In 1941, Mississippi Governor Paul B. Johnson Sr. appointed James O. Eastland to the U.S. Senate following the death of Pat Harrison. He served for only a few months, but then successfully ran for the seat in the 1942 regular election. In 1953, Eastland became chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Internal Security Subcommittee (the Senate version of the House of Un-American Activities Committee) and assumed leadership over the full Judiciary Committee in 1956. Under his leadership, that body became known as “the graveyard of civil rights legislation.” Eastland was also a high ranking member of the Agriculture Committee. In 1972, the Senate elected the Mississippian as President Pro Tempore, a largely honorary post that is actually third in the line of succession to the presidency. Eastland retired from Congress in December of 1978.
Digital Collection Information
The material provided here represents only a fraction of a much larger physical collection whose finding aid is available online. At the moment, the digital collection holds a scrapbook, the collection's audio and video recordings, and selected correspondence.
Anyone on the internet may access descriptions of the scrapbook and the recordings. However, the scrapbook and a selection of the recordings are unavailable on the web due to copyright. Researchers may view restricted recordings through onsite computers in the J.D. Williams Library. More digital material from the collection (including selected photographs and correspondence) will become available in the future.
The James O. Eastland Collection finding aid provides further information about the senator and his extensive collection. For other politically-related holdings at the Archives & Special Collections, see the Politics & Government Subject Guide.
The digitization and preservation of recordings in this collection are the result of a project supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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