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78th United States Congress

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The Seventy-eighth 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, DC from January 3, 1943, to January 3, 1945, during the last two years of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Sixteenth Census of the United States in 1940. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.

78th United States Congress
77th ←
→ 79th
January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1945
Senate PresidentHenry A. Wallace (D)
Senate President pro temCarter Glass (D)
House SpeakerSam Rayburn (D)
Members96 senators
435 members of the House
4 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityDemocratic
House MajorityDemocratic
1st: January 6, 1943 – December 21, 1943
2nd: January 10, 1944 – December 19, 1944


Major eventsEdit

Major legislationEdit

Party summaryEdit


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 64 1 30 1 96 0
Begin 57 1 38 0 96 0
End 56 39
Final voting share 58.3% 1.0% 40.6% 0.0%
Beginning of next congress 57 1 38 0 96 0

House of RepresentativesEdit

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant



End of previous congress 254 1 1 3 165 424 11
Begin 222 1 1 2 208 434 1
End 212 210 4269
Final voting share 49.8% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5% 49.3%
Beginning of next congress 242 0 1 1 190 434 1


Section contents: Senate: Majority (D), Minority (R)House: Majority (D), Minority (R)


Majority (Democratic) leadershipEdit

Minority (Republican) leadershipEdit

  • Minority Leader: Charles L. McNary, until February 25, 1944
  • Minority whip: No Republican whips were appointed from 1935 to 1944 since only 17 Republicans were in the Senate following the landslide reelection of President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. Accordingly, the minutes of the Republican Conference for the period state: "On motion of Senator Hastings, duly seconded and carried, it was agreed that no Assistant Leader or Whip be elected but that the chairman be authorized to appoint Senators from time to time to assist him in taking charge of the interests of the minority." A note attached to the conference minutes added: "The chairman of the conference, Senator McNary, apparently appointed Senator Austin of Vermont as assistant leader in 1943 and 1944, until the conference adopted Rules of Organization."[1]
  • Republican Conference Secretary: Wallace H. White, Jr., until February 25, 1944

House of RepresentativesEdit

Majority (Democratic) leadershipEdit

Minority (Republican) leadershipEdit



Senate party membership: light blue is two Democrats, red is two Republicans, and dark blue is one of each

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, facing re-election in 1944; Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, facing re-election in 1946; and Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, facing re-election in 1948.

House of RepresentativesEdit

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

Changes in membershipEdit


Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
New Jersey (1) William Warren Barbour (R) Died November 22, 1943.
Successor was appointed until an election.
Arthur Walsh (D) November 26, 1943
Indiana (3) Frederick Van Nuys (D) Died January 25, 1944.
Successor was appointed until an election.
Samuel D. Jackson (D) January 28, 1944
Massachusetts (2) Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (R) Resigned February 3, 1944, to go on active duty in the US Army.
Success was appointed until a special election.
Sinclair Weeks (R) February 8, 1944
Oregon (2) Charles L. McNary (R) Died February 25, 1944.
Successor was appointed and subsequently won special election
Guy Cordon (R) March 4, 1944
Washington (3) Homer Bone (D) Resigned November 13, 1944, to become Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Successor was appointed to finish the term, having just been elected to the next term.
Warren Magnuson (D) December 14, 1944
Indiana (3) Samuel D. Jackson (D) Appointee was not a candidate to finish the term.
Successor was elected.
William E. Jenner (R) November 7, 1944
South Carolina (3) Ellison Durant Smith (D) Died November 17, 1944. Wilton E. Hall (D) November 20, 1944
New Jersey (1) Arthur Walsh (D) Appointee was not a candidate to finish the term.
Successor was elected.
H. Alexander Smith (R) December 7, 1944
Massachusetts (2) Sinclair Weeks (R) Appointee was not a candidate to finish the term.
Successor was elected.
Successor chose not to take the seat until the next Congress, but was nevertheless duly elected and qualified.
Leverett Saltonstall (R) January 4, 1945

House of RepresentativesEdit

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Missouri 6th Vacant Rep. Philip A. Bennett died in previous Congress Marion T. Bennett (R) January 12, 1943
California 2nd Harry L. Englebright (R) Died May 13, 1943 Clair Engle (D) August 31, 1943
Kansas 2nd Ulysses S. Guyer (R) Died June 5, 1943 Errett P. Scrivner (R) September 14, 1943
Oklahoma 2nd John C. Nichols (D) Resigned July 3, 1943, to become vice-president of Transcontinental and Western Air. William G. Stigler (D) March 28, 1944
New York 32nd Francis D. Culkin (R) Died August 4, 1943 Hadwen C. Fuller (R) November 2, 1943
Pennsylvania 23rd James E. Van Zandt (R) Resigned September 24, 1943, after being called to active duty in the US Armed Forces. D. Emmert Brumbaugh (R) November 2, 1943
Kentucky 4th Edward W. Creal (D) Died October 13, 1943 Chester O. Carrier (R) November 30, 1943
Pennsylvania 2nd James P. McGranery (D) Resigned November 17, 1943, after being appointed an Assistant Attorney General Joseph Marmaduke Pratt (R) January 18, 1944
Pennsylvania 17th J. William Ditter (R) Died November 21, 1943 Vacant until the next Congress
Alabama 3rd Henry B. Steagall (D) Died November 22, 1943 George W. Andrews (D) March 14, 1944
Colorado 1st Lawrence Lewis (D) Died December 9, 1943 Dean M. Gillespie (R) March 7, 1944
New York 21st Joseph A. Gavagan (D) Resigned December 30, 1943, after being elected a justice of the New York Supreme Court James H. Torrens (D) February 29, 1944
Illinois 19th William H. Wheat (R) Died January 16, 1944 Rolla C. McMillen (R) June 13, 1944
Illinois 7th Leonard W. Schuetz (D) Died February 13, 1944 Vacant until the next Congress
New York 4th Thomas H. Cullen (D) Died March 1, 1944 John J. Rooney (D) June 6, 1944
New York 11th James A. O'Leary (D) Died March 16, 1944 Ellsworth B. Buck (R) June 6, 1944
Louisiana 3rd James Domengeaux (D) Resigned April 15, 1944, to join US Armed Forces James Domengeaux (D) Re-elected to fill his own vacancy November 7, 1944
California 16th Will Rogers, Jr. (D) Resigned May 23, 1944, to enter the US Army Vacant until the next Congress
Philippines At-large Joaquín Miguel Elizalde Resigned August 9, 1944, to become a member of the war cabinet of President Manuel L. Quezon Carlos P. Romulo August 10, 1944
Virginia 2nd Winder R. Harris (D) Resigned September 15, 1944 Ralph Hunter Daughton (D) November 7, 1944
Florida 3rd Robert L. F. Sikes (D) Resigned October 19, 1944, to enter the U.S. Army Vacant until the next Congress
South Carolina 2nd Hampton P. Fulmer (D) Died October 19, 1944 Willa L. Fulmer (D) November 7, 1944
Florida At-large Robert A. Green (D) Resigned November 25, 1944, to enter the United States Navy Vacant until the next Congress
Tennessee 4th Albert Gore, Sr. (D) Resigned December 4, 1944, to enter the United States Army Vacant until the next Congress
Rhode Island 2nd John E. Fogarty (D) Resigned December 7, 1944, to enter the United States Navy Vacant until the next Congress
Washington 1st Warren Magnuson (D) Resigned December 14, 1944, when appointed U.S. Senator Vacant until the next Congress
Pennsylvania At-large William I. Troutman (R) Resigned January 2, 1945 Vacant until the next Congress


Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members (House and Senate) of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link (4 links), in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, 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.

Joint committeesEdit



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b This is the date the member was seated or an oath administered, not necessarily the same date her/his service began.


  1. ^ "Party Whips". Archived from the original on March 9, 2010.