Richard A. Baker (historian)

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Richard Allan Baker (born 1940) was the first Historian of the United States Senate, serving through August 2009. He directed the United States Senate Historical Office from the time of its creation in 1975.

He writes a weekly column on Senate history for a Washington newspaper and is the co-author (with Neil MacNeil) of The American Senate: An Insider's History, published in 2013, a history of Senate rules and customs.

Education[edit]

Baker graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and received masters degrees from Columbia University and Michigan State University. He also obtained a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Historical Minutes[edit]

During the weekly luncheon meetings of the Democratic Caucus of the United States Senate, Baker opened up with a brief [1] historical anecdote or minute. These short essays were wide-ranging in topic and highlight recurring themes in the Senate's institutional development. This program, at the request of Minority Leader Reid, was discontinued in the 109th Congress, in order to make the meetings more efficient, but Leader Reid ordered it resumed six months later. In 2009, at the time of Baker's retirement, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell initiated a similar program for his party's members. Both Democratic and Republican programs are currently active, relying on presentations by the Senate's Historian and Associate Historian.

Authorship[edit]

  • "Conservation Politics: The Senate Career of Clinton P. Anderson" (1985)
  • "The Senate of the United States: A Bicentennial History" (1988)
  • "First Among Equals: Outstanding Senate Leaders of the Twentieth Century" (1991) (coeditor)
  • "200 Notable Days: Senate Stories 1787 to 2002" (2006) [2]
  • "The American Senate: An Insider's History" co-authored with Neil MacNeil (2013)

External links[edit]