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Georgia Silver Haired Legislature records

Identifier: POL-0010

Scope and Contents note

Legislative files and individual files of prominent officers and leaders of the organization. The records also include notebooks, manuals, audiocassettes, computer discs, and other materials.


  • 1979-2003

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights transferred to University of West Georgia

Biographical/Historical note

Silver Haired Legislatures originated in Missouri in 1973 as a result of the recognition of social movements concerning a growing senior population throughout the United States. The Missouri model legislature was comprised of older citizens whose goal was to unify separate advocacy groups and to create a mechanism for older citizens to become active local leaders and advocates for improving the quality of life through the legislative process. Similar model legislatures, based on the Missouri model, were founded in Iowa, Florida, and Indiana in 1978.

The Georgia Silver Haired Legislature was founded and incorporated in 1979. Support came from the Georgia Council on Aging, the Gray Panthers, the American Association of Retired Persons, the National Retired Teachers Association, the State Office of Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and other organizations. Funded by a grant from the Governor's Office, the first model legislative session was held for three days in 1979 at the Georgia State Capitol. Following this successful event, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation officially creating the Georgia Silver Haired Legislature. This legislation also authorized it to meet biennially at the State Capitol in order to adopt measures appropriate for consideration by the General Assembly.

Membership in the Georgia Silver Haired Legislature was open to any registered voter or permanent resident of Georgia who was at least 60 years of age or older. To be eligible for election, one had to secure the signatures of 75 other persons, age 60 or older, who lived in the same area. Elections were held every two years.

In addition to Biennial Sessions, the Georgia Silver Haired Legislature held public forums throughout Georgia for the purpose of developing position papers and recommendations for legislation in the areas of economics, health care, and community service.

All historical information courtesy of "History and Development of the Georgia Silver Haired Legislature" (author and date of publication unknown).

The Georgia Silver Haired Legislature disbanded on or about 2003.


22.26 Linear feet (53 boxes)




Legislative files, individual files of prominent officers and leaders of the organization, notebooks, manuals, audiocassettes, computer discs, and other materials.

Arrangement note

Boxes 1-24 are Legislative Session Files arranged chronologically by successive legislative sessions. Boxes 46-51 are individual files of prominent officers and leaders of the organization. The remainder of the collection consists of notebooks, manuals, and other items, also arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Materials were first donated by Douglass Ruskell in September 1996 with additions made in October 1996, December 1997, and January 1999. Additional materials were donated by Charles H. Denmark and Frances Denmark in August 2005.

Processing Information note

Processed by Russ Lenox, 2017

Guide to the Georgia Silver Haired Legislature Records POL-0010
Finding aid prepared by Russ Lenox
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States