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March 6, 1998

Sen. Warren Magnuson’s life to be honored at fundraiser

News and Information

The late Sen. Warren G. Magnuson’s accomplishments will be honored in a program at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 4th, at Kane Hall, University of Washington, with a reception following.

The University Libraries is the repository of Sen. Magnuson’s papers, and the Friends of the Libraries is leading an effort to establish an endowed fund in his name. Income from the fund will supplement the Libraries collection in areas relevant to his legacy of public service: political science and history, law, health care, consumer protection, natural resources (including fisheries conservation), science and transportation policies. Minimum funding to establish a UW endowment is $25,000. Only income generated by the fund will be spent; the principal will remain intact in perpetuity.

The April 4 program and reception is a fundraiser for the endowment. All donors of $44 or more ($l for each year of Sen. Magnuson’s service in the House and Senate) are invited, with a guest, to the celebration, featuring a panel discussion with Jerry Grinstein (moderator), Eric Redman, Ed Sheets, Michael Pertschuk, Stan Barer and Norm Dicks. These individuals were members of Sen. Magnuson’s special staff group, dubbed the “Bumblebees.” (after John Erlichman, President Nixon’s domestic advisor, complained that “Washington was full of young staffers buzzing like bumblebees around the honey of power.”) Shelby Scates, author of “Warren G. Magnuson and the Shaping of 20th Century America” (UW Press) will be a panelist, too.

Magnuson, affectionately known as “Maggie,” began his career in the nation’s capital in 1937 as a representative from Washington. In 1944 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served six full terms. A colorful character, Magnuson was a friend and confidant of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson.

Sen. Magnuson authored the Civil Rights Act. He created legislation to protect Puget Sound and establish the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He promoted local commerce (including Boeing), worked to increase consumer protection, reorganize the railroads and establish the Columbia and Snake River dams to provide power to the Pacific Northwest.

Sen. Magnuson was a strong advocate of federal aid to education and helped to establish the National Institutes of Health. In recognition of the senator’s primary role in establishing the UW as a leading medical research institution, the UW Health Sciences Center is named for him.

Tickets for this event should be purchased in advance. Call 206-543-1760.