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Mike Mansfield - History

Mike Mansfield - History



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Mike Mansfield

1903-2001

Politician

American political leader Mike Mansfield was born on March 16, 1903, in New York City. He was brought up by his Uncle and Aunt in Great Falls Montana after his mother died. He lied about his age and served in the Navy during World War I at the age of 14. He was discovered and discharged after serving. He then enlisted in the Marines and served until 1922. He had dropped out of high school but after returning to Montona and marrying he completed High School College and received a Masters. In 1942 he won an election to become a member of the House of Representatives. He served five times until 1952 when he ran and won a seat to the Senate. He served as a Democratic Senator from Montana, and holds the record for the longest term as majority leader, having held the position for 16 years (1961-1977).

He was known for his influence in foreign affairs, having strong opinions on the nation's security needs and the importance of balance-of-power relationships.

Mansfield also served in the House of Representatives for 10 years and worked on foreign diplomatic assignments under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson.

President Carter appointed him ambassador to Japan, a position he retained under President Reagan.


About Mike Mansfield

The story of Michael Joseph Mansfield’s prominence in U.S. government and international statecraft begins far away from the esteemed halls of Congress and the foreign streets of Tokyo. Senator Mansfield’s life began in New York City, where he was born to Irish immigrants on March 16, 1903. An unfortunate series of events left his father, Patrick Mansfield, widowed and unable to work. With few options in the city, Mike Mansfield moved with his two siblings and their father to Great Falls, Montana in 1910.

Mike Mansfield is represented here in his official Congressional portrait.

After the United States joined the war effort in Europe in 1917, word of U.S. armed forces involvement began filling the papers in Great Falls. The news fed young Mike Mansfield’s appetite for adventure, but that spirit grew larger as time progressed. In June of that year, Mike left Great Falls on a journey that took him first to the majestic shores of the Pacific Northwest, then eventually back to his birthplace, New York City. In New York, Mike entered the U.S. Navy at the age of 14 using a falsified birth certificate.

Mike Mansfield led a storied career in military service. After two and a half years in the Navy and three wartime deployments on the USS Minneapolis, Mike left the Navy and returned to Montana. With few job prospects and no education beyond middle school, Mike found Montana to be a less welcoming place. He enlisted in the Army and was assigned to Fort McDowell in California. After completing his one-year enlistment, Mike joined the Marine Corps and traveled to China, where he was first exposed to Asia.

When he left the military for the final time in 1922, Mike returned to Montana where he would lead a hardscrabble life in the state’s copper mines. It is also here that he met Maureen Hayes, the daughter of a moneyed family who would become his inspiration and life partner. Maureen was the opposite of Mike in every way. She was well educated and ambitious, a leader in social causes in Montana. Their fateful acquaintance and unshakable love for one another propelled Mike on the path to his eventual success in Washington and on the world stage.

After receiving his master’s degree in history, Mike entered politics at Maureen’s encouragement. He went on to serve as Senate Majority Leader for the longest tenure in the institution’s history, and to represent the United States as the nation’s longest-serving Ambassador to Japan. After he passed away on October 5, 2001, Mike Mansfield was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. His tombstone reads “Michael Joseph Mansfield – PVT, US Marine Corps.”


Mike Mansfield was a 2015 candidate for the Place 5 seat on the Plano, Texas City Council.

The city of Plano, Texas, held elections for city council on May 9, 2015. The filing deadline for candidates who wished to run in this election was February 27, 2015. Four of the seven city council seats were up for election. All members of the Plano City Council are elected at-large. In the race for the Place 5 seat, Ron Kelley defeated Mike Mansfield and Matt Lagos. Ώ] Incumbent Jim Duggan did not run for re-election. ΐ]

Plano City Council Elections Place 5, 2015
Candidate Vote % Votes
Ron Kelley 78.4% 251
Mike Mansfield 14.7% 47
Matt Lagos 6.9% 22
Total Votes 320
Source: Dentony County, "Official election results," accessed August 17, 2015


Michael Mansfield

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Michael Mansfield, in full Michael Joseph Mansfield, byname Mike Mansfield, (born March 16, 1903, New York, New York, U.S.—died October 5, 2001, Washington, D.C.), Democratic politician who was the longest-serving majority leader in the U.S. Senate (1961–77). He also served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1977 to 1988.

Reared by relatives in Montana, Mansfield dropped out of school before completing the eighth grade. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 14 and served in military transport during World War I until his age was discovered and he was discharged. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army and later the Marine Corps, serving in several remote outposts, especially in Asia.

Mansfield spent most of the 1920s working in Montana copper mines, but his wife persuaded him to finish school, and in 1933 he earned both his high school and college diplomas (B.A., Montana State University) he obtained his master’s degree in 1934. In 1933 he joined the faculty of Montana State University, eventually becoming a professor of Far Eastern and Latin American history.

In 1942 Mansfield was elected to the House of Representatives and became an active member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He advised Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman on U.S. foreign policy toward China and Japan and maintained a solidly liberal voting record on domestic issues.

In 1952 Mansfield won a seat in the Senate, despite the accusations of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy that he was soft on communism. A prominent member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Mansfield in 1957 became majority whip. He succeeded Lyndon Johnson as Senate majority leader when Johnson became vice president in 1961.

Reelected to the Senate in 1958, 1964, and 1970, Mansfield refused Johnson’s offer to run for vice president in 1964. Throughout the 1960s he became increasingly vocal in his criticism of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and in 1971 he sponsored a bill calling for a cease-fire and the phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam. In 1973 he backed the War Powers bill, limiting presidential authority to engage the country in undeclared military conflicts abroad.

Mansfield became a persistent critic of President Richard Nixon, especially during the Watergate investigation. In 1976 he retired from the Senate, but he returned to government service early the next year as part of a commission seeking information about missing U.S. servicemen in Indochina. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter appointed Mansfield U.S. ambassador to Japan, and he kept the post during both terms of President Ronald Reagan, finally retiring in 1988.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Chelsey Parrott-Sheffer, Research Editor.


Primary Sources

(1) I. F. Stone, I. F. Stone's Weekly (30th September, 1963)

It's not so much the killings as the lack of contrition. The morning after the Birmingham bombing, the Senate in its expansive fashion filled thirty-five pages of the Congressional Record with remarks on diverse matters before resuming debate on the nuclear test ban treaty. But the speeches on the bombing in Birmingham filled barely a single page. Of 100 ordinarily loquacious Senators, only four felt moved to speak. Javits of New York and Kuchel of California expressed outrage. The Majority Leader, Mansfield, also spoke up, but half his time was devoted to defending J. Edgar Hoover from charges of indifference to racial bombings. His speech was remarkable only for its inane phrasing. "There can be no excuse for an occurrence of that kind," Mansfield said of the bombing, in which four little girls at Sunday School were killed, "under any possible circumstances." Negroes might otherwise have supposed that states' rights or the doctrine of interposition or the failure of the Minister that morning to say 'Sir' to a passing white man might be regarded as a mitigating circumstance. Even so Mansfield's proposition was too radical for his Southern colleagues. Only Fulbright rose to associate himself with Mansfield's remarks and to express condemnation.

(2) Nick Anderson, Los Angeles Times (10th June, 2001)

Mike Mansfield, the longest-serving Senate majority leader, who shepherded landmark legislation in the 1960s and '70s on issues from civil rights to political reform and set a standard for civility in a lawmaking arena now often consumed by partisan vitriol, died Friday. He was 98.

Mansfield, who underwent surgery on Sept. 7 to have a pacemaker implanted in his chest, died at Walter Reed Army Hospital, said Charles Ferris, his attorney and one-time Senate aide.

After he left the Senate in 1977, Mansfield was named US ambassador to Japan and wielded significant influence in Tokyo for more than 11 years as the emissary of presidents of both major parties. No one before or since has served longer in that post.

But it was his 34 years in Congress, including 24 in the Senate, that secured the Montana Democrat a place in 20th century political history. In 16 years as Senate majority leader, from President Kennedy's inauguration in 1961 to President Ford's exit in 1977, Mansfield guided a remarkably productive upper house of Congress during a turbulent political era.

The nation in that time made war on poverty, put men on the moon and, belatedly, embraced civil rights a century after the emancipation of slaves. It also confronted the failure of the Vietnam War, Cold War crises and the Watergate political scandal.

Ironically, Mansfield was a pivotal figure through those years in part because he - unlike so many leading politicians then and now - was content to share or even cede the legislative stage.

Many historians regard Mansfield as the antithesis of the majority leader who preceded him, Lyndon B. Johnson. While Johnson as the Senate leader and then as president was a personality who dominated the legislative agenda in a way that few ever have, Mansfield was a self-effacing figure whose stated goal was simply to let the Senate work its will.

(3) Washington Post (6th October, 2001)

Mike Mansfield, the Montana Democrat and longest-serving Senate majority leader, who died yesterday morning at 98, was one of the upstanding congressional leaders of the 20th century. His career as majority leader spanned the presidencies and tumultuous times of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He served under two presidents - Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan - as a highly respected American ambassador to Japan. And throughout, the characteristics of his public service were the same: a soft voice, self-effacement, reverence for the institutions he served and rock-solid integrity.

At every step of the way during the most momentous events of the 1960s and '70s, Mike Mansfield was there, playing a quiet but pivotal role. He held the Senate together at the time of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, became an early and influential critic of the Vietnam War, helped see the nation through the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination and unrest in cities and campuses, prodded the Senate forward to investigate Watergate and guided the transition from Nixon to Ford, all the while molding the Senate into an institution that did more of the public's business in the public's full sight.

(4) Harold Jackson, The Guardian (8th October, 2001)

Late in 1962, President John Kennedy asked one of his closest congressional friends, the man he had hand-picked as majority leader of the US Senate, to assess the uncertain political situation in South Vietnam. As a former professor of far eastern history, Senator Mike Mansfield, who has died aged 98, knew the country and its leaders well.

In a confidential report to Kennedy, Mansfield said he saw little point in America continuing to support President Diem's tottering regime. Kennedy, publicly committed to such support, was furious.

When the two men met on the presidential yacht to discuss the assessment, he berated Mansfield for his pessimism. "You asked me to go there," Mansfield responded and stuck to his guns.

Within a year both Diem and Kennedy had been assassinated, successive governments in Vietnam had grown ever more remote from reality, and President Lyndon Johnson had embarked on his disastrous military intervention. Had Mansfield's advice been heeded, America might have avoided one of the most traumatic episodes in its history.

It was, however, typical of the senator that, although he vigorously sustained his opposition to the war and to many more of Johnson's foreign policies, he lent his considerable clout to getting the president's domestic legislation on to the statute book. Without Mansfield's low-key but persistent efforts, neither the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, nor many of the other measures that transformed American life would have passed into law as effectively as they did.

Last updated: 8th September, 2002


Biographical Note Return to Top

Mike Mansfield was a prominent politician and statesman from Montana who served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1943-1952), the U.S. Senate (1953-1977), and as Ambassador to Japan (1977-1988). He married Maureen Hayes in 1932 and they had one daughter, Anne Fairclough Mansfield, who later became a researcher and scholar based in London.

Content Description Return to Top

This collection consists of 55 photographs of Mike Mansfield, Maureen Mansfield and daughter Anne Mansfield. It includes early and informal photographs of the Mansfields, including photographs of Mike Mansfield as a child and in military uniform. The collection also includes photographs of Mike Mansfield during his tenure as Congressman and Senator from Montana and as U. S. Ambassador to Japan. Other family members, including both Maureen and Mike’s siblings and Maureen’s parents, are also represented in the collection. Most of the images were captured in Western Montana and the Washington D.C. area and were selected by Anne Mansfield Marris for donation to the Archives.

Use of the Collection Return to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Scans of the 55 photographs in this collection were provided by the donor, Anne Mansfield Marris.

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Non-exclusive copyright to some images in this collection is held by the University of Montana.

Preferred Citation

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Family Photographs, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative Information Return to Top

Arrangement

Photographs were arranged by the donor(s).

Custodial History

Anne Mansfield Marris held photographs 944-01 through 944-51 until she donated them to the University of Montana in 2002. Custodial history for photographs 944-52 through 944-55 is unknown.

Acquisition Information

The University of Montana Archives accepted transfer of photographs 944-01 through 944-51 on May 15, 2002.

Processing Note

University of Montana’s Archives assigned photo numbers to the images in 2002 and initially planned to house them with the Mike Mansfield Papers (Mss 065). In 2021, the images were processed as a separate collection (Mss 944) and assigned updated photo numbers. Four additional photos (944-52 through 944-55) were accessioned in 2021 and added to the collection.

Related Materials

The University of Montana's Archives and Special Collections holds the Mike Mansfield Papers, Mss 65, which includes thousands of photographs.

Detailed Description of the Collection Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box photo_number
1 944-01 Mike and Anne Mansfield dancing undated
1 944-02 Mike and Anne Mansfield undated
1 944-03 Mike Mansfield and Jimmy Carter undated
1 944-04 Mike Mansfield passing a dish to Jimmy Carter undated
1 944-05 Mike and Anne (as a young girl) Mansfield in Washington, D.C., view of Capitol Dome in background undated
1 944-06 Maureen and Anne Mansfield seated on sofa in front of their 1942 portrait undated
1 944-07 Mike, Maureen, and Anne Mansfield posed behind desk undated
1 944-08 Anne, Mike, and Maureen Mansfield seated in front of a world map undated
1 944-09 Mike and Maureen Mansfield at home on the Rattlesnake, Missoula, Montana 1938
1 944-10 Mike and Anne Mansfield January 1939
1 944-11 Maureen and Anne Mansfield, the Rattlesnake, Missoula, Montana 1940
1 944-12 Maureen, Anne, and Mike Mansfield, Washington, D.C. October 1943
1 944-13 Painted portrait of Maureen and Anne Mansfield, made in Chevy Chase, Maryland 1942
1 944-14 Maureen and Anne Mansfield having a portrait made in Chevy Chase, Maryland 1942
1 944-15 Maureen, Anne, and Mike Mansfield in Vatican before an audience with Pope Pius XII undated
1 944-16 Maureen Mansfield standing on the U.S. Capitol Steps, Washington, D.C. undated
1 944-17 Maureen Mansfield with unidentified young girl standing near Rattlesnake Creek, Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana undated
1 944-18 Maureen Mansfield undated
1 944-19 Maureen Mansfield, portrait, from the Missoulian June 1962
1 944-20 Daddy Hayes and Anne Mansfield (as an infant), Rattlesnake, Missoula, Montana undated
1 944-21 Anne and Maureen Mansfield at their home on Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase, Maryland 1943
1 944-22 Anne and Mike Mansfield at their home on Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase, Maryland 1943
1 944-23 Mike, Anne, and Maureen Mansfield, "saying goodbye to Mike Mansfield on his way to South America", Note: Mike is wearing a parachute undated
1 944-24 Mike, Maureen, and Anne Mansfield with Unidentified group of people at Brookes Hotel, Corvallis, Montana undated
1 944-25 Mike and Anne Mansfield on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives undated
1 944-26 Family reunion in Missoula, Montana. Mrs. Fairclough (Verna) Hayes, Maureen Scanlon, Anne Mansfield, Anne Scanlon, Frank F. Hayes, Fairclough Hayes, and Terry Scanlon undated
1 944-27 Maureen Hayes Mansfield, portrait undated
1 944-28 Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield leaving the Capitol building on his last day in the Senate (AP photo by Bob Daughtery) September 16, 1976
1 944-29 Maureen Hayes (as a child)(?) with an unidentified girl undated
1 944-30 Mike Mansfield on beack wearing a bat sweatshirt (color photo) undated
1 944-31 Mrs. Mansfield with the Duchess of Windsor on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Democratic National Convention August 1964
1 944-32 Maureen Mansfield undated
1 944-33 Mike Mansfield as a child, Great Falls, Montana undated
1 944-34 Michael J. Mansfield (as a child) with a school group, Twin Bridges, Montana undated
1 944-35 Catherine, Michael, and Helen Mansfield, as children, New York, New York circa 1907
1 944-36 Group of naval officers in a Far Eastern garden undated
1 944-37 Unidentified young man waving undated
1 944-38 Two unidentified men with Mike Mansfield in uniform (?), far right undated
1 944-39 Ship U.S.S. Huron from Philippine Islands to China 1921
1 944-40 Unidentified group of men standing in front of a store house, Olongapo 1921
1 944-41 Ship U.S.S. Huron, Manika Bay January 1922
1 944-42 Mike Mansfield in uniform as a young man circa 1920s
1 944-43 Mike Mansfield, football team at School of Mines, Butte, Montana 1927
1 944-44 Mike Mansfield posed in front of an automobile, Montana State University, Missoula, Montana undated
1 944-45 Mike Mansfield as football "end", Montana State University (?) undated
1 944-46 Mike Mansfield standing on what looks like a sluicebox undated
1 944-47 John Mansfield, University of Montana 1934
1 944-48 Joseph Mansfield in uniform, World War II undated
1 944-49 Mike Mansfield as best man at his first secretary Marge Mumm's wedding in Washington, D.C. undated
1 944-50 Mike Mansfield, Butte, Montana 1925
1 944-51 The rear of Mike Mansfield's Ford, showing both his license place from Montana and the U.S. Senate, 83rd Congress undated
1 944-52 Mike and Maureen Mansfield, Mansfield Center, University of Montana undated
1 944-53 Mike Mansfield and Prime Minister Nakasone of Japan undated
1 944-54 Mike Mansfield, Ronald Reagan, and Prime Minister Nakasone undated
1 944-55 Mike Mansfield smoking a pipe with face in hand undated

Names and Subjects Return to Top

Personal Names

Finding aid prepared by Donna McCrea and Kristin Gates2021


Maureen and Mike Mansfield

Mike Mansfield was born in New York City, the son of Irish immigrants. His mother died when he was a toddler, and his father sent Mike and his two sisters to Great Falls, Montana to live with his great aunt and uncle. In World War I, a 14-year-old Mike lied about his age to enlist in the Navy. After the war, he joined the Army for a year as a medical corpsman, followed by a two-year stint in the Marines. His Marine service featured time in Manila, China, and Japan, sparking his life-long love of Asia. Still a teenager with only a seventh grade education, Mike then returned to Montana and worked as a copper miner in Butte.

Maureen Hayes was born in Irondale, Washington but grew up in Butte, Montana. She attended Clarke College (which would later present her with an honorary doctorate in 1977) and then transferred to St. Mary’s, the women’s college of Notre Dame University, for her A.B. degree. After completing her degree, she returned to Butte and worked as a teacher.

Maureen and Mike met in 1928. Maureen encouraged Mike to pursue his education, and so he passed his high school equivalency exam and attended the University of Montana. After they married, Maureen cashed in her life insurance and worked as a social worker to support her husband while he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. They then both went on to earn master’s degrees, he in history and political science and she in English.

Following his graduation, Mike accepted a position at UM as an administrator and professor of Far Eastern history. Although he left the University to enter politics in 1942, he remained a permanently tenured Professor of History at UM for six more decades.

Encouraged by Maureen to run for political office, Mike served in the House of Representatives (1943 – 1953) and in the Senate (1953-1977). Maureen acted as a dedicated campaigner throughout his service Acknowledged as a specialist in Asian affairs, Mike also had the opportunity to support relations with South America and the world.

Although he was an early supporter of Ngo Dinh Diem, Senator led a behind-the-scenes effort to end the Vietnam War beginning in the late sixties. As Senate Majority Leader from 1961 to 1976, he was also pivotal in the rapprochement between Washington and Beijing, and in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In April 1977, President Carter appointed him American Ambassador to Japan with Maureen at his side. Reappointed by President Reagan, he continued in that position until 1988, completing the longest tenure of any U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

Of their work, Mike always stated that “What we have done, we have done together.” The Mansfields spent their final days in Washington, DC. Maureen passed in 2000, and Mike passed soon after, in 2001.


MIKE MANSFIELD, WITHOUT FUSS

On Saturday, in the midst of Washington's worst blizzard in a decade, Mike Mansfield was astonished, he says, to discover "no one else was on the floor" when he came to the office for his normal day of work.

Seventy years after he wielded a shovel in the copper mines of Butte, Mont., 50 years after he came to Washington as a freshman member of the House, this American icon, who served longer as Senate majority leader and as U.S. ambassador to Japan than anyone else in history, is tolerant of almost anything -- except disruption of his routine and a fuss being made over him.

But today he will alter his regimen enough to make a rare return visit to Capitol Hill, where he served from 1943 to 1976, and escape his characteristic self-effacement just long enough to allow Senate Democrats and Republicans to toast his 90th birthday at their respective party-caucus luncheons.

"I'm not going to celebrate it. I'm going to endure it," Mansfield said yesterday in the sunny Pennsylvania Avenue office he occupies as a senior adviser to Goldman Sachs & Co., the investment bankers. "I've beaten the law of averages. I've got no complaints."

Mansfield, who remains characteristically blunt about today's political and international issues ranging from the Clinton presidency to normalization of U.S. relations with Vietnam, has been an extraordinary figure for his temperament as well as his accomplishments. In an age of pervasive public cynicism about Washington politicians, Mansfield embodies a career untouched by scandal or deviousness, and remarkably free of personal ambition.

When he succeeded Lyndon B. Johnson as the Senate majority leader in 1961, observers said the Senate had shed a master and gained a servant. Instead of Johnson's browbeating tactics, Mansfield led by setting an example of humility and accommodation.

At his embassy office in Tokyo, Mansfield startled visitors of high or low estate by fixing and serving coffee himself -- a task normally performed by "office ladies" in Japan. After performing the familiar ritual for newspaper visitors yesterday, he laughingly recalled a Japanese scholar who told his wife of being served by the ambassador. "She fainted," Mansfield said.

For the past four years, since he ended his 11-year tenure as ambassador in Tokyo, Mansfield has been distilling his lifetime of experience on Capitol Hill and in the Far East into talks to Goldman Sachs partners and clients. "No lobbying," he said, rationing words in the same clipped fashion that used to drive television interviewers crazy.

The yellow pedometer he wears on his belt records "six or seven miles a day" of walking in his neighborhood and downtown. At 170 pounds, he is as lean as he was when he came out of Montana as a college history professor turned freshman U.S. representative. The Montana School of Mines tie, held in place by a U.S. Marine Corps tie clip, lies flat against his tattersall shirt and belly.

He wears no hearing aid, uses glasses only for reading his seven daily papers and his favorite detective stories, and, as he discusses the present and future of Japan, China, Russia and the United States, his recall of names and figures is almost flawless.

When he is asked, for example, how well he knows President Clinton, he replies that he has met him only once, when Clinton came to Tokyo on a trade mission with two other governors -- "Buddy Roemer of Louisiana and . the governor of Mississippi . it's a five-letter name -- Mabus." As if to make up for that momentary hesitation, Mansfield recalls that the three neighboring governors formed a consortium to seek Japanese investments, adding, "Subject to further checking, my understanding is that of 20 direct foreign investments in Arkansas, 15 came from Japan."

Did Clinton stand out in any way?

Mansfield's answer is characteristically blunt. "Nope," he says. "Just another governor." But then he adds that while the other two were subsequently defeated (he offers the names of their conquerors), Clinton "has gone all the way" to the presidency.

So far, he says, Clinton is "trying to cover all the bases possible and doing so extremely well." But Mansfield credits independent candidate Ross Perot with "performing a public service by continuing his TV talk shows . to keep the Congress and the administration aware" of the importance of reducing the federal budget deficit.

On specific issues, he is outspoken in his advice to the new president:

Reestablish normal relations with Vietnam now, before the Japanese and Europeans completely dominate business ventures there to U.S. disadvantage, while continuing to solicit information on the fate of Americans missing in action.

Treat Japan with the respect due the partner in "our most important bilateral relation" and recognize that the United States sins as much as it is sinned against in trade relations.

Continue the most-favored-nation trade status of China, which will be "a major power, if not the major power in the next century in Asia," while pressing for human rights reforms on a separate track.

Find more capital to aid Russia because the cost of contributing to its stability "will be cheaper now" and "much, much, much more expensive later" if that nuclear-armed nation sinks into chaos.

On the domestic scene, Mansfield says he worries most about the deficit, the performance of the schools, drugs, crime, the decline in infrastructure -- and the habits of his old institution, the Congress.

Voters are well justified in their frustration with deadlock in Congress, he says, blaming it on the fact that "the comity among members in both houses has been reduced to a considerable degree . and individualism to a certain extent . has replaced it. The sound bites on the TV. One-liners. Things of that sort."

Mansfield relies on "the public prints." He has no television set in his apartment because his wife, Maureen, is unable to hear it well, and he said he doesn't want to watch if she cannot share in the experience.

Mansfield, who raised $87,000 and spent only $20,000 in his last Senate race in 1970, is concerned about the impact of big money in politics. "Now it's a case of millions. . If a fellow made a big contribution to me during my campaigns -- none of them did -- and wanted to see me, I'd see him and I'd listen to him. And I'd convince myself that I wouldn't be swayed by his contribution, but deep down you'd feel a little obligation. ."

Today's Congress, he said, is "fortunate" to have leaders of the character of Senate Majority and Minority Leaders George Mitchell (D-Maine) and Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and House Speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) and Minority Leader Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.). "But they're not the bodies they were when Sam Rayburn was speaker and Lyndon Johnson was the leader."

This week is a double celebration for Mansfield because his wife has her 88th birthday. It was Maureen Hayes, a Butte schoolteacher, who recognized something special in the young Michael J. Mansfield, son of a New York City hotel porter. Mansfield had dropped out of school before he was 15 to serve in the Navy and Marines, before heading west to work in the mines. Maureen, he says, encouraged him to go back for a high school diploma. Later, he got a college degree and became a professor of Far Eastern history, developing an interest from his military days in China and the Philippines.

Mansfield's plans for the 1990s are to "take it one day at a time," but not to write his memoirs or cooperate in any oral history project on his life and times.

"I think historians will tell the truth 50 years, 100 years from now, when they write. And if you write too soon, you make too many mistakes, writing your own stuff," he said.

Asked if he had any "laws of life" to offer others, Mansfield replied, "Not exactly, except you should never take yourself too seriously. If you win in politics, you don't win on the basis of your charm, or your education, or your good looks. There are a thousand people out there who know more than you do, who could probably do a better job, but they didn't get the breaks.

"And recognize there are two sides to almost every issue. Sometimes, the other side is right -- it doesn't do any harm to listen."


Personal Highlights

After receiving his masters degree in education from Brown University he took the job of teaching social studies and coaching the Mansfield High School football team. In 1998-99 he started coaching the Mansfield girls varsity basketball team.(1998-2019 (21)301-188)
In 1991 and 1992 during summer break he participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities project that had as its goal the rewriting of Soviet and U.S. history. With 15 history teachers from across the U.S., and 15 Soviet teachers they worked at Harvard University for four weeks in June the first summer, than spent four weeks in the former U.S.S.R the following summer.
In 1994 he studied Irish history at the University of Dublin, in Ireland. In addition he has traveled to Greece, Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Spain, and a two week tour of Europe(England, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy)
For recreation he is a long distance runner, having run the Boston Marathon for 20 years, usually averaging about 4 hours. His 2001 time was 3hr 23min.
On December 31 2004 Mike married Nicole Fichera of Easton, They have three children Emma(2006), Twins Patrick(PJ) and Ava(2009).


Watch the video: The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center (August 2022).