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Arthur Vandenberg: A Featured Biography


Photo of Senator Arthur Vandenberg

Senator Arthur Vandenberg (1884-1951) of Michigan delivered a celebrated "speech heard round the world" in the Senate Chamber on January 10, 1945, announcing his conversion from isolationism to internationalism. In 1947, at the start of the Cold War, Vandenberg became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Asserting that we must stop “partisan politics at the water's edge," he cooperated with the Truman administration in forging bipartisan support for the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO. As recalled by Francis Wilcox, the first chief of staff  of the Foreign Relations Committee, Vandenberg's Senate career stands as a monument to bipartisanship in American foreign policy. Vandenberg died in 1951, but his legacy continues. In 2000 the Senate bestowed a unique honor on the Michigan senator, voting to add his portrait to a very select collection in the Senate Reception Room.

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