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Friendship Force of Dayton Records (MS-645)

Identifier: MS-645

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of documentation of the Friendship Force of Dayton’s initial creation, activity in organizing trips to other countries for the purpose of forging international friendships, and biographical information about the organization’s founders.

Series I, Administrative Files, consists of files that create the structure of the organization and how it is designed to function. It also contains published newsletters and pamphlets by the Friendship Force of Dayton as well as general information. Materials in this series date between 1977 and 2009.

Series II, Country/Exchange Files, consists of files directly related to organizing trips to other countries for the purpose of forging international friendships, including the planning of either inbound or outbound exchanges. These files may include travel applications, correspondence, travel itineraries and recommendations, photos, guest-host matches, and maps of countries visited. Files in this series are arranged alphabetically by country and then chronologically by date of trip. Materials in this series date between 1981 and 2008. While this series contains a few photographs specific to certain folders, most trip photographs can be found in Series V, Graphic Materials.

Series III, Event/Special Project Files, consists of documentation pertaining to special events of interest, such as the organization’s 30th anniversary and the erection of the Dayton Peace Pole. It also includes contextual paperwork for extra projects hosted and carried out by the Friendship Force of Dayton. Materials in this series date between 1995 and 2009.

Series IV, Jeanne Comer Files, consists of files directly pertaining to Jeanne Comer, the individual who founded the Dayton chapter of the Friendship Force International. Her files contain primarily awards recognizing her and her achievements given. Materials in this series date between 1980 and 2012.

Series V, Graphic Materials, hundreds of photographs, which document both the Friendship Force of Dayton’s trips abroad and their activities with inbound representatives. The series also contains copies of plaques and awards of recognition granted to individuals. The recipients are sometimes unidentifiable. Materials in this series date from about 1982 to 2002.


  • Creation: 1977-2012


Language of Materials

Predominantly in English. Also contains material written in Russian, Japanese, French, Polish, Bosnian, Portuguese, Spanish. These materials are rare. If a folder contains documents in a language other than English, the language(s) are noted in the folder description.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no donor-imposed restrictions on accessing the material in this collection. All electronic records listed in this finding aid are processed and available; however, researchers are requested to provide two days advance notice when requesting electronic records. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Friendship Force International was founded by then-president Jimmy Carter and Reverend Wayne Smith in 1977. They wanted each state to have a branch of the Friendship Force International, but unfortunately, Ohio’s group did not come to be until two years later. In August 1979, Jeanne Comer caught an intriguing article in the Wall Street Journal, discussing this new "friendship group" that promoted inexpensive travel, an opportunity to make friends in other countries, and both international and interracial peace. Comer reached out to the organization and was quickly able to establish the Friendship Force of Dayton. Its first exchange occurred in 1980.

Anyone can apply to be an ambassador of the Friendship Force of Dayton, and the trips manifest themselves in either inbound or outbound trips. Club members can additionally apply to be Exchange Directors to assist in the organization and planning of inbound and outbound trips. One is required for each of the two groups participating in the exchange. Originally taking over 100 ambassadors during a trip, future exchanges shrank to no more than twenty-five per trip. This applies to both inbound and outbound trips. In the past, the countries which the ambassadors visited remained a mystery to participants until about a month before the trip began. Trips are planned in extreme detail, complete with guest-host matches, correspondence about trip planning, and activity/travel itineraries. The organization is still active.

For the most current information about the Friendship Force of Dayton, please visit the organization’s website at


3.18 linear feet

263.5 Megabytes


The Friendship Force of Dayton, founded in 1979 by Jeanne Comer, is a subgroup of the Friendship Force International, a non-religious and non-profit group dedicated to nurturing international friendships. They do this by planning both outbound trips with Ambassadors, or representatives, from Dayton as well as inbound trips with Ambassadors from other countries. The collection consists of trip planning documentation, newspaper/media articles, photographs, administrative files, and files pertaining directly to founder Jeanne Comer. The collection would be of particular interest to those researching international peace efforts.


The collection is arranged into five series:

  1. Series I: Administrative Files, 1977 – 2009
  2. Series II: Country/Exchange Files, 1981 – 2008
  3. Series III: Event/Special Project Files, 1995 – 2009
  4. Series IV: Jeanne Comer Files, 1980 – 2012
  5. Series V: Graphic Materials, circa 1982 – 2002

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some electronic photos originally on CDs are preserved in the E-Archives (ms645_e0001 and ms645_e0002). A computer able to read *.JPG formats will be required for viewing these files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Friendship Force of Dayton Records were donated to Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University Libraries by Joan Lambert in November 2013.


Because the organization is still active, additional accruals may be anticipated in the future.

Related Materials

MS-300: Dayton Peace Action Committee collection MS-411: Dayton: A peace process collection UA-1: Reed Smith Wright State University Peace Studies Collection

Separated Materials

Original electronic media has been separated to the E-Archives. Plaques donated with the collection have been copied and the originals returned to the donor.

Guide to the Friendship Force of Dayton Records (MS-645)
Finding aid written according to DACS standards by Jesse Damsteegt, April 2019.
2019 Apr 29
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA