J. Caleb Boggs

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James Caleb Boggs
James Caleb Boggs.jpg
Former U.S. Senator from Delaware
From: January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1973
Predecessor J. Allen Frear, Jr.
Successor Joseph Biden
Former Governor of Delaware
From: January 20, 1953 – December 30, 1960
Lieutenant John W. Rollins
David P. Buckson
Predecessor Elbert Carvel
Successor David Buckson
U.S. Representative from Delaware's At-Large Congressional District
From: January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1953
Predecessor Philip A. Traynor
Successor Herbert Warburton
Information
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Muir
Religion Methodist[1]
Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Service Years 1941–1946
Rank Colonel
Unit 6th Armored Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards • Five Campaign Stars
• Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
• Croix de Guerre
No relation to Hale Boggs, a U.S. representative from Louisiana.

James Caleb Boggs, known as J. Caleb Boggs or Cale Boggs (May 15, 1909 – March 26, 1993), was a World War II veteran, U.S. Representative from Delaware, two-term Governor of Delaware and U.S. Senator. A Moderate Republican,[2] he was a member of the liberal-leaning or "Me Too" faction of the Republican Party; the term RINO had not yet been coined to refer to Republicans who mimic Democrats.

He was defeated in the 1972 Senate elections by segregationist[3][4] Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

Political career

Governor of Delaware

In the 1952 elections, Boggs successfully ran for Governor of Delaware, defeating Democrat opponent Elbert N. Carvel by four percentage points.[5] He was re-elected in 1956, this time in a slightly closer race and polling almost 92,000 votes.[6]

During his tenure, Boggs backed municipal home rule and restructured state agencies.[7] He also supported raising the salaries of teachers in addition to merging school districts. Among the executive orders Boggs signed included promotions granted to National Guard members in the state, as well as mandating holiday leave for state government employees.[8]

U.S. Senate

Boggs in 1963.

Boggs ran for and was narrowly elected to the Senate in the 1960 elections, defeating incumbent Democrat J. Allen Frear, Jr.[9] He was re-elected in the 1966 Midterms by nearly twenty percentage points, carrying all three of the state's counties.[10]

As the U.S. Senate took up the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Boggs voted against amendments by Southern Democrats to weaken the bill and supported the final passage.[11] After passing both houses of Congress, the landmark legislation was signed by President Lyndon Johnson.

In 1966, Boggs voted for two constitutional amendments introduced by the conservative Republican leader Everett Dirksen,[12] one to overturn Reynolds v. Sims[13] and another to overturn Engel v. Vitale.[14] Both failed to reach the two-thirds threshold.

1972 defeat

Although considered very popular and nearly unbeatable,[15] Boggs was narrowly unseated in 1972 by Democrat Joe Biden,[16] who was thirty-three years Boggs' junior. This was despite U.S. President Richard Nixon carrying Delaware that year in his massive landslide victory and supporting Boggs, stating:[17]

America needs your leadership in the next Congress.

In the same election cycle, Republican governor Russell Wilbut "Russ" Peterson was also defeated for re-election.[18] Biden, who attacked Boggs' older age during the campaign,[19] is currently the oldest-serving president in U.S. history.

Legacy

Boggs has the J. Caleb Boggs and Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse named after him.[20][21][22]

References

  1. Boggs. The Political Graveyard. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  2. FascinatingPolitics (October 11, 2020). The Biden Record: 1973-2009. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  3. Ross, Janell (June 25, 2019). Joe Biden didn't just compromise with segregationists. He fought for their cause in schools, experts say.. NBC News. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  4. Goodman, Alana (January 31, 2019). Joe Biden embraced segregation in 1975, claiming it was a matter of 'black pride'. Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  5. DE Governor Race - Nov 04, 1952. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 24 2021.
  6. DE Governor Race - Nov 06, 1956. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  7. Gov. James Caleb Boggs. National Governors Association. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  8. Governor J. Caleb Boggs. Delaware Public Archives. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  9. DE US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1960. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  10. DE US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1966. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  11. FascinatingPolitics (December 9, 2018). The Most Comprehensive Civil Rights Debate: The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  12. FascinatingPolitics (March 11, 2018). The “Liberal” and “Moderate” GOP of the Sixties Supported Constitutional Amendments on School Prayer, Legislative Reapportionment. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  13. TO PASS S. J. RES. 103, A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PERMITTING ONE HOUSE OF A BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE TO BE APPORTIONED ON THE BASIS OF POPULATION, GEOGRAPHY, AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  14. TO PASS S. J. RES 144, A RESOLUTION PROPOSING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PERMITTING SCHOOL PRAYERS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  15. Akin, Stephanie (September 12, 2019). Even Joe Biden was once the upstart. Roll Call. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  16. DE US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1972. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  17. Janson, Donald (November 9, 1972). Delaware Elects Youngest U.S. Senatort. The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  18. Janson, Donald (November 8, 1972). Delaware Democrats Defeat Governor Peterson and Senator Boggs. The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  19. Erickson, Bo (June 4, 2019). When a young Joe Biden used his opponent's age against him. CBS News. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  20. H.R. 5228 (96th): A bill to designate the building known as the Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware, as the “J. Caleb Boggs Building”.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  21. Delaware Federal Buildings. U.S. General Services Administration. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  22. J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building. Downtown Wilmington. Retrieved August 24, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at Find a Grave