Newport Historical Society’s Executive Director Ruth Taylor recently sat down, virtually, with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to interview and document his experiences on January 6, 2021, as part of their new initiative History in the Making.
The History in the Making initiative, comprised of video interviews recorded for the Newport Historical Society’s archives and available to view on YouTube, seeks to document present-day developments and tensions as a way of connecting the future to the past.
“Senator Whitehouse’s account of his personal experiences during the attack on the Capitol is elucidating and chilling,” Taylor explains. “We are living in clearly historic times that should be recorded for the future.” During this 23-minute interview, Senator Whitehouse, who has served in the United State Senate since 2007, recounts his day in its entirety—from arriving at the Capitol, to his time during the attacks and the importance of completing the day’s objective to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
As part of the interview, Senator Whitehouse is asked the question, “If this moment, with all of the disruption and strife we have experienced, may represent a pivot point for America, what should happen next?” His thoughtful response dives into the lies that have become stinkingly common in communications from public leadership, and concludes with ideas about strengthening democracy.
Since the Newport Historical Society was established in 1854, collecting objects and documents relating to important moments has been central to their mission. It’s therefore a natural transition for the Society to document the here and now for future researchers.
To learn more about the Newport Historical Society, including History in the Making and to explore their digital archives, visit NewportHistory.org.