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Millard E. Tydings: A Featured Biography


Senator Millard E. Tydings (1890-1961) of Maryland used his sharp tongue and keen intelligence to battle two political giants. His first quarrel was with President Franklin Roosevelt over his New Deal programs and the president’s attempt to reorganize the federal judiciary. Despite Roosevelt’s efforts to “purge” the Democratic Party of conservative critics such as Tydings in the 1938 mid-term elections, Maryland reelected Tydings with overwhelming support. Nearly two decades later, he battled Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. Appointed as chairman of a subcommittee to investigate charges of communist infiltration of the State Department, Tydings dismissed McCarthy’s claims, stating that the senator had committed “a fraud and a hoax.” McCarthy successfully sought retribution by helping to defeat Tydings in the 1950 election, making him one of the first high-profile victims of what would become known as McCarthyism.

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