The Dick Thornburgh Papers

The Collection


The Thornburgh archive at the University of Pittsburgh has 547 videos from the years 1978–91, which begin with Thornburgh’s gubernatorial campaign in 1978, and continue up to and including his campaign for U.S. Senate in 1991. Since that time, both from Thornburgh’s position as under-secretary-general of the United Nations and in his ongoing career, there have been no video additions to the collection. All 547 videos have been reformatted for preservation, and 55 videos (14.5 hours total) are available here online.

Subjects and events include, for example: campaign ads; inaugurations; budget addresses; appearances on "MacNeil/Lehrer" both as governor and attorney general; news conferences from the week of the accident at Three Mile Island; Martin Luther King Day events; Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts; Distinguished Service Medal to General Matthew B. Ridgeway; a brief clip of the welcoming by Governor Thornburgh of Pope John Paul II to Philadelphia, 1979; attorney general’s announcement of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro-related indictments; and the first anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

It should be noted that at the time Thornburgh became governor of Pennsylvania, in 1979, videotapes were comparatively early in their use and quality. In fact, Commonwealth Media was formally established by Governor Thornburgh only after the accident at Three Mile Island, which dramatically exemplified the usefulness of visual documentation of major occurrences, news conferences, and events.

The selection of videos available here online is intended to portray an array of events and issues that are both visually interesting and have representative and significant content. In some cases the quality is less than excellent, but the content merited inclusion.

video available online

Campaign for Governor, 1978

Thornburgh for governor campaign ads (primary and general elections, 1978 (11:45)

Governor of Pennsylvania, 1979–87, and re-election campaign 1982

PPTN: Governor Thornburgh inauguration ceremony, January 17, 1979 (28:29)

Governor's speech to Joint Session of Pennsylvania Legislature, October 1, 1979 (38:43)

Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal awarded to General Matthew B. Ridgeway, June 6, 1980 (01:10)

Governor's news conference regarding reforms of Liquor Control Board and plans to abolish state store system, Harrisburg, January 28, 1981 (14:49)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" regarding New Federalism, January 27, 1982 (05:24)

Thornburgh re-election announcement, Franklin Plaza, Philadelphia, Pa., March 2, 1982 (15:39)

Governor Thornburgh's final budget address to Joint Session of Pennsylvania Legislature, February 4, 1986 (39:49)

Re-election campaign fund-raising luncheon: President Reagan speaker, May 14, 1982 (30:05)

Re-election campaign for governor ads, 1982 (12:14)

Election Night, Philadelphia, November 2, 1982 (12:37)

Thornburgh inauguration and celebratory events, January 18, 1983 (33:26)

Martin Luther King Day observance and awards luncheon, Philadelphia, with governor and Coretta King, January 16, 1984 (12:01)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" regarding the federal deficit, July 31, 1984 (04:54)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" regarding federal budget impasse with Governors Thornburgh and Cuomo, February 25, 1985 (05:48)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer Report” regarding federal budget '87 with Governors Thornburgh and Clinton, February 5, 1986 (17:23)

Speech to Financial Executives Institute (FEI) regarding "Major Business and Economic Issues Affecting Pennsylvania and Philadelphia," May 1, 1986 (41:48)

Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts: Hazlett Memorial Awards, June 2, 1986 (06:57)

Pennsylvania tourism commercials, 1979–86 (10:55)

Conversations with the governor #28: "The Thornburgh Years,” December 17, 1986 (27:56)

Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1987–88

"Thornburgh Legacy,” April 13, 1988 (10:33)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer Report": Thornburgh named attorney general of the United States, July 14, 1988 (08:27)

Attorney General of the United States, 1988–91

Attorney General Thornburgh speaks to Department of Justice employees in the Great Hall for the first time, October 7, 1988 (18:37)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour" regarding Columbia and drug war, August 28, 1989 (10:38)

Attorney general's press conference regarding Exxon Valdez, February 27, 1990 (20:48)

Joint American and Russian conference with Soviet Minister of Justice Veniamin F. Yakovlev and Attorney General Thornburgh, August 17, 1990 (30:22)

Attorney general's announcement of indictments against former officers of Atlanta Branch of Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro over Iraqi agricultural and other export credits, February 28, 1991 (23:08)

PBS: "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" regarding crime bill, March 11, 1991 (10:24)

First anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act: Department of Justice ceremony, July 26, 1991 (27:27)

Campaign for U.S. Senate, 1991

Dick Thornburgh for Senate: compilation of aired campaign ads, August–November 1991 (05:54)

U.S. Senate campaign concession speech, November 5, 1991 (09:50)

Three Mile Island, 1979, 1981

WQED kindly gave persmission to present these TMI videos.

    © 1979 WQED Multimedia. All Rights Reserved.

WQED: Press conference #1, Lieutenant Governor Scranton, Critchlow, Dornsife, Henderson, 10:55 a.m., March 28, 1979

WQED: Press conference #2, Lieutenant Governor Scranton, Critchlow, Dornsife, Gerusky, Henderson, 4:30 p.m., March 28, 1979

WQED: Metropolitan Edison, Herbein, 1 p.m., March 28, 1979

WQED: Press conference #3, Lieutenant Governor Scranton, Higgins, Gallina, 10 p.m., March 28, 1979 (17:12)

WQED: Metropolitan Edison, Herbein, Crietz, 10 a.m., March 29, 1979

WQED: First governor press conference, Critchlow, Scranton, Gerusky, Higgins, Gallina, Henderson, 5:15 p.m., March 29, 1979

WQED: Metropolitan Edison, Herbein, 11 a.m.

WQED: Governor and lieutenant governor press conference, 12:30 p.m., March 30, 1979

President Carter and Governor Thornburgh press conference regarding Three Mile Island, April 1, 1979 (07:43)

WQED: Harold Denton (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) press conference, 3 p.m., April 1, 1979

WQED: Governor Thornburgh press conference 9:30 p.m., April 3, 1979 (17:27)

WQED: Governor Thornburgh press conference, Scranton, Denton, Adamcik, 3 p.m., April 9, 1979 (18:00)

Governor proposes cost-sharing plan for cleanup of Three Mile Island, July 9, 1981 (20:15)

PCN: Governor’s Emergency Message regarding Three Mile Island (TMI) [online] April 6, 1979 (31:32)

News Conference regarding Three Mile Island (TMI) Governor and Harold Denton [online] March 27, 1980 (19:27)

National Governor’s Conference: Governor’s Statement regarding Three Mile Island (TMI) [online] August 10, 1981 (09:14)

Governor’s Testimony before joint committees of US Senate regarding cleanup of Three Mile Island [online] October 20, 1981 (19:46)

U.S. DOE and GPU agreement signing for removal of damaged Unit 2 reactor for Three Mile Island (TMI) site [online] April 7, 1982 (08:11)

“Three Mile Island (TMI): A Nuclear Crisis Revisited”; University of Pittsburgh Panel Discussion Including Governor, Denton and Dvorchak, March 26, 1999

“Thornburgh-Scranton 25th Anniversary Symposium: Crisis Management Lessons from Three Mile Island (TMI) With permission of PCN , [online] November 19, 2003 (1:38:37)

NRC: Three Mile Island Accident, 30th Anniversary: “A Look Back: Preserving the Institutional Memory” (TMI) with excerpts from ‘We Survived TMI’ , WHTM ABC27; Morning Session, March 25, 2009

NRC: “Three Mile Island Accident, 30th Anniversary; Afternoon Session, March 25, 2009


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