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J. Lister Hill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lister Hill
HILL, LISTER. HONORABLE LCCN2016862398 (cropped).jpg
Chair of the Senate Labor Committee
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1969
Preceded byHoward Alexander Smith
Succeeded byRalph Yarborough
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1947
LeaderAlben W. Barkley
Preceded bySherman Minton
Succeeded byKenneth S. Wherry
United States Senator
from Alabama
In office
January 11, 1938 – January 3, 1969
Preceded byDixie Bibb Graves
Succeeded byJames Allen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 2nd district
In office
August 14, 1923 – January 11, 1938
Preceded byJohn R. Tyson
Succeeded byGeorge M. Grant
Personal details
Born(1894-12-29)December 29, 1894
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
DiedDecember 20, 1984(1984-12-20) (aged 89)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Henrietta Hill
EducationUniversity of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (BA, LLB)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Columbia University
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1917–1919
Battles/warsWorld War I

Joseph Lister Hill (December 29, 1894 – December 20, 1984) was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Alabama in the U.S. Congress for more than forty-five years, as both a U.S. Representative (1923–38) and a U.S. Senator (1938–69). During his Senate career he was active on health-related issues, and served as Senate Majority Whip (1941–47). At the time of his retirement, Hill was the fourth-most senior Senator.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ National Library of Medicine (USPHS, 1963)
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  • ✪ Librarians of the future: Lis Pardi at TEDxSomerville


[Music] [Front of the NLM building is shown.] [Narrator:] Dedication day for the new National Library of Medicine building in Bethesda, Maryland. The library's Board of Regents and many distinguished guests arrive. Doctors from the United States and other nations. Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps. Congressmen, senators, military, and civilian leaders. [Crowd murmurs in background.] [Dr. Daniels:] Today we come together to dedicate a great new facility for the greatest medical library in the world, the National Library of Medicine. [Dr. Ribicoff:] One hundred and twenty-five years ago as one of his last official acts, Dr. Joseph Lovell, Surgeon General of the United States, authorized a budget item which called for one hundred and fifty dollars for medical books. Thus simply and modestly began the amassing of the great collection which is today the National Library of Medicine. This country owes a great debt to Dr. Lovell and the generations of Army officers who followed him, for their vision and perseverance. [Senator Hill:] To you who are the guardians of this knowledge which has been accumulated over the centuries, and to you whose proud task it will be to preserve and enshrine the advances of tomorrow. We at this hour turn over this magnificent building, which will be a repository of ancient truths and future discovery. [Applause] [Music] [Narrator:] This is an important day in the history of the National Library of Medicine. The building is new, but the institution and its tradition of service are more than 125 years old. The library is a tribute to those whose foresight and years of work led to this realization of an ideal. To men such as Robert Fletcher: surgeon, avid cataloger, and bibliographer. Fielding H. Garrison: doctor of medicine, dedicated librarian and historian. And Dr. John Shaw Billings. Without a doubt the library's greatest debt is to Dr. Billings. As a commissioned medical officer during the Civil War, he was assigned to the Surgeon General's Office in Washington in 1864. Under his charge, the small library of the Surgeon General grew from the 1,365 volumes listed in the 1864 catalogue to some 117,000 books and 152,000 pamphlets. To house the collections, he planned a new building that was erected on the mall in Washington. In this building the library was opened to the public in 1888. In 1876, Dr. Billings published a specimen fasciculus to illustrate his design for the world-famous Index Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office. Typical of his vision was the name he chose for the collection: The National Medical Library. The monumental task of compiling and publishing the Index Catalogue began in 1880, and continued until a total of three million author-subject references had been published by the library in 61 volumes and five series. [Music] [The camera pans down a shelf holding a set of volumes.] Starting in 1950, to keep pace with current acquisitions, the Index Catalogue was replaced by a monthly journal index and an annual catalogue of books. [Music] Quinquennial cumulations of the annual catalogue are published in several volumes. Another contribution of Dr. Billings was the Index Medicus. Prepared with the help of Dr. Fletcher, this was a monthly bibliographic key to current medical literature. Today's Index Medicus lists over 12,000 articles each month by author and subject. The literature is published in some 30 languages. John Shaw Billings' contributions to the world of medical science were immense. Certainly one of his greatest legacies was the institution given formal statutory base in 1956. In that year Senators Hill and Kennedy initiated legislation that became the National Library of Medicine Act, under which authority the jurisdiction over the library was transferred from the military to the Public Health Service. In 1961, this reading room had been in use for 73 years. The collection of a few hundred volumes had grown to 1,100,000 books, serials, and pamphlets, and was increasing by 80,000 items annually. The old red brick building had served its purpose well, and far beyond the original requirements. [Stacks are shown, along with staff at work in the library.] While leave-taking was filled with nostalgia and fond memories for the staff and director, the feeling soon passed because a new building was waiting. A building great in size yet gracious in design, with the most carefully planned facilities, was opened for service in April 1962. Equipped and staffed by the United States government for service to all who work in the fields of medical sciences. [Music] Inside, old friends meet in new surroundings. [Users of the library are shown.] A welcome sight to scholars and physicians is the History of Medicine collection, consisting of hundreds of reference volumes for the students of medical history, and thousands of medical works published before 1801. [Music] The collection includes many early manuscripts and incunabula. Such as the canon of Abyssinia... in an Arabic manuscript... in a Latin manuscript... in a Hebrew edition of 1491... and in a Latin edition of 1479. It includes the classics of medicine. Galen. Vesalius. Harvey. And the multifold works of other men. The library's Board of Regents meets behind the scenes in the new building. Its duties, as defined by the National Library of Medicine Act, are to advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Surgeon General. Thus the agenda of these meetings deal with every area of the library's service. First, in the tradition of the past, is the acquisition and exchange of books and serials, which constitute the literature of medicine. Over 200 bibliographies and publishers' lists from all nations are continually examined and checked for items to be ordered for the library in an acquisition program that covers the entire world. This results in the arrival of hundreds of items each day. The pieces received are sorted, checked in, and arranged for delivery to various work areas. In the catalogue section, entry forms and subject headings are selected and books are classified. [Music] Cataloging records are typed on mats for the reproduction of cards. Many of the cards are destined for use in the public catalogue, under main entry, and subject entry. Other copies of the cards will be used for the published catalogue. To provide a bridge from the catalogue records to the actual volume on the shelves, a call number is lettered on each volume. The binding section provides for the binding of pamphlets and repair of volumes, and arranges for the necessary binding of journals and monographs outside the library. Another item on the Board of Regents' agenda is a continuing study of the mechanization of indexing of journals. High-speed automated equipment helps the library's indexers provide 150,000 current references annually. Daily, about 60 medical journals containing some 800 articles are delivered to the indexers who compile the information to be printed in the Index Medicus. To assist in this work, a dictionary file is maintained to record the new drug, chemical, medical, and foreign language terms that cannot be found in published dictionaries and reference books. The indexers assign subject headings and translate foreign language titles. The assigned subject headings are converted into numerical equivalents. Then with perforated tapes and keypunch equipment, a million cards a year are punched, automatically typed, sorted, combined, collated, and matched. These cards provide the author and subject listings to be photographed for offset reproduction in the monthly Index Medicus, yearly cumulated Index Medicus, and the Bibliography of Medical Reviews. But daily the volume of scientific literature is increasing, and the total articles to be indexed may soon exceed 180,000 annually. To meet the challenge of increased volume, workflow patterns are rearranged and refined as new business machines are acquired. Eventually, fully automated systems will provide for the storage of information on magnetic tapes from which bibliographies can be furnished on demand. This application of automation as conceived by the library is known as MEDLARS: medical literature analysis and retrieval system. Acquisition, cataloging, and indexing are the means to a common objective: building the collections and providing the keys necessary for their exploitation. As the library's collections move into the second million, every effort is made to meet the world-wide demand for the use of this accumulated knowledge. Each year thousands of reference questions are received and answered. They come by phone... and by mail from every continent. Doctors, scientists, and writers also bring their questions in person. This requires an active reference service. Whether the request is routine or unusual, the information is supplied when the need is authentic, and local sources are limited. Information on dental education in Japan is selected for a doctor in California. Bibliographies are prepared to answer some requests. A list of references on narcotic addiction for a physician in Gaza. A bibliography on planning a small hospital for a doctor in Africa. In some instances, the library strives to anticipate demand by preparing comprehensive bibliographies which are duplicated and distributed. The library's international acquisition program and its use of modern methods to extend the record of its indexing and cataloging operations naturally prompt loan requests for source materials. The information on its 45 miles of shelves is freely available to all workers in the medical sciences through their local libraries, including... monographs, journals, theses, pamphlets, early books, manuscript materials, [Music] and a picture collection on medical subjects, portraits, and caricatures. [Music] All this material is available for use by those who come to the library in person. It is also available by mail on inter-library loan. The requests increase daily, and to keep pace with them requires methods that are modern, fast, and precise. The information requested is photographed with mobile cameras located in the stack areas. [Music] Total requests for material number over 125,000 per year, and this means that a new request must be handled every minute of every working day. Any library may participate. The mechanics are simple and efficient. In a library in Georgia, a doctor needs certain scientific information. The local librarian has determined that some of this material is not in her collection and suggests he may wish to have it requested from the National Library of Medicine. Mailed to the National Library of Medicine, the request becomes part of the 500 received daily. The requests are sorted and taken to the stack areas, where the volumes are kept. The material is taken off the shelves and carried to nearby photocopying stations. The information requested is photographed on film with the mobile camera, and a print is made in approximately the size of the original. In this manner, well over two million pages of photoprints are sent to borrowing libraries each year. The average order is received, sorted, processed, and forwarded within one week. A Board of Regents meeting may range from acquisitions to xerography. Usually it will include a discussion of recruitment policies, personnel, and training programs: training programs such as the one for library interns. These are some of the recent graduates of American library schools who have been selected from among many applicants. After a year of rotating assignments and seminar discussions, some will remain at the library, and some will accept positions in other libraries. This is one part of a recruitment program that seeks the highest type of employee. The library's staff necessarily must be qualified in many different types of work. The combined knowledge and ability of the staff, together with modern methods, furthers the vast undertaking begun in the distant past. All of these people are the mind, the heart, and the strength of the library. [Music] The National Library of Medicine will continue to acquire, maintain, and make available the finest and most complete collection of medical literature and reference material possible, and to serve all who work in the field of medicine. [Music]


Early years

Hill was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 29, 1894, the son of one of the South's most distinguished surgeons, Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill. He was named after Dr. Joseph Lister, the father of antiseptic surgery. Following his graduation from the Starke University School in Montgomery, he entered the University of Alabama at the age of sixteen and graduated four years later with a BA and law degree and a Phi Beta Kappa key. While a student at the University of Alabama, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He also founded the Student Government Association (SGA) and was its first president, the Jasons Senior Men's Honorary (which the University ceased recognizing in 1976 for its all-male policy, but which still taps forty men each spring on the Franklin Mound), and The Machine (the local chapter of Theta Nu Epsilon).

He also studied law at the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at Columbia Law School in New York City. He was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1916 and commenced practice in Montgomery and also served as the president of the Montgomery Board of Education from 1917 to 1922.

Political life

Hill was elected on August 14, 1923, as U.S. representative from Alabama's 2nd congressional district to fill the vacancy created by the death of John R. Tyson. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs. On January 10, 1938, Hill was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Dixie Graves for the term ending January 3, 1939. Hill was subsequently elected to the Senate as a Democrat on April 26, 1938. He was reelected in 1944, 1950, 1956, and 1962. He retired in January 1969.

A moderate-to-liberal[1] populist Democrat, Hill distinguished himself in a number of fields, but was best known for the Hospital and Health Center Construction Act of 1946, better known as the Hill-Burton Act. He also sponsored the Hill-Harris Act of 1963, providing for assistance in constructing facilities for the mentally retarded and mentally ill. Additionally, he was recognized as the most instrumental man in Congress in gaining greatly increased support for medical research at the nation's medical schools and other research institution.

He sponsored other important legislation, including the Rural Telephone Act, the Rural Housing Act, the Vocational Education Act, and the National Defense Education Act of 1958.

In 1954, Hill signed "The Southern Manifesto" condemning the Supreme Court's 9-0 decision in Brown vs Board of Education ordering school desegregation, but remained a close friend of Supreme Court Justice and fellow Alabamian Hugo Black who voted for the decision. In 1957, he voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[2]

However, Hill was as much a national figure as a representative of Alabama and the South. During his long years in the Congress, he would, from time to time, break with his southern colleagues to follow his own conscience. For example, in opposition to most southerners in the Congress, he favored federal control of offshore oil, with revenue to be earmarked for education.

Hill was the Senate Majority Whip from 1941 to 1947. He was Chairman of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, which handled important legislation on veterans education, health, hospitals, libraries, and labor-management relations. He was a ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a member of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

In the 1950s, Hill criticized US President Dwight Eisenhower's attempts to reduce hospital funding under the Hill-Burton Act. Hill strongly supported rural electrification and federally subsidized freight rates.[3]

On September 4, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Nurse Training Act of 1964, noting Hill for both his efforts in pioneering the legislation and his absence during the ceremony.[4]

1962 campaign

In 1962, Hill sought his last term in office but faced an unusually strong Republican opponent in James D. Martin, a petroleum products distributor from Gadsden. Like Hill, Martin supported the Tennessee Valley Authority, a New Deal project begun in 1933. Martin noted that the original sponsor of the interstate development agency was a Republican US Senator, George W. Norris of Nebraska. Martin proposed in the campaign the TVA headquarters to be relocated from Knoxville, Tennessee, to its original point of development, Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Hill had worked to fund other public works projects too, including the deepening of the Mobile Ship Channel, the building of the Gainesville Lock and Dam in Sumter County, and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, an ultimately successful strategy to link the Tennessee River with the Gulf of Mexico. In the campaign against Martin, Hill said, "If Alabama is to continue the progress and development she has achieved, she cannot do so by deserting the great Democratic Party."[5]

Hill pledged to seek renewed funding for the Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and accused Eisenhower of having neglected the space program while the former Soviet Union was placing Sputnik into the atmosphere. Strongly endorsed by organized labor, Hill accused the Republicans of exploiting the South to enrich the North and the East and attacked the legacy of former President Herbert Hoover and the earlier "evils" of Reconstruction. Hill predicted that Alabama voters would bury the Republicans "under an avalanche."[6]

The 1962 midterm elections were overshadowed by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Martin joined Hill in endorsing the quarantine of Cuba but insisted that the problem was an outgrowth of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. Hill said that Soviet premier, Nikita S. Khrushchev, had "chickened out" because "the one thing the communists respect is strength."[7] The New York Times speculated that the blockade ordered by Kennedy may have spared Hill from defeat.[8]

Despite the postwar bipartisan consensus for foreign aid, Martin hammered away at Hill's backing for such programs. He decried subsidies to foreign manufacturers and workers at the expense of Alabama's then large force of textile workers: "These foreign giveaways have cost taxpayers billions of dollars and turned many areas of Alabama into distressed areas." Martin also condemned aid to communist countries and the impact of the United Nations on national policy. He questioned Hill's congressional seniority as of little use when troops were dispatched in the fall of 1962 to compel the desegregation of the University of Mississippi.[9]

The Hill-Martin race drew considerable national attention. The liberal columnist Drew Pearson wrote from Decatur, Alabama, that "for the first time since Reconstruction, the two-party system, which political scientists talk about for the South, but never expect to materialize, may come to Alabama."[10]The New York Times viewed the Alabama race as the most vigorous off year effort in modern southern history but predicted a Hill victory on the basis that Martin had failed to gauge "bread-and-butter" issues and was perceived by many as an "ultraconservative."[11]

Hill defeated Martin by 6,019 votes, 201,937 (50.9 percent) to 195,134 ballots (49.1 percent). Turnout dropped sharply in 1962, compared to 1960, when presidential electors dominated the ballot, and the state split between Kennedy-Johnson and unpledged electors who ultimately voted for U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr., of Virginia. Nearly 250,000 who had voted in the 1960 U.S. Senate election won by the Democrat John Sparkman did not cast ballots in 1962. Hill won thirty-seven of the state's sixty-seven counites.[12] Martin's strong showing enabled him to be elected in 1964 to Alabama's 7th congressional district seat in the House of Representatives.

Later life

In 1969, Hill was awarded the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.[13] He received honorary degrees from thirteen colleges and universities, including the University of Alabama and Auburn University. He was a Methodist, a Freemason, a United States Army veteran of World War I—having been assigned to the Seventeenth and Seventy-first United States Infantry Regiments—and a member of the American Legion.

Hill retired from the Senate in 1969, and was succeeded by fellow Democrat James B. Allen of Gadsden, a former lieutenant governor and a leader of his state's conservative faction. Hill died in Montgomery on December 20, 1984, and is interred there at Greenwood Cemetery. Hill is the namesake of the small community of Listerhill, Alabama.[14]

His great-grandson, Joseph Lister Hubbard, is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives from District 73 in Montgomery, holding office between 2010 and 2014. He was also the Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Alabama in the 2014 elections.[15]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957. -- Senate Vote #75 -- Aug 7, 1957". Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Billy Hathorn, "James Douglas Martin and the Alabama Republican Resurgence, 1962–1965", Gulf Coast Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring 1993), p. 55
  4. ^ "557 - Remarks Upon Signing the Nurse Training Act of 1964". American Presidency Project. September 4, 1964.
  5. ^ "James Douglas Martin and the Alabama Republican Resurgence," p. 55
  6. ^ The Mobile Register, October 2, 25 and 27, 1962; Walter Dean Burnham, "The Alabama Senatorial Election of 1962: Return of Inter-Party Competition," Journal of Politics, 26 (November 1964), p. 811
  7. ^ Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, October 12, 1962, p. 1832; Mobile Register, October 24, 1962; The Huntsville Times October 26 and November 2, 1962
  8. ^ The New York Times, November 7, 1962, p. 44
  9. ^ Mobile Register, October 26, 30, and November 1, 1962; Alexander P. Lamis, The Two-Party South (New York, 1984), p. 77.
  10. ^ The Huntsville Times, October 24, 1962
  11. ^ The New York Times, October 31, 1962, p. 14
  12. ^ State of Alabama, Secretary of State, General election returns, November 6, 1962
  13. ^ "Public Welfare Award". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "What's the origin of your town's name?". Times Daily. June 3, 2006. pp. 4A. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "Hubbard running for Alabama attorney general, February 6, 2014". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved April 30, 2014.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John R. Tyson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
George M. Grant
Preceded by
John J. McSwain
Chair of the House Military Affairs Committee
Succeeded by
Andrew J. May
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Dixie Bibb Graves
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Alabama
Served alongside: John H. Bankhead II, George R. Swift, John Sparkman
Succeeded by
James Allen
Preceded by
Sherman Minton
Senate Majority Whip
Succeeded by
Kenneth S. Wherry
Preceded by
Frederick Van Nuys
Chair of the Senate Executive Expenditures Committee
Succeeded by
George Aiken
Preceded by
Howard Alexander Smith
Chair of the Senate Labor Committee
Succeeded by
Ralph Yarborough
Party political offices
Preceded by
Hugo Black
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Alabama
(Class 3)

1938, 1944, 1950, 1956, 1962
Succeeded by
James Allen
Preceded by
Sherman Minton
Senate Democratic Whip
Succeeded by
Scott W. Lucas
This page was last edited on 25 June 2019, at 11:20
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