Roncalio, Teno, 1916-2003

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Teno Roncalio was born March 23, 1916, in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He attended the University of Wyoming from 1937-1939 then left the state to work for Wyoming U.S. Senator Joseph O'Mahoney in Washington, D.C. During that time he began law school at Catholic University of America but interrupted his studies to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1941.

After World War II, Roncalio returned to Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1947. He practiced law in Cheyenne and served as deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Laramie County from 1950-1956. In 1957, he was elected chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Central Committee, serving until 1961 when President John F. Kennedy appointed him chairman of the International Joint Commission of the U.S. and Canada.

Roncalio was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964. Two years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate but lost. In 1970, he was elected to the U.S. House again and served until 1978, then retired and returned to Wyoming to practice law. Roncalio died in Cheyenne on March 30, 2003.

From the description of Teno Roncalio papers, 1937-1978 (bulk 1960-1978) (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 56388342

Former Democratic congressman Teno Roncalio was born March 23, 1916, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, the eighth of nine children of Italian immigrant parents Frank and Ernesta Roncalio. He attended the University of Wyoming from 1937 to 1939 then left the state to work for U.S. Senator Joseph O’Mahoney in Washington D.C. During that time he began law school at Catholic University of America but interrupted his studies to enlist as a private in the U.S. Army in 1941. By the following year, he was a commissioned infantry officer. He participated in a number of campaigns, earning the Silver Star for gallantry in action during the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach at Normandy, France.

After World War II, Roncalio returned to Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1947. He practiced law in Cheyenne and served as deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Laramie County from 1950 to 1956. In 1957, he was elected chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Central Committee, serving until 1961 when President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the cabinet-level position of chairman of the International Joint Commission of the United States and Canada. He served in that position until 1964.

Roncalio was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the 89th Congress in 1964. Two years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate but lost to Republican Cliff Hansen. In 1970, Roncalio was elected to the U.S. House again and served in the 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and 95th Congresses, from 1971 until 1978, when he retired and returned to Wyoming to practice law. He served a total of five terms as a U.S. Representative for the State of Wyoming. Later, he participated in Wyoming’s Big Horn adjudication of Indian Water Rights from 1979 to 1982.

While in office, Roncalio was instrumental in blocking Project Wagon Wheel, in which the Atomic Energy Commission planned to detonate nuclear devices underground in southwestern Wyoming to free natural gas from rock formations. He also played a key role in passage of strip-mining reform passed by Congress in 1977.

Roncalio was married to the former Cecelia Waters Domenico and had two sons, Frank and John, and four stepchildren.

From the guide to the Teno Roncalio Papers, 1937-1978, 1960-1978, (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf McGee, Gale W. (Gale William), 1915-. General correspondence files, 1959-1976. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Roncalio, Teno, 1916-2003. Teno Roncalio papers, 1937-1978 (bulk 1960-1978) University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Wagon Wheel Information Committee. Records, 1960-1996. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn McGee, Gale W. (Gale William), 1915-. Photographs, 1916-1980. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Democratic Party (Wyo.). Records, 1952-1967. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Teno Roncalio Papers, 1937-1978, 1960-1978 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Roncalio, Teno, 1916-2003. Teno Roncalio : commercials, 1966-1972. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Democratic Party (Wyo.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Joint Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith McGee, Gale W. (Gale William), 1915- person
associatedWith Project Plowshare (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith Wagon Wheel Information Committee corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Wyoming
Colorado
Subject
Underground nuclear explosions--Wyoming
Land use--Planning--United States
Project Wagon Wheel
Underground nuclear explosions--Colorado
Advertising, political
Politicians--Wyoming
Nuclear energy--Government policy--United States
Strip mining--Law and legislation--United States
Underground nuclear explosions--United States
Coal slurry pipelines--Law and legislation--United States
Natural gas--Wyoming
Strip mining--Law and legislation
Politicians
Underground nuclear explosions
Nuclear energy--Government policy
Politicians--United States
Land use--Planning
Television advertising
Legislators--United States
Coal slurry pipelines--Law and legislation
Legislators
Natural gas
Occupation
Politicians
Legislators
Function

Person

Birth 1916-03-23

Death 2003-03-30

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