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76th Congress (1939–1941)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 435 Representatives
  • 2 Delegates
  • 2 Resident Commissioners

Party Divisions:*

  • 262 Democrats
  • 169 Republicans
  • 2 Progressives
  • 1 American-Labor
  • 1 Farmer-Labor

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

  • Election Statistics, 1938 [PDF]
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_rayburn_seated_2005_016_043.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
The longest serving Speaker in House History, Sam Rayburn of Texas presided over 10 Congresses as Speaker.

Congress Overview

President Franklin Roosevelt’s ham-fisted attempt to pack the Supreme Court and then to purge conservative Democrats from the party, contributed to Democratic losses in the 1938 elections. Democrats nevertheless retained their congressional majorities, and the 76th Congress (1939–1941) authorized the President to reorganize executive agencies and outlawed using federal employees or facilities for political purposes. The outbreak of war in Europe quickly monopolized Congress’s attention. Neutrality legislation allowed belligerents to pay cash for supplies and ship it themselves. Congress also passed internal security measures that required foreign nationals to register with federal authorities and established the first peacetime draft.

Member Information

  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, (1774–2005), Official Annotated Membership Roster by State with Vacancy and Special Election Information for the 76th Congress [PDF]
  • Learn more about the House of Representatives with an interactive map

Learn more about the People of the People's House

Leadership & Officers

Speaker of the House:
Sam Rayburn (D–Texas)
William B. Bankhead (D–Alabama) 1
Majority Leader:
John W. McCormack (D–Massachusetts) 2
Sam Rayburn (D–Texas) 3
Minority Leader:
Joseph W. Martin, Jr. (R–Massachusetts)
Democratic Whip:
Patrick J. Boland (D–Pennsylvania)
Republican Whip:
Harry L. Englebright (R–California)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
John W. McCormack (D–Massachusetts) 4
Republican Conference Chairman:
Roy O. Woodruff (R–Michigan)
Clerk of the House:
South Trimble
Sergeant at Arms:
Kenneth Romney
Chaplain of the House:
James Shera Montgomery – Methodist
Joseph J. Sinnott
Finis E. Scott
Lewis Deschler

To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section


1Died in office, September 15, 1940.

2Elected Majority Leader on September 26, 1940, to fill the vacancy created when Majority Leader Sam Rayburn was elected Speaker. From September 19 to 26, 1940, Representative Lindsay Warren of North Carolina served as the acting Majority Leader.

3Elected Speaker on September 16, 1940, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Speaker William Bankhead.

4Resigned following election as majority floor leader, September 16, 1940; records do not indicate that a successor was chosen during the remainder of the Congress.