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A. S. "Mike" Monroney Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-038
The Monroney Collection is 98 linear feet in addition to audio-visual and oversize materials. Although Mike Monroney was in Congress from 1938 to 1968, his collection has very little material from many of his years of service. In 1973, the National Archives destroyed over 90 percent of his early papers. The bulk of the surviving collection is from the years 1962-1968. For the most part, the series divisions demonstrate what topics the collection covers.


  • 1938-1968
  • Majority of material found in 1962-1968


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use:

The University of Oklahoma asserts no claim of copyright over photographs in this collection taken by private citizens. Any publication of such photographs requires the consent of the copyright holder.


143.5 Linear Feet (113 containers)

Biographical Information:

Almer Stillwell "Mike" Monroney, longtime member of Congress from Oklahoma, was born in Oklahoma City on March 2, 1902. Spending his childhood in what would become the state capital, Monroney grew up along with the new state.

Monroney's earliest professional interest was reporting. Beginning while still in high school with a weekly column for a city paper, he further learned the business by working in the mail room, running errands, and delivering papers. After graduating with honors from the University of Oklahoma in 1924, he worked as a political reporter until his father became ill. The younger Monroney then took over the family business, a furniture store.

Monroney, a Democrat, first ran for public office in 1937 when the death of Congressman Robert Hill necessitated a special election in the Fifth District. Though he lost the primary, he ran the following year, winning both the primary and the general election. He served in the House until he was elected to the Senate in 1950, where he stayed until defeated for reelection in 1968. Senator Monroney died on February 13, 1980, in Rockville, Maryland.

A moderate liberal in the House, Monroney supported most of the New Deal and Fair Deal legislation but veered from party line on many labor issues. He received his greatest accolades with his efforts to reorganize government. The process of lawmaking had not been changed since 1893, and with Senator Francis Maloney of Connecticut, Monroney sponsored resolutions to create the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. Roughly 80 percent of the original bill was eventually passed into law in 1946, and Monroney himself called that portion only 50 percent effective. It was noteworthy legislation, however, and won him Collier's Congressman of the Year Award.

In addition to his efforts to reorganize government, Monroney, while in the House, served on the Banking and Currency Committee and worked for price and rent controls and housing legislation. Interested in foreign affairs, he fully supported President Truman in his endeavors.

Monroney turned his sights to the Senate race in 1950. In doing so he took on twenty-three-year incumbent Elmer Thomas. The result of the primary was so close there had to be a runoff, which Monroney won along with the general election. During his tenure in the Senate, Monroney served on a variety of committees and subcommittees. He was chair of the Legislative Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, chair of the Aviation and Automobile Marketing Subcommittees of the Commerce Committee, and chair of the Postal Affairs Subcommittee of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee. He also served on the Select Committee on Standards and Conduct and as co-chair of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress.

Earning the name "Mr. Aviation," Monroney devoted a great deal of energy to the airline industry. He authored the Federal Aviation Act of 1958; the Federal Aid to Airports Acts of 1955, 1959, and 1961; and the Permanent Certification of Feeder Airlines Acts of 1957 and 1961. In 1961 he was involved with the reorganization of the Civil Aeronautics Board to make it more capable of handling the challenges of the airline industry.

Other pieces of legislation authored or coauthored by Monroney include the Automobile Labeling Act of 1958, the Monroney-Clark Federal Aid to Education amendment to provide for matching funds to states, and the National Defense Act of 1961. In 1960 Monroney was the sponsor of legislation for free television time for the debate between presidential candidates John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

Arrangement of Materials:

The Monroney Collection is arranged into 14 series: Legislative Reorganization, Subcommittee on Elections and Privileges, Senator Joe McCarthy, Adlai Stevenson Nomination Materials, Monroney Speeches, Miscellaneous, Federal Aviation Act, General Correspondence, International Development Association, Addition, Oversize, Photographs, Audio-Visual, and Maps. The materials in the series are organized in a variety of ways including alphabetically (Legislative Reorganization and Miscellaneous), chronologically (Monroney Speeches, General Correspondence, International Development Association, Addition), and topically (Photographs, McCarthy, Stevenson).

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Accruals and additions: 1959; January 6, 1969; September 15, 1969; September 6, 1973; April 1979. In 2011, a small group of correspondence was donated by deed of gift from the University of Rochester to the Carl Albert Center.
Guide to the A. S. "Mike" Monroney 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