72nd United States Congress

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72nd United States Congress
United States Capitol (1906)

Duration: March 4, 1931 – March 4, 1933

Senate President: Charles Curtis
Senate Pres. pro tem: George H. Moses
House Speaker: John N. Garner
Members: 96 Senators
435 Representatives
5 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican
House Majority: Democratic

1st: December 7, 1931 – July 16, 1932
2nd: December 2, 1932 – March 3, 1933
<71st 73rd>

The Seventy-second United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1931 to March 4, 1933, during the last two years of Herbert C. Hoover's presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Thirteenth Decennial Census of the United States in 1910. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.


Major events[edit]

Major legislation[edit]

Not enacted[edit]

Constitutional amendments[edit]

  • February 20, 1933: 21st Amendment, to repeal prohibition, was proposed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.

Party summary[edit]

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress 41 1 54 96 0
Begin 46 1 48 95 1
Final voting share 48.4% 1.1% 50.5%
Beginning of the next congress 59 1 36 96 0

House of Representatives[edit]

TOTAL members: 435


President of the Senate
Charles Curtis (R)
Speaker of the House
John N. Garner (D)


Majority (Republican)[edit]

Minority (Democratic)[edit]

House Majority Leader Henry Rainey (D, left) and House Minority Leader Bertrand Snell (R, right), December 8, 1931

House of Representatives[edit]

Majority (Democratic)[edit]

Minority (Republican)[edit]


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.


Senators were elected every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1934; Class 2 meant their term began with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1936; and Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1932.

House of Representatives[edit]

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide on the general ticket or otherwise at-large, are preceded by an "At-large," and the names of those elected from districts, whether plural or single member, are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership[edit]


  • Replacements: 8
  • No net gains for either party
  • Deaths: 6
  • Resignations: 3
  • Interim appointments: 4
  • Total seats with changes: 11
State Senator Reason for Vacancy Successor Date of Successor's Installation
Vacant Long chose to remain as Governor of Louisiana until term expired. Huey Long (D) January 25, 1932
Frank C. Partridge (R) Resigned March 31, 1931 after successor was elected. Warren Austin (R) April 1, 1931
New Jersey
Dwight Morrow (R) Died October 5, 1931.
Successor was appointed and later elected.
William W. Barbour (R) December 1, 1931
Thaddeus H. Caraway (D) Died November 6, 1931.
Successor was appointed to serve until the next election, and was subsequently elected.
Hattie Caraway (D) November 13, 1931
William J. Harris (D) Died April 18, 1932.
Successor was appointed to serve until the next election.
John S. Cohen (D) April 25, 1932
Charles W. Waterman (R) Died August 27, 1932.
Successor was appointed to serve until the next election.
Walter Walker (D) September 16, 1932
Wesley L. Jones (R) Died November 19, 1932.
Successor was appointed to serve until the next election.
Elijah S. Grammer (R) November 22, 1932
North Carolina
Cameron A. Morrison (D) Served until December 4, 1932, when the successor was elected. Robert R Reynolds (D) December 5, 1932
Walter Walker (D) Resigned December 6, 1932, when the successor was elected. Karl C. Schuyler (R) December 7, 1932
John S. Cohen (D) Resigned January 11, 1933, when the successor was elected. Richard Russell, Jr. (D) January 12, 1933
Harry B. Hawes (D) Resigned February 3, 1933.
Successor was appointed early after having been elected.
Bennett Champ Clark (D) December 7, 1932
Thomas J. Walsh (D) Died March 2, 1933
Seat remained vacant until next Congress

House of Representatives[edit]

  • replacements: 23
  • deaths: 26
  • resignations: 7
  • contested election: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 34



House of Representatives[edit]


  1. ^ Senate.gov
  2. ^ Before the first day of Congress, 19 representatives-elect died. In 14 cases, party control of the seat changed with the special election, and the Democrats ended up with a majority of House seats.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 

External links[edit]