Saturday, 28 January 2012

Joe Martin

The answer to yesterday's trivia question was "Joseph William Martin Jr" - the ONLY Republican to be Speaker of the House of Representatives between 1931 and 1995. His two terms as Speaker were both preceded and succeeded by the legendary Sam Rayburn.

Originally from Massachusetts - he played semi-professional baseball and rosé from being a newspaper delivery boy to an Editor and Publisher. He served in the Massachusetts House and Senate before becoming US Congressman for the 15th (later, after redistricting the 14th then 10th) District of Massachusetts. Born in 1884, he served in Congress for 42 years. He led the Republicans in the House of Representatives (as Speaker/Minority Leader) from 1939 to 1959.

His congressional biography can be found here. One day late - so I should call it "Yesterday in History" -

Jan. 27, 1939

The first U.S. government officials to appear on a live television broadcast were four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Speaker William Bankhead of Alabama, Majority Leader Sam Rayburn of Texas, Minority Leader Joe Martin of Massachusetts, and Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts. The group was interviewed in front of the Department of Agriculture along the National Mall. Images and sound were transmitted one-half mile away to the National Press Club where members of the press and Washingtonians gathered on the top floor in front of several television receiving sets.