Name and location of repository
Level of description
Thomas A. Daschle U.S. House of Representatives Papers
- 1964-1992 (Creation)
76 linear feet (76 records boxes)
Name of creator
Senator Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic Leaders in history, and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader. As the Democratic Party Leader, he co-managed the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton, only the second impeachment trial in United States history. Daschle also led the Senate in response to the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the anthrax attack on his office on October 15, 2001.
Tom Daschle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, winning by fewer than 200 votes. He was reelected three times before running successfully for the U.S. Senate in 1986. He was re-elected twice to the Senate before being defeated in 2004. Daschle is considered a populist politician, which helped the Democratic Party win elections in a predominately Republican state. Senator Daschle quickly rose to leadership roles within Congress, becoming the Senate Democratic leader in 1994 and serving in that position until his defeat in 2004, thus becoming the second longest serving Senate leader in party history. He was a member of many committees during his tenure in the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Finance Committee, the Democratic Policy Committee, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, the Veterans and Indian Affairs Committees, and the Finance and Ethics Committee.
Thomas Andrew Daschle was born on December 9, 1947 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He was the oldest of four sons born to Sebastian C. and Elizabeth Meier Daschle. He attended public and private schools in Aberdeen and was active in Scouts as a youngster. He played basketball, served as president of the student council, and was elected senior class president at Aberdeen Central High School. His growing interest in politics was nurtured by attending American Legion Boys State. Former Senator George McGovern made an impression on Daschle when he spoke at Tom's high school graduation ceremony.
aschle became the first person in his family to graduate from college, earning a political science degree from South Dakota State University in 1969. While in college he was a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Political Science Club. He ran for sophomore class president in 1965, but lost.
Senator Daschle is married to Linda Hall Daschle and has three children, Kelly, Nathan and Lindsay.
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Scope and content
After college, Daschle worked for three years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command. He worked part-time for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign during the time that he was stationed at Air Command headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. After discharge from the service, Daschle worked as a staff assistant to South Dakota Senator James Abourezk from 1972-1977.
In 1978, Tom Daschle ran against Republican Leo Thorsness for the seat in the House of Representatives vacated by Congressman Larry Pressler. Daschle’s door-to-door campaign resulted in a narrow win of 14 votes over Thorsness, although a recount nudged up his margin of victory to 139 votes. In November of 1980, Daschle won a resounding re-election victory with a 66%-34% margin.
South Dakota lost one of its two House seats after the 1980 census, which meant that Tom Daschle and Republican Congressman Clint Roberts would run against each other for the lone House seat in the 1982 election. Daschle won narrowly with 52 percent of the vote. He easily won a fourth term in Congress in the 1984 election.
Congressman Daschle served on the House Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Committees and the Select Committee on Hunger. He was the first South Dakotan and only freshman member to be elected to a leadership position when he was named Rocky Mountain Regional Whip in 1979. He was appointed “Whip-at-Large” in the House in March of 1982. In 1983, Daschle was elected to the House Steering and Policy Committee.
During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Daschle was founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Alcohol Fuels Caucus, chairman of Vietnam Veterans in Congress Caucus, and a member of the Tourism and Rural Caucuses.
The U.S. House of Representatives papers is composed of some campaign files and voting record information. Also included is "The Daschle Record" which contains 12 books compiled by his staff containing Daschle's voting record, sponsorships, and summaries of committee and subcommittee records from 1979 to 1986.
System of arrangement
Due to the size and scope of the Daschle collection this collection was minimally processed. This means that material was placed in acid-free folders and containers, but processing at the item level was keep to a minimum. Only folders that had little or no description were looked into with more depth. Artifacts, such as plaques, framed items, textiles, art, and other three-dimensional items, were separated and placed in appropriate storage. Photographs were also separated and placed in proper storage containers.
Dates for each folder were chosen on what could be quickly ascertained. The dates are meant to give researchers a general idea of the dates of the material that is in each folder. These dates were selected on what could be quickly ascertained. If there was a range of dates covering material, then the earliest date was chosen.
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Conditions governing access
Open. Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.
Conditions governing reproduction
South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.
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Name access points
- Daschle, Thomas (Subject)
- United States. Congress. House (Subject)
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