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Oral History Project | Women of the Senate

Blanche L. LincolnU.S. Senator from Arkansas (1999–2011)

Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR)

When Blanche Lambert Lincoln took the oath of office in the U.S. Senate on January 6, 1999, she was the youngest member of that body at age 39. As a member of the House of Representatives (1993–1997) and as a senator, Lincoln enjoyed working across the aisle. She focused on supporting working families, particularly mothers and children, and those living in rural communities. At the time she took the oath of office, Senator Lincoln was raising toddler twins and she describes the challenges of tending to her family’s needs while working in an institution with an unpredictable operating schedule. She brought her perspective as a member of a two-parent working family to bear on many Senate debates, at times challenging her colleagues to consider the value of quality, dependable child care to working families. A 12-year member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Lincoln served as its chair from 2009 to 2011, the first Arkansan and first woman to serve in that position. In 2010 Senator Lincoln lost her bid for reelection.

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Scholarly citation: "Blanche Lambert Lincoln, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, 1999–2011," Oral History Interview, May 10, 2017, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.