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Oral History Project

Richard W. Murphy Legislative Assistant to Senator Hugh D. Scott (1964–1969)

Richard W. Murphy and Senator Hugh Scott

At 13 years old, Richard Watson (Dick) Murphy enjoyed a 20-minute interview with his political hero, New York governor Thomas E. Dewey, whose advice he asked about entering politics. Governor Dewey recommended that Murphy follow his own path and attend law school. Circumstances, however, led him to study international relations instead. Years later, Dick Murphy came to Capitol Hill on the staff of the man whom Dewey had selected to be Republican national chairman, Hugh D. Scott, senator from Pennsylvania. As a civil rights advocate, Scott played a significant role in the bipartisan alliance that broke the long Southern filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Murphy recounts these efforts along with his work on a Republican alternative to Medicare. Murphy assesses the Senate of the 1960s, where both parties were divided between liberal and conservative wings, and when cross-party alliances were commonplace. He also recalls his interactions with some of the most prominent senators of that era, and the legislation on which he worked.


Scholarly citation: "Richard W. Murphy: Legislative Assistant to Senate Hugh Scott (1964–1969)," Oral History Interviews, November 5, 2010, and November 16, 2011, 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.