Senator George Aiken served as the governor of Vermont before he was elected to the United States Senate in 1940. Although he served as a U.S. senator for 34 years, he preferred to be called “governor.” An experienced farmer and author of several horticultural volumes, Aiken served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee. He was known for his unfailing support of rural interests. In his later Senate years, from 1972 until his retirement in 1975, Aiken kept an excellent modern-era Senate diary, spending each Saturday dictating his thoughts about his experiences in the Senate. In an oral history interview, former secretary of the Senate Francis Valeo recalled Aiken’s wit and wisdom and discussed the so-called "Aiken Formula" for exiting Vietnam.