Former Congressman Gene Taylor, whose career in the United States House of Representatives spanned more than 20 years, has donated all of his congressional documents to University Libraries at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Taylor first represented Mississippi’s 5th congressional district from 1989 – 2003 and, after Mississippi revised its districts, he was voted to represent the state’s 4th congressional district until 2011. His donation includes 128 cubic feet of reports, briefings and congressional records, as well as a copy of his congressional Web site.
“As someone who studied political science in school, I never had a professor who really talked about the nuts and bolts of what goes on in our government,” said Taylor. “I hope this donation will give the faculty great examples for their students who may one day want to run for political office or work for someone who does. These documents will give them an idea of the day-to-day activities in Washington, D.C.”
Among the various documents within Taylor’s donation is a rare hand-written amendment which did not follow the typical structured protocol of Capitol Hill. Taylor, with no time to type his proposed amendment, quickly drafted the proposal and submitted the amendment for approval. With instant approval from both Republicans and Democrats, Taylor was able to secure purchase of Cat Island for the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Taylor accrued many accomplishments throughout his career. He was a leading Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee; he led the committee to improve the medical benefits of military retirees; and, most recently, he was the leading voice on homeowners’ insurance reform following Hurricane Katrina.
To honor Taylor for his donation, Southern Miss hosted a reception at the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Library in Long Beach. Surrounded by family, friends and the Southern Miss community, Taylor was shown appreciation by university administrators for his distinctive gift to the university.
“The University Libraries is delighted to receive Congressman Taylor's important gift to our department of historical manuscripts,” said Dr. Carole Kiehl, dean of University Libraries. “Such gifts of unique, original documents are vital to researchers in many fields and we are grateful for his generosity in making his papers available to all interested parties.”
University Libraries is currently cataloging the documents within Taylor’s donation. For more information about former Congressman Gene Taylor’s donation, call 228.865.4573.