“I’m just a bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill….” Many of us remember that ditty from School House Rock, and exhibit goers can see those bills come to life at LSU’s own Hill–Hill Memorial Library where Special Collections’ current display “Two Gentlemen from Louisiana: The Congressional Papers of Senators John B. Breaux and J. Bennett Johnston, Jr” is on view beginning September 8th.
Named for the manner in which Congressmen address one another on the House and Senate floors, the exhibition marks the formal opening of Breaux’s papers to researchers. Documents and photographs highlighting Breaux and Johnston’s political careers and legislative accomplishments during their combined fifty-five years in Congress are on view. A small sampling of items related to other members of Congress from Louisiana is also displayed.
Breaux, a Democrat from Crowley, first represented the Seventh District of Louisiana in the U. S. House of Representatives, beginning in 1972, and held that position until his election to the U.S. Senate in 1986. He left office in January 2005. Johnston, a native of Shreveport and also a Democrat, was elected to the Senate in 1972 and served until his retirement in January 1997. Learn more about their papers at http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/breaux.html and http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/findaid/politicalpapers/4473.inv.
Breaux and Johnston plan to be on hand at a reception to be held at Hill on October 9th at 3:00 in conjunction with a symposium hosted by the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, at which the senators will speak. The symposium is at 2:00 and will be held in the Holliday Forum of the Journalism Building. For more information on the exhibition and related programs contact LSU Libraries’ Special Collections at (225) 578-6546 or visit the web site online at http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special.
Left: Representative Breaux talking with a farmer, ca. 1975.
Right: Senator Johnston addressing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Dinner as chair of the committee, 1975.