Guide to the Harold E. Hughes Gubernatorial Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1962-1975
Creator: Hughes, Harold E. (1922-1996)
Extent: 200.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0385
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Governor and U.S. Senator from Iowa. Gubernatorial and senatorial office files relating to his political career.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 38, Oversized Boxes S238 and S250; Campaign posters in Oversized Box S250; Film/Video in Boxes 46, S249 and Oversized Box 250; Audiocasette tapes in Boxes 16, 39-46, and S239-S248.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1975 by Governor Hughes.

Preferred Citation: Harold E. Hughes Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Biographical Note

Harold Everett Hughes was born near Ida Grove, Iowa on February 10, 1922. Struggling against rural poverty, he attended public schools and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Iowa. He quit school after his freshman year and was married. In 1942, Hughes enlisted in the army and saw combat in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. He was sent home after contracting both jaundice and malaria, serving out the remainder of his enlistment stateside.

Hughes took a job driving trucks after the war. It was through trucking that he first became involved in politics. He founded the Iowa Better Trucking Bureau to represent small truckers. In 1958, after switching political parties from Republican to Democrat, Hughes ran for a seat on the Iowa State Commerce Commission. He was elected and served from 1959 to 1962. In 1963, Hughes was elected governor of Iowa, defeating the incumbent Republican , Governor Erbe. He went on the serve for three terms. Elected to the US Senate (1968 -- 1975), he briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1971, and chose not to seek re-election to the Senate in 1974.

Harold Everett Hughes was very much a man shaped by his past. The poverty he experienced during his youth, his battle with alcoholism, his blue-collar background, and his strong religious faith all worked to mold the man and his politics. He opposed the death penalty and the Vietnam War, worked tirelessly for alcohol and drug abuse legislation, was involved in conservation issues, and was regarded as a liberal Democrat and a charismatic candidate.

Harold Hughes died October 23, 1996 in Glendale, Arizona.

Content Description

The papers of Harold E. Hughes consist of 200 linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1962 to 1975. Primarily office files, these papers are divide into two series: 1) Gubernatorial Papers and 2) Senatorial Papers. Each series is then divided into ten or eleven sections. The senatorial papers are listed on a separate record. The gubernatorial papers are arranged in the following order: 1)Alphabetical subject files; 2) Governor's advisory committee; 3) Appointments; 4) General assembly 60 -- 62; 5) Clemency and penal; 6) Press releases, radio broadcasts fact sheets, etc.; 7) Speeches; 8) Newspaper clippings; 9) Campaign and miscellaneous; 10) Photographs; 11) Tapes; and Oversized materials. The index for both the combined gubernatorial and senatorial papers are combined at the end of each respective record.

The major topics include: agriculture, alcoholism, banks, commerce, courts, crime, Democratic Party, drug abuse, education, manpower, draft, Richard Nixon, practical politics, postal service, poverty, public welfare, public works, roads, soil conservation, taxation, transportation, United Nations, veterans, Vietnamese conflict, and water pollution. The Iowa cities of Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, and Waterloo are well represented. There is correspondence from: Hubert H. Humphrey, Edward M. Kennedy, and Walter F. Mondale.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994

Corporate Names:
Democratic Party (Iowa)
Democratic Party (U.S.)
Iowa Commerce Commission
United Nations
United States Congress. Senate Committee on Armed Services
United States Congress. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Congress. Senate. Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Narcotics
United States Congress. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Banks and banking
Conservation of natural resources
Crime and criminals
Drug abuse
Political campaigns
Politics, Practical
Postal service
Public welfare
Public works
Soil pollution
Vietnam War, 1961-1975


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Cedar Rapids
United States -- Iowa -- Davenport
United States -- Iowa -- Des Moines
United States -- Iowa
United States -- Iowa -- Waterloo

Genre/Form of Materials:
Press releases
Video recordings
Drafts (Documents)