Bob Dole sitting with constituents
Exhibit Introduction

Voices from the Big First

In 1961, Kansas, with the rest of the United States, found itself at a political, social, and cultural crossroads. Featuring a selection of constituent letters written to then-Congressman Bob Dole from the collections of the Dole Archives, this original offers a window into the hopes and fears of everyday Kansans as they responded to change at home and conflict abroad.

Exhibit by Dole Institute of Politics
Bob Dole with staff
Congressman Dole represented Kansas’ 6th district – counties in the northwest and northcentral parts of the state during his first term. After district consolidation due to population loss, beginning in 1962, he represented the western half of the state: 58 of 105 Kansas counties, predominately rural, which became known as the “Big First” district. With a few additions, the district – and its moniker – survive today.

The Dole Archives

"The Dole Archives is a trove of historical resources that reflects not just the careers of Bob and Elizabeth Dole, but the ‘face of the nation’ at any given point in the last half of the 20th century,” said Associate Director and Director of Museum and Archives Audrey Coleman. “We’ve long been curious to learn more about Congressman Dole’s experience representing western Kansas in the 1960s and are excited to share examples of the issues and conversations of the day.

Voices from the Big First cover photo
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Voices from the Big First

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Voices from the Big First, 1961-1968

The full exhibit is on display at
The Dole Institute of Politics
2350 Petefish Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
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All photos and content are property of the Robert J. Dole Insitute of Politics. Please contact the Robert J. Dole Insitute of Politics for more information.
Presented by:
Humanities Kansas Robert J. Dole Insitute of Politics - University of Kansas