Thursday 23 September 2010

Carl Albert

I'm reviewing the historical background for my study of majority/government whips and whip organisations in the UK Parliament and US Congress 1974-2010. As part of that, I've spent some of today reading about the Speakership of Carl Albert (1971-77: the 92nd; 93rd & 94th Congresses). I discovered on the C-SPAN Archive - a superb resouce for so many purposes! - a programme about Carl Albert which can be accessed from here.
Born in 1908 - this short man from Oklahoma (he was 5 ft 4 ins tall - and had the nickname the "little Giant from Little Dixie") - was brought up in a log cabin - studied in the US - and gained a Rhodes Scholarship which brought him to Oxford University (just 37 miles from where I am writing this). He served in World War II and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 for the 3rd district of Oklahoma.

In 1955 he became Majority Whip - and succeeded John McCormack as Majority Leader in 1962. When McCormack left the House and relenquished the Speaker's Chair - it was Albert who again succeeded him.

Ronald M Peters has written a short essay abot Albert's tenure as Speaker - which is available here.

Back in 2009 I did a post about the Carl Albert Center.