Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson (born 1912)

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November 14, 1994 - Presentation at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation by James Schlesinger on Evans : Uncharted Waters: America's Role in the Post.-Cold War World

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1975 Press Conference - SENATOR HENRY JACKSON ADDRESSES PRESS (via AP Archive)

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2013 memorial video - Senator Henry M. Jackson, A Legacy of Leadership

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United States Senator from Washington ; In office January 3, 1953 – September 1, 1983

Preceded by Harry P. Cain

Succeeded by Daniel J. Evans

28th Chair of the Democratic National Committee ; In office July 17, 1960 – January 21, 1961

Preceded by Paul Butler

Succeeded by John Moran Bailey

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington's 2nd district ;In office January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1953

Preceded by Monrad Wallgren

Succeeded by Jack Westland

Born Henry Martin Jackson on May 31, 1912 Everett, Washington, U.S.

Died September 1, 1983 (aged 71) Everett, Washington, U.S.

Political party Democratic

Spouse(s) Helen Hardin ​(m. 1961)​


Stanford University (BA)

University of Washington, Seattle (JD)

Military service


United States


United States Army


World War II

Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson (May 31, 1912 – September 1, 1983) was an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative (1941–1953) and U.S. Senator (1953–1983) from the state of Washington. A Cold War liberal and anti-Communist Democrat, Jackson supported higher military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, while also supporting social welfare programs, civil rights, and labor unions.[1]

Born in Everett, Washington, to Norwegian immigrants, Jackson practiced law in Everett after graduating from the University of Washington School of Law. He won election to Congress in 1940 and joined the Senate in 1953 after defeating incumbent Republican Senator Harry P. Cain. Jackson supported the major civil rights of the 1960s and authored the National Environmental Policy Act, which helped establish the principle of publicly analyzing environmental impacts. He co-sponsored the Jackson–Vanik amendment, which denied normal trade relations to countries with restrictive emigration policies.

Jackson served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from 1963 to 1981. He was twice an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, in 1972 and 1976. While still serving in the Senate, Jackson died in 1983.

His political beliefs were characterized by support of civil rights, human rights, and safeguarding the environment, but with an equally strong commitment to oppose totalitarianism in general, and communism in particular.[2] The political philosophies and positions of Scoop Jackson have been cited as an influence on a number of key figures associated with neoconservatism, including Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, both of whom previously served as aides to the Senator.[1] The Seattle-based Henry M. Jackson Foundation was created in 1983 by his former colleagues and staff as well as his widow and other family members to further his work. In 1987, the Department of Defense gave to the Jackson Foundation a one-time, $10 million appropriation for its endowment in honor of the Senator. To date the Foundation has awarded over $26 million in grants to educational and nonprofit institutions.

Early life

Jackson was born in the home of his parents, Marine (Anderson) and Peter Jackson, in Everett, Washington on May 31, 1912. His mother and father were both immigrants from Norway.[3] Peter Jackson was born Peter Gresseth, and changed his name when he immigrated. He met Marine at the Lutheran church in Everett, where they were married in 1897. Henry was the fifth and youngest of the Jackson children; he was nicknamed "Scoop" by his sister in his childhood after a comic strip character that he was said to have resembled.

He went on to graduate with a B.A. degree from Stanford University and a J.D. degree from the University of Washington School of Law, where he joined the Delta Chi fraternity.

Early career

In 1935, the year of his law school graduation, he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Everett. He found immediate success and was elected to become the prosecuting attorney for Snohomish County from 1938 to 1940, where he made a name for himself prosecuting bootleggers and gamblers.

In 1961, Jackson, called by Time the Senate's "most eligible bachelor,"[4] married Helen Hardin, a 28-year-old Senate receptionist, but Jackson did not move out of his childhood home, where he lived with his unmarried sisters for several years. The Jacksons had two children, Anna Marie Laurence and Peter Jackson. Peter went on to serve as a speechwriter for Governor Christine Gregoire.

In Congress

Jackson successfully ran for Congress as a Democrat in 1940 and took his seat in the House of Representatives with the 77th Congress on January 3, 1941. From then on, Jackson did not lose any congressional elections.

Jackson joined the Army when the United States entered World War II but left when Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all representatives to return home or resign their seats. He visited the Buchenwald concentration camp a few days after its liberation in 1945. He attended the International Maritime Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1945 with the American delegation, and he was elected president of the same conference in 1946, when it was held in Seattle. From 1945 to 1947, Jackson was also the chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs.

In the 1952 election, Jackson relinquished his seat in the House for a run for one of Washington's Senate seats. Jackson soundly defeated Republican Senator Harry P. Cain and remained a senator for over thirty years. He was Washington's first U.S. Senator to be born in the state. Jackson died in office in 1983 after winning re-election for the fifth time in 1982.

Though Jackson opposed the excesses of Joe McCarthy, who had traveled to Washington state to campaign against him, he also criticized Dwight Eisenhower for not spending enough on national defense. Jackson called for more inter-continental ballistic missiles in the national arsenal, and his support for nuclear weapons resulted in a primary challenge from the left in 1958, when he handily defeated Seattle peace activist Alice Franklin Bryant before winning re-election with 67 percent of the vote, which he topped the next four times he ran for re-election.[1][5]

During the 1960 Democratic presidential primary, Jackson was the first choice of fellow Senator John F. Kennedy for a running mate, though JFK became convinced that a Southerner would better balance the ticket.[6] Lyndon B. Johnson was later selected.

Jackson boasted one of the strongest records on civil rights during the civil rights movement.[7][8] He supported the 1957 and the 1964 Civil Rights Acts.

On July 22, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Water Resources Planning Act into law, noting Jackson as one of the Congress members to "have made a very invaluable and very farsighted contribution to America's future."[9]

In April 1968, responding to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson gave a speech about the legacy and injustice of inequality.[10]

In 1963, Jackson was made chairman of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, which became the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in 1977, a position he held until 1981. In the 1970s, Jackson joined with fellow senators Ernest Hollings and Edward Kennedy in a press conference to oppose President Gerald Ford's request for Congress to end Richard Nixon's price controls on domestic oil, which had provoked oil companies into withholding gasoline during the 1973 Oil Crisis.[11][12]

Kaufman writes that after 1968, Jackson "emerged as an intellectual and political leader in the perennial struggle of U.S. foreign policy to reconcile ideals with self-interest."[6]

Jackson authored the National Environmental Policy Act, which has been called one of the most influential environmental laws in history. It helped to stimulate similar laws and the principle of publicly analyzed environmental impact in other states and in much of the world.[13] Jackson was also a leader of the fight for statehood for Alaska and Hawaii. In 1974, Jackson sponsored the Jackson-Vanik amendment in the Senate (with Charles Vanik sponsoring it in the House), which denied normal trade relations to certain countries with non-market economies that restricted the freedom of emigration. The amendment was intended to help refugees, particularly minorities, specifically Jews, to emigrate from the Soviet Bloc. Jackson and his assistant, Richard Perle, also lobbied personally for some people who were affected by this law such as Anatoly (now Natan) Sharansky.

In March 1975, Jackson released a statement in which he expressed the view that it was paramount the Franklin Peroff case be found out to be either "an aberration or was symptomatic of much greater problem" within the Drug Enforcement Administration.[14]

In June 1975, Jackson stated that if accounts about the conduct of former director of the Drug Enforcement Agency John R. Bartels Jr. were correct then his actions amounted to obstruction of justice and that evidence disclosed "in the last two days would indicate that there was a conscious, premeditated plan involving misconduct at the highest levels of the D.E.A."[15]

In July 1977, the Senate approved a funding for the experimental nuclear reactor compromise proposal by Jackson and Idaho Senator Frank Church. While the initial version by President Carter sought a decrease in funding from 150 million to 33 million, the Jackson and Church measure halved the funding to 75 million.[16]

In October 1979, the Senate voted in favor of President Carter's energy mobilization board plan, Jackson labeling the plan the "centerpiece" of Carter's program that was essential to guaranteeing the effectiveness of the rest of the legislation and was noted for successfully persuading colleagues to reject amendments to the plan.[17] Later that month, after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted in favor of the Alaska public lands legislation, President Jimmy Carter issued a statement thanking Jackson and other members for supporting the legislation.[18]

President Jimmy Carter with Jackson

Jackson also led the opposition within the Democratic Party against the SALT II treaty and was one of the leading proponents of increased foreign aid to Israel.

For decades, Democrats who support a strong international presence for the United States have been called "Scoop Jackson Democrats," and the term is still used to describe contemporary Democrats such as Joe Lieberman and R. James Woolsey, Jr.[19][20]

Jackson served for all but the last three years of his Senate tenure with Democratic colleague and friend Warren G. Magnuson. As a result, he spent 28 years as the state's junior Senator, even though he had more seniority than all but a few of his colleagues. "Scoop" and "Maggie," as they affectionately called each other, gave Washington clout in national politics well beyond its population. They were one of the most effective delegations in the history of the Senate in terms of "bringing home the bacon" for their home state. Washington received nearly a sixth of public works appropriations but ranked only 23rd in population.[21]


Jackson was known as a hawkish Democrat. He was often criticized for his support for the Vietnam War and his close ties to the defense industries of his state. His proposal of Fort Lawton as a site for an anti-ballistic missile system was strongly opposed by local residents, and Jackson was forced to modify his position on the location of the site several times, but continued to support ABM development. American Indian rights activists who protested Jackson's plan to give Fort Lawton to Seattle, instead of returning it to local tribes, staged a sit-in. In the eventual compromise, most of Fort Lawton became Discovery Park, with 20 acres (8.1 ha) leased to United Indians of All Tribes, who opened the Daybreak Star Cultural Center there in 1977.

Opponents derided him as "the Senator from Boeing"[22] and a "whore for Boeing"[23] because of his consistent support for additional military spending on weapons systems and accusations of wrongful contributions from the company; in 1965, 80% of Boeing's contracts were military.[1][21] Jackson and Magnuson's campaigning for an expensive government supersonic transport plane project eventually failed.

After his death, critics pointed to Jackson's support for Japanese American internment camps during World War II as a reason to protest the placement of his bust at the University of Washington.[24] Jackson was both an enthusiastic defender of the evacuation and a staunch proponent of the campaign to keep the Japanese-Americans from returning to the Pacific Coast after the war.[25]

Presidential campaigns

Jackson not only was successful as a politician in Washington state but also found recognition on the national level, rising to the position of chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1960 after he was considered for the vice presidential ticket spot that eventually went to fellow Senator Lyndon Johnson.

Jackson ran for president twice, and both campaigns were noted for the hostile reception they received from the left wing of the Democratic Party. Jackson's one-on-one campaigning skills, which were so successful in Washington state, did not translate as well to the national stage. Even his supporters admitted that he suffered from a certain lack of charisma.[1][26][27]

1972 presidential campaign

Jackson was little known nationally when he first ran in 1972. George McGovern, who eventually won the nomination, even accused Jackson of racism for his opposition to busing despite Jackson's longstanding record on civil rights issues. Jackson's high point in the campaign was a distant third in the early Florida primary, but he failed to stand out of the pack of better-known rivals, and he made real news only later in the campaign, as part of the "Stop McGovern" coalition, which raised what would be known as the "Acid, Amnesty and Abortion" questions about McGovern. Jackson suspended active campaigning in May after a weak showing in the Ohio primary and finishing well behind McGovern, Ed Muskie, George Wallace, and Hubert Humphrey in early primaries.

Jackson re-emerged at the August Democratic convention after the runner-up, Humphrey, dropped out of the race. Jackson's name was placed in nomination by Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, and he finished second in the delegate roll call, well behind nominee McGovern.[27][28]

1976 presidential campaign

Jackson raised his national profile by speaking out on Soviet-U.S. relations and Middle East policy regularly, and he was considered a front-runner for the nomination when he announced the start of his campaign in February 1975. Jackson received substantial financial support from Jewish-Americans who admired his pro-Israel views, but his support of the Vietnam War resulted in hostility from the left wing of the Democratic Party.

Jackson chose to run on social issues, emphasizing law and order and his opposition to busing. He was hoping for support from labor, but the possibility that Hubert Humphrey might enter the race caused unions to offer only lukewarm support.[1][26][27][29]

Jackson made the fateful decision not to compete in the early Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, which Jimmy Carter won after liberals split their votes among four other candidates. Though Jackson won the Massachusetts and New York primaries, he dropped out on May 1 after losing the critical Pennsylvania primary to Carter by 12% and running out of money.[1][26][27][29]


Jackson's home on Grand Avenue in Everett

On September 1, 1983, Jackson died suddenly in Everett of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 71, shortly after giving a news conference condemning the Soviet attack on Korean Air Lines Flight 007. News reports showed video footage in which he was seen reflexively massaging the left side of his chest while talking, and speculated that it was his reaction to an early symptom of the fatal attack.

Jackson's death was greatly mourned. New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated "Henry Jackson is proof of the old belief in the Judaic tradition that at any moment in history goodness in the world is preserved by the deeds of 36 just men who do not know that this is the role the Lord has given them. Henry Jackson was one of those men." Jackson is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Everett.


Scoop Jackson was convinced that there's no place for partisanship in foreign and defense policy. He used to say, 'In matters of national security, the best politics is no politics.' His sense of bipartisanship was not only natural and complete; it was courageous. He wanted to be President, but I think he must have known that his outspoken ideas on the security of the Nation would deprive him of the chance to be his party's nominee in 1972 and '76. Still, he would not cut his convictions to fit the prevailing style. I'm deeply proud, as he would have been, to have Jackson Democrats serve in my administration. I'm proud that some of them have found a home here.

Influence on neoconservatism

Jackson believed that evil should be confronted with power.[32] His support for civil rights and equality at home,[24] married to his opposition to détente,[32] his support for human rights[34] and democratic allies,[35] and his firm belief that the United States could be a force for good in the world[36] inspired a legion of loyal aides who went on to propound Jackson's philosophy as part of neoconservatism. In addition to Richard Perle, neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith were former Democratic aides to Jackson who, disillusioned with the Carter administration, supported Ronald Reagan and joined his administration in 1981, later becoming prominent foreign policy makers in the 21st-century Bush administration. Neoconservative Ben Wattenberg was a prominent political aide to Jackson's 1972 and 1976 presidential campaigns. Wolfowitz has called himself a "Scoop Jackson Republican" on multiple occasions.[34][37] Many journalists and scholars across the political spectrum have noted links between Senator Jackson and modern neoconservatism.[1][32][35][38][39][40][41][42][43][44]

Jackson's influence on foreign policy has been cited as foundational to the George W. Bush administration's foreign policy, and the Iraq War.[45] Jackson biographer Robert Kaufman says "There is no question in my mind that the people who supported Iraq are supporting Henry Jackson's instincts."[32]

Peter Beinart, author of The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, argues that the Democratic Party should return to Jackson's values in its foreign policy, criticizing current-day neoconservatives for failing to adopt Jackson's domestic policy views along with his foreign policy views.[36][39]

The Henry Jackson Society

In 2005, the Henry Jackson Society was formed at the University of Cambridge, England. The non-partisan British group is dedicated to "pursuit of a robust foreign policy ... based on clear universal principles such as the global promotion of the rule of law, liberal democracy, civil rights, environmental responsibility and the market economy" as part of "Henry Jackson's legacy."[46] The organisation is now based in London and hosts high-profile speaker events in the House of Commons.

Jackson Papers controversy

Senator Jackson's documents were donated to the University of Washington shortly after his death in 1983, and have been archived there ever since.[47] When the materials were donated in 1983, university staff removed all information considered classified at the time.[48] Additional materials were added to the collection until 1995.[47]

At some point, library staff discovered a classified document in the collection and sent it to the government for declassification.[49] In response, in the summer of 2004, a man who identified himself as an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) called the University of Washington asking to inspect Senator Jackson's archived documents housed there. He found a document labelled as classified and showed this to a librarian.[50] In February 2005, 22 years after Jackson's death, a five-person team including staff of the CIA, Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Information Security Oversight Office came to library to review all of Jackson's papers to remove anything still considered classified, or reclassified since then. The Department of Energy found nothing of concern, but the CIA blanked lines in about 20 papers and pulled 8 documents out of collection.[50][51][48][52][53] As of 2018, some files in the collection are available only to those regarded by the library as "serious researchers", who must first sign a release not to divulge some of the information contained in the files.[54][47]

University of Washington - Essay - Essay: A Legacy of Public Service (The Senator Henry M. Jackson Web Portal)

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Warren Magnuson and Henry Jackson began their careers in an era when the economies of the world were in deep depression. Both were of Scandinavian parentage, heirs of the progressive reformist tradition that has marked Washington State politics. That tradition embodied ingenuity and tenacity, openness to broad involvement in government (direct legislation, woman suffrage) to government intervention in economic and social development, and to a political system responsive to issues and personalities rather than to party. Both endorsed President Franklin Roosevelt's leadership in creating programs to relieve the effects of the Great Depression, and they were known as "New Deal Democrats" throughout their careers. Their tandem representation of Washington State is remarkable both for its length and for the breadth of their interests in Congress. What follows is a summary view of their activities during forty years of unparalleled change.

Jackson's Early Years

Henry Martin Jackson was born in 1912 of immigrant Norwegian parents, Peter and Marie Jackson. In Everett, his hometown teachers and friends remember him as a good student with early ambitions to become president or a U.S. senator. His father was a concrete mason, and in the constrained economy of the time, young "Scoop" (as his sister Gertrude nicknamed him) delivered newspapers to add to the family income. He briefly attended Stanford University, then worked his way through the University of Washington to a law degree.

While awaiting the results of his bar examination in 1935, Jackson served as a caseworker in a Snohomish County relief office. During his second year as a lawyer with a private firm in Everett, Jackson and his friends mounted an innovative door-to-door campaign that culminated in his election as Snohomish County prosecutor in 1938. His insistence on strict enforcement of gambling and liquor regulations secured his reputation for integrity and yielded yet another nickname, "Soda Pop," an allusion to his sparing use of alcohol.

In 1940, Jackson ran for the Second Congressional District seat vacated when Mon Wallgren sought election to the Senate. Campaigning as a supporter of New Deal programs and publicly owned utilities, Jackson defeated five other Democrats in the primary and his Republican opponent in November. Jackson's first committee assignments in the House conformed with his interests in fishing, small business, and flood control. He enlisted in the army in 1943, but was recalled to Congress after basic training, in 1944. Jackson joined a fact-finding mission which witnessed the horrors of Buchenwald a few days after its discovery by allied forces. Visiting Norway after its liberation, he observed the repatriation of Red Army soldiers captured by the Nazis. "I recall how reluctant most of those Russians were to go back to Russia," he later noted. "They knew they'd have even less freedom there." These firsthand encounters with totalitarian systems and the wartime occupation of his ancestral homeland were reference points for Jackson's view that government was responsible not only for the provision of social and economic justice but also for the adequate defense of its citizens. "The first priority is survival. I feel we can do both," he said.

Postwar Adjustments

The tensions and irritations that followed the death of FDR and the end of the war in 1945, including shortages of housing and consumer goods and inflation, were acute in Washington State. The population of the state grew by more than a million after 1935, and while the housing boom spurred the lumbering and construction industries, the major issue was jobs. Thousands of returning servicemen discharged from military service stayed in the state to take advantage of the GI Bill. Moreover, defense contractors laid off workers as they struggled to make the transition to peacetime pursuits.

Breaking ground in a bulldozer, Hanford, ca. 1960s

Senator Magnuson and Representative Jackson supported Truman administration efforts to redirect the economy. But voter discontent with the slow pace of reconversion extended into the 1946 elections. Jackson's personal popularity among the predominantly Scandinavian fishermen, loggers, and dairy farmers of his district enabled him to survive. He won reelection to his third term, the only Democrat elected from the Pacific Northwest. The election of a Republican Congress, however, reopened many questions about New Deal reforms and the extent of federal involvement in state and local affairs and in the regulation of private enterprise

Power to the West

One of the great disputes of twentieth-century U.S. history has been waged among public and private purveyors of electricity. In Washington State, the idea of building an irrigation and reclamation dam at Grand Coulee had been around since the turn of the century. Columbia Basin development advocates, such as Rufus Woods of Wenatchee and Albert Goss of the Washington Grange, joined forces with public power proponents, such as Sen. C. C. Dill and Homer Bone to boost the project at state and federal levels. FDR backed with action his own view that public power projects served to moderate the cost of electricity. His support for the Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams and his authorization of McNary and four dams on the lower Snake River in 1945 laid the foundation for a comprehensive hydroelectric, navigation, reclamation, and flood-control program in the Columbia Basin. But the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the federal power concept were under attack in the Congress after 1947, and appropriations to complete Columbia Basin projects were withheld.

In the wake of the great Memorial Day flood of 1948 and the power shortages later that year, as well as his own reelection, President Truman revived proposals for a Columbia Valley Authority (CVA). Magnuson introduced the legislation in the Senate, and Jackson in the House, in 1949. Backed by agricultural, labor, and public power groups, they argued for the revenues and regional productivity benefits accruing from such a multipurpose system. "The Columbia Basin project is good for the nation as a whole," noted Magnuson, "the biggest bargain since Seward bought Alaska." But a system similar to that in the Tennessee Valley was not to be. Congress did approve the River and Harbor Flood Control Act of 1950. The act authorized projects in sections of the nation besides the Pacific Northwest and included plans for Chief Joseph, The Dalles, and John Day dams. Although the CVA idea faded, the role of the federal government in Washington State power and resource development remained central to the work of the Pacific Northwest congressional delegation in future years.

Science and the Federal Government

Besides continuation of such public projects as housing and flood control, Truman's postwar domestic agenda included unification of the armed forces through the Department of Defense, the formation of the Atomic Energy Commission, and promotion of research in each of those areas through the creation of the National Science Foundation.

After the first atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945, Congress supported international cooperation for future development of atomic energy. The reactor at Hanford produced plutonium for Atomic Energy Commission uses, and Representative Jackson became interested in the military and peaceful applications of the atom, including its potential for generating electricity. He won appointment to the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy in 1948. After the USSR detonated its first atomic bomb in 1949 and prospects for international cooperation receded, Jackson advocated expansion of military research, including the hydrogen bomb program. "If strength is the road to peace, then let's not waste a minute getting strong," he reasoned. "If peace comes, we can dismantle our atomic warheads and use the same material to run machines, treat cancer, fertilize the soil and for dozens of other productive jobs.”

Truman's proposal for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grew out of the federal research experience of the 1930s and wartime. It was a direct successor to the Office of Science Research and Development that FDR created in 1941 to coordinate and protect research with military applications. As a new member of the Commerce Committee, Senator Magnuson introduced legislation in 1945 for government-funded science research and education. Testimony from scientists during Commerce Committee hearings on this measure underscored his belief that sophisticated research and international cooperation in the emerging Cold War era would not be adequately advanced by isolated government laboratories and private industry. Arguments about the propriety of federal support of research, the administrative structure of the agency, patent rights, and the loyalty-security issue took years to resolve. After the National Science Foundation was established in 1950, NSF grants became the engine for a broad national program of basic research and for the training of succeeding generations of scientists.

Magnuson and Jackson supported President Truman's "Fair Deal" agenda in other areas as well. Congress enacted the Displaced Persons Act, which liberalized immigration, provided for low-income and rural housing and slum clearance, raised the minimum wage to 75 cents an hour, and increased Social Security benefits and extended coverage to ten million additional people. Magnuson and Jackson also endorsed Truman's foreign policy initiatives, including the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, and U.S. involvement in the defense of South Korea.

The 1950s

Recriminations about the 1949 triumph of the communists in China, the stalemate on the Korean Peninsula, and the rearmament of the United States in response to the Cold War became key factors in the elections of 1952. The bipartisan consensus on foreign policy faltered amid charges that "communist subversives" and "twisted thinking New Dealers" undermined national security. The electorate chose Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to clean up "the mess in Washington" while in "the other Washington" Rep. Henry Jackson unseated Sen. Harry P. Cain. A former mayor of Tacoma and paratrooper during the Second World War, Cain charged that Jackson's record showed he was incapable of understanding the seriousness of the communist threat at home and abroad. Running on the slogan "Jackson will make a great U.S. senator," the Snohomish County Democrat relied on volunteers (Scoop's Troops) to pass out literature emphasizing his twelve-year record. Against Cain's charge that he was soft on communism for voting against a permanent House Un-American Activities Committee, Jackson posed his abilities as a lawyer that enabled him to fight communism without destroying individual liberties. His role on the Joint Atomic Energy Committee and his proposal for an atomic plant at Hanford to power industrial development of the Tri-Cities area were important aspects of Jackson's campaign. The general prosperity occasioned by consumer demand and expansion of defense appropriations to meet Cold War needs helped Jackson, and combined with his vigorous campaign on both sides of the Cascades, he won the Senate seat by a comfortable margin in a generally Republican year. President Eisenhower's victory resulted in slim GOP majorities in the Congress. The junior senator from Washington gained assignment to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. His posting to the Committee on Government Operations and its Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations brought Jackson to national attention. Its chairman. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, had been making broad accusations since 1950 about government agencies harboring communists. He subjected alleged subversives to intense investigation but failed to substantiate his charges. Jackson opposed such unproductive investigations and joined his Democratic colleagues in protesting McCarthy's tactics. Public opinion turned against McCarthy after millions witnessed his televised attacks on the loyalty of army personnel, and in 1954, the Senate voted to censure him. The attitudes that sustained anticommunist crusaders like McCarthy, however, became part of the fabric of U.S. politics. Meanwhile, Magnuson had become chairman of the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce after the Democrats regained control of the Senate in 1955. He also chaired the Independent Offices Subcommittee on Appropriations that reviewed the activities of such agencies as the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Power Commission, Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), and the Veterans Administration. Magnuson's positions gave him great influence in matters important to Washington State development, from fishing and merchant marine affairs to ports, aviation, and inland waterways. He steered shipping and shipbuilding for Pacific military projects to Puget Sound. When Washington cattlemen were threatened with increased freight rates, he intervened with the ICC. When the Highway Act of 1956 authorized a vast system of interstate highways, Magnuson made sure that Washington State's ferry system was included.

Holding a long petition, Washington, D.C., ca. 1950s

Magnuson and Jackson worked to diversify the state's economic base during the Eisenhower years, when the administration sought to limit federal spending through its partnership programs with private industry and local governments. Their actions included obtaining appropriations to continue federal hydroelectric and reclamation projects authorized in previous years. They helped build cooperative relationships among private and public agencies that produced dryland port and irrigation districts. They used their influence in Congress to produce more-available bank loans, price supports, and import/export legislation responsive to the fishermen, orchardists, cattlemen, wheat ranchers, and lumbermen of Washington. Both senators responded to the economic development needs of Alaska because of its importance to the Washington State economy. They supported the initiatives of territorial representatives in building the Alaskan infrastructure of utilities, schools, and housing. As chairman of the Interior Subcommittee, responsible for territorial affairs, Jackson introduced statehood legislation for both Alaska and Hawaii in 1955. During the next four years, he worked to overcome bipartisan objections based on defense and racial issues. Southern congressmen feared that admission of Alaska would lead to admission of Hawaii, another racially diverse state, upsetting the civil rights balance in the Senate. Both states were admitted to the union in 1959. In the shift to Democratic control of the Senate in 1955, Jackson gained reassignment to the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and moved to the Armed Services Committee. He became known for his advocacy of bipartisan foreign policy, speaking and writing often on defense and NATO affairs. Jackson supported the continued presence of U.S. troops in Europe. Moreover, he endorsed Eisenhower's strategy of deterrence, in part, through air power, and backed Adm. Hyman Rickover in development of atomic submarines. In the mid-1950s, Jackson worked to accelerate the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. Soviet "firsts" in the space race, beginning with Sputnik in 1957, seemed to bear out his warnings that the U.S. missile program was lagging. Congress moved to close the technological and scientific "gaps" by creating NASA and by enacting the National Defense Education Act in 1958, making money available for improvements in science, mathematics, and foreign language programs. Similarly, at Atlantic Assembly meetings, Jackson advocated scholarship programs for exceptional students from NATO nations to foster scientific and technical education and the study of Asian and African languages.

The post-Sputnik years convinced Jackson of the need for more effective U.S. leadership in world affairs. In 1959, when he became chairman of the Government Operations National Policy Machinery Subcommittee, he and his staff studied the policy-making areas of the executive branch as they related to national security. Besides producing reports on the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Atlantic Alliance, the committee's studies helped shape Jackson's views on arms control, defense, and foreign policy.

The 1960s

Senator Jackson's growing reputation led to his emergence in 1960 as a contender for the vice presidency. Candidate John F. Kennedy, however, chose Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, who, he believed, improved Democratic chances in the South in his close race with Richard M. Nixon. Jackson was named chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The election of Kennedy, the first president to have come of age during the New Deal, seemed to signal a new era of reform.

From their positions on Senate committees, the Magnuson-Jackson team advanced the interests of Washington State during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. When Bangor, on the Kitsap Peninsula, was chosen as the base for Polaris submarines, Magnuson's legislation for assistance to communities impacted by federal employees helped build schools and housing. As the children of the baby boom moved from elementary school to secondary school to higher education ages, the senators supported initiatives for federal assistance.

The senators also encouraged expanded Western power generation and interregional cooperation. As a member of the Interior Committee, Jackson worked with the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS), the BPA, and administration officials to conclude the Columbia Storage Power Exchange agreement with Canada in 1963. The treaty ensured firm power capacities of downstream U.S. dams and allowed the sale of power throughout the Pacific Northwest and California through the west coast interties authorized by Congress in 1964. FDR's vision of slack-water navigation from Astoria to Clarkston became a reality as appropriations for the Lower Snake dams to complete that "new Northwest Passage" speeded up during the 1960s. Magnuson and Jackson also backed such projects as the giant third powerhouse at Grand Coulee that expanded the capacity of existing dams.

But concern about the ecological and fiscal costs of hydroelectric projects mounted. To meet the long-term power demands of the West, Senator Jackson's proposal for a dual-purpose reactor at Hanford was approved by President Kennedy. WPPSS became the managing partner with the Atomic Energy Commission to add the steam plant, and by 1966 the new production reactor began contributing to the Northwest power pool. Although the project was plagued with difficulties after 1971, Jackson spoke with pride of the effort: "There we literally did beat swords into plowshares and provided jobs."

Pushing a news car out of the mud, Mt. Rainier, 1963

The industrial and agricultural development of eastern Washington through dams and reclamation also provided residents and tourists with recreational facilities. Travel and tourism became a major industry, and Magnuson and Jackson endorsed state promotional programs from Westport to Walla Walla. When the citizens of Seattle hosted a world's fair in 1962, Magnuson obtained a $10 million subsidy to boost the Century 21 Exposition. The Pacific Science Center, centerpiece for the fair's "Man in Space" theme, showed off both the latest NASA triumph and the Washington aerospace industry. Magnuson also backed the 1974 world's fair in Spokane that promoted his perennial interests in Pacific Rim trade and environmental protection.

Within the month after the world's fair closed in October 1962, however. Senator Magnuson almost lost his bid for a fourth Senate term. His opponent was a neophyte politician, a thirty-two-year-old minister from Snohomish County whose youth and vigor inspired an enthusiastic corps of volunteers. Richard G. Christensen used television extensively, and advertisements showed him speaking to an empty rocking chair to depict both Magnuson's age and his refusal to debate. Magnuson embodied the old-style, cigar-smoking, pork-barrel political insider rather than a member of the New Frontier, and his bachelor life-style and reputation as a hard-drinking man seemed out of place to many voters. Beyond those factors, however, the election took place within days of the Cuban missile crisis and the threat of nuclear war played into the hands of the resurgent New Right, which decried Magnuson's liberal record. Eastern Washington voters supported Christensen, as did organizations that disapproved of Magnuson's work for such federal programs as Medicare. The senator's forty-eight-thousand-vote victory resulted from his traditional strength in urban western Washington, where labor, education, and maritime organizations heavily supported him.

Commerce Committee

The election of 1962 convinced Magnuson and his staff of a need to make changes to increase his effectiveness and visibility as chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce. He added enterprising staff members to help him and other committee members identify and develop approaches to issues. Magnuson encouraged junior and minority party subcommittee members to develop workable bills and accommodated their concerns in final legislation as much as possible. "We seldom pass a bill in the Commerce Committee that isn't pretty well agreed upon," he noted. Although some senators objected that Magnuson's integrative approach "compromised" their legislation, most realized the value of the chairman's insistence on taking a unified committee to the Senate floor. His mastery of Senate rules and deference to the divergent views of his colleagues resulted in an unusually effective committee. During Magnuson's tenure - the longest continuous chairmanship in Senate history (1955-78) - more than two hundred measures he introduced became law. The Commerce Committee's work during this period resulted in such legislation as that creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Communications Satellite Corporation, Amtrak, Conrail, and the Department of Transportation.

Magnuson and his staff made consumer protection a central concern of the Commerce Committee. In 1966, he created and became chairman of a new Consumer Subcommittee. The Dark Side of the Marketplace, a book Magnuson wrote with Jean Carper in 1968, aimed to raise public awareness of the need for protection of the consumer's economic welfare, health, and safety. Such protection, he emphasized, also served the interests of responsible businessmen. Among the many consumer measures passed as a result of subcommittee work were regulations on flammable fabrics for children's sleepwear, truth in packaging and labeling, generic drugs (to lower the cost of antibiotics), cigarette labeling and advertising, toy and auto safety, improved product warranties, packaging for poison prevention, and drinking water safety. He also helped create the Consumer Products Safety Commission (1972) and the Agency for Consumer Advocacy to represent citizens before federal agencies and courts.

Magnuson and his Commerce Committee staff also brought fresh approaches to his traditional interest in fisheries and maritime policy. The general course of his activities followed on the National Academy of Sciences oceanography report of 1959, which recommended an ambitious program of ocean exploration rivaling the federal effort in space science. Magnuson interested the maritime construction industry in his ideas and took testimony from marine and fisheries scientists scattered among federal agencies and universities. These efforts culminated in enactment of the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966, which provided coordination of research, education, and planning for future oceanographic development. Magnuson also sought ecological safeguards through regulations on toxic substances and oil tanker construction and through prohibition of oil ports on Puget Sound. Long a proponent of measures to preserve and enhance North Pacific fisheries, he sponsored the bill that established the two-hundred-mile fishing jurisdiction in 1977.

Interior Committee

Concern about conservation of natural resources preoccupied reformers at regular intervals in U.S. history—from the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916 to the New Deal's extensive soil and water management programs. Wilderness preservation and conservation forces found support in the Kennedy-Johnson administrations for new programs to solve the nation's growing ecological problems. Finding a balance between environmental concern and economic development became a major task for the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. Jackson's tenure on this committee began in 1953. He served as its chairman from 1963 to 1980 and helped guide a wide range of environmental protection bills through Congress. The Wilderness Act of 1964 set up a system for designating wilderness areas on public lands. It was followed in 1965 by the creation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to buy and develop land for preservation and recreation. Additions to the Olympic National Park, wildlife refuges, and public-access facilities in parks were provided by the fund. Jackson responded to the persistent efforts of such Washington advocates as the North Cascades Conservation Council to forge the compromise that established the North Cascades National Park in 1968. That same year, he sponsored, with congressional colleagues, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails Systems Act. A program that provided city youths with jobs in the nation's parks and forests resulted from the Youth Conservation Corps Act of 1970. This measure depended on the persistent legislative teamwork of Jackson and Washington Congressman Lloyd Meeds as well as on the appropriations strategy of Magnuson and Julia Butler Hansen.

The landmark National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), which also was a Jackson-created bill, established environmental protection as a priority. The act required all government agencies to consider the impact of proposed programs on the environment and to seek any needed protective alternatives. Legislation of such sweeping character as NEPA was not easily passed. Timber, ranching, and mining interests and agencies such as the Corps of Engineers and the Atomic Energy Commission argued that efficiency would be hampered by such close regulation.

The preoccupation of the Interior Committee with energy issues after the embargo imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in 1973 was indicated by its title change to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in 1977. Jackson's ability to achieve bipartisan consensus was demonstrated by the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, after hearings and attempts that spanned the previous decade. His reputation as an arbiter, as well as his credibility as an advocate for Alaskan development, helped in the mediation of the land claims of Alaska natives (1971) and in passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (1980).

Influential Advocates

Washington's senators were often called "the gold-dust twins" or the "senators from Boeing" because the legislation they initiated or supported often directed federal monies to Washington State. Their reputation for backing programs in the national interest, as well as their accumulated seniority, were factors in the deference accorded Magnuson's economic development programs and Jackson's programs for national defense. Both were consensus seekers known for their ability to build coalitions supportive of their bills.

During a tour of military installations, Korea, 1955

Both were active in Democratic party affairs and were friends and advisers to presidents. Magnuson played poker with FDR, whose affectionate use of the nickname "Maggie" was widely adopted by others. He went fishing with Harry Truman and swimming with John Kennedy. President Lyndon Johnson, who began his congressional career with Magnuson on the House Naval Affairs Committee in 1936, was best man when Magnuson married Jermaine Peralta in 1964. While both senators supported the domestic reforms of the 1960s, Kennedy and Johnson drew on Magnuson's unique position and reputation to pass civil rights legislation. Lunch-counter sit-ins and freedom riders in Southern states focused national attention on the drive to desegregate public facilities. As a result, the public accommodations section was introduced as a separate bill to ensure hearings in Magnuson's Commerce Committee rather than in the Judiciary Committee, known as "the civil rights graveyard." The strategy produced a public accommodations section that Congress adopted as part of the Civil Rights Act signed by President Johnson on July 2, 1964.

Jackson's advice on defense and foreign policy was sought by both Democratic and Republican administrations. While both senators were proponents of a bipartisan approach to global affairs, their contrasting views were illustrated by their positions on the Vietnam War and China. Magnuson endorsed a strong U.S. naval presence in the Pacific and such alliances as Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Australia-New Zealand-United States alliance (ANZUS) to contain communism and maintain trade. After the Vietnam conflict escalated to involve more than half a million U.S. troops, and his old friend LBJ decided not to seek reelection in 1968, Magnuson joined those advocating a negotiated U.S. withdrawal.

Jackson initially stood by LBJ in his conduct of the war as a means to check the domination of Southeast Asia by the Chinese and Soviets. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, he endorsed the bombing of North Vietnamese military targets until the South Vietnamese could defend themselves. He believed in "going for the jugular," because the Korean experience had shown the American people would not support a protracted war. As the war dragged on, he advocated a mutual cease-fire and a negotiated settlement; in 1968, he privately advised the Johnson administration against sending more U.S. troops. Jackson continued this stance with President Nixon while supporting Nixon's effort to "Vietnamize" the war and withdraw U.S. ground troops. Jackson declined Nixon's invitation to serve either as secretary of defense or as secretary of state. In 1972, he lost the party's nomination for the presidency to Senator George McGovern, a leading opponent of the war.

Magnuson's experiences in China as a young man and in the Pacific theater during World War II helped him realize the implications of U.S. domestic policy in international affairs. In 1943, he sponsored legislation repealing the Chinese exclusion laws, which were used by the Japanese to illustrate U.S. prejudice against its Asian ally. After the Chinese communists conquered the mainland in 1949, the United States recognized the nationalist government, which had retreated to Taiwan Magnuson, however, advocated nonstrategic trade and cultural relations with the mainland Chinese as early as 1956. His overture was politically unpopular, but he maintained his belief explaining, "We can't keep four hundred million people behind an economic bamboo curtain forever just because we don't like the policies of their government.”

By 1969, the shifting alliances of the Cold War era and the geopolitical importance of China had convinced Jackson that closer U.S.-China ties were crucial to U.S. efforts to promote world stability. He agreed that the Chinese could help end the war in Southeast Asia and applauded President Nixon's visit to China in 1972. In July 1973, Magnuson led the first U.S. congressional delegation to the People's Republic of China in nearly twenty-five years. Jackson made four official trips to China between 1974 and 1983. Throughout the 1970s, Jackson led discussions regarding normalization of relations, and the two nations finally exchanged ambassadors during the Carter administration in 1979. Magnuson and Jackson were instrumental in arranging many business, educational, and community contacts between the Pacific Northwest and the People's Republic of China and became revered figures in China.

Arms Control and Human Rights

The ideological rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was complicated by nuclear weapons, and negotiations in search of a solution to the arms race became a fixture of foreign policy. In the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, President Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev resumed long-stalled discussions on nuclear testing and formally signed a treaty the following October. The treaty banned atmospheric, ocean, and space testing of nuclear weapons while permitting underground testing. In the course of debate on ratification, Senator Jackson led those who favored the treaty contingent on administration assurances that U.S. testing and monitoring capabilities would be maintained and improved. His floor speech endorsing the treaty helped ensure ratification of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

In 1969, the two nations again entered arms control negotiations. Phase one of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) concluded in 1972 when President Nixon and Secretary Leonid Brezhnev signed a treaty limiting antiballistic missile (ABM) systems and a five-year interim agreement on the limitation of strategic offensive arms.

During the Senate ratification process, Jackson voted with the majority to ratify the ABM treaty. He supported the interim agreement, but only after the Senate had agreed to his amendment directing the president to achieve equality in levels of intercontinental forces in all future agreements.

As part of the relaxation of tensions, the two nations also began to normalize trade relations that had languished since 1951. Senator Jackson, a critic of the Soviet Union's violations of the human rights of its citizens, emerged as a leader of the opposition to the restoration of its most-favored nation status unless it met certain conditions. In 1972, Jackson introduced an amendment to the Trade Reform Act that denied most-forced nation status to countries that denied their citizens the right to emigrate freely. Jackson targeted the amendment in part at the "education tax" on Soviet citizens that was designed to stop the exodus of talented individuals. Jackson's linkage of human rights to a favored trade status touched off two years of debate that was complicated by Soviet encouragement of the attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria during Yom Kippur in 1973.

Jackson supported close ties with Israel after its formation as a separate state in 1948. Soviet intervention in the Middle East confirmed Jackson amendment supporters in their doubts about detente. Henry Kissinger, Nixon's secretary of state, argued against trying to influence Soviet internal affairs. A compromise was reached allowing the president to waive the requirements of the amendment when an individual nation moved substantially toward freer emigration. The Jackson-Vanik Amendment became law in 1974.

The Jackson amendment and the resulting debate about human rights, preferential trade, and the role of Congress in foreign policy were issues in the 1976 presidential campaigns. Jackson won the Massachusetts and New York primary elections but withdrew from campaigning after losing to Jimmy Carter in Pennsylvania. As president. Carter endorsed the concept of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Following Carter's negotiation with the Soviets of the SALT II agreement, Jackson again led the skeptics, criticizing the lack of reductions in ICBMs and the failure to respect the principle of equality of strategic forces. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Carter withdrew the SALT II treaty from Senate consideration.

Health Care

For Magnuson, the post- Vietnam era was a time to do rear-guard battle on the health-care front. Magnuson's first bill as a new representative from Washington State in 1937 was a cancer research bill cosponsored with his mentor. Senator Homer Bone. The National Cancer Institute established by passage of that legislation was an innovation. It embodied the idea that research into noninfectious disease was within the purview of the federal government and advanced the role of U.S. Public Health Service research by means of fellowships, private investigators, and medical schools. The wartime experience with battle casualties and draftees revealed the need for better national health care, and Congress passed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) bill introduced by Senators Magnuson and Lister Hill in 1948. Heart disease and mental illness were added to cancer as "dread diseases" to be conquered by the Public Health Service. In 1950, more institutes were added, and Magnuson's work for the National Science Foundation included a Medical Research Division to coordinate grant activities with the NIH.

During the next decade, Magnuson helped devise an effective network of activists and health professionals who countered opposition and exploited opportunities to further their cause. The Korean War validated Magnuson's advocacy for involvement of Veterans Administration hospitals in research and education. The development of a poliomyelitis vaccine by NIH researcher Jonas Salk proved the importance of biomedical research to millions of parents. The health-care lobby also helped pass the Medicare and Medicaid programs over the objections of those who feared "socialized medicine."

Magnuson's ability to influence health legislation increased when he became chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Health, Education, and Welfare in 1969. In opposition to Nixon administration budget cutters, he sponsored and helped guide through Congress new programs for rural and children's health-care. In 1973, he stopped Nixon's campaign to close the nation's Public Health Service hospitals. During these years, Magnuson became known as the "most-vetoed senator."

Magnuson took his arguments for increased health-care appropriations to the public with the book How Much for Health?, co-authored with Elliot A. Segal in 1974. The book served as a summary of the current state of the nation's health-care system and as a guide for future action, including the need for better food safety, lead-based paint regulation, and fire prevention. Magnuson's efforts on behalf of national programs did not overlook Washington State. Besides keeping open the Public Health Service Hospital, he obtained matching funds for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and endorsed appropriations for clinics such as those on the Puyallup and Lummi Indian reservations. In 1978, the Board of Regents of the University of Washington named the Health Sciences Center in Magnuson's honor, an acknowledgement that his support for biomedical research and education was vital to its many programs in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

End of an Era

Senator Magnuson rose to his most powerful positions during his last three years in the Senate. In 1978, he became chairman of the Appropriations Committee while also serving on the Budget, Science, and Transportation committees. As the senior member of the majority party, he was third in line for the presidency in the otherwise largely ceremonial role of president pro tempore of the Senate in 1979-80. He continued to work on issues he considered to be in the long-term national interest: no-fault auto insurance, health-care insurance, and fisheries conservation.

But it was his position as appropriations chairman that claimed most of his time. President Carter's campaign pledge to balance the federal budget by 1980 received Magnuson's support. Magnuson expressed his determination to impose discipline on appropriations through increased oversight, confident that he and subcommittee heads could trim programs and critique spending requests. In response to queries about his new "frugal hand," Magnuson replied that he was a "closet conservative when federal spending is the issue." Budget cutting was popular in many states at the time. After Washington State voters limited revenue collections by passing an initiative in 1979, Magnuson introduced a bill tying federal spending to the gross national product. However, Magnuson was as generous as ever in assisting the Pacific Northwest in calamities of the moment. He engineered appropriations for new Hood Canal and West Seattle bridges (both accidentally destroyed in 1979), steered a $400 million contract to Todd Shipyards, and made $951 million available to assist government agencies coping with the effects of the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

In response to criticism during the 1980 campaign that the Appropriations Committee had become the "Warren G. Magnuson Charitable Trust," Vice President Walter Mondale said: "Maggie assured me that he has decided to be scrupulously fair with federal appropriations. He has decided to divide them up 50-50-halffor Washington State and half for the rest of the country." Others noted that, "Grant is Magnuson's middle name." Such joking revealed the ambivalence some voters felt about Magnuson's ability to bring federal funds to bear on Washington problems. While Magnuson's reelection campaign was well financed by traditional groups in the labor, shipping, and fishing communities, actual voting support was diluted by the issues. Support of health professionals was divided; some physicians doubted that Magnuson's support for national health care plans was good for the nation. Regional economic problems associated with declining salmon runs and the shift of lumbering jobs to the South were heightened by the double-digit inflation, and they weakened Magnuson's traditional voting base. Some observers noted that a majority of voters were young or new to the state and thus immune to the tradition of voting for "Maggie." Those same voters, however, also had acquired the habit of voting for Magnuson's opponent, the state's highest elected Republican officeholder. Attorney General Slade Gorton.

Gorton rose to leadership of the moderate wing of the Republican Party during his ten years in the Washington State House of Representatives. Vigorous and articulate, Gorton's initiatives as attorney general included the establishment of an office of consumer protection, and earned him continuous reelection after 1969. In the 1980 race, Magnuson's age and declining health were factors in his defeat. The fifty-two-year-old Gorton jogged and cycled around the state, while Magnuson conducted a whistle-stop tour by rail. The seventy-five-year-old Magnuson rebutted observations on his age with the comment, "Age isn't a problem; it's a fact of life." Concerning the voters' mandate that ended his forty-four years in Congress, he concluded that is was “some sort of tidal wave. There is a time to come and a time to go.”

The 1980 election, with its shift to Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party, seemed to signal the end of the old New Deal reform coalition. An ironic consequence of the GOP tidal wave was that Henry Jackson became senior senator and leader of the Washington delegation to Congress for the first time-but lost his chairmanships.

As ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Government Affairs committees, Jackson worked at issues ranging from the Columbia Gorge to Middle East tensions. He acted to block such Reagan administration proposals as the sale of the Bonneville Power Administration system to private interests and the leasing of wilderness areas for oil and gas exploration. As relations between the United States and the USSR deteriorated, Jackson joined with Senator John Warner to obtain the support of sixty- one cosigners to a resolution urging a renewal of arms-control negotiations. The bipartisan resolution advocated a long-term, mutual, and verifiable arms freeze at equal and sharply reduced levels. Also in response to national and local concern, he proposed the formation of a bipartisan commission on Central America to end the policy stalemate between Congress and the Reagan administration as well as to unify the nation. The final report of the bipartisan commission was dedicated to Jackson.

Senator Jackson died suddenly on September 1, 1983, during his forty-third year in Congress. He had just returned from China, and in his last press conference, that day, denounced the Soviet Union's action in destroying Korean Air Line's Flight 007 with its 269 passengers and crew. Congressional tributes to Jackson's memory included the naming of a Trident submarine, the federal office building in Seattle, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine in his honor. Moreover, in 1986, Congress approved a $10 million grant to match private funds raised to support the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, which had been established in 1983 by his widow, Helen, and his friends and colleagues. The Jackson Foundation carries forward the senator's commitment to the advancement of education and scholarship in the fields of international affairs, environmental and resource policy, and other areas of interest to him. Jackson also had furthered programs of the University of Washington's School of Law and Graduate School of Public Affairs that promoted his interest in international education and training for foreign service. The University's School of International Studies was named for Jackson in recognition of his active support for its programs and its interdisciplinary approach to the study of world cultures.

On the occasion of what would have been Jackson's seventy-fifth birthday anniversary, May 31, 1987, former Senator Magnuson said, "I have lots of memories tonight. We were a team. It was rare that we voted opposite." Together, they recorded more than twenty thousand votes, and, in the matter of Washington State development, they seldom disagreed.

NOTE: This account of the careers of Senators Magnuson and Jackson was written by Jane Sanders in 1987 under the auspices of the University of Washington Libraries to accompany the exhibit based on the senators' papers administered by the libraries. Advisors for the exhibit and for the biographical essay were University of Washington faculty members Robert E. Burke, Department of History; Brewster Denny, Graduate School of Public Affairs; and Richard Ellings, Jackson School of International Studies; as well as Dorothy Fosdick of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

Wife - Helen Hardin Jackson

Source : HistoryLink : [HL005S][GDrive]

Helen Hardin Jackson grew up in New Mexico, received an excellent education, and after a brief first marriage, became a secretary to a senator in Washington, D.C. There, in 1961, she met and married Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (1912-1983), a Democrat from Everett. Helen became known as a hard-working wife, mother, and co-campaigner with her husband through his re-election campaigns and two unsuccessful presidential bids. After her husband's unexpected death in 1983, she established the Henry M. Jackson Foundation as a living memorial to him. The foundation assists public officials, diplomats, and journalists in addressing international problems and funds scholarships, visiting faculty, and other programs at the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies. Helen also took on a variety of leadership and philanthropic projects in and around Everett and during the 1980s and 1990s often hosted fundraisers in her home. The Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights at the Jackson School of International Studies was created in 2008 to recognize her personal commitment to human rights. Helen Jackson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003, and health conditions prevented her from being as active and public in the community as she had previously been. Helen Jackson continued to reside in Everett, where she was widely admired for her graciousness, generosity, and leadership abilities, until her death in 2018.

Early Life and Education

Helen Eugenia Hardin was born in Clovis, New Mexico, on August 17, 1933, the only child of Marion Moody Hardin and Jeanne Hardin. She spent her early childhood in Hobbs, New Mexico. When she was 10 years old, Helen's family moved to Albuquerque, where her father served as president of the American Gypsum Company. Helen's maternal grandfather, Dr. Clyde Campbell, was a Methodist missionary who taught English and Bible studies at the University of Soochow in China from 1907 to 1911. Helen's mother was born in China, a place that has always held special interest for her. Helen credits her grandfather with instilling in her an early love of reading and literature.

Helen was a well-educated young woman. She attended the Hockaday School, a private college preparatory day and boarding school for girls in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from high school in Albuquerque, then studied for a year at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, before transferring to Scripps College in Claremont, California.

At Scripps she served as senior class president and graduated with a degree in English and philosophy in 1955. Helen returned to Scripps in 1976 to deliver a commencement address on "The Role of Women in Public Life." She earned a master's degree in English literature, specializing in Virginia Woolf, from Columbia University in 1958. While there, she studied under Mark Van Doren (1894-1972), a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, writer, and critic, who had a profound influence on Helen's intellectual development. After graduating from Columbia, she worked as secretary to the editor of medical publications at Oxford University Press in New York.

First Marriage and Divorce

In April 1955, shortly before her college graduation, Helen became engaged to Dr. William Fuller from Albuquerque, who was a surgical resident at New York Hospital. The couple's five-year marriage ended in divorce, and Helen returned home to Albuquerque.

In 1960 she took a speedwriting course to improve her secretarial skills. Helen referred to this as a "ghastly part of my life" (The Seattle Times, March 8, 1972). She had an excellent education, but the sexism of the era limited her career opportunities to secretarial work. Helen's vocational training in Albuquerque nevertheless proved to be an important career move. She soon received an offer to work for Senator Clinton P. Anderson (1895-1975), a Democrat from New Mexico and a family friend. Helen relocated to Washington, D.C., in January 1961 to begin a new career in the nation's capital. The move was to have a profound effect on her life.

From Career Girl to Senator's Wife

Helen's first day on the job, January 4, 1961, was auspicious. Senator Anderson invited Helen to attend a swearing-in ceremony for new senators. In an elevator on the way to the ceremony she met Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson, the Washington state Democratic senator, 21 years her senior.

Helen and Scoop made a striking first impression on one another. A few weeks later, he invited her to tea and then took her on several bicycling dates. The couple courted throughout the spring and summer of 1961. They rarely did anything extravagant "because Scoop was thrifty" (Kaufman, 128).

Single, successful, and 48 years old, Scoop was considered one of the capital's most eligible bachelors. That changed on November 27, 1961, when Scoop and Helen announced their engagement. They wed on December 16, 1961, in an intimate ceremony at the Central Methodist Church in Albuquerque. President Kennedy sent a telegram "extending heartiest congratulations to you and your bride on this happy day" (Kaufman, 128).

The newlyweds took a two-week honeymoon to Hawaii, where Helen found little respite from her husband's high-profile political life. Helen noted that "half the State of Washington appeared to be in Hawaii" (Everett Daily Herald, January 2, 1962). Senator Jackson talked to reporters and attended a briefing on antisubmarine warfare and the communist submarine threat in the Pacific. The newlyweds dined with several Washingtonians in Hawaii, including Commander and Mrs. John Riley of Everett and Commander Don McLain, aboard the U.S. naval destroyer escort USS Whitehurst. The lack of privacy or break from politics that the Jacksons experienced during their honeymoon became a recurring theme with which Helen graciously coped throughout their marriage.

The couple returned to Everett, Washington, Scoop's hometown, on January 2, 1962. This week-long visit was the first chance many Washingtonians had to meet the senator's new bride. Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Gaul and Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Westrom hosted a reception in the couple's honor on Sunday, January, 7, 1962, at the Gauls' picturesque Lake Stevens home. Guests traveled from as far away as California to attend the reception, eager to meet the young woman who took the bachelor senator off the market. The Everett Herald reported, "The lovely blonde who was just the right girl for Sen. Henry M. Jackson, won the hearts of many of his longtime, hometown friends Sunday afternoon" (Everett Herald, January 8, 1962).

Senator's Wife

The couple returned to Washington, D.C., on January 9, 1962, as Congress reconvened. The new Mrs. Jackson transformed the former bachelor pad at 2500 Q Street into a suitable family home. When Congress was not in session, the couple returned to Everett, where they lived with Scoop's beloved older sisters, Gertrude and Marie, at 3602 Oakes Avenue.

Being married to a hard-working senator was often challenging for Helen. She credited her year-long position in Senator Anderson's office with teaching her about political life and helping her learn cope with the challenges. She learned what a senator's life was like before she married one, and thus had a fairly easy time adjusting to her husband's long workdays and to managing the household alone.

As the wife of a prominent senator, Helen became a public figure in her own right. However, domestic life remained a top priority. She enjoyed decorating, entertaining, and even cleaning and ironing, but she was not particularly fond of cooking. After the birth of the couple's two children, Anna Marie (b. 1963) and Peter (b. 1966), childrearing and family became primary concerns. Helen believed strongly in being a good partner to her husband and a good mother to their children, as well as maintaining two households and managing the family's social relationships. She worked hard to strike a balance between the competing demands for her time, energy, and attention.

Charming, gracious, and publicly reserved, Helen played the part of a dutiful wife to an ambitious senator extremely well. She possessed a great deal of depth and intellect; however, the media often characterized her in simplistic and superficial terms. They focused on her svelte figure, attractive good looks, or decorating and fashion choices. Those close to Helen are quick to note her wry sense of humor, wit, and intellect, which the media often overlooked or rarely saw, especially in the early years of their marriage.

Setting Down Roots in Everett

In 1967 the couple purchased a large colonial revival house at 1703 Grand Avenue in Everett, where Helen Jackson continued to reside until her death in 2018. Scoop had strong Everett roots, and it was important to him to return to Everett as often as possible. The Jacksons split their time between Washington state and Washington, D.C.

Although not a Washington native, Helen quickly grew to love life in Everett. The small mill town offered a slower pace, the family had friends there, and the children had greater freedom than they did in Washington, D.C. The Jacksons' Everett neighbor, Jeanne Metzger, describes Helen as a very loyal member of the community. She has long been active and committed to her department of the Everett Woman's Book Club. The whole family enjoyed taking part in simple neighborhood activities, like caroling and trick-or-treating. Harry Metzger once noted that "Helen adopted his [Scoop's] sense of community. She was dedicated to staying here" (Kaufman, 187).

Candidate's Wife, Round One

When Senator Jackson officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on November 19, 1971, Helen Jackson was thrust into the national limelight. She was enthusiastic about her husband's candidacy. "I think any woman would enjoy being First Lady," she told a reporter five months before the official announcement (The Seattle Times, June 27, 1971).

Senator Jackson had many assets that made him a suitable presidential candidate, not the least of which was his wife. Young, charming, energetic, and attractive, Helen campaigned actively with her husband as his "ever-cheerful sidekick" (The Seattle Times, March 8, 1972). Crisscrossing the country on Scoop's "campaign for common sense," Helen also managed to attend to her domestic responsibilities and their children.

Although many presidential hopefuls and their wives traveled and campaigned separately, for the 1972 election campaign, the Jacksons almost always campaigned together. Helen considered campaigning together good for the marriage because it united the couple in a common cause. Helen was adamant that she not make speeches for her husband. "You end up giving your husband's philosophy secondhand" (The Seattle Times, March 8, 1972). Helen cited day-care centers, the environment, and helping the elderly as her own top priorities if she were to become First Lady.

Candidate's Wife, Round Two

Senator Jackson won the Washington state caucuses in 1972, but lost in all other states. Undeterred, he remounted a stronger campaign in 1976. This time the Jacksons adopted a different campaign strategy, and the couple traveled and campaigned separately. As a result, Helen emerged as a more outspoken figure in the 1976 election than she had been four years earlier.

Because Helen was campaigning and speechmaking without her husband by her side, the public was able to gain greater access to her. They discovered a charismatic woman who expressed sincere professional and personal admiration for her husband, whom she called "Dear Heart" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 8, 1975). She spoke more openly on a wide range of issues, from senior citizens to national defense. The public picture of Helen Jackson that emerged in the 1976 campaign contrasted dramatically with the "happy homemaker" persona of 1972 (Everett Herald, June 12, 1976). Some journalists covering the 1976 election described Helen's charisma and warmth as Scoop's secret weapon in the 1976 campaign (Everett Herald, April 2, 1976). She was able to charm and connect with audiences in a way her husband did not.

Helen believed it was her responsibility to inform the public on Scoop's views, whether or not she agreed with them. "Sometimes my opinions differ radically from Scoop's, but my job is to tell people what his opinions are. Otherwise when they get to the ballot box they will be confused. Did he say this? Or did she say this?" (The Oregonian, February 13, 1976). Abortion was one notable issue upon which Helen and Scoop disagreed. Scoop supported abortion only when the mother's life was at stake; Helen took a more pro-choice stance.

Jackson lost the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination to Jimmy Carter, and the couple was disappointed when Scoop was not selected as Carter's running mate at the 1976 Democratic convention. However, the family soon returned to its old routines, splitting time between Washington, D.C., and Everett. Helen remained an active force in Scoop's senatorial re-election efforts in Washington state.

Views on the Women's Movement

As the wife of a presidential hopeful during the 1970s, Helen was often asked to take a stance on the women's movement. Her responses suggest that Helen struggled internally to balance competing roles and priorities as a wife, mother, and public figure and to find a meaningful identity for herself within the burgeoning feminist movement.

She told one reporter, "At first it turned me off ... but they no longer consider housewives second-class citizens. I enjoy being a housewife, and I used to resent that" (The Oregonian, May 3, 1975). She reiterated her earlier aversion to the women's movement a few months later, stating, "At first it was such a shrill movement that it turned me off. Now that the emphasis seems to have settled on a woman doing what is right for her -- that she should have a say in what she'll do with her life, then I applaud it" (Everett Herald, September 2, 1975).

Helen appeared to embrace and accept the women's movement much more comfortably once she was able to find a place for her work in both the private and public spheres. Although not a feminist in the "bra burning" sense, Helen held strong convictions about equality of the sexes and had for many years (Panorama, June 5, 1976).

Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry

Helen cited such relatively safe causes as the elderly and child care issues as her would-be platform as First Lady. After the 1976 election, she began to take on more controversial issues. In 1978 Helen co-founded a group called Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry with Joanne Kemp (b. 1936), wife of Jack Kemp (1935-2009), a Republican congressman from New York.

The 45-member group lobbied for human rights in the Soviet Union. At a December 4, 1984, rally in Portland, Oregon, Helen stated:

"The Soviet leaders are now systematically promoting anti-Semitism as state policy ... . They do so for their own reasons but perhaps because they think they can get away with it. They see little evidence that the world is paying attention" (The Oregonian, December 5, 1984).

The group's goal was to work with other political wives from around the world to lobby to ease restrictions on Soviet Jewish emigration. The group and cause, while very much Helen's own, was nevertheless well-aligned with Senator Jackson's staunch anti-Soviet and pro-Israel positions.

Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Helen Jackson was widowed unexpectedly at the age of 50, on September 1, 1983. She wasted no time in ensuring that her husband's long legacy of political activism would not be forgotten. On October 25, 1983, she announced the formation of the Jackson Foundation to assist public officials, diplomats, and journalists in addressing international problems, and to fund scholarships, visiting faculty, and other programs at the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies. The foundation was created with $600,000 left over from the senator's 1982 re-election campaign funds. Helen headed the foundation and devoted herself full-time to raising $10 million in private donations in its first two years.

For Helen, the foundation was a means of following through on her husband's unfinished agenda and cementing his legacy in state and national history. She shaped the foundation's mission to address concerns of interest to the late senator, such as foreign policy, national security, energy, and the environment. Helen called the foundation a "living memorial for Scoop" (The Oregonian, November 17, 1985). In creating the foundation and assuming responsibility for its major fundraising goals, Helen Jackson successfully stepped from the sidelines, where she had comfortably spent many years, and into the forefront of political action. The foundation -- and the commitment to keeping Scoop's memory alive -- gave her life a new direction and purpose.

Helen Jackson served as chairman of the board of governors for the foundation for more than a quarter century. Her children, Peter H. Jackson and Anna Marie Laurence, served with her on the board. In its first 28 years of operation, the foundation granted more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in the United States and Russia. Grant-making and strategic initiatives fall in four program areas, all of which reflect the senator's interests: international affairs and education, environment and natural resource management, public service, and human rights. The foundation and its many successes would not have been possible without the dedication, resourcefulness, and fundraising talents of Helen Jackson.

A Chair in Her Honor

On March 18, 2008, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation announced that it would donate $1 million to the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington to endow the Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights. The endowment provides funding for a full-time professor to teach on human rights issues.

The endowed chair was a fitting recognition of Helen's impressive leadership talents and also provided the necessary momentum to create a permanent home for the study of human rights at the University of Washington. The Center for Human Rights opened in 2009 within the Jackson School. It is a strong testament to Helen Jackson and her family's long commitment to human-rights advocacy.

At Home in Everett

Although she was neither born nor raised in Everett, Helen Jackson adopted it as her permanent hometown. When her children were young, she enjoyed setting down roots in Everett with her husband and becoming part of the community. Helen remained close with Henry Jackson's sisters, Gertrude and Marie, and later brought her grandmother to live in the family home on Oakes Avenue. She adopted Everett, and it in turn adopted her. She recalled, "I'll never forget the way the people of Everett rallied to my side when Scoop died" (The Seattle Times, May 27, 1987).

Helen's philanthropic work and community activism peaked in the 1980s. In addition to chairing the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, she became actively involved in a number of civic and charitable organizations, such as the Everett General Hospital (now Providence Hospital) and the United Way, as a board member, advocate, and fundraiser. She assumed a more active role in the Gertrude Jackson Memorial Fund after her husband passed away. Scoop established the fund in 1969 to honor his sister, who taught at Everett's Garfield Elementary School for over 40 years, by funding scholarships to deserving students in Everett. According to the Henry M. Jackson Foundation executive director Lara Iglitzin:

"Helen in her own right has provided tremendous leadership, serving on hospital boards and playing a major role in many of the civic organizations in Snohomish County. She has always opened her home for fundraisers and was often asked to speak and provide leadership" (The Seattle Times, March 19, 2008).

Helen Jackson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003. Her declining health prevented her from remaining as active with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and with the Everett community as she had been previously. Nevertheless, she remained an Everett icon, a beloved local woman almost always described as "gracious" by friends, colleagues, and casual acquaintances. Helen Hardin Jackson died on February 25, 2018, at the age of 84.

This essay made possible by:

Snohomish County Women's Legacy Project

Helen Hardin Jackson embroidering in Senator Henry M. Jackson's office, Washington, D.C., ca. 1970s

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0680)

Helen Hardin Jackson (left) and Senator Henry M. Jackson (in suit) visiting nuclear submarine while on honeymoon, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, ca. 1961

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0568)

Senator Henry M. Jackson, Helen Hardin Jackson, Harpo Marx, Washington Press Club, Washington, D.C., ca. 1962

Courtesy Peter Jackson

Senator Henry M. Jackson and family, Christmas card, ca. 1969

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0194)

Senator Henry M. Jackson and his wife Helen Hardin Jackson, Democratic National Convention, Miami, Florida, ca. July 1972

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0743)

Senator Henry M. Jackson and Helen Hardin Jackson, ca. May 1974

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0207)

Helen Hardin Jackson in China, ca. July 1974

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0211)

Senator Henry M. Jackson and Helen Hardin Jackson during presidential campaign, Miami, ca. 1976

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0867)

Helen Hardin Jackson (second from right), Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry luncheon, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., March 12, 1979

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0666)

Henry M. Jackson, daughter Anna Marie, Senator Jackson, Helen Jackson, and son Peter, Seattle, ca. 1981

Courtesy UW Special Collections (HMJ0708)

Brochure, Henry M. Jackson Foundation's Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights, University of Washington, Seattle, ca. 2008

Courtesy Larry O’Donnell

Sources: [...]

Note: This entry was updated on February 26, 2018.