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William S. Cohen Papers | Senate Records 1979-1996

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After serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Cohen was elected to the U.S. Senate in November of 1978, unseating incumbent Senator William D. Hathaway with 57 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 1984 and again in 1990, and was a member of the Senate until he became the nation's twentieth Secretary of Defense in January, 1997. Senator Cohen's office in Washington, D.C. was in the Dirksen Building from 1979-1984, and the Hart Building from 1984-1997. Cohen had a large Senatorial staff, which included press secretaries, administrative assistants, legislative assistants, office managers and a personal secretary. Cohen also had six Senate offices in Maine in Augusta, Bangor, Lewiston, Presque Isle, Portland, and Biddeford.

The records in this group are organized into five series which reflect the four basic areas of activity in the Cohen office (administration, legislation, constituent services and press/media), as well as Cohen's personal and political activities. The series are Personal/Political/Official Records (68 boxes), Constituent Services Records (not completely processed), Legislative Records (558), Press Relations/Media Activities Records (114 boxes), and Office Administration Records (5 boxes). The largest series is the legislative one, which includes files related to Cohen's activities on the Governmental Affairs, Armed Services, Aging, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Indian Affairs Committees, as well as his 1987 appointment to the special committee investigating the Iran-contra affair. Other files in the legislative series document Cohen's attention to a broad range of issues, most of which deal with the concerns of his Maine constituents.

Access to records in the U.S. Senate record group is restricted. Consult the Special Collections Department for further information.

MS 106.3.1 Personal/Political/Official 1963-1996 72 boxes

Files in this series reflect activities in the Cohen Senate office that do not directly relate to the legislative process or providing constituent service. Rather, they document routine tasks such as maintaining Cohen's daily, weekly, and monthly schedules; coordinating his travel arrangements; maintaining campaign files, biographical information, and correspondence; and generating financial disclosure and other required reports. Activities Cohen undertook in an official or political capacity are also documented here, and they include conferences he participated in, as well as his service on the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission from 1986-1993. The bulk of the papers in this category were created by Cynthia Waters, who was Cohen's personal secretary from 1978-1996.

The files are organized into seven subseries: a) general files, b) campaign records, c) personal correspondence, d) accepted invitations, e) schedules, f) travel records, and g) Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission records.
Access to some of the records in the Personal/Political/Official series is restricted. See information in sub-series description level. Contact the Special Collections Department for further information.

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Contact the Cohen Papers: 207.581.2665 | spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/23/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
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