AIKEN, George David (1892-1984)

AIKEN, GEORGE DAVID, a Senator from Vermont; born in Dummerston, Windham County, Vt., August 20, 1892; moved with his parents to Putney, Vt., in 1893; attended the public schools of Putney and Brattleboro, Vt.; engaged in fruit farming in 1912; also conducted an extensive nursery business, and in 1926 engaged in the commercial cultivation of wildflowers; served as school director of Putney 1920-1937; member of the State house of representatives 1931-1935 and served as speaker 1933-1935; lieutenant governor of Vermont 1935-1937 and Governor 1937-1941; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, November 5, 1940, to fill the vacancy in the term ending January 3, 1945, caused by the death of Ernest W. Gibson, but did not assume office until January 10, 1941; reelected in 1944, 1950, 1956, 1962, and 1968, and served from January 10, 1941, to January 3, 1975; was not a candidate for reelection in 1974; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (Eightieth Congress), Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Eighty-third Congress); died in Montpelier, Vt., November 19, 1984; interment in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Putney, Vt.

Broadcast Pioneers Library
University of Maryland Hornbake Library
College Park, MD
Papers: 17 audiotapes (1961-1974) in Westinghouse Broadcasting Company collection, 1945-1981.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral History: 1967. 31 pages. Part of the Eisenhower administration project. Topics include agricultural policies from late 1940s through 1950s and impressions of President Eisenhower. Name index. Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
Abilene, KS
Oral History: 1967. 31 pages. Original at Columbia University Oral History Project.

Gerald R. Ford Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 1974-1977. Correspondence and briefing papers. Finding aid.

Herbert Hoover Library
West Branch, IA
Oral History: 8 pages. First Hoover Commission.

Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace
Stanford, CA
Oral History: 1971. 8 pages.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: October 10, 1968. 30 pages.

John F. Kennedy Library
Boston, MA
Oral History: 1964. 42 pages.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1937. 1 proclamation.

Mississippi State University
Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State, MS
Oral History: June 7, 1976. 23 pages. In the John C. Stennis collection. Reminiscence of Stennis, the McCarthy censure, Harry Truman, shooting of Stennis, John F. Kennedy, Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson, Mike Mansfield, National Forest Reservation Commission, seniority, and civil rights legislation.

New Hampshire Historical Society
Concord, NH
Papers: Correspondence in the George H. Duncan papers, 1938-1951.

Princeton University
Dulles Oral History Project
Princeton, NJ
Oral History: 1966. 13 pages.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Miscellaneous items in the Paul Blanshard papers, 1912-1974; and Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg papers, 1884-1974. Finding aid.

University of Vermont
Bailey/Howe Library
Burlington, VT
Papers: Ca. 1937-1975. 350 feet. Primarily senatorial files, including diaries, bills and amendments, hearings, committee reports, statistical studies, press releases, correspondence, clippings, articles, photographs, sound recordings, and films. Well documented are Aiken's interests in agriculture, foreign policy, and energy; his work with the First Hoover Commission, United Nations, and Nuclear Test Ban Treaty delegation to Moscow; and issues involving rural water, food stamps, medicare, social security, civil rights, gun control, and Vermont. Includes microfilm of gubernatorial papers and material relating to the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power project. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Alfred Harris Heininger papers, 1900-1970; Mortimer Robinson Proctor papers, 1945-1946; and Howard Crosby Rice papers, 1897-1965. Finding aid.
Oral History: 1975-1980. 200 pages. The twenty-four interviews included in this project cover all of Aiken's life: boyhood, career in state politics, and national politics. Includes interviews conducted for Paul H. Douglas, John Foster Dulles, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Herbert C. Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, and John F. Kennedy oral history projects. Finding aid.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA; State University of New York, Buffalo, NY; and University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA.

  • Aiken, George D. Aiken: Senate Diary, January 1972-January 1975. Brattleboro, VT: Stephen Greene Press, 1976.
  • ___. "The `Down' Years, 1972-1974: A Senator's View.'' American Heritage 27 (August 1976): 27-31, 81-87.
  • ___. Speaking from Vermont. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1938.
  • Hall, Tom G. "The Aiken Bill, Price Supports and the Wheat Farmer in 1948.'' North Dakota History 39 (Winter 1972): 13-22, 47.
  • Hand, Samuel B. Friends, Neighbors, and Political Allies: Reflections on the Gibson-Aiken Connection. Center for Research on Vermont Occasional Paper no. 11. Burlington: University of Vermont, 1986.
  • Hand, Samuel B., and D. Gregory Sanford. "Carrying Water on Both Shoulders: George D. Aiken's 1936 Gubernatorial Campaign in Vermont.'' Vermont History 43 (Fall 1975): 292-306.
  • Hand, Samuel B., and Stephen C. Terry. The Essential Aiken: A Life in Public Service. Burlington: University of Vermont, 2004.
  • O'Brien, Charles F. "Aiken and Vietnam: A Dialogue with Vermont Voters." Vermont History 61 (Winter 1993): 5-17.
  • Sanford, D. Gregory. "You Can't Get There From Here: The Presidential Boomlet for Governor George D. Aiken, 1937-1939.'' Vermont History 49 (Fall 1981): 197-208.
  • Searls, Paul M. "George Aiken and the Taft-Hartley Act: A Less Undesirable Alternative." Vermont History 60 (Summer 1992): 155-166.
  • Sherman, Michael, ed. The Political Legacy of George D. Aiken: Wise Old Owl of the U.S. Senate. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 1995.
  • Stoler, Mark A. "Aiken, Mansfield and The Tonkin Gulf Crisis: Notes from the Congressional Leadership Meeting at the White House, August 4, 1964.'' Vermont History 50 (Spring 1982): 80-94.
  • ___. "What Did He Really Say? The `Aiken Formula' for Vietnam Revisited.'' Vermont History 46 (Spring 1978): 100-108.