Bilbo, Theodore Gilmore

Bilbo, Theodore Gilmore

Bilbo, Theodore Gilmore, 1877-1947, U.S. senator (1935-47), b. near Poplarville, Pearl River co., Miss. After study at the Univ. of Nashville (1897-1900) and Vanderbilt Univ. law school (1905-7), he was admitted (1908) to the Tennessee bar. An ultraconservative Southern Democrat, he won political success by demagogic insistence on white supremacy. He was twice governor of Mississippi (1916-20, 1928-32) before his election to the U.S. Senate. He died while Congress was investigating charges that he had disqualified himself for the Senate by using intimidation to keep blacks from voting and by accepting bribes.

See biography by A. W. Green (1963).

The Eightieth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3 1947 to January 3 1949, during the last two years of the first administration of U.S. President Harry S. Truman.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Sixteenth Census of the United States in 1940. Republicans gained a majority in both chambers for the this Congress. The Democrats had the majorities in the previous Congress and they regained them back in the next Congress.

Dates of sessions

January 3 1947January 3 1949

Previous: 79th Congress • Next: 81st Congress

President Harry Truman called Congress into extraordinary session twice, from November 17, 1947 to December 19, 1947 and from July 26, 1948 to August 7, 1948. In both cases, Congress had completed its business for the year but had not adjourned sine die, and so the extraordinary sessions are considered extensions of the regular sessions.

Major events

Major legislation

The 80th Congress was nicknamed the "Do Nothing Congress" by President Harry Truman. The Congress opposed many of the bills passed during the Franklin Roosevelt administration. They also opposed most of Truman's Fair Deal bills. Yet they passed many pro-business bills. During the 1948 election Truman campaigned as much against the "Do Nothing Congress" as against his formal opponent, Thomas Dewey.

Party summary

Senate

From the beginning to the end of this Congress, there was no net change in party power.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total

     

Republican Democratic Vacant
Begin (January 4, 1947) 51 45 96 0
August 21, 1947 44 95 1
November 17, 1947 45 96 0
May 14, 1948 44 95 1
May 18, 1948 45 96 0
September 27, 1948 50 95 1
October 6, 1948 51 96 0
December 26, 1948 50 95 1
December 30, 1948 50 43 93 3
December 30, 1948 51 45 96 0
Latest voting share 53.1% 46.9%

House of Representatives

From the beginning to the end of this Congress, there was no net change in party power. The Democrats lost one seat, which remained vacant until the next Congress.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total

       

Republican Democratic American Labor Vacant
Begin (January 4, 1947) 246 188 1 435 0
April 18, 1947 245 434 1
May 5, 1947 244 433 2
May 24, 1947 243 432 3
June 7, 1947 244 433 2
August 23, 1947 243 432 3
September 2, 1947 242 431 4
September 9, 1947 243 432 3
September 13, 1947 187 431 4
November 4, 1952 244 188 433 2
November 5, 1952 245 434 1
November 18, 1947 246 435 0
December 21, 1947 187 434 1
January 6, 1948 186 433 2

February 17, 1948 245 187
April 7, 1948 186 432 3
April 24, 1948 246 433 2
November 2, 1948 188 435 0
November 18, 1948 187 434 1
Latest voting share 56.7% 43.1% 0.2%

Non-voting members 1 2 0 3 0

Leadership

Senate

Majority (Republican) leadership

Minority (Democratic) leadership

House of Representatives

Majority (Republican) leadership

Minority (Democratic) leadership

Members

Senate

Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

* William C. Feazel (D), May 18, 1948 – December 30, 1948
* Russell B. Long (D), December 31, 1948 – End

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

* John C. Stennis (D), November 17, 1947 – End

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

* J. Melville Broughton (D), December 31, 1948 – End

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

* Vera C. Bushfield (R), October 6, 1948 – December 26, 1948
* Karl Earl Mundt (R), December 31, 1948 – End

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide at-large, are preceded by an "At-Large," and the names of those elected from districts, whether plural or single member, are preceded by their district numbers.

The congressional district numbers are linked to articles describing the district itself. Since the boundaries of the districts have changed often and substantially, the linked article may only describe the district as it exists today, and not as it was at the time of this Congress.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

* John A. Whitaker (D), April 17, 1948 – End

* William Lewis (R), April 24, 1948 – End

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

* . Donald W. Nicholson (R), November 18, 1947 – End

Michigan

* Charles E. Potter (R), November 5, 1952 – End

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

* Paul C. Jones (D), November 2, 1948 – End

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

* Vacant to end

* Abraham J. Multer (D), November 4, 1947 – End

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

* William M. McCulloch (R), November 4, 1947 – End

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

* Franklin H. Lichtenwalter (R), September 9, 1947 – End

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

* Watkins Moorman Abbitt (D), February 17, 1948 – End

* Clarence G. Burton (D), November 2, 1948 – End

Washington

* Russell V. Mack (R), June 7, 1947 – End

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Non-voting members

Changes in membership

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress

Senate

There were 3 deaths, 2 resignations, and one lost mid-term election.

State Vacator Reason for Vacancy Successor Date of Successor's Installation
Mississippi
class 1
Theodore Bilbo (D) Died August 21, 1947 John Stennis (D) Appointed November 17, 1947
Louisiana
class 3
John Holmes Overton (D) Died May 14, 1948 William C. Feazel (D) Appointed May 18, 1948
South Dakota
class 2
Harlan Bushfield (R) Died September 27, 1948 Vera Bushfield (R) Appointed October 6, 1948
South Dakota
class 2
Vera Bushfield (R) Resigned December 26, 1948 Karl Earl Mundt (R) Appointed December 31, 1948
Louisiana
class 3
William C. Feazel (D) Resigned December 30, 1948 Russell B. Long (D) Appointed December 31, 1948
North Carolina
class 2
William Umstead (D) Lost election and left seat December 30, 1948 Melville Broughton (D) Won mid-term election and seated December 31, 1948

House of Representatives

There were 8 deaths and 4 resignations.

District Vacator Reason for Vacancy Successor Date of successor's taking office
Fred Norman (R) Died April 18, 1947 Russell Mack (R) Seated June 7, 1947
Charles Gerlach (R) Died May 5, 1947 Franklin Lichtenwalter (R) Seated September 9, 1947
Fred Bradley (R) Died May 24, 1947 Charles Potter (R) Seated November 5, 1952
Charles Gifford (R) Died August 23, 1947 Donald Nicholson (R) Seated November 18, 1947
Robert Franklin Jones (R) Resigned September 2, 1947, to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission William M. McCulloch (R) Seated November 4, 1947
Leo Rayfiel (D) Resigned September 13, 1947, having been appointed a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York Abraham Multer (D) Seated November 4, 1947
Patrick Drewry (D) Died December 21, 1947 Watkins Abbitt (D) Seated February 17, 1948
Earle Clements (D) Resigned January 6, 1948 to become Governor of Kentucky John Whitaker (D) Seated April 17, 1948
John Robsion (R) Died February 17, 1948 William Lewis (R) Seated April 24, 1948
Orville Zimmerman (D) Died April 7, 1948 Paul Jones (D) Seated November 2, 1948
Lindsay Almond (D) Resigned April 17, 1948, having been elected Attorney General of Virginia Clarence Burton (D) Seated November 2, 1948
John Delaney (D) Died November 18, 1948 Vacant until next Congress

Employees

Senate

House of Representatives

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