STENNIS, John Cornelius (1901-1995)

STENNIS, JOHN CORNELIUS, a Senator from Mississippi; born near De Kalb, Kemper County, Miss., August 3, 1901; attended the county schools; graduated, Mississippi State College 1923; graduated, University of Virginia Law School 1928; admitted to the bar in 1928 and commenced practice in De Kalb, Miss.; member, State house of representatives 1928-1932; district prosecuting attorney 1932-1937; circuit judge 1937-1947; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in a special election on November 4, 1947, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Theodore G. Bilbo and served from November 5, 1947, to January 3, 1953; reelected in 1952, 1958, 1964, 1970, 1976 and 1982 for the term ending January 3, 1989; was not a candidate for reelection in 1988; President pro tempore of the Senate during the One Hundredth Congress; chairman, Select Committee on Standards and Conduct (Eighty-ninth through Ninety-third Congresses), Committee on Armed Services (Ninety-first through Ninety-sixth Congresses), Committee on Appropriations (One Hundredth Congress); was a resident of Starkville, Miss., and later, Madison, Miss., until his death in Jackson, April 23, 1995; interment in Pinecrest Cemetery, DeKalb, Miss.

Broadcast Pioneers Library
University of Maryland Hornbake Library
College Park, MD
Papers: 21 audiotapes (1966-1975) in Westinghouse Broadcasting Company collection, 1945-1981.

Gerald R. Ford Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 1974-1977. Correspondence and briefing papers. Finding aid.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: June 17, 1972. 27 pages.

Mississippi State University
Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State, MS
Papers: 1928-1990. Ca. 2,500 feet. Congressional and personal papers, including correspondence, memos, case files, legislative files, project files, staff files, campaign files, speeches, press releases, radio and television transcripts, photographs, tapes, film, publications and memorabilia. Only the public papers (speeches, press releases, etc.) are open. Finding aid.
Oral History: August 21, 1972. 21 pages. J.C. Warren, hometown friend and supporter. Discusses growing up in Stennis' hometown of DeKalb, MS, their years at MSU, the 1947 election campaign.
Oral History: July 13, 1973. 25 pages. Sam Wilhite, Mississippi friend and supporter. Comments on the 1947 Senate campaign.
Oral History: July 23, 1973. 60 pages. Robert D. Morrow, Mississippi friend and longtime supporter. Discusses his years at MSU, years in the army during World War I, how he met Stennis and the Stennis 1947 election campaign.
Oral History: July 24, 1973. 15 pages. S.R. Evans, Mississippi friend and supporter. Discusses MS Congressman Frank Smith; Stennis' 1947 Senate campaign.
Oral History: October 3, 1973. 47 pages. J.E. Hall, Mississippi friend and supporter. Discusses Stennis' 1947 senatorial campaign and early years when both were students at Mississippi A M College (now Mississippi State University.)
Oral History: April 29, 1974. 36 pages. Wilburn Buckley, Mississippi friend and political supporter. Discusses Stennis' initial Senate election campaign in 1947, Senator Pat Harrison, Senator James Eastland, Senator John Sharp Williams.
Oral History: July 17, 1975. 25 pages. John Hampton Stennis, son. Comments on the 1947 Stennis election campaign, the move to Washington, Stennis' early Senate activities, family life--especially the problem of his father being away often--his mother, his own political career, anecdotes about friends and family.
Oral History: October 17, 1975. 14 pages. Charlie Jones. Mississippi friend and longtime supporter, administrative assistant. Discusses friendship with Stennis, his years as administrative assistant to Stennis, characterizes Stennis as senator.
Oral History: June 7, 1976. 23 pages. George Aiken, Senate colleague. Aiken reminisces about his friendship with Stennis, characterizes Stennis as a senator, comments on the McCarthy censure, Harry Truman, shooting of Stennis, John F. Kennedy, Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson, Mike Mansfield, National Forest Reservation Commission, seniority, civil rights legislation.
Oral History: June 7, 1976. 23 pages. Norris Cotton, Senate colleague. Characterizes Stennis as a senator, Vietnam, McCarthy censure, civil rights legislation, Senator James Eastland, "Yankee Thrift'' anecdote used in speeches by Stennis.
Oral History: June 8, 1976. 22 pages. Leverett Saltonstall, Senate colleague. Characterizes Stennis as senator, hearings re: the firing of General MacArthur, comments on Harry Truman, civil rights legislation, service on conference committees, McCarthy censure, the "Senate Club,'' Lyndon Johnson, J.F. Kennedy, and Armed Services Committee.
Oral History: June 9, 1976. 37 pages. Sam J. Ervin, Senate colleague. Characterizes Stennis as a senator; discusses the Watkins Committee, McCarthy censure, civil rights legislation, the "Senate Club,'' Watergate, Vietnam, and the seniority system.
Oral History: June 15, 1976. 26 pages. Margaret Chase Smith, Senate colleague. Characterizes Stennis as senator, comments on the "Senate Club,'' Armed Services Committee, civil rights legislation, her Senate relationship with Stennis, anecdotes about her service in the Senate.
Oral History: August 22, 1977. 32 pages. J.P. Coleman and Senator Stennis. Mississippi friend and longtime political ally and supporter. The two discuss their long friendship, the 1947 Stennis Senate campaign, their political alliance, Coleman's hearings concerning his nomination to the federal bench, Mississippi and national politics (Coleman does most of the talking.)

Stanford University Libraries
Special Collections
Stanford, CA
Papers: In J. Arthur Younger papers, 1951-1968.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Office of History
Fort Belvoir, VA
Oral History: August 3, 1987. 25 pages. Interviewed as part of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway history project.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In John Collier papers, 1910-1987.

  • Allen, William C. "Senators Poindexter, Davis, and Stennis: Three Mississippians in the History of the United States Capitol." Journal of Mississippi History 65 (2003): 191-214.
  • Dazey, Mary Ann Tharp. "A Stylistic Study of the Public Addresses of Senator John Stennis of Mississippi.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern Mississippi, 1981.
  • Downs, Michael Scott. "Advise and Consent: John Stennis and the Vietman War, 1954-1973.'' Journal of Mississippi History 55 (May 1993): 87-114.
  • ___. "A Matter of Conscience: John C. Stennis and the Vietnam War.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Mississippi State University, 1989.
  • Fry, Joseph A. Debating Vietnam: Fulbright, Stennis, and Their Senate Hearings. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.
  • Stennis, John C., and J. William Fulbright. The Role of Congress in Foreign Policy. American Enterprise Institute Rational Debate Seminars. Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1971.
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Memorial Tributes Delivered in Congress: John Cornelius Stennis 1901-1995, Late a Senator from Mississippi. 104th Cong., 2d sess., 1996. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1996.