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Johnson’s, Simmons’ Congressional papers donated to Dodd Center

by Suzanne Zack - April 30, 2007

Researchers will be offered important new insights into Connecticut’s political landscape following the donation of the Congressional papers of former U.S. Reps. Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

Johnson represented the 6th Congressional District from 1982 through 2002 and served as representative for the 5th Congressional District following statewide reapportionment from 2002 to 2007.

She holds the record as the longest-serving Connecticut member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to serving in Congress, Johnson served three terms in the Connecticut Senate and was active in community affairs in New Britain.

Simmons, who represented the state’s 2nd Congressional District from 2001 to 2007, served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee.

Both roles reflect his specific interests and experience as an officer in the U.S. Army and employee of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“Simmons’ and Johnson’s papers represent a significant new resource for Dodd Center researchers,” says Thomas Wilsted, director of the Dodd Center.

“In addition to documenting his career in Congress, Congressman Simmons will be donating records that detail his work in the military and in the intelligence community,” Wilsted says.

“Mrs. Johnson’s records provide insight into the career of an early female legislator who worked at both the state and the national level. These are two important collections.”

Johnson served as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful bodies in Congress.

From left, President Philip E. Austin, former U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, and Thomas Wilsted, director of the Dodd Center, look over a document.
From left, President Philip E. Austin, former U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, and Thomas Wilsted, director of the Dodd Center, look over a document.
Photo supplied by University Libraries

She served as chair of the Health Subcommittee, and co-authored the bill that provides prescription drug coverage under Medicare.

She also wrote legislation that provides health care insurance coverage for children of low-income families throughout the United States.

Johnson’s papers cover both her State Senate and her Congressional career of more than 30 years.

Simmons actively represented his district by working with local, state, and national officials to protect the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Base in New London from closing in 2005.

He also served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, where he advocated that state and local authorities be provided with free open source software for sharing unclassified information with U.S. forces in the transition to and from hostilities.

Although the collections are not yet processed and catalogued, access to them may be obtained by contacting Betsy Pittman, curator for political collections, at  betsy.pittman@uconn.edu or 860-486-4507.

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