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Gilbert Hitchcock: A Featured Biography

Photo of Senator Gilbert Hitchcock of Nebraska

Gilbert Hitchcock holds the distinction of being the first Nebraska senator chosen by direct election following ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment. The son of former U.S. senator Phineas Hitchcock, Gilbert Hitchcock revealed his independent character by joining the Democratic Party, despite his family’s long association with the Republican Party. Hitchcock made a name for himself as the publisher of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper in the 1890s. First elected to the House in 1903, he served a total of 18 years in Congress, including two terms in the Senate. Hitchcock played a key role in several pivotal events of the First World War. In 1917 he introduced President Wilson’s war resolution to the Senate. He later became chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and the acting Democratic Party leader. In 1919 he led the Senate fight to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, becoming the first senator to file a motion to invoke cloture in order to end debate on the treaty.

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