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Jesse R. Nichols
Government Documents Clerk and Librarian

The first African American hired as a clerical staff member of the Senate, Jesse Nichols served as government documents clerk for the Senate Finance Committee from 1937 to 1971. Previously, black men and women had worked as messengers, grounds keepers, and in service positions, but had been excluded from the clerical staff. When Nichols started work, most restaurants and other services on Capitol Hill were still segregated, and he recounts the transition to integration. Appointed by Senator Pat Harrison, a Mississippi Democrat, Nichols' career extended through the chairmanships of several Southern senators, including Walter George, Harry Byrd, and Russell Long. Jesse Nichols died on February 18, 2005.

Table of Contents:
1) From Mississippi to the Senate
2) Chairmen Harrison, George, Millikin, and Byrd
3) The Senate was a Club
4) Russell Long and Retirement
Citation: Scholarly citation: "Jesse R. Nichols, Government Documents Clerk and Librarian, Senate Finance Committee, 1937-1971," Oral History Interviews, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.
Deed of Gift: I, Jesse R. Nichols, do hereby give to the Senate Historical Office the tape recordings and transcripts of my interviews between March 26 and April 12, 1994. I authorize the Senate Historical Office to use the tapes and transcripts in such a manner as may best serve the educational and historical objectives of their oral history program. I also approve the deposit of the transcripts at the Library of Congress, National Archives, Senate Library, and any other institution which the Senate Historical Office may deem appropriate. In making this gift, I voluntarily convey ownership of the tapes and transcripts to the public domain. Jesse R. Nichols April 12, 1994 Accepted on behalf of the Senate Historical Office by: Richard A. Baker April 12, 1994

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