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Reifel, Ben, 1906-1990
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Benjamin Reifel Papers

  • MA 009
  • Papers
  • 1905-1990

This collection is composed of memorabilia, scrapbooks, campaign items, and personal items related to Reifel's career as a public servant, especially his years in the United States Senate and his work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The bulk of congressional material is memorabilia and scrapbooks and not records related to his term of office. Other materials are related chiefly to his post-congressional speaking career.

Reifel, Ben, 1906-1990

House Wednesday Group

Roster of House Wednesday Group members with Ben Reifel's name on it, as well as an introduction and overview of what they do in the group.

Moral Re-Armament

Minutes from the meeting of the Department of Racial and Cultural Relations, as well as correspondence in regards to Moral Re-Armament, which Ben Reifel supported.

National Park Service

Correspondence between Ben Reifel and members of Congress in regards to his appointment as assistant for Indian Affairs to the Director of National Park service.

Ben Reifel Interactions with Indian Council Fire

Correspondence between Ben Reifel and members of the Indian Council Fire in regards to his becoming the Chairman of the Indian Achievement Award and being put on the national board of the Indian Council Fire Publications, Inc.

Religion: Share South Dakota

Correspondence, minutes, and other documents related to Share South Dakota, an organization to better conditions among Indian Americans in South Dakota. Ben Reifel served as vice president to this organization.

Religion: Prayer Breakfast Meetings

Correspondence and other documents related to House Prayer Breakfast group meetings, a forum for notable political, social, and business figures to meet and build relationships. Reifel held the positions of secretary, vice president, and president for the group.

South Dakota Committee on the Humanities

Comments by John J. Barcroft, Director, Division of Public Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities, at the presentation of the Distinguished Award in the Humanities to Congressman Ben Reifel. Also included is correspondence and pamphlets.

South Dakota Memorial Art Center

Correspondence, publications, and other documents related to Ben Reifel's dealings with the South Dakota Memorial Art Center, including his American Indian art collection and his service on their board of directors.

Ben Reifel Trip to Europe

Itineraries from trips to the different countries Ben Reifel visited in Europe, as well as thank you letters from Ben to everyone who helped them while they were on their trip.

Briefing Kit for Ben Reifel's Trip to China

Briefing kit for Ben Reifel's visit to China as part of the Army Reserve Congressional Command and Operations Group. Included are inineraries , lunch and dinner guest lists, information on transportation, currency conversion, shopping, and maps of the area. Also includes information on his hotel arrangements as well.

Miscellaneous

Ben Reifel's various certificates and awards from many different organizations and groups.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Map

Map showing all of the activities of the Bureaus of the Department of the Interior (which Ben Reifel was apart of), west of the Mississippi River.

City of New York Medallion Given to Ben Reifel

Bronze medallion given to Ben Reifel by the New York City Mayor, John V. Lindsay. The medallion is coin shaped with 'The City of New York" on the outer edge. In the center is a raised relief of a kneeling woman with four women standing beside her and five stars beneath her. The reverse side depicts a city skyline on the outer edge with a man above the city and a woman at the bottom. The center is engraved with'The City of New York to Hon. Ben Reifel by John V. Lindsay, Mayor May 20, 1966'. 'Mantattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Richmond' surround the engraving.

U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship X Coin Given to Ben Reifel

U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship X Coin. The gold colored coin has the U.S.S South Dakota ship and 'Battleship X 1942' engraved on one side and an eagle with a shield and and anchor with the words 'Coined in part from the battleship U.S.S. South Dakota known as battleship X'on the reverse. Ben Reifel received these for his service in the military.

Shell Fragment Plaque Given to Ben Reifel

Plaque presented to Ben Reifel by Commanding General Kinmen of the Defense Command in the Republic of China. The plaque is housed in a red velvet box with a red, white, and blue shield attached to the top. The shell fragment is one of a million Russian-made shells that landed on Kinmen, China. It is attached to a wood plaque. At the top is a brass plate with the words ' '. At the bottom is another brass plate with Chinese writing. The back of the plaque has a metal lined hole so it can be hung and a metal stand for display on a flat surface.

Ben and Alice Reifel's World's Fair Congressional Ribbons

Congressional Group ribbons, which were worn by Ben Reifel and his wife, Alice Reifel, during their visit to New York City for the World's Fair. The ribbons are yellow with blue lettering with the works 'Congressional Group New York City' and a seal of the city of New York above the words. A number is located at the bottom for each ribbon, number '3' and '4'. There is a gold pin at the top of each ribbon with 'B. Reifel' in typescript on one and 'Alice Reifel' handwritten on the other. The ribbons were kept in a red felt drawstring bag.

Gavel Given to Ben Reifel

Gavel given to Ben Reifel. It is made of pine wood and has a brass plate that is engraved '2nd Billionth Board Foot Harvested on the Black Hills National Forest'.

Americans for Constitutional Action Distinguished Service Award

Americans for Constitutional Action Distinguished Service award was presented to Ben Reifel in 1968. The award is a wood plaque with a cream colored background and yellow and black lettering. Word on the plaque read 'American for Constitutional Action the Board of Trustees has conferred upon Ben Reifel the distinguished service award for a notable voting record in the Congress of the United States (during a period from 1961 to 1968) in support of those legislative measures which would serve to sustain, strengthen, and defend the spirit and principles of the Constitution of the United States as these were defined by the Founding Fathers of our Republic. Fifth Biennial Awards given at Washington, District of Columbia, on the seventeenth day of November in the year Nineteen Hundred and Sixty-Nine.' It is signed by the chairman of the Board of Trustees, the president, and the recording secretary.

South Dakota State University Centennial Certificate

South Dakota State University Centennial certificate presented to Ben Reifel for service to South Dakota on the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the university. The certificate is mounted on a wood plaque plaque board with Plexi glass and in place with metal tacks. The certificate in printed on yellowed paper with brown and black lettering. The words read 'Centennial Certificate during the year which commemotates its beginning on Frbruary 21, 1881, South Daktoa State University proudly recognizes Benjamin Reifel Service to South Dakota dated this eleventh day of June 1981'. It is signed by Dean Delwun Dearborn and President Sherwood Berg.

SDSU Foundation Distinguished University Benefactor Plaque

South Dakota State University Foundation recognizes Ben Reifel as a distinguished university benefactor in 1989 with an engraved oval shaped brass plate mounted on a octogon shaped wood plaque. The word of the engraving read 'South Dakota State University Foundation honors Honorable Ben Reifel Class of 1932 Distinguished University Benefactor in recognition of exemplary financial support of higher education 1989'.

Outstanding Service to the Lower Brule Corporation Plaque

Plaque presented to Ben Reifel for his service as chairman of the board of directors of the Lower Brule Corporation. The wood plaque is cut in the shape of the state of South Dakota. A blue plate is attached to the plaque with brass fasteners and engraved with gold lettering. The words read 'Ben Reifel in Appreciation of 12 Years of Outstanding Service to the Lower Brule Corporation as Chairman of the Board of Directors 1987-1989'.

Boy Scouts of America Appreciation for Service Plaque

Plaque presented to Ben Reifl by the Boys Scouts of America recognizing his service to American Indian youth. The plaque is a wood shield with a brass plate and Boy Scouts emblems at the center top. The words read 'To the Honorable Ben Reifel in Appreciation for Service to American Indian Youth Through Scouting 1967'.

College of Home Economics at SDSU Honorary Home Economist Award

College of Home Economics at South Dakota State Univeristy honors Ben Reifel with the title of Honorary Home Economist. The wood plaque is decorated with black grooves on the outer edges. An engraved plate is attached in the center with brass fasteners. The words read 'The College of Home Economics at South Dakota State University Confer Upon Ben Reifel the Title of Honorary Home Economics with all the Priveleges and Favors Thereof'.

Appreciation from the Dell Rapids High School Band Plaque

Ben Reifel received a plaque from the Dell Rapid, South Dakota High School Band in 1966. The plaque is a wood shield with an engraved brass plate in the center. The words read 'Congressman Ben Reifel in Grateful Appreciation from the Dell Rapids H.S. Band June 1966'.

Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Distinguished Service Award

Plaque presented to Ben Reifel in recognition of his distinguished service as a charter member of the Oglala Sioux Parks Board in 1978. The plaque is a wood shield with an engraved brass plate in the center and decorative leaves on the edge of the plate. The words read 'Distinguished Service Award of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council (Resolution No. 78-631) Presented to Ben Reifel in recognition of His Outstanding Service to the Oglala Sioux Trive as a Charter Member of the Oglala Sioux Parks Board, Inc. May 10, 1978'.

National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children Award

Ben Reifel was recognized for this service to the National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children. The wood plaque has an eagle with its wings spread over a shield at the top and an engraved plate. The words read 'National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children Ben Reifel 1974-1978 In Grateful Appreciation for Outstanding and Distinguished Service to America's Disadvantaged'.

South Dakota Committee on the Humanities Distinguished Award in the Humanities

Plaque presented to Ben Reifel by the South Dakota Committee on the Humanities for his continued support of humanities program. The wood plaque has an engraved plate with the words 'South Dakota Committee on the Humanities Distinguished Award in the Humanities 1976 Presented to Ben Reifel for his I1itiative as a COngressman in Helping to Create the NEH and for his Continued Support of Humanities Programs'.

South Dakota State University President's Club of the '80s Plaque

Plaque presented to Ben and Fritzie Reifel by the South Dakota State University President's Club of the 80's. The wood plaque has an etching of the Administration building at South Dakota State University and engraved plates. The words read 'South Dakota State Univeristy President's Club of the 80's Ben & Fritzie Reifel '32 '33 Thank You for Your Interest and Generous Support H. Ray Hoops'.

Workshop Library on World Humor Award

Plaque presented to Ben Reifel by the Workshop Library on World Humor. The wood plaque has an engraved plate that reads "In recognition of valued contribution to efforts to enrich life and promote world peace through humor the Workshop Library on World Humor presents to the Honorable Ben Reifel the World Humor Award for 1986 Washington, D.C. May 14 1986'.

Religion: Share South Dakota

Correspondence, minutes, and other documents related to Share South Dakota, an organization to better conditions among Indian Americans in South Dakota. Ben Reifel served as vice president to this organization.

South Dakota Committee on the Humanities

Comments by John J. Barcroft, Director, Division of Public Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities, at the presentation of the Distinguished Award in the Humanities to Congressman Ben Reifel. Also included is correspondence and pamphlets.

South Dakota Memorial Art Center

Correspondence, publications, and other documents related to Ben Reifel's dealings with the South Dakota Memorial Art Center, including his American Indian art collection and his service on their board of directors.

Federal Laws Relating to Campaigns

Booklets about laws relating to federal corrupt practices and political activities, as well as a letter to republican nominees like Ben Reifel from the National Republican Congressional Committee in regards to filing reports of campaign receipts and expenditures.

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