October 29, 2022 | Last updated May 15, 2023

A Reflective View by George W. Norris

Defeated in the 1942 election for a sixth term in the United States Senate, George W. Norris, by the provisions of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution for which he was largely responsible, left public office on January 3, 1943. In this letter of January 5, 1943, to his close friend and recent campaign manager, James E. Lawrence, editor of The Lincoln Star, Norris tells of his decision, despite his defeat, to return and spend his remaining days among the people from whence he came. In relating his decision to return to McCook, Norris recalls in nostalgic terms that reach at times a level of poetic intensity the impact and meaning of the Nebraska experience for him.

This letter, found in the voluminous collection of Norris material in the Library of Congress, is quite unusual in that most of his correspondence deals with matters and problems that were current at the time he was writing. Rarely as a public official did he have time to reflect and probe the essential meaning of an experience as he does in this letter.

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