Edmund S. Muskie papers, 1826-2005


The Edmund S. Muskie papers consist of office files, audio and video recordings, photographs, artifacts, and other material related to his terms as a member of the Maine House of Representatives (1947-1951), director of the Maine District of the U.S. Office of Price Stabilization (1951-1952), governor of Maine (1955-1959), U.S. senator (D-Me., 1959-1980), and U.S. secretary of state (May 1980 to January 1981), during which he dealt with the Iran Hostage crisis. Records related to his election campaigns, including his 1968 vice presidential race with Hubert H. Humphrey and his bid for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency, are also included. During Muskie’s long senate career he served on numerous committees, including the Budget (1975-1980); Environment and Public Works (1977-1980); Foreign Relations (1971-1974, 1979-1980); Governmental Affairs (1977-1978); Government Operations (1959-1976); and Public Works (1959-1976); as well as the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and the Special Committee on Aging (1961-1976). His entire legislative record is documented, including his sponsorship of important legislation such as the Intergovernmental Relations Act (1959), the Model Cities Act (1966), the Clean Air Act (1970), the Clean Water Act (1972), and the Budget Reform Act (1974). An innovative and highly successful advocate for improving and protecting the environment, Muskie also played a dominant role in promoting fiscal responsibility within the government, an equitable and sustainable arms agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States, and urban renewal of American cities. Muskie also served as U.S. secretary of state for the final 10 months of the Carter administration, during which the 1981 release of the Iranian hostages was negotiated. In addition to his political career, the collection documents Muskie’s childhood in Rumford, Maine; his years as a student at Bates College; his personal and family life, including his father, Stephen Muskie, his mother Josephine Czarnecki Muskie, and his wife Jane Gray Muskie; his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II; his law practice in Waterville, Maine; and professional activities, such as Muskie’s work with AMVETS, Roosevelt Campobello International Park, the Nestle Infant Formula Audit Commission, and the President’s Special Review Board charged with investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.