Item SR1343_T02S2 - Oral history interview with Riki P. Sheehan [Sound Recording 04]

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Oral history interview with Riki P. Sheehan [Sound Recording 04]


  • 1988-06-07 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:30:39

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Fredrica "Riki" Poster Sheehan was born in New York in 1951. She earned a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University in 1973. She then moved to Washington, D.C., in order to get a job in government. She began working on U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield's staff as a caseworker in 1974. In 1977, she became one of Hatfield's legislative assistants. In 1980, when Hatfield became chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she was appointed to its staff.

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Tape 2, Side 2. This oral history interview with Riki P. Sheehan was conducted by Michael O’Rourke from June 2-11, 1988. In this interview, Sheehan discusses coming to Washington, D.C., after graduating from Cornell University in 1973. She describes the atmosphere of the city during the Watergate scandal and beginning to work with U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, particularly her job interview. She discusses the issues on which she disagreed with Hatfield, including on U.S.-Israeli relations and abortion. She describes her duties as a legislative assistant and working with other members of Hatfield’s staff. She discusses Hatfield’s personality and spirituality, as well as how Hatfield’s position on many issues differed from that of other Republicans. She talks about some of the cases she worked on when she first joined Hatfield’s staff and describes how Hatfield would take a personal interest in some of them. Sheehan discusses Hatfield’s relationship with other senators, including John Stennis, as well as Hatfield’s personal and family life. She speaks at length about Hatfield’s chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee and her work on that committee’s staff. She also describes Hatfield’s relationship with the administrations of presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Sheehan discusses Hatfield’s interest in and support for Oregon Health Sciences University (now Oregon Health & Science University), as well as funding for AIDS research. She closes the interview by discussing a real estate scandal that affected Hatfield in 1984, Hatfield’s family life, and his legacy.

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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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42.1 MiB


April 15, 2020 4:42 PM

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