Access Restrictions Box 344, Folder 1 is closed to researchers until January 2036. Part of Box 1860, Folder 12 is closed to researchers until after Lowell Weicker’s death. Series XI is closed to researchers until January 2086.
Use Restrictions There are no restrictions.
Preferred Citation Papers of Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., Accession #13900, Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
Acquisition Information These papers were donated to the University of Virginia by Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. in January 2007.
Descriptive Summary Repository: Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Accession Number: 13900
Titles: The Papers of Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., 1834-2010 (Bulk 1942-1995)
Scope and Content This collection consists of the political and personal papers of Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., United States Congressman and Senator from Connecticut, and Governor of Connecticut, 1834-2010 (Bulk 1942-1995), consisting of ca. 100,000 items (2119 Hollinger boxes, 14 Oversized boxes, ca. 911.0 linear feet).
Series I contains Lowell Weicker’s United States Senate Records. This series is the main focus of the collection and constitutes the bulk of the collection’s materials. It is arranged into fourteen sub-series.
Series I, Sub-series A contains Weicker’s Washington Senate Office files. It is the largest sub-series of the collection and is arranged into four sub-groups: Subject Files, Staff Files, Correspondence Files, and Constituency Files. The Subject Files are arranged alphabetically by topic, and they document the legislative activities of Weicker on issues that were of concern to him during his Senate career, including but not limited to legislation in support handicapped and mentally handicapped individuals, the rights of small businesses, and environmental conservation of the world’s oceans. The Staff Files document the legislative and office activities of nineteen members of Weicker’s Washington staff, and they are
arranged alphabetically by staff member. The Correspondence Files contain the business and personal correspondence generated and received by Weicker at his Washington Senate Office, and they are arranged into Chronological Correspondence, Alphabetical Correspondence, and CMS (Computer Mail System) Correspondence. The Chronological Correspondence is arranged by year, the Alphabetical Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by subject, and the CMS Correspondence is arranged numerically by CMS Number. The Constituency Files document the activities of Weicker and his Washington staff on behalf of his Connecticut constituents, and they are arranged into Staff Files, Agency Files, Municipal Files, and Project Files.
Series I, Sub-series B contains Weicker’s Bridgeport Senate Office files. It is arranged into the following sub-groups: Subject Files, Correspondence Files, Constituency Files, Photographs, and Appointment Books.
Series I, Sub-series C contains Weicker’s Hartford Senate Office files. It is arranged into the following sub-groups: Subject Files, Correspondence Files, Staff Files, Constituency Files, Clippings, Press Releases, Speeches and Statements, Photographs, Miscellaneous, and Audio Cassettes.
Series I, Sub-series D contains Weicker’s Waterbury Senate Office files. It is arranged into the following sub-groups: Subject Files, Photographs, and Miscellaneous.
Series I, Sub-series E-N contain a number of different types of materials produced by Weicker and his staff during his Senate tenure. These sub-series are arranged in the following order: E, Articles by Weicker; F, Clippings; G, Press Releases; H, Speeches and Statements; I, Radio Tapes (scripts of Lowell Weicker radio broadcasts); J, News Show Transcripts; K, Telelectures (Weicker’s telephone lectures to schools and senior citizen groups); L, Newsletters; M, Voting Records; and N, Appointment Books.
Series II concerns Watergate and Weicker’s participation in the Senate’s investigation of the scandal as a minority member of the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. This series mainly contain photocopies of materials made available to the Select Committee during the investigation (including White House materials), photocopies of materials generated by the Select Committee, and photocopies of materials generated by the press coverage of Watergate. The types of photocopied materials found in the Watergate Records include but are not limited to correspondence, memos, notes, transcripts, financial documents, legal documents, government documents, reports, report drafts, press releases, and clippings. This series also contains a significant amount original material produced by Lowell Weicker and his Watergate aides, H. William Shure and Roy E. “Pete” Kinsey, including but not limited to correspondence, memos, transcripts, and notes.
Series II is arranged into three subseries: Subject Files, Reports, and Pete Kinsey Files. Sub-series A, Subject Files, documents the Select Committee’s investigation of the various subjects involved in Watergate. Sub-series B, Reports, mainly concerns the Select Committee’s drafting of its final report on Watergate and the drafting of Weicker’s personal report on the scandal. It also contains several miscellaneous reports on Watergate and clippings files documenting Weicker’s role in the investigation. Sub-series C, Pete Kinsey Files, contains the files of Roy E. “Pete” Kinsey, a former assistant to White Counsel John Dean, who became a Weicker aide during the Watergate investigation and later assisted with Weicker’s continued investigation following President Richard Nixon’s resignation. The folders in all three sub-series are arranged alphabetically. Each individual document in this series is listed in the finding aid.
Series III contains Lowell Weicker’s United States House of Representatives Records. It is arranged into eleven sub-series.
Series III, Sub-series A contains Weicker’s House of Representatives subject files. The files are arranged alphabetically by topic, and document the legislative efforts of Weicker on the subjects that were of concern to him, including but not limited to Connecticut issues and the United States space program.
Series III, Sub-series B contains the correspondence generated and received by Weicker as a member of the House of Representatives. The correspondence files are arranged into two sub-groups: Chronological Correspondence, which is arranged by year, and Alphabetical Correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically by subject. Of particular interest in this sub-series are the files concerning Connecticut rail service, housing and urban development, and the Vietnam War.
Series III, Sub-series C-K contain the other different types of materials produced by Weicker and his staff during his House of Representatives tenure. The sub-series are arranged in the following order: C, Articles by Weicker; D, Clippings; E, Press Releases; F, Speeches and Statements; G, Radio Tapes; H, News Show Transcripts; I, Newsletters; J, Voting Records; and K, Appointment Books.
Series IV contains Lowell Weicker’s federal election campaign records. This series is arranged chronologically into six sub-series by election campaign: A, 1968 House of Representatives Campaign; B, 1970 Senatorial Campaign; C, 1976 Senatorial Campaign; D, 1980 Presidential Campaign; E, 1982 Senatorial Campaign; and F, 1988 Senatorial Campaign. The files under each sub-series are arranged alphabetically. The contents of the campaign records consist of subject files, correspondence, financial files, briefing books, speeches and statements, press releases, clippings, and campaign memorabilia.
Series V concerns Lowell Weicker’s tenure as Governor of Connecticut. This series mainly focuses on Weicker’s successful 1990 gubernatorial campaign, but also contains materials pertaining to his governorship. It is arranged into fourteen sub-series: A, Subject Files; B, Correspondence; C, Articles by Weicker; D, Clippings; E, Press Releases; F, Speeches and Statements; G, Transcripts; H, 1990 Gubernatorial Campaign Records; I, Photographs; J, Audio Visual Materials (consisting of audio cassettes and VHS video tapes); K, Voting Records; L, Miscellaneous; and M, Appointment Books. Of particular interest are the 1990 Gubernatorial Campaign Records, which document a rare example of a successful third party gubernatorial campaign.
Series VI contains the Weicker Family Records. This series is divided into three sub-series: A, Lowell Weicker Sr. Files; B, Lowell Weicker Jr. Files; and C, Weicker Family Files.
Series VI, Sub-series A contains the personal papers of Lowell Weicker, Sr., a prominent American industrialist and military officer. These files are arranged into three sub-groups: Subject Files, Correspondence Files, and Miscellaneous. The Subject Files mostly concern Lowell Sr.’s military and business career, including files documenting his service in the U.S. Army Air Force and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and his tenure as President and Director of Northco Corporation. The Correspondence Files contain Weicker, Sr.’s correspondence with his large and distinguished social and professional circle, including but not limited to 20th century notables such as New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, and United States Army Air Force General Carl Spaatz.
Series VI, Sub-series B contains personal files belonging to Lowell Weicker, Jr. and is arranged into four sub-groups: Subject Files, Clippings, Speeches and Statements, and Miscellaneous. This series consists mostly of materials produced by Weicker after his 1995 retirement from politics, but also contains a few items from his senatorial career.
Series VI, Sub-series C contains a handful of items pertaining to the history of the Weicker Family.
Series VII contains writer Barry Sussman’s research files for Weicker’s autobiography Maverick. These files are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series VIII contains microfilms of correspondence generated and received by Weicker as both a United States Representative and a United State Senator. This series is arranged into two sub-series: A, Camera Ready Copy and B, Working Copy. Both sub-series are arranged alphabetically.
Series IX contains photographic materials and is arranged into four sub-series: A, Photographs; B, Negatives; C, Slides; and D, Photograph Albums and Scrapbooks. It contains images of Weicker at work and leisure throughout his political career, including individual portraits, his family, constituents, interns, and staff members. This series contains images of Weicker with a number of his political contemporaries, including Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and fellow Senators Edward Kennedy, Sam Ervin, and Barry Goldwater. There are also images of Weicker with 20th century notables, including Fidel Castro and Frank Sinatra. Individual images of 20th century notables (including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Pearl Bailey) and other miscellaneous images (including slides from Weicker’s mid 1980s investigation of American mental institutions) are in this series as well.
Series X contains audio-visual materials and is arranged into seven sub-series: A, Audio Tapes; B, Video Tapes; C, Motion Pictures; D, Dictation Disks; E, Phonograph Records; F, DVDs; and G, Campaign Video Tapes.
Series X, Sub-series A contains audio tapes which are arranged by recording format into two sub-groups: Audio Cassettes and Reel to Reel Tapes. It includes sound recordings of Weicker produced in the course of his congressional career, including interviews, news show appearances, speeches and statements, Senate debates and testimony, campaign appearances, and campaign spots. This sub-series also contains recordings of Weicker’s 1970s telelectures to schools and senior citizens groups. Recordings pertaining to Weicker’s investigation of American mental institutions during the mid 1980s and a handful of other miscellaneous recordings are also found in this sub-series.
Series X, Sub-series B contains video tapes which are arranged by recording format into the following sub-groups: 1-Inch, 2-Inch, Beta, U-Matic, U-Matic S, and VHS. It contains video recordings of Weicker produced during his congressional and gubernatorial career, including interviews, news show appearances, speeches and statements, Senate debates and testimony, press conferences, campaign debates, and campaign spots. Recordings of miscellaneous news show broadcasts, documentaries, and public service programs are in this sub-series as well.
Series X, Sub-series C consists of 16 mm motion picture films, including several featuring Weicker and two films concerning the Apollo moon missions. Sub-series D consists of three dictation disks of Weicker radio broadcasts. Sub-series E consists of William Dixon’s 45 rpm phonograph record Why? - It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace)/It’s in the News and three dictation recordings. Sub-series F contains the DVD disk The 20th Anniversary of ADA, Human Rights in Progress. Sub-series G contains eighteen 1-inch video tapes of campaign spots from Weicker’s 1988 Senatorial Campaign.
Series XI contains Weicker’s restricted records. This series is arranged into the following four sub-series: A, Washington Office; B, Bridgeport Office; and C, Hartford Office; and D, Miscellaneous Withdrawn Files.
Series XI, Sub-series A-C contain Weicker’s constituent files from his Washington, Bridgeport, and Hartford offices. They are of historical interest because they provide a documentary cross section of Weicker’s constituency during his tenure in the Senate. The files shed light on the economic, social, and political issues affecting Connecticut residents on an individual basis during the 1970s and 1980s. They also document the efforts of Weicker’s staff to address and resolve matters brought to their attention by individual constituents. Sub-series A-C are arranged alphabetically. Due to legal and privacy considerations, the files in Sub-series A-C are closed to researchers until January 2086.
Series XI, Sub-series D contains miscellaneous documents which have been withdrawn from the collection. The materials in this sub-series mainly concern constituent matters. The documents in this sub-series are cross-referenced with the files and boxes from which they were withdrawn from and the files are arranged by box and folder number. This sub-series is closed to researchers until January 2086.
Series XII mainly consists of oversized items concerning the life and political career of Lowell Weicker, including photographs of Weicker, 1990 Gubernatorial Campaign memorabilia, political cartoons, awards, posters, signed letters with bill signing pens from Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and other miscellaneous personal mementoes. A few oversized items not directly concerning Weicker include photographs, maps, posters, and miscellaneous memorabilia. *? A handful of oversized audio-visual materials, including a 16 mm film of the Apollo 8 moon mission, a 2-inch video tape of Representative Stewart McKinney debating on the floor of the House of Representatives, and three 2-inch video tapes of Lowell Weicker debating on the Senate floor during the early 1970s are included in this series as well.
Biographical/Historical Information Lowell Palmer Weicker, Jr. was born in Paris, France on May 16, 1931 to Lowell Palmer Weicker, Sr. and Mary Bickford Weicker. His father was a prominent American industrialist, who in course of his career served as President and Chief Executive Officer of E.R. Squibb and Sons, as President and Director of Northco Corporation, and as Chief Executive Officer of Bigelow Sanford Carpet Company. Lowell Sr. also had a distinguished military career, first serving as an intelligence officer with the United States Army Air Force in Europe during World War II, then later as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Assistant Secretary General for Production and Logistics during the early 1950s.
As a child, Lowell Weicker Jr. attended Buckley School in New York, New York and Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana. In 1949, he graduated from the Lawrenceville School, a preparatory school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He attended Yale University, where he developed an interest in politics, graduating in 1953 with a B.A. in Political Science. Weicker served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 and in the United States Army Reserve from 1959 to 1964. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1958, before moving to Greenwich, Connecticut where he practiced law.
Weicker began his political career as a Republican at the state and local level in Greenwich. He was elected as Greenwich’s representative to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1962, subsequently winning re-election to this office in 1964 and 1966. While serving as State Representative, he was also elected as the Town of Greenwich’s First Selectman in 1963 and 1965.
Weicker’s congressional career began in 1968 when he was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from Connecticut’s Fourth District. Serving a single term in the House, he focused much of his attention on two issues affecting Connecticut’s Fourth District: urban renewal and transportation. In the area of urban renewal, Weicker successfully drafted and introduced an amendment to the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1969, which required one-for-one replacement of housing units demolished for urban renewal projects. He sponsored the Connecticut Transportation Act, which kept the bankrupt New Haven Railroad operating until it merged with the Penn Central Railroad. While serving in the House, Weicker supported the United States space program. He also advocated a bombing halt in the Vietnam War and urged the United States initiation of peace talks to end the conflict.
Weicker was elected to the United State Senate as a Republican in 1970 and was re-elected in 1976 and 1982. In his Senate career, Weicker served on a number of committees, including the Government Operations Committee, Committee on Commerce, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Committee on Labor and Human Resources, and Committee on Appropriations. He also served in a number of Senate leadership positions, including as Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Handicapped, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Supply.
Weicker rose to national prominence in 1973-1974 during the Senate’s investigation of the Watergate scandal, in which he actively participated as a minority member of the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. In course of the committee’s investigation, he emerged as a notable critic and opponent of the Nixon administration. It was also during Watergate that Weicker earned a reputation as a political maverick. For the remainder of his Senate career, he was frequently at odds with the Republican Party leadership during a time period in which the party was becoming increasingly conservative.
Weicker made a number of noteworthy legislative contributions during the 1970s. Continuing his interest in rail transportation, he supported the formation and funding of Amtrak and sponsored legislation providing federal assistance for the rehabilitation and revitalization of the American rail network. Starting with the 1973-1974 Energy Crisis, Weicker was a firm proponent of energy conservation. As a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he supported legislation designed to reduce American dependency upon foreign oil and encourage fossil fuel conservation. In the aftermath of Watergate, Weicker sponsored Watergate reform legislation, including bills pertaining to open government and intelligence oversight. From 1975 onward, Weicker was a noted advocate for conservation of the world’s oceans. He helped draft and sponsored legislation pertaining to ocean conservation efforts, including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1978. In addition to his legislative work, Weicker was briefly a candidate for President in the 1980 campaign.
During the 1980s, Weicker frequently sparred with the Reagan administration and the conservative wing of the Republican Party over a number of policy issues. Continuing his strong interest in ocean conservation and research, as a member of the Committee on Appropriations, Weicker protected the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine research funding from proposed Reagan administration budget cutbacks. Weicker and four other moderate Republican Senators known as “The Gang of Five” stopped proposed cutbacks and eliminations affecting a number of federal health and social programs, including the National Institutes of Health and the Legal Services Corporation. In 1985, as Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, he successfully opposed the Reagan administration’s efforts to abolish the Small Business Administration. A strong supporter of AIDS research, Weicker played an instrumental role in obtaining federal funding for the Center of Disease Control’s and National Institutes of Health’s clinical trials of the anti-AIDS drug AZT. Throughout the 1980s, he actively opposed the Reagan administration and Republican Party conservatives on a number of constitutional issues, including abortion, civil rights, busing, and school prayer.
Weicker became a nationally-recognized advocate for the physically and mentally handicapped. He considered his work in the area of handicapped legislation the most significant achievements of his Senate tenure. Throughout the 1980s, as a member of the Committee on Appropriations and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Handicapped, Weicker protected federal disability programs from proposed budget cuts by the Reagan administration. His efforts included the reauthorization and increased funding of disability programs under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Handicapped, Weicker conducted a Senate investigation on the state of mental institutions in the United States, which uncovered numerous cases of neglect and abuse of mental patients. Largely in response to the findings of this investigation, he drafted and sponsored the Protection and Advocacy for the Mentally Ill Act, which was signed into law in 1985. In 1988, Weicker introduced the legislation that became the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in 1990 after Weicker left the Senate.
Weicker was defeated by Democratic opponent Joseph Lieberman in 1988 and left office in January 1989. Following his departure from the Senate, Weicker taught constitutional law at George Washington University School of Law. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit medical research advocacy group Research! America.
Weicker returned to politics as a third party candidate in the 1990 Connecticut gubernatorial election. Running as the candidate of A Connecticut Party, a third party he founded, Weicker won the governorship by defeating Republican John Rowland and Democrat Bruce Morrison. When Weicker took office in January 1991, he inherited a state budget deficit of $963 million. To address the financial shortfall, Weicker introduced a budget that included a state income tax of 6 percent, which was met with fierce opposition by both the voting public and the General Assembly. After a protracted political stalemate, which included Weicker’s veto of three General Assembly budgets without an income tax and a three day interruption of state services, the General Assembly passed a budget that included a 4.5 percent state income tax on August 22, 1991. This state income tax took effect and the State of Connecticut ended the next three fiscal years with a budget surplus. For this accomplishment in the face of widespread opposition, he was awarded the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profiles in Courage Award in 1992. Weicker did not seek re-election in 1994 and retired from the governorship in January 1995.
Weicker has three sons with his first wife Marie Louise “Bunny” Godfrey (1953-1977): Scott, Gray, and Brian, as well as two sons with his second wife Camille Butler (1977-1984): Sonny and Lowell III. In December 1984, Weicker married his third wife Claudia Testa, who has two sons: Mason and Andrew.
Arrangement Any original order has been preserved as much as possible. Files with no discernible order have been organized with similar types of material. These papers are arranged in twelve series, including:
Series I: Senate Records