87th United States Congress

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87th United States Congress
86th ← → 88th
United States Capitol (1956)

Duration: January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1963

Senate President: Richard Nixon (until January 20, 1961)
Lyndon B. Johnson (from January 20, 1961)
Senate Pres. pro tem: Carl Hayden
House Speaker: Samuel T. Rayburn
John W. McCormack
Members: 100 Senators
437 Representatives
Senate Majority: Democratic Party
House Majority: Democratic Party

1st: January 3, 1961 – September 27, 1961
2nd: January 10, 1962 – October 13, 1962

The Eighty-seventh 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, 1961 to January 3, 1963, during the first two years of the administration of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Seventeenth Census of the United States in 1950, along with 2 seats temporarily added in 1959 (one member each from recently admitted states of Alaska and Hawaii). Both chambers had a Democratic majority.


Major events[edit]

  • January 3, 1961: President Eisenhower severed diplomatic and consular relations with C, 1961: Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • April 17, 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba began; it fails by April 19.
  • May 4, 1961: U.S. Freedom Riders began interstate bus rides to test the new U.S. Supreme Court integration decision.
  • May 5, 1961: Alan Shepard became the first American in space aboard Mercury-Redstone 3.
  • May 25, 1961: President Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade
  • November 20: 1961: Funeral of Speaker Sam Rayburn, who died on November 16
  • February 3, 1962: Embargo against Cuba was announced
  • February 20, 1962: John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth
  • March 26, 1962: Supreme Court ruled that federal courts could order state legislatures to reapportion seats (Baker v. Carr)
  • October 1, 1962: James Meredith registered as the first black student at the University of Mississippi, escorted by Federal Marshals.
  • October 14, 1962 - October 28, 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis

Major legislation[edit]

Speaker Rayburn is seated at right behind President John F. Kennedy in this May 25, 1961 photograph showing Kennedy announcing the Apollo program.

Constitutional amendments[edit]

The official Joint Resolution of Congress proposing what became the 24th Amendment as contained in the National Archives

Party summary[edit]


(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress 65 35 100 0
Begin 65 35 100 0
End 62 37 99 1
Final voting share 62.6% 37.4%
Beginning of the next congress 65 34 99 1

House of Representatives[edit]

(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress 283 153 1 437 0
Begin 264 173 0 437 0
End 261 434 3
Final voting share 60.1% 39.9% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 258 176 1 435 0



House of Representatives[edit]



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

House of Representatives[edit]

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership[edit]


Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
William A. Blakley (D) Successor elected June 14, 1961. Lost special election to fill the seat John Tower (R) June 15, 1961
New Hampshire
Styles Bridges (R) Died November 26, 1961 Maurice J. Murphy, Jr. (R) January 10, 1962
Andrew F. Schoeppel (R) Died January 21, 1962 James B. Pearson (R) January 31, 1962
South Dakota
Francis H. Case (R) Died June 23, 1962 Joseph H. Bottum (R) July 9, 1962
Henry Dworshak (R) Died July 23, 1962 Leonard B. Jordan (R) August 6, 1962
John J. Hickey (D) Successor elected November 6, 1962. Lost special election to fill the seat Milward L. Simpson (R) November 6, 1962
Benjamin A. Smith II (D) Successor elected November 6, 1962 Ted Kennedy (D) November 7, 1962
New Hampshire
Maurice J. Murphy, Jr. (R) Successor elected November 6, 1962. Lost special election to fill the seat. Thomas J. McIntyre (D) November 7, 1962
New Mexico
Dennis Chavez (D) Died November 18, 1962 Edwin L. Mechem (R) November 30, 1962
Robert S. Kerr (D) Died January 1, 1963 Vacant Not filled this term

House of Representatives[edit]

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
Arizona 2nd Stewart Udall (D) Resigned January 18, 1961 after being appointed United States Secretary of the Interior Mo Udall (D) May 2, 1961
Arkansas 6th William F. Norrell (D) Died February 15, 1961 Catherine Dorris Norrell (D) April 18, 1961
Pennsylvania 16th Walter M. Mumma (R) Died February 25, 1961 John C. Kunkel (R) May 16, 1961
Tennessee 1st B. Carroll Reece (R) Died March 19, 1961 Louise Goff Reece (R) May 16, 1961
Louisiana 4th Overton Brooks (D) Died September 16, 1961 Joe Waggonner (D) December 19, 1961
Michigan 1st Thaddeus M. Machrowicz (D) Resigned September 18, 1961 after being appointed judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Lucien N. Nedzi (D) November 7, 1961
Texas 20th Paul J. Kilday (D) Resigned September 24, 1961 after being appointed judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Henry B. Gonzalez (D) November 4, 1961
Michigan 14th Louis C. Rabaut (D) Died November 12, 1961 Harold M. Ryan (D) February 13, 1962
Texas 4th Sam Rayburn (D) Died November 16, 1961 Ray Roberts (D) January 30, 1962
Texas 13th Frank N. Ikard (D) Resigned December 15, 1961 Graham B. Purcell, Jr. (D) January 27, 1962
New York 6th Lester Holtzman (D) Resigned December 31, 1961 after being appointed judge of the New York Supreme Court Benjamin S. Rosenthal (D) February 20, 1962
South Carolina 2nd John J. Riley (D) Died January 1, 1962 Corinne Boyd Riley (D) April 10, 1962
New Jersey 11th Hugh J. Addonizio (D) Resigned June 30, 1962 after being elected Mayor of Newark Vacant Not filled this term
California 1st Clement W. Miller (D) Died October 7, 1962 Vacant Not filled this term
Mississippi 3rd Frank E. Smith (D) Resigned November 14, 1962 Vacant Not filled this term



House of Representatives[edit]


  • 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]