Historical Highlights

Representative Kathryn O’Loughlin McCarthy of Kansas

January 16, 1952
Representative Kathryn O’Loughlin McCarthy of Kansas Image courtesy of Ellis County Historical Society Kathryn O'Loughlin McCarthy of Kansas served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940 and 1944 after serving one term in the House.
On this date, former Representative Kathryn O’Loughlin McCarthy of Kansas died in Hays, Kansas. The one-term Member learned politics from her father who served in the Kansas state house of representatives. Elected to the 73rd Congress (1933–1935), McCarthy rode into Congress on Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt’s coattails, and became a generally enthusiastic supporter of New Deal legislation. As a member of the House Education Committee, she fought for an emergency grant of $15 million in federal assistance for private, denominational, and trade schools. In particular, she hoped to boost teacher pay and put money into home economics and agriculture instruction courses. “The children of today cannot wait for the passing of the Depression to receive their education,” McCarthy told colleagues. By January 1, 1934, more than 2,600 schools nationwide, and more than 300 in Kansas, had been closed because of the Great Depression. Realizing that many of her House colleagues would object to federal aid for nonpublic schools on the grounds of separation of church and state, McCarthy emphasized, “That is all well and good and must be continued as a permanent policy, but this is temporary emergency legislation, to meet a time of stress.” After losing her re-election bid, she returned to Kansas where she practiced law.

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