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Edmund Sixtus Muskie

Edmund Sixtus Muskie

United States Senator Edmund Sixtus Muskie (1914-1996), the 1968 Democratic vice-presidential nominee and briefly a presidential candidate in 1972, was one of the key congressional leaders in formulating national policy on urban affairs and the environment during the 1960s and 1970s.

Edmund S. Muskie was born on March 28, 1914, to Stephen and Josephine Muskie in Rumford, Maine. Stephen Muskie was born Stepen Marciszewski in Poland in 1882, then a province of the Russian Empire. Because young Poles were frequently conscripted into Czarist armies, Stephen's parents arranged for him to be apprenticed to a tailor when he was 12 years old and for his emigration from Poland when he was 17 years old.

After three years in England Stephen Marciszewski arrived in the United States in 1903, settled in Dickson City, Pennsylvania, and changed his name to Muskie. He married Josephine Czarnecka of Buffalo in 1911. While on their honeymoon in Maine, the couple decided to settle in Rumford. Edmund, the second of six children, was born there three years later.

The Muskies were one of only three Polish families in the western Maine paper mill town of Rumford, and young Edmund was frequently the subject of schoolyard taunts for his ancestry, his religion, and, he found later, his father's politics, as the elder Muskie was one of the few Democrats in the town. Nevertheless, Muskie excelled in high school and earned a small scholarship at nearby Bates College. He graduated with a B.A. from Bates in 1936 and a law degree from Cornell University in 1939.

Winning as a Democrat in Maine

Muskie began practicing law in 1940 in Waterville, Maine, but his career was interrupted by naval service during World War II. When he returned home he decided to run for the Maine legislature in 1946 as a Democrat. Muskie's political affiliation was not particularly surprising; Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal greatly influenced Muskie politically. New Deal legislation helped provide funds for his education and promoted the causes he supported.

His political allegiance, however sensible personally, nevertheless seemed to be a liability in an overwhelmingly Republican state. But Muskie accepted the challenge. When asked by a reporter during the campaign why he was a Democrat in Maine, he wryly replied, "Well if I lived down South I'd probably be a Republican. Somebody has to do it."

Muskie was the surprise winner in the 1946 legislative race, served three terms in the state legislature, and in 1954 became Maine's first Democratic governor in 20 years and only the second in the century. Muskie's personal popularity helped reestablish the Democratic Party as a force in Maine politics. His promotion of economic development, fiscal conservatism, and cooperation with the Republican-dominated state legislature appealed to the state's voters, many of whom split their tickets to become "Muskie Republicans." In 1958, when Muskie became the state's first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in nearly a century, other Democrats were elected governor and to the U.S. Congress in two of Maine's three congressional districts. Muskie was reelected to the Senate in 1964, 1970, and 1976.

A Liberal, Hard-Working Senator

Senator Muskie soon developed a reputation as an expert in writing and enacting legislation. His willingness to modify proposals to gain bipartisan support, a skill acquired during his years as Maine's governor, made Muskie one of the most effective and respected members of the Senate. As chairman of the Housing Subcommittee of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, Muskie was responsible for much of the national legislation associated with urban affairs, including creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1965 and the Model Cities Act of 1966.

Muskie was an ardent defender of the environment, a concern reflected in ten major bills he sponsored between 1963 and 1976. Those measures included the 1965 Water Quality Act, the 1967 Air Quality Act, and the 1970 National Air Quality Act which required pollution-free automobiles by 1975. Muskie was a key supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970.

Muskie's legislative successes also included the 1970 Securities Investor Protection Act, which insured investors against brokerage house failures, and the 1972 Truth-in-Government Act, which created an independent board authorized to make available to the public government documents which did not compromise national security. In 1973 he was Senate floor manager of the War Powers Act, which passed over President Richard Nixon's veto. The act clearly defined presidential and congressional authority in war-making decisions. Muskie-supported increases in social security benefits, continued federal aid to education, civil rights measures, a national draft lottery, and the vote for 18-year-olds. Although an early supporter of American involvement in the Vietnam War, by 1969 he had become one of its leading critics.

Campaigns for Vice President and President

Although Edmund Muskie officially campaigned for the presidency only once—in 1972—the Maine senator was promoted for national office as early as 1960. Muskie was already known among Democratic Party activists outside Maine because of his election victories through the 1950s in an overwhelmingly Republican state. His Polish ancestry, once considered a liability in Maine, made him a popular lecture circuit speaker among ethnic groups and with Democratic candidates in large, vote-rich, Northeastern states such as New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts. In 1960 Muskie was briefly mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson fueled speculation that Muskie might be his vice-presidential choice until he selected Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey. Finally, in 1968, Vice-President Humphrey, the Democratic presidential nominee, selected Muskie as his running mate. Although the GOP nominees, former Vice-President Richard Nixon and Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, easily defeated the Democrats, Muskie's impressive campaign performance propelled him into national prominence. Muskie was famous for this response during the campaign: "In Maine, we have a saying that you don't say anything that doesn't improve on silence."

On January 4, 1972, Edmund S. Muskie officially announced his candidacy for the presidency. After winning the New Hampshire and Illinois primaries but losing in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, Muskie withdrew from the race in April 1972. As the party's acknowledged frontrunner, his staff had become overconfident and conducted a vague and cautious campaign. But Muskie was also the victim of the Nixon administration's "dirty tricks" campaign which attempted to discredit his presidential bid by distributing phony Muskie press releases and campaign literature, heckling the senator's speeches, and disrupting campaign communications.

Muskie did not react well to Nixon's "dirty tricks." In response to printed accusations that his wife had behaved in a drunken and unladylike manner, and that he had used a derogatory word "canuck" to describe French Canadians, Muskie became very emotional. Reporters on the scene maintained that Muskie was crying, although he always denied this—claiming that snowflakes gave the appearance of tears. He was out of the race by April. Muskie later said that that incident "changed people's minds about me, about what kind of guy I was. They were looking for a strong, steady man, and there I was, weak."

Muskie did not again campaign for national office. However, he remained one of the Democratic Party spokesmen and in 1976 was considered a possible vice-presidential running mate for Democratic presidential nominee Jimmy Carter. In 1980 Edmund S. Muskie resigned his U.S. Senate seat to become secretary of state in the Carter administration, where he worked to negotiate the release of 52 American hostages held 14 months in Teheran, Iran. Muskie retired from public life in 1981 and returned to Maine. He was called back to public service in 1986 by President Reagan to serve on a three-man committee charged with investigating the role of the Reagan administration in the Iran-Contra scandal. When the report came out in 1987, it was highly critical of President Reagan.

After he retired from political life, Muskie practiced law, dividing his time between Washington D.C. and Maine. On March 26, 1996, Edward Muskie died of a heart attack. In reaction, President Clinton said that Muskie was "a dedicated legislator and a caring public servant."

Further Reading

Muskie (1971) by Theo Lippman, Jr. and Donald C. Hansen; Muskie of Maine (1972) by David Nevin; Muskie also wrote an autobiography, Journeys (1972); also, Theodore H. White's, The Making of the President, 1968 (1969) and The Making of the President, 1972 (1973); for a discussion of Muskie as a target of the Nixon White House see Theodore White, Breach of Faith (1975); Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men (1974); and John W. Dean, Blind Ambition: The White House Years (1976); Muskie's legislative achievements are discussed in U.S. Congress, Senate, Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971 (1971), Robert Sobel, ed.; and his brief term as secretary of state is outlined in Hamilton Jordan's, Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency (1982). □

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Muskie, Edmund Sixtus

Edmund Sixtus Muskie, 1914–96, U.S. Senator (1959–80), b. Rumford, Maine. A lawyer, he sat (1947–51) in the Maine legislature after serving in the navy in World War II. He later became (1955) Maine's first Democratic governor in 20 years and (1958) its first popularly elected U.S. Senator. He was reelected in 1964, 1970, and 1976. During his career in the Senate, Muskie was a strong advocate of environmental protection and also served as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. In 1968, Muskie was the Democratic candidate for Vice President, sharing the ticket with Hubert Humphrey. The Democrats lost the election, but Muskie emerged as a leading contender for the 1972 Democratic nomination for President, to run against the incumbent, Richard M. Nixon. He ran in a number of primaries, but his candidacy foundered and he lost the nomination to George McGovern. At the 1973 Senate hearings on the Watergate affair, evidence was offered that his campaign had been sabotaged by the Republican Committee to Reelect the President. Muskie later served as Secretary of State under President Carter (1980–81).

See study by D. Nevin (1972).

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Muskie, Edmund Sixtus

Muskie, Edmund Sixtus

(b. 28 March 1914 in Rumford, Maine; d. 26 March 1996 in Washington, D.C.), U.S. senator, vice presidential nominee, presidential candidate, and secretary of state whose legislative legacy was a landmark series of laws renewing and protecting the environment.

A tall, plainspoken New Englander whose regional accent and cadences remained unchanged throughout his life, Muskie was one of two sons and four daughters born to Stephen Marciszewski, a tailor, and Josephine Czarnecki. His mother came from a Polish-American family in Buffalo, New York, and his father was a Polish immigrant who officially simplified his surname to Muskie when he was naturalized as a citizen of the United States. The second-oldest child, Muskie was educated in the local public schools, graduating from Stephens High School in Rum-ford as valedictorian—and high-scoring center on the basketball team—in 1932. His father taught him carpentry and sewing, each a lifelong hobby for Muskie, and he developed an enduring love of the outdoors, returning regularly to his vacation home in Kennebunk, Maine, to hunt, fish, and sail.

Muskie worked his way through Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, supplementing his scholarship by waiting tables in the dining hall and at resort hotels in the summer. “The only Democrat on campus,” as he said later, he was chosen class president, became a champion debater, and won election to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a B.A. in history, graduating cum laude in 1936, and went on to Cornell Law School, again on scholarship, graduating with an LL.B. in 1939. Admitted to the Maine bar that same year, he set up practice in the small south-central Maine city of Waterville.

When America entered World War II, Muskie became an officer in the U.S. Navy (1942) and as a lieutenant junior grade served on destroyer escorts in the Atlantic and the Pacific. In 1945 he resumed his fledgling law practice in Waterville and, like many other returning veterans, entered local and state politics. Over the next decade, he almost single-handedly revived Maine’s moribund Democratic Party. He was elected to the Maine House of Representatives (1946) and at the conclusion of his first term in 1947— the legislature then met only in odd-numbered years—ran unsuccessfully for the mayoralty of Waterville. He was the Democratic floor leader of the state legislature in 1949 and quickly won the respect of the Republican majority, who found him intelligent, cooperative, and a man of his word. In 1951 he resigned from the legislature to become district director for Maine in the Office of Price Stabilization, a position he held until 1952, when he resigned to become a Democratic national committeeman. He married Jane Frances Gray, a bookkeeper for a local women’s shop, on 29 May 1948. They had two sons and three daughters.

In 1954, running on a platform that emphasized a need for change in leadership and economic policies (including new roads, incentives to attract industry, and higher pay for teachers), Muskie scored a personal triumph in the race for governor of Maine, emerging victorious over the Republican incumbent to become the first Democrat elected to the state’s highest office in twenty years, and the first Roman Catholic ever to hold it in his own right. (There had been an interim appointment of a Roman Catholic in 1843 to complete the term of a governor who resigned to enter the U.S. Senate.) His reelection in 1956 was equally impressive, but, as in 1954, he faced a Republican majority in the legislature and was forced to pursue his legislative agenda with diplomacy and moderation.

As governor, Muskie gained a reputation for integrity, common sense, and the ability to work with his opponents. He was known as well for a ferocious temper that remained famously short-fused until his death. Despite his outbursts—some of his supporters claimed they were staged for dramatic effect—he was admired for not holding grudges or putting on airs. Urged by his party to seek a third term as governor in 1958, he ran instead for the U.S. Senate, easily beating the incumbent to become the first Maine Democrat to serve in either house of Congress. He was not seriously challenged in any of his three bids for reelection.

As he began the first of his four terms in 1959, Muskie allied himself with the liberal wing of the Senate, earning the enmity of Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic minority leader, by refusing to support Johnson’s successful effort to block a change in the chamber’s filibuster rules that made it easier for the majority to end filibusters. In retaliation, Johnson denied Muskie his first three choices for important committee assignments and acted coolly toward him for the next several years. Yet after he became president, Johnson grudgingly admitted that Muskie had become “a real powerhouse,” one of the few liberal Democrats who in his opinion had mastered the Senate’s arcane rules and thus was able to challenge southern conservatives and Republicans in drafting and floor managing legislation.

Banished to the relatively minor Public Works Committee, Muskie used the appointment to make his mark in the Senate. He became an expert on environmental matters, in the process earning the nickname “Mr. Clean.” He was chief sponsor and floor manager for the Clean Air Act of 1963, the Water Quality Act of 1965, and for Senate passage of a multimillion-dollar appropriation for pollution control in 1966. Throughout the next fourteen years, he beat back every effort to weaken the protections he helped put into place. He also played important roles in developing the Johnson administration’s model cities program and antipoverty measures (1965–1966). A fiscal conservative, he took a continuing part in largely unsuccessful efforts to hold down government spending (especially on pork barrel items) and to secure a balanced budget. He sought to reshape the relations between the federal bureaucracy and the states by strengthening the role of state agencies in carrying out federal mandates, a concern that carried over into his retirement years. He saw no contradiction in his votes for federal expenditures he considered necessary to the nation’s well-being. Thus, he was a leading figure in supporting increased federal aid to education, key civil rights measures, and Medicare, as well as a broad range of social legislation proposed by liberals during his Senate years. In contrast to many of his colleagues, he preferred to do his own reading on major issues rather than rely on his aides’ research summaries.

The Democrats chose Muskie as their vice presidential candidate in Hubert Humphrey’s run for the presidency in 1968. He had become the party’s favorite for vice president largely because of his centrist position on Vietnam, the principal issue of the campaign and the source of bitter, sometimes violent, divisions in the American electorate. Neither “hawk” nor “dove,” Muskie’s calm, conciliatory approach to the voters led many commentators to conclude that he was a more credible candidate than either Humphrey or Richard Nixon, the Republican challenger. Had Muskie rather than Humphrey headed the ticket, many observers maintained, the Democrats might well have won the election that instead returned the Republicans to the White House by a narrow margin.

Muskie emerged from the 1968 election as the principal Democratic spokesman, well positioned as his party’s candidate for president four years later. By January 1972 he was the clear front-runner, well ahead in the polls and seemingly unstoppable. But during the New Hampshire primary, the conservative Manchester Union Leader, owned by William Loeb, published an anonymous letter accusing Muskie of making ethnic slurs against the state’s French Canadians, along with an article claiming that Jane Muskie was “unladylike” and given to excessive drinking and cursing. It was later revealed that these stories—both fabrications—had been planted by Kenneth W. Clawson, a Nixon aide, as part of “a dirty tricks” campaign to discredit Democrats. Muskie, exhausted from an extended multistate tour and visibly angry, went directly from the Manchester airport on a snowy Saturday to the Union Leader building, where he castigated the paper and its publisher. While defending his wife, he broke down and seemed to weep—though later he said the tears were melting snowflakes—and his campaign was effectively over. As reports of the incident spread, supporters abandoned him nationwide, and he suffered a drop in the polls. In April he withdrew from the race, saying that voters were looking for “a strong, steady man, and here I was [seeming] weak.”

He returned to the Senate, retiring in 1980 to serve for eight months as President Jimmy Carter’s secretary of state. His appointment received nearly unanimous bipartisan support (the two Republicans who voted against him did so in protest against Carter’s foreign policy), but he was little more than custodian of the office. His principal achievement was helping secure the release of American hostages held in Iran.

Following the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Muskie resumed the practice of law as a Washington-based partner in the New York firm of Chadbourne and Parke. He served as chairman of the Nestle Infant Formula Audit Commission assembled by Nestle to monitor its compliance with international rules governing the sale of infant formula. He also sat on the president’s special review board (1986–1987) that investigated charges that the Reagan administration had secretly sold arms to Iran and used the proceeds to finance opponents of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. With McGeorge Bundy, he co-authored Presidential Promises and Performance (1980). He contributed chapters to several books, including “Congressional Overreaching in Foreign Policy,” in Robert A. Gold-win and Robert A. Licht, eds., Foreign Policy and the Constitution (1990); and “The Carter Presidency and Foreign Policy,” in Kenneth W. Thompson, ed., The Carter Presidency: Fourteen Intimate Perspectives of Jimmy Carter (1990). He also wrote Exploring Cambodia: Issues and Reality in a Time of Transition; Findings and Recommendations from the Visit to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia by Former Senator and Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie (1990).

Muskie was admitted to Georgetown University Hospital on 18 March 1996 for surgery to remove a blocked artery in his right leg. The surgery was successful, but within a week Muskie suffered a heart attack and died without regaining consciousness. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.

During his years of public service, both in Maine and Washington, Muskie was widely admired for his flinty integrity, his intellectual powers, and his commitment to liberal issues. His legislative leadership helped secure the passage of key social and environmental programs during the unsettled political years of the Vietnam War, when he was seen as a man of reason and moderation. In a memorial tribute, President Bill Clinton called Muskie “a leader in the best sense… [who] spoke from his heart and acted with conviction.”

Muskie’s papers are in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. In addition to his personal papers, office files, and memorabilia, the archives include photographs, videotapes, motion-picture film, and audiotapes covering Muskie’s public appearances as governor and senator. Muskie’s only autobiographical work was his anecdotal memoir, Journeys (1972), published for his presidential campaign. Two political biographies written by sympathetic journalists on the eve of the 1972 elections—Theo Lippman, Jr., and Donald C. Hansen, Mustie (1971), and David Nevin, Mustie of Maine (1972)—transcend some of the limitations imposed by the authors’ viewpoints, offering solid and generally balanced reporting. Katharine Whittemore’s article, “Farewell to a Tailor’s Son,” in Yankee Magazine (Feb. 1997), features a number of photographs by Stephen O. Muskie, a professional photographer and one of Muskie’s five children. See also William Lee Barnet, “An Analysis of the Rhetorical Effectiveness of the 1972 Presidential Primary Election Campaign of Senator Edmund S. Muskie,” unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh (1976); Bernard Asbell, The Senate Nobody Knows (1978); and James Gardner Ross, “As Maine Goes … The Early Years of Edmund Muskie,” unpublished thesis, Bates College (1986). Posthumous appraisals by Muskie’s colleagues are in United States Senate, Memorial Tributes Delivered in Congress: Edmund S. Mustie, 1914–1996, Late a Senator from Maine (1996). An obituary is in the New York Times (27 Mar. 1996).

Allan L. Damon

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Muskie, Edmund Sixtus

MUSKIE, Edmund Sixtus

(b. 28 March 1914 in Rumford, Maine; d. 26 March 1996 in Washington, D.C.), governor and U.S. senator who led the passage of key environmental legislation.

Muskie was the second of six children born to Stephen Muskie, a tailor, and Josephine (Czarnecka) Muskie, a homemaker, in Rumford, a mill town in western Maine. Like other Maine communities, Rumford was dominated by a paper factory (Oxford Paper Company), which fouled the air with smoke and the local water source with industrial pollutants. Growing up, Muskie could hardly have been oblivious to these environmental abuses or to the town's dependence on the paper mill as its chief employer. A shy youngster, Muskie became an avid reader, a practice encouraged by his Polish-born father, who had taught himself to read and write English. His father's intense interest in contemporary politics also impressed his son, who later explained that he was prepared to run for the Maine legislature in part "because of my father's general interest in public affairs." Muskie's concern for the environment stemmed initially from fishing expeditions with his father in the Maine wilderness. Muskie attended the Pettingill School and Stephens High School and won a scholarship to Bates College, a small liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine. He graduated in 1936 with a B.A. in history, having been class president and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He attended Cornell Law School, earning his LL.B. in 1939, and returned to Maine to open a practice in Waterville. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Navy as a junior officer and served abroad the USS Brackett in the Atlantic and Pacific. He was discharged in 1945, and in 1948 he married Jane Gray, with whom he would have five children.

Although he was a first-generation Polish-American Catholic in a state dominated by a Protestant Republican establishment, Muskie ran for the state legislature in 1946. Surprisingly, he was elected and was again in 1948 and 1950. Between 1951 and 1952 he was state director of the Office of Price Stabilization and in 1954, after an arduous campaign, convincingly defeated the incumbent Republican to become governor of Maine. Muskie served two terms (1955–1959), during which he was associated prominently with the issue of "water improvement." He insisted on the importance of upgrading Maine's compromised water quality; at the same time, however, he was equally conscious of industry's place in the state's economic life.

Already a widely popular figure in Maine, Muskie decided to run for the U.S. Senate in 1958 and easily defeated the Republican incumbent. He would remain a senator until 1980. Shortly after his arrival in Washington, D.C., in 1959, Muskie angered the Senate majority leader, Lyndon B. Johnson, by refusing to support his strategy to modify Senate filibustering rules. Johnson punished Muskie by appointing him to the Public Works Committee. In 1963, however, the Public Works chairman, Pat McNamara, created a new subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution and named Muskie as chairman. Rather than complain about ill treatment, Muskie made the most of his appointment, focusing at first on clean air, a subject that none of the mainstream environmental organizations had incorporated into its agenda. Muskie built a clean air constituency by holding hearings in major cities across the country, including Los Angeles, where a serious smog problem had developed. He became the preeminent authority on clean air and on other environmental issues. His first success came with the 1963 Clean Air Act, a noncontroversial measure that provided federal matching grants to states and localities to develop air pollution control programs.

The 1965 Clean Air Act was more controversial, as it established federal carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon standards for motor vehicles. And the 1970 Clean Air Act set still more stringent federal standards. Automobile manufacturers complained that developing the required technology would make new cars prohibitively expensive, if indeed such technology were possible. Muskie was unmoved by the automakers' lamentations; he was convinced that they could comply with the law and that they could do so at a reasonable cost. The automotive industry responded by using the catalytic converter. In short, Muskie recognized his and Congress's responsibility to protect the physical environment without endangering the American economy.

Muskie's reputation as "Mr. Clean" was enhanced further by the passage of the 1965 Water Quality Act and the 1966 Clean Water Restoration Act, which together mandated that states enforce water-quality standards for interstate waterways within their boundaries. The 1968 Clean Water Restoration Act also provided federal funds for the construction of sewage-treatment plants and established water-quality standards for the noninterstate waters.

In 1968 Muskie stepped away briefly from his Senate position to become the running mate of Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. Together they waged a strong campaign while enduring the damaging fallout from divisions over the Vietnam War, the stormy and riotous Democratic convention in Chicago, strident student protestors, and the difficulty of supporting President Johnson's hard line toward North Vietnam, not to mention the shortage of funding for television commercials. Muskie made scores of appearances in urban ghettos, union halls, and college campuses. His quiet manner, Lincolnesque demeanor, and understated sense of humor won supporters for the Democratic ticket. In November, however, Richard M. Nixon, the Republican presidential candidate, prevailed by a narrow margin.

After the 1968 campaign Muskie resumed his duties in the Senate, although he did launch an ill-fated run for the presidency in 1972 that was undermined by "dirty tricks" engineered by the Nixon White House. In 1980, at the request of President Jimmy Carter, he left the Senate to replace Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had resigned to protest an abortive raid to rescue American hostages held in Iran. Muskie appeared once more on the national scene in 1986 to join a three-person commission appointed by President Ronald Reagan to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal, a covert operation to gain the release of American captives in the Middle East by the sale of arms to Iran. He died of a heart attack a decade later and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Muskie's major legislative accomplishments in the 1960s were the Clean Air and the Clean Water Acts that he shepherded through the Senate between 1965 and 1970. Was he himself satisfied with these laws? To a certain extent he was, declaring in Journeys that "we've written some good legislation." Nonetheless, he was not deluded about the limitations of his handiwork, for he also acknowledged that Americans "have produced pollution faster than we have [moved against it]." In a sense, that bluntly honest and unsettling assessment is as important a contribution to the environmental movement as the legislation itself.

The Edmund S. Muskie Archives is located at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. The archives also maintains a Muskie oral history project. Edmund S. Muskie, Memorial Tributes Delivered in Congress: Edmund S. Muskie, 1914–1996 (1996), contains Muskie's mixed review, a generation after their passage, of the effectiveness of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. Muskie's memoir, Journeys (1972), provides the fullest account of the origins of his environmental conscience. Theo Lippman and Donald C. Hauser, Muskie (1971), offers a satisfactory account of his governorship and Senate career until 1970. Bernard Asbell, The Senate Nobody Knows (1978), is a richly detailed study of the passage of the 1975 Clean Air Act. Obituaries are in the New York Times and Washington Post (both 27 Mar. 1996).

Richard Harmond

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