John G. Tower Senate Collection

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John G. Tower Senate Collection


John Goodwin Tower (1925-1991) was a Republican politician who represented Texas in the Senate from 1960 until 1985. Born in Houston, Texas, he received his bachelor of arts in political science from Southwestern University in 1948 after serving in the Navy during World War II. In 1960, he was elected as the first Republican senator in Texas since 1870, heralding the return to a two-party system in the state. Throughout his 24 year career, Senator Tower was highly involved with numerous domestic and foreign policy decisions, strongly focusing on economic growth. He maintained close ties with his alma mater, Southwestern University, serving on its Board of Trustees from 1968 through 1991. After retiring from Senate in 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Tower as the Chief U.S. Negotiator at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks in Geneva with the Soviet Union. Spanning a fascinating and often troubled time in our nation’s history, Senator Tower’s papers mirror the period and provide insight into the events of the 1960s through the 1980s. <br /><br />In 1987, Tower decided to give some of his papers to Southwestern University; after his death in 1991, his family donated the remainder of his papers. The collection, which is now approximately 800 linear feet, consists primarily of materials from Washington, D.C. that Senator Tower accumulated during his 24 years in the Senate, although there are some files from his state offices in Texas that pre-date and post-date his Senate career. Highlighted on our site are his political speeches, which cover topics ranging from environmental conservation and national health insurance to the rights of Mexican-Americans. Drafts and revisions of some of these speeches offer a unique insight into the political speechwriting process. <br /><br />You can also find these items on the University of North Texas's <a title="Portal to Texas History" href="" target="_blank">Portal to Texas History</a>.


John G. Tower Collection, Special Collections, Smith Library Center, Southwestern University. You can view the finding aid <a title="John G. Tower Collection" href="" target="_blank">here</a>.

Collection Items

Excerpts from Speech given in California about Failures of the Kennedy Administration, dated Sept. 27, 1962
Speech criticizing the Kennedy Administration for perceived failures in economic, military, and foreign policy matters.2 p.Text

Speech given to Ohio Republican Finance Committe in Cleveland, Ohio about the Kennedy Administration, dated May 15, 1962
Speech criticizing the power of the Kennedy Administration and expressing hope for a Republican congressional victory in the 1962 election.7 p.Text

Speech about 87th Congress Legislation, dated Sept. 1962
Speech providing a summary of the activities of the 87th Congress from January to September 1962. Includes comments about legislation on Medicare, agriculture, education, trade, and taxes.6 p.Text

Speech given at Institute of Appliance Manufacturers about Impact of Goverment on Business, dated Mar. 4, 1963
Speech; Annual Convention of the Institute of Appliance Manufacturers; Economic democracy; Impact on: taxation, competition, regulation and labor; Trade unions; Steel price; Strike.10 p.Text

Speech given in Gary, Indiana about Campaigning, dated Feb. 14, 1963
Speech; Election; Republicans; Democrats; Kennedy Administration; Cuba crisis; Soviet Union threat; Aspired victory in Cold War; Tax cuts; Burden of indebtedness; Economy; Republican Party party of business and labor.5 p.Text

Speech at Human Events Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. about Governance, dated July 14, 1962
Speech; New Frontier; conservatism; communism; world leadership; governance.4 p.Text

Speech given to National Parking Association about Urbanization, dated May 28, 1963
Speech; traffic and parking problems; rapid urbanization of the country; Mass Transportation Bill; socialism.8 p.Text

Speech given to National Confectioners Association about Government Influence on Business, dated May 1963
Speech; government operations; government regulations; taxation; fiscal policy; government business; private business; Herlong-Baker bill; economic freedom;5 p.Text

Speech in Response to Opponent&#039;s Political Attacks
An excerpt from a Tower speech in which he addresses an unnamed political opponent, accusing this opponent of relying on ad hominem attacks, particularly in regard to Tower's voting against the continued funding of the Senate Select Committee on…

Proposed Statement to Mexican Americans, dated 1972
A 1972 outline of a proposed speech in which Tower would describe his plans to facilitate greater equality for Mexican-Americans in Texas. Tower would argue for the necessity of bilingual education, increased affirmative action legislation, and the…
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