Access

The recordings in the collection are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced. Medical records in boxes 5, 34, 38-43 are restricted.

Abstract

Papers of Benjamin L. Yellen (1907-1994), physician and political activist in Brawley, California. Most materials date from 1948 to 1994 and pertain to water, farming and medical issues in Southern California. Typewritten correspondence forms the core of the collection, while newspaper clippings, newsletters and published and government documents compose the supporting materials.

Biography

Ben Yellen was born on July 2, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York, to Jake and Annie Yellen. He attended Boy's High School in Brooklyn, Columbia University and he graduated from Long Island College of Medicine, now called The University of the State of New York Medical School, in 1931. Given the economic conditions prevalent during the Depression, Yellen turned to the government for employment. For the next decade he worked as a physician for the Civilian Conservation Corps and served as a doctor in the Army. In 1942 he settled permanently in the town of Brawley in Imperial County, California. He chose Brawley largely for its warm, dry climate, which he thought would be beneficial for his health. Once settled in Imperial Valley Yellen found himself in one of the richest and most productive agricultural regions in the United States. Roughly a decade and a half after his arrival in Brawley Yellen initiated a protracted battle against the large-scale growers who dominated the region's economy and their representative institutions, including the Desert Growers Association and, especially, the Imperial Irrigation District.

At the time of his arrival in Brawley, Yellen joined the local medical society and established his own practice. He drew his patients primarily from the lower segments of Imperial Valley's economic system. His treatment of braceros (i.e., Mexican migrant farm workers) led him into the political activities that would occupy the last four decades of his life. In 1956, at the age of 49, Yellen began agitating against the big growers and brought suit against them and the Continental Life Insurance Company for defrauding migrant workers of their medical insurance benefits. This activity led to his expulsion from the Imperial Valley Medical Society in 1959 on the charges that his early morning addresses to migrant workers informing them of their insurance benefits were unethical attempts to build his own practice at the cost of the physicians hired to treat the braceros. Yellen continued to practice medicine independently, but his relationship with Brawley's Pioneer Memorial Hospital remained strained for the rest of his lifetime. Around 1959 or 1960 Yellen's attitude towards the braceros shifted, and he focused his writings and attentions on the domestic farm workers displaced by Mexican immigrants.

Although Yellen never abandoned his concern for farm workers, in 1961 his interests shifted as he expanded his attack on the big growers. At this time he embarked on the crusade for which he is most well known-- the lawsuits to enforce the Reclamation Law of 1902. The central case in this effort was the United States vs the Imperial Irrigation District in which Ben Yellen and 123 other citizens of Imperial County acted as amicus curiae, pushing the case through the legal system. In 1980 the Supreme Court ruled in this case that the Reclamation Law did apply in Imperial Valley and that all growers receiving federal irrigation water were restricted to 160 acres per person in the household. Before this ruling could take effect however, California Senator Alan Cranston passed an amendment in the last days of the session that year exempting Imperial Valley from the Reclamation Law, thereby nullifying the Supreme Court decision and Yellen's greatest victory.

In addition to his legal activities, Yellen actively engaged in local electoral politics beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1990s. Throughout these three decades, Yellen ran for almost every conceivable local office, always on a platform of restricting the power and influence of the big growers for the benefit of the "little guy." In 1964, in his only electoral success, Yellen won a four-year term as a Brawley city councilman. To get his views across to the public, Yellen distributed thousands of his own mimeographed newsletters, locally termed "yellowsheets" because of the yellow paper he used. With a canvas bag thrown over his shoulder, Yellen paced the streets of Imperial Valley placing thousands of yellowsheets on car seats or under windshield wipers. Yellen's pamphleteering lessened in the 1970s as his health and mobility declined; as a result he increasingly relied on local newspapers to publish his "letters to the editor" to disseminate his political ideas.

During the final decade of his life, Yellen found himself in a new battle as the result of a malpractice suit following the death of a two-year old boy he injected with a compounded prescription. Although he was ultimately cleared of wrong doing in the boy's death, his medical license was revoked by the state of California on November 16, 1983. He spent the remainder of his life trying to regain his license. In 1987 he succeeded, but the Board of Medical Quality Assurance placed so many restrictions on his return to medicine that he never resumed an active practice.

In 1993 farm workers reappeared as the focus of Yellen's attention when he initiated a lawsuit against Attorney General Janet Reno to stop the flow of illegal Mexican immigrants who took jobs from domestic farm workers. The suit never amounted to anything due to Yellen's death the following year.

Yellen died in his home in Brawley on July 1, 1994, one day before he would have turned 87.

Scope and Content of Collection

Accession Processed in 1996

The Ben Yellen Papers document grassroots social and political activism in the arenas of western farm labor and water policy. Yellen's correspondence dates from 1948 to 1994 and encompasses a variety of topics: migrant farm workers, water policy, tax assessment, electricity rates, local politics, the law, medical malpractice, and the compounding of prescriptions. The correspondence in each series is supported by an array of published materials, as well as documents from the Brawley city government and newsletters from a variety of small organizations.

Ben Yellen was a loud voice of protest against the entrenched power of California's commercial farmers. Although his primary lawsuit to compel the federal government to enforce the 1902 Reclamation Law did not ultimately lead to the redistribution of land in Imperial Valley, he brought the issue to national attention and caused the big growers significant discomfort and sizable legal bills. His correspondence and lawsuits allege how the politically and economically powerful interests of Imperial Valley sought to silence him by attacking his medical practice and his personal integrity. His incomplete and idiosyncratic collection of newsletters and small publications reveals a web of small, liberal organizations fighting for the rights of the poor. His crusades against the tax and electricity "swindles" illustrate the extent to which the special privileges and power of the big growers affected the lives of citizens of Imperial Valley. Finally, Yellen represented a style of liberalism that mixed a strong desire to do good with a dose of paternalism and a powerful sense of individual importance and empowerment.

Because of the scattered way in which Yellen gathered and disseminated information, much of the documentation gathered here is incomplete. For example, Yellen acquired the annual reports of the Imperial Irrigation District for the years between 1963 and 1990; however, nine of the twenty-seven years are missing. Additionally, Yellen solicited information about major water projects in California, Arizona, and Colorado. As a result, the collection contains snippets of data about projects such as the Salt River and Boulder Canyon, but not enough information for a coherent study of either topic. Generally speaking, Yellen's correspondence is marred by his rambling prose style and his tendency to blur issues together in one letter. His letters are also highly repetitive because Yellen remained focused on water and related issues for three decades and his ideas about these topics changed little over time.

The collection is organized into five series: 1) YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR; 2) FARM WORKERS; 3) WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES; 4) MEDICAL ISSUES; and, 5) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS.

SERIES 1: YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR series provides an overview of Yellen's ideas and activities. The series is arranged into two chronological subseries: A) Yellowsheets and B) Letters to the Editor.

The "Yellowsheets," or newsletters, were distributed by hand in the Imperial Valley and mailed to people throughout the country. The bulk dates from the 1960s and diminishes through the 1970s and 1980s. Yellen used the yellowsheets to present his views directly to the people of the Imperial Valley and to explain how he thought they were all being exploited by the big growers.

As the frequency of yellowsheets declined through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Yellen increasingly relied on "Letters to the Editor" to express his views in public. The Imperial Valley Press and the Brawley News published Yellen's letters beginning in 1960 and continued to do so until 1992. The majority of this subseries comprises copies of printed letters; however, originals for which we do not have a printed copy and originals which differ from the printed version are also held.

SERIES 2: FARM WORKERS

The FARM WORKERS series deals with the issue that first drew Yellen into social and political activism -- the plight of Mexican migrant farm laborers. The series is organized into three subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Lawsuits, and C) Supporting Materials. In the late 1950s, Yellen formed the Committee for the Protection of Mexican Workers when he realized that growers deducted medical insurance premiums from the paychecks of braceros, but the workers themselves received inadequate health care and the Continental Life Insurance Company denied them benefits following injury. In addition to the "insurance swindle," Yellen pointed out that growers charged workers exorbitant rates for room and board while providing substandard food. Additionally, the growers restricted the number of hours braceros worked and thereby severely limited the amount of money they earned.

Around 1960 Yellen shifted his emphasis away from fighting for the rights of Mexican workers to excluding them in favor of domestic farm workers. Yellen maintained both that growers imported Mexican migrants at the expense of domestic farm workers and that Imperial Valley's economy suffered because Mexican workers sent their wages home and did not buy goods in local stores.

The "Correspondence" subseries (1957-1994) is arranged chronologically and documents both the ill treatment of Mexican workers and Yellen's philosophical shift away from their cause. The letters are mainly outgoing of government agencies and individuals, the Department of Labor, state and national senators, the California Department of Employment, the National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The "Lawsuits" subseries is also arranged chronologically and documents lawsuit and small claims court appeals filed by workers to gain wages and benefits from the big growers who had cheated them. Yellen initiated, or was in some way involved with, all of these cases. The affidavits and claims contained within these lawsuits provide a glimpse of working conditions for farm workers in the late 1950s.

The "Supporting Materials" subseries includes financial statements; publications and newsletters by small groups interested in the rights of farm workers, including the National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor and Citizens for Farm Labor; and essays and reports about the conditions of farm work in California, including Grace Weist's dissertation Health Insurance for Braceros: A Study of its Developement and Implementation Under Public Law #78, for which Yellen helped gather data.

SERIES 3: WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

The WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES series is the core and largest part of the Yellen Papers. It is organized into three subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Lawsuits, and C) Supporting Material. Yellen discusses a variety of interrelated issues in his correspondence from 1959 to 1994; the enforcement of the 160 acres limitation; from the residency requirement; the "tax swindle;" the "electricity swindle," and electoral politics in Brawley. Throughout his activist career, Yellen identified multiple levels on which the large land owners exploited the common people of Imperial Valley. He repeatedly argued that simple enforcement of the 160 acres limitation was insufficient to curtail the power of the big growers. He doggedly maintained and propagated his beliefs through three and a half decades of letter writing evidenced in this collection. He wrote letters to national political figures regularly in attempts to garner their attention to the local situation. For instance, he wrote to all the presidents, as well as senators and representatives in key positions. He frequently wrote to people who were featured in newspaper articles, as well as the authors of articles he found interesting. Running throughout this correspondence are recurring solicitations to lawyers to work on his various cases, although he was largely unsuccessful and undertook many of his later causes pro per. He also wrote continual solicitations to authors and television programs to visit Imperial Valley and publicize the story. In these letters, and others, he lamented what he saw as the persecution of his right to free speech by local authorities. He maintained extended correspondence with a few private figures including George Ballis, Charles Smith, John Chappell, and his lawyer, Arthur Brunwasser.

The "Lawsuits" subseries contains legal documents from US vs Imperial Irrigation District and Ben Yellen vs Walter J. Hickel, as well as smaller related cases. The cases are arranged chronologically by their beginning date and the folders are chronological within each case. This subseries also holds Ben Yellen vs Thomas Story, Ricky Macken, and the City of Brawley, in its various manifestations. Yellen initiated this legal effort after he was arrested while distributing his pamphlets at the 1984 Cattle Call Parade. This suit marked the culmination of Yellen's struggle with the City of Brawley over his free speech rights to distribute his pamphlets unmolested.

The "Supporting Materials" subseries contains a wide variety of material relating to Yellen's interrelated interests, chiefly A) Western water, B) Electricity, C) the Imperial Irrigation District, D) Political campaigns, and E) Imperial County and the City of Brawley.

The "Western water" sub-subseries consists of reports and writings about western water issues. Much of the material is government documents and reports specifically related to the Reclamation law and its applicability to the Imperial Valley. There is also a collection of documents and pamphlets from different western water projects such as the Palo Verde Irrigation District, the Coachella Valley, the Central Valley Salton Sea, the San Joaquin Valley, the Metropolitan Water District, the Salt River Project and other Arizona projects, and the Colorado River Dam. Yellen amassed notable, although incomplete, runs of Western Water News (1960-1995) and the National Farmers Union Washington Newsletter (1964-1991). Likewise, Yellen saved newsletters and small publications from the California Agrarian Action Project (1980-1984), the California Farm Consumer Reporter (1965-1973), California Homeowner (1963-1971), National Land for People (1976-1985), Sharecropper (1972-1974), and the National Sharecropers' Fund (1971-1984).

The second sub-subseries deals with Yellen's enduring interest in "Electricity." In particular, it contains Imperial Irrigation District electricity rate schedules and pamphlets (1962-1989), as well as similar information for the Tennessee Valley Authority (1967-1992).

Yellen's nemesis in his political activism was the Imperial Irrigation District, which controlled the distribution of water and electricity in Imperial Valley and was in turn controlled by the large growers. The third sub-subseries is a collection of IID documents including audit reports (1960-1964), annual reports (1963-1990) and the IID publication District News (1960-1974). Also included in this area are publications made by other pro-big farmer groups, including pamphlets specifically attacking Yellen.

The fourth sub-subseries, "Political campaigns," holds examples of Yellen's political advertisements, as well as advertisements from other local campaigns. Most of this material is from the 1960s.

The fifth and final sub-subseries is a sizable collection of material pertaining to Imperial County and the City of Brawley, including descriptions of and fiscal data about Imperial County; the minutes of the Brawley Town Council for the years he served as a councilman (1964-1968); correspondence internal to the city about a variety of matters such as promotions in the police and fire departments and planning projects.

SERIES 4: MEDICAL ISSUES

The fourth series is tangential to the rest of the collection because it deals with Yellen's medical philosophy and practice. This series is organized into two subseries: A) Correspondence, and B) Medical Malpractice Suit.

The first subseries is arranged chronologically and contains the earliest correspondence in the collection. Beginning in the 1940s, Yellen wrote numerous letters to medical journals and other doctors explaining and advocating his habit of compounding prescriptions, that is, writing complex prescriptions patients or pharmacists would put together as substitutes for more expensive packaged brand name drugs. In fact, his first crusade was against the pharmaceutical manufacturers who charged high prices for drugs he compounded cheaply. Within this subseries are letters reflecting the day to day nature of his medical practice, as well as his relationship with other physicians in the area.

In December of 1981, Yellen's insistence on compounding drugs got him into trouble when a two-year old boy died in his care. The second subseries contains the correspondence, arranged chronologically, surrounding the "Medical Malpractice Suit," Travis Kavanaugh vs Ben Yellen, and Yellen's subsequent countersuits. The legal documents relating to these proceedings are also included.

SERIES 5: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL

The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series contains select documents, such as a copy of Yellen's birth certificate, photographs, a folder of personal correspondence, and a collection of secondary articles about him including a transcript of his appearance on the television show 60 Minutes in 1973.

Accession Processed in 2006

The accession processed in 2006 contains materials that supplement those found in the first and largest accession. Materials include correspondence, legal documents, medical records, personal ephemera, photographs, newspaper clippings, and audiorecordings. The series titles and arrangement mirror those of the first accession. The NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS and AUDIORECORDINGS series are unique to the second accession and provide important documentation of Yellen's public role and image.

The accession is arranged in seven series: 1) YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, 2) FARMWORKERS, 3) WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES, 4) MEDICAL ISSUES, 5) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 6) NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, and 7) AUDIORECORDINGS.

SERIES 1: YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR series offers a small sampling of the pamphlets and letters Yellen produced for public consumption. They document the core of Yellen's political beliefs and activities. They are particularly notable for the attacks Yellen undertook against prominent politicians and residents of Imperial Valley. Both the yellowsheets and letters to the editor are arranged chronologically.

SERIES 2: FARMWORKERS

The second series on FARMWORKERS contains primarily Yellen's correspondence on behalf of braceros in Imperial Valley, as well as a few medical records. The series is in alphabetical order.

SERIES 3: WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES is a more extensive series holding samples of Yellen's correspondence. Additionally, a sample of receipts provides a hint at the amount of money Yellen spent on such things as paper for printing yellowsheets and radio and newspaper advertising during his campaigns for political office. This series is also in alphabetical order.

SERIES 4: MEDICAL ISSUES

The fourth series, MEDICAL ISSUES, is the most extensive portion of the accession. It begins with Yellen's General Medical Correspondence, pertaining mostly to his practice of compounding prescriptions. The bulk of the series is made up of documents relating to his medical malpractice suit which began in 1981. There is a subseries of notes and papers that appear to have come from his lawyer's office. Another subseries is dedicated to Annabelle Hillock's Notes about the case against Yellen and his hearing before the Board of Medical Quality Assurance. Hillock was a friend of Yellen who assisted him in his pro per actions to defend himself against the accusation of malpractice and subsequently to regain his license. The final subseries consists of Legal Documents filed in the malpractice case. The series and subseries are all arranged alphabetically.

SERIES 5: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS

The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series offers a variety of materials including personal correspondence, documentation of his death, as well as an extensive collection of photographs taken primarily early in Yellen's life. Also included are ephemera such as matchbook covers with Yellen's picture on them, rubber stamps with much used slogans, and Yellen's Physician's diary from the 1950s. The materials in this collection are in alphabetical order.

SERIES 6: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

Series six, NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, is made up of newspaper articles about Yellen collected between 1958 and 1994. These clippings provide a narrative to Yellen's life by documenting his public trials and triumphs. The clippings are a good place to begin to get a sense of the chronology of Yellen's life and his public impact.

SERIES 7: AUDIORECORDINGS

The final series, AUDIORECORDINGS, consists of audio tapes of a few of Yellen's public appearances. The most notable of which is his 60 Minutes appearance in 1973. These materials in are chronological order as their titles of sometimes unclear.

Accessions Processed in 1996

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YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Box Folder Oversize
Yellowsheets.
1 1 Undated.
1 2 1959.
1 3 1960.
1 4 1961.
1 5 1962.
1 6 1963.
1 7 1964.
1 8 1965.
1 9 1966.
1 10 1967.
2 1 1968.
2 2 1969.
2 3 1970.
2 4 1971.
2 5 1972.
2 6 1973.
2 7 1974-1979.
2 8 1980-1989.
2 9 1990-1991.
Letters to the Editor.
2 10 1960-1969.
2 11 1977-1979.
2 12 1980-1985.
2 13 1986-1989.
2 14 1990-1992.

FARM WORKERS

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Box Folder Oversize
Correspondence.
3 1 Undated.
3 2 1957.
3 3 1958.
3 4 1959, January-June.
3 5 1959, July-December.
3 6 1960.
3 7 1961.
3 8 1962.
4 1 1963.
4 2 1964.
4 3 1965, January-July.
4 4 1965, August-December.
4 5 1966.
4 6 1967.
4 7 1968.
4 8 1969.
4 9 1970.
Includes dispute over the Casa de Amistad medical clinic for domestic migrant workers.
4 10 1971-1979.
4 11 1980-1989.
4 12 1990-1994.
Lawsuits.
5 1 Small claims lawsuits by farm workers for their wages, 1958 - 1963.
5 2 Ben Yellen vs. Fernando Cuevas, 1953.
5 3 Ben Yellen vs. Elvira Ruiz and Theodore Niewenhous, 1958 - 1959.
Regarding illegal medical treatment of farm workers.
5 4 Ben Yellen vs. F. Britton McConnell, Commissioner of Insurance, State of CA, 1958 - 1959.
Regarding defrauding farm workers of their medical insurance.
5 5 Ben Yellen vs. Constitution Life Insurance Company, 1958 - 1959.
Regarding medical insurance for farm workers.
Restrictions apply
5 6 Ben Yellen vs. Imperial Valley Farmers Association, et al., 1958 - 1959.
Regarding medical insurance for farm workers.
5 7 Ben Yellen vs. Wayne Deming, 1958 - 1959.
Regarding the defrauding of Fidel Gama Velazquez of medical insurance.
5 8 Ben Yellen vs. Ken Richardson, 1959.
Regarding medical insurance for farm workers.
5 9 Ben Yellen vs. Desert Growers Inc., 1959.
Regarding the defrauding of farm workers of their medical insurance.
Restrictions apply
5 10 Ben Yellen vs. Dwight Wilbur, 1959.
Regarding the unwillingness of California Medecine to publicize Yellen's work with farm workers and their insurance.
5 11 Andres Santana Sanchez vs. Adalberto A. Aguirre, 1959 - 1960.
Regarding wages as a farm worker.
5 12 Imperial Valley Farmers' Association and R.T. Englund Company dispute, 1962 - 1963.
Regarding the falsification of farm payroll records.
5 13 Imperial Valley Farmers' Association and Maggio Green Tops Inc. dispute, 1963.
Regarding the violation of the Mexican migrant program.
5 14 Texas State AFL-CIO et al. vs. Robert Kennedy et al., 1962 - 1963.
Amicus curiae suit in opposition to Public Law #78 and the importation of Mexican workers.
5 15 Ben Yellen vs. Casa de Amistad, 1970.
Dispute over a government sponsored medical clinic for domestic farm workers.
5 16 Ben Yellen vs. Heber Public Utility District, 1985.
Regarding the use of taxpayer money to build a plant to make concrete lined steel pipe.
5 17 Ben Yellen vs. Janet Reno, Attorney General, 1993 - 1994.
Regarding illegal immigrants.
Supporting materials.
5 18 Farm worker pay stubs.
5 19 Statements by braceros of mistreatment by Imperial Valley farmers, 1958 - 1962.
5 20 Appeals to retailers on behalf of domestic farm workers, 1960.
5 21 Complaints of employment discrimination by domestic farm workers, 1962 - 1967.
6 1 Conditions of farm workers and small farmers, 1959 - 1977.
National Sharecropper's Fund publications.
6 2 California Annual Farm Labor Report, 1963.
6 3 California's Farm Labor Problems, 1961 - 1963.
Report of the Senate Fact Finding Committee on labor and welfare.
6 4 Department of Labor News Bulletins, 1959 - 1965.
6 5 Essays about farm workers, 1963 - 1973.
6 6 Fair and reasonable wage debate, 1962 - 1986.
6 7 Farm Labor Magazine, 1963 - 1965.
6 8 Final Report of the California Farm Labor Panel to the Secretary of Labor, 1965.
6 9 Galarza, Ernesto - essays and statements, 1956 - 1960.
6 10 National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor Information letters and pamphlets, 1958 - 1965.
7 1 National Conference on Poverty in the Southwest, 1965.
7 2 Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz - Address before the Town Hall, Los Angeles, 1965.
7 3 Farm worker pamphlets, 1951 - 1970.
7 4 Government regulations concerning farm workers, 1960 - 1965.
7 5 Weist, Grace, 1966.
Health Insurance for the Bracero: A Study of its Development and Implementation Under Public Law #78.

WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

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Box Folder Oversize
Correspondence.
7 6 Undated.
7 7 1959-1960.
7 8 1961, January - July.
7 9 1961, August - December.
8 1 1962.
8 2 1963, January - July.
8 3 1963, August - December.
8 4 1964, January - May.
8 5 1964, June - December.
8 6 1965, January - September.
8 7 1965, October - December.
9 1 1966, January - April.
9 2 1966, May -December.
9 3 1967, January - July.
9 4 1967, August - December.
9 5 1968, January - July.
9 6 1968, August - December.
10 1 1969, January - April.
10 2 1969, May - December.
10 3 1970.
10 4 1971.
10 5 1972.
10 6 1973-1974.
11 1 1975-1976.
11 2 1977, January - September.
11 3 1977, October - December.
11 4 1978.
11 5 1979, January - May.
11 6 1979, June - December.
12 1 1980, January - June.
12 2 1980, July - December.
12 3 1981-1984.
12 4 1985.
12 5 1986.
12 6 1987.
12 7 1988.
12 8 1989.
13 1 1990.
13 2 1991.
13 3 1992.
13 4 1993.
13 5 1994.
13 6 Yellen's research notes.
Lawsuits.
13 7 People of the State of California vs. Ben Yellen, 1965 - 1966.
Regarding his assault on Richard Sharp on November 15, 1965.
13 8 Ben Yellen vs. Jack Bryant, Lom Tompkins et al., 1960.
Suit against Imperial Irrigation District to enforce Reclamation Law.
13 9 Ben Yellen vs. Orville L. Freeman, Secretary of Agriculture, et al., 1967.
13 10 Betty Girth et al. vs. Raymond L. Thompson, Imperial Irrigation District, 1969.
Case seeking application of 'one man, one vote' rule in Imperial Valley division boundaries.
United States vs. Imperial Irrigation District.
13 11 United States vs. Imperial Irrigation District, 1967-1974.
14 1 Requests to enter the suit, 1967.
14 2 Affidavits in support of motion, 1971.
14 3 Imperial Irrigation District et al. vs. Ben Yellen et al., 1975 - 1979.
14 4 Imperial Irrigation District et al. vs. Ben Yellen et al., 1979.
Ben Yellen et al. vs. Walter J. Hickel, Secretary of the Department of Interior.
14 5 1970 - 1972.
14 6 1973.
14 7 United States vs. Tulare Lake Canal Company, Brief of Ben Yellen and others, 1974.
14 8 Ben Yellen vs. Calderon, Jaham, and Osborn, et al., 1986.
Regarding improper accounting practices in IID annual reports.
14 9 Ben Yellen et al. vs. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of CA, 1972.
Appeal of Ben Yellen et al vs. Walter J. Hickel.
14 10 Ben Yellen et al. vs. Rogers C. B. Morton, Secretary of the Interior, et al., 1972.
14 11 Jack Bryan et al. vs. Ben Yellen et al., 1980.
Countersuit opinion.
14 12 Benjamin L. Yellen vs. E.O. Steimle, et al., 1967.
Suit for civil rights damages against the Brawley Elementary School District.
15 1 City of Brawley vs. Benjamin Louis Yellen, 1966 - 1969.
Regarding non-payment of his business license tax.
15 2 Charles Warren vs. Ben Yellen, 1963 - 1964.
Regarding defamation of character in one of Yellen's newsletters.
15 3 People of the State of California vs. Benjamin Louis Yellen, 1960.
Regarding a disturbance at a bus station.
Yellen vs. Story, Macken, and the City of Brawley.
15 6 1986.
15 7 1987.
15 8 1988.
15 5 Depositions of Yellen and Macken, 1985.
15 4 Lawsuit regarding his arrest for distributing pamphlets on November 10, 1984.
Supporting materials.
Western water.
15 9 Department of Interior, 1923 - 1970.
Correspondence regarding Reclamation Law.
15 10 All-American Canal Contract, amendments and supplements, 1932.
15 11 Landownership, operating tenure, and non-resident landlords, 1942.
15 12 Pamphlets advocating enforcement of the Reclamation Law, 1947 - 1987.
16 1 Landowners and acres owned in Imperial Valley, 1969 - 1977.
16 2 Applicability of the excess land laws to Imperial Irrigation District, 1962 - 1964.
16 3 Interior Solicitor's Decision that IID lands are subject to the Reclamation Law, 1964.
16 4 Congress should reevaluate the 160-acre limitation on land, 1972.
Bureau of Reclamation report.
16 5 Department of Agriculture reports on the application of the Reclamation Law, 1978.
16 6 Interim Report, acreage limitation, Department of Interior, 1980.
16 7 Water conservation opportunities. Imperial Irrigation District, 1984.
Reclamation repayments and payout schedules.
17 1 1902 - 1957.
17 2 1965.
17 3-5 Power and Land in California, The Ralph Nader Task Force - Volume 1, 1971.
17 6 Power and Land in California, The Ralph Nader Task Force - Volume 2, 1971.
18 1 Power and Land in California, The Ralph Nader Task Force - Volume 2, 1971.
18 2 Testimony of various people about the Reclamation Law, 1948 - 1978.
Taylor, Paul.
18 3 Articles on Reclamation Law, 1950 - 1973.
18 4 Testimony before various government agencies, 1961 - 1974.
18 5 Articles about California water and agriculture, 1956 - 1985.
18 6 Adams, Peter, 1971.
The Politics and Economics of the Acreage Limitations of the Federal Reclamation Project.
18 7 Barnett, Paul, Imperial Valley: The Land of Sun and Subsidies, 1978.
18 8 Smith, Charles - Anti-Monopoly Water Law Bibliography, 1966.
19 1 Palo Verde Irrigation District - Annual report, 1957.
19 2 Coachella Valley pamphlets, 1964 - 1977.
19 3 Orange County, California groundwater, 1966 - 1967.
19 4 Salton Sea pamphlets, 1977 - 1990.
19 5 San Luis Unit, Central Valley Project, 1962.
19 6 Central Valley Project, Special Task Force Report, 1978.
19 7 San Joaquin Valley, California, undated.
Lawsuit to enforce Reclamation Law.
19 8 Projections of California Agriculture to 1980 and 2000, 1970.
19 9 Thirty-five chart examples of questionable land transactions, 1975.
19 10 Metropolitan Water District and the Imperial Irrigation District, 1970 - 1985.
20 1 Salt River Project, Phoenix AZ, 1966.
20 2 Arizona Water Projects, 1964 - 1974.
20 3 Boulder Canyon Project, 1932.
Contract between the United States and the Imperial Irrigation District.
20 4 Colorado River Dam and irrigation pamphlets and essays, 1966 - 1993.
20 5 MC05301 Coachella Valley, Palo Verde, and Yuma irrigation project maps, 1949 - 1967.
20 6 Waterlog: Newsletter of the Working Alliance to Equalize Rates, 1979 - 1984.
Western Water News.
20 7 1960 - 1969.
20 8 1970 - 1979.
20 9 1980 - 1995.
National Farmers Union Washington Newsletter.
20 10 1964 - 1969.
20 11 1970 - 1979.
21 1 1980 - 1985.
21 2 1990 - 1991.
21 3 California Agrarian Action Project, 1980 - 1984.
21 4 California Farm Consumer Reporter, 1965 - 1973.
21 5 California Home Owner, 1963 - 1971.
National Land for People.
21 6 Annuals, 1976 - 1983.
21 7 Bulletins, 1976 - 1985.
21 8 Sharecropper, Washington News Reports, 1972 - 1974.
21 9 Rural Advance National Sharecroppers Fund, 1971 - 1984.
21 10 Subsidies, 1963 - 1984.
22 1 Tax Assessment and Equalization, 1958 - 1966.
22 2 MC05302 Valuations and tax rate schedules for Imperial County, 1963 - 1970.
22 3 Financing California's Public Schools by property tax equalizatization, 1964.
Electricity.
22 4 Imperial Irrigation Dsitrict Power Department Cost Allocation and Rate Study. Report to Board of Directors, 1978.
22 5 Imperial Irrigation District electricity rate schedules, 1962 - 1981.
22 6 Imperial Irrigation District electricity pamphlets, 1963 - 1989.
22 7 MC05305 Maps, 1966 - 1972.
22 8 Tennessee Valley Authority pamphlets, 1963 - 1973.
22 9 Tennessee Valley Authority electricity sales statistics, 1967 - 1992.
22 10 Murray, Keith, The Power Without, 1964.
Imperial Irrigation District.
22 11 Information on Imperial Valley Acreage Limitation Problem, undated.
22 12 Board of Directors, minutes and reports, 1961 - 1980.
Audit Reports.
22 13 1960.
23 1 1961.
23 2 1963.
23 3 1964.
23 4 Consolidated Balance Sheet, 1977.
23 5 Annual inventory of crops receiving water, 1974 - 1989.
Annual Reports.
23 6 1963 - 1969.
23 7 1970-1979.
23 8 1980 - 1990.
23 9 Agriculture Reports, 1962 - 1980.
23 10 MC05303 Maps, 1949 - 1988.
23 11 MC05304 Tract map book, 1964.
23 12 Pamphlets, 1962 - 1980.
24 1 Miscellaneous materials, undated.
24 2 Articles of Incorporation, 1955.
24 3 Imperial Resources Associates, 1965 - 1977.
This group was organized to fight the effort against the enforcement of the Reclamation Law limits.
24 4 Call for Fairness Newsletter, 1977 - 1979.
Newsletter of groups opposing Yellen's efforts to enforce the Reclamation Law.
24 5 Pamphlets and an essay attacking Yellen and defending the interests of big farms, 1962 - 1977.
District News - Imperial Irrigation District publication.
24 6 1960 - 1965.
24 7 1966 - 1974.
Political Campaigns.
24 8 Yellen's campaign statements, 1964 - 1968.
24 9 Yellen's statements of qualifications, 1970 - 1972.
24 10 Yellen's political advertisements and newsletters, 1980 - 1993.
24 11 MC05306 Oversize political advertisements, 1982.
24 12 Advertisements for local candidates, 1963 - 1990.
24 13 Statements by Imperial Valley candidates, 1966 - 1978.
24 14 Miscellaneous materials, 1960 - 1970.
24 15 Pamphlet, 1950.
Yellen used this pamphlet to defend his right to distribute his newsletters in automobiles.
Imperial County and the City of Brawley.
Imperial County.
24 16 County, undated.
24 17 Imperial Valley Farmers' Association Annual Report, 1960.
24 18 Imperial County Farm Bureau membership list, 1961 - 1962.
24 19 Agriculture, 1965 - 1985.
24 20 Imperial Valley Weather Summary, 1965 - 1989.
25 1 Agricultural Reports, 1964 - 1990.
25 2 Crops Guidelines to Production Costs and Practices, 1982 - 1983.
25 3 Tourist guide, 1960 - 1970.
25 4 Economic Opportunity Commission, 1968.
25 5 City of Imperial Directory - Clubs, Organizations, and Offices, 1972.
25 6 Schools - financial and statistical report, 1961 - 1962.
25 7 Analysis of economic potential, 1962.
25 8 Preliminary budget, 1961 - 1962.
25 9 Final budget and final report, 1961 - 1962.
26 1 Proposed budget, 1964 - 1965.
26 2 Local government budgets, 1965 - 1966.
Final budget and financial statement.
26 3 1964 - 1966.
26 4 1965 - 1967.
26 5 1966 - 1968.
27 1 1968 - 1970.
27 2 Statistical survey of the aid to needy children program, 1961.
27 3 Welfare Department, Annual report, 1968 - 1970.
27 4 Elections and reapportionment - Brawley meeting, 1963.
27 5 Tax payer's compaints about Brawley schools, 1962.
27 6 Schools, 1967 - 1968.
27 7 MC05307 Town maps, 1943 - 1965.
Brawley.
City Council agendas and minutes.
27 8 1960 - 1962.
27 9 1964, May - September.
28 1 1964, October - December.
28 2 1965, January-June.
28 3 1965, July - December.
28 4 1966, January - June.
28 5 1966, July - December.
29 1 1967, January - June.
29 2 1967, July - December.
29 3 1968.
29 4 City Council report upon examination of accounts, 1963 - 1967.
29 5 City Council statement of receipts, 1964 - 1968.
29 6 City Council statement of receipts and expenditures, 1964 - 1967.
29 7 City Treasurer's monthly reports, 1964 - 1968.
30 1 City Council salaries and retirement plans, 1964 - 1967.
30 2 Monthly report of police department, 1965 - 1968.
30 3 Official statement inviting bids on $215,00 bonds, 1964.
30 4 City report on water system, 1962.
30 5 City master plan, 1966.
30 6 City re-use valuation and financial feasibility analysis of downtown, 1966.
30 7 City Plaza East development project report, 1967.
City Council correspondence, reports, and agreements.
30 8 Undated.
30 9 1964.
30 10 1965.
31 1 1966.
31 2 1967.
31 3 1968.
31 4 City check to Imperial Irrigation District for water, 1973.
31 5 City business licenses, 1984.
31 6 Cattle Call, 1987.
31 7 Yellen's certificate of election as Brawley City Councilman, 1964.
31 8 Plaque commemorating Yellen's term on the Brawley City Council, 1964 - 1968.

MEDICAL ISSUES

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Box Folder Oversize
Correspondence.
31 9 Yellen, Ben, "A Doctor Addresses His Colleagues", 1948.
NARD Journal articles written by Yellen about compounding prescriptions.
31 10 Undated.
31 11 1948, January - July.
31 12 1948, August - December.
31 13 1949.
32 1 1950-1955.
32 2 1956-1959.
32 3 1960-1969.
32 4 1970-1973.
32 5 1974-1975.
32 6 1976-1979.
32 7 1980-1981.
32 8 1982-1983.
32 9 1984.
32 10 1985.
33 1 1986.
33 2 1987.
33 3 1988-1991.
Medical malpractice suit.
33 4 Correspondence, undated.
33 5 1982 correspondence.
33 6 1983, January - September correspondence.
33 7 1983, October - December correspondence.
33 8 1984 correspondence.
33 9 1985 correspondence.
33 10 1986 correspondence.
34 1 1987 correspondence.
34 2 1988 correspondence.
34 3 1989-1992 correspondence.
34 4 Yellen's expulsion from the Imperial Valley Medical Society, 1959.
Travis Kavanaugh et al. vs. Benjamin Yellen, et al.
34 5 1982 - 1983.
34 6 Investigation documents, 1982-1983.
Includes hospital records and coroner's report.
Restrictions apply
34 7 1984.
34 8 1986-1988.
Board of Medical Quality Assurance accusation against Yellen.
35 1-8 Transcript - Volume 1-9, 1983.
Legal documents.
36 1 1983.
36 2 1983 - 1985.
36 3 1987.
Petition for the reinstatement of his revoked certificate to practice medicine.
36 4 Ben Yellen vs. American Medical Association, 1988 - 1989.
36 5 Ben Yellen vs. Robert Thompson, 1985 - 1986.
Charges Thompson with stealing his patients, outgrowth of the malpractice suit.
36 6 Ben Yellen vs. Dan Latendresse, 1985 - 1987.
Charges Latendresse as an employee of the Borad of Medical Quality Assurance with conspiring to defraud Yellen of his medical license.
36 7 State Education Department of New York disciplinary proceeding against Yellen, 1988 - 1989.
Revoking and reinstating his license to practice medicine in New York.
36 8 Ben Yellen vs. Pioneers Memorial Hospital et al., 1988 - 1989.
Countersuit to his malpractice suit.
36 9 Ben Yellen vs. Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals, et al., 1989 - 1990.
Charges fraudulent advertising, supression of free speech and free press regarding his malpractice case.

BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS

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Box Folder Oversize
37 1 Transcripts - 60 Minutes featuring Ben Yellen and "Western Water" the McNeil/Lehrer Report.
Volume V, Number 7. January 14, 1973, and January 3, 1978
37 2 Biographical and educational data, 1935 - 1985.
37 3 Birth certificate, passport, international drivers license, etc.
37 4 Magazine articles about Yellen, 1964 - 1990.
37 5 Personal correspondence, 1950 - 1993.
37 6 Photographs.
37 7 Yellen Family genealogy.

Accession Processed in 2006

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YELLOWSHEETS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Box Folder Oversize
38 1 Yellowsheets, 1962 - 1990.
38 2 Voice of the People and Speak Out, 1977 - 1990.

FARMWORKERS

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Box Folder Oversize
38 3 Correspondence, 1959 - 1974.
38 4 Correspondence, 1953 - 1963.
Restrictions apply
38 5 Medical records - A, 1958.
Restrictions apply
38 6 Medical records - L, 1955.
Restrictions apply
38 7 Medical records - M, 1962.
Restrictions apply
38 8 Medical records - Q, 1963.
Restrictions apply
38 9 Receipts and notes regarding lawsuits on behalf of braceros, 1958.
38 10 Society for the Alleviation of Poverty - Founding and correspondence, 1973 - 1976.

WATER AND RELATED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

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Box Folder Oversize
Correspondence.
38 1960-1969.
38 1970-1974.
38 1975-1979.
38 1980-1989.
38 1990-1994.
39 1 Political slide show.
39 2 Receipts and notes for elections, 1960 - 1982.
39 3 Receipts for miscellaneous legal cases, 1958 - 1988.
39 4 Receipts for newspaper advertising, 1960 - 1984.
39 5 Receipts for occupational license, 1965 - 1979.
39 6 Receipts for paper for yellowsheets, 1959 - 1964.
39 7 Receipts for radio advertising, 1958 - 1982.

MEDICAL ISSUES

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Box Folder Oversize
Correspondence.
39 8 1964 - 1989.
39 9 1963 - 1967.
Restrictions apply
39 10 1969 - 1970.
Restrictions apply
39 11 1957 - 1965.
Restrictions apply
39 12 Pioneers Memorial Hospital by-laws and regulations, 1961.
39 13 Malpractice correspondence.
Restrictions apply
39 14 Malpractice correspondence, 1982 - 1989.
Restrictions apply
Malpractice - Annabelle Hillock's notes.
39 15 Annabelle Hillock to Board of Medical Quality Assurance regarding accusation against Yellen, 1983.
Restrictions apply
40 1 Dr. Fred Greensite's testimony.
40 2 Dr. Powers' testimony.
40 3 Dr. Roger Williams' testimony, 1983.
40 4 Lab flow sheets, 1981.
Restrictions apply
40 5-7 Medical records, 1981 - 1982.
Restrictions apply
40 8 Miscellaneous, 1982 - 1983.
41 1-3 Miscellaneous, 1982 - 1983.
Continuation.
Restrictions apply
41 4 Tests performed on Winston Kavanaugh, 1981.
Restrictions apply
Malpractice - Lawyer's files.
41 5 Board of Medical Quality Assurance accusation against Yellen, 1982 - 1983.
41 6-8 Travis Kavanaugh vs. Yellen, 1986.
Yellen vs. Board of Medical Quality Assurance.
41 9 Appeal, 1985 - 1986.
42 1 Compendium of court record.
42 2-4 Pleadings #1, 1984.
42 5 Pleadings #2, 1984.
Restrictions apply
Malpractice - Legal documents.
42 6 Board of Medical Quality Assurance accusation against Yellen, 1982.
42 7 Petition for reinstatement of medical certificate, 1986.
42 8 Yellen vs. American Medical Association, 1988 - 1989.
42 9 Yellen vs. Board of Medical Quality Assurance, 1985.
Restrictions apply
43 1 Yellen vs. Board of Medical Quality Assurance, 1985.
43 2 Yellen vs. Board of Medical Quality Assurance, 1988.
43 3 Yellen vs. Dan Latendresse et al., 1985.
43 4 Yellen vs. George and Buch et al., 1986.
43 5 Yellen vs. Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals, 1989.

BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS

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Box Folder Oversize
43 6 Callanan Correspondence, 1978 - 1979.
Restrictions apply
43 7 Callanan, unfinished thesis.
Restrictions apply
43 8 Case Reports: Pneumopericardium, The Medical Bulletin of the Veteran's Administration, 1939.
43 9 Death certificate, 1994.
43 10 Egan, Shoshana and Robert correspondence, 1971 - 1993.
43 11 Matchbooks.
43 12 Memorial book, 1994.
43 13 Personal correspondence and certificates, 1980 -1989.
Personal correspondence.
43 14 1941 - 1969.
43 15 1970 - 1979.
44 1 1960 - 1985.
Restrictions apply
44 2 Photographs of Yellen.
44 3 Photographs, 1947 - 1990.
44 4 Physician's diary, 1953.
44 5 Rubber stamps.
44 6 Slides, 1954 - 1976.

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

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Box Folder Oversize
45 1 1958-1959.
45 2 1960-1965.
45 3 1966-1969.
45 4 1970-1979.
45 5 1980-1994.

AUDIORECORDINGS

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Box Folder Oversize
46 1 Brawley City Council - Minutes, 1965.
Restrictions apply
46 2 NBC News interview, 1972.
Restrictions apply
46 3 60 Minutes interview, 1973.
Restrictions apply
46 4 Jerry Hansen interview, 1977.
Restrictions apply
46 5 Jack Studel (?) talk show, 1977.
Restrictions apply
46 6 Speech to city council, conversation with Ida Paddock and her husband, undated.
Restrictions apply
46 7 Unidentified.
Restrictions apply


Finding aid generated: 2010-01-21