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Carl Vinson
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U.S. Congressman
    (November 18, 1883-June 1, 1981)
    Born in Futon County, Georgia
    Congressional Representative from Georgia (1914-65)
    Chaired the House Naval Affairs Committee (1931-47) and House Armed Services Committee (1949-53,1955-65)
    At his retirement, had served longer in the House than any other Congressman (a record since broken)
    Received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom with Special Distinction (`1964)
    He chewed tobacco.
    He never learned to drive a car.
    He lobbied for a seat on the House Naval Affairs Committee despite representing a landlocked district and having never before even seen a battleship.
    He signed the pro-segregation Southern Manifesto (1956).
    If you search Google Images for 'Carl Vinson,' you will get far more pictures of the aircraft carrier than the Congressman.
    He was an advocate for maintaining America's naval strength between World Wars I and II.
    He was called 'Father of the Two-Ocean Navy.'
    Admiral Chester Nimitz said, 'I do not where this country would have been after December 7, 1941, if it had not had the ships and the know-how to build ships fast, for which one Vinson bill after another was responsible.
    He was one of the few people to have a major US Navy vessel named after him while alive, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (1980).
    The highest peak in Antarctica, Vinson Massif, was named after him because of his support for Antarctic exploration and research.

Credit: C. Fishel

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