|73rd United States Congress|
March 4, 1933 - January 3, 1935
5 non-voting delegates
|Senate President||John N. Garner (D)|
|House Speaker||Henry T. Rainey (D) |
(until August 19, 1934)
|Special: March 4, 1933 - March 6, 1933|
1st: March 9, 1933 - June 15, 1933
2nd: January 3, 1934 - June 18, 1934
The 73rd 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 March 4, 1933, to January 3, 1935, during the first two years of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. Because of the newly ratified 20th Amendment, the duration of this Congress, along with the term of office of those elected to it, was shortened by the interval between January 3 and March 4, 1935 (61 days). The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Fifteenth Census of the United States in 1930.
The Democrats greatly increased their majority in the House, and won control of the Senate for the first time since the 65th Congress in 1917. With Franklin D. Roosevelt being sworn in a President on March 4, 1933, this gave the Democrats an overall federal government trifecta, also for the first time since the 65th Congress.
The first session of Congress, known as the "Hundred Days", took place before the regular seating and was called by President Roosevelt specifically to pass two acts:
The session also passed several other major pieces of legislation:
The Senate Munitions Committee came into existence solely for the purpose of this hearing. Although World War I had been over for sixteen years, there were revived reports that America's leading munition companies had effectively influenced the United States into that conflict, which killed 53,000 Americans, hence the companies' nickname "Merchants of Death".
The Democratic Party, controlling the Senate for the first time since the first world war, used the hype of these reports to organize the hearing in hopes of nationalizing America's munitions industry. The Democrats chose a Republican renowned for his ardent isolationist policies, Senator Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota, to head the hearing. Nye was typical of western agrarian progressives, and adamantly opposed America's involvement in any foreign war. Nye declared at the opening of the hearing "when the Senate investigation is over, we shall see that war and preparation for war is not a matter of national honor and national defense, but a matter of profit for the few."
Over the next eighteen months, the "Nye Committee" (as newspapers called it) held ninety-three hearings, questioning more than two hundred witnesses, including J.P. Morgan, Jr. and Pierre du Pont. Committee members found little hard evidence of an active conspiracy among arms makers, yet the panel's reports did little to weaken the popular prejudice against "greedy munitions interests."
The hearings overlapped the 73rd and 74th Congresses. They only came to an end after Chairman Nye provoked the Democratic caucus into cutting off funding. Nye, in the last hearing the Committee held in early 1936, attacked former Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, suggesting that Wilson had withheld essential information from Congress as it considered a declaration of war. Democratic leaders, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Carter Glass of Virginia, unleashed a furious response against Nye for "dirtdaubing the sepulcher of Woodrow Wilson." Standing before cheering colleagues in a packed Senate chamber, Glass slammed his fist onto his desk in protest until blood dripped from his knuckles, effectively prompting the Democratic caucus to withhold all funding for further hearings.
Although the "Nye Committee" failed to achieve its goal of nationalizing the arms industry, it inspired three congressional neutrality acts in the mid-1930s that signaled profound American opposition to overseas involvement.
For details, see Changes in membership, below.
There were 48 states with two Senators per state, this gave the Senate 96 seats. Membership changed with four deaths, one resignation, and two appointees who were replaced by electees.
(shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous Congress||46||1||0||48||95||1|
|Begin (March 4, 1933)||58||1||0||36||96||1|
|March 11, 1933||59||35||95||1|
|May 24, 1933||60||96||0|
|June 24, 1933||59||95||1|
|October 6, 1933||34||94||2|
|October 10, 1933||60||95||1|
|October 19, 1933||35||96||0|
|November 3, 1933||59||95||1|
|December 18, 1933||60||96||0|
|Final voting share||62.5%||1.0%||0.0%||36.5%|
|Beginning of next Congress||70||1||1||23||95||1|
Membership changed with twelve deaths and three resignations.
(shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous Congress||220||1||0||206||428||8|
|Begin (March 4, 1933)||311||5||0||117||433||2|
|April 22, 1933||312||434||1|
|April 29, 1933||311||433||2|
|May 12, 1933||310||432||3|
|May 17, 1933||309||431||4|
|June 19, 1933||308||430||5|
|June 22, 1933||307||429||6|
|June 24, 1933||308||430||5|
|July 5, 1933||309||431||4|
|August 27, 1933||116||430||5|
|September 23, 1933||308||429||6|
|October 3, 1933||309||430||5|
|October 19, 1933||115||429||6|
|November 5, 1933||114||428||7|
|November 7, 1933||310||429||6|
|November 14, 1933||311||430||5|
|November 28, 1933||312||431||4|
|December 19, 1933||313||113|
|December 28, 1933||114||432||3|
|January 16, 1934||115||433||2|
|January 30, 1934||116||434||1|
|April 1, 1934||312||433||2|
|May 1, 1934||313||434||1|
|May 29, 1934||115||433||2|
|June 8, 1934||312||432||3|
|July 7, 1934||313||433||2|
|August 19, 1934||312||432||3|
|August 22, 1934||309||431||4|
|September 30, 1934||113||427||8|
|Final voting share||72.4%||1.2%||0.0%||26.4%|
|Beginning of next Congress||322||3||7||102||435||1|
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 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1934; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1936; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1938.
The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.
|State||Senator||Reason for vacancy||Successor||Date of successor's installation|
|Montana||Vacant||Thomas J. Walsh (D) died in office.
Successor appointed March 13, 1933, to continue the term.
Successor later lost nomination to finish the term, see below.
|John Erickson (D)||March 13, 1933|
|Nebraska||Robert Howell (R)||Died March 11, 1933.
Successor appointed May 24, 1933, to continue the term.
Successor later retired, see below.
|William H. Thompson (D)||May 24, 1933|
|New Mexico||Sam Bratton (D)||Resigned June 24, 1933, when appointed Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Successor appointed October 10, 1933, and then elected November 6, 1934.
|Carl Hatch (D)||October 10, 1933|
|Vermont||Porter Dale (R)||Died October 6, 1933.
Successor appointed November 21, 1933, and then elected January 17, 1934.
|Ernest Gibson (R)||November 21, 1933|
|Wyoming||John Kendrick (D)||Died November 3, 1933.
Successor appointed December 18, 1933, to finish the term.
|Joseph C. O'Mahoney (D)||January 1, 1934|
|Nebraska||William Thompson (D)||Interim appointee did not run in the special election to finish the term.
Successor elected November 6, 1934.
|Richard Hunter (D)||November 7, 1934|
|Montana||John Erickson (D)||Interim appointee lost nomination to finish the term.
Successor elected November 6, 1934.
|James E. Murray (D)||November 7, 1934|
|District||Vacator||Reason for vacancy||Successor||Date of successor's installation|
|Texas 15th||Vacant||John Garner had resigned at the end of the previous Congress||Milton H. West||April 22, 1933|
|Arizona at-large||Vacant||Lewis W. Douglas (D) had resigned at the end of the previous Congress||Isabella Greenway (D)||October 3, 1933|
|Texas 7th||Clay Stone Briggs (D)||Died April 29, 1933||Clark W. Thompson (D)||June 24, 1933|
|Arkansas 5th||Heartsill Ragon (D)||Resigned May 12, 1933, upon appointment as a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas||David D. Terry (D)||December 19, 1933|
|Georgia 10th||Charles H. Brand (D)||Died May 17, 1933||Paul Brown (D)||July 5, 1933|
|Louisiana 6th||Bolivar E. Kemp (D)||Died June 19, 1933||Jared Y. Sanders, Jr. (D)||May 1, 1934|
|Alabama 8th||Edward B. Almon (D)||Died June 22, 1933||Archibald Hill Carmichael (D)||November 14, 1933|
|Pennsylvania 9th||Henry Winfield Watson (R)||Died August 27, 1933||Oliver Walter Frey (D)||November 7, 1933|
|West Virginia 3rd||Lynn Hornor (D)||Died September 23, 1933||Andrew Edmiston, Jr. (D)||November 28, 1933|
|Illinois 21st||J. Earl Major (D)||appointed as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois October 6, 1933||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|Vermont at-large||Ernest W. Gibson (R)||Appointed U.S. Senator October 19, 1933||Charles A. Plumley (R)||January 16, 1934|
|New York 34th||John D. Clarke (R)||Died November 5, 1933||Marian W. Clarke (R)||December 28, 1933|
|New York 29th||James S. Parker (R)||Died December 19, 1933||William D. Thomas (R)||January 30, 1934|
|Michigan 3rd||Joseph L. Hooper (R)||Died February 22, 1934||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|North Carolina 4th||Edward W. Pou (D)||Died April 1, 1934||Harold D. Cooley (D)||July 7, 1934|
|Pennsylvania 13th||George F. Brumm (R)||Died May 29, 1934||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|Idaho 2nd||Thomas C. Coffin (D)||Died June 8, 1934||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|New York 23rd||Frank Oliver (D)||Resigned June 18, 1934||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|Illinois 20th||Henry T. Rainey (D)||Died August 19, 1934||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|Kansas 5th||William A. Ayres (D)||Resigned August 22, 1934, after being appointed a member of the Federal Trade Commission||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|
|Pennsylvania 2nd||James M. Beck (R)||Resigned September 30, 1934||Seat remained vacant until next Congress|