Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 084


Janet Dennis was born to Clemenza Rowlandson Sullivan and William Aloysius Sullivan on September 5, 1945 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Her father was a postal inspector for the U.S. Post Office and he was raised in a Democratic family. She was raised in a Republican family in Waterville, Maine, where her mother was a schoolteacher in parochial schools. She was the youngest of five children. She attended Thomas College for secretarial services. After that, she was Senator Muskie’s secretary in Washington for one year beginning in May of 1965. She worked as a Senate Office manager for Senator Muskie in Waterville and Augusta. Janet also did senatorial work for the Senate Public Works Committee in the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution under Leon Billings until May of 1970. She married Richard Hollis Dennis, Jr.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Waterville, Maine and Kennebec County; Waterville mills: Scott Paper Company, Hathaway Shirt, Keyes Fiber, Winedot Wollen Mill; Oakland Mills: Cascade Woolen Mill and Diamond International; Colby College; Thomas College; Catholicism in Waterville; University of Maine at Orono; Washington, D.C.; Early stages of Capitol police force; Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution; Federal Housing Project; Farmer’s Home project; Muskie’s environmental contributions; William Loeb’s attack on Jane Muskie; Kennebec River; Iran hostage crisis; Lakewood Theater, Skowhegan; and Lebanese population.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.