Bourke Hickenlooper

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Bourke B. Hickenlooper
HICKENLOOPER, BOURKE.jpg
Former Chair of the Republican Senate Policy Committee
From: January 3, 1962 – January 3, 1969
Predecessor Styles Bridges
Successor Gordon Allott
Former U.S. Senator from Iowa
From: January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1969
Predecessor Guy Mark Gillette
Successor Harold Hughes
Former Governor of Iowa
From: January 14, 1943 – January 11, 1945
Lieutenant Ronald D. Blue
Predecessor George A. Wilson
Successor Robert D. Blue
Former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
From: January 12, 1939 – January 14, 1943
Governor George A. Wilson
Predecessor John K. Valentine
Successor Robert D. Blue
Former State Representative from Iowa
From: 1934–1937
Predecessor ???
Successor ???
Information
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Verna Eileen Bensch
Religion Methodist[1]
Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Service Years 1918–1819
Rank Second Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I

Bourke Blakemore Hickenlooper (July 21, 1896 – September 4, 1971) was an attorney from Iowa who served as the state's lieutenant governor, governor, and U.S. senator, previously serving in the lower state legislature. A member of the Republican Party, he was a strong conservative and an ardent anti-Communist who opposed the Senate censure of Joseph McCarthy, having been one of 22 Republicans to vote against it.[2] Being popular among his constituents, he was simply known by the nickname "Hick".

Early life, education, and military service

Hickenlooper was born in Taylor County, Iowa to Margaret Blakemore (1872–1943) and Nathan Hickenlooper (1869–1961). His mother, a teacher, was active in church and civic activities and devoted much of her life to him.[3] Being the only child of farmers, Bourke attended local public schools and later Iowa State University. He served in the Army during World War I, enrolling at a training camp in Minnesota in April 1917, being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and serving in France as a battalion orientation officer.

He was honorably discharged from the military in early 1919 and continued his education. Hickenlooper graduated from Iowa State College that year and proceeded to enter University of Iowa College of Law, earning in 1922 his Bachelor of Laws degree.

Iowa state government

Elected as a state representative in 1934, Hickenlooper served in the Iowa state legislature for three years. In there, he focused on public health, education, and government reorganization, among several issues.

Hickenlooper unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor of Iowa in 1936,[4] being a year Democrats performed well, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt's landslide re-election over Moderate Republican Alf Landon. He ran again in 1938 and was successful the second time around to serve as the lieutenant of Governor George Allison Wilson (1884–1953).

During his tenure as lieutenant governor, Hickenlooper once saved a woman from drowning, which gained him a status as a hero.[4] He ran for governor in 1942 to succeed Wilson and easily won, sweeping over all but two counties.[5]

U.S. Senate

Hickenlooper, being a popular governor, was elected to the Senate in 1944,[6] narrowly defeating Guy Mark Gillette in an election cycle where he was the only Republican who managed to oust a Democrat incumbent.[4] He served for a total of four terms, winning re-election in 1950,[7] 1956,[8] and 1962.[9]

He backed Dwight Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election and supported the free market reforms the Eisenhower Administration pushed on agriculture.[4] During the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, Hickenlooper opposed the liberal Great Society programs.[4] This included his votes against Medicare and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.[10]

Civil rights

Hickenlooper was a strong supporter of civil rights, having backed desegregation efforts and the 24th Amendment to outlaw the poll tax in all federal-level elections.[4][11] He voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957[12] and 1960,[13] as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[14] However, he merely voted "present" on the Civil Rights Act of 1968.[15]

After notorious Mississippi segregationist senator and former Klansman Theodore Bilbo faced calls to be denied his Senate seat after intimidating and inciting violence against black voters in his 1946 re-election, Hickenlooper joined Republican Styles Bridges of New Hampshire in working to halt Bilbo,[4][16] as Republicans had just gained a bare Senate majority. As gridlock ensued with Southern senators starting filibusters, Minority Leader Alben Barkley broke the impasse in announcing that Bilbo would return to Mississippi for surgery. The racist demagogue never recovered to return to Congress, dying in 1947 of oral cancer.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Like Barry Goldwater, Norris Cotton, and Milward Simpson, Hickenlooper opposed the final Senate passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 over concerns of increasing federal bureaucracy despite deceitful left-wing attempts to highlight the conservative Republican opposition to portions of the bill as "racist".

As efforts were being made to rally enough Republicans to support cloture in order to end the Southern filibuster, Hickenlooper sought to remove some text from Title IV likely on pro-small government, libertarian grounds.[17][18] His amendment, along with one by Sen. Cotton,[19] were defeated on June 9, 1964.[20]

Although initially hesitant,[21] Hickenlooper voted in favor of invoking cloture to end the filibuster led by Southern Democrats[22] at the urging of Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen.[23] He ultimately voted against the passage of the landmark legislation.[24]

Atomic energy

While Hickenlooper, who headed the Joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee, initially voted for David Lilienthal to chair the Atomic Energy Commission, he later called out Lilienthal over incompetence on the issue of missing uranium.[4] The latter, while managing to narrowly evade being removed from the commission, ultimately resigned months later.

Hickenlooper supported the private production of atomic energy, having co-authored the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.[4]

Foreign policy

Senate portrait of Hickenlooper.

While strongly conservative, Hickenlooper sided with internationalists on many foreign policy matters, supporting the United Nations and backing foreign aid in 1947. He also supported the Marshall Plan as well as the establishment of NATO. However, he was much more staunchly anti-communist than many moderates, having been referred to as a "Cold War warrior". Along with Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Hickenlooper refused to sign a committee report which cleared the State Department of wrongdoing.

Hickenlooper backed General Douglas MacArthur in the latter's dispute with President Harry Truman at the time of the Korean War.[4]

As the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hickenlooper proposed an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act which would slash foreign aid to any country expropriating the privately owned property of American sugar plantations and oil companies.[4] The measure was opposed by President John F. Kennedy over concerns that diplomatic ties to Latin America would be weakened. The amendment was defeated by a 40–45 Senate vote.[25]

Hickenlooper was a supporter of U.S. military intervention in the Vietnam War and co-authored the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Nearly all of his concurrences on policy with administrations under Democrat presidencies were on foreign policy matters.[4]

Intra-party disputes

A strong Republican who held firm conservative principles including opposition towards the welfare state during the Johnson presidency, Hickenlooper voted for Everett Dirksen in 1959 to lead the Senate GOP, though disputed with him over certain matters.[4] Hickenlooper particularly was not pleased with Dirksen's "backroom deals", believing that the Minority Leader compromised too often with Democrats without offering enough of a voice to fellow Republicans.

Retirement

Hickenlooper did not run for another Senate term in the 1968 elections. He died three years later while visiting Shelter Island, New York, and is interred at Cedar Memorial Cemetery, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Personal life and family

Hickenlooper was married to Verna Bensch until her death less than a year preceding his. They had two children, Mrs. Jane Carroll Hickenlooper Oberlin (1929–2016[26]) and David B. Hickenlooper.[27]

He is a distant cousin of John Hickenlooper, a current Democrat senator from Colorado;[4][28] the younger Hickenlooper has touted the legacy of his distant relative to promote himself.[29] Despite their family relation (Bourke being the first cousin of John's grandfather), the two are very different; while the elder Hickenlooper came from a rural town and held conservative values, John was raised in a Philadelphia suburb and is a leftist who has violated ethics rules as governor.[30]

See also

References

  1. 1943-1945, Bourke B. Hickenlooper. Iowa Heritage Digital Collections. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  2. Two references:
  3. Margaret A Blakemore Hickenlooper. Find A Grave. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 The First Hickenlooper. fascinatingpolitics.com. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  5. IA Governor Race - Nov 03, 1942. Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  6. IA US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1944. Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  7. IA US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1950. Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  8. IA US Senate Race - Nov 06, 1956. Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  9. IA US Senate Race - Nov 06, 1962. Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  10. S. 2642. PASSAGE.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  11. S.J. RES. 29. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION BANNING THE POLL TAX AS PREREQUISITE FOR VOTING IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  12. HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  13. HR. 8601. PASSAGE OF AMENDED BILL.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  14. TO PASS S. 1564, THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  15. TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN SALE OR RENTAL OF HOUSING, AND TO PROHIBIT RACIALLY MOTIVATED INTERFERENCE WITH A PERSON EXERCISING HIS CIVIL RIGHTS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  16. The Election Case of Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi (1947). United States Senate. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  17. SENATE TO VOTE ON AMENDMENTS BEFORE CLOSURE; Foes in Civil Rights Debate Accept Hickenlooper Bid to Act on 3 Proposals. The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  18. The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom. Library of Congress. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  19. HR. 7152. COTTON AMEND. TO EXEMPT SMALL BUSINESSES FROM THE FAIR EMPLOYMENT SECTION BY COVERING ONLY EMPLOYERS OF 100 OR MORE PERSONS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  20. HR. 7152. HICKENLOOPER AMEND. TO DELETE FROM TITLE IV, COVERING DESEGREGATION OF SCHOOLS, THE AUTHORIZATION OF FED. FUNDS TO AID COLLEGES IN OPERATING PROGRAMS TO TRAIN SCHOOL PERSONNEL TO HANDLE DESEGREGATION PROBLEMS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  21. Hickenlooper Opposes Closure Till Rights Bill Is Modified More. The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  22. HR. 7152. MANSFIELD DIRKSEN MOTION THAT THE SENATE INVOKE CLOTURE ON THE SOUTHERN FILIBUSTER.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 2021.
  23. Hickenlooper Opposes Closure Till Rights Bill Is Modified More. The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  24. HR. 7152. PASSAGE.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  25. S. 2996. AMEND. BARRING AID TO ANY NATION WHICH EXPORTED TO U.S.S.R. OR NATION DOMINATED BY U.S.S.R. ANY WAR IMPLEMENTS OR ARTICLES OF STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  26. Jane Carroll Hickenlooper Oberlin. Find a Grave. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  27. Bourke Hickenlooper Is Dead; Former Iowa Senator Was 75. The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  28. Wingerter, John (October 4, 2020). John Hickenlooper sees a bipartisan future in the Senate. Is that possible?. The Denver Post. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  29. Iowa Press (June 7, 2019). 2020 candidate John Hickenlooper. YouTube. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  30. Axelrod, Tal (June 12, 2020). Hickenlooper fined $2,750 by state ethics panel for violating gifts rule as governor. The Hill. Retrieved February 21, 2021.

External links