July 22,1923

Born in Russell, Kansas

Born in Russell, Kansas, July 22, 1923.

August 03,1923

Calvin Coolidge Becomes President

President Warren G. Harding dies of a heart attack. Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as 30th President of the United States of America.

May 25,1925

Theory of Evolution

John T. Scopes, a schoolteacher in Tennessee, is arrested for teaching the theory of evolution.

May 21,1927

First Solo Flight

Charles Lindbergh arrives in Paris after piloting the first solo transatlantic flight.

November 01,1927

Mom and Dad

A man of few words and ready wit, Doran Dole preferred handshakes to hugs. Best of all, he liked to work. His proudest boast was having missed just one day of work in 40 years. Dole’s mother occasionally sold Singer sewing machines door-to-door to make ends meet.

November 01,1928

Herbert Hoover Elected President

Herbert Hoover is elected President of the United States.

February 14,1929

Valentine’s Day Massacre

A well-planned clash of two rival criminal gangs resulted in seven bloody deaths, now known as Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

October 29,1929

Stock Market Crash

The United States stock market crashes (known as Black Tuesday) beginning the Great Depression.

December 25,1930

Family Life and Hardship

Like many, the Doles experienced hardship. At one point the four Dole children shared one room, a bike, and a pair of roller skates. They also shared a rigorous work ethic.

March 03,1931

The National Anthem

The Star Spangled Banner officially named America’s National Anthem.

July 02,1932

“New Deal”

Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt promises a “New Deal” for the American people.

January 30,1933

Hitler Appointed Chancellor

Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany.

March 04,1933

FDR Becomes President

Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated 32nd President of the United States. He immediately launches “New Deal.”

December 05,1933

Prohibition Repealed

Prohibition is repealed.

May 09,1934

Life in the Dust Bowl

The Doles lived through the severe dust storms of the 1930s. At times the clouds of dust were so thick that you couldn't see the marquee of the movie theater from across the street.

March 01,1935

The Soda Jerk

While still in grade school, Bob washed cars and delivered handbills. He also had a paper route and worked as a soda jerk at Dawson’s Drugstore.

August 14,1935

Social Security Act

President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act.

January 29,1936

Basketball Hall of Fame

First inductees to the Basketball Hall of Fame named.

March 01,1937

Athlete and Scholar

Bob Dole was a popular young athlete and a fierce competitor who lettered in three sports. Off the field, he was a polite, neatly dressed student who modeled in high school fashion shows and was active in the Methodist church. He also served as sports editor of the school newspaper.

September 21,1938

World War II: Czechoslavakia

Churchill condemns Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia.

September 01,1939

WWII Begins

World War II begins with Germany’s invasion of Poland.

May 01,1941

High School Graduate

In the spring of 1941, Bob Dole graduates from Russell High School.

September 01,1941

Enrolled at the University of Kansas

No member of his family had ever been to college and Bob himself nearly didn’t make it. Only a timely loan of $300 from a Russell banker enables him to enroll at the University of Kansas in the Fall of 1941.

September 01,1941

Student Life

Bob joins the Kappa Sigma fraternity and waits on tables for $12.50 a month and all he could eat. A pre-dawn milk route Saturday morning helps to supplement his meager income.

November 08,1941

Operation Torch

The British-American invasion of French North Africa, Operation Torch, begins.

December 08,1941

US Declares War Against Japan

The United States declares war against Japan for their attack on Pearl Harbor, formally entering World War II.

June 01,1943

Dole leaves KU to Join the Army

Dole reported for active duty in June 1943. Having hopes of becoming a doctor, Bob trained in the Medical Corps at Camp Barkley, Texas. After boot camp he took engineering classes in Brooklyn, NY.

June 06,1944


156,000 Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy, France, while 8,000 Allied planes provide air cover over a 48-hour period.

June 22,1944

G.I. Bill

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill, providing educational benefits to veterans.

November 01,1944

Officer School

After training in Louisiana and Kentucky, Dole attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. In late 1944, he graduated as Second Lieutenant in the Army Infantry.

February 01,1945

The “Skiing Soldier” from Kansas

Second Lieutenant Bob Dole was only 21 when he was assigned to I Company of the 85th Regime. As part of the 10th Mountain Division, Dole’s company was originally meant to be skiing soldiers, proficient enough to take on German alpine soldiers in snow and mountain terrain. Dole, a Kansas native, had minimal experience with the 10th Mountain Division criteria.He joined the division with many other soldiers who had little or no experience in the mountains after the Army discovered there were not enough “skiing soldiers” to fill an entire division.

April 12,1945

FDR Dies

Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage. Harry Truman is sworn in as the 33rd president.

April 14,1945

Severely Injured in Battle

April 14, 1945, was the first day of the 10th Mountain Division’s spring offensive in Italy. Known as “Operation Craftsmen,” the mission was to overtake German soldiers scattered through the hills and valleys of the Apennine Mountains and gain control of northern Italy. This offensive would result in 462 injuries and 98 deaths over the next two days. The objective for Dole’s platoon was to take Hill 913—a mission that members of the platoon would later call “a suicide mission.” The hill was located across a mine laden field covered by snipers in the hills above and machine gunners in a stone farmhouse on the right. After watching the first platoon march directly into the line of fire, the company commander ordered Dole’s platoon to flank the stone farmhouse and take out the gunners inside. Dole guided his men into a grassy ravine where there was a brief exchange of fire before Dole was hit by exploding shrapnel in his right shoulder. He laid on the battlefield, unable to feel either of his arms, exposed to the machine gun fire still coming from the farm house. He yelled for help and the two rounds of medics trying to rescue him were gunned down themselves.” He was eventually reached by Sergeant Frank Carafe who dragged him back.

May 01,1945

39 Months Spent in Recovery

Upon his return to the U.S., Bob Dole spent 39 months in hospitals including the Percy Jones Army Medical Center in Battle Creek, Michigan.

May 07,1945

Germany Surrenders

German forces surrender to the Allies. Germany is divided into four zones.

July 01,1945

Learning to Walk Again

Dole begins his long recuperation in Winter General Hospital in Topeka.

November 01,1945

Dangerous Blood Clots Threaten Dole’s Life

Dole was transferred to Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he developed a dangerous blood clot. His condition was so severe that Dole's doctors penned his parents regarding the health of their son. In 2003, Percy Jones Hospital was renamed Hart-Dole-Inouye Center for Senators Dole, Hart, and Inouye. All three Senators were patients there during the 1940s.

March 01,1946

Fighting Back

For most of the two and a half years after the war, Dole’s home was the Percy Jones Army Medical Center in Battle Creek, Michigan.”

April 01,1946

In and Out of Hospitals

Dole will spend nearly three years in and out of hospitals. He finally returns home weighing only 122 pounds, a far cry from the muscular man who enlisted.

August 01,1946

Regaining Strength

Dole's incredible will to survive soon had him exercising to the point of exhaustion, attempting to restore the use of his arms and legs. A system of weights and pulleys, devised by Dole's father, hung on the garage wall in the Dole's backyard.

January 01,1947

Surgeon Refuses to Take Payment for the 7 Surgeries He Performed on Dole’s Damaged Right Arm

Dole went to see Dr. Hampar Kelikian, one of the nation's top orthopedic surgeons. The affectionately nicknamed "Dr. K" performed 7 operations on Dole's damaged right arm at Wesley Memorial Hospital. Dr. K refused to accept a dime from Dole, charging for his surgeries only if the patient was able to pay.

January 08,1947

George Marshall

General George Marshall becomes U.S. Secretary of State.

April 01,1947

Citizens of Russell, KS Collect Funds to Pay Dole’s Hospital Cost

Although Dr. K would not charge for his services, Dole would have to pay for the surgeries' hospital expenses. The sympathetic citizens of Russell, led by the VFW Chapter 6240, rallied for Bob and took up a collection. The "Bob Dole Fund" started with a cigar box on the counter of Dawson's Drugstore. Swelled by the small bills and change of his childhood friends and neighbors, the fund eventually surpassed $1,800.

June 01,1948

Dole Marries Phyllis Holden

Dole recovered from the surgeries at Percy Jones, where he made friends with other wounded officers looking toward the future. At a hospital dance during his last months of treatment at Percy Jones, Dole met a young occupational therapist from New Hampshire named Phyllis Holden. They were married a mere three months later.

June 08,1948

The Milton Berle Show

NBC television premieres “The Milton Berle Show.”

September 01,1948

Back to School

In the fall of 1948, Dole enrolled at Arizona University on the G.I. Bill, Dole used an early version of an audio playback machine to record legal lectures. He then spent long evenings slowly transcribing the discs by hand. He also developed a prodigious memory.

September 01,1949

Dole Pursues Law Degree at Washburn University

In the fall of 1949, Dole enrolled at Topeka’s Washburn University, seeking an undergraduate and law degree at the same time. Beth Bowers, the law librarian at Washburn University, urges Dole to consider going into politics - specifically, running for the Kansas Legislature in 1950.

June 25,1950

Korean War Begins

The Korean War begins when North Korean forces cross the 38th parallel into South Korea.

November 07,1950

Voted in First Public Office

In 1950, Dole beat an incumbent Democratic legislator to become Russell County's youngest representative ever.

February 26,1951

22nd Amendment

The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates that no person may be elected president more than two times.

May 01,1952

College Graduate

Dole graduates from Washburn University.

May 01,1952

Passing the Bar Exam

Dole passes his bar exams.

June 01,1952

Declares Candidacy for Russell County Attorney

In June 1952, Bob Dole declared his candidacy for Russell County attorney.

January 20,1953

Eisenhower Becomes President

Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated as the 34th President of the United States.

July 27,1953

Korean War Ends

An armistice ends the Korean War.

August 01,1953

A Light in the Window

Dole's tireless work ethic soon became a legend along Russell's Main Street. Long after all other businesses had closed at night, the light would still be on in his second-floor office in the county courthouse. The courthouse attorney earned $248 per month, four dollars less than the courthouse janitor was paid.

May 17,1954

Brown v. Board

The United States Supreme Court unanimously votes "separate but equal" is unconstitutional in their ruling on Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas. On paper the ruling ends school segregation, yet the actual process of integrating the schools remains difficult throughout the decade.

October 10,1954

Robin Dole is Born

Phyllis and Bob welcome the birth of their daughter, Robin.

November 08,1955

Dole Sworn in as County Attorney

Dole is elected to four two-year terms as Russell County attorney.

December 01,1955

Rosa Parks Arrested

Rosa Parks is arrested when she fails to give her seat to a white man on the bus. This event results in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

August 01,1956

Becoming a Figure in Local Politics

When the GOP campaign caravan stopped in Russell in 1956, Dole was already seen as a rising figure in local politics.

August 04,1957

Sputnik Launches

The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first man-made satellite.

January 01,1959

Castro Takes Office

Fidel Castro marches into Havana after defeating the regime of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba.

June 01,1960

First Campaign for the United States House of Representatives

In his first campaign for Congress in 1960, Bob Dole's biggest issue was letting people know who he was.

June 01,1960

First Campaign for the United States House of Representatives cont.

In his first campaign for Congress in 1960, Bob Dole's biggest issue was letting people know who he was.

August 01,1960

Wins First Congressional Election

Working on a shoestring campaign budget, Dole organized an entourage that was equal parts Fourth of July parade and traveling Wild West Show. There were "Bob-O-Links" led by ukulele-playing songsters and free cups of Dole pineapple juice dispensed by smiling "Dolls for Dole." These factors helped lead to Dole winning his first congressional election.

November 08,1960

First Year in Congress

Dole begins his career in Congress.

January 01,1961

Dole Distinguishes Himself

Bob Dole's strategy to distinguish himself in Congress was as plain and direct as the man himself: he would represent the interests of the farmers who elected him. Beyond that, he would simply outwork everyone else.

January 20,1961

Kennedy Elected President

John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States.

January 21,1961

The House Agriculture Committee

Dole secured a seat on the House Agriculture Committee. It was his first Washington success.

January 21,1961

Representing Farmers

Dole’s voting record reflected the sentiments of his district. Most notably, he was in favor of rural electrification and soil conservation and opposed foreign aid and most new federal spending programs

March 01,1961

He Never Missed a Vote in the House

With only a small office staff, Dole read every letter himself and dictated personal responses to most. He edited his own monthly newsletter, acted as a tour guide for visiting constituents, and phoned back to Kansas every day. In addition, he never missed a vote in the House.

April 01,1961

Bay of Pigs

1,500 Cuban refugees, trained at a secret CIA base in Guatemala, land at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. The attempt to topple the Castro regime fails. In December of 1962, Castro exchanges 1,113 captured invaders and 922 of their relatives for $53 million worth of medicine and food.

August 12,1961

The Berlin Wall

East Germany begins construction of the Berlin Wall.

October 01,1962

Cuban Missile Crisis

The U.S. and Soviet Union come close to nuclear war when the U.S. learns that the Soviet Union is installing offensive nuclear weapons in Cuba. The crisis ends when Moscow dismantles the launch sites in exchange for President Kennedy's pledge not to invade Cuba again.

October 15,1962

Legislation: National School Lunch Act

These amendments ensured that funds were better distributed among states to create a more balanced system, especially for states that had higher levels of participation. These amendments ensured that funds were better apportioned to states, creating a more balanced system, especially for states that had higher levels of participation.

November 06,1962

Dole Runs for Re-election

Due to redistricting caused by a series of court decisions including Baker v. Carr (1962), Dole runs against popular Democratic incumbent, J. Floyd Breeding. In November, wheat farmers helped elect Dole by 21,000 votes.

November 22,1963

President Kennedy is Assassinated

President Kennedy is assassinated. Lyndon Johnson becomes 36th President of the U.S.

February 09,1964

The Beatles Invade America

The Beatles make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

July 02,1964

Legislation: Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Representative Bob Dole voted in favor of the legislation.

November 03,1964

Re-Elected to the House

Dole wins another House term even with a national Democratic landslide for President Lyndon Johnson over Republican Barry Goldwater.

February 14,1965

Wilt The Stilt

Wilt Chamberlin becomes the highest all-time career scorer in the NBA.

March 07,1965

Legislation: Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, “an act to enforce the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” prohibited states from denying any person from exercising his or her right to vote on the basis of race or skin color. Specifically, the Act prohibited states from instituting voting requirements such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which had been previously used by Southern states to prevent African-Americans from voting. The Act also ordered that those states which had previously utilized voting requirements would be subject to oversight from the Department of Justice. In order to make any changes to the voting process, these states would first have to obtain permission from the Attorney General. After the election of President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, many civil rights groups called upon the President and Congress to pass legislation to protect the rights that are guaranteed to African-Americans by the 15th Amendment. Growing dissatisfaction over Southern discrimination resulted in demonstrations such as the Selma to Montgomery March. In an address to both the House and the Senate President Johnson called upon Congress to pass a strong voting rights bill. Senator Dole supported both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although many of his constituents were vehemently opposed to both of these bills, Dole considers them to be two of the most important votes in his political career.

December 30,1965

Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos becomes the President of the Philippines.

October 11,1966

The Bread and Butter Corps

Senator Dole’s interest in combating hunger was never limited to just the United States. In 1966, Representative Dole introduced an amendment to the landmark Food for Peace Act that called for volunteers to train farmers in developing countries. These volunteers would be known as the Bread and Butter Corps, and would “coordinate and accelerate the export of America’s most valuable product—our farm ‘know how’ and ‘show how.’” The Bread and Butter Corps was a relief program that was consistent with Dole's belief that those in need should be provided with the skills and technologies to better provide for themselves - not just a hand out. Food for Peace (now known simply as Public Law 480) continues today as the single largest federal food aid program, providing agricultural commodities to meet humanitarian needs around the world.

November 08,1966

Reagan Becomes Governor of California

Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California.

April 26,1967

Ali Loses Title

Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali is stripped of his title for refusal to be inducted into the military, due to his objections to the War in Vietnam.

March 31,1968

Johnson Will Not Seek Re-Election

Lyndon Johnson announces he will not seek re-election.

April 04,1968

MLK Assassinated

The Rev. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis.

June 05,1968

Robert Kennedy Assassinated

Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated after delivering his California primary victory speech.

November 05,1968

Dole Runs for United States Senate

In 1968, Dole ran for the U.S. Senate against former Kansas Governor Bill Avery. Dole won 60 percent of the vote and the seat in the Senate.

January 01,1969

Dole and Nixon

Dole's friendship with President Nixon dated back to 1964 when the former VP campaigned on Dole's behalf in a tough re-election battle. Dole admired Nixon's grasp on politics and policy alike. He also identified with Nixon's work ethic and rise from humble origins similar to his own.

January 20,1969

Nixon Elected President

Richard M. Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States.

July 20,1969

Man Walks On Moon

Astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the moon.

May 04,1970

Kent State Shooting

Ohio National Guard troops open fire on students at Kent State University protesting the Cambodia invasion, killing four students and wounding nine.

July 03,1970

Freedom’s Foundation Award

Freedom's Foundation Award honors Americans from all walks of life, organizations, and institutions who set examples in responsible citizenship, free enterprise education, and long-term civic accomplishment.

October 27,1970

Legislation: Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act

The Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act requires the pharmaceutical industry to maintain physical security and strict record keeping for certain types of drugs.

October 27,1970

Legislation: Controlled Substances Act

The Controlled Substances Act, Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, is the legal foundation of the government's fight against the abuse of drugs and other substances. This law is a consolidation of numerous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances. The act also provides a mechanism for substances to be controlled, added to a schedule, decontrolled, removed from control, rescheduled, or transferred from one schedule to another.

January 01,1971

Appointed Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Dole is appointed Republican National Chairman, viewing the chairmanship as a stepping stone to leadership in the Senate. Equally important, he hoped to broaden Republican appeal among minority voters.

October 28,1971

Legislation: Federal Water Pollution Control Act

As a member of the Senate Public Works Committee, Dole supported the 1971 amendments to the Clean Water Act, many of which pertained directly to pollution caused by pesticides, animal wastes, and fertilizers. A representative of an agricultural state, Dole’s support was important to the passage of this legislation.

January 01,1972

The End of a Marriage

Bob and Phyllis Dole end their marriage.

May 26,1972

The Salt II Treaty

Nixon and Brezhnev sign the SALT II treaty in Moscow.

June 17,1972

The Watergate Scandal

In 1972, Watergate Complex gave its name to a scandal that ended Richard Nixon’s presidency. Dole’s loyalty to Nixon and his party came back to haunt him. Ironically, the Watergate was also his Washington home.

November 07,1972

Campaigning for Republicans in ’72

Dole crisscrossed 46 states to campaign for Republicans in the 1972 election. Despite Nixon's landslide victory, Republicans lost further ground in the House and Senate. Dole was relieved of his appointment as Republican National Chairman by Nixon.

October 01,1973

Legislation: Rural Health Care Delivery Improvement Act

Rural Health Care Delivery Improvement Act works through the Veterans Health Administration to provide health care personnel in rural areas.

January 01,1974

Legislation: Campaign Finance Reform

In the wake of the Watergate scandal, Senator Dole supported legislation to create an Election Reform Commission to study the practices of political campaigns. This commission materialized in 1974 with the creation of the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The FEC still operates today as an independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law.

August 08,1974

Nixon Resigns

President Nixon resigns. Gerald Ford becomes the 38th President of the United States.

September 01,1974

Seeking Re-election in 1974

Dole’s second Senate campaign was perhaps his most important—and his closest. Eight weeks before the November election, Dole was trailing his opponent, Congressman Bill Roy, by a full twelve points. Dole agreed to a public debate with Roy at the Kansas State Fair. Hoping his wit and quick thinking would give him the advantage, Dole supporters canvassed the state to bring other Dole supporters to the fair on the day of the debate. Roy took Dole by surprise, hammering him with questions about his voting record. The debate was supposed to be on the topic of agriculture, but quickly took a different direction. For the first time in a political debate the topic of abortion was brought up. Representative Roy was also a medical doctor and one of only a few in the state who preformed legal abortions. In the closing minutes of the debate, Dole told the audience that Roy delivered “abortions on demand.” The crowd booed. The Wall Street Journal declared, “This race is over.” This 1974 campaign was the first time Dole had hired professional help in designing his advertisements. One of these, the infamous “Mudslinger” ad, would go on as one of the most famous in Kansas political history. A break from the basic talking head style ads, “Mudslinger” featured a Dole campaign poster covered in mud being throw at it with resounding “splat” sounds. A voice-over listed the accusations Roy had lobbed at Dole and finished the commercial with the line, “…all of which makes Bill Roy look like just another mudslinger.” The Dole campaign went into high gear with round-the-clock canvassing and campaigning. Dole’s daughter Robin took time off from college to campaign with her grandmother, Bina. Together they traveled the state in a motor home with a speaker on top that would blare Dole’s campaign song “Let a Winner Lead the Way” as they rolled into town. Dole returned to Kansas on election night, prepared for the race to go either way. He told his parents that night that he did not know what was going to happen. Dole beat Roy by a very slim margin, winning 403,983 votes to Roy’s 390,451. Roy later said it was the abortion issue that brought his campaign down. Dole took the opportunity to take a closer look at his own role as a Senator, telling Roy to his face that he made him a better Senator. This would be the beginning of a new stage in Dole’s career, marked by increasing bipartisanship and outreach to colleagues across the aisle.

December 01,1975

The Power Couple

Bob marries Elizabeth Hanford in December 6, 1975, creating one of Washington's most famous power couples.

March 01,1976

Crossing Party Lines for the Greater Good

As ranking Republican on the Nutrition and Human Needs Committee, Dole increasingly saw the value of crossing party lines to promote legislation he believed in. His support of child nutrition and the Food Stamp programs led to alliances with such liberal Democrats as Ted Kennedy, George McGovern, and Hubert Humphrey.

July 04,1976

America Turns 200

The United States celebrates its bicentennial as a nation.

August 16,1976

Dole Named as President Ford’s Vice-Presidential Running Mate

On opening night of the Republican Convention in Kansas City, Dole wielded the gavel and welcomed the delegates as temporary chairman. Three nights later President Ford was raising Dole's arm in triumph as his running mate. Dole's popularity in the Farm Belt, as well as his sense of humor and reputation for plain speaking, made him an attractive prospect. Senator Dole didn’t expect to be running for Vice-President in 1976. He had expressed interest in the position, but assumed that former Texas Governor John Connally would be Gerald Ford’s choice of running mate. The Ford camp deliberated for days about the choice, but in the end it was a recommendation from President Ronald Reagan that tipped the balance in Dole’s favor. Upon finding out he was chosen as the Republican candidate for the nation's second highest office, Dole said he was “humbled by this new opportunity.”

August 20,1976

An Emotional Return to Russell, Kansas

The day after the Republican National Convention, Dole and Ford traveled to Russell, Kansas, to kick-off the campaign. While addressing the crowd, Dole became overwhelmed by emotion. As he pulled his hand to his face and briefly turned away, the crowd spontaneously burst into loud applause and cheers of encouragement.

October 15,1976

Bob Debates Mondale on National Television

Following the Democratic Convention of 1976, Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter led Ford by over 30 points, a seemingly insurmountable advantage to overcome…. Dole agreed to a nationally televised debate with Democratic Vice President contender Walter Mondale to be held in Houston, Texas, on October 15th. Ford and Dole had spent the weeks between the debate and the election working to overcome bad press, and it worked. As polls opened on November 2 there was no clear front-runner.

November 02,1976

Ford and Dole are Defeated in Election

Ultimately, Ford was unsuccessful in winning re-election, trailing Carter 51 percent to 48 percent. Ford and Dole lost the election by 2 percent of the popular vote. Dole returned to the Senate with increased visibility and a national following.

January 20,1977

Jimmy Carter Elected President

Jimmy Carter becomes 39th President of the United States.

March 01,1977

Legislation: POW/MIA Vietnam Legislation

A Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs was created during the George H. W. Bush administration (1989 to 1993) to investigate the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, that is, the fate of United States service personnel listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.

September 29,1977

Legislation: Food and Agriculture Act of 1977

In 1977, Bob Dole led the charge to make significant changes to the Food Stamp Program. Working with George McGovern (D-SD), Dole produced a bipartisan solution to two of the main problems associated with food stamps: cumbersome purchase requirements and lax eligibility standards. Prior to 1978, food stamp recipients were required to purchase the stamps -- an average family paying $58 for $130 worth of food stamps. Studies found that this purchase requirement was the single largest barrier to access for needy families. They succeeded in designing a program that eliminated the need for individuals to make a required minimum payment to obtain food stamp coupons – a minimum that many still could not afford. The legislation also enacted provisions that reduced fraud and abuse of the program.

April 03,1979

Annie Hall

Woody Allen’s Annie Hall wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

April 10,1979

Legislation: Taiwan Foreign Relations Act

The Taiwan Relations Act defined the non-diplomatic relations between the United States and the governing authorities on Taiwan.

May 01,1979

Dole Enters 1980 Presidential Primary

In May 1979, Dole announces candidacy for the U.S. Presidency and withdraws shortly thereafter.

November 04,1980

Wins Third Senate Re-election

Dole wins his third term and a Republican majority in the Senate. It was also the first time a Republican majority had ruled the Senate since 1954. Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee took over as Majority Leader. Baker appointed Dole Chairman of the Finance Committee.

November 04,1980

Ronald Reagan Elected President

Ronald Reagan is elected the 40th President of the United States.

December 12,1980

Legislation: The Bayh-Dole | Biotech Industry Incentives Act

This legislation, commonly referred to as the Bayh-Dole Act after its two main sponsors, Birch Bayh (D-IN) and Bob Dole, made dramatic changes to the way new technologies were brought into the marketplace. Before, only a small percentage of patents held by the federal government were ever commercially licensed, providing no incentive for further research and thereby hindering future developments. Passage of the Bayh-Dole Act granted patent rights to the entity which developed it, which were often federally-supported colleges and universities. The act allowed non-profit entities to generate licensing revenue, while also serving to further stimulate U.S. technological innovation.

January 20,1981

Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee

In 1981, Republicans took control of the Senate for the first time in a quarter century. Bob Dole served as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and as the president's chief ally in Congress for bringing about radical changes in American economic policy.

August 13,1981

Legislation: Economic Recovery Tax Act

Also known as the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut, the Economic Recovery Tax Act was one of three major tax bills enacted during Dole’s chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee (1981-1985). Sponsored by Representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) and Senator William Roth (R-DW), this act provided a 25 percent across-the-board cut in personal marginal tax rates. This act was followed in 1982 by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act and the 1983 Social Security Amendments.

December 15,1981

Legislation: Hospice Care

The hospice movement did not begin to make an impact in America until the late 1970s. Before hospice, there were few facilities that existed to care for the terminally ill outside of hospitals and nursing homes. Several years later, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Dole introduced and saw passage of legislation providing a hospice benefit to Medicare patients in 1981.

December 16,1981

Dole Appointed to National Commission on Social Security Reform

President Reagan appoints a National Commission on Social Security Reform to devise a solution. He appoints Dole to NCSS, along with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland, and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

June 29,1982

Legislation: Voting Rights Extension Act

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a co-sponsor of the legislation, Senator Dole supported the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1982. These amendments provided a 25-year renewal of the original legislation and strengthened prohibitions against voting discrimination based on race.

September 03,1982

Legislation: Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act

The sweeping tax cuts of 1981 combined with failures to cut spending resulted in a massive budget shortfall that was further amplified by the recession of the early 1980s. To address this problem, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act rescinded some of the tax cuts from the year before in exchange for an agreement from Congress to control spending.

December 01,1982

Social Security Crisis

By late 1982, thirty-six million retired Americans faced a crisis of which most were unaware: Social Security would soon go broke.

January 01,1983

Established the Dole Foundation for People With Disabilities

The Dole Foundation is established to supply millions of dollars to help with job training and worker placement, aid handicapped actors to learn advanced communications skills, employ exceptional children in Virginia, and give hope to Ohio epileptics.

January 01,1983

Elizabeth Dole Appointed Secretary of Transportation

Ronald Reagan appoints Elizabeth Dole Secretary of Transportation. Dole is the first woman to hold the post.

January 20,1983

Finding a Solution

Together, Senators Dole and Moynihan led a last-ditch, nonpartisan effort to save the Social Security system. On January 3, 1983, after reading an article by Dole on Social Security in that morning’s New York Times, Senator Moynihan approached Senator Dole on the Senate floor. Among the Commissioners’ original recommendations were the taxation of Social Security benefits and increasing the retirement age for receiving full benefits. Meeting outside the halls of Congress, the so-called “Gang of Seven” (Dole, Moynihan, three other members of the Greenspan Commission, and two Reagan advisors) came up with a timetable of payroll tax increases and spending reforms that legislators of both parties could accept. On April 20, 1983, an appreciative President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law.

April 20,1983

Legislation: Bipartisan Social Security Act

President Reagan signed the Bipartisan Social Security Act.

May 24,1983

Legislation: Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 provided inventories of foodstuffs for food distribution by emergency feeding organizations serving the needy and homeless

August 02,1983

Legislation: Martin Luther King Holiday Act

As early as 1970, Senator Dole supported efforts for the creation of a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. He signed on as a co-sponsor in 1983 to S. 400 -- “A bill to designate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr, a legal public holiday.” Debate in the Senate became heated as some Republican opponents argued strongly against the bill and at one point began a filibuster to stop the legislation. Under a motion for cloture, and two days of intense debate, the legislation passed in the Senate with a vote of 78 to 22.

January 01,1984

The Power Couple

With Dole as Majority Leader and his wife Elizabeth serving in the Reagan Cabinet as Secretary of Transportation, the Doles were very much in the public eye. Equally adept at handling the media, they used humor to make light of their unique relationship in the nation's capital.

January 20,1984

Dole Elected Senate Majority Leader

Bob Dole is elected as Senate Majority Leader. His responsibilities include representing the Republican Party, scheduling the Senate's daily agenda and directing efforts to pass new legislation.

October 12,1984

Legislation: Comprehensive Crime Control Act

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 provided and extension of the United States Secret Service's jurisdiction over credit card fraud and computer fraud, increased federal penalties for cultivation, possession, or transfer of marijuana, a new section in the criminal code for hostage taking, re-institution of the federal death penalty, and provided stipulations about using civil forfeiture to seize assets of organized crime.

January 01,1985

Dole Led Senate Delegation to Europe

Dole leads a Senate delegation to meet with America's major European allies. During an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, Dole presents a letter from President Reagan that condemns political oppression in Central America.

January 01,1985

Brick by Brick

March 11,1985

Gorbachev Becomes Leader of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the leader of the Soviet Union.

October 06,1985

Legislation: The Farm Bill

As a 27-year veteran of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, Dole worked on virtually every major piece of farm legislation during that time. Of these, the 1985 Farm Bill was perhaps the most important. The booming farm exports of the 1970s had kept exports and prices high. However, by the early 1980s inflation and climbing interest rates put the American farmer in danger. Many were forced to abandon their farms and look elsewhere for work; while a troubled nation could not understand why federal farm aid had quadrupled in less than ten years. Dole, whose sympathies were always with the rural Kansas farmer, understood that cutting subsidies to farmers was completely unrealistic. Simultaneously, the White House was seeking immediate reductions in costs. Senator Dole led dozens of closed-door meetings that resulted in a five year farm bill that both cut costs and kept subsidies intact. He did what many thought was impossible—address the national deficit while protecting the American farmer.

December 01,1985

Leader Dole

Under Dole's leadership, the Senate passed 163 bills in 1985.

January 28,1986

Challenger Explosion

Space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing all 7 crew members on board.

February 01,1986

Legislation: Terrorist Prosecution Act

Create a Federal criminal offense for terrorist acts against United States nationals abroad; to provide sentencing procedures for certain capital offenses; and for other purposes.

June 01,1986

Dole Advocates for Televised Proceedings of Congress

On June 1, 1986, daily Senate proceedings were televised for the first time. Senate leaders had been hesitant to allow televised coverage of floor proceedings. They felt that the methods and proceedings of the Senate did not naturally lend themselves to broadcast and some Senators feared that televising the proceedings might lead to posturing and grandstanding. By 1985, the House had been televising floor proceedings for several years and although some Senators still had hesitations, many worried that they were quickly becoming the forgotten arm of the legislative branch. Majority Leader Dole worked with Democratic Leader Robert Byrd to craft an agreement that created a trial three month period of televised coverage, and worked with the Rules Committee to simplify some Senate proceedings. The results were so welcoming that before the trial period was over the Senate had already voted to make televised coverage a permanent fixture, creating a lasting legacy of openness and transparency in Congress that we still enjoy today.

October 22,1986

Legislation: Dramatic Tax Code Reform

Majority Leader Dole pushed though the Senate a dramatic reform of the tax code by closing more tax loopholes and cutting taxes for individuals, particularly those with lower incomes. It was the seventh piece of tax legislation enacted in Dole's five years chairing the Senate Finance Committee.

November 04,1986

Dole Wins Fourth Senate Re-election

Dole wins re-election to the Senate for a fourth term. Republicans lose their majority in the Senate, yet Dole remains the chief party spokesperson as Republican Leader in the 99th Congress.

November 06,1986

Legislation: Immigration Reform

The Immigration Reform and Control Act was signed into law by Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986, is an Act of Congress which reformed United States immigration law. The Act required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status; made it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants knowingly; legalized certain seasonal agricultural illegal immigrants, and legalized illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982.

June 12,1987

Ronald Reagan Takes Stand Against Berlin Wall

President Ronald Reagan makes the public request that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall.

July 22,1987

Legislation: Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

September 01,1987

Negotiating with Foreign Leaders

One of his most dramatic foreign encounters, Dole was pitted against Nicaraguan strongman Jose Daniel Ortega, whose Sandinista regime was widely regarded as a Soviet client state. In late August of 1987, Senator Dole traveled with four other Senators to meet with President Ortega. The meeting quickly devolved into a public spectacle between Dole and Ortega as the debate was broadcast live over the government controlled radio station, Voice of Nicaragua. Ortega refused Dole’s request for three way negotiations with the United States and the Contras. Dole was successful in negotiating the release of two Nicaraguan human rights activists who were jailed after organizing a protest march against Ortega. Dole continued his adamant support for the full restoration of democracy in Nicaragua, saying “Freedom is our natural heritage, and a very important part of our international responsibility. We—the United States of America—we are the leaders of the free world. That is not just rhetoric. It is very hard reality.”

November 09,1987

Announces Second Presidential Primary Bid

Dole traveled once again to his hometown of Russell, Kansas, to declare himself a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1988. He hired Tom Synhorst, who had successfully seen Senator Chuck Grassley re-elected to the Senate two years earlier, to manage the operations in preparation for the Iowa caucuses. Through innovative grassroots campaign tactics, such as attending town meetings, Dole was successful in upsetting his major opponent, Vice-President George H. W. Bush, in the Iowa caucuses.

February 19,1988

The New Hampshire Primary

The New Hampshire primary was just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Dole’s team was counting on their success in Iowa to provide the momentum for a New Hampshire win. The campaign, however, was taken out of commission by a surprise snow storm that forced Dole to campaign indoors, but allowed Vice President Bush to enjoy media attention. Bush defeated Dole by taking 37.6 percent of the vote to Dole’s 28.4 percent.

March 01,1988

Dole Withdraws from Race

Dole withdraws from presidential race in March 1988.

May 03,1988

Legislation: Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was the first agreement between the United States and Russia to reduce the nuclear weapons arsenal of both countries. Republican Leader Bob Dole worked closely with his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Robert Byrd, to ensure ratification of this historic treaty. The Christian Science Monitor stressed the treaty’s importance in a May 3, 1988, editorial, “Consider the implications of a Democratically controlled Senate ratifying an arms control treaty proposed, signed and justified by Ronald Reagan … it will begin to redefine the bipartisan center in national security policy.”

August 23,1988

Legislation: Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness

The Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act ordered the Executive branch to thoroughly examine trade with countries that have large trade surpluses with the United States. If the trade surpluses continued, the offending country would be faced with a bilateral surplus-reduction requirement of 10%. Because of its style of zero-sum game thought, it is considered by economists to be a modern form of mercantilism.

October 13,1988

Legislation: Welfare Family Support Act

The Family Support Act amended Title IV of the Social Security Act to revise the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program to emphasize work, child support and family benefits, as well as on withholding the wages of absentee parents. The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training program (JOBS) was a welfare-to-work program created by the Family Support Act to replace the Work Incentive program.

November 18,1988

Legislation: Anti-Drug Abuse Act

Among the many important aspects of this bipartisan legislation, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 created the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. This office, overseen by a Director known as the “Drug Czar,”is charged with the development of national anti-drug related priorities and strategy.

December 01,1988

Bob Dole As A Leader

January 18,1989

Presdiential Citizens Medal

Senator Dole is presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan. An award which recognizes individuals who have performed exemplary deeds or services for his or her country or fellow citizens.

January 19,1989

George H.W. Bush Becomes President

George H.W. Bush sworn in as the 41st President of the United States.

January 20,1989

The Go-To Guy

After spending eight years serving as President Reagan's "go-to guy" on Capitol Hill, Dole had to put aside his own presidential ambitions and assume a similar role once Vice President George H.W. Bush succeeded Reagan in 1989. Dole remained loyal to his party and to the president.

June 03,1989

Witness to Polish Democracy

Senator Dole traveled with his wife, Secretary Elizabeth Dole, to communist controlled Poland in 1989, just one day before the first democratic elections in forty-five years. In his report back to Congress he said, “we arrived in Warsaw on a historic and exciting day- the day that a great nation elected its first democratically chosen leader in more than half a century.” In addition to meeting with Prime Minister Mazowiecki and top leaders of the Solidarity movement, Senator and Secretary Dole had the opportunity to meet with newly elected President Lech Walesa, who Senator Dole called, “truly a hero, not only to Poles but to freedom loving people around the world.” During their meeting, Walesa pleaded with Dole for assistance from the United States to prevent a communist overthrow of the infant democracy, saying “we have lifted the Iron Curtain but it is getting heavy. We need help.” Dole supported aid initiatives for Poland that had been proposed by the Bush administration, but urged additional aid. “I believe it is in our best interest, America’s interest, to take some additional steps now on behalf of freedom in Poland. I believe we should send some additional, immediate signal of American support for the Mazowiecki government.” In 2003, Walesa accepted the Dole Leadership Prize given by the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. This annual award is given to a group or individual whose leadership through honorable service in our democracy has served to inspire others.

September 07,1989

Ilya Zaslavsky is Dole’s Guest in the Senate

Senator Dole and other members of Congress meet with Ilya Zaslavsky, a member of the Soviet Parliament.

November 09,1989

Berlin Wall Falls

East Germany opens the Berlin Wall.

April 01,1990

Meeting with Saddam Hussein

Dole and a bipartisan delegation traveled to Iraq to deliver a stern warning to Saddam Hussein to cease Iraq's efforts to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in April 1990.

July 26,1990

Legislation: The Americans With Disabilities Act

Senator Dole's leadership on behalf of disabled Americans began with his first speech in the Senate on April 14, 1969, the anniversary of his wounding in WWII. His dedication to people living with disabilities continued in 1983, with the creation of the Dole Foundation, to encourage nationwide employment programs for people with disabilities. His crowning achievement, however, was in orchestrating the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act to finally provide basic civil rights protection to 43 million disabled citizens.

November 15,1990

Legislation: The Clean Air Act

Senator Dole and Democratic Senator George Mitchell lead the bipartisan “Group of 15” who negotiated a compromise between conflicting opinions on smog, toxic chemicals, and acid rain.

January 12,1991

Desert Storm Authorization Resolution

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution authorized of the use of U.S. military force in the Gulf War.

January 16,1991

Going to War

The Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield, for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 34 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

February 01,1991

Elizabeth Dole Becomes President of the Red Cross

Elizabeth Dole becomes President of the American Red Cross.

December 01,1991

Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Dole undergoes prostate surgery in December 1991.

December 01,1991

End Of The Cold War

The Soviet Union dissolves into separate countries, ending the Cold War.

January 01,1992

A Leader at Home and Abroad

Dole was no stranger to the international scene. As his stature in the Senate grew, Dole's foreign travels increased. During his last 15 years in Congress, he and Elizabeth met with heads of state all across Europe, the Middle and Far East, as well as Central and South America.

June 18,1992

Russian President Boris Yeltsin Visits Kansas

Dole invited Russian President Boris Yeltsin to Kansas. Yeltsin visited students at Wichita State University.

November 03,1992

Wins Fifth Senate Re-election

Dole wins fifth term in the Senate. Bob Dole emerges as the dominant figure in the Republican Party after Clinton's defeat of George H.W. Bush.

November 03,1992

Clinton Elected President

William J. Clinton is elected the 42nd President of the United States.

December 08,1993


The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral rules-based trade bloc in North America.

May 10,1994

Nelson Mandela Becomes President of South Africa

Nelson Mandela is sworn in as president of post-apartheid South Africa.

June 06,1994

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of D-Day

Bob Dole travels to Normandy to mark the 50th Anniversary of D-Day.

September 13,1994

Legislation: Violence Against Women Act

Dole supported the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, legislation that included dramatically increased penalties for those convicted of committing violent and sexual crimes against women. This legislation also included a large appropriation package to aid in the investigation of crimes against women, money which was nearly lost from the final bill, only to be rescued by Senator Dole through a compromise negotiation.

November 08,1994

Dole Becomes Senate Majority Leader

Dole was the leader of the Senate Republicans, serving as Majority Leader from 1985 until 1987 and again from 1995 to 1996.

November 08,1994

GOP Takes Control of Senate

GOP controls both houses of Congress for the first time in four decades.

January 18,1995

Legislation: Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 implemented several substantive changes in the United States, affecting certain cases brought under the federal securities laws, including changes related to pleading, discovery, liability, class representation, and awards fees and expenses.

January 23,1995

Legislation: Congressional Accountability Act

Dole supported the Congressional Accountability Act legislation which applied federal health and safety laws to the U.S. Congress. Included in the legislation was a provision requiring all offices of the legislative branch to make their programs and activities accessible to people with disabilities.

February 02,1995

Legislation: Comprehensive Federal Agency Regulatory Reform Act

Comprehensive Federal Agency Regulatory Reform Act is title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995; it establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector.

April 10,1995

Announces Bid for the Presidency

Bob Dole announces bid for the presidency and enters the primaries as the clear Republican front-runner.

April 19,1995

Oklahoma City Bombing

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City is bombed by Timothy McVeigh with the assistance of Terry Nichols.

June 07,1995

Comprehensive Telecommunications Reform Act

The Telecommunications Act is the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years. The goal of this new law is to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other

July 21,1995

Legislation: Lobbying Reform Legislation

This law requires individuals to register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House within 45 days of making a lobbying contract.

January 04,1996

Line Item Veto

The Line Item Veto Act of 1996, introduced by Senator Dole and co-sponsored by 29 other senators, was intended to, according to President Clinton, “throw a spotlight of public scrutiny onto the darkest corners of the federal budget.” This act gave presidents the power to veto individual spending projects contained within appropriations bills, a desire that was near universal in the executive branch regardless of party affiliation. Signed into law by President Clinton, the line item veto was used 84 times over the next three years before being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote.

March 12,1996

Legislation: The Helms-Dole-Burton Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act

The Helms-Dole-Burton Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act strengthened the embargo against Cuba and provided incentives for democratic change in the communist controlled country. Opposition to the bill was overcome following the murder of four Americans shot down by Cuba over international airspace. They were working for Brother to the Rescue, a humanitarian organization that aids Cuban refugees. The law was signed by President Clinton on March 12, 1996.

March 29,1996

Legislation: Bipartisan Anti-Terrorism Legislation

This legislation was a part of the Republican Contract With America and a response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings. Signed into law by President Bill Clinton on April 24, 1996, the law aims to "deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, provide for an effective death penalty and for other purposes." Dole supported this bipartisan legislation.

April 04,1996

Legislation: Farm Conservation Bill

Farm Conservation Bill

April 10,1996

Legislation: Bipartisan Immigration Control & Financial Responsibility Act

An amendment offered by Senator Coverdell (D-GA) and Senator Dole to the 1996 Immigration Reform package closed a loophole that allowed illegal aliens to stay in the country following conviction for certain domestic and sexual assaults.

June 11,1996

Legislation: Safe Drinking Water Act

This act was designed to provide safe drinking water for everyone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states, localities, and water suppliers who implement these standards.

June 11,1996

Dole Leaves Senate to Run for President

Bob Dole retires from the Senate on June 11, 1996.

June 11,1996

Address to the Republican Convention

Senator Dole addresses the National Convention after winning the Republican Primary

August 15,1996

An Uphill Campaign

Bob Dole secures the Republican Party nomination for the presidency. In August 1996, Bob Dole arrived at the Republican National Convention with his party's nomination already in hand. Dole united the GOP's deficit hawks with its Reaganesque supply-siders. Unable to gain much traction amidst "Clinton prosperity," the challenger trailed throughout the campaign. Dole's message of smaller government, tax reduction, regulatory and tort reform, and a strengthened national defense was not enough to close Clinton's double-digit lead in the polls.

August 15,1996

An Uphill Campaign, con’t

Bob Dole secures the Republican Party nomination for the presidency. In August 1996, Bob Dole arrived at the Republican National Convention with his party's nomination already in hand. Dole united the GOP's deficit hawks with its Reaganesque supply-siders. Unable to gain much traction amidst "Clinton prosperity," the challenger trailed throughout the campaign. Dole's message of smaller government, tax reduction, regulatory and tort reform, and a strengthened national defense was not enough to close Clinton's double-digit lead in the polls.

August 16,1996

Running Against Clinton

At 73, Dole was the oldest major-party candidate for president in American history.

September 24,1996

Legislation: Omnibus Appropriations Act

Omnibus Appropriations Act restored needed funds for education and training, the environment, science and technology, and law enforcement; fully funds my anti-drug and counter-terrorism initiatives; extends the Brady Bill so that those who commit domestic violence cannot buy handguns; provides needed resources to respond to fires in the western part of the Nation and to the devastation brought by Hurricanes Fran and Hortense; and includes landmark immigration reform legislation that cracks down on illegal immigration without punishing legal immigrants.

November 05,1996

Dole Loses Presidential Election

Dole loses the election to President Clinton.

January 01,1997

Post-Political Life

Dole's post-political life was busier than ever.

January 01,1997

Dole Authors Two Books

Dole wrote two books of political humor entitled Great Political Wit: Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House and Great Presidential Wit (...I Wish I Was in This Book).

January 01,1997

International Commission on Missing Persons

Dole served as chair of the International Commission on Missing Persons from 1997-2001. Originally established as part of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the commission has surpassed its original scope of work in the countries of former Yugoslavia and is now involved in issues related to missing persons throughout the world. In the years after the war in Bosnia ended, more that 27,000 people remained missing. Comparing the experience to that of Americans following the Vietnam War, Dole recognized the importance of being able to identify missing relatives and finally put them to rest.

January 17,1997

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Clinton presented Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom on January 17, 1997.

March 19,1997

National WWII Memorial

Dole led the WWII Memorial Commission as National Chairman. As a decorated veteran, he shared the belief that there should be a national memorial to honor the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. Dole helped to raise over $197 million in cash and pledges. Construction began in September 2001 and concluded in April 2004. At the dedication ceremony, Dole spoke about the importance of remembering the sacrifices that were made and the importance of democracy.

April 01,1997

Awarded the John Heinz Award

Senator Dole is awarded the annual U.S. Senator John Heinz Award. The award is given to and outstanding individual for their innovative contributions in five areas: Arts and Humanities, Environment, Human Condition, Public Policy, Technology, and the Economy and Employment.

September 01,1997

In Good Humor

Dole's willingness to not take himself too seriously opened up a whole new "celebrity vogue" in advertising and TV commercials. He pitched Visa cards, Dunkin' Donuts, Pepsi, and famously-Viagra.

October 04,1997

Groundbreaking for the Dole Institute of Politics

Groundbreaking for the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

April 29,1998

Public Service Award

Dole receives Public Service Award.

May 14,1998

So Long Seinfeld

NBC telecasts the final episode of Seinfeld.

January 01,1999

The Euro

The Euro is introduced.

March 08,2000

Election Commentator for Comedy Central

Dole's humor won him a place on Comedy Central, where he supplied decidedly unconventional political commentary. Dole appeared on the Daily Show as a commentator for the 2000 election.

November 01,2000

George W. Bush Elected President

George W. Bush is elected 43rd President of the United States , defeating Vice President Al Gore.

September 11,2001

September 11th

Four airplanes are hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists. Two are used to destroy the World Trade Center towers in New York City, one crashes into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and the fourth is downed in Pennsylvania after passengers struggle and defeat the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

September 29,2001

Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

Dole and Clinton worked together to raise more than $100 million for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which funds college scholarships for the children of 9/11 victims.

November 14,2001

French Legion of Honor Medal

The French Legion of Honor Award "Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur" is presented to Bob Dole for his outstanding achievements in military and civil service. The award was established in 1802 by Napoleon.

July 24,2002

Leadership Portrait Unveiled in the Senate

The Leadership Portrait of Bob Dole is unveiled. The oil painting is 49.5 inches high by 33.5 inches wide.

January 23,2003

Salute to the Leader

Salute to the Leader: A Tribute to Senator Bob Dole-Washington, DC

April 14,2003

The Human Genome

Scientists complete the human genome sequence.

July 20,2003

The Dole Institute of Politics Opens

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics dedication ceremony.

April 29,2004

Opening of the World War II Memorial

Opening of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

September 04,2004

Sylvanus Thayer Award

The Sylvanus Thayer Award is an annual award presented by the United States Military Academy at West Point. Named after the fifth superintendent at the academy, the award was created to honor a non-West Point graduate who embodies the motto: “Duty, Honor, Country.” Previous recipients have included Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, Ronald Reagan, Barbara Jordan, and Walter Cronkite. Recipients of the Thayer Award receive a medal and their name inscribed on a memorial plaque in the West Point cadet dining hall. The Thayer Award is currently on display at the Dole Institute of Politics.

December 03,2004

The American Patriot Award

Senator Dole is presented the American Patriot Award from the National Defense University for ‘being an exceptional American who has demonstrated a profound and abiding love of country and whose inspirational leadership and selfless dedication symbolize the nation’s ideals, values and democratic principles.’

February 15,2005

Video Explosion

YouTube is launched.

April 12,2005

Publishes One Soldiers Story

Bob Dole publishes One Soldier's Story.

April 26,2005

The Dole Lecture

The Dole Lecture is a public event headlined by a national figure discussing an aspect of current politics or policy. Held each spring, it commemorates April 14, 1945, when Bob Dole was critically wounded while serving in Italy during World War II. The Dole Lecture honors Dole’s courageous recovery and continuing commitment to serve the nation.

May 01,2005

The Honor Flight Network

As honorary advisor of the Honor Flight Network, Senator Dole works closely with the honor flight program to ensure that American veterans are provided with the opportunity to visit the World War II Memorial in the Nation’s capital, free of any personal cost to the veterans. Senator Dole spends his Saturdays at the World War II Memorial greeting veterans, swapping stories about their service and posing for pictures. “Mr. Dole was like a rock star. They gathered around to shake hands, to have their pictures taken with him, to crack a joke about their ages,” said Gerald F. Seib, of the Wall Street Journal.

November 05,2006

Suddam Hussein Sentenced

Former Iraqi leader Suddam Hussein is sentenced to death.

March 06,2007

Co-Chair of the Commission on Investigation of Care of Wounded Warriors

President George W. Bush appoints Senator Dole, along with former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, to co-head a bipartisan commission established to investigate the neglect scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, called the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors.

May 29,2007

Bipartisan Policy Center’s Leaders Project

Bob Dole joins the Bipartisan Policy Center's Leaders Project. As part of the Leaders Project on the State of American Healthcare, he worked with Senators Howard Baker and Tom Daschle to study health care in America. The Leaders Project included strategic outreach to key health care stakeholders, a series of state-based public policy forums, and months of personal deliberation. The culmination of their work is a bipartisan agreement for comprehensive healthcare reform entitled "Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System."

August 03,2007

Healthcare Forum at the Dole Institute

Bob Dole moderates a healthcare forum at the Dole Institute.

October 16,2008

Awarded World Food Prize with Senator George McGovern

Senators Dole and McGovern are awarded the 2008 World Food Prize.

November 04,2008

Barack Obama Elected President

Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States.

April 29,2009

T. Boone Pickens Presents Energy Independence Plan at the Dole Institute

T. Boone Pickens presents his plan for energy independence at the Dole Institute. Bob Dole gives the introduction.

May 03,2009

Bob and Elizabeth Dole Give 2009 Dole Lecture

Bob and Elizabeth Dole visit the Dole Institute to present the 2009 Dole Lecture: Unlimited Partners.

June 06,2009

Dole Travels to Normandy With President Obama

Bob Dole attends the 65th Anniversary of D-Day Invasion of Normandy as a guest of President Obama.

April 12,2011

Honored for Contributions to the National WWII Memorial

Senator Dole was honored for his lifelong support of veterans and his instrumental role in establishing the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Senator Dole was given a plaque for his work, and the plaque was presented by Tom Brokaw

September 30,2011

Kansas Walk of Honor

Dole is honored with the first plaque on the Kansas Walk of Honor at the Topeka Statehouse.

October 01,2011

Salute to the Leader

The Dole Institute sponsored the Salute to the Leader event in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Senator Dole's congressional career. In attendance were Bob and Elizabeth Dole, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Senator Pat Roberts.

October 01,2011

Senator Bob Dole Bypass

The ceremony for the "Senator Bob Dole Bypass" in Hutchinson, Kansas takes place to dedicate the bypass that is named in honor of Dole for his work securing the federal funds to build the route.

March 22,2012

Honorary Law Degree from the University of Kansas

Bob Dole is one of the first people to be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Kansas. Dole attended KU as an undergraduate, but did not receive a degree due to his enlistment in the army during WWII. He is awarded the Law degree for his contributions as a statesman and advocate for the rights of all.

September 14,2012

Bob Box Program

The Kansas Food Bank will be announcing its new program targeted towards senior hunger on Friday, September 14th. Sponsored and endorsed by Senator Robert J. Dole, the program will help seniors who often face difficult choices between paying medical and utility bills and buying food.”

December 04,2012

Appearance on the Senate Floor

Dole made an appearance on the Senate floor to advocate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Democratic Senator John Kerry explained: ‘Bob Dole is here because he wants to know that other countries will come to treat the disabled as we do.’ The Senate rejected the treaty by a vote of 61-38, less than the 66 required for ratification. Many Republican senators voted against the bill, fearing it would impact American sovereignty.

July 22,2013

Bob Dole Turns 90

Many friends, supporters and former staff members come together to celebrate Dole's special day in Washington, D.C.

April 21,2014

Reunion Tour of Kansas

In early 2014 Dole began a reunion tour to his home state of Kansas, in which he intends to visit each of the state's 105 counties. Dole also called this his “Thank You” tour, and began in Kansas City on April 21, 2014

April 22,2014

Visit to the Dole Institute

At age 90, Bob Dole visits the Dole Institute of Politics once again.

September 07,2014

Dole visits the Fair

Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole visit the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson as part of his 105 county tour of Kansas. The Dole's spend several hours meeting and taking pictures with local Kansans.