When Darrell Fleming, the donor, was an undergraduate political science student at the University of Louisville from 1969 to 1973 he was active in the youth movement of the American Independent Party (AIP), an offshoot of the George Wallace presidential campaign of 1968. Fleming stayed on at U of L for graduate work, receiving his M.A. in 1980; his thesis was titled: American Independent: The Conservative Third Party Movement, 1967-1980.
Fleming amassed this collection of AIP papers during his time of party membership and relied heavily on them for his master's thesis. In 1987 the donor indicated a desire to "provide a source for scholarly research into the AIP movement" by donating his collection of newspaper clippings, party newsletters and newspapers, and leadership correspondence, as well as his thesis draft and notes, to the University of Louisville Archives.
Series III holds some of the more interesing materials. A history of the party can be documented through the presidential campaign materials of George Wallace, Tom Anderson, and Lester Maddox, and folders on Tom Anderson and the "rift in party." There is also Presidential convention information, including party platforms and three cassette tapes from the 1976 conclave. The newsletters provide regional information and the large quanity of material from California suggests that the party was strong in that state. Also of interest are the papers dealing with AIP candidates for state and local office in Kentucky, found under the folder title: "Fleming...Precinct and local election material." The general correspondence in Series II is routine and includes many form letters. Fleming's correspondence in Series I includes both incoming and his outgoing letters. Although the incoming correspondence is often routine,correspondents include Lester Maddox, 1976 presidental candidate and William K. Shearer, chair of the national committee of the American Independent Party.