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86th United States Congress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

86th United States Congress
85th ←
→ 87th

January 3, 1959 (1959-01-03) – January 3, 1961 (1961-01-03)
Members96–100 senators
435–437 representatives
Senate majorityDemocratic
Senate PresidentRichard Nixon (R)
House majorityDemocratic
House SpeakerSam Rayburn (D)
1st: January 7, 1959 – September 15, 1959
2nd: January 6, 1960 – September 1, 1960

The 86th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 1959, to January 3, 1961, during the last two years of the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the 1950 United States census until Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states in 1959. Then, the membership of the House temporarily increased to 437 (seating one member from each of those newly admitted states and leaving the apportionment of the other 435 seats unchanged); it would remain at 437 until reapportionment resulting from the 1960 census.

The Democrats maintained full control of Congress, with greatly increased majorities in both chambers.

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Major events

Major legislation

Constitutional amendments

The official Joint Resolution of Congress proposing what became the 23rd Amendment as contained in the National Archives


Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan

States admitted

  • January 3, 1959: Alaska was admitted as the 49th state
  • August 21, 1959: Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state

Party summary


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 50 45 95 1
Begin 64 34 98 0
End 66 100
Final voting share 66.0% 34.0%
Beginning of next congress 65 35 100 0

House of Representatives

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 232 193 425 10
Begin 282 153 435 0
End 281 151 4325
Final voting share 65.0% 35.0%
Beginning of next congress 263 174 437 0

Total members: 437. The increase over the usual 435 members was due to the admission of Alaska and Hawaii, whose seats were temporary until reapportionment following the 1960 Census.


Senate President
Senate President pro tempore
House Speaker


Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership

House of Representatives

Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership




Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election, In this Congress, Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1960; Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1962; and Class 1 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1964.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership


Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
New seats Hawaii achieved statehood August 21, 1959. Hiram Fong (R) August 21, 1959
Oren E. Long (D)
North Dakota
William Langer (R) Died November 8, 1959. Norman Brunsdale (R) November 19, 1959
Richard L. Neuberger (D) Died March 9, 1960 Hall S. Lusk (D) March 16, 1960
North Dakota
Norman Brunsdale (R) Successor elected June 28, 1960.
Successor qualified August 8, 1960.
Quentin Burdick (D) August 8, 1960
Thomas C. Hennings Jr. (D) Died September 13, 1960 Edward V. Long (D) September 23, 1960
Hall S. Lusk (D) Successor elected November 8, 1960 Maurine Neuberger (D) November 9, 1960
John F. Kennedy (D) Resigned December 22, 1960, after being elected President of the United States Benjamin A. Smith II (D) December 27, 1960

House of Representatives

House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Missouri 4th George H. Christopher (D) Died January 23, 1959 William J. Randall (D) March 3, 1959
New York 43rd Daniel A. Reed (R) Died February 19, 1959 Charles Goodell (R) May 26, 1959
Ohio 6th James G. Polk (D) Died April 28, 1959 Ward Miller (R) November 8, 1960
Hawaii Territory at-large John A. Burns (D) Hawaii achieved statehood. Seat eliminated August 21, 1959
Hawaii at-large New seat Hawaii achieved statehood August 21, 1959 Daniel Inouye (D) August 21, 1959
Illinois 12th Charles A. Boyle (D) Died November 4, 1959 Vacant Not filled this term
Iowa 4th Steven V. Carter (D) Died November 4, 1959 John Henry Kyl (R) December 15, 1959
Pennsylvania 17th Alvin Bush (R) Died November 5, 1959 Herman T. Schneebeli (R) April 26, 1960
New York 23rd Isidore Dollinger (D) Resigned December 31, 1959 Jacob H. Gilbert (D) March 8, 1960
Pennsylvania 18th Richard M. Simpson (R) Died January 7, 1960 Douglas Hemphill Elliott (R) April 26, 1960
North Carolina 12th David McKee Hall (D) Died January 29, 1960 Roy A. Taylor (D) June 25, 1960
Washington 3rd Russell V. Mack (R) Died March 28, 1960 Julia Butler Hansen (D) November 8, 1960
Pennsylvania 18th Douglas Hemphill Elliott (R) Died June 19, 1960 J. Irving Whalley (R) November 8, 1960
North Dakota at-large Quentin Burdick (D) Resigned August 8, 1960, after becoming U.S. Senator Vacant Not filled this term
Massachusetts 5th Edith Nourse Rogers (R) Died September 10, 1960
Wyoming at-large Edwin Keith Thomson (R) Died December 9, 1960
New York 5th Albert H. Bosch (R) Resigned December 31, 1960, after being elected judge of Court of Queens County


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. On the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of Representatives

Joint committees


Legislative branch agency directors


House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


Specific citations
  1. ^ "Nation Honor Lincoln On Sesquicentennial" (PDF). Yonkers Herald-Statesman. Northern Illinois University Libraries. Associated Press. February 11, 1959. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 1, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013. Congress gets into the act tomorrow, when a joint session will be held. Carl Sandburg, famed Lincoln biographer, will give and address, and actor Fredric March will read the Gettysburg Address.
General references
This page was last edited on 18 January 2024, at 00:28
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