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Peter H. Dominick Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M085

Peter H. Dominick was an attorney who was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served as a U.S. Senator from Colorado from 1963-1975. He also served as U.S. Representative from Colorado for the Second District from 1961-1963. In 1946, Dominick and his family moved from Connecticut to Colorado, where Dominick joined the Denver law firm of Holland and Hart as a partner. Sen. Dominick served on the Republican Policy Committee and he was the ranking minority member of the Education Subcommittee of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee. He was an advocate for giving tax credits for higher education, and he was instrumental in moving the Head Start program from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Sen. Dominick also was involved in the development of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. During his tenure in Congress he made two trips to Vietnam and Southeast Asia as a member of the Armed Services Committee. Prior to his career in Congress, Dominick served as a pilot and commanding officer in the United States Army Air Corps, serving during World War II. His papers consist primarily of materials from his years in the U.S. Senate and include record vote analyses, correspondence, photographs, newsletters, radio scripts, press releases, newspaper clippings, reports, audio cassette tapes, 16 mm. films, voicewriter tapes, a dictaphone recording, and L.P. sound recordings. The collection also includes military records and Courts Martial documentation from WWII.

Dates

  • 1915 - 1976
  • Majority of material found in 1963-1973

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are primarily in English. Some travel memorabilia may be in other languages.

Extent

240 Linear Feet (239 record boxes, 2 black film cases)

Scope and Contents

The Peter H. Dominick Papers at the University of Denver primarily pertain to his years in the U. S. Senate. Each congressional session represents a separate series. Each of these series contains material pertaining to the functions and activities performed and subjects covered during the session, filed in a set order. The order begins with Administrative and Personal information. This is followed by Political Affairs, which includes both local and national political information. Public Relations is the next category, which includes messages from colleagues and constituents, condolences and congratulations, publicity material, correspondence with friends and constituents about visits to Washington, D.C., and thank you letters. The next category is Domestic Policy, followed by Foreign Policy. These two categories were very large in the early years of Dominick's tenure in Washington, and contain policy statements on a number of issues. Unlike many senators, Dominick did not limit his correspondence to his own constituents, and thus this correspondence contains opinions and commentary from all over the United States and abroad. In the later years, this correspondence was contained mainly in other correspondence until finally, in the 1973-74 congressional term, the correspondence to Dominick was no longer saved, and only his statements on certain policies were saved as paragraphs to be added to letters on the subjects. These general categories are followed by Departments -- government departments, correspondence with them and with constituents who were concerned with the workings of the departments. In this category are found Constituent Agency Contacts (C.A.C.) files. These files contain requests from constituents for information or help in dealing with departments. There is a fine line between some of the C.A.C.s and Cases, but in general the C.A.C.s are items that can be handled by a letter or decision, while the Cases are more personal and contain more private information needed to work with a particular agency -- usually the military or benefits agencies. Agencies comprise the next category, and generally include correspondence and information similar to the Departments, but directed to specific agencies within the federal government. A small category of the State of Colorado follows, containing correspondence with the State and with constituents who want Dominick's help in influencing the State. This is followed by the District of Columbia category, which contains information about the running of the District government. This category's size varies, reflecting Dominick's involvement with the Senate oversight committee. The Legislation category concludes the filing system for each session. Bills and Resolutions sponsored or co-sponsored by Dominick are listed first. The legislation files contain correspondence and work files on the legislation that was being considered in a given congressional session. The other series in the collection cover other aspects of Dominick's work, generally divided by material type. Series 1 includes all material from Dominick's life prior to his election to Congress in 1962. Series 2 through 7 cover the congressional terms. Series 8 comprises the Record Analysis of voting during Dominick's years in Congress. Series 9 contains photographs. Series 10 covers Public Relations, which includes newsletters, press releases, and multi-media items. Series 11 contains cases on which Dominick worked on behalf of individuals. Series 12 contains documentation, papers, correspondence, medals, and other memorabilia related to Dominick's military career.

Biographical / Historical

Peter Hoyt Dominick was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on July 7, 1915. He was educated in public schools and graduated from St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, where he received his A.B. in 1937, and LL.B. in 1940. After graduation he married Nancy Parks. The Dominicks had three sons and a daughter, Peter Jr., Michael, Sandy and Lynne.

During World War II, Peter Dominick served in the Army Air Corps as a pilot. His war service included flying the ''hump'' between India and China, and earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal and Cluster. After the war, Dominick remained in the Air Force Reserve, reaching the rank of colonel. He maintained his private pilot's license until health concerns in the late 1960s forced him to stop flying. The flexibility afforded by his flying greatly increased the scope of both his political appearances and his speaking throughout the country.

World War II also introduced him to Colorado, when he spent time at Lowry Air Base. In 1946, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, and Dominick joined the law firm of Holland and Hart. He resigned as a partner in 1961 after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to that, he was elected to the Colorado State Legislature as a Representative from Arapahoe County. After spending two years as a U.S. Representative, Dominick ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, and won, defeating an incumbent Democrat.

Dominick served as a U.S. Senator from Colorado from January 3, 1963 to January 2, 1975. Those years saw momentous national events such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War and the passage of landmark civil rights legislation. Dominick was active in the Republican Party, giving speeches at fundraising events for Republican candidates throughout the country, serving on the Republican Policy Committee, and chairing the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He was also one of nine Republican Senators to support the Kennedy Civil Rights Bill. Dominick was the ranking minority member of the Education Subcommittee of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee. He was an advocate for giving tax credits for higher education, and he was instrumental in moving the Head Start program from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Dominick also was involved in the development of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. During his tenure in Congress he made two trips to Vietnam and Southeast Asia as a member of the Armed Services Committee.

He was defeated for reelection in 1974, and served in 1975 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Switzerland until failing health caused him to resign. He returned to his home in Cherry Hills, Colorado to battle multiple sclerosis. He died in Hobe Sound, Florida on March 18, 1981.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into twelve (12) series: 1. Youth through 1962.; 2. 88th Congress, 1963-1964.; 3. 89th Congress, 1965-1966.; 4. 90th Congress, 1967-1968.; 5. 91st Congress, 1969-1970.; 6. 92nd Congress, 1971-1972.; 7. 93rd Congress, 1973-1974.; 8. Record Analysis.; 9. Photographs.; 10. Public Relations.; 11. Cases; 12. Military __Set of Federal Statutes removed from the collection. Government publications removed from the collection and transferred to Penrose Llibrary Government document stacks.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Peter H. Dominick, 1976-1977. Gift of Estate per Nancy P. Dominick

Accruals

Military records received 7/20/2013. See Accession #2013.033

Processing Note

8/4/17: Opened Box 245 and found "Distinguished Flying Cross" medal box empty.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428