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Theophilus Eugene "Bull" Connor Papers, 1951; 1959-1963
This project was made possible by a grant from the Library and Technology Services Act (LSTA)
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Scope and Content

The papers, which consist of letters, memoranda, clippings, photographs and reports, are the office files kept by Theophilius Eugene "Bull" Connor during his last five years as Commissioner of Public Safety. The papers from Connor's earlier years in office have not been found and are assumed destroyed. The filing system and file headings used by Connor's office have been maintained. In some cases material from different years was filed together. Files indicated as "empty" came to the archives empty.

Theophilus Eugene Connor was born in Dallas County, Alabama in 1897.  Trained as a telegraph operator, Connor eventually settled in Birmingham where he worked as a radio sports announcer. Capitalizing on his popularity with radio listeners and on his well-know nickname ("Bull"), Connor entered politics in 1934 and was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. Connor was elected Public Safety Commissioner of Birmingham in 1937, a position that gave him administrative authority over the city's police and fire departments.

He remained Public Safety Commissioner until 1954, and held the position again from 1958 to 1963 when he was forced from office by a change in the form of city government. During his long political career Connor ran two unsuccessful campaigns for governor of Alabama and was a leader of the 1948 Dixiecrat revolt.  From 1964 to 1973 he served as President of the Alabama Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates public utilities. Connor died in Birmingham in 1973.

"Bull" Connor is most famous for his staunch defense of racial segregation and for ordering the use of police dogs and fire hoses to disperse civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham during the spring of 1963.

Baggett, James, "Eugene 'Bull' Connor," in Encyclopedia of Alabama, August 15, 2012.

Baggett, Jim and Steve McKerley, "Finding Aid Guide," September 1999 (pdf)

Bernard, William D., Dixiecrats and Democrats: Alabama Politics, 1942-1950. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1974.

Garrow, David J. (ed), Birmingham, Alabama, 1956-1963: The Black Struggle for Civil Rights. Brooklyn, New York: Carlson Publishing, 1989.

Nunnelley, William A. Bull Connor. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1991.



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