Fong, Hiram L.

1970 TLS from the 1st Asian-American US Senator to Senator Muskie, acknowledging message of re-election congratulations

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Description:
(1906-2004, born Yau Leong Fong) Chinese Hawaiian businessman and politician, Republican US Senator 1959-77, 1st Asian American and Chinese American to be elected as such. In 1964, he was the 1st Asian American to run for his party's nomination for US President. In 1935, he obtained a law degree from Harvard University and returned to Honolulu and worked in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu. In 1938, Fong went into private legal practice and in 1942, he changed his name to "Hiram". During World War II he served as a major in the Army Air Forces as a Judge Advocate, later retiring as a colonel from the Air Force Reserve. The same year he founded his law office, Fong entered elected political life as a member of the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives and was Speaker of the House 1948-54, one of the front most leaders in the fight to make Hawaii a state. Upon achieving statehood through the Admission Act of 1959, Hawaii returned Fong to elected office becoming one of its first US Senators. Fong sought civil rights legislation in the Senate and supported both the Vietnam War and President Nixon during the Watergate scandal. He twice ran favorite son campaigns for the GOP presidential nomination in 1964 and 1968.In 1964, he became the first Asian American to receive votes for president at a major party convention, receiving the votes of the Hawaii and Alaska delegations. Fong was the first Hawaiian-born individual to run for President TLS “Hiram” on 8 ¼ x 6 ¼ personal “United States Senate/Washington, D.C.” letterhead, November 16 1970, to Senator Ed Muskie. Fong thanks Muskie for his congratulatory message on Fong’s re-election, looks forward with pleasure to continued service with Muskie in the Senate. Fong sends warm personal regards and aloha. Edmund S. Muskie (1914-1986) Maine Democratic US Senator 1959-80. 1968 VP candidate with Humphrey, 1972 presidential hopeful. Secretary of State 1980-81 (Carter). On Nov. 2, 1970, Muskie's star rose after he responded in a nationwide speech to a divisive Republican campaign that attacked the patriotism of college students and Democrats.

Condition: Very good, docket stamp at top, ink checkmark at lower left
Type:Letter






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