RG 168: Personal Papers of Mary Margaret Whipple, 1965-2000

Collection Number
RG 168
Mary Margaret Whipple was born in 1940 and moved to Arlington in the early 1960s. She was appointed to the Arlington School Board in 1976 and was chair in 1978-1979. Whipple ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Arlington County Board in 1979, and later was elected to serve on the Board as a Democrat, 1983-1995. Elected as a Democrat to the Virginia State Senate for the 31st District in 1995, she served until 2012, when she retired from the legislature. While serving in Richmond, Whipple was Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and was the first woman to hold a leadership position in the Virginia General Assembly. Whipple’s policy focus concentrated on renewable energy and Virginia’s tax system.
Scope and Content
RG 168 houses the personal papers of Mary Margaret Whipple. The collection measures approximately 1.5 linear feet and dates from 1965 through 2000, with the bulk dating from 1978-1982. Types of material include press releases, campaign literature and letters, local issue files, Arlington election results, a periodical, and clippings.

Series 1, Subject Files, largely concerns her unsuccessful County Board campaign and preparation for it, 1978-1979. She and Charles Rinker ran on a platform favoring completion of Metrorail, smart growth, excellent schools, reasonable taxes and fiscal responsibility, and the preservation of apartment communities. Files contain campaign material, letters, and issue background documents. Series 2, Arlington Election Results, concerns Arlington election totals. Series 3 is campaign literature, chiefly from 1982. Series 4 contains copies of The Arlington Way, published by Arlingtonians for a Better County, 1988-1998. Series 5 contains clippings concerning the 1975 Virginia legislative session and political events in 1981 and 1982.
Arrangement and Description
Record Group 168 is organized into five series. Series 1 is arranged alphabetically by subject. Series 2-5 are chiefly arranged chronologically.
Record Group 168 was donated by Thomas Whipple, Ms. Whipple's husband, to the Arlington County Public Library in 2007.
There are no research restrictions on Record Group 168.
Related Collections
Other collections containing Whipple campaign material are RG 26, Campaign Literature, and RG 186, McGeargy Campaign Literature Collection. Mary Marshall, a prominent predecessor representing Arlington in House of Delegates, has material in RG 65, Mary Marshall Papers. Whipple’s contemporary Charles Rinker has material in RG 323, Rinker Family Papers.