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Paul J. Kilday

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul J. Kilday
Paul J. Kilday.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th district
In office
January 3, 1939 – September 24, 1961
Preceded byMaury Maverick
Succeeded byHenry B. González
Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals
In office
September 24, 1961 – October 12, 1968
Preceded byGeorge W. Latimer
Succeeded byWilliam H. Darden
Personal details
Born(1900-03-29)March 29, 1900
Sabinal, Texas
DiedOctober 12, 1968(1968-10-12) (aged 68)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Cecile Newton

Paul Joseph Kilday (March 29, 1900 – October 12, 1968) was a U.S. Representative from Texas.

Early life and education

Born in Sabinal, Texas, Kilday was the sixth child of Patrick Kilday, an immigrant from Ireland who was established as a merchant, and his Texas-born wife, Mary Tallant Kilday.[1][2]

Kilday moved with his parents and siblings to San Antonio in 1904. He attended public and parochial schools there, graduating in 1918, and then went on to St. Mary's College in the same city.[1]

While attending law school, Kilday was employed as a clerk for the United States Air Force in Washington, D.C. from 1918 to 1921 and as a law clerk for United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, in 1921 and 1922. He graduated with an LL.B. degree[1] from the law department of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1922. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in San Antonio, Texas. At one point, he went into practice with Harry Howard, who later became a judge and president of the San Antonio Bar Association.[3]

Kilday himself served as first assistant district attorney of Bexar County, Texas from 1935 to 1938. He was elected by the Twentieth District of Texas[1] as a Democrat to the Seventy-sixth and to the eleven succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1939, until his resignation September 24, 1961, having been appointed a judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals by President John F. Kennedy. He served in this capacity until his death, in Washington, D.C. He was succeeded in Congress by Henry Barbosa Gonzalez.[4] Kilday was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

He was one of the majority of the Texan delegation to decline to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto opposing the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education. Kilday voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957 but in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1960.[5][6]


Kilday wed Cecile Newton on August 9, 1932.[7] She survived him, as did two daughters, Mary Catherine Kilday and Betty Ann Drogula, and two granddaughters, Cynthia L. Drogula and Jennifer M. Drogula.[1] Two additional grandchildren followed his death, Fred K. Drogula and Elizabeth A. Drogula.[citation needed]

Of his time in Congress, it is recorded at Arlington National Cemetery that:

During that time he served on the House Armed Services Committee from 1946 until 1961, and also on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy for over ten years. As a Congressman and a Chairman of various House Armed Service Subcommittees, Judge Kilday played a significant part in the drafting of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the creation of an independent Air Force, and the sponsoring of continued pay raises for service members. Judge Kilday resigned from Congress in 1961, when he was appointed by President Kennedy as a Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals. He served in that capacity until his death on 12 October 1968. ... It is with great sorrow and a keen sense of loss that the Judge Advocate General's Corps and the Armed Forces learned of Judge Kilday's death at the age of 68. A lifelong friend of the individual serviceman throughout his career as both a Congressman and a Judge, he will probably be best remembered for liberal interpretations of military law, equating the constitutional rights of service members with those of civilians.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Paul Joseph Kilday, Arlington National Cemetery Website. Accessed March 7, 2009.
  2. ^ 1900 United States Federal Census > Texas > Uvalde > Justice Precinct 2 > District 73 > Sheet 13.
  3. ^ Daily Times (Kerrville, Texas); accessed March 6, 2009.
  4. ^ Biography: Henry B. Gonzalez,; accessed March 7, 2009.
  5. ^ "HR 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957".
  6. ^ "HR 8601. PASSAGE".
  7. ^ Paul Joseph Kilday at PoliticalGraveyard.Com. Accessed March 7, 2009.

General resource

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Maury Maverick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th congressional district

January 3, 1939 – September 24, 1961
Succeeded by
Henry B. González
This page was last edited on 5 January 2020, at 05:52
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