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Ralph E. Flanders: A Featured Biography

Ralph Flanders

In a dramatic Senate floor speech on March 9, 1954, Vermont senator Ralph E. Flanders became one of the first members of the Republican Party to denounce fellow senator Joseph McCarthy’s methods in fighting communism. Flanders introduced the resolution that would eventually lead to McCarthy’s censure by the Senate on December 2, 1954. Reflecting on this battle, Flanders later wrote, “The conviction grew that something must be done about this, even if I had to do it myself.” During his two-term Senate career, Flanders served on a number of key committees, including Armed Services, Banking, and Finance. Although he had no official college diploma, Flanders received 16 honorary degrees and was an accomplished mechanical engineer and inventor in the field of machine tools from a young age until his death in 1970.

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