81st United States Congress

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81st United States Congress
80th ← → 82nd
USCapitol.jpg
United States Capitol (2002)

Duration: January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1951

Senate President: Vacant (until Jan 20, 1949)
Alben W. Barkley (from Jan 20, 1949)
Senate Pres. pro tem: Kenneth McKellar
House Speaker: Sam Rayburn
Members: 96 Senators
435 Representatives
4 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Democratic
House Majority: Democratic

Sessions
1st: January 3, 1949 – October 19, 1949
2nd: January 3, 1950 – January 2, 1951

The Eighty-first United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 1949 to January 3, 1951, during the fifth and sixth years of Harry S. Truman's presidency.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Sixteenth Census of the United States in 1940. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.

Contents

Major events[edit]

  • January 20, 1949: Inauguration of President Truman and Vice President Barkley
  • August 16, 1949: Office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff created
  • January 21, 1950: Accused communist spy Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury
  • January 31, 1950: President Truman ordered the development of the hydrogen bomb, in response to the detonation of the Soviet Union's first atomic bomb in 1949
  • June 27, 1950: Korean War: President Truman ordered American military forces to aid in the defense of South Korea

Major legislation[edit]

Hearings[edit]

Mobster Frank Costello testifying before the Kefauver Committee.

Party summary[edit]

Senate[edit]

TOTAL members: 96

House of Representatives[edit]

TOTAL members: 435

Leadership[edit]

Senate[edit]

Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]

Members[edit]

Senate[edit]

Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Senators are ordered first by state, and then by seniority. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election.

House of Representatives[edit]

Changes in membership[edit]

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of this Congress.

Senate[edit]

State
(class)
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Kentucky
(3)
Alben W. Barkley (D) Resigned January 19, 1949 to become U.S. Vice President.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election.
Garrett L. Withers (D) January 20, 1949
North Carolina
(2)
J. Melville Broughton (D) Died March 6, 1949.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election.
Frank P. Graham (D) March 29, 1949
New York
(3)
Robert F. Wagner (D) Resigned June 28, 1949 due to ill health.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election.
John Foster Dulles (R) July 7, 1949
Rhode Island
(1)
J. Howard McGrath (D) Resigned August 23, 1949 to become U.S. Attorney General.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election.
Edward L. Leahy (D) August 24, 1950
Idaho
(2)
Bert H. Miller (D) Died October 8, 1949.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election, which he subsequently won.
Henry Dworshak (R) October 14, 1949
Kansas
(3)
Clyde M. Reed (R) Died November 8, 1949.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election.
Harry Darby (R) December 2, 1949
New York
(3)
John Foster Dulles (R) Lost special election November 8, 1949.
Successor was elected to finish term.
Herbert H. Lehman (D) November 9, 1949
Connecticut
(1)
Raymond E. Baldwin (R) Resigned December 16, 1949.
Successor was appointed to serve until a special election, which he subsequently won.
William Benton (D) December 17, 1949
Kentucky
(3)
Garrett L. Withers (D) Retired after successor elected November 26, 1950.
Successor was elected to finish term.
Earle C. Clements (D) November 27, 1950
North Carolina
(2)
Frank P. Graham (D) Lost special election to finish term November 26, 1950.
Successor was elected to finish term.
Willis Smith (D) November 27, 1950
Kansas
(3)
Harry Darby (R) Retired after successor elected November 28, 1950.
Successor was elected to finish term.
Frank Carlson (R) November 29, 1950
California
(3)
Sheridan Downey (D) Resigned November 30, 1950 due to ill health.
Successor was appointed to finish term, having already been elected to the next term.
Richard Nixon (R) December 1, 1950
Rhode Island
(1)
Edward L. Leahy (D) Retired after successor elected December 18, 1950.
Successor was elected to finish term.
John O. Pastore (D) December 19, 1950

House of Representatives[edit]

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
seated
New York 7th Vacant Rep. John J. Delaney died during previous congress Louis B. Heller (D) February 15, 1949
New York 20th Sol Bloom (D) Died March 7, 1949 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (Lib) May 17, 1949
New York 10th Andrew L. Somers (D) Died April 6, 1949 Edna F. Kelly (D) November 8, 1949
Pennsylvania 26th Robert L. Coffey (D) Died April 20, 1949 John P. Saylor (R) September 13, 1949
California 5th Richard J. Welch (R) Died September 10, 1949 John Shelley (D) November 8, 1949
Massachusetts 6th George J. Bates (R) Died November 1, 1949 William H. Bates (R) February 14, 1950
Illinois 5th Martin Gorski (D) Died December 4, 1949 Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term
New Jersey 7th J. Parnell Thomas (R) Resigned January 2, 1950 following conviction on charges of salary fraud William B. Widnall (R) February 6, 1950
Virginia 1st S. Otis Bland (D) Died February 16, 1950 Edward J. Robeson, Jr. (D) May 2, 1950
Illinois 13th Ralph E. Church (R) Died March 21, 1950 Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term
Texas 18th Eugene Worley (D) Resigned April 3, 1950 after being appointed associate judge of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term
Michigan 16th John Lesinski, Sr. (D) Died May 27, 1950 Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term
North Dakota At-large William Lemke (R) Died May 30, 1950 Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term
North Carolina 11th Alfred L. Bulwinkle (D) Died August 31, 1950 Woodrow W. Jones (D) November 7, 1950
Kansas 3rd Herbert A. Meyer (R) Died October 2, 1950 Myron V. George (R) November 7, 1950
California 12th Richard Nixon (R) Resigned November 30, 1950 after being appointed to the US Senate Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term
Wyoming At-large Frank A. Barrett (R) Resigned December 31, 1950 after being elected Governor of Wyoming Vacant Not filled for the remainder of this term

Employees[edit]

Architect of the Capitol: David Lynn

Senate[edit]

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House of Representatives[edit]