Byrd, Harry Flood

Byrd, Harry Flood

(bûrd), 1887–1966, U.S. senator from Virginia (1933–65), b. Martinsburg, W.Va.; brother of Richard E. ByrdByrd, Richard Evelyn,
1888–1957, American aviator and polar explorer, b. Winchester, Va. He took up aviation in 1917, and after World War I he gained great fame in the air. He commanded the naval air unit with the arctic expedition of D. B. MacMillan in 1925.
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. Educated at Shenandoah Academy in Winchester, Va., he became publisher of the Winchester Star and an important figure in state Democratic politics. His administration as governor (1926–30) was marked by the development of the state highway system. Appointed senator in 1933, he was continually reelected until his retirement in 1965. He was a leading conservative Democrat and opposed the New DealNew Deal,
in U.S. history, term for the domestic reform program of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; it was first used by Roosevelt in his speech accepting the Democratic party nomination for President in 1932.
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 and later progressive measures. And advocate of government economy, he was for many years chairman of the finance committee. His son, Harry Flood Bird, Jr., 1914–2013, b. Winchester, Va., succeeded him in the Senate. Educated at the Univ. of Virginia, the son was publisher of the Winchester Star and Harrisonburg Daily News-Record and served in the state senate (1948–1965) until his appointment to his late father's Senate seat. A Democrat, he won the 1966 special election to completed his father's term. In 1970, however, he refused to pledge support to as yet unknown 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, and ran as an independent. He was a fiscal and social conservative, and often voted with Republicans and Southern Democrats during his Senate years (1965–82).
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