Research

Scope and Content Note

Daily diaries kept by warden W. L. Denno of Sing Sing Prison documenting his official activities. Most entries concern inspections of site personnel on duty, and whether guards were following proper security protocol. Other entries detail visitors to the prison or prisoners, police investigators speaking with prisoners, attempted escapes or other prisoner misconduct, and the warden's attendance at executions. Any official travel necessitating the absence of the warden from the prison is also reported. Of particular note are several entries relating to protests against the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, and others noting visits to prisoner Joseph Fay by Senate Majority Leader Arthur Wicks, who was later forced to step down over these visits. No diaries exist for 1955 and 1957, and most days do not have entries.