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Paula Hawkins Collection  United States Senator and Winter Park citizen

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 24th 1927, Paula Hawkins became the first female U. S. Senator form the State of Florida. She was probably best known for her tenacious fight for the welfare of children and families and for
authoring the legislation that established the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Married for over 60 years to her husband, Gene, she was also a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She died on December 4, 2009 at the age of 82 years.

The Paula Hawkins Collection is a part of our Winter Park History and Archives Digitized Collections.  The main emphasis of the Paula Hawkins Collection is her service in the United States Senate.  Included is correspondence from various political figures (state and national), records of her legislative activities, letters, ephemera, photographs, awards, and materials from her various senatorial campaigns.  The Collection measures 294 cubic feet.

The majority of the materials were generated by Hawkins (from her official and public duties and business), and can provide the researcher with both a survey of Florida's political environment in the 1970's and 1980's, and a profile of Senator Hawkins as a politician.

On a broader scale, the Collection contains a look into the activities and issues that were of interest to the Florida Congressional Delegation during Senator Hawkins' terms in the Senate (1980 - 1987).  Issues include the Cross-Florida Barge Canal, immigration, the citrus industry/agriculture, foreign trade, and illegal drugs.

In summary, the Collection contains, when used in conjunction with other sources (papers of political and historically important figures), a comprehensive picture of Florida's political climate during a period of political conservatism and reemergence of the Republican Party in state politics.

A guide to this Collection is available here.

The following photographs and other images are from the Collection.



Senator Hawkins and Mr. Gene Hawkins


Campaign event.

  Letter from President Reagan
to Senator Hawkins.

September 10, 1982

Letter asking for the Senator's support for one of his initiatives.


Senator Hawkins, Mr. Gene Hawkins, President Reagan, and Nancy Reagan.


Campaign event.


Christmas card:
From Vice President George Bush & his wife Barbara, shown seated in the Vice President's Room, located just off the Senate floor in the U.S. Capitol.


Greeting: Merry Christmas and a Peaceful 1984


Senator Paula Hawkins, her husband & family, and Walter Mondale.


Swearing-in ceremony.

  Nameplate and greeting

June 21, 1982

Greeting: Mrs. Reagan thought you would like the enclosed as a memento of the Ladies of the Senate Luncheon.



Children & grandchildren of Senator Hawkins.


Swearing-in day.

  Christmas card:
"Red Room at the White House"


Greeting: The President and Mrs. Reagan extend to you their best wishes for a joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Diagram / map for inaugural ceremonies.


United States Capitol grounds


  Handwritten notes


Notes written while aboard Air Force One.

Inaugural program


Inauguration Ceremonies Program

  Booklet: Communique on Fulfilment of Shanghai's 1981 Economic and Social Development Plan (sic)

May 26, 1982

Provided by the Municipal Statistical Bureau of Shanghai.



Senator Paula Hawkins, U.S. Senate (Florida)

Senator Paula Hawkins was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican in 1980, sworn in on January 3, 1981, and served until January 3, 1987.


  Program for the Visit of U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins and Mr. Eugene Hawkins to the Republic of China

August 30 - September 4, 1981

Program and schedule

The ladies of the Senate


Senate chamber & the female senators.

  Welcome folder:
American Embassy - Canberra Commonwealth of Australia Briefing Paper for U.S. Visitors


Program and information package.

Schedule for the day

December 1, 1980

Senator Hawkins' first schedule as a Senator.

  Senator Hawkins sitting amidst her mail.


Senator Hawkins in her office.

President Reagan & Senators at the White House

April 7, 1983

1980 class breakfast at the White House

  Letter from the U.S. Committee for the U.N. Fund for Women, Inc.

August 20, 1985

Invitation to Senator Hawkins to serve as a member of their honorary committee at a reception.


Ronald W. Reagan

Ronald W. Reagan was elected President of the United Stated as a Republican in 1980 and and again in 1984. President Reagan gave this photograph to Senator Hawkins for her support during his campaigns. 

  Fact sheet: Senate Bill S. 2014

October 27, 1983

Probably the best known of all her work in Congress, the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1983 was co-sponsored by Senator Hawkins and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.



First Lady Nancy Reagan & Senator Hawkins

February 6, 1985

At the capitol

  President Ronald Reagan and Senator Hawkins.


A conversation at the White House.


Gerald R. Ford (1913- 2006)

After Richard M. Nixon resigned as President on August 9, 1974, Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office as the 38th President. President Ford expressed his appreciation for Senator Hawkins' support with this photograph.



Representative Claude Pepper, Senator Paula Hawkins, President Ronald Reagan
November 1983

In this photograph are (left to right) Representative Claude Pepper (Democrat - Miami); Senator Paula Hawkins (Republican - Winter Park); and President Ronald Reagan.


Senator Hawkins, her daughter Genean, and Gerald Ford.

Date unknown.

Event at White House.


Commemorative Swearing-in Invitation

The Commemorative Invitation commemorates the official swearing-in ceremony of President Ronald Reagan held on Sunday, January 20, 1985.  As the invitation states, this was only the sixth time that the date of a Presidential Inaugural fell on a Sunday, with the public swearing-in ceremony taking place on Monday, January 21, 1985.



Magazine article:
A Tale of Two Cities: U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins and Homebody Hubby Gene


Caption of photo: Weekending at their Winter Park, Florida home, Paula checks Gene's girth to see if he has been eating properly.

Periodical unknown
Author: Garry Clifford
Photographer: Robert M. Eginton




Inaugural Ball Invitation
January 21, 1985

This official Inaugural Ball Invitation was sent to Senator Hawkins from President Reagan, requesting "the honor of your company" for the event.


Christmas card:
"Green Room: The White House"


Greeting: The President and Mrs. Reagan extend to you their warmest wishes for happiness at the holidays and throughout the new year.




Philip Crosby Associates, Inc.  Board Of Directors

This photograph shows Paula Hawkins and the Board of the Winter Park-based Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. Pictured from left to right are:  Pamela Gray, Philip B. Crosby, Clifford M. Hames, Senator Paula Hawkins, Russell P. Hulbert, Larry N. McFadin, Philip B. Crosby, Jr., and Lance H. Arrington.

Rachel H. Simmons, MLIS
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