Special Collections

Pre- and Post- Senate Papers, Gift Series

Pre- and Post-Senate Papers, Gift Materials: n.d., 1886-1909, 1942, 1951-1954, 1957-1992
Linear Feet: 30
Status: A few files are closed.
Boxes: 1-72

After Senator Tower’s death in 1991, his family donated the rest of his papers to Southwestern University. The gift augments the Tower Senate Papers and helps to give a fuller picture of the senator’s life and career. Found here are files relating to many of Tower’s pre- and post-Senate activities as well as additional files spanning the years of his Senate career. The files cover a broad range of topics including Tower’s graduate work at Southern Methodist University, his study abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science, his pre- and post-Senate involvement in the Republican Party campaigns and politics, work on his autobiography, Consequences: A Personal and Political Memoir, and work on an unpublished book about Congress and the Executive Brach called The Coming Constitutional Crisis. The files also document Senator Tower’s nomination as Secretary of Defense and his business and personal activites. There are a few files related to his role as chief negotiator at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) in Geneva, his chairmanshuip of the President’s Special Review Board (Tower Commission) investigation of the National Security Council and the Iran-Contra Affair, and his work on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

The new accessions were received at Southwestern in two groups and are comprised of materials gathered from Senator Tower’s apartment in Dallas as well as his Dallas and Washington offices. Type of material in the new accessions include correspondence, memoranda, speeches, transcripts, studies, reports, notes, book drafts and research material, schedules, invitations, photographs, slides, audiovisual materials and memorabilia.

The largest series in the new accessions is the Personal Series, most of which relates to Senator Tower’s two book projects, although there are files concerning his education, personal business and teaching, as well as correspondence files for 1959 to 1990. Correspondence varies from a copy of a condolence letter from the senator to John and Jackie Kennedy upon the death of their infant son to a letter from Ronald Reagan at the end of his presidency. Files documenting Tower’s participation in the Wehrkunde Conference, an annual NATO defense conference in Munich, are also found here as is a biographical file which Tower kept on important individuals such as heads of state and Republican Party officials.

Many of the files in the Political Series relate to Tower’s early involvement in the Republican Party and campaigns, including his unsuccessful race for the Texas State Legislature and his 1960 and 1961 races for the U.S. Senate. The Post-Senate Government Service Series, as indicated above, covers Senator Tower’s role as START negotiator, his chairmanship of the Tower Commission and his nomination to be Secretary of Defense. Examples of documents in this series include an annotated notebook on Soviet negotiating tactics that Tower may have used for the START talks as well as a memo to Senator Tower from Nick Rostow, Tower Commission staff member, seeking Tower’s comments on an attached report entitled, “Implementation of the Recommendations of the President’s Special Review Board.”

The photos, audiovisual materials and memorabilia document a broad range of subjects. Among the photos are an early photo of Senator Tower’s mother, photos from the START talks in Geneva, and an undated photo of Senator Tower and Amwar Sadat. The videocassettes date from 1984 to 1992 and include the senator’s appearances on Face The Nation and Larry King Live as well as a 1992 tribute to Senator Tower that was shown at the Republican State Convention the same year. The memorabilia items include campaign memorabilia dating from 1961 to 1972, Senator Tower’s 1988 Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his 1989 certificate of retirement from the U.S. Naval Reserve. 

Series and Subseries Boxes

Personal: n.d., 1886-1909, 1942-1991

    Early Methodist Materials (1886-1909)
    Education (n.d., 1942, 1946, 1951-1953)
    Teaching (n.d., 1957-1960, 1983-1989)
    Boards, Advisories and Memberships (n.d., 1958-1961, 1977-1990)
    Correspondence (n.d., 1959-1990)
    Miscellaneous News Clippings and Articles (n.d., 1962-1990)
    Wehrkunde Conference (n.d., 1969-1974, 1985-1991)
    Biographical File (n.d., ca. 1970-1984)
    Writings, Speeches and Transcripts (n.d., 1975-1991)
    Business (n.d., 1985-1990)
    Special Events and Schedules (1985-1990)
    Miscellaneous Files (n.d., 1984)



Political: n.d., 1952-1990

    Republican Party (n.d., 1957-1960, 1986-1990)
    Campaigns (n.d., 1954, 1959-1961, 1983-1989)

Post-Senate Government Service: n.d., 1985-1990

    START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) in Geneva (n.d., 1985-1986)
    President’s Special Review Board (Tower Commission)(n.d., 1986-1987)
    Secretary of Defense Nomination and Hearings (n.d., 1988-1989)
    PFIAB (President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board)(n.d., 1987-1991)
    Post-Senate Miscellaneous (n.d., 1986-1990)
Photographs, Slides and Audiovisual Materials: n.d., 1942-1992 39-41
Memorabilia and Artifacts: n.d., 1952-1989 42-43
Books: n.d., 1903, 1939-1982 44-47