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Oral History Project | Carl M. Marcy

Chief of Staff, Senate Foriegn Relations Committee

Senator J. William Fulbright holds the record as the longest serving chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (fifteen years, from 1959 to 1974), but Carl Marcy served for eighteen years as the committee's chief of staff (from 1955 to 1973). For most of that time their service overlapped, and Marcy's recollections are in large part the story of Fulbright's impact on the committee, during the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. It was a period in which the bipartisan consensus in foreign policy unraveled and the gap between Congress and the White House widened steadily, most notably over the war in Vietnam. No longer completely trusting the executive branch as a source of information, the committee expanded its staff during Marcy's tenure as chief of staff and pursued more vigorous oversight of the policy makers.

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Scholarly citation: "Carl M. Marcy, Chief of Staff, Foreign Relations Committee, 1955-1973," Oral History Interviews, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.