“Boss of the Waterfront:”
Wayne Morse and Labor Arbitration
Morse began his long and distinguished career in education, labor
relations, and politics at the University of Oregon, where he was
appointed Dean of the Law School at age thirty-one. He went on to
serve the State of Oregon as a U.S. Senator of wide renown and influence
from 1944 to 1968.
In November 1958 Senator Wayne Morse shipped some twenty-five boxes
of his personal and pre-Senatorial papers to the University of Oregon
Library. In May 1973 he sent the remainder of his personal papers and
all of his Senatorial papers to the Library from Washington, D.C., where
they had been stored in the Federal Records Center. The collection,
measuring over 1,200 linear feet, is currently the largest in the University
of Oregon Knight Library. For students and scholars of political and
labor history, the Wayne Morse papers constitute the most important
collection in the Library. The length of Senator Morse's tenure, the
breadth of his service, and his membership on important committees constitute
the great value of these papers.
Although best known for his vigorous defense of unpopular positions—his
stance against the Vietnam War, for example-perhaps Wayne Morse's most
important contribution was his ardent and meticulous work in the arena
of labor relations. His expertise and his great facility for bridging
and resolving issues between labor and management made him an influential
and successful arbitrator.
The Wayne Morse papers housed in Special Collections at the University
of Oregon Knight Library offer a detailed record of the man and
his activities in labor and politics. These papers form the basis
of this exhibition focusing on Wayne Morse as a labor arbitrator.
We would like to thank all those who helped to make this exhibit possible:
Linda Long, Manuscripts Librarian in Special Collections, coordinated
the exhibit production and installation; David Cecil, UO graduate student
in History, researched and wrote the text; Cristian Boboia and Tony
Michaels in Graphic Arts, and Fine Arts undergraduate student Amanda
Garcia, assisted with the exhibit preparation and design. Satoru Ukai,
undergraduate in Computer and Information Science, designed the online
special thanks are due to Margaret Hallock, Director of the Wayne
Morse Center for Law and Politics, for her generous support of this
exhibit, and to Cheri Brooks and Kim O'Brien, also of the Morse
Center. We are most grateful for the Wayne Morse Center Grant, which
funded this exhibit.
of Oregon Librarian