Vicky Schuck Interns: In Their Own Words
Watch four former Schuck interns, who shared their experiences last fall in preparation for the College’s Women Leading in Public Service Summit.
Most Memorable Experience
In 1986—in preparation for the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Victoria Schuck Internship Program—a questionnaire was sent out to all former MHC interns. Nearly two hundred alumnae returned the questionnaire, representing class years from the 1950s through the 1980s. Of the alumnae who responded, twenty-five reported they had relocated to Washington, DC, solely because of their internship experience.
The following are excerpts taken from the questionnaire:
The day I went to talk with [Wisconsin] senator Joe McCarthy—a most negative experience. [McCarthy led an anti-Communist crusade during the Red Scare because he claimed to have a list of the members of the Community Party employed by the government.]
Attending Congress during the censure of McCarthy.
Worked on a proceeding to fire a professional who accused her superior of being a communist.
It was the summer that the young Senator from Massachusetts, John Kennedy, made his speech on Algeria, and I was in the Senate Gallery to hear it. Hawaii desired Statehood and delivered a huge scroll to Washington with the names of citizens to be.
The atomic energy filibuster. [After a continuous session of 85 hours and 48 minutes, senate called a recess on the filibuster led by opponents of the administration’s atomic energy bill.]
The excitement of participating in setting up a small significant organization (the Peace Corps).
While sitting in Pierre Salinger’s office with other MHC interns, President John F. Kennedy unexpectedly walked in. After learning who we were, his greeting was crisp and clear, “Be sure to give my regards to Vicky Schuck.”
The 1963 Civil Rights Hearings. [Multiple civil rights demonstrations to protest segregation and the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, along with other events culminated to Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.]
First encounter with President [Lyndon B.] Johnson. . . . One day [special assistant to the President] Jack Valenti (with whom I had done some work) and the president were walking through the Rose Garden. As I approached and said, “Hi” to Jack, the president stretched out his hand and said, ‘Hi, my name is Lyndon Johnson.” One of the White House calligraphers was so amused by the story that he later presented me with a caricature of the incident.
Hearing a speech by Representative Gerald Ford that I had written.
Attending the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the Capitol Rotunda. [President Johnson signed the law into act to prohibit racial discrimination in voting.]
A ride on Air Force One to the Johnson ranch.
Going to the Woodstock rock concert with other interns.
Attending Watergate hearings.
Being on Capitol Hill during the summer of ’74 when impeachment hearings were held and President [Richard Nixon] resigned.
Working for and passing daily people I had seen in the new: Pat Buchanan, Bill Safire, Henry Kissinger, Pat Moynihan, Arthur Burns . . . Dinner and a movie in the family quarters for all White House interns, hosted by the Nixon family . . . Seeing the results of my research in presidential speeches and proclamations.
Having my internship sponsor (Common Cause) listed on the White House “Enemies List.” [Known as Nixon’s Enemies List, a list of the Presidents major political opponents.]
Working at Refugee Bureau, State Department during Lebanon crisis. [1982 marked the beginning of the Lebanon War.]
I was sent as sole passenger on Air Force Two (Vice President George H. W. Bush’s airplane) to LA for a weekend in order to escort the Japanese Minister of Defense for a meeting with [Caspar] Weinberger [Secretary of Defense] in DC.
Putting together a list of potential women candidates for 85/85 state and federal elections.
—By Nicole Villacres ’18
April 13, 2016