James J. Delaney

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For other people named James Delaney, see James Delaney (disambiguation).
James J. Delaney
James J. Delaney.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – December 31, 1978
Preceded by Eugene J. Keogh
Succeeded by Geraldine Ferraro
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1963
Preceded by Louis B. Heller
Succeeded by Joseph P. Addabbo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953
Preceded by Robert J. Nodar, Jr.
Succeeded by Lester Holtzman
In office
January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947
Preceded by Andrew L. Somers
Succeeded by Robert J. Nodar, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1901-03-19)March 19, 1901
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died May 24, 1987(1987-05-24) (aged 86)
Key Biscayne, Florida, U.S.
Political party Democratic

James Joseph Delaney (March 19, 1901 – May 24, 1987) was a Representative from New York.

Delaney was born in New York City on March 19, 1901. He attended the public schools in Long Island City, Queens. He graduated from the law department of St. John’s College, Brooklyn, N.Y. LL.B., 1931; was admitted to the bar in 1933 and commenced practice in New York City. He served as assistant district attorney of Queens County from 1936 to 1944.

Career in Congress[edit]

Delaney was elected as a Democrat to the 79th Congress (January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1946 to the Eightieth Congress. He resumed the practice of law in New York City, until being elected to the 81st United States Congress on January 3, 1949, where he served fourteen terms.

During the late 1950s, after a series of lurid magazine articles and Hollywood films helped to sensationalize youth gangs and violence, Delaney was one of the first congressmen to author legislation banning automatic-opening or switchblade knives in 1954. On April 17, 1958, Delaney stated, "Every day our newspapers report numerous muggings and attacks, most of them involving knives. Can we sit by complacently and ignore the bloodshed in our streets?"[1][2][3] The ban on switchblade knives was eventually enacted into law as the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958.[3] Rep. Delaney and other congressmen supporting the Switchblade Knife Act believed that by stopping the importation and interstate sales of automatic knives (effectively halting sales of new switchblades), the law would reduce youth gang violence by blocking access by to what had become a symbolic weapon.[1][3][4] However, while switchblade imports, domestic production, and sales to lawful owners soon ended, later legislative research demonstrated that youth gang violence rates had in fact rapidly increased, as gang members turned to firearms instead of knives.[5]

Delaney later became chairman of a Select Committee to conduct an investigation and study of the use of chemicals, pesticides, and insecticides in and with respect to food products (81st and 82nd Congresses). He was noted for adding the 1958 Delaney clause to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban carcinogens as food additives, Committee on Rules (95th Congress). Delaney resigned at the end of his term December 31, 1978, and was not a candidate for reelection to the 96th Congress.

Later life[edit]

Delaney was a resident of Key Biscayne, Florida, until his death in Tenafly, New Jersey on May 24, 1987. He was interred in Calvary Cemetery in Queens.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Levine, Bernard R., The Switchblade Menace, OKCA Newsletter (1993)
  2. ^ Knife World (August 1990)
  3. ^ a b c Switchblade Knives: Hearing, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Eighty-fifth Congress, Minutes of the Second Session, April 17, 1958
  4. ^ Knife World Magazine (August 1990)
  5. ^ Clark, Charles S., Youth Gangs Worsening Violence Prompts Crackdowns and Community Mobilization, Congressional Quarterly 1, 11 October 1991, pp. 753-776

References[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Andrew L. Somers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

1945–1947
Succeeded by
Robert Nodar, Jr.
Preceded by
Robert Nodar, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

1949–1953
Succeeded by
Lester Holtzman
Preceded by
Louis B. Heller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 7th congressional district

1953–1963
Succeeded by
Joseph P. Addabbo
Preceded by
Eugene J. Keogh
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th congressional district

1963–1978
Succeeded by
Geraldine Ferraro