On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving as the Lafayette campus was clearing out for the long holiday, two Lafayette alums payed a visit to Special Collections. Ed Landis ’56 and Scott Maylk ’98 are two practicing attorneys at Meyner and Landis L.L.P. located in Newark, NJ. The had met with Diane Shaw and myself to look at photos that they were to use during an office renovation project to celebrate the firm’s 50th anniversary. Meyner and Landis was founded in 1962 by former Governor of New Jersey Robert Meyner, husband of Helen whose correspondence has been the basis of my research this semester. For the new decor of the office, Landis and Maylk wanted to highlight the photographs of Robert Meyner’s New Jersey Governor campaigns in 1953, 1957 and 1969. As a brief background note, Ed Landis is the youngest of five brothers who all attended Lafayette, the oldest of whom is the namesake for the Landis Center, the community service organization on campus. As a native of Phillipsburg, Ed Landis volunteered to work on Meyner’s first campaign for Governor during his freshman year. His commitment impressed the Governor to be and after he won the election Meyner offered him a position in his office. Having worked so closely with Helen’s papers, it was great to be able to place anecdotal stories with the research I have been reading. The history nerd that I am was loving this hands on opportunity. Scott Maylk, a fellow McKelvy scholar, I had met previously at the McKelvy 50th Anniversary party this October who told me then he was a lawyer in Newark. Funny how small the world is.
Looking through pictures with the two, really enhanced my Meyner experience. It extended into the political life of Robert Meyner which was very unfamiliar to me because I previously been working exclusively with Helen’s materials. I had learned that Meyner was the underdog candidate in 1953, receiving a surprise victory over Republican candidate Robert Trost. He enacted education legislation during his four year term and was reelected in 1957, the same year he was married to Helen Stevenson, who was 20 years his junior. We had pulled photographs and campaign memorabilia including buttons, brochures and fliers from the successful ’53 and ’57 campaigns as well as the unsuccessful 1969 loss to William Cahill. Below are pictures that were selected by Landis and Maylk as possible office decorations.