Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 060


Joan (Williams) Arnold was born in Augusta, Maine on January 1, 1932. Her parents were Marie (Simpson), a housewife and Joseph P. Williams, a contractor. Joan’s childhood was fairly political, her father being an active Democrat in the Augusta area. After graduating from Cony High School, Joan went on to LaSalle Junior College in Newton, Massachusetts, graduating in
1951. She worked for General Motors as a secretary for a few years, and then found herself back in Augusta in 1954 as a secretary in Governor Ed Muskie’s office. She left the Capitol in 1957 when she married Bill Arnold and moved to Waterville. She filled in occasionally in Muskie’s Waterville Senate offices when he became Senator. She returned to Augusta in the early 1980s as a legislative staffer before retiring.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Augusta in the 1930s and 1940s; financial situations around World War II; Arnold aspiring to be a secretary; getting involved with the Democratic Party; getting hired to work for Governor Muskie; Muskie’s Gubernatorial offices; issues in Augusta from 1954-1957; Muskie’s temper; scheduling appointments with the Governor; Marjorie Hutchinson; Muskie’s relationship with Maury Williams; Muskie’s relationship with the rest of his staff; Floyd Nute; Muskie requesting Dave Stevens and Dick McMahon in his office on a regular basis; State House atmosphere, 1954-1957; Ed Muskie’s temperament before and after Executive Council meetings; Muskie’s re-election in 1956; Muskie’s campaign against Bill Trafton; Maine Legislature in the 1980s; comparison between the 1950s and the 1980s; personal relationship with the Muskie family; Humphrey-Muskie; and sitting in the Waterville hotel room waiting for Vice-Presidential returns to come in.

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.