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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

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About this collection

The Milepost to Self-Government Oral History Project chronicles Washington D.C.’s transition from a government led by a Board of Commissioners to home rule from the perspectives of key players in the change.

 

The project includes audio recordings and transcripts of a panel discussion of the transition to home rule and a follow-up interview with one of the panelists. The “Milepost to Self-Government” panel occurred at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the central branch of the DC Public Library, on February 27, 1993.  Panelists included John Bonner Duncan, Walter E. Washington, John Hechinger, and Charles Horsky, prominent D.C. politicians who played key roles in DC’s transition from the three-commissioner led government to home rule in 1973. The project also includes an interview with Hechinger in which he reflects on his role in as DC’s first Chairman of the City Council as well as race relations in D.C. and his role as a business owner.

 

The Milepost to Self-Government discussion panel was part of the 20th Annual Conference on Washington, D.C. Historical Studies, an event sponsored by the DC Public Library and the Historical Society of Washington and the Center for Washington Area Studies of George Washington University. John Hechinger’s interview was also conducted in 1993 as part of a planned post-WWII Washington documentation project undertaken the Washingtoniana Division at the MLK Library and the Public Records Administrator of the D.C. Archives and Records Center.  The two sets of recordings were later combined into a single oral history project.

 

The original audio cassette tape recordings and transcripts of the Milepost to Self-Government have been digitized and are available on Dig DC in their entirety.  A biographical summary from the panel event has also been digitized and included here.  The transcripts and bios have been made full-text searchable using OCR (optical character recognition).

 

The DC Public Library holds the copyright for all of the Milepost to Self-Government audio and documents.

 

Learn more about the collection in its finding aid on the DCPL Special Collections webpage.

 

Photo of a spectator at Home Rule Hearing, 1972. From the Washington Star Photograph Collection, copyright held by The Washington Post.

 
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