Illinois Secretary of State Speeches, 1967, 1972-1980


Illinois Secretary of State Speeches, 1967, 1972-1980


Illinois Secretary of State


Speeches, 1967, 1972-1980


2.50 linear feet (2 archival boxes)


In charge of licensing of drivers and registration of all motor vehicles in the state, the state librarian and head of the Illinois State Library, issues charters and certificates of authority to corporations, registers all security dealers, brokers agents and solicitors, responsible for the care and maintenance of the state capitol and compiles and distributes election data. This has been an elected position since 1848. Paul Powell was first elected to this office in 1964 and prior to that had been active in state government since 1934 when he was first elected to the House of Representatives. Many of the laws that he worked to enact were related to drivers licensing such as requiring completion of a driver’s education class for all 16 or 17 year old applicants, re-testing every nine years and notification of drivers thirty days before license expiration. He was also responsible for the network of Public Library Systems in the state. John W. Lewis was appointed, by Governor Ogilvie, to fill Powell’s position when he died in 1970 and served only those two years.


Michael Howlett was elected to the office in 1972 after having served as auditor of Public Accounts since 1961. He had a broad knowledge of state government and was frequently asked to speak which he did quite often on subjects such as water pollution, constitutional revision, pornography and law and order.


Before being elected to the Secretary of State position in 1976, Alan Dixon had already served in the legislative and judicial branches. He had been elected as police magistrate in Belleville, Illinois at the age of 21, had served in the state legislature for twelve years as a representative and eight years as a senator and had been the State Treasurer for six years. In his six years as Secretary of State he was responsible for the change to multi-year license plates, photo driver’s license and identification and a new security title that helped combat car theft. He also worked for legislation to eliminate “chop shops”.


Copies of speeches by Powell, Lewis, Howlett andDixon. Include rough drafts and cue statements. The only Powell speech is one given in May 1967 following a tornado in Belvedere, Illinois that killed 23 people. Lewis’s speeches are given before various civic organizations and deal with topics as crime, law, and order and safety. Howlett spoke before many local Democratic groups, Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations, high schools, men’s and women’s clubs, union groups and other state agency groups. He spoke on various topics including strengthening the Democratic Party, government and fiscal responsibility, high school driver’s education, support for the president and safety. Dixon spoke to these same kinds of civic groups including religious organizations, chamber of commerce, university organizations and automobile dealers. He spoke on safety, crime, law and order, fiscal responsibility, and “chop shop”.


Access:            Open for Research


Acc. No:          85-31


Processed by:  Connie Butts, October 2001

                                                                Illinois Secretary of State                                       Page 2.

                                                                        Container List


Box     Folder


1          1          Paul Powell Speech, May 12, 1967

            2          Lewis Speeches, July-November 1972


                        Howlett Speeches

            3          February 1973

            4          March 1973

            5          April 1973

            6-7       May 1973

            8          June 1-June 19, 1973

            9          June 22-December 31, 1973

            10        January-July 1975


                        Dixon Speeches

            11        February-May 1977

            12        June 1977

            13        July-September 1977

            14        October 1977

            15        November-December 1977

            16        January-March 1978

            17        March-June 1978


2          1          June-September 1978

            2          October 1978

            3          January-February 1979

            4          March-April 1979

            6          June-July 1979

            7          September-October 1979

            8          October 1979

            9          November-December 1979

            10        January-February 1980

            11        April-May 1980

            12        May 1980

            13        June 1980

            14        July-August 1980

            15        September-October 1980



“Illinois Secretary of State Speeches, 1967, 1972-1980,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed May 25, 2019,