J. FRANKLYN THACKERY PAPERS, 1930-1981
The papers of J. Franklin Thackrey, longtime Director of Economic Information with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consist of 5 linear feet of correspondence, memoranda and reports that were donated to the Hoover Presidential Library by Thackrey’s family in 1992.
John Franklin Thackrey was born on December 16, 1910 in Kansas City, Kansas. At an early age, his family moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where Thackrey later enrolled as a student at Kansas State University (then known as Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science). Thackrey studied journalism at Kansas State, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1933 and a master’s degree in 1934. Following his studies, Thackrey worked for a year as a reporter with the Fort Worth[Texas] Press, and the Manhattan[Kansas] Mercury-Chronicle. In early 1935, he took a position as a statistical clerk with the Resettlement Administration in the Department of Agriculture. Although this position lasted only two years, it marked the beginning of Thackrey’s service with the Federal government, which with the exception of a couple of brief periods, lasted until his retirement in 1974.
In 1938, Thackrey took a position with the University of Nebraska Agricultural Extension Service as assistant extension editor. Three years later he accepted a position as an information specialist with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and moved to Washington DC.
In 1946 he was appointed Director of Economic Information within that agency, and served in that same capacity in the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Consumer and Marketing Service of the Department of Agriculture during the next two and a half decades. In this position, Thackrey supervised the editing and distribution of a variety of publications that the Bureau produced, including crop and livestock reports, outlook and situation reports, and publications geared toward consumers of agricultural products.
During his tenure, Thackrey also introduced and promoted the translation of these publications into Spanish, and was a member of the Languages and Literature Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School. A longtime resident of Falls Church, Virginia, Thackrey was also active in a number of civic groups there, including a committee that drafted the city charter.
J. Franklin Thackrey died on November 24, 1990.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The J. Franklin Thackrey Papers are arranged in alphabetic order by name and subject. Through the activities of the Agricultural Marketing Service and its successor bureaus, one can see a shift in the activities of the Department of Agriculture from not only helping producers market their products but to also serving as an advocate for the consumer. Topics covered in Thackrey’s papers include the development of consumer information and education materials, the publicizing of food stamps and free school lunches sponsored by the Department, meat and poultry inspection programs, as well as Thackrey’s trip to the Soviet Union in 1960 as part of an agricultural communications delegation.
Peter DeVries Papers. DeVries was head of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics when Thackrey worked there.
2 General, 1950-1979 (4 folders)
3 Market News Service, 1933-1974 (2 folders)
4 National Food Buyers’ Quiz, 1966
5 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), 1965-1974, and undated
6 Freedom of Information, 1970-1973, and undated (2 folders)
7 Hunger in America, July 1968-1971, and undated (3 folders)
8 Publications Program, 1954-1974, and undated
9 Soviet Union. Agricultural Information Trip, 1960
10 American Association of Agricultural College Editors, 1941-1976
11 National Livestock and Meat Board, 1970-1972
12 Internal Security Investigation, 1956-1964