• Congresswoman Lindy Boggs of Louisiana

    Personal description of Louisiana Congresswoman Lindy Boggs’ transition to the public spotlight after her election to Congress in 1973.
    Interview recorded July 11, 2008 – View transcript | Deed of Gift

    Full Text: Congresswoman Lindy Boggs of Louisiana


    Absolutely she did. My sister, who was in politics, said to her, “You know, Mom, the hardest part for you is going to be voting because there’s no ‘Maybe’ button. You’re going to have to say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ and when you do that, you’re going to alienate some people.” And Mamma was not used to alienating anybody. And so that did turn out to be the hardest part. Because what her role had been for Daddy had been to make everybody think that he was with them and then to soothe the people after it was clear he wasn’t. And so, it became hard for her to be in a more straightforward role.

    Also, when she decided to run, or declared or whatever, Mrs. Johnson called her—Lady Bird called her—and said, “Lindy, I think it’s a great idea, but how are you going to do it without a wife?” Because they had been so active in their husbands’ political lives that the idea of trying to run an office and run a campaign and run your social life without a partner doing that for you just seemed daunting. And it was daunting because she still felt that she needed to do the wifely things—participate with the women and the wives and do the things they were doing.

  • Life As a Child of a Member of Congress

    Detailed account of the close connection between family life and politics for the Boggs family.
    Interview recorded August 28, 2007 – View transcript | Deed of Gift

    Full Text: Life As a Child of a Member of Congress


    My life as a child of a Member of Congress was wonderful. It was totally interesting and a lot of fun. And my father ran for Congress when he was 26 years old; and my mother was pregnant with my brother, Tommy; my sister, Barbara, was a baby; and she [my mother] was 24. So they pretty much understood that their family life and their political life were one and that there was no separating them. And if they did, either the family wouldn’t be involved in anything and never see him, or the political life would suffer, so we pretty much did everything. We went on campaign trips, we made speeches, we went, you know, to the blessing of the fleet, you know, or the opening of the headquarters. We certainly went out on Election Day and went to all the polling places and we handed out literature and we put up signs, and we tore down other people’s signs. {laughter} I mean it was very, very much an active involvement.

    And when we were here, in Washington, we spent a great deal of time in the Capitol building, and we went to debates, and we knew all of the key players. They were regular people at our dinner tables. And our parents did not have the children go away when the grown-ups came. In retrospect, I’ve sometimes wondered, “What did those people think to have all these children around all the time?” But we were around, and it was great for us.

  • Memories of the Capitol

    Recollections and personal memories of the House and the Capitol.
    Interview recorded August 28, 2007 – View transcript | Deed of Gift

    Full Text: Memories of the Capitol


    I remember it, I remember it vividly. I mean, I was standing, you know—sitting or standing—on the floor, and they called the roll for Speaker. And everybody stood up and said, “Mr. [Sam] Rayburn, Mr. [Joe] Martin. Mr. Rayburn, Mr. Martin.” And I thought they were calling the roll of Members. Remember, I had just turned five like a week before. {laughter} This is an odd childhood. And I turned to my father, and I said, “There are an awful lot of Mr. Rayburns and Mr. Martins.” I guess they said, “Rayburn, Martin;” they wouldn’t have said, “Mr.,” but I said, “Mr. Rayburn, Mr. Martin.” And he, it took him a minute to catch on to what my confusion was, and then he explained what was going on. And I always remembered it and then when Mr. Sam died, I remember writing to my father and saying I was wrong, there weren’t…

    But then a thousand years later, I was covering the State of the Union, and I was standing in Statuary Hall, and there was a new shot—a new camera angle that we had never used before—and it was down the center aisle at knee height. And I had this incredible qualm because that way my, it all just came rushing back. That was my earliest memory of the chamber, and there it was at the right height for me to see it.

    But I still have moments in the Capitol where I will turn a corner, and something will just come rushing back, you know. And I’m 63 years old. And there’ll be times when I’ll turn a corner and, you know, sort of half expect to see my father. So it’s a very—a place redolent with memories, to put it mildly.

  • The Capitol “Playground”

    Childhood memories of roaming the Capitol.
    Interview recorded August 28, 2007 – View transcript | Deed of Gift

    Full Text: The Capitol “Playground”


    In the Capitol in the ’40s and ’50s you had complete and total access, particularly before the Puerto Rican shootings. That was the first kind of terror attack and—of course, the first terror attack was the British in 1814—but the first modern-day terror attack. And up until that point, there was no security at all, and you had complete free run of the place, which was great. I mean, you could run around, and there were stairs that went nowhere and you know, places that you would find that were just complete surprises and delights. The space above the old chamber, Statuary Hall now, that is one of the most interesting places on earth. And, you know, a little kid could get up those ladders a lot more easily. The subway to the Senate—and of course there was only one—well, in fact, there was only one Senate Office Building [Russell] when I was a little kid. And the subway was this darling little wicker number; I think they still have one on display. And, you know, I would ride it for hours. I mean, the guys would babysit me {laughter}. I felt the Capitol was completely this building that was my, you know, playground.


  • Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas and Future President Lyndon Baines Johnson

    Description of the relationship between U.S. Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs of Louisiana and Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas and future President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
    Interview recorded June 23, 2009 – Deed of Gift

  • The Changing Institution

    Discussion of the changing nature of the House and of Congress.
    Interview recorded June 23, 2009 – Deed of Gift

  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Detailed account of Louisiana Representative Hale Boggs' decision to speak on behalf of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
    Interview recorded June 23, 2009 – Deed of Gift

  • U.S. Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs of Louisiana

    Insight on the political partnership shared by U.S. Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs of Louisiana.
    Interview recorded June 23, 2009 – Deed of Gift

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