The Dirksen Congressional Center

The Dirksen Congressional Center promotes research and scholarship to advance the public understanding of the U.S. Congress. Named for Everett McKinley Dirksen (1896-1969) and located in his hometown of Pekin, Illinois, The Center is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Dirksen served in the U.S. House from 1933-1949, the U.S. Senate from 1951-1969, and as Minority Leader of the Senate from 1959 until his death in September 1969.

Research Collections
The Center houses more than 200 historical collections

Everett McKinley Dirksen (1896-1969)

Dirksen served in the U.S. House, 1933-1949, and in the Senate, 1951-1969. His collection consists of 2,000 feet of reference volumes, still photographs, audiovisual items, memorabilia, and papers.

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Harold H. Velde (1910-1985)

Velde served in the U.S. House, 1949-1957, and chaired the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1953-1955. His collection consists of 12 feet of papers, scrapbooks, and ephemera.

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Robert H. Michel (1923-2017)

Michel served in the U.S. House, 1957-1995. His collection consists of 970 feet of artifacts, photographs, and papers.

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Ray LaHood (1945- )

LaHood served in the U.S. House, 1995-2009 and as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 2009-2013. His collection consists of 500 feet of artifacts, photographs and papers.

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Neil MacNeil (1923-2008)

MacNeil reported on the U.S. Congress for Time Magazine, 1958-1987. His collection consists of 36 feet of papers.

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Other Collections

More than 200 smaller collections complement The Center’s primary congressional holdings.

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Guidelines for Use

Information about access and use of The Center’s historical collections.

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Grants, Scholarships, and Publications
The Center has awarded more than $2,000,000 in grants and scholarships

Congressional Research Grants

Apply for a grant to fund research on the U.S. Congress. Since 1978, The Center has supported over 500 projects. Applications are accepted at any time.

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Scholarships

The Ray and Kathy LaHood Scholarships for the Study of American Government are awarded to Bradley University juniors.

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Publications

The has authored or provided financial support for several book-length publications.

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The Dirksen Congressional Center
Founded in 1963, The Center is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization

Purpose

Through its mission, The Center promotes research and scholarship about the U.S. Congress.

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People

Meet the Board of Directors, the National Advisory Council, and the staff.

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Partners

The Center invests in the programs of like-minded organizations to support research and scholarship about the U.S. Congress.

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History

A timeline of nearly 75 selected milestones in The Center’s history, 1963 to present.

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Special Features
Special features are based on The Center’s historical collections

Everett McKinley Dirksen

As world traveler, candidate, Senate minority leader, and celebrity; editorial cartoons; the marigold; his memoir; and more.

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Robert H. Michel

As the longest serving House Minority Leader in U.S. history; with his presidents.

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Neil MacNeil

As Capitol Hill correspondent for Time Magazine, 1958-1987; his reporting on Everett Dirksen and the issues of the period.

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Civil Rights

Everett Dirksen’s pivotal role in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Other

A congressional timeline, 1789-present; Joint Senate-House Republican Leadership minutes and statements, 1961-1968; and more.

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