Ralph Flanders

Ralph Flanders

Ralph Flanders was born in Barnet, Vermont, on 28th September, 1880. When he was a child the family moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island. After leaving school Flanders worked as a machinist in Providence. He later became the inventor of several important developments in the machine tool industry.

A member of the Republican Party, Flanders was elected to the Senate in 1947. A strong opponent of McCarthyism Flanders was one of the first senators to attack the tactics of Joseph McCarthy.

Flanders left Congress in 1959. Ralph Flanders, the author of several books including his autobiography, Senator from Vermont (1961) died in Springfield, Vermont, on 23rd February, 1970.

Primary Sources

(1) I. F. Stone, I. F. Stone's Weekly (15th March, 1954)

When Ralph Flanders of Vermont attacked McCarthy, the Senate was as silent as it was some weeks earlier when Ellender of Louisiana made a lone onslaught and Fulbright of Arkansas cast the sole vote against his appropriation. Only Lehman of New York and John Sherman Cooper (R.) of Kentucky rose to congratulate Flanders. Nobody defended McCarthy, but nobody joined in with those helpful interjections which usually mark a Senate speech. When the Democratic caucus met in closed session, the Stevenson speech was ignored. Lyndon Johnson of Texas, the Democratic floor leader, is frightened of McCarthy's Texas backers.