University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Henry Wade Papers, 1927-2009



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wade, Henry
Title: Wade, Henry, papers
Dates: 1927-2009
Abstract: The Henry Wade papers (1927-2009) consist of materials relating to the trial of Jack Ruby, speeches, correspondence, legal publications, clippings, articles and other papers relating to Wade’s career as district attorney for Dallas County.
Accession No.: 2014-176
OCLC No.: 969909457
Extent: 9 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Henry Menasco Wade was born on Nov. 11, 1914, in Rockwall, Texas, and studied at the University of Texas. He worked as an F.B.I. agent before becoming an Assistant DA in 1947. Three years later Wade ran for district attorney of Dallas County and won. Wade held the position for 36 year, retiring in 1987.

As district attorney, Henry Wade was directly involved in two of the most famous trials of the 20th century. In 1964, Wade tried Jack Ruby for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, who had assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy two days earlier. At the close of the trial, it took jurors just two hours to convict Ruby and sentence him to death. This conviction was overturned in 1966, due in part to the failure to move the trial out of Dallas. However, Ruby died of cancer before a new trial could be held.

In 1970, Wade’s office was sued by a Dallas-area pregnant woman (dubbed “Jane Roe”) who sought to prevent the DA from enforcing a Texas law banning abortion. The case wended its way through the courts, eventually landing before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Roe vs. Wade, the decision of which effectively legalized abortion in the United States.

Source:

Wolfgang Saxon, “Henry Wade, Prosecutor in National Spotlight, Dies at 86,” The New York Times, March 2, 2001, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/02/us/henry-wade-prosecutor-in-national-spotlight-dies-at-86.html.


Scope and Contents

The Henry Wade papers (1927-2009) consist of materials relating to the trial of Jack Ruby, speeches, correspondence, legal publications, clippings, articles and other papers relating to Wade’s career as district attorney for Dallas County. The collection also includes 23 scrapbooks which document Wade’s career and events relating to the district attorney’s office.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Use of reel-to-reel tapes and film are by appointment only; please contact Audio Visual archivist for more information.

Access to portions of this collection are restricted. Contact repository for further information.

Use Restrictions

A portion of this collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Wade, Henry
Ruby, Jack
Oswald, Lee Harvey
Subjects
Public prosecutors -- Texas -- Dallas
Trials (Murder)
Places
Dallas County (Tex.)
Genre/Form
Scrapbooks

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Artifacts Collection.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Henry Wade Papers, 1927-2009, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Esther Kirchner, June 2016.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
2014-176/1 Jack Ruby trial
Trial notes, March 4-9, 1964 and undated
Jack Ruby medical reports, 1964
Appellate brief, 1966
Correspondence relating to JFK assassination, 1993-1995
Images of infants captioned with statements regarding Jack Ruby, undated
Letter to Henry Wade from Jack Ruby regarding polygraph test, July 3, 1964
box
4a461b [RESTRICTED] Glass slide labeled, "Hair or fiber from arm rest 6(b)" (possible trial exhibit), undated
(Note: Glass slide is broken into several pieces)
box
2014-176/1 Newspaper clippings, 1929-1986
Scottish Rite, 1958-1971
Shriners ritual text, 1927
box
2014-176/2 Greeting cards, 1953-1996
Correspondence, 1928-1993
County Attorney diary, 1939
district attorney campaign materials, undated
Speech notes, 1975 and undated
Speeches, 1952-1959
LBJ inauguration, 1965
Issues of Investigator, 1942, 1943
Legal publications, 1987-1991
Appellate briefs, 1989
Assorted magazines, 1964-1970
Assorted publications, 1986-1987
YMCA, 1960-1963
Event invitations, 1965-1979
Rockwell High School football team, 1932
Henry Ward's Naval records, 1943-1945
Naval Training School class book, 1944
box
2014-176/3 Navy orders, 1943, 1946
Postcards commemorating liberation of France, 1944
Tribute to Henry Wade, 1986
Henry Wade Justice Center, 1995
Autobiographical sketch of Henry Wade, 1957
Autobiographical sketch and family history, 1975-2009 and undated
Assorted papers, 1929-1938, 1965, 1987, 2001
Henry Wade's birth certificate and last will and testament, 1957, 1987
box
2014-176/4 Photographs
Assorted photos, 1940-1967
Assorted photos, [ca. 1950s-1980s]
Law Day observances, 1964
Slides depicting JFK assassination, 1964
box
3Y127 [RESTRICTED] Assorted photos, [ca. 1940s]
(Note: Photos are damaged.)
box
2X5b Henry Wade cassette tape, 1982
(Cassette contents: 1. Crime fighter 2. Convictions 3. War on crime)
box
3W97c 1/4 inch sound-tape reel (7 in. diameter) ,
Program for Henry Wade, June 16, 1950
Wade program for Mr. Fletcher, 1970
Henry Wade marching along, August 24, 1956
Unlabeled super 8 mm. video reel, undated
box
2014-176/5 Scrapbooks
Scrapbook with political and campaign newspaper clippings, 1955-1956
(Note: Several pages have come loose from binding. Poor condition.)
Scrapbook documenting travels in Ecuador, 1942-1943
(Note: Scrapbook is in poor condition.)
Scrapbook of campaign clippings, 1950-1956
(Note: Several pages have come loose from binding. Poor condition.)
Scrapbook of career clippings, 1951-1955
(Note: Several pages have come loose from binding. Poor condition.)
ledger
2014-176/6 Scrapbook of career and campaign clippings, 1946-1964
ledger
2014-176/7 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, January 16, 1951-September 30, 1953
(Note: Scrapbook is constructed from a wallpaper sample book. Poor condition.)
ledger
2014-176/8 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, October 1, 1953-November 17, 1956
ledger
2014-176/9 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, January 5, 1957-December 29, 1960
ledger
2014-176/10 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, January 1, 1961-April 28, 1967
ledger
2014-176/11 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, October 8, 1964-February 27, 1967
ledger
2014-176/12 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, October 9, 1964-April 29, 1970
ledger
2014-176/13 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, March 22, 1970-June 30, 1971
ledger
2014-176/14 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, July 1, 1971-February 11, 1972
ledger
2014-176/15 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, February 3, 1972-September 11, 1973
ledger
2014-176/16 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, September 1973- November 1974
ledger
2014-176/17 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, November 30, 1974-March 12, 1975
ledger
2014-176/18 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, March 1975-June 1976
ledger
2014-176/19 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, July 1976- March 1977
ledger
2014-176/20 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, March 26, 1977-March 9, 1978
ledger
2014-176/21 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, March 10, 1978-September 14, 1979
ledger
2014-176/22 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, September 19, 1979-October 7, 1980
ledger
2014-176/23 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, February 13, 1980-February 25, 1984
ledger
2014-176/24 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the District Attorney's office, February 28, 1984-December 20, 1984
box
2014-176/25 Oversize materials
Newspaper and magazine articles about Henry Wade, 1967-1991
Campaign materials, 1956 and undated
John F. Kennedy Memorial Edition of Life Magazine, 1963
Reproductions of trial exhibits, undated
drawer
2.325/D10 Campaign poster, undated
box
3So4.3 Photo of Wade campaign signs, undated