John Sparkman


John Sparkman

Infobox Senator
nationality=American


jr/sr=United States Senator
state= Alabama
party=Democratic
term_start=November 6 1946
term_end=January 3 1979
preceded=George R. Swift
succeeded=Howell Heflin
date of birth=December 20, 1899
place of birth=Hartselle, Alabama
dead=yes
date of death=death date and age |1985|11|16|1899|12|20
place of death=Huntsville, Alabama
spouse=Ivo Sparkman
religion=Methodist
alma_mater=

John Jackson Sparkman (December 20, 1899–November 16, 1985) was an American politician from the state of Alabama. A conservative Southern Democrat, Sparkman served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate from 1937 until 1979. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for Vice President as Adlai E. Stevenson's running mate in the 1952 U.S. presidential election. Sparkman High School in Harvest, Alabama is named in his honor.

Early life and education

Sparkman was born on a farm near Hartselle, Alabama. He attended the rural schools and helped on the family farm. During World War I, he was a member of the Students Army Training Corps. He graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1921 and from University of Alabama School of Law in 1923. Sparkman was a member of the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha.

Legal career

[
Harry S. Truman, Senator Sparkman (1952 Vice Presidential nominee) and Adlai Stevenson II (Governor, 1952 Presidential nominee) in the Oval Office] John Sparkman was admitted to the bar in 1925 and commenced practice in Huntsville. He was an instructor at Huntsville College from 1925 to 1928. A Freemason, he was life member of Helion Lodge #1 in Huntsville. He was also member of the Huntsville Scottish Rite bodies and a recipient of the Knight Commander Court of Honor (KCCH).

Political career

Sparkman was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1936 election. He was reelected in 1938, 1940, 1942, and 1944, serving in the 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, and 79th Congresses. In 1946 he served as House Majority Whip. He was reelected in the 1946 House election to the 80th Congress and on the same date was elected to the United States Senate in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John H. Bankhead II for the term ending January 3, 1949. Sparkman resigned from the House of Representatives immediately following the election and began his Senate term on November 6, 1946. He served until his retirement on January 3, 1979, after not running for reelection in 1978.

In the Senate he was chairman of the Select Committee on Small Business (81st, 82nd, and 84th through 90th Congresses), co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Inaugural Arrangements (86th Congress), chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency (90th and 91st Congresses), co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Defense Production (91st and 93rd Congresses), Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (92nd and 93rd Congresses), and a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations (94th and 95th Congress).

The 1943 Sparkman Act, allowing women physicians to be commissioned as officers in the armed services, was named for him, after lobbying by Dr. Emily Dunning Barringer.

Sparkman was a representative of the United States to the Fifth General Assembly of the United Nations in 1950.

In 1956, John Sparkman was one of the 19 Southern senators to sign the Southern Manifesto, opposing the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision "Brown v. Board of Education" and racial integration.

He died in Huntsville, Alabama.

Electoral history

1972 Alabama United States Senatorial Election

1954 Alabama United States Senatorial Election

1946 Alabama United States Senatorial Election

John Sparkman (D) Unopposed

External links

A history of Senator Sparkman's career in the House of Representatives was written in 1990 by Dr. Henry Walker.
* [http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/sparkman/sparkbio.htm John Sparkman and the History Of Redstone Arsenal]


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