Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Mike Richard

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 117


Charles “Charlie” Jacobs was born on May 10, 1948 in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. His parents, Isabelle and Stephen Jacobs, were both teachers. He lived mainly in Buxton, Maine until the age of ten, and then his family moved to Bethel, Maine. There, he graduated from Gould Academy. He then went on to the University of Maine at Orono, graduating in 1971. At Orono, Jacobs became politically active, joining the student government, and supporting Eugene McCarthy in 1968. After graduation, he went to work in Augusta in Governor Ken Curtis’ office. He then ran for the Governor’s Council, and served on that until it was abolished in 1976. He then worked on Ed Muskie’s 1976 Senate campaign, and became a Washington staffer shortly after that. He stayed in Washington until 1979, when he moved to the Lewiston, Maine Senate office. When George Mitchell assumed Muskie’s seat, Johnson returned to Washington, where he remained until early 1984. He then went to work for the Public Utilities Commission, staying there for eleven years. At the time of the interview, he was deputy commissioner of administrative and financial services in the Angus King administration.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: living in various small Maine towns; McCarthy campaign; political scene at the University of Maine, Orono 1968-1971; organizing for McCarthy in Maine; Bobby Kennedy; 1968 Maine Democratic Convention; war demonstrations at UMO; career history; leaving law school; Elmer Violette’s campaign; working for Ken Curtis; Curtis staff; transition to the Governor’s Council; James Longley; Curtis’ relationship with the Republican house; driving Muskie in the 1976 campaign; Muskie’s temper; contrast between Augusta and Washington; Major Senate debates; Muskie’s treatment of the minority party; Muskie’s non- partisanship; Madeleine Albright; Gayle Cory; press reports surrounding the possible 1976 Vice Presidential nomination; Muskie’s move to Secretary of State; Johnson’s family; transition to the Mitchell office; working at the PUC; energy crises in the1980s; change in the Maine legislature from the 1970s; working in the Angus King administration; and his wife’s role in politics.

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.