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John N. "Happy" Camp Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-009-0
The John N. "Happy" Camp Collection consists of 102 cubic feet of material and covers the period 1967-1974. The collection is arranged into several series; internal arrangement is either chronological or alphabetical by topic. While Camp's papers are particularly strong in energy, mining, and Native American subjects, in contrast there are only a few cubic feet of routine materials on science and astronautics. The collection also is especially strong on agricultural topics. Documents contained in the collection include correspondence, legislation, publications, clippings, voting records, speeches, press releases, reports, proceedings, invitations, campaign literature, lists, memorabilia, and notes.


  • Majority of material found in 1967-1974


102 Boxes

Biographical Information:

John Newbold "Happy" Camp was born in Enid, Oklahoma, on May 11, 1908. After attending elementary and secondary schools in Blackwell and Douglas, he graduated from Waukomis High School. Afterwards, Camp attended Enid's Phillips University before beginning a career in banking. Eventually he rose to the presidency of the Waukomis State Bank. Long active in civic affairs, Camp headed the Great Salt Plains Boy Scout Council. He also served on the governing boards of the Oklahoma State Fair, the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, and the Christian Church Foundation. Blessed with a most agreeable name (among other things, it allowed his campaign workers to style themselves ""Happy Campers""), Camp entered elective politics in 1942. Except for the very worst years of the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma's northwestern corner had been Republican ever since its settlement by Kansas wheat farmers. Camp's election as a Republican to the state legislature in 1942 signaled the area's return to form. It was also the first of his ten elections to one of Garfield County's two slots in the state house of representatives. Leaving the legislature after 1962, Camp sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1966 but lost a runoff to State Senator Dewey F. Bartlett. He thereupon received Bartlett's appointment as chairman of the Oklahoma State Board of Public Affairs and served in that position from 1967 through 1968. After long controversies over apportionment formulas, the 1967 legislature finally redefined Oklahoma's congressional districts. Years of population loss in southwestern Oklahoma forced the legislature to add other area's voters to the old Sixth District, then represented by Republican James V. Smith. Political circumstances dictated that the additions would come from the Republican northwest. The result--the new Sixth--was expected to be one of the most Republican districts in the United States. In 1968, Camp carried that district by 15,000 votes to become its first representative in Congress. Camp's most notable committee service was on the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and the Science and Astronautics Committee. During his years in Congress, he maintained an unflinchingly conservative voting record. That hardly put him at odds with his district. In 1972's presidential race, Oklahoma's Sixth District gave Richard Nixon a greater percentage of its presidential vote (79%) than did any district outside the Deep South. So great was Nixon's fall from grace over the Watergate scandal that it affected even conservative rural Oklahoma. Only months after the president's resignation in 1974, Sixth District voters stunned the nation by replacing Camp with a young challenger, Glenn English, the thirty-three year-old director of the state Democratic Party. The reversal was so complete that English even carried the only two Oklahoma counties (Alfalfa and Major counties) that claimed a majority Republican registration. As Glenn English went to Washington to begin a long tenure in Congress, Happy Camp returned to Oklahoma. He died in Enid on September 27, 1987.

Arrangement of Materials:

The Camp Collection is arranged into 17 series: General Correspondence, Legislative, Personal, Happy Camp Bills, Personal Trips, Campaign, Schedules, Voting Records, Committee Information (Personal), Republican Research Committee Digest of Legislation, Log, Floor Information and Administration Statements, Questionnaires and Miscellaneous, Oversize, Maps, Photographs, and Audio-Visual. The General Correspondence series is arranged chronologically by year then alphabetically by folder title. The Legislative series is arranged chronologically by year then alphabetically by committee and folder title. The Personal Trips series has some semblance of chronological order. The Campaign series is arranged chronologically by year then alphabetically by folder title. The Schedules series is arranged chronologically by year and month where applicable and then arranged by schedule type: appointment book, weekly schedules, trip itineraries. The Voting Records series is arranged into four sections: voting records, individual voting records, news releases, newsletters. The first section of voting records is arranged chronologically by year. The arrangement for each year starts with the attendance record and bills introduced followed by the voting records organized chronologically by month. The second section of individual voting records and related materials is arranged chronologically by year. The third section of news releases is arranged chronologically by year. The fourth section of newsletters is arranged chronologically by year. The Committee Information (Personal) series is arranged chronologically by year then alphabetically by folder title. The Republican Research Committee Digest of Legislation series is arranged into three sections: RRCDL: Newsletters, RRCDL: Floor Actions, Oklahoma Republican Party Directories. Each section is arranged in reverse chronological order by year then chronologically by month. The Log series is arranged into three sections: logs by month and year, Federal Energy Office Briefing Books, Oklahoma County Situation Profiles. The logs are arranged chronologically by year then by month. The Federal Energy Office Briefing Books are arranged chronologically by year. The Oklahoma County Situation Profiles are arranged chronologically by year. The Floor Information and Administration Statements series is arranged into two sections: Floor Information and Administration Positions. Each section is arranged chronologically by year then by month. The Questionnaires and Miscellaneous series is arranged into two sections: Questionnaires and Newsletters, miscellaneous. The Questionnaires and Newsletters are first followed by three miscellaneous folders arranged alphabetically by folder title. The Oversize series is arranged by format, first with scrapbooks organized chronologically by year followed by a scrapbook highlighting a specific event and lastly memorabilia

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Camp, John N. "Happy" Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States