Boggs Sr., (Thomas) Hale

House Majority Leader Boggs (lost in 1973 Alaska airplane disappearance) commends Senator Muskie’s Nov. 2, 1970 national television address

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(1914-1973) Louisiana Democratic politician, US Rep from New Orleans, House Majority Leader. In 1972, the airplane in which Boggs and Alaska US Rep Nick Begich were traveling disappeared over a remote section of Alaska. Both were presumed to have died on Oct. 16, 1972 but Boggs was not declared dead until Jan. 3, 1973. Boggs was educated at Tulane University, practiced law in New Orleans, and became a leader in the movement to break the power of Senator Huey P.Long, Jr.’s political machine. Long, assassinated in 1935, brokenthe power of New Orleans politicians in 1929.Boggs was elected to Congress and served 1941-943. When he was elected at 26, he was the youngest member of Congress. After an unsuccessful re-election bid in 1942, he the Navy as an ensign and served the remainder of WW II. After the war, he was again elected to Congress in 1946 and re-elected 13 times (once just after he disappeared, but before he was presumed dead). In 1951, Boggs launched an ill-fated campaign for governor of Louisiana and placed 3rd in the balloting for governor in early 1952. After Brown v. Board of Education, he signed the Southern Manifesto condemning desegregation in the 1950s and opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet unlike most southern congressmen, he supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Open Housing Act of 1968. He was instrumental in passage of the interstate highway program in 1956 and was a member of the 1963–64 Warren Commission investigating the death of President Kennedy; Boggs dissented from the Commission majority who supported the single bullet theory. He was Majority Whip 1962-71 and as Majority Leader from Jan. 1971 until his disappearance. As Whip, he ushered much of President Johnson's Great Society legislation through Congress. As Majority Leader, Boggs often campaigned for others. On Oct. 16, 1972, he was aboard a twin engine Cessna 310 with Rep. Nick Begich of Alaska, Begich’s aide Russell Brown and the pilot, Don Jonz, when it disappeared during a flight from Anchorage to Juneau. The four were heading to a campaign fundraiser for Begich. Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force planes searched for the party. On Nov. 24, 1972, after 39 days, the search was abandoned. Neither the wreckage of the plane nor any remains were ever found. The accident prompted Congress to pass a law mandating Emergency Locator Transmitters in all civil aircraft. In 1973, Boggs’s wife since 1938, Lindy Boggs, was elected as a Democrat by special election to the 2nd District seat left vacant by her husband's death. She served until 1991. Hale & Lindy Boggs had 3 children: TV and public radio journalist Cokie Roberts, prominent Washington-based attorney and lobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., and the late Barbara Boggs Sigmund, who served as mayor of Princeton, New Jersey. The Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish, is named in his memory. The visitor center at Portage Glacier in south central Alaska (within Chugach National Forest) is named the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. The Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans is also named after him. TLS “Hale” on 8 ¼ x 6 ¼ personal “House of Representatives/ Washington, D.C.” letterhead, November 19 1970, gilt seal at top, to Senator Ed Muskie. Boggs thanks Muskie for alerting him to his “election eve address” and sends “hearty congratulations on a job well done.” He adds: “Your presentation was a clear and concise statement of the policy goals our Party must pursue to regain the White House in 1972. Yours was a voice of reason and rationality, and there is little doubt that it contributed greatly to Democratic victories around the Country. Lindy joins me in sending you our congratulations and warmest best wishes for the future.” Edmund S. Muskie (1914-1986) Maine Democratic US Senator 1959-80. 1968 VP candidate with Humphrey, 1972 presidential hopeful. Secretary of State 1980-81 (Carter). In 1970, the Maine senator was chosen to articulate the Democratic Party's message to congressional voters before the midterm elections. On Nov. 2, Muskie's star rose after he responded in a nationwide speech to a divisive Republican campaign that attacked the patriotism of college students and Democrats.

Condition: Very good, ink check mark at lower left, docket stamp at bottom verso
Type:Letter






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