Contact: Helen Dalrymple, Library of Congress (202) 707-1940
John Kornacki, Dirksen Center (309) 347-7113

May 2, 1995

Library of Congress Holds Research Conference on Leaders of the House of Representatives

Former President and Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford and Speaker Newt Gingrich will discuss their experiences as House leaders at a Congressional Leadership Conference at the Library of Congress. The all-day research conference to discuss the congressional leadership styles of the 19th and 20th centuries is sponsored by the Everett McKinley Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center in cooperation with the Library. It will be held on Tuesday, May 23, in the Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The Dirksen Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to help people better understand the U.S. Congress and its leaders, held a similar conference in 1990 on Senate leadership.

Academic experts, government leaders and representatives of the media will profile the careers, leadership styles, and contributions to their offices of such congressional luminaries as Joseph G. Cannon, Nicholas Longworth, Sam Rayburn and Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill. Conference participants will also discuss contemporary leadership. Current House Speaker Newt Gingrich has agreed to participate. Special guest, former President and House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford, will be present during the morning to offer his insight into "The Congressional Leadership from a White House Perspective."

The program will consist of panel discussions split into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session will be devoted to 19th and early-20th century leaders, while the afternoon session will focus on mid-20th century and contemporary leaders. Of note, James M. Cannon, former assistant to President Ford, will offer his firsthand observations of Ford's career. Former House Republican Leader and retired Representative Robert H. Michel will introduce the conference and provide the welcoming speech.

The conference is free and open to the public but seating is limited. For further information, call the Office of Scholarly Programs at the Library of Congress, (202) 707-3302, or the Dirksen Center in Pekin, Ill., (309) 347- 7113. A complete schedule of the conference is attached.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language - English) will be provided if requested five days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362, TTY and voice, to make a request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment Program office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

Leaders of the House Over Two Centuries

8:30 a.m. Coffee and Danish

9 a.m. Opening Session

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington
Sally Snyder, President, Dirksen Center Board of Trustees

Introductory Remarks
Honorable Robert H. Michel, House Republican Leader (1981-1995)

Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Honorable Gerald R. Ford, President, 1974-1977; House Republican Leader, 1965-1974

10 a.m. Panel I - 19th Century Leaders Chair: Joseph Cooper, Johns Hopkins University

"Henry Clay and the Development of House Leadership 1789-1861"

Elaine Swift, Eastern Washington University

"Thomas Brackett Reed"
Randall Strahan, Emory University

Discussant: Joel Silbey, Cornell University

11 a.m. Panel II - Early-20th Century Leaders Chair: Raymond Smock, Former U.S. House Historian

"Joseph G. Cannon"
Scott Rager, Illinois State University

"Oscar W. Underwood"
James S. Fleming, Rochester Institute of Technology

"Nicholas Longworth"
Donald C. Bacon, Co-Editor, Encyclopedia of Congress and Former Editor, U.S. News and World Report

1:45 p.m. Introduction of Afternoon Session Honorable Robert H. Michel

2 p.m. Panel III - Mid-20th Century Leaders Chair: Roger Davidson, University of Maryland and Co-Editor, Encyclopedia of Congress

"John Nance Garner"
Anthony Champagne, University of Texas at Dallas

"Sam Rayburn"
Lewis Gould and Nancy Beck Young, University of Texas at Austin

"Hale Boggs"
Patrick Maney, Tulane University

3 p.m. Panel IV - The Contemporary Era Chair: Catherine Rudder, American Political Science Association

"Gerald R. Ford"
James Cannon, Former Chief of Staff for Senate Majority Leader Howard M. Baker, Jr., and former assistant for domestic affairs to President Ford

"Thomas P. O'Neill and Modern House Leadership"
Barbara Sinclair, University of California, Riverside

Discussants: Charles O. Jones, Douglas Dillon Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution Steven V. Roberts, Senior Editor, U.S. News and World Report

4:15 p.m. Conference Concludes

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PR 95-060
ISSN 0731-3527

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