquor Control Board (LCB), correspondence with Gary F. DiVito 1985
Folder 3 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, clippings and editorials 1985
Folder 4 "End the State Liquor Monopoly Now!" Op-Ed piece by Thornburgh March, 1985
Folder 5 "The Year to End the State Stores," Op-Ed piece by Thornburgh, Philadelphia Inquirer April 3, 1985
Folder 6 Liquor Control Board (LCB), testimony of Frank Wright on Sunset Audit of the Liquor Control Board (LCB) May 17, 1985
Folder 7 Liquor Control Board (LCB), Ethics Commission petition 1985
Folder 8 Liquor Control Board (LCB), Xpress Truck Lanes, Public Utilities Commission order, correspondence 1985
Folder 9 Liquor Control Board (LCB), Senator Kelly's proposal for the private sale of wine August 20, 1985
Folder 10 Liquor Control Board (LCB), Sunset Review report on the future of board September 18, 1985
Folder 11 Liquor and drunk driving November, 1985
Folder 12 Liquor Control Board (LCB), testimonies 1985
Folder 13 Liquor Control Board (LCB), polls 1985
Folder 14-16 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, memoranda, correspondence and testimonies 1985-1986
Folder 17 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, clippings and editorials 1986
Folder 18 Liquor Control Board (LCB) reform, memoranda, plans, correspondence 1986

Box 330
Folder 1 Liquor Control Board (LCB), Sunset Act, current Liquor Control Board (LCB) status in Pennsylvania November, 1986
Folder 2 Manderino, Jim, news wires, correspondence, research 1981-1986
Folder 3 Mansion, Governor's, clippings, correspondence, memor,anda 1980
Folder 4 Memorabilia, Paul Critchlow 1979
Folder 5 Memorabilia, Lt. Governor Scranton 1979
Folder 6-9 Memorabilia, Thornburgh 1979-1986
Folder 10 Positive memorabilia and correspondence to Thornburgh 1983-1984
Folder 11 Nard, Jack 1979-1980
Folder 12 Policy Review, "Back to Work with Dick Thornburgh," by Bob Goldberg 1986
Folder 13 Politics 1986
Folder 14 Reener, Kenneth 1985-1985
Folder 15 Rendell, Ed 1982-1986
Folder 16 Scranton, Lt. Governor, campaign for Governor, platform policies, clippings, correspondence 1986

Box 331
Folder 1 Scranton, Lt. Governor, campaign for Governor, news releases 1986
Folder 2 Scranton/Casey debate 1986
Folder 3 Thornburgh administration 1979
Folder 4 Thornburgh, Governor Dick, bios 1982-1986
Folder 5 Thornburgh, Governor Dick, comments and pictures 1979
Folder 6 Thornburgh, Governor Dick, statements 1979
Folder 7-9 Thornburgh, Governor Dick, news clippings 1979
Folder 10 Thornburgh, Governor Dick, miscellaneous press files 1979
Folder 11 Thornburgh security issues 1986
Folder 12 UPI Third Year interview December 16, 1981
Folder 13 Zingers! 1985-1986

Section: Three Mile Island (TMI) Files

Section: Media

Folder 14-20 News clippings March 28-April 3, 1979

Box 332
Folder 1-27 News clippings April 4-30, 1979

Box 333
Folder 1 Newspaper Editorials March-May, 1979
Folder 2 Arranged sets of Newspaper Editorials 1979-1981
Folder 3 Favorable Newspaper Editorials 1978-1980
Folder 4 Governor's Press Office news releases March, 29-April 9, 1979
Folder 5 News release sets March-July, 1979
Folder 6-18 Associated Press (AP) News Wires March 27-April 17, 1979
Folder 19-29 United Press International (UPI) News Wires March 28-April 11, 1979

Box 334
Folder 1 United Press International (UPI) News Wires April 13-17, 1979
Folder 2 "A Nuclear Nightmare," Time (cover story) April 9, 1979
Folder 3 "Now Comes the Fallout," Time April 16, 1979
Folder 4 "Nuclear Accident," Newsweek (cover story) April 9, 1979
Folder 5 "The Energy Tangle," Newsweek (cover story) April 16, 1979
Folder 6 Sandman, Peter and Mary Paden, "At Three Mile Island," Columbia Journalism Review (cover story) July-August, 1979
Folder 7 "Crisis: Three Mile Island," The Washington Post, special report (cover story) 1979
Folder 8 "Lessons from Atomic Scare," U.S. News and World Report April 16, 1979
Folder 9 Latham, Aaron, "Hollywood vs. Harrisburg," Esquire (cover story) May 22, 1979
Folder 10 "Fallout Begins from Atomic Accident," State Government News (cover story) May, 1979

Section: Staff Files

Folder 11-20 Articles, clippings, correspondence, memoranda (annotated by staff) March-December, 1979
Folder 21 Press officer statements and testimony, Paul Critchlow and other 1979

Section: Topic Files, 1979-1980"

Folder 22 Arnold, Larry, "Tomorrow's Disaster at Three Mile Island (TMI)," Harrisburg magazine August, 1978
Folder 23 Investigation and background research on Three Mile Island (TMI) 1976-1978
Folder 24 Timeline of Three Mile Island (TMI) incident and related events March 28-April 1, 1979
Folder 25 Press conference transcripts, complete set March 28-April 9, 1979
Folder 26 Notes on Metropolitan Edison (Met Ed) press conference March, 1979
Folder 27 Notes on accident March, 1979
Folder 28 Absenteeism March, 1979
Folder 29 Property sales and values, relating to Three Mile Island (TMI) March, 1979
Folder 30 Clipping sets during accident March 29-30, 1979

Box 335
Folder 1 Correspondence with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) March 29, 1979
Folder 2 Governor Thornburgh's answer concerning future of nuclear energy in the United States, quote from transcript March 29, 1979
Folder 3 "The People's Business," transcript March 30, 1979
Folder 4 Staff telephone logs and messages during Three Mile Island (TMI) accident March, 1979
Folder 5 School closings April 1, 1979
Folder 6 Boston Globe article (unnamed) April 2, 1979
Folder 7 Requests for interviews with Governor Thornburgh March-September, 1979
Folder 8 Plant status report and update April 2, 1979
Folder 9 Milk safety and sales April 3, 1979
Folder 10 Gailey, Phil, "Pennsylvania Governor's Problem was Simply Finding Facts," Washington Star April 4, 1979
Folder 11 Correspondence with other states April 4, 1979
Folder 12 Memoranda to Capitol correspondents April 4-11, 1979
Folder 13 White House news release re: nuclear impact on food safety April 6, 1979
Folder 14 Governor Thornburgh, "A Report to the People on the Three Mile Island (TMI) Incident" April 6, 1979
Folder 15 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman Hendrie press conference, transcript April 31, 1979
Folder 16 Three Mile Island (TMI) survey, conducted by the Office of Policy Development (OPD) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) July-September, 1979
Folder 17 Sandman, Peter, "At Three Mile Island (TMI)," Columbia Journalism Review Summer, 1979
Folder 18 President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (TMI), correspondence and Jay Waldman's testimony before commission April-August, 1979
Folder 19 President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (TMI), public hearing transcript August 21, 1979
Folder 20 "The Need for Change: The Legacy of Three Mile Island (TMI)," President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (TMI), final report October 30, 1979
Folder 21 Socio-Economic Impact study of Three Mile Island (TMI), by Office of Policy Development (OPD) December 14, 1979
Folder 22 "After Three Mile Island (TMI), Dick Thornburgh Remains Steady-As-You-Go Governor," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, by Neil Peirce March 24, 1980
Folder 23 "Three Mile Island (TMI) and Energy," Op-Ed article, New York Times, by Governor Thornburgh March 27, 1980
Folder 24 Letter to the Editor, New York Times, by Governor Thornburgh April 27, 1980
Folder 25 "Health Effects of the Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island (TMI)," Health Physics, vol. 40: 151-161, by Joseph Fabrikant May, 1980

Section: Clean Up Plans and Aftermath

Folder 26-27 News clippings 1981
Folder 28 Plans for cleanup of Unit 1 1981
Folder 29 Letters of support 1981
Folder 30 Selected speech and testimony 1981-1982
Folder 31 Martin, Daniel, excerpts from book, Three Mile Island (TMI): Prologue or Epilogue?, regarding incident, cleanup and future of nuclear energy in the United States August 12, 1981
Folder 32 News clippings August 31, 1981
Folder 33 Tokuhata, George, critique of chapter 14 of Killing Our Own, by Harvey Wasserman, et al. (chapters included) 1982
Folder 34 News Clippings 1984

Section: Plant Restart, 1985-1986"

Folder 35-37 News releases 1985-1986

Section: Letters and Memos, 1979-1987


Box 336
Folder 1-9 Governor Thornburgh 1979-1987

Box 337
Folder 1-4 Paul Critchlow 1980-1984
Folder 5-7 Jesse Lewis 1979-1982
Folder 8-11 Therese Mitchell 1982-1986
Folder 12 Mike Moyle 1984
Folder 13-14 Roland Page 1979, 1982
Folder 15-18 David Runkel 1984-1987
Folder 19-21 James Wiggins 1981-1983
Folder 22 Terry Williamson 1985
Folder 23-24 Kirk Wilson 1982
Folder 24 Kirk Wilson 1983

Section: Virginia (Ginny) Judson Thornburgh (VJT), 1979-1986

Folder 25 "Access Pennsylvania: A Guide For Travelers With Disabilities," State Commerce Department 1985
Folder 26 Access Sabbath (making religious institutions accessible to handicapped persons) 1981-1983
Folder 27 AM-Philadelphia 1980-1983
Folder 28 Aurora Club 1986
Folder 29 Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) Reservoir to River Run 1985-1986
Folder 30 Biographies 1981-1985
Folder 31 Book review of Cara: Growing with a Retarded Child, by Martha Moraghan Jablow 1982
Folder 32 Cemetery Project 1984
Folder 33 "The Chemical People," a WITF/Community Action project on school-age drug and alcohol abuse 1983
Folder 34 Christmas 1981-1985
Folder 35-36 Clippings 1979, 1982-1986
Folder 37 Commencement speeches 1979-1984
Folder 38 Community foundations 1985
Folder 39 Family information 1984-1986
Folder 40 Pennsylvania "Family of the Year" award presented by the Association for Retarded Citizens of Pennsylvania May, 1985
Folder 41 Ginny Thornburgh Foundation 1981
Folder 42 Gender gap 1983

Box 338
Folder 1 Handicapped interest 1979-1986
Folder 2 Juvenile Law Award of the Juvenile Law Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association October 6, 1986
Folder 3 Knights of Columbus "Measure Up" campaign for retarded persons January 27, 1984
Folder 4 Korea invitation 1985
Folder 5 March of Dimes 1984
Folder 6 Jim McGowan event 1986
Folder 7 "More Women Candidates" Steering Committee 1983
Folder 8 National Adoption Exchange 1982
Folder 9 Peter Thornburgh article ca. 1982
Folder 10 Polk Center Cemetery 1985
Folder 11 President's Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR) 1978-1985
Folder 12 Retarded Citizens Association of Dauphin County 1983-1984
Folder 13 Special Olympics 1985-1986
Folder 14 Vidalia onions wager with Georgia 1983
Folder 15 Women's issues 1983
Folder 16 "You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania" campaign 1985
Folder 17-22 Correspondence, news releases, notes, and miscellaneous 1981-1986