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Oral History Project

Featured Voices

Since 1976 the Senate Historical Office has conducted interviews with senators and staff. The mission of this project is to document and preserve the individual histories of a diverse group of personalities who witnessed events firsthand and offer a unique perspective on Senate history, many of whom may otherwise be missed by biographers, historians, and other scholars. These interviews cover the breadth of the 20th century and now the 21st century. The recording and preservation of these individual oral histories will lead to a fuller and richer understanding of the history of the Senate and of its role in governing the nation.

Transcripts of open interviews are available at the Senate Historical Office, and copies are deposited in the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the senatorial manuscript collections and appropriate presidential libraries. Select interviews are available on the U.S. Senate website.

For more information about the United States Senate Oral History Project, contact the Senate Historical Office at (202) 224-6900 or via email at

Filter Interviews
IntervieweePositionYears of ServiceEventsSubjects *Position CategoriesYears Range
Arenberg, Richard A.Staff to Senators Paul E. Tsongas, George J. Mitchell, and Carl Levin1975–2009Watergate,  Vietnam War,  1980 election,  September 11, 2001Impeachment,  Investigations and Oversight,  Nominations,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative ProcessPersonal Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Attig, Francis J.Official Reporter of Debates1952–1974Investigations and OversightFloor Support Staff1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Bageant, Larry
(not available online)
Correspondence Manager for Senators H. John Heinz, John B. Breaux, Edward M. Kennedy, Paul G. Kirk, and Scott P. Brown1983–20131980 election,  September 11, 2001Personal Staff1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Baker, Richard A.Senate Historian1975–2009Watergate,  Vietnam War,  September 11, 2001U.S. Capitol Complex,  Impeachment,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative ProcessAdministrative Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Baker, Robert G.
(not available online)
Senate Page; Chief Telephone Page; Democratic Party Secretary1942–1963Vietnam WarU.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Civil Rights,  Leadership,  EthicsParty/Leadership Staff,  Floor Support Staff,  Pages1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969
Ballard, Leonard H.Inspector, U.S. Capitol Police1947–1984InaugurationsU.S. Capitol ComplexFloor Support Staff,  Administrative Staff,  Pages1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Brezina, Dennis W.Legislative Assistant to Senator Gaylord A. Nelson1967–1971Vietnam War,  September 11, 2001Investigations and Oversight,  Women,  National SecurityPersonal Staff,  Committee staff1960–1969,  1970–1979
Burke, Sheila P. (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert J. Dole; Deputy Staff Director, Finance Committee; Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff to Republican Leader Robert J. Dole; Secretary of the Senate1977–19961980 electionLeadership,  WomenPersonal Staff,  Officers,  Party/Leadership Staff,  Committee Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
Burris, Roland W.
(not available online)
U.S. Senator from Illinois2009–2010InaugurationsNominations,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  African Americans,  Civil Rights,  EthicsU.S. Senator2000–2009,  2010–2019
Caldwell, Charles Sergeant
(not available online)
Staff to Senator Ralph W. Yarborough1957–1970Watergate,  Vietnam WarElections,  African Americans,  Civil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff1950–1959,  1960–1969
Capitol Telecommunications (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Capitol Operators1970–2006September 11, 2001U.S. Capitol Complex,  ImpeachmentAdministrative Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Casey, Gregory S.
(not available online)
Chief of Staff to Senator Larry E. Craig; Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Majority Leader; Sergeant at Arms1991–1998InaugurationsU.S. Capitol Complex,  EthicsPersonal Staff,  Party/Leadership Staff,  Officers1990–1999
Church Committee
(not available online)
Staff Members, Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (Church Committee)Committee staffInvestigations and Oversight,  Foreign Policy,  National SecurityCommittee staff1970–1979
Detwiler, Donald J.Senate Page1917–1918U.S. Capitol ComplexFloor Support Staff,  Pages
DiJulio, Tara (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Deputy Press Secretary and Press Secretary to Senator Wayne Allard; Press Secretary to Senator Robert Bennett; Communications Director to Senators Roger Wicker, Daniel Coats, and Robert Corker and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee2007–2016WomenPersonal Staff,  Committee Staff2000–2009,  2010–2019
Edmisten, RufusStaff to Senator Samuel J. Ervin; Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (Watergate Committee)1964–1974WatergateInvestigations and Oversight,  Civil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Committee staff1960–1969,  1970–1979
Elson, Roy L.Administrative Assistant to Senator Carl T. Hayden; Candidate for the U.S. Senate1955–1969WatergateU.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  Civil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff1950–1959,  1960–1969
Ensley, Grover W.Executive Director, Joint Economic Committee1949–1957BudgetCommittee staff1940–1949,  1950–1959
Female Pages (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)First Female Senate Pages1971–1972WomenFloor Support Staff,  Pages1970–1979
Ferris, Charles D.Staff Director, Senate Democratic Policy Committee1963–1977Watergate,  Vietnam WarImpeachment,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Civil RightsParty/Leadership Staff1960–1969,  1970–1979
Gold, Martin
(not available online)
Counsel to Senator Mark O. Hatfield; Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Senate Rules and Administration Committee; Senate Republican Leader1972–1982; 2003–2004Watergate,  Vietnam War,  1980 election,  September 11, 2001Investigations and Oversight,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Committee staff,  Party/Leadership Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Gustitus, Linda (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Legislative Assistant to Senator Carl Levin; Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; Chief of Staff to Senator Carl Levin1979–2003Investigations and Oversight,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Women,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Committee staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Hallen, Brian
(not available online)
Senate Enrolling Clerk1986–1995Impeachment,  Rules and Legislative ProcessFloor Support Staff1980–1989,  1990–1999
Hildenbrand, William F.Assistant to Senator J. Caleb Boggs; Administrative Assistant to Senator Hugh D. Scott; Republican Party Secretary; Secretary of the Senate1961–1985Watergate,  Vietnam War,  1980 electionU.S. Capitol Complex,  Investigations and Oversight,  Foreign Policy,  Civil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Party/Leadership Staff,  Officers1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Hoagland, G. WilliamStaff Director, Senate Budget Committee; Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader1975–2007Vietnam War,  September 11, 2001Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Budget,  National SecurityCommittee staff,  Party/Leadership Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Hoffman, F. NordySergeant at Arms1975–1981Vietnam War,  1980 electionU.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  LobbyingOfficers1970–1979,  1980–1989
Holt, Pat M.Staff and Chief of Staff, Foreign Relations Committee1974–1977Watergate,  Vietnam WarForeign PolicyCommittee staff1970–1979
Johnson, Michael A.Senate Page; Staff, Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness; Deputy Assistant Sergeant at Arms1970–1974; 1978–2006Vietnam War,  September 11, 2001U.S. Capitol Complex,  African AmericansOfficers,  Floor Support Staff,  Administrative Staff,  Pages1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Johnston, Kelly D.
(not available online)
Staff Director, Senate Republican Policy Committee; Secretary of the Senate1992–1996September 11, 2001U.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  Leadership,  LobbyingParty/Leadership Staff,  Officers1990–1999
Kassebaum Baker, Nancy (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)U.S. Senator from Kansas1978–1997U.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  Women,  Foreign PolicyU.S. Senator1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
Kaufman, Edward E. (Ted)Chief of Staff to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.; U.S. Senator from Delaware1973–1994; 2009–2010Impeachment,  Investigations and Oversight,  Nominations,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Women,  Foreign Policy,  National Security,  LobbyingU.S. Senator,  Personal Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009,  2010–2019
Kennedy, J. Keith
(not available online)
Staff Director/Clerk, Senate Appropriations Committee; Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms1972–1997; 2003–2006Vietnam War,  1980 electionU.S. Capitol Complex,  Investigations and Oversight,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Budget,  National SecurityCommittee staff,  Floor Support Staff,  Administrative Staff,  Pages1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Ketchum, James RoeWhite House Curator, Senate Curator1970–1995Watergate,  Inaugurations,  1980 ElectionLeadership,  U.S. Capitol ComplexAdministrative Staff1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
Kimmitt, Joseph StanleyDemocratic Party Secretary; Secretary of the Senate1965–1981Vietnam War,  1980 election,  September 11, 2001Foreign Policy,  Civil Rights,  Leadership,  National SecurityParty/Leadership Staff,  Officers1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Korologos, Tom C.
(not available online)
Administrative Assistant to Senator Wallace F. Bennett; Senate Liaison in the Nixon and Ford Administrations; Consultant on the Confirmation of Nominations1962–1971; 1971–2003Watergate,  Vietnam WarImpeachment,  Nominations,  Elections,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Civil Rights,  National Security,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Administrative Staff1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Landrieu, Mary L. (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)U.S. Senator from Louisiana1997–2015U.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  WomenU.S. Senator1990–1999,  2000–2009,  2010–2019
Lane, John D.Administrative Assistant to Senator Brien McMahon1949–1952McCarthyismNominations,  Elections,  National Security,  LobbyingPersonal Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959
Letchworth, Elizabeth (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Senate Page; Floor Assistant; Republican Party Secretary1975–20011980 election,  September 11, 2001Impeachment,  Rules and Legislative Process,  WomenParty/Leadership Staff,  Floor Support Staff,  Pages1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Little, J. FranklinSenate Page1910–1912U.S. Capitol Complex,  WomenFloor Support Staff,  Pages
Ludlam, ChuckStaff to Senators James G. Abourezk and Joseph I. Lieberman1975–2005Watergate,  Vietnam War,  September 11, 2001Impeachment,  Investigations and Oversight,  Nominations,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Women,  BudgetPersonal Staff,  Committee staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Marcy, Carl M.Chief of Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee1955–1973Vietnam WarWomen,  Foreign Policy,  LobbyingCommittee staff1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
McClure, Stewart E.Chief Clerk, Senate Committee on Labor, Education, and Public Welfare1949–1973Watergate,  Vietnam WarU.S. Capitol Complex,  Elections,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Foreign Policy,  National Security,  LobbyingCommittee staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969
McCreary, Christine S. (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Staff to Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn1953–1998U.S. Capitol Complex,  African AmericansPersonal Staff1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
McGeary, W. ScottSenate Page1969–1973U.S. Capitol ComplexFloor Support Staff,  Pages1960–1969,  1970–1979
McGhee, Roy L.
(not available online)
Superintendent, Senate Periodical Press Gallery1973–1991Watergate,  Vietnam WarElections,  Rules and Legislative Process,  WomenAdministrative Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
Moseley Braun, Carol (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)U.S. Senator from Illinois 1993–1999Investigations and Oversight,  Nominations,  Elections,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Women,  African AmericansU.S. Senator1990–1999
Murphy, Richard W.Legislative Assistant to Senator Hugh D. Scott1964–1969Vietnam WarCivil RightsPersonal Staff1960–1969
Nichols, Jesse R.Government Documents Clerk and Librarian, Senate Committee on Finance1937–1971U.S. Capitol Complex,  Budget,  African Americans,  Civil RightsCommittee staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Paone, Martin P.Senate Democratic Cloakroom Staff; Democratic Party Secretary1979–20081980 election,  September 11, 2001Nominations,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Budget,  LobbyingParty/Leadership Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Peek, Scott I.
(not available online)
Administrative Assistant to Senator George A. Smathers1952–1963Elections,  LobbyingPersonal Staff1950–1959,  1960–1969
Rawls, W. Lee
(not available online)
Staff Director to Senators Pete V. Domenici and William H. Frist1975–2005Vietnam War,  September 11, 2001Filibuster and Cloture,  Budget,  LobbyingPersonal Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Reid, Warren FeatherstoneAssistant to Senator Warren G. Magnuson1949–1981Vietnam War,  1980 electionU.S. Capitol Complex,  Budget,  Civil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Riddick, Floyd M.Senate Parliamentarian1947–1974McCarthyismImpeachment,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Civil RightsFloor Support Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Ridgely, William A.Senate Financial Clerk; Assistant Secretary of the Senate1949–1981Watergate,  1980 electionU.S. Capitol ComplexParty/Leadership Staff,  Officers,  Floor Support Staff,  Administrative Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Rynearson, Arthur J.Office of the Senate Legislative Counsel1976–2003Vietnam War,  1980 election,  September 11, 2001Rules and Legislative ProcessFloor Support Staff,  Administrative Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Scott, Dorothye G. (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Administrative Assistant to the Democratic Party Secretary and to the Secretary of the Senate1945–1977Watergate,  Inaugurations,  McCarthyismElections,  Women,  Civil Rights,  LeadershipParty/Leadership Staff,  Administrative Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Shuman, Howard E.Legislative and Administrative Assistant to Senators Paul H. Douglas and William Proxmire1955–1983Watergate,  Vietnam War,  1980 electionFilibuster and Cloture,  Civil Rights,  National SecurityPersonal Staff1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Skvarla, Diane (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Office of Senate Curator1979–1990, 1994–2014September 11, 2001Women,  U.S. Capitol ComplexAdministrative Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009,  2010–2019
Smathers, George A.U.S. Senator from Florida1951–1969Watergate,  Vietnam War,  McCarthyismElections,  Foreign Policy,  Civil Rights,  Leadership,  LobbyingU.S. Senator1950–1959,  1960–1969
St. Claire, DarrellAide to Senator Carl T. Hayden; Chief Clerk (later Assistant Secretary) of the Senate1933–1977Watergate,  Vietnam War,  McCarthyismForeign Policy,  LeadershipPersonal Staff,  Party/Leadership Staff,  Administrative Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Tames, GeorgeWashington Photographer for the New York Times1945–1985Civil Rights,  LobbyingAdministrative Staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979,  1980–1989
Valeo, Francis R.Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Aide to Senator Mike Mansfield; Democratic Party Secretary; Secretary of the Senate1952–1977Watergate,  Vietnam WarImpeachment,  Investigations and Oversight,  Elections,  Filibuster and Cloture,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Women,  Foreign Policy,  Civil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Party/Leadership Staff,  Officers1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Vander Zee, Rein J.Assistant to the Senate Democratic Whip; Assistant Democratic Party Secretary1961–1964Vietnam WarElections,  Civil Rights,  Leadership,  LobbyingParty/Leadership Staff1960–1969
Vastine, J. RobertStaff Director, Senate Republican Conference1971–1975; 1982–1991Budget,  Leadership,  EthicsPersonal Staff,  Committee staff,  Party/Leadership Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
Verkler, Jerry T.Chief of Staff, Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee1956–1974Watergate,  Vietnam WarCivil Rights,  LobbyingPersonal Staff,  Committee staff1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Warner, John W.U.S. Senator from Virginia1979–20091980 election,  September 11, 2001,  InaugurationsU.S. Capitol Complex,  Leadership,  National Security,  Foreign Policy,  Elections,  ImpeachmentU.S. Senator1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Watt, Ruth Young (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)Chief Clerk, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations1948–1979Watergate,  McCarthyismInvestigations and Oversight,  WomenCommittee staff1940–1949,  1950–1959,  1960–1969,  1970–1979
Weiss, LeonardStaff Director, Subcommittee on Energy, Nuclear Proliferation, and Federal Services; Committee on Governmental Affairs1976–1999Investigations and Oversight,  Rules and Legislative Process,  Foreign Policy,  National Security,  EthicsPersonal Staff,  Committee staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999
West, Jade (Women of the Senate Oral History Project)
(not available online)
Executive Director, Senate Steering Committee; Staff Director, Republican Policy Committee1982–2002Watergate,  Vietnam WarLobbyingParty/Leadership Staff1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009
Wilcox, Francis O.Chief of Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee1947–1955Vietnam War,  McCarthyismForeign Policy,  National SecurityCommittee staff1940–1949,  1950–1959
Wineman, Timothy S.
(not available online)
Senate Financial Clerk1970–20051980 election,  September 11, 2001U.S. Capitol Complex,  Rules and Legislative ProcessAdministrative Staff1970–1979,  1980–1989,  1990–1999,  2000–2009

* The subjects in this column represent a selection of commonly discussed topics in the Oral History Project, not an exhaustive list.