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87th United States Congress

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87th United States Congress
86th ←
→ 88th

January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1963
Members100 senators
437 representatives
Senate majorityDemocratic
Senate PresidentRichard Nixon (R)[a]
(until January 20, 1961)
Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
(from January 20, 1961)
House majorityDemocratic
House SpeakerSam Rayburn (D)
John W. McCormack (D)
1st: January 3, 1961 – September 27, 1961
2nd: January 10, 1962 – October 13, 1962

The 87th 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 final weeks of Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency and the first two years of John Kennedy's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the 1950 United States census, along with two seats temporarily added in 1959 (one member each from recently admitted states of Alaska and Hawaii).

Both chambers had a Democratic majority (albeit reduced in the House). With President Kennedy being sworn in on January 20, 1961, this gave the Democrats an overall federal government trifecta for the first time since the 82nd Congress in 1952.

Major events[edit]

  • January 3, 1961: President Eisenhower severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.
  • January 20, 1961: Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
  • April 17, 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba began; it fails by April 19.
  • May 4, 1961: 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 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]

Senate President Lyndon Johnson (L) and House Speaker Sam Rayburn seated behind President John Kennedy during his first State of the Union address on January 30, 1961.

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 previous congress 66 34 100 0
Begin 65 35 100 0
End 62 37 991
Final voting share 62.6% 37.4%
Beginning of next congress 65 33 98 2

House of Representatives[edit]

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 281 151 432 5
Begin 263 174 437 0
End 260 4343
Final voting share 59.9% 40.1%
Beginning of next congress 258 176 434 1


Senate President
Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon (R)
Until January 20, 1961
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
From January 20, 1961
Senate President pro tempore


Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

House Speaker
Sam Rayburn
Sam Rayburn (D)
Until November 16, 1961
(1st session)
John William McCormack
John W. McCormack (D)
From January 10, 1962
(2nd session)

Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]




Senators are popularly elected statewide 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 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring re-election in 1962; Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 1964; and Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1966.

Currently, this is the last Congressional session in which the Democratic Party commanded all Senate seats from the Deep South, a unity broken when a Republican defeated the appointed successor to Lyndon Johnson's seat in a 1961 Senate special election.

House of Representatives[edit]

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

Changes in membership[edit]


Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[c]
William A. Blakley (D) Lost special election.
Successor elected June 14, 1961.
John Tower (R) June 15, 1961
New Hampshire
Styles Bridges (R) Died November 26, 1961.
Successor appointed December 7, 1961.
Maurice J. Murphy Jr. (R) December 7, 1961
Andrew Frank Schoeppel (R) Died January 21, 1962.
Successor appointed January 31, 1962, and then elected November 6, 1962.
James B. Pearson (R) January 31, 1962
South Dakota
Francis H. Case (R) Died June 23, 1962.
Successor appointed July 9, 1962 to finish the term.
Joseph H. Bottum (R) July 9, 1962
Henry Dworshak (R) Died July 23, 1962.
Successor appointed August 6, 1962, and then elected November 6, 1962.
Leonard B. Jordan (R) August 6, 1962
John J. Hickey (D) Lost special election.
Successor elected November 6, 1962.
Milward 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) Lost special election.
Successor elected November 6, 1962.
Thomas J. McIntyre (D) November 7, 1962
New Mexico
Dennis Chávez (D) Died November 18, 1962.
Successor appointed November 30, 1962 to continue the term.
Edwin L. Mechem (R) November 30, 1962
Robert S. Kerr (D) Died January 1, 1963. Vacant Not filled this term

House of Representatives[edit]

House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[c]
Arizona 2nd Stewart Udall (D) Resigned January 18, 1961 to become 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 to become judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Lucien Nedzi (D) November 7, 1961
Texas 20th Paul J. Kilday (D) Resigned September 24, 1961 to become judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Henry B. González (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 to become judge of the New York Supreme Court. Benjamin Stanley 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 Joseph Addonizio (D) Resigned June 30, 1962 to become Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Vacant Not filled this term
California 1st Clement Woodnutt Miller (D) Died October 7, 1962.
Mississippi 3rd Frank Ellis Smith (D) Resigned November 14, 1962.


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. On the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]


Legislative branch agency directors[edit]


House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon's term as President of the Senate ended at noon January 20, 1961, when Lyndon B. Johnson's term began.
  2. ^ In Wyoming, Senator-elect Edwin Keith Thomson (R) died December 9, 1960, before the term started.
  3. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


  1. ^ "Proceedings and debates of the 87th Congress, first session" (PDF). Congressional Record. U.S. Government Publishing Office. January 3, 1961. p. 7.
  • 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]