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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”