/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_rayburn_gavel_2005_101_000.xmlCollection of the U.S. House of Representatives About this objectThe longest serving Speaker in House History, Sam Rayburn of Texas presided over 10 Congresses as Speaker.
The Korean War shaped much of the activity of the 82nd Congress (1951–1953). American-led forces successfully rolled back North Korean troops to near the Chinese border in late 1950, prompting China’s devastating counterattack. When General Douglas MacArthur undermined President Harry Truman’s negotiations to end the conflict by publicly contradicting U.S. policy, Truman fired him. The General nevertheless returned to a hero’s welcome—even addressing a Joint Session of Congress—before a series of House and Senate hearings on Korean policy discredited him. Congress also passed a GI Bill for Korean veterans and the restrictive McCarran–Walter immigration act.