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Carl Vinson
Birth: Nov. 18, 1883
Fulton County
Georgia, USA
Death: Jun. 1, 1981
Milledgeville
Baldwin County
Georgia, USA

US Congressman. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a member of the US House or Representatives from Georgia's 10th district from November 1914 until March 1933 and 6th district from March 1933 until January 1965. Known as "The Father of the Two-Ocean Navy," he served 26 consecutive terms in the US House, rarely running against significant opposition for a total of 50 years and one month, a record that stood until 1992 when it was surpassed by Congressman Jamie L. Whitten of Mississippi. Born in Fulton County, Georgia, he attended Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia and graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia with a law degree in 1902. In 1908 he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, serving for two terms. After losing a third term following redistricting, he was appointed judge of the Baldwin County court, but following the sudden death of Georgia US Senator Augustus Bacon, US Representative Thomas W. Hardwick of Georgia's 10th congressional district was nominated to fill Bacon's Senate seat and Vinson announced his candidacy for Hardwick's seat in Congress. He won over three opponents and at age 30, was the youngest member of Congress when he was sworn in. During his lengthy tenure in the Congress, he was a champion for national defense, especially the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. After the end of World War I he joined the House Naval Affairs Committee and became its ranking Democratic member in the early 1920s. He was the only Democrat appointed to the Morrow Board, which reviewed the status of aviation in America in the mid-1920s. In 1931 he became chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee. In 1934 he helped to pass the Vinson-Trammell Act, along with Senator Park Trammell of Florida, that authorized the replacement of obsolete vessels by new construction and a gradual increase of ships within the limits of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and London Naval Treaty of 1930. Initial funding for the Vinson-Trammell Navy Act was provided by the Emergency Appropriations Act of 1934 because during the previous administration, not a single major warship was laid down and the US Navy was both aging and losing ground to the Japanese Navy, which would repudiate the Treaties in late 1934. He later was primarily responsible for additional naval expansion legislation, the Naval Act of 1938 ("Second Vinson Act") and the Third Vinson Act of 1940, as well as the Two-Ocean Navy Act of 1940. The ambitious program called for by this series of laws helped the US Navy as the country entered World War II, as the newly constructed ships were able to match the latest ships from Japan. After World War II, the US House Naval Affairs Committee was merged with the Military Affairs Committee to become the US House Armed Services Committee (this consolidation mirrored the creation of the Department of Defense when the old Departments of War and of the Navy were consolidated). When the Republicans won control of the US Congress in the 1946 election, he served as ranking minority member of the committee for two years before becoming Chairman in early 1949. He held this position, with the exception of another two-year Republican interregnum in the early 1950s, until his retirement in 1965. As chairman, he oversaw the modernization of the military as its focus shifted to the Cold War. He was also committee chair when Congress authorized the procurement of the first nuclear-powered aircraft carriers starting with USS Enterprise in the late 1950s. A staunch segregationist, in 1956 he signed the Declaration of Constitutional Principles (known as "The Southern Manifesto") in opposition of racial integration of public places. From November 1961 until January 1965 he had the honorary title of Dean of the US House of Representatives. In 1964 he did not seek re-election and retired from Congress the following year and returned to his Georgia home. On March 15, 1980 he attended the launching of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, an honor rarely given to a person while living. He died at the age of 97 in Milledgeville, Georgia. For his commitment, he was awarded the prestigious Sylvanus Thayer Award by the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Special Distinction, the highest award the President can give to a civilian. His grandnephew, Sam Nunn, served as a US Senator from Georgia for more than 24 years from November 1972 until January 1997. The Department of Veterans' Affairs Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia is named in his honor. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Edward Storey Vinson (1850 - 1938)
  Annie Adela Morris Vinson (1855 - 1937)
 
 Spouse:
  Mary Greene Vinson (1887 - 1950)*
 
 Siblings:
  Edward Eugene Vinson (1875 - 1880)*
  Harriet Thomas Vinson Cannon (1877 - 1958)*
  Leila Crawford Vinson Guyton (1880 - 1965)*
  Mable Vinson Stone (1882 - 1965)*
  Carl Vinson (1883 - 1981)
  Edward Augustus Vinson (1887 - 1980)*
  Fred Lewis Vinson (1892 - 1956)*
  Wilbur Henry Vinson (1894 - 1982)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Heart Attack
 
Burial:
Memory Hill Cemetery
Milledgeville
Baldwin County
Georgia, USA
Plot: Enter main gate of Memory Hill on Franklin Street in City; go straight through to the American Flagpole, site is directly on right behind wrought iron fence enclosure. One may open the gate to view site and pay respects. Please close gate
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 03, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 4278
Carl Vinson
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Carl Vinson
Added by: Michael Dover
 
Carl Vinson
Added by: Stanley R. Bennett
 
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- R I P
 Added: Nov. 18, 2014
Thank you for your public service in the US House of Representatives, although I did not agree with your stance on racial segregation. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Oct. 2, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Feb. 10, 2014
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