Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 252


Gaylord Anton Nelson was born in Clear Lake, Polk County, Wisconsin on June 4, 1916. He served in the Army in World War II, then went to Madison, Wisconsin to practice law. After serving two terms as governor in Wisconsin (1959-1962), he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 1963 and served in that capacity until January 1981. He served on the Interior Committee, the Public Works Committee, the Small Businesses Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Labor Subcommittee. There he became interested in issues concerning the environment, and is credited with founding Earth Day in 1970. He opposed the Vietnam War. He later worked with the National Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. He passed away July 3, 2005.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Public Works Committee; environmental legislation; Vietnam; 1968 vice presidential campaign; 1972 presidential campaign; and Earth Day.

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.