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Kenneth S. Wherry: A Featured Biography


Kenneth S. Wherry by Roma Christine Harlan

Kenneth Wherry (1892-1951) sold cars, pianos, and livestock, and was a licensed undertaker before entering Republican politics in Nebraska in the 1920s. He served as mayor of Pawnee City before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1942. As a businessman, Wherry disliked high taxes, intrusive regulations and attempts to control prices, even during wartime. He also opposed federal programs that he regarded as social engineering and called on Congress "to stop the biggest giveaway show on earth." A staunch nationalist in foreign policy, he opposed the Marshall Plan, NATO, and other Cold War initiatives of the Truman administration. Wherry's "scrappy" style of debate and staunch defense of his party's positions in the  Senate led to his election as Republican whip in 1944 and minority leader in 1949.

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