Klinghoffer Family Papers
1933-2014
(bulk 1985-1986)

P-1002

Processed by Leanora Lange

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2018  American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Leanora Lange in September 2015. Description is in English.
December 2015 AVC box number updated by Leanora Lange. February 2016 Access note added to TV movies by Leanora Lange (temporarily unavailable). April 2016 Access note removed from TV movies and item numbers added for videocassettes by Leanora Lange. December 2016 Seymour Meskin narrative and snapshots added by Tanya Elder.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Klinghoffer family
Title: Klinghoffer Family Papers
Dates:1933-2014
Dates:bulk 1985-1986
Abstract: This collection contains papers of the Klinghoffer family related primarily to the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, Leon Klinghoffer’s murder, and the aftermath of these events. Included are statements and speeches by Marilyn Klinghoffer, eulogies given at Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer’s funerals, clippings, video recordings, photographs, the flag that covered Leon Klinghoffer’s coffin, and other objects. Also included are papers related to the founding and ongoing activities of the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of the Anti-Defamation League. The bulk of the collection is made of condolences sent to the family. Among them are letters from Ronald and Nancy Reagan and other notable officials. Some personal papers from before 1985 are also included.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 7.2 linear feet (11 manuscript boxes, 1 OS1 oversized box, 1 OS1F oversized folder)
Identification: P-1002
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Biographical Note
Leon Klinghoffer (1916-1985)

Leon Klinghoffer (1916-1985)

Leon Clifford Klinghoffer was born on September 24, 1916 to Pinchas Klinghoffer (1881-1929) and Lena née Rief (1889-1942). He attended Seward Park High School, graduating in 1933, and Casey Jones Aeronautics School in Newark, New Jersey, graduating in November of 1942 with honors. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army as an airplane and engine mechanic from May 1942 until his honorable discharge in January 1944.

Leon Klinghoffer and Marilyn née Windwehr married on September 18, 1949. Marilyn was the daughter of Rose Peterman Windwehr (1903-1998) and Isidor Windwehr (1893-1957), the owner of Windwehr’s Haberdashery Store. Marilyn graduated from East Orange High School in 1944 and earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Drexel University in 1948. She held positions at Abraham & Strauss Department Store, Gimbel Brothers, and Olian Temporary Personnel Agency until she became assistant director of human resources at Gralla Publications. Through her work at Gralla, Marilyn occassionally appeared as a model in magazines.

The Klinghoffers lived in the Lower East Side near the Klinghoffer Supply Company, a hardware store run by the family. In the 1950s, Leon Klinghoffer invented the Roto-Broil Rotisserie Oven and founded the Roto-Broil Corporation of America, where he manufactured electrical appliances.

Marilyn and Leon Klinghoffer had two daughters, Lisa and Ilsa. Later in his life, Leon Klinghoffer suffered two strokes and became wheelchair bound.

In the fall of 1985, Marilyn and Leon Klinghoffer boarded the Achille Lauro cruise ship to celebrate their wedding anniversary. On October 7, 1985, the Achille Lauro was hijacked by members of the Palestinian Liberation Front. American and British passengers were taken as hostages. Wheelchair bound, Leon Klinghoffer was separated from the rest of the group despite Marilyn’s objections. On October 8, he was shot in the head and the chest and thrown overboard with his wheelchair. Marilyn Klinghoffer did not witness the murder and was told that he had been taken to the medical ward. She later found out what had happened. Leon's body was found several days later when it washed ashore at Tartus, Syria. His body was transported to the United States, and he is buried in the Beth-David Cemetery in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

Marilyn Klinghoffer spoke out against terrorism until her death from cancer in February of 1986. Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer have carried on their mother’s work through the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation. Founded in 1985 and merged with the Anti-Defamation League in 1986, the Klinghoffer Foundation supports educational programs, conferences, and legal and legislative actions that respond to terrorism. The foundation also participates in the ADL’s Advanced Training School Course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats and presents the Klinghoffer Award as warranted to an individual or organization that has demonstrated commitment to anti-terrorism efforts.

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Scope and Content Note

The Klinghoffer Family Papers consist mainly of materials created in response to the hijacking of the Achille Lauro.

Series I contains a small number of personal papers belonging to the family that predate 1985. These include educational records, Leon and Marilyn’s marriage certificate, Leon’s U.S. Army dog tag and Jewish Welfare Board prayer book, a Roto-Broil cookbook, examples of Marilyn’s work as a model, and a few photographs.

Series II contains materials related to the Achille Lauro hijacking and its aftermath. These materials are broken down into five subseries. Subseries 1 includes statements and speeches given by Marilyn Klinghoffer, eulogies given at Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer’s funerals, and papers from the Klinghoffers’ friend Charlotte Spiegel, who was on the cruise with them. Subseries 2 includes papers related to the responses of officials, including statements added to the Congressional Record, hearings held in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and many letters from officials and other notable figures. Subseries 3 consists of condolences sent to the family. This makes up the bulk of the entire collection. Subseries 4 contains papers related to the establishment and activities of the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation. Subseries 5 consists of clippings related to the Achille Lauro incident and the prosecution of the terrorists responsible for the hijacking. Subseries 6 contains clippings about the movies and opera created based on the events as well as recordings of the movies.

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Arrangement

The Klinghoffer Family Papers are arranged into two series based on original order.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Separated Material

Twenty-five VHS videocassettes and one audiocassette were physically separated to the Audio Visual Collection. These items remain arranged intellectually in this finding aid.

Leon Klinghoffer's U.S. Army dog tag described in Series I and the 3D objects (flag, t-shirt, medal, two buttons) described in Series II Subseries 3 were separated to the Museum Collection and are only accessible with special permission.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Klinghoffer Family Papers; P-1002; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

The Klinghoffer Family Papers were donated by Ilsa and Lisa Klinghoffer in 2015 (accession number 2015.031).

Seymour Meskin narrative and snapshots regarding the Achille Lauro hijacking were donated by his children, Ken Meskin and Susan Meskin Keohane in 2016 (accession number 2016.040).

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Processing Information

Where possible, the records were kept in their original order. Many of the condolences in Series II Subseries 3 were bundled and labeled by document type; these groups were retained here. The materials in Series II Subseries 2 and Subseries 4 were likewise grouped together. Materials were rehoused into acid-free folders and manuscript boxes. Photographs were placed in archival sleeves. Leon Klinghoffer's dog tag was placed in an acid-free envelope. Oversized materials and 3D objects were rehoused into oversized boxes. Textiles (the flag and t-shirt) were wrapped in tissue paper. Buttons were clipped to a board. Clippings were trimmed to include only relevant articles; the remainder of the publication was removed. Blank envelopes were removed. In the vast majority of cases, envelopes for condolences were kept because they were often the only indication of the date or sender.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.

 

Series I: Klinghoffer Family, 1933-1985

Arrangement:

Arranged by document type.

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials related to the lives of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer before the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in October 1985. Included are copies of Leon’s high school transcripts from 1933 sent to the family after the Achille Lauro incident, Leon’s U.S. Army dog tag, his Jewish Welfare Board prayer book, Marilyn’s yearbooks from high school and college, her diploma and Bachelor’s degree, their marriage certificate, and a Roto-Broil cookbook. Also included are a few examples of Marilyn modeling for magazines and a photograph of Leon in his hardware store.

Restrictions:

The U.S. Army dog tag is part of the Museum Collection and is only accessible with special permission. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11Leon—High school transcripts1933, 1985, 1995request_box
12Leon—U.S. Army Jewish Welfare Board prayer book1942-1944request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 (Museum)Leon—U.S. Army dog tag1942-1944request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
13Leon—Roto-Broil cookbook1955request_box
14Leon and Marilyn—Marriage certificate1949request_box
15Marilyn—High school diploma and Bachelor's degree1944, 1948request_box
16Marilyn—High school year book1944request_box
17Marilyn—College year book1948request_box
18Marilyn—Gralla and Modeling1975-1985request_box
19Leon—Photograph in hardware store1944request_box
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Series II: Achille Lauro Hijacking and Aftermath, 1985-2014

Arrangement:

Series II is arranged into five subseries.

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials related to the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and its aftermath. The bulk of the collection is made up of condolences sent to the Klinghoffer family. Also included are statements and eulogies, letters and photographs from officials such as the Reagans, materials demonstrating the activities of the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League, and press coverage of the Achille Lauro incident as well as later portrayals of it. Some recordings of news and portrayals of the events are also included. A flag, a t-shirt, two buttons, and a medal are described here and held in the Museum Collection.

Subseries 1: Papers and Statements from Marilyn Klinghoffer, Seymour Meskin, and Charlotte Spiegel, 1985-1995

Arrangement:

Arranged by document type.

Scope and Content:

Subseries 1 contains statements by Marilyn Klinghoffer regarding her personal experience aboard the Achille Lauro as it was hijacked. Also included is a copy of her statement before the House Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on International Operations on October 30, 1985 and her speech delivered at the Ramban Hospital Dinner in December 1985. This subseries also holds papers from Charlotte Spiegel, a friend of the Klinghoffers and a fellow passenger on the Achille Lauro, including the eulogies Spiegel delivered at the funerals of both Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer. Other speeches can also be found here, including the eulogy given by Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer at their father's funeral and statements by Marilyn Klinghoffer’s employer and friend, Milton Gralla. Also found here is the menu from the Achille Lauro on which one of Marilyn and Leon's fellow travelers, Ms. Sylvia Sherman, sketched the hijackers. Sherman gave these sketches to the FBI during an interview after the hijacking.

A handwritten and partially photocopied narrative of the hijacking by Klinghoffer friend and fellow passenger, Seymour Meskin was added in 2016. Meskin's snapshots of the trip prior to the hijacking and snapshots of bloodstains on the ship can also be found in this subseries.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
31Marilyn Klinghoffer's description of events1985 Octoberrequest_box
312Menu from the Achille Lauro with drawings1985 Octoberrequest_box
32Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer—Travel documents and estate1985-1986request_box
32ASeymour Meskin—Narrative Account of Hijackingcirca 1985request_box
32BSeymour Meskin—Snapshots, Achille Laurocirca 1985request_box
33Speeches, statements, and eulogies1985-1986request_box
34Charlotte Spiegel—Travel documents1985 July-1986 Aprilrequest_box
35Charlotte Spiegel—Correspondence, photographs, obituaries1985-circa 1995request_box

Subseries 2: Official response, 1985-1996

Arrangement:

Arranged by document type.

Scope and Content:

Subseries 2 contains records related to the response of government officials and other dignitaries to the Achille Lauro hijacking and Leon Klinghoffer’s murder. This includes condolences from a number of officials and other noted figures, including Ronald and Nancy Reagan (President and First Lady), Mario Cuomo (New York State Governor), Bruce L. Fister (Colonel, U.S. Air Force), Howard Metzenbaum (U.S. Senator), Manfred Ohrenstein (New York State Senator), Bella Abzug (lawyer and activist), Raymond Flynn (Mayor of Boston), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (U.S. Senator), Maxwell Rabb (U.S. Ambassador), Moshe Yegar (Consul General of Israel), John Staum (Commander-in-Chief of the VFW), Carol Greitzer (New York City Council), Ely Rubinstein (Minister-Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel), John Cardinal O’Connor (Archbishop of New York), Menachem Begin (former Prime Minister of Israel), and the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Signed photographs from Marilyn Klinghoffer’s meeting with President Reagan in late October 1985 can be found in box 2 folder 2. Also included are condolences to Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer after the death of their mother Marilyn in February of 1986, including a signed letter from Ronald Reagan.

Box 2 folder 6 contains the contents of a binder sent from Congressman Ted Weiss to Ilsa Klinghoffer, including Congressional Resolution 228 passed in the House and the Senate regarding the Achille Lauro events, hearings on these events, and photographs from the day Marilyn Klinghoffer spoke at the Capitol. These items were kept together with the abovementioned official condolences, photographs, and letters and photographs from Anti-Defamation League events, which can be found in Subseries 4. Box 2 folder 5 contains a copy of the Congressional Record from October 10, 1985 in which Congressman Ted Weiss opened the session by condemning the hijacking of the Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer. This copy of the Congressional Record was sent to Marilyn Klinghoffer with a handwritten note of condolence from Weiss.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
21Reagan letters1985-1986request_box
22Photographs with the Reagans and other officials1985request_box
  

(Reagan photographs hold original signatures)

 
23Condolences from officials and dignitaries—Leon Klinghoffer1985 Octoberrequest_box
24Condolences from officials and dignitaries—Marilyn Klinghoffer1986 Februaryrequest_box
25Congressional Record sent from Ted Weiss1985 October 10request_box
  

(Includes handwritten note to Marilyn Klinghoffer from Ted Weiss)

 
26Condolences from Ted Weiss1986 Marchrequest_box
  

(Includes photographs, copies of Congressional resolutions, and a copy of the October 30, 1985 hearing at which Marilyn Klinghoffer spoke)

 
27Dedications and events1985 December-1986 December request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
OS1F1Resolutions and official recognition1985 October-1995 October request_box
  

(Oversized)

 
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
28Anti-terrorism legislation 1990-1996request_box
  

(Includes photographs with President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and congressmen)

 

Subseries 3: Condolences and Memorials, 1985-1992

Arrangement:

Arranged into the following six sections based on original order and format:

Processing Information:

Condolences that were bundled and labeled by the family were kept in these groups: special mail; condolences from friends, employees, and neighbors; poetry; invitations; condolences from people who knew Marilyn through her work at Gralla Publications; school groups; mass cards; and large donation certificates. The rest falls under general condolences, which are organized alphabetically. Where an individual wrote a personal message on letterhead of their organization, the correspondence was filed under the name of the individual. Where letters were sent on behalf of the entire organization or from multiple staff members, the correspondence was filed under the name of the organization. Condolence cards indicating donations given in Leon’s memory were filed under the name of the donor.

The materials in the Special Correspondence section were bundled into a few small groups in the original order, usually bundled with rubber bands and labeled. The largest of these groups was the “Special Mail” section, which, due to its size, was broken down by date and last name of sender. “Poetry” and “Invitations” had been labeled and separated from the rest of the general condolences. Likewise, the condolences from friends, employees, and neighbors arrived bundled together, but without a label. In an effort to retain this original order, which in this case functions as a kind of selection of highlights of the condolences, these unique, small groups of items were grouped together under a single section given the title special correspondence.

Scope and Content:

This subseries consists of condolences and other related materials sent to the Klinghoffers in the aftermath of the Achille Lauro incident. This subseries makes up the bulk of the Klinghoffer Family Papers. These materials are arranged into six sections: Special correspondence, Gralla, School groups, Mass cards and donation certificates, and 3D objects and audiocassette.

The special correspondence section holds groups of condolences that were bundled and often specially labeled by the Klinghoffers. Box 3 folders 6-8 were marked “Klinghoffer’s special mail.” These folders hold condolence letters from individuals and groups, including fellow and former New Yorkers, Jewish individuals both within the U.S. and abroad, individuals who had been acquainted with Leon Klinghoffer in various ways throughout his life, victims of terrorism or their relatives, Holocaust survivors or their relatives, survivors of violent regimes, other families whose last name is Klinghoffer, and individuals and groups that did not know the Klinghoffers but simply wished to express condolences. Examples include survivors of the TWA flight 847 hijacking in July 1985 and their coworkers, a man that Leon Klinghoffer had picked up as a hitchhiker, former employees, and the U.S. Postal Employees of the Salt Lake City Air Mail Facility. Some of the items found in the special mail folders are similar to the items found under General Condolences below; however, in an effort to retain the Klinghoffers’ organizational style, which in this case functions to highlight particular items, all condolences labeled as special mail remained in this separate section. Also included in this section are other groups of correspondence bundled generally by document type. These include invitations sent to Marilyn Klinghoffer, usually to an event or a dinner in which Leon Klinghoffer would be honored. Some correspondents sent poetry, artwork, and songs inspired by the Achille Lauro events, and these can be found in box 5 folders 5-6.

Many coworkers or fellow colleagues in the publishing industry wrote letters of condolence to Marilyn Klinghoffer; these were organized according to the Klinghoffers’ arrangement under Gralla.

School groups also sent cards, usually individually made by each student together with a letter from a teacher.

Mass cards and large donation certificates can be found in box 5 folders 1-4. Smaller mass cards and donation certificates may be found among the general condolences as well.

General condolences make up the bulk of this subseries. These were sent by individuals or groups who typically did not know the Klinghoffers personally but wished to express their sympathies and sometimes wished to offer a donation. These condolences can be found in boxes 6-10.

Also included among the items given to the Klinghoffers in the aftermath of the Achille Lauro attack were a few 3D objects, most notably the American flag that covered Leon Klinghoffer’s coffin as his body was transported to the United States for burial. Also included are a medal given to Marilyn Klinghoffer, two buttons, and a t-shirt featuring F-14 “Tomcat” fighter jets like the ones sent to intercept the plane carrying the Achille Lauro hijackers. In addition to these items, there is also an audio cassette labeled "Memorial Service for Leon Klinghoffer at PLO of DC by Stud. & MG."

Restrictions:

The 3D objects are part of the Museum Collection and are only accessible with special permission. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

Special correspondence

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
36Special mail—October 1985—A-O1985 Octoberrequest_box
37Special mail—October 1985—N-Z1985 Octoberrequest_box
38Special mail—November-December 19851985 November-Decemberrequest_box
39Special mail 1986-19961986, 1996request_box
310Condolences from friends, employees, and neighbors1985 Octoberrequest_box
311Invitations1985 October-1986 Marchrequest_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
55Poetry, art, and songs1985 October-1986 Marchrequest_box
56Poetry1992 Junerequest_box

Gralla

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
41A-F1985 Octoberrequest_box
42G-I1985 Octoberrequest_box
43J-L1985 Octoberrequest_box
44M-R1985 Octoberrequest_box
45S-U1985 Octoberrequest_box
46V-Z and last name unknown1985 Octoberrequest_box

School groups

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
47Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, Long Beach, NY1985 Octoberrequest_box
48North Western Junior High, Jacksonville, FL1985 Octoberrequest_box
49Oak Park Temple, Chicago, IL1985 Octoberrequest_box
410Ottilia M. Beha Junior High School, New York, NY1985 Octoberrequest_box
411Public School 81 Queens, Ridgewood, NY1985 Octoberrequest_box
412Public School 270 Brooklyn, NY1985 Octoberrequest_box
413Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle, WA1985 Octoberrequest_box
414St. Bonaventure School, Paterson, NJ1985 Octoberrequest_box
415St. Elizabeth's School, San Francisco, CA1985 Octoberrequest_box
416Temple Beth El Religious School Tacoma, WA1985 Octoberrequest_box
417Temple Beth Emet of Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY1985 Octoberrequest_box
418Theunis Dey Elementary School, Wayne, NJ1985 Octoberrequest_box
419Yeshiva R'tzahd1985 Octoberrequest_box

Mass cards and donation certificates

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
51Mass cards 1985 Octoberrequest_box
52Mass cards1985 Octoberrequest_box
53Mass cards1985 Octoberrequest_box
54Donation certificates1985 October, 1986 Februaryrequest_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
OS1F1Certificates1985 Octoberrequest_box
  

(Oversized)

 

General condolences

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
61A1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
62BA-BI1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
63BL-BY1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
64C1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
65D1985 Octoberrequest_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
71E 1985 Octoberrequest_box
72F 1985 Octoberrequest_box
73GA-GI1985 Octoberrequest_box
74GL-GU1985 Octoberrequest_box
75HA-HI1985 Octoberrequest_box
76HO-HY1985 Octoberrequest_box
77I-J1985 Octoberrequest_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
81KA-KL1985 Octoberrequest_box
82KN-KY1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
83LA-LE1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
84LI-LY1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
85MA-MC1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
86MI-MU1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
91N1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
92O1985 Octoberrequest_box
93P1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
94Q-RE1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
95RI-RY1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
96SA-SCH1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
97SE-SM1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
101SO-SW1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
102T1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
103U-V1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
104W1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
105X-Z1985 October - Novemberrequest_box
106Anonymous and unknown last name1985 October - Novemberrequest_box

3D Objects and audiocassette

Box TitleDate
12 (Museum) Flag1985 October
  

(This flag covered Leon Klinghoffer's coffin)

 
12 (Museum) Medal 1985 November 5
  

(Inscription reads "Alla memoria di Leon Klinghoffer solidarietà per la pace nel mondo" [recto] "Marcarini Giacomo Facchinetti Angelo Cremona Italia 2-11-85" [verso])

 
12 (Museum) T-shirt1985
  

(Black t-shirt with white silkscreen print of F-14s in flight with the words "You can run… ...but you can't hide!")

 
12 (Museum) Buttonscirca 1985
12 (Museum) Plaque1985 October
Box TitleDate
AVC 98 "Memorial Service for Leon Klinghoffer at PLO of DC by Stud. & MG"1985 October 12
  

(Audiocassette. The label has been transcribed as it appears on the tape)

 

Subseries 4: Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League, 1985-2013

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains materials related to the establishment of the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation (Klinghoffer Foundation) in 1985 and some of its activities from 1985-2013. Included are statements, correspondence, and legal records from the establishment of the Klinghoffer Foundation and its early activities as well as its merger with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Also included are clippings and correspondence sent to Jerry Arbittier, Lisa Klinghoffer’s husband and one of several early organizers of the Klinghoffer Foundation. Box 2 folder 12 contains correspondence and photographs related to ADL events and award ceremonies. Many of these photographs show Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer handing the Klinghoffer Award to notable figures such as George P. Schultz and Richard Schifter. The publications in box 2 folder 13 feature the ongoing anti-terrorism efforts of the Klinghoffer Foundation. As part of the Klinghoffer Foundation’s educational activities, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer attend and speak at the Advanced Training School on Extremist and Terrorist Threats, a program run by the ADL for law enforcement officials. Letters from training participants to Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer are included in this subseries. Also included are the program, transcript, and video from the 2009 ADL Concert Against Hate during which Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer were recognized for their work.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
29Establishment and early activities1985-1986request_box
210Legal records1985-1991request_box
211Correspondence, clippings, events—Jerry Arbitter1986-1988request_box
212Award ceremonies and meetings—letters and photographs1988-1996request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
AVC 9815Videocassette: ADL National Commission Meeting1988request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
213Publications—Anti-Defamation League and Advanced Training2003-2013request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
AVC 9816Videocassette: ADL Klinghoffer Award Presentation to the 9/11 Commission (National Commission Meeting, Washington DC)2005 April 1request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
214Letters from Advanced Training participants2008-2010request_box
215Concert Against Hate2009request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
AVC 9817Videocassette: Klinghoffer Conference parts 1 and 2undatedrequest_box
AVC 9818Videocassette: Klinghoffer Conference parts 3 and 4undatedrequest_box
AVC 9819Videocassette: Program "Klinghoffer Lunch"1995 October 25request_box

Subseries 5: Press coverage, 1985-2003

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Processing Information:

The labels of the videocassettes were transcribed as they appear on the cassette. The date and content of the recording were not always apparent upon processing. Clippings were trimmed to include only the relevant article; the remaining publication was removed.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains clippings and video recordings related primarily to the Achille Lauro incident. The “Special Clippings” were labeled specially by the Klinghoffer family and include coverage of the hijacking and the funerals of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer, mainly by New York area newspapers, particularly the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. The video recordings, all held on VHS videocassettes, include local and national television coverage of the hijacking incident and Marilyn Klinghoffer's death. Also included are other press appearances of the Klinghoffers and interviews given by Ilsa and Lisa Klinghoffer.

Clippings

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
111Special clippings1985-1986request_box
112Clippings—NBC Abbas interview1985-1986request_box
113Clippings from magazines1985-2003request_box
114Clippings from newspapers1985-1988request_box
115Clippings from newspapers1989-2003request_box

Television coverage

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
AVC 981Ilsa/Lisa/Jerry with Joan Lunden Good Morning America1985 October 7request_box
AVC 982Re: Achille Lauro News Footage1985 October 8request_box
AVC 983Re: The Hijacking ABC1985 October 8request_box
AVC 984Re: Hijacking Ch. 7 ABC-TV News1985 October 9-11request_box
AVC 985Klinghoffer1985 October 10-11request_box
AVC 986Re: Hijacking Ch. 7 ABC1985 October 11-12request_box
AVC 987Klinghoffer Achille Lauro News Footage First Week1985 Octoberrequest_box
AVC 988Re: Klinghoffer Incident Ch. 7 Marilyn at Newark Airport1985 October 18request_box
AVC 989Hijack Crisis ABC CBS1985 October 21, 1985 October 25request_box
AVC 9810Re: Death of Marilyn Klinghoffer 9-WOR, 5-WNEW, 7-WABC1986 February 9request_box
AVC 9811ABC, NBC, CBS local and network program news segments re: Achille Lauro Incident Inter: Ilsa and Lisa Klinghoffer1991 March 18request_box
AVC 9812New York Views: Roz Abrams1991 May 26request_box
AVC 9813Klinghoffer Interview: Ilsa and Lisa with Katie Couric2003 April 16request_box
AVC 9814FLT 103undatedrequest_box

Subseries 6: Portrayals, 1986-2014

Arrangement:

Arranged by document type.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains clippings and video recordings of portrayals of the Achille Lauro hijacking. Clippings about both movies—The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro (1989) starring Karl Malden and Lee Grant and Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair (1990) starring Burt Lancaster and Eva Marie Saint—are included as well as recordings of the movies on VHS videocassettes. Clippings and letters to the editor regarding the opera are included alongside copies of the programs. The Klinghoffer family wrote a statement about the opera included in the Metropolitan Opera's program.

Historical Note

Two television movies were made based on the events: The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro (1989) starring Karl Malden and Lee Grant and Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair (1990) starring Burt Lancaster and Eva Marie Saint. The Death of Klinghoffer, an opera composed by John Adams, premiered in Brussels in March of 1991. It was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in September 1991 and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in October 2014. The Klinghoffer family has spoken out against the opera.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
116Clippings—Movies1986-1990request_box
117Clippings and programs—Opera1991-2014request_box
Box TitleDate
AVC 98 The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro1989
AVC 98 Achille Lauro TV Moviecirca 1989
AVC 98 Achille Lauro TV Moviecirca 1989
AVC 98 Voyage of Terror: Achille Lauro Affair1990
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