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Homer S. Ferguson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Homer Ferguson
Homer S. Ferguson 1955.png
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
In office
April 9, 1956 – December 17, 1971
Appointed byDwight Eisenhower
Preceded byPaul William Brosman
Succeeded byRobert Morton Duncan
United States Ambassador to the Philippines
In office
April 12, 1955 – March 23, 1956
PresidentDwight Eisenhower
Preceded byRaymond A. Spruance
Succeeded byAlbert F. Nufer
Chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee
In office
August 4, 1953 – January 3, 1955
LeaderWilliam Knowland
Preceded byWilliam Knowland
Succeeded byStyles Bridges
United States Senator
from Michigan
In office
January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1955
Preceded byPrentiss M. Brown
Succeeded byPatrick V. McNamara
Personal details
Homer Samuel Ferguson

(1889-02-25)February 25, 1889
Harrison City, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 1982(1982-12-17) (aged 93)
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Pittsburgh
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (LLB)

Homer Samuel Ferguson (February 25, 1889 – December 17, 1982) was a United States Senator from Michigan. He was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Harrison City, Pennsylvania to parents Samuel Ferguson (Oct. 1857 in Pennsylvania – 1933) and Margaret Bush (Nov. 1857 in Pennsylvania – 1940).

Education and early career

Ferguson attended public schools and the University of Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1913, was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Detroit, Michigan. He was judge of the circuit court for Wayne County, Michigan from 1929–1942 and also professor of law at Detroit College of Law (now part of Michigan State University) from 1929 to 1939.


Elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1942 and was reelected in 1948, serving from January 3, 1943, to January 3, 1955. Ferguson successfully was re-elected in 1948, a year dominated by the Democratic party's upset wins. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1954, defeated by Democrat Patrick V. McNamara.

While in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in the 83rd United States Congress.

In 1943, Ferguson was one of 12 senators who sponsored or co-sponsored the Rescue Resolution, which would have declared that Congress "recommends and urges the creation by the President of a commission of diplomatic, economic, and military experts to formulate and effectuate a plan of immediate action designed to save the surviving Jewish people of Europe from extinction at the hands of Nazi Germany."[1]

In 1948, he served as chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments, which held hearings on such matters as export control violations, for which Soviet spy William Remington was called in to testify; the trial of Nazi war criminal Ilse Koch; and the Mississippi Democratic Party's sale of postal jobs, which Mississippians from rural areas attested to purchasing. On July 30, 1948, his committee heard testimony from ex-Soviet spy Elizabeth Bentley. Bentley testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee the next day, followed by Whittaker Chambers a few days later – setting off the Hiss Case, used by both Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy for their own political agendas.[2]

Ferguson sponsored an anti-lynching bill, which was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 1949.[3] The House of Representatives had approved several anti-lynching bills. Due to opposition from Southern Democrats, no anti-lynching bill was ever approved by the full Senate.[4]

He introduced the Senate version of the bill that inserted "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. Michigan's 17th congressional district United States House of Representatives Republican Charles G. Oakman had previously introduced a House version. The bill became law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.

Also in 1954, Ferguson proposed several amendments to the Bricker Amendment.

Later life

Ferguson served as United States Ambassador to the Philippines from 1955 to 1956 and was judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals at Washington, D.C. from 1956 to 1971.

He served as senior judge on the United States Court of Military Appeals from 1971 to 1976.

In 1976, he retired and moved back to Michigan and resided in Grosse Pointe until his death. He is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery, in Detroit.[5]

Ferguson's involvement behind the scenes in influencing the failed investigation, trial, and slander of Preston Tucker by the Securities and Exchange Commission has long been speculated. Lloyd Bridges portrayed Ferguson in the 1988 film Tucker: The Man and His Dream in which Tucker was played by the elder actor's son Jeff Bridges.


  1. ^ Wyman, David S. (1984). The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945. Pantheon Books. p. 194. ISBN 0-394-74077-7. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  2. ^ Olmsted, Kathryn S. (2002). Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley. The University of North Carolina Press. pp. 129–139. ISBN 0-8078-2739-8. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Committee Approves Anti-Lynching Bill; Senate's First Formal Action on 'Rights'". New York Times. June 7, 1948. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Thomas-Lester, Avis (June 14, 2005). "A Senate Apology for History on Lynching". Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Homer Ferguson at Find a Grave


External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Wilber M. Brucker
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Michigan
(Class 2)

1942, 1948, 1954
Succeeded by
Alvin Morell Bentley
Preceded by
William F. Knowland
Chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
Styles Bridges
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Prentiss M. Brown
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Michigan
Served alongside: Arthur Vandenberg, Blair Moody, Charles E. Potter
Succeeded by
Patrick V. McNamara
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Raymond A. Spruance
United States Ambassador to the Philippines
Succeeded by
Albert F. Nufer
Legal offices
Preceded by
Paul William Brosman
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Robert Morton Duncan
This page was last edited on 17 January 2021, at 05:42
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