Item SR1332_T03S2 - Oral history interview with Wendell Wyatt [Sound Recording 06]

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Oral history interview with Wendell Wyatt [Sound Recording 06]


  • 1988-05-19 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:29:53

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Biographical history

Wendell William Wyatt was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1917. He and his family moved to Portland in the late 1920s. He studied journalism in the University of Oregon. In 1937, he had to take a year off for financial reasons. When he returned, he instead studied law, earning his law degree in 1941. After passing the Oregon Bar in 1941, he was a special agent for the FBI until 1942, when he enlisted in the Navy's aviation program. He served as a bombardier in the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He and Anne Elizabeth Buchanan were married in the mid-1940s. They had three children and later divorced. After Wyatt's discharge in 1946, he returned to Oregon and practiced law in Astoria, where he began to get involved in Republican politics. He and Faye Hill were married in 1962. He represented Oregon in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1964 to 1975. After retiring from politics, he returned to Oregon to practice law in Portland with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. He died in 2009.

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Tape 3, Side 2. This oral history interview with Wendell Wyatt was conducted by Clark Hansen from May 17-19, 1988. In this interview, Wyatt briefly discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, Oregon, particularly the development of his political beliefs. He talks about his early career, including working as a special agent for the FBI, serving in the Marines during World War II, and practicing law in Astoria, Oregon. He then discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and his legislative career. He shares his memories of Mark Hatfield, including Hatfield’s relationship with Oregon’s political parties, Hatfield’s primary political opponents, and Hatfield’s involvement with the 1964 Barry Goldwater presidential campaign. Wyatt then discusses serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, including his campaigns. He talks about working with Hatfield, then governor of Oregon, on Oregon-focused legislation, as well as working with Hatfield’s staff. He also talks about Hatfield’s opposition to the Vietnam War and his 1966 campaign for U.S. Senate. Wyatt also describes U.S. Senator Wayne Morse. He goes on to speak further about Hatfield, including his staff in Washington, D.C., and Hatfield’s pacifism and political alignment. He speaks at length about the 1968 Republican Convention when Hatfield was being considered as Richard Nixon’s running mate, as well as Hatfield’s continued opposition to the Vietnam War and legislation he worked on related to it. Wyatt talks about the Oregon Republican Party’s structure, Walter Huss as its chair, and the party’s increasing conservatism. He closes the interview by discussing Hatfield’s effectiveness as a U.S. senator, as well as Wyatt’s social relationship with Hatfield.

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Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and Willamette University. Use is allowed according to the following license: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA:

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  • English

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41 MiB


April 8, 2020 12:54 PM

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