Discover Your Island Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Mary and Jeff Bell Library


Round Robin Logo.jpg
Round Robin Christmas card, ca. 1944

The Round Robin Collection

The Round Robin newsletter was a compilation of news, gossip, pictures, cartoons, poems, and jokes sent to servicemen and women from the Corpus Christi, San Patricio, and Robstown, Texas, areas during the Second World War.� It was designed and produced by Corpus Christi residents to maintain morale among these military personnel. Referred to as "The Spirit of America" by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the Round Robin also provided a "jam fund" for soldiers in financial trouble in addition to a "living memorial fund" dedicated to those who fell in battle.� Throughout the course of the war the Round Robin staff printed and distributed over seventy five newsletters to people stationed away from the Corpus Christi area.

The Round Robin was initiated and primarily funded by Robert Dougherty Bluntzer, a Corpus Christi oil and land man who was also a veteran of the Great War. The Round Robin was inspired by the experience of Chrys Sullivan, a Confederate cavalryman from San Patricio, Texas, and an ancestor of Bluntzer. Sullivan had written his family asking them to take time to send more letters from the home front. He lamented that he heard nothing but "no mail for you Sullivan" during his service. He was killed in action before a response could reach him in early 1863. Bluntzer did not want military personnel from the Corpus Christi region to suffer the same neglect. The newsletter's logo was three robins labelled friendship, unity, and country.

In 1969, Bluntzer initiated publishing the majority of the Round Robin newsletters in a four volume set called The Spirit of America. Roger Butler and other donors helped to finance this publication. Copies of The Spirit of America were then donated to fifty colleges and universities around Texas.

In 2004, Dr. Robert Bluntzer, son of Robert D. Bluntzer, generously donated the original Round Robin newsletters, a set of The Spirit of America, and related documents to the Special Collections & Archives Department. Dr. Bluntzer also provided background information regarding this collection.

The Round Robin Collection comprises approximately one and one half linear feet, or four document boxes. The first two boxes consist of the 1969 four volume publication and every extant Round Robin newsletter from April 1942 through June 1945. They also contain undated and Robstown editions. Box three holds the rest of the Robstown newsletters in addition to supplemental material such as newspaper clippings and related correspondence. Box four contains documentation regarding publication of The Spirit of America plus personal information on the Bluntzer family, their involvement in public works projects such as the R&M Dam, and Robert Bluntzer's research on historical sites in San Patricio County.

The Round Robin Collection was processed by Michael McDaniels during the spring semester of 2009.

Box and Folder Inventory

Box 1:

Folder 1.1 The Spirit of America, volumes 1-4 (1969), which includes majority of Round Robin newsletters, 1942-1945

Folder 1.2 Round Robin newsletters, April 20, 1942- April 30, 1942

Folder 1.3 Round Robin newsletters, February 11, 1943- March 8, 1943

Folder 1.4 Round Robin newsletters, March 16, 1943- April 20, 1943

Folder 1.5 Round Robin newsletters, May 14, 1943- June 11, 1943

Folder 1.6 Round Robin newsletters, June 18, 1943- June 26, 1943

Folder 1.7 Round Robin newsletters, July 2, 1943- July 9, 1943

Folder 1.8 Round Robin newsletters, July 16, 1943- July 23, 1943

Folder 1.9 Round Robin newsletters, July 30, 1943- August 6, 1943

Folder 1.10 Round Robin newsletters, August 12, 1943- September 3, 1943

Folder 1.11 Round Robin newsletters, September 10, 1943- September 24, 1943

Folder 1.12 Round Robin newsletters, October 1, 1943- October 8, 1943

Folder 1.13 Round Robin newsletters, October 15, 1943- October 29, 1943

Box 2:

Folder 2.1 Round Robin newsletters, November 12, 1943- November 19, 1943

Folder 2.2 Round Robin newsletters, November 26, 1943- December 3, 1943

Folder 2.3 Round Robin newsletters, December 10, 1943- December 30, 1943

Folder 2.4 Round Robin Newsletters, January 21, 1944- February 4, 1944

Folder 2.5 Round Robin newsletters, March 3, 1944- March 17, 1944

Folder 2.6 Round Robin newsletters, April 1, 1944- April 14, 1944

Folder 2.7 Round Robin newsletters, May 12, 1944- May 25, 1944

Folder 2.8 Round Robin newsletters, June 9, 1944- June 23, 1944

Folder 2.9 Round Robin newsletters, July 4, 1944- July 21, 1944

Folder 2.10 Round Robin newsletters, August 18, 1944- September 1, 1944

Folder 2.11 Round Robin newsletters, September 15, 1944- September 29, 1944

Folder 2.12 Round Robin newsletters, October 13, 1944- October 31, 1944

Folder 2.13 Round Robin newsletters, November 10, 1944- November 24, 1944

Folder 2.14 Round Robin newsletters, December 8, 1944- January 5, 1945

Folder 2.15 Round Robin newsletters, January 19, 1945- February 2, 1945

Folder 2.16 Round Robin newsletters, February 18, 1945- March 9, 1945

Folder 2.17 Round Robin newsletters, March 25, 1945- April 7, 1945

Folder 2.18 Round Robin newsletters, April 23, 1945- May 14, 1945

Folder 2.19 Round Robin newsletters, June 2, 1945- June 12, 1945

Folder 2.20 Undated Round Robin & Robstown edition newsletters, undated and March 29, no year. [Follows the order of the 1969 publication]

Box 3:

Folder 3.1 Undated Round Robin & Robstown edition newsletters. [Follows the order of the 1969 publication]

Folder 3.2 Undated Round Robin & Robstown edition newsletters, February 16- March 2, no year. [Follows the order of the 1969 publication]

Folder 3.3 Undated Round Robin & Robstown edition newsletters, April 12- March 22, no year. [Follows the order of the 1969 publication]

Folder 3.4 Undated Round Robin & Robstown edition newsletters, undated; April 28, 1944; March 2, 1945 [Follows the order of the 1969 publication]

Folder 3.5 Round Robin correspondence, ca. early 1940s

Folder 3.6 Round Robin jokes, pictures, & assorted material, 1942-1945

Folder 3.7 Round Robin Living Memorial Letter & Memorial Coliseum, 1945

Folder 3.8 Round Robin Christmas cards & assorted material, ca. early 1940s

Folder 3.9 Wartime newspaper clippings, 1942-1945

Folder 3.10 Round Robin & The Spirit of America thank you letters, 1945, 1960, 1969-1970

Box 4:

Folder 4.1 The Spirit of America publication material, 1969

Folder 4.2 Robert D. Bluntzer official documents, licenses, & receipts, 1948, 1967-1970

Folder 4.3 Robert D. Bluntzer assorted documents, 1945, 1964, 1969

Folder 4.4 Robert D. Bluntzer documents re R&M Dam project, 1969-1970

Folder 4.5 Robert D. Bluntzer research for San Patricio Historical Society regarding R&M Dam project, ca. 1969

Folder 4.6 Robert D. Bluntzer assorted government correspondence, 1968-1970

Folder 4.7 Robert D. Bluntzer correspondence with President Richard Nixon, 1968-1970

Folder 4.8 Photograph of Fannie Bluntzer, daughter of Nicholas Bluntzer, September 22, 1954. [Actual photograph dated around 1900]

Folder 4.9 Robert D. Bluntzer biographical information

We invite questions and/or comments and look forward to hearing from you. Contact Christine Shupala at christine.shupala@tamucc.edu, (361)825-2644.

Webpage revised on 11/20/2013

 
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