/tiles/non-collection/R/RayburnGavel_2004_045_001.xmlCollection of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gift of Elizabeth C. Udell in memory of her husband Gilman Grant Udell, Sr. About this objectSpeaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas used many gavels during his historic tenure as Speaker.
Democrats, benefitting from the continuing recession, picked up numerous seats in Congress after the 1958 elections. The 86th Congress (1959–1961) admitted Hawaii into the Union, and allowed television to cover the congressional hearings on racketeering in trade unions. These hearings led to the Landrum-Griffin Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act that sought to eliminate organized crime from trade unions. Federal employees were provided health insurance, and voters in the District of Columbia gained the right to vote in national elections with three electoral votes following the ratification of the 23rd Amendment.