Howard Baker, Sr.
|Howard H. Baker, Sr.|
|Former U.S. Representative from Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District|
From: January 3, 1951 – January 7, 1964
|Predecessor||John Jennings, Jr.|
|Former State Representative|
|Spouse(s)||Dora Ann Ladd (died 1934)|
Edith Irene Bailey
Howard Henry Baker, Sr. (January 12, 1902 – January 7, 1964) was a Republican congressman from Tennessee's 2nd congressional district whose tenure spanned from the early 1950s until his death in office. He was previously a state representative from 1929 to 1930.
U.S. House of Representatives
Baker was narrowly elected to the House in the 1950 midterms, defeating Democrat opponent Frank W. Wilson by less than five percentage points in what was otherwise a consistent stronghold for the Republican Party since the 1860s. His following re-elections faced no serious opponents in the general elections, always managing to garner at least 58% of the vote.
Baker was considered a strong conservative in the House and supported school prayer. However, he backed some programs such as Social Security and voted with Democrats on several issues. He also adamantly supported the Tennessee Valley Authority, an agency established under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s.
A supporter of civil rights who maintained strong relationships with black leaders including Memphis businessman George Washington Lee (also known as "Lieutenant Lee"), Baker refused to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto which opposed the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that ordered the desegregation of all U.S. public schools. He voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 and the 24th Amendment, which abolished the poll tax in all federal-level elections.
|“||You should always go through life working on the assumption that the other guy might be right.||”|
- U.S. "Party-switch" myth
- Brazilla Carroll Reece, former Republican representative from the neighboring first congressional district of Tennessee
- Dora Ann Ladd Baker. Find a Grave. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
- TN - District 02 Race - Nov 07, 1950. Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- Candidate - Howard H. Baker. Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- Howard H. Baker Sr.. Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- BAKER, Irene Bailey. US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- HOWARD H. BAKER, REPRESENTATIVE; Tennessee Republican Dies —Supporter of T.V.A.. The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- George Washington Lee. Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- GPO-CRECB-1956-pt4-3.pdf. Congressional Record. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- HR 8601. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1960. APPROVAL BY THE HOUSE OF THE SENATE'S AMENDMENTS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- S.J. RES. 29. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO BAN THE USE OF POLL TAX AS A REQUIREMENT FOR VOTING IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- Congressmen Attend Rites For Representative Baker. The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- Hunt, Keel (June 29, 2014). Howard Baker's legacy: 'The other guy might be right'. Tennessean. Retrieved June 28, 2021.