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Dennis Hastert - Legislators Project

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House from 1999 to 2007, began his political career in the Illinois state legislature in 1981. Hastert began his adult life as a teacher at Yorkville high school, and gaining notoriety not by paying his dues in local politics, but due to his very successful stint as a high school wrestling coach. In 1980 he was the surprise victor in an election for the Illinois House. Once in Springfield, he quickly earned the reputation as a legislator who could get things done. This interview concludes with Hastert' discussing his 1986 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. The interview is part of a joint venture with the U.S. House of Representatives historians.

Speaker Hastert was sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison in April, 2016 for incidents of child molestation that occurred in the 1970s while Hastert was a high school wrestling coach at Yorkville, Illinois.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt 01

The Pit

Feature Excerpt 02

Madigan Eating an Apple

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Growing up in small town Illinois, and Hastert’s teaching and coaching caree

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Election to the IL legislature in 1980, and early years in IL House

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Hastert’s years in IL legislature and 1986 election to U.S. Congress


Photos

Caption

Dennis Hastert while he served in the Illinois state legislature.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Handprint at Oswego High School which Hastert made circa 2007/08 in recognition of his achievement, becoming the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Where:

Oswego High School

When:

Circa 2007/08

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gene Rennels, mayor of West Chicago, Dennis Hastert, Governor Jim Thompson, and Don Hensel are addressing the issue of thorium removal in West Chicago shortly before Hastert went from the Illinois legislature to the U.S. Congress in 1987.

Where:

West Chicago, Illinois

When:

1987

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The Hastert family’s 1988 Christmas, taken in the backyard of their home in rural Yorkville, Illinois.

Where:

Yorkville, Illinois

When:

1988

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Hastert family in Dennis’ Springfield legislative office in 1985. In front are Josh, Jean and Ethan.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1985

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Hastert talking to fellow legislator Harry ‘Babe’ Woodyard on the House floor circa 1984. Woodyard represented a district from east central Illinois.

Where:

House floor, Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1984

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Representatives Hastert and Suzanne Deuchler confer on the floor of the Illinois House, circa 1984.

Where:

Illinois House, Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1984

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Representative Hastert makes his point during a House session circa 1984.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1984

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dennis Hastert at work in Illinois House of Representatives chamber circa 1984.

Where:

Illinois House of Representatives, Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1984

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

In November, 1985 Yorkville High School students and administrators honored Coach Hastert with this certificate, recognizing his success as a wrestling coach, highlighted by his 1976 championship year.

Where:

Yorkville High School

When:

November, 1985

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

While a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, Coach Hastert led his team to the state tournament every year from 1974 through 1980, the year he became a state legislator.

Where:

Yorkville High School

When:

1974-1980

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Twenty year old Dennis Hastert was a proud member of the Wheaton College wrestling team circa 1962. Hastert wrestled as a heavyweight.

Where:

Wheaton College

When:

Circa 1962

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

One of the Hastert family’s Christmas cards during his years in the Illinois State Legislature. Family photos with a distinctive backdrop would soon become a Christmas tradition for the family.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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