Take me back to the Oral History landing page.


Hal Smith - General Interest

Hal Smith began working for Senator Charles Percy in 1977 as his downstate representative doing constituent services and assisting with the Senator's travel and event planning in Illinois. Smith admired Percy deeply, and shared many stories about the senator and his experiences with Percy. Smith stayed in that position until Percy was defeated for reelection in 1984 by Paul Simon. After Smith spent many years in the private sector, much of it doing consulting work on state lottery systems, he returned to the political arena in 2016 to work for Congressman Darin LaHood.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Percy's Last Campaign

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Hal Smith's early life and education

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

College years and early experiences with Sen. Charles Percy

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

The Senator Percy years through 1983

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

Percy’s 1984 election, intervening years and work with Cong. Darin LaHood

Photos

Caption

Two ‘Percy for Senator’ buttons. These are from Senator Percy’s 1966 Senate race.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1966

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Hal and family members met Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the passenger in the car, in August 1967 near the east steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the photo are Bill, Hal and Sharon Smith. Betty Smith, Hal’s mother, took the photo.

Where:

U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

When:

August 1967

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Hal Smith and family members met Robert F. Kennedy, the passenger in the car, in August 1967 near the east steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Hal and his sister Sharon are getting autographs while Hal’s father Bill is approaching the car.

Where:

U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

When:

August 1967

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

A young Hal Smith in 1975, during his second visit to Washington, D.C. to visit his friend Mike Johnson, who was a speechwriter for President Gerald Ford.

Where:

Washington, D.C.

When:

1975

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

In 1978 Hal drove Mark Percy (the Senator’s son) in his car during the Illinois State Fair parade. Hal’s niece Carla joined in on the fun during the fair parade.

Where:

Illinois State Fair parade

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Hal Smith met with Senator Percy in his U.S. Senate office in 1978, early during Smith’s tenure with Senator Percy.

Where:

U.S. Senate office

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Senator Percy sent this autographed photo to Bill and Betty Smith, Hal’s parents. Percy used his official U.S. Senate photograph, taken in the late 1970s.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Late 1970s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Hal Smith sits next to Bill Morris, the mayor of Waukegan, while Morris announced receiving an urban development action grant from HUD in 1980. The grant helped the town build a new shopping center.

Where:

Waukegan, Illinois

When:

1980

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Senator Percy was in Springfield, IL in the summer of 1981 to throw out the first pitch at a Springfield Redbirds (AAA team) baseball game. Gary Rowe (press secretary), John Wallenstein (promotions manager) and Hal Smith joined Percy for the event.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1981

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Senator Percy was enjoying the Springfield Redbirds game in 1981 with Hal’s niece, Carla Gasparin Fitzgerald.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1981

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Hal Smith and Senator Percy talk over some details while Percy is getting ready to talk to the media in Cairo, Illinois in 1982. Percy was announcing that he had visited all 102 counties in the last four years.

Where:

Cairo, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Hal Smith’s family took this photo with Senator Percy on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1982. Hal, Sharon, Sen. Percy and Carla in front, with Patrick Hibbs, Hal’s ‘little brother’ from the Big Brothers program, and parents Betty and Bill in the back.

Where:

U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

When:

1982

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Hal with Senator Percy. Senator Percy stayed all night at Hal’s home in 1983, and this image depicts the two having breakfast at 6:00 in the morning. Percy was enjoying his typical breakfast, Raisin Brans and prunes.

Where:

Hal's home

When:

1983

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan helped raise $1.1 million for Senator Percy’s reelection campaign at a fund-raising dinner at a downtown Chicago hotel.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1983

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Senator Percy, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with Egyptian government and embassy officials during a visit to Egypt in the early 1980s. The street cleaning truck in the background was manufactured in Elgin, Illinois.

Where:

Egypt

When:

Early 1980s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Hal and his wife Meg joined Senator Percy’s campaign team during a primary night victory celebration at the Chicago Hyatt Regency in early 1984. This was the last election Senator Percy won.

Where:

Chicago Hyatt Regency

When:

Early 1984

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

An example of Senator Chuck Percy’s 1984 campaign literature. His slogan was ‘Chuck Percy – The Illinois Advantage.’

Where:

Unknown

When:

1984

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Senators Alan Dixon and Chuck Percy both helped obtain a HUD grant for the Pope John Paul Apartments in Springfield, Illinois. Hal Smith found this sign during the 1984 campaign when Percy visited its residents.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1984

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

President Reagan was in town in October 1984 to campaign for Sen. Chuck Percy’s last Senate election. They are front of the IL State capitol, with Percy next to Reagan, Henry Hyde behind Nancy, and Gov. Thompson behind Reagan. Hal is in the bottom left.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

October 1984

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Senator Percy wrote this note to Hal’s stepson David after the Senator’s visit to their Springfield home. David gave him a tour of the home and let the Senator sleep in his room. The soap in question had a St. Louis Cardinals logo embedded in it.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Hal Smith visited former Senator Percy at his Georgetown, D.C. home in 1990. Percy was helping Fortune 50 U.S. companies do business overseas at the time of their visit.

Where:

Georgetown, D.C.

When:

1990

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

A delegation from Springfield’s Chamber of Congress met with Senator Dick Durbin in his U.S. Senate office in 2019. The group included Smith (front right), Senator Durbin, Mayor Langfelder, and several other leaders from the Springfield community.

Where:

U.S. Senate office

When:

2019

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.



Social Links