Secretary of State Tre Hargett dedicated the newly released 2015-2016 edition of the Blue Book to the late U.S. Sen. Howard H. Baker, Jr. of Scott County on Thursday.
Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) invited Secretary Hargett to hold the dedication ceremony at Sen. Baker's former estate in Huntsville, Tenn.
"Senator Baker was not only an iconic public servant, but also a man who set the highest standards for excellence in public service to our great state and nation," Secretary Hargett said. "His respect for others, high regard for collaboration and civil discourse as well as the love he exemplified for his fellow Tennesseans made him the natural choice."
Baker’s lengthy and storied career spanned seven decades, including winning 56 percent of the popular vote in 1966 to become Tennessee’s first Republican U.S. senator since Reconstruction. He rose to national prominence during the Watergate hearings as vice chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, when he uttered that famous question, "What did the president know, and when did he know it?"
"Senator Baker was the right man in the right place in so many times when this country needed him. One of his greatest abilities was bringing civility to the table in times of crisis. There are many of us today who can learn much from the service and life of Senator Howard Baker. Tennesseans are very fortunate to have benefitted from the courage and conviction of his service. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have known him as a constituent, a mentor and as a friend," said Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston).
After retirement, Baker devoted much of his time to the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and once said that he would be remembered longest for his key role in the creation of the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, which spans over land in both Tennessee and Kentucky.
Baker passed away on June 26, 2014 at the age of 88.