W.B. Shafer, Jr. Papers, 1939-1981
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Brief Description: This collection contains information about the Norfolk and Southern economic booms of the 1950s and 1960s, Shafer's real estate and investing ventures during that same time period, the political issues and causes that he advanced, his charitable donations, books and newsletters that he wrote, and various correspondence. Except for correspondence, much of the material in this collection is undated. The majority of this collection spans the mid-1950s through the end of the 1970s. A small amount of material is dated in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1980s.
Held at:
Special Collections and University Archives
Email: pbruce [at] odu.edu
Record Series Number: 00/MG 52
Created by: Shafer, W. Bruce, Jr. (1894-1990)
Volume: 6.25 Linear Feet
Acquired: 01/22/1982.

This collection is broken down into the following series: I. Projects, Issues, and Causes; II. Philanthropy and Religious Charities; III. Correspondence; IV. Books, Essays, and Other Publications; V. Miscellaneous; and VI. Artifacts.

Series I. Projects, Issues, and Causes. This series is divided into four subseries. Subseries A: Norfolk Boom and Boosting; Subseries B: Real Estate and Investing; Subseries C: Political Issues; and Subseries D: Politics.

Subseries A: Norfolk Boom and Boosting. This subseries contains information about the Norfolk and Southern Economic Booms of the 1950s and 1960s. Information included are Norfolk Boom and Investment maps, flyers, and postcards; correspondence, news, and articles on the Norfolk, Dallas, and Southern Booms; information on the Norfolk, Virginia and Carolina Booster Club; and material on Military Circle, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the Virginia Highway System, and the Dismal Swamp Canal as related to bringing business into the Hampton Roads area.

Subseries B: Real Estate and Investing. This subseries contains information about the real estate and investing ventures of Shafer. Included are property deeds, contracts, and survey maps; correspondence and promotional material related to real estate; information on the Greater Norfolk Investors and other investment companies; investing information on railroads, steel plants, and shopping centers; and real estate and industrial directories.

Subseries C: Political Issues. This subseries contains information on local and national political issues and projects advanced by Shafer. Topics include potato and produce overheads and exports, the Shafer Peace Plan, the Shafer Prosperity Plan, the Peace Temple at Cape Henry, Religious Reformation of America, Employment for War Veterans, gasoline prices, abortion, race relations, the poll tax, unions, the American monetary system, Vietnam, communism, bond issues, the Norfolk news monopoly, Norfolk Gardens, and an art museum at Military Highway. This subseries also includes newspaper clippings and letters to newspaper editors on these and other issues.

Subseries D: Politics. This subseries contains information on local and national politics, as well as correspondence between Shafer and various political figures including City Councilmen, Congressmen, Senators, Governors, and Presidents. Content of these letters includes the Norfolk and Southern booms, real estate and investing, communism, letters of support, and other subjects of concern to Shafer. Additional topics include corruption in the Norfolk City Council, Shafer's bid for Norfolk City Council, Mafia involvement in the government, Watergate, the 1976 Presidential election, the Republican party, and congressional reform. Of particular note in this subseries is a signed Christmas card from President Jimmy Carter, as well as letters written to several presidents and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Series II. Philanthropy and Religious Charities. This series includes information about various charities and religious organizations that Shafer supported. Included are entries and information on the W.B. Shafer Award Competition Contest for high school students; Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour, Liberty Baptist College, and Mercy Ship; other schools, churches, and religious organizations; and Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.

Series III. Correspondence. Although there is a great deal of correspondence scattered throughout this collection, this series contains both personal correspondence and correspondence that does not readily fit into the other series. This series includes correspondence between Shafer and banks, corporations, and attorneys on various issues; invitations, cards, and letters regarding Shafer's health. This series also consists of blank greeting cards, blank Western Union and Postal forms, blank holiday cards from charitable organizations, and Shafer's stationary and mailing labels.

Series IV. Books, Essays, and Other Publications. This series is divided into four subseries. Subseries A: Essays/Newsletters; Subseries B: Shafer's Books; Subseries C: Newspapers and Magazines; and Subseries D: Advertising.

Subseries A: Essays/Newsletters. This subseries includes essays and newsletters written by Shafer. Topics include real estate and investing; political corruption; drugs and hippy communism; the Norfolk News monopoly; the Peace Prayer Temple at Cape Henry; Shafer's contributions; Religious Reformation; and other issues of concern to Shafer.

Subseries B: Shafer's Books. This subseries includes book publicity; requests for his books and thank you letters for their receipt; requests for essays to be included in future books; information on book publishers; rough drafts for the book "How to Make a Fortune Quickly and Honestly"; and final copies of Shafer's books "How to Make a Fortune Quickly and Honestly," "Investment Success and Happiness," "3 Books that Made the South and 1000 Millionaires and 10 Billionaires," "Go South Young Man, Go South Where God Still Lives."

Subseries C: Newspapers and Magazines. This subseries contains copies of newspapers and magazines related to politics, religion, veterans, and real estate and investing.

Subseries D: Advertising. This subseries contains receipts for the printing of some of Shafer's promotional material; advertising rates and information for "The Spotlight"; other newspapers and magazines; television and radio station advertising policies; and receipts for air time. This subseries also includes a few copies of classified ads that were placed by Shafer on the Norfolk Boom, gasoline prices, and religious reformation.

Series V. Miscellaneous. This series contains material that does not necessarily fit into any of the other series of this collection. The most notable items in this series are the photographs, including photos of Shafer's tombstone, and a rough draft of his last will and testament. This series also includes information on Shafer's trip to Hot Springs; various receipts, warranties, and instruction manuals; information on psychics; miscellaneous notes, lists, articles, and booklets; and other miscellaneous material.

Series VI. Artifacts. This series contains artifacts that are a part of this collection. Included are a ministry audiocassette by Jerry Falwell; a refill for a Pallotine Pen by Pallotine Missionaries; a box of Buss Auto Fuses; and "Easy Do" remote switch; and a "Wm. Crooks-Minnesota Pioneer" limited run lithograph.

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.
Subject Index
Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century
Norfolk (Va.)--Politics and government--20th century
Shafer, W. B.
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Acquisition Notes: W.B. Shafer  Gift. Accession #A82-1
Related Materials:

Oral Histories in the Perry Library: W. Bruce Shafer, Part 1

Oral Histories in the Perry Library: W. Bruce Shafer, Part 2

Related Publications:

3 books under one cover : second Yankee invasion of the South ...

Call #:  F209 .S532 1982

Investment success & happiness

Call #: F209.5.S53.G6

Go south, young man, go south where God still lives, and five other books : true economic history of the South from 1865-1999 A.D. (tells when the communistic-hippie movement will stop and the nation return to sanity)

Call #: F209.5 .S53

How to make a fortune quickly and honestly

Call #: HF5386 .S4185

PreferredCitation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], W.B. Shafer, Jr. Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.