• Share:
  • Download/Print:
  • PDF
Search

Initiative 256 "Keep America Beautiful" Act of 1970 Records, 1952-1974

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Keller, Robert H.Initiative 256 Campaign
Title
Initiative 256 "Keep America Beautiful" Act of 1970 Records
Dates
1952-1974 (inclusive)
1969-1972 (bulk)
Quantity
5 Linear Ft., ( )
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0033initiative256 (collection)
Summary
The collection is a detailed account of Dr. Robert Keller’s attempt to promote a legally mandated return to deposits on beverage containers in Washington state. The collection documents a small part of the larger ecology movement of the early 1970's as well as the polarization of American society during the Vietnam era. It is also valuable as a detailed exposition of Washington state's initiative process.
Repository
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
98225
Telephone: 360-650-7534
cpnws@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English.
Sponsor
Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

In January of 1970 a small group of students from Western Washington State College, under the guidance of Dr. Robert H. Keller, set out to eliminate littering in the adjacent park of Sehome Hill. The efforts of the group did not achieve the desired results but it did inspire a drive to organize a state-wide initiative campaign with the goal of instituting a deposit system for all bottles and cans sold in the State of Washington. It was hoped that a legally mandated return to deposits on beverage containers might end casual littering and initiate citizen involvement in recycling.

Initiative 256 was born of this effort and represented a grassroots campaign to stimulate public awareness and provoke debate over environmental reform. In the end local beverage producers, the container industry, and grocery retailers rallied to defeat Initiative 256 by portraying it as a misguided idea which would eliminate jobs and increase the cost of living for every citizen throughout the state. By introducing a counter-initiative and hiring one of the most prestigious political advertising firms in Seattle at the time, opponents effectively maligned the Initiative 256 campaign in the eyes of voters. While Initiative 256 proponents were disheartened by this turn of events they felt victorious in their goal of elevating the visibility of environmental issues within the political system as well as stimulating citizen participation in state politics.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Initiative 256 records are a detailed account of Dr. Robert Keller’s attempt to promote Initiative 256. The collection documents a small part of the larger ecology movement of the early 1970's as well as the polarization of American society during the Vietnam era. It is also valuable as a detailed exposition of Washington state's initiative process.

Series have been established which reflect the origins of the initiative, the filing process, campaign organization, opposition to the initiative, events surrounding the election, correspondence, the post-election book project and television documentary, as well as promotional photographs. Materials have been arranged chronologically within series. The collection includes the final draft of the initiative, handouts and flyers, mailing lists, organization files documenting activities of volunteers and committees, as well as materials related to the 1972 television production "The Initiative and the People". Also included is an unpublished history of Washington state's initiative process and the Initiative 256 campaign entitled: "Keeping America Beautiful: The History of Initiative 256 in Washington State, 1970" by Robert Keller.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Initiative 256 "Keep American Beautiful" Act of 1970 Records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Origins of Initiative 256, January 1970 -March 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Sehome Hill Improvement Troops
January-March 1970

Series II:  Initiative Filing Process, 1967-1970 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/2
Drafting of Initiative 256
1967-1970
1/3
Filing of Initiative 256
1970
1/4
Petition and Signature Drive
1970
1/5
Certification of Initiative 256
1970

Series III:  Campaign Organization, Undated; , 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/6
Volunteer Workers
Undated
1/7
Mailing Lists
Undated
1/8
Committee for Initiative 256- Minutes
July 1970
1/9
Committee for Initiative 256- Organizational Letters
July 1970

Series IV:  Campaign Finances, May 1970 -October 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/10
Contributors and Expenditures
May-October 1970

Series V:  Campaign Promotion, March 1970 -October 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/11
Letters and Handouts
March-October 1970
1/12
Posters, Flyers, and Advertisements
Undated
1/13
Whatcom County Children's Clean-Up Contest
October 1970
1/14
Press Releases and Personal Appearances
April-October 1970

Series VI:  Opposition to Initiative 256, March 1970 -October 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/15
Olympia Beer
March-October 1970
1/16
Initiative 40- The Model Litter Law
May -October 1970

Series VII:  The Election, April 1970 - January 1971Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
Official Publications
April-November 1970
2/2
Election Returns
November-December 1970
2/3
Pre and Post Election Opinion Surveys
September 1970 to January 1971

Series VIII:  Reference Materials, January 1969 - March 1971 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/4
Cans and Bottles
April-September 1970
2/5
Solid Waste
January 1969-March 1971
2/6
Litter Control
February-March 1970
2/7
National Study of Roadside Litter
September 1969
2/8
"The Public's View of Environmental Problems in the State of Washington"
February 1970

Series IX:  Press Coverage, April 1970 -November 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/9
News Clippings- Signature Drive
April-August 1970
2/10
News Clippings
April-October 1970
2/11
News Articles, Letters to the Editor
June-November 1970
3/1
New York Times and Wall Street Journal Articles
October 1970
3/2
Mt. Vernon Clean Up
July 1970
3/3
Tri-Cities Campaign
September-October 1970
3/4
Ralph Nader Endorsement
October 1970

Series X:  Correspondence, April 1952 - May 1974 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/5
Attorney General's Office
September 1970 to February 1971
3/6
Frank Atwood's County Initiative
August 1970
3/7
Bernard Braun (New York City)
October 1970 to January 1971
3/8
Letters of Interest
April-October 1970
3/9
Requests for Information
April 1970 to April 1971
3/10
Post-Election
November 1970 to May 1974
3/11
League of Women Voters
April-July 1970
3/12
From Out of State
July-December 1970
3/13
From Campaign Workers to Robert Keller
May-October 1970
3/14
Post-Election Legal Actions
April 1952 to March 1971
3/15
Soft Drink Magazine
August 1970 to January 1971
3/16
General Incoming A-J
April-October 1970
3/17
General Incoming K-Z
April-November 1970

Series XI:  Book Project- Robert Keller, April 1970 - March 1976 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/18
Drafts, Appendices, and Outline
ca. 1970
3/19
Final Draft: "Keeping America Beautiful: A History of Initiative 256 in Washington State, 1970."
1970
4/1
Opposition Advertisements
October-November 1970
4/2
Economic Impact of 256
April 1970
4/3
Effects of 256
July 1972 to August 1973
4/4
History of the State of Oregon Bottle Bill
April-November 1972
4/5
Tweedy Study of Initiative 256 Voting Patterns
June-July 1971
4/6
The Election Campaign: Wayne Lieb Paper
May 1972
4/7
Interviews
December 1970 to January 1971
4/8
Survey of Area Chairmen
January 1971
4/9
Correspondence with Publishers
November 1970 to March 1976

Series XII:  Post 256 Reference Materials- Collected by Robert Keller, 1969-1994Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/10
Paper by William Rodgers
1970
4/11
Beverage Container Control Act
1971
4/12
Initiative 40
1972
4/13
Washington State Legislature - House Bill 700
1974
4/14
Election Reform
1970-1972
4/15
Oregon Legislation, Chambers Correspondence
June 1970 to February 1974
4/16
Vermont Legislation
April 1972 to October 1973
4/17
Bowie, MD- Deposit Law
April 1970 to December 1971
4/18
Deposit Laws in Cities and Counties
February 1971 to April 1972
4/19
Various State Deposit Laws
April 1969 to February 1974
5/1
Federal Bottle Bill
January 1972 to September 1974
5/2
Norwegian Law
April 1970
5/3
Crusade for a Cleaner Environment
December 1970 to May 1974
5/4
Economics of Beverage Containers
1970 to December 1972
5/5
Containers and Energy
November 1973 to January 1974
5/6
Container Industry Programs
September 1970 to July 1972
5/7
Roadside Litter Survey
1971 to January 1972
5/8
Articles of General Ecological Concern
February 1969 to May 1972
5/9
Soft Drinks Cash and Carry- Tucson, AZ
1977-1994

Series XIII:  Television Production: "The Initiative and the People", 1972Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5/10
Script, Production, and Related Papers
1972

Series XIV:  Photographs, UndatedReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5/11
Black and White Prints and Negatives
Undated

Series XV:  Film- 8mm Color, 1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5/12
Reel #1- Opposition Ads, T.V., Billboards
ca. 1970
5/12
Reel #2- KING TV Documentary Footage- News Series on Initiative 256
1970