January 3, 2013
JFK & NIXON SWORN IN AS FRESHMAN CONGRESSMEN 66 YEARS AGO TODAY!
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 66 years ago today, January 3, 1947, John F. Kennedy & Richard M. Nixon were sworn in as freshman members of the 80th Congress of the United States* here in the Nation’s Capital.
Mr. Kennedy, 29 years old, represented the 11th District of Massachusetts while Mr. Nixon, 6 days shy of 34 years of age, represented the 12th District of California.
JFK, a Democrat who won election on November 5, 1946 with 71.9% of the vote, filled the seat previously held by Boston mayor James M. Curley.
RMN, a Republican, served with JFK on the Education & Labor Committee.
According to Lance Morrow, in “The Best Years of Their Lives: Kennedy, Johnson, & Nixon in 1948,” JFK “seemed lackadaisical” when he 1st came to Congress & according to his secretary Mary Davis, “took little interest in congressional work” & “did not know the 1st thing about what he was doing.”
*80th Congress (Jan 3, 1947-Jan 3, 1949) was dubbed as “the do-nothing congress” by President Harry S Truman because it opposed his ‘Fair Deal’ legislation.
The 80th Congress was controlled by the Republican Party & led by House Speaker, Joseph W. Martin, Jr. Majority Leader was Charles Halleck & Minority Leader was Sam Rayburn.
The state of Massachusetts was represented by 9 Republicans & 5 Democrats while California sent 14 Republicans & 9 Democrats.
Tennessee was represented by 8 Democrats & 2 Republicans, one of which was 2nd District (Knox County included) Congressman John Jennings, Jr.
John Jennings, Jr. (1880-1956) was born in Jacksboro, Tennessee, graduated from US Grant University in Athens, TN & practiced law in Jellico & Knoxville.
Jennings was a delegate to the Republican Conventions of 1912, 1936 & 1944. He came to Congress in 1939 & served until Jan. 3, 1951 having been defeated for renomination by Howard Baker, Sr.