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.


Maiden Speech

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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