Senator Inouye’s speeches are like a timeline of historical events. Watch historical video or read transcripts to gain a better understanding of the man, his beliefs, and the cultural and political climate of his time.
January 31, 1963
Senator Inouye’s maiden speech delivered to the Senate.
Democratic National Convention Keynote Address
August 26, 1968 –Chicago, Illinois
As the first person of color to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, Inouye wasn’t afraid to speak about the lingering racism in America or what he called the “immorality” of the Vietnam War.
Watergate Hearings Opening Statement
May 17, 1973
Inouye won national esteem during 1973’s Watergate hearings as a leading member of the Senate Select Committee that investigated the scandal which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Senator Daniel Inouye & Family: Watergate Changed his Life
November 11, 1973
An article in Parade Magazine describes Watergate as changing the life of Inouye and his family when the senator was thrust into the national spotlight, becoming widely known for his honesty and decency.
McKinley High School Commencement
June 01, 1975
On the eve of the country’s Bicentennial, and in the shadow cast by the Watergate scandal, Inouye addresses graduating seniors from his alma mater on the importance of “loving our country enough to bear with its mistakes and change it for the better.”
Democrats — There is a Difference
May 29, 1976 –Hawaii Democratic National Convention, Sheraton Waikiki
Inouye speaks to the Hawaii Democratic State Convention, making the case that there are big differences between the Democratic and Republican political parties.
A Democrat to Watch by George Will
January 05, 1981 –Published in Newsweek
In a Newsweek article published in 1981, George Will talks about a “new” kind of Democrat as embodied in Daniel Inouye: “The least ruffled spirit in Washington” and “the sort of man who can rehab the Democratic Party.”
Regarding Aid to the Contras – from the Congressional Record
March 27, 1986
Joining in the debate over aid to the Contras, Inouye explores the parallels that exist between U.S. involvement in Nicaragua and other countries, especially Vietnam.
Oahu Conference on Immigrants & Refugees
September 05, 1986
In defense of an open immigration policy, Inouye reminds people that this is a nation of immigrants, many of whom have sacrificed their own lives to defend their adopted land.
North Encounters a Real Hero in Inouye
July 09, 1987 –Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune
In this Chicago Tribune commentary, Inouye is commended for giving Oliver North a rather stern lecture for not trusting members of Congress with information about what was really going on at the White House and the Pentagon.
Iran-Contra Hearings Closing Statement
August 03, 1987
Inouye chaired the Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition (1987-1989). During the hearings, Inouye criticized Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North’s justification that the means justify the ends, stating that, “We are still a nation of laws.” This is the closing statement from the historic hearings.
Testimony Before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs on the Filipino Veterans Equity Act
July 25, 1997 –Washington, D.C.
In this testimony, Inouye seeks to keep a promise America made to Filipino veterans of World War II — citizenship and equitable treatment.
Speech Recalls December 7th
December 02, 2002
On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, Inouye reflects on the “spirit of America” as depicted in the six million volunteers who found different ways to serve their country. A similar spirit following the September 11th attacks.
Healthcare Association of Hawaii
October 20, 2010 –Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
Inouye supports President Obama’s landmark Health Care Reform, claiming that “we will no longer be the only industrialized nation in the world to not ensure all citizens have timely access to health care.”
National Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
NOVEMBER 11, 2010 – YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
Inouye acknowledges the collective impact of APEC since its founding and describes Hawaii as an appropriate host for the 2011 meeting because of the state’s multiculturalism and proximity to Asia.