Dave McCurdy Collection


66 cubic feet

portrait of Dave McCurdy

McCurdy Collection Box List
McCurdy Photograph Collection

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Dave McCurdy was born in Canadian, Texas on March 30, 1950. He received a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Oklahoma and was a Rotary graduate fellow in international economics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 1975 McCurdy was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar and served as Oklahoma state assistant attorney general from 1975 to 1977. He attained the rank of major in the United States Air Force Reserve.

In 1980, as a Democrat, McCurdy was elected Oklahoma's Fourth District representative to the Ninety-seventh Congress, and retained his seat throughout the six succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1981-January 3, 1995). He was a member of the Armed Services Committee and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and was Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was also active in the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, Task Force on Foreign Policy and Defense, Army Caucus, Sunbelt Caucus, Mainstream Forum, House Rural Health Coalition, and was national vice-chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. In 1994 he was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate.

Following his unsuccessful Senate race, McCurdy founded a consulting and investment firm and began a career as an industry lobbyist. He has served as president and CEO of the Electronic Industries Alliance, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and the American Gas Association. McCurday has been a member of the Secretary of Defense's Policy Board since 2008 and is chairman of the board of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Scope and Content of the Collection

Series 1: Legislative Files, 1981-1994 (21.5 cubic feet)

This series contains substantial material on the following topics: agriculture, savings and loan banking and bank failures, federal budget cuts, charter schools, impact aid, foreign affairs, abortion, crime control, gun control including the Brady Bill, superconductivity, taxes, and veterans affairs.

Some topics are especially well-represented. There is a wealth of defense issue topics, including the Air Force, Army Caucus, defense authorizations, defense industrial base, military construction, and military bases located in Oklahoma, especially Tinker AFB, Altus AFB, and Fort Sill. Transportation issues, such as the commercial airline industry, the FAA and air traffic control, and raising the speed limit from 55 mph, also constitute a large volume of material. Foreign policy and politics in Central America was an important focus for McCurdy, and material about Nicaragua alone approaches a cubic foot in volume. National Service, Police Corps, youth apprenticeship, and ceasing congressional consideration of commemorative bills were all subjects of McCurdy-sponsored legislation and significant material exists for each. The legislative activities of the Mainstream Forum are also well-documented.

Material in these folders is diverse in format. Many of the documents are correspondence from other members of congress, constituents, lobbyists, agency officials, and members of McCurdy's own staff. Official House documents are common, including bill texts, committee reports, and transcripts of testimony at various hearings. Also found are many types of reference and background material, including government agency reports, Congressional Research Service briefs, booklets, brochures, and news clippings. Texts of speeches given by McCurdy and others are also present in this series.

At the end of the series are Dave McCurdy's voting records for each Congress and individual bills that he either sponsored or cosponsored. Bill files generally contain only the text or digest of the bill, but some include correspondence, committee reports, text of the public laws originating from the passage of those bills, and background material.

The Legislative Series is organized alphabetically by subject, corresponding loosely to the House committee structure and generally maintaining the folder titles used by McCurdy's staff. Material within each subject is arranged chronologically.

Go to Legislative Series folder inventory (Boxes 1-22)

Series 2: Chief of Staff Files, 1981-1994 (3.5 cubic feet)

These files were compiled and used by Dave McCurdy's Washington, DC chief of staff, Steve Patterson. The material within this series covers both administrative and legislative activities. Topics that fall under administrative functions include academy appointments, case work for constituents and towns in the 4th District, correspondence, honoraria, legal matters, office policies and personnel, House pages, and recommendations. Among these topics, there is a significant amount of material about Fort Sill and the towns of Frederick and Lawton.

Legislative topics include Central America, committee chairmanships, congressional reform, intelligence, Mainstream Forum, National Service, the U.S. Postal Training Center in Norman, and relationships and interactions with other members of Congress.

This series also contains several folders of campaign material, including brochures for McCurdy and many other members of Congress, correspondence, campaign regulations, and radio and television advertisement transcripts.

Transcripts of several of McCurdy's speeches are included in this series, including two announcements of candidacy for the House and a speech seconding the presidential nomination of Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.

These files are arranged alphabetically by topic, and chronologically within each folder. This arrangement maintains the original order of the files.

Go to Chief of Staff Series folder inventory (Boxes 22-25)

Series 3: Correspondence Files - 1980-1994 (18 cubic feet)

This series contains constituent letters concerning legislation, case work, and personal correspondence. Material is separated by year and then arranged alphabetically by the correspondent's last name. Folder-level inventories list topics and correspondent names that appear at least twice in that folder. Also included are VIP correspondent names. At the end of the series is .5 cubic feet of ROBOs, standard answer letters that McCurdy's office sent concerning common issues.

Topics that are well-represented include abortion, agriculture, animal rights, arts and humanities funding, crime control, defense issues, dietary supplement regulation, education, energy, the environment, federal budget, federal deficit, foreign affairs, gay rights, gun control, health care reform, military personnel, Oklahoma Indian tribes, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, postal service, religious freedom, smoking, Social Security, taxes, telecommunications industry, trade and trade agreements, U.S. military actions in other countries, veterans benefits, welfare programs, and Whitewater scandal.

There is very little paper correspondence for the years 1983 through 1989 except for a few items moved from other series in this collection. Microfilm exists for correspondence occurring between 1981 and 1985 and can be found in Box 69, though there is no inventory.

Go to Correspondence Series folder inventory (Boxes 26-43)

Series 4: Press and Clippings Files - 1980-1994 (8 cubic feet)

Material in this series covers the entire span of McCurdy's career in office. Box 44 contains official press releases from McCurdy's office, reactions to specific issues, transcripts of appearances on television shows such as "Meet the Press" and CNN "Crossfire," and lists of requests for interviews from reporters and news agencies. Also included are editorials written by McCurdy for various newspapers, including some of his periodic "Eye on Congress" columns. The remaining boxes contain clippings from Oklahoma and national newspapers, as well as articles from national journals and magazines. Topics in this series cover all aspects of McCurdy's congressional activities including the House of Representatives, Congress, committees, other members of Congress and government officials, national issues, Oklahoma issues, Oklahoma people and places, district events and task forces, and significant coverage of elections and campaigns, both in Oklahoma and across the nation. There are also articles about Dave McCurdy's personal life, including a few profiles of Dr. Pam McCurdy.

The press items mentioned above precede the clippings, and both groups are arranged chronologically. Clippings are preserved on acid-free paper and are labeled with the publication source name and date. The contents of each folder is inventoried by subject.

Go to Press and Clippings Series folder inventory (Boxes 44-50)

Series 5: Office Files - 1980-1994 (10.3 cubic feet)

The majority of material in this series is composed of appointments, invitations, and trip files. Appointment files generally contain appointment books, daily schedules, or correspondence. Invitation files contain correspondence from friends, groups in Oklahoma, several members of congress, and presidents concerning events in both Oklahoma and around the nation. Trip files contain travel information, correspondence, and event information. Many trip files concern conferences, campaigning, official committee trips, and the Democratic Leadership Council. This series also contains a few guest books, biographical materials on Dave McCurdy and Pam McCurdy, and personnel files. Topics such as Close Up, the Congressional Arts Caucus arts competition, the 1984 Democratic National Convention, and the bicentennial of the Great Compromise and the Constitution are also represented.

This series begins with office administration files and the following material is separated by year and then arranged alphabetically.

Go to Office Series folder inventory (Boxes 51-61)

Series 6: Carl Wood Addition - 1980-1996 (1 cubic foot)

This material was donated by Carl Wood, a former staffer for Dave McCurdy. Wood worked in the Norman 4th Congressional District office in 1994 and his primary responsibilities were case work and routine office duties. Wood also served on McCurdy's campaign staff in 1982-1984 and 1992-1993. Wood's position in the 1992 campaign was assistant to the campaign treasurer and coordinator.

The two strengths of this series are campaign material and Congressional Research Service background material on important political issues. Campaign files include party platforms, clippings about McCurdy and other candidates, and bumper stickers. The majority of this material concerns the 1994 Oklahoma Senate and House 4th District campaigns. The Congressional Research Service files contain Information Packs, Issue Briefs, and Reports for Congress about a variety of topics important between 1991-1994.

The series is arranged alphabetically by topic, and chronologically within each folder.

Go to Carl Wood Addition folder inventory (Boxes 61-62)

Series 7: Audiovisual Materials - 1980-1994 (3 cubic feet)

This series offers a unique opportunity to see and hear Dave McCurdy in person. There are 70 video cassette tapes, mainly of McCurdy's appearances on news broadcasts and talk shows. All but two videos have excellent picture and sound quality. There are 9 audio cassette tapes of radio broadcasts. Also in this series are 17 1/4" magnetic audio tape reels, most of which were found unlabeled, and 2 magnetic video tapes used as master copies.

Due to equipment requirements it is necessary to make an appointment with the archivists to use this material.

Go to Audiovisual Materials inventories (Boxes 63-71)

Series 8: Memorabilia - 1983-1987 (1 cubic foot)

This series contains the few items of memorabilia donated by Dave McCurdy with his congressional papers. There are four plaques, a souvenir leather business card case, honorary degree diploma, and a desk name plate.

Go to Memorabilia inventory (Box 72)

Oversize Materials

Materials too large for standard archival boxes have been separated to oversize boxes. The majority of these materials are issues of "Dave McCurdy Reports," news bulletins sent to constituents in the 4th Congressional District.

There are four large maps in this collection that have been moved to our maps cases.

Go to Oversize and Maps inventories

Photograph Collection

There were approximately 2,000 photographs found in the Dave McCurdy Collection covering many of his official congressional activities, oversight trips, and family life. Please refer to the Photograph Collection description for a general summary of the images and to access the item-level inventory.

Go to McCurdy Photograph Collection description and inventory

Dave McCurdy Collection Box List
Dave McCurdy Photograph Collection


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