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  • Originally published 03/10/2013

    Donald Ritchie: The Senate's Expert on the Senate

    Part Two of a profile of the official historians of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. To read Part One, a profile of House Historian Matthew Wasniewski, click here.Shortly after the Watergate scandal that shook the nation between 1972 and 1974, a letter was written that reminded majority and minority leaders in Congress of the importance of preserving the records of the legislative branch. The power behind Arthur M. Schlesinger’s words inspired the creation of a new office. Working together, Democratic and Republican leaders established the Senate Historical Office in 1975.  The Historical Office is currently headed by Dr. Donald Ritchie.Ritchie, a native of Queens, N.Y., was educated at the City College of New York and the University of Maryland. While working towards his graduate degree at Maryland, the U.S. government dropped graduate education as a deferment to serve in Vietnam.  As a result, he was drafted and inducted into the Marine Corps in June 1969 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor.

  • Originally published 03/10/2013

    Matthew Wasniewski's Front Row Seat to History

    Part One of a profile of the official historians of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. To read Part Two, a profile of Senate Historian Donald Richie, click here.Most historians, if asked to describe their dream job, would list among its main perks plenty of time for research, the ability to work closely with other historians in the field, and, depending on their level of extroversion, the chance to interact directly with the public. Fortunately for any historians with an interest in American political history, that job does exist, under the title of Historian for the United States House of Representatives. Unfortunately, it has already been filled by Dr. Matthew Wasniewski, and he has no plans of leaving it any time soon.