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First in War

June 9, 2015

When Congressman James P. Buchanan died in 1937, Lyndon Johnson won his seat in a special election. Johnson was re-elected in 1938 and 1940.

In 1941 Johnson ran for U.S. Senate in a special election, but this time he lost. During the campaign he made a promise which, despite having lost the Senate election, he kept. He had informed the voters of Texas that he strongly supported FDR’s steps to strengthen the military. He flatly stated that if war came and “my vote must be cast to send your boy to war, that day Lyndon Johnson will leave his seat in Congress to go with him.”

Lyndon Johnson was not the only member of Congress to serve on active duty during World War II, but he was the very first to do so.

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