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Milepost to Self-Government Oral History Project

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: OHP013
Milepost to Self-Government Oral History Project in Dig DC
Milepost to Self-Government Oral History Project in Dig DC

Scope and Contents

On February 27, 1993, the Washingtoniana Division held a public panel entitled “Milestone on the Road to Self-Government” at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The panel was part of the 20th Annual Conference on Washington, D.C. Historical Studies. Panelists included John Bonner Duncan, Walter E. Washington, John Hechinger, and Charles Horsky, prominent D.C. politicians who played key roles in D.C.’s transition from the three-commissioner-led government to home rule in 1973. The panel was recorded and a separate interview was conducted in 1993 with Hechinger in which he reflects on his life, business, race relations, and his role as D.C.’s first Chairman of the City Council. The latter was part of a planned post-WWII Washington documentation project led by the Washingtoniana Division and the D.C. Archives and Records Center. The two sets of recordings were later combined into a single oral history project focused on documenting and interpreting the political development of a major metropolitan community since the end of World War II. The project includes audio recordings and transcripts of a panel discussion of the transition to home rule and a follow-up interview with one of the panelists. Topics include the formation of the D.C. city government, D.C.’s relationship with the federal government, the roles of interviewees in business and government, and race relations.


  • Creation: 1993


Conditions Governing Use

The Library holds copyright for items in this collection with a signed release. There are no restrictions on the use of these collection materials. Reproduction of an oral history without a signed release is not permitted.

Biographical / Historical

The D.C. Public Library was founded in 1896 by an act of Congress "to furnish books and other printed matter and information service convenient to the homes and offices of all residents of the District."


0.75 Linear feet

2 Boxes

Language of Materials



Series 1: Transcripts Scope and Contents
Materials in this series include transcripts of the panel discussion and interview. There is no transcript for 12-03.

Series 2: Interviews Scope and Contents
Materials in this series include master and patron copies of the panel discussion and interviews on audio cassette.

Custodial History

The DC Public Library conducted these interviews and panel discussion as a part of the Annual Conference of Washington D.C. Historical Studies Conference in 1993. Tapes and transcripts were officially transferred to the Washingtoniana Division shortly after thier completion. There is no transfer documentation between Library departments.

Processing Information

After transfer to the Washingtoniana Division, tapes were duplicated by the Library with use copies being placed a cabinet, while the originals were placed into off-site cold storage. Transcripts for the panel discussion and interview have been bound and cataloged into the Washingtoniana book collection. In 2014, the tapes and transcripts were digitized and in 2017 the collection was reprocessed. Copies of the transcripts were placed into folders and boxed. Audio cassette tapes were arranged and boxed for long term storage. All administrative documents, including releases, were placed into the control file.

Milepost to Self-Government Oral History Project
An inventory of Milepost to Self-Government Oral History Project at DC Public Library
DC Public Library, Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001