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Floyd Fithian papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 1

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the congressional files of U.S. House Representative Floyd J. Fithian. The papers cover a wide variety of subjects, but are particularly rich in the history of environmental awareness in the United States. Please see PDF Finding Aid for collection inventory. Please note that although the collection is open and available for research use, the collection has been minimally processed so an archivist's review of each box will be needed prior to providing access.


  • Other: Majority of material found in 1970s-1980s
  • Other: Date acquired: 04/02/1983


Conditions Governing Access

This is a minimally processed collection, so the boxes will be reviewed before patrons are allowed access.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research, following archivist's review. Copyright transferred to Purdue University by Fithian per deed of gift, 1983.

Biographical Information

Floyd James Fithian, farmer, author, teacher, professor, naval officer, and congressman, was born in Vesta, Johnson County, Nebraska on November 3, 1928. He graduated from Vesta High School in 1947 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Peru State College in 1951. He continued his education and received his Master of Arts in history in 1955 and a PhD in history in 1964 from the University of Nebraska. While engaged in his studies Fithian taught history in California from 1955 to 1959 and later briefly at Nebraska Wesleyan University. From 1964 to 1974 he was an associate professor of history at Purdue University.

Fithain also served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955 and the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1955 to 1971. Fithian retired with the rank of Commander in 1971.

In 1971, Fithian turned his attention to politics. He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress in 1972, but won election in Indiana’s Second Congressional District in 1974 to the 94th Congress. Fithian was re-elected to Congress multiple times, serving from 1975-1983. During his years in the United States Congress he served on the Small Business, Government Operations, Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture Committees. In 1983 Fithian was an unsuccessful candidate for Senate, where he was defeated by Richard Lugar. After leaving Congress he was appointed to the post of Finance Director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee from 1983 to 1984. Fithian then became the Chief of Staff for Senator Paul Simon of Illinois from 1985 through 1996. He became President of the Indiana Council for Social Studies and later board secretary of the Farm Credit Administration during the 1990s. Congressman Fithian is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.


155 Cubic Feet (155 Cubic foot boxes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The papers are in order as transferred to the Karnes Archives by Floyd Fithian's office.

Custodial History

Prior to 1983 the collection was stored by the Federal Archives and Records Center in Maryland. It was later transferred to Purdue per Fithian's request in a letter dated Dec 20, 1982.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Floyd Fithian

Method of Acquisition

Transferred from the Federal Archives and Records Center, General Services Administration in Maryland to the Purdue Archives and Special Collections per Floyd Fithian's request.

Revision Statement

Boxes were renumbered on 10/26/2017. See inventory showing old and new box numbers here:
Finding Aid to the Floyd Fithian Papers
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Revised 10/26/2017

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States