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Edward M. Mezvinsky papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0274

Scope and Content

This collection (1937-2015, undated) includes biographical material, reports, correspondence, publications, news clippings, photographs, surveys, interviews, promotional material, videotapes, audio cassettes, and artifacts. The materials document Mezvinsky's political and personal life. Subjects include his experience on the House Judiciary Committee during its investigations of President Richard M. Nixon and its recommendations for impeachment, his time as Representative of the United States (U.S.) on the Human Rights Commission of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (U.N.), political campaign materials, and his childhood in Ames. Also included are documents related to Mezvinsky's book about the Watergate hearings, A Term to Remember.

Dates

  • 1937-2015, undated

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research, excluding exceptions noted. Unpublished records of the House Judiciary Committee, per decision of the House Judiciary Committee to treat the President Nixon impeachment inquiry records as executive session records, are closed until August 2024.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives. Copyright and literary rights retained by Edward Mezvinsky during his lifetime.

Biography/Profile

Born January 17, 1937, Edward M. Mezvinsky was a member of the U.S. Congress, representing Iowa's first district (1973 to 1977). Prior to his election to Congress, he served as State Representative from Johnson County, Iowa 1969-1971 and was known as a strong consumer advocate and vigorous foe of special interest influence in government. From 1965-67, he was the Legislative Assistant to Congressman Neal Smith of Iowa. Mezvinsky received presidential commendation for his work in traffic and highway safety and food inspection.

Congressman Mezvinsky was a member of the House Judiciary Committee when it considered one of the gravest issues to face this nation — the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. During the critical Watergate investigation, Mezvinsky supported five articles of impeachment, including the one he drafted and sponsored dealing with President Nixon’s income tax and personal finances.

He was elected Chairman of the Freshman Democratic members of Congress and assumed a leadership position on the House Democratic Party Steering and Policy Committee. Under his leadership they had a significant impact on the laws of financing political campaigns and the reform of the Congressional budget process.

President Carter appointed Mezvinsky to serve as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1977 to 1979. Mezvinsky continued his participation in politics and public service in Pennsylvania during the 1980s, serving as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee, and running for U.S. Senate, Attorney General, and Lieutenant Governor.

Mezvinsky was born at Mary Greeley Hospital, Ames, Iowa on January 17, 1937, the son of immigrant parents from Czarist Russian (now the Ukraine) and Poland. As a student at Ames Senior High school, he was an All-State receiver in football and played on the state championship basketball and track teams. He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa, where he was President of the Student Union Association and President of the Big Ten Association. Mezvinsky holds a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science and a J.D. Degree in Law from the University of California.

He is the author of the book A Term to Remember, published in 1977, which chronicles his role on the US House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment proceedings during Watergate and has written articles and opinions for the Georgetown Law Journal, The Des Moines Register, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.

He has six daughters: Margot, Vera, Elsa, Eve, Lee Heh, Holly and two sons: Marc and Andrew.

Extent

20 Linear Feet (35 document boxes, 1 records center carton, 5 oversize boxes, and 2 map case folders)

Abstract

Former Congressman Edward Mezvinsky was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1968, where he served from 1969-1971. Mezvinsky then served two terms (1973-1977) in the U.S. House of Representatives for Iowa’s first district. He was a member of the House Judiciary Committee which recommended the impeachment of President Nixon. President Carter appointed Mezvinsky as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1977, which he held until 1979. This collection includes biographical material, reports, correspondence, publications, news clippings, photographs, surveys, interviews, promotional material, videotapes, audio cassettes, and artifacts. Subjects include his experience on the House Judiciary Committee during its investigations of President Richard M. Nixon, and its recommendation for impeachment, his time as Representative of the U.S. on the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, political campaign materials, and his childhood in Ames, Iowa.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into ten series, organized chronologically:



Series 1: Biographical and Personal Files

Series 2: House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Inquiry of Richard M. Nixon

Series 3: Gerald Ford Hearings

Series 4: United Nations

Series 5: Iowa and U.S. House of Representatives

Series 6: Senate Race

Series 7: Attorney General Race

Series 8: Lieutenant Governor Race

Series 9: Political Affairs

Series 10: Video Tapes and Audio Cassettes

Copies

Digital reproductions of a selection of materials from the Edward M. Mezvinsky papers are available electronically. Please see the Electronic Resources section for a link.

Related collection materials

A Term to Remember (call no. E840.8.M49 A37 1977)



Collections documenting the Mezvinsky family in Ames, Iowa, in addition to a recording of the 2013 Ames Historical Society lecture, "Abe Mezvinsky: His Life and Legacy in Ames, 1933 to 1980," are at the Ames Historical Society.



For additional collections available in the Special Collections Department related to public officials, including legislators, please see the Public Officials Collections Guide.

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
MS-0274. Edward M. Mezvinsky papers
Status
In Progress
Date
May 7, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672