George W. Andrews III

/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_homepage.xml Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
“I was about 15. I had just gotten my learner’s permit and the train was three hours late and so Dad and I drove that little Tempest around and I sat a long time at the station with my dad that day. I remember him saying, ‘I have really enjoyed this time because it has given us a chance to know each other better.’ It was hard on the family a lot of times because there were a lot of separations. Being a Page was a way to bring my dad and me closer together, because I saw the same thing he saw every day.I saw the same people that he saw and we’d talk about it. It gave us a nexus, a thing we could talk about. And I appreciated his job a lot more so to that extent it was great. I enjoyed that aspect of it so much and living on the Hill so much that the fact that we lived in a place the size of a postage stamp didn’t really bother me that much.”
George W. Andrews III, September 24, 2009

Abstract & Transcript

The son of two Members of Congress, George and Elizabeth Andrews, George W. Andrews III provides a unique look at the House of Representatives during one of the more turbulent periods in American history. Born and raised in the Deep South, Andrews discusses how he came to terms with divergent views on race relations—in his family, in the state of Alabama, and at the U.S. Capitol—in the civil rights era. In his series of interviews, Andrews offers a detailed description of the Alabama delegation, including his father’s office, during the 1950s and 1960s. He also reveals the impact of a House career on Members and their families faced with a decision of uprooting their lives and moving to D.C., or remaining home and spending time apart. Andrews, who joined the Page program in 1961 to be closer to his father, recalls an institution fraught by deep divisions, but where collegiality among Members typically prevailed. Andrews witnessed firsthand many historic events, including the vote to expand the House Rules Committee in 1961 and the lying-in-state ceremony in the Rotunda for President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Andrews also shares his memories of House traditions like the Congressional Baseball Game and the culture and living quarters of the Congressional Hotel where many Members of the time lived during House sessions. Assigned to the Democratic Cloakroom, Andrews credits the often stressful and fast-paced environment of his Page service, as a key component to his later career as a high-profile criminal defense attorney. After the sudden death of his father in 1971, Andrews observed his mother’s transformation from a grieving widow to a serious candidate, determined to fill out her husband’s term to continue his legislative agenda. In his dual role as House Page and as the child of Members, Andrews provides a distinctive narrative that augments segments of House history with few written records.

Biography

George W. Andrews III was born on October 12, 1946, in Union Springs, Alabama, to George and Elizabeth Andrews. Andrews’ father served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1944 until his death on December 25, 1971. His mother Elizabeth went on to win the special election to fill out the remainder of her husband’s term during the 92nd Congress (1971–1973).

Andrews remained in Alabama for much of his childhood while his father served in the House. In 1961 he moved to Washington, D.C., to become a House Page. Assigned to the Democratic Cloakroom, he answered telephones and relayed messages to Members of Congress—an essential role in an era before pagers, computers, or cell phones. As a Page, and as the son of an influential Representative, Andrews interacted with Members of Congress on a daily basis. During his tenure, he worked his way up to “number one phone Page,” a position he held for the majority of his service. In his leadership role in the cloakroom, Andrews oversaw an organized and carefully orchestrated messaging system which required on-the-spot decisions—some of which involved important communications between House Leaders, the Senate, Cabinet officials, and even Presidents. While employed by the House, Andrews attended the Capitol Page School, graduating in 1964.

After his Page service, Andrews attended Emory University in Atlanta, earning a B.A. in 1968. Three years later, he was awarded a J.D. from the University of Alabama. Andrews began his law career in the U.S. Navy, where he served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps until 1975.  From 1975 to 1979, and from 1985 to 1989, Andrews was a chief prosecutor in the Jefferson County, Alabama, District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted many high-profile criminal cases. Andrews also worked in a private law practice and for a major legal firm in Alabama as a criminal litigator for both the prosecution and the defense. George Andrews died on April 24, 2019.

Video

Collegiality in the House

Remembering an era of collegiality and camaraderie in the House.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama.
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Memories of the Congressional Hotel

Recollections of the living quarters and the ambiance of the Congressional Hotel during the 1960s.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Learning House Procedures

House Pages learning on the job about the inner workings of Congress.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Lera Thomas and Elizabeth Andrews

Description of the deep connection between two congressional widows. 

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Rules Committee Expansion: Part One

Detailed account of the floor activity and debate during the vote in 1961 to expand the Rules Committee.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Rules Committee Expansion: Part Two

Detailed account of the floor activity and debate during the vote in 1961 to expand the Rules Committee.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama.
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Lying-in-State Ceremony for President John F. Kennedy: Part One

Recollections of President John F. Kennedy's Lying-in-State Ceremony at the Capitol, November 24-25, 1963

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Lying-in-State Ceremony for President John F. Kennedy: Part Two

Recollections of President John F. Kennedy's Lying-in-State Ceremony at the Capitol, November 24-25, 1963

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Last Day as a House Page

Lasting House Page memories.

George Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

First Woman Elected to Congress from Alabama

George Andrews discusses his mother's role as the first female Member of Congress elected from Alabama.

George Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift

Congressional Baseball Game: Part One

Memories of the Congressional Baseball Game during the 1950s.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Congressional Baseball Game: Part Two

Memories of the Congressional Baseball Game during the 1950s.

George W. Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Audio

Change Is Coming

Reflections on the changing southern attitudes towards civil rights legislation.

George Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded September 24, 2009 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Images & Artifacts

George W. Andrews III with His Dog Bambo
<em>George W. Andrews III with His Dog Bambo</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_homepage.xml
House Page and son of U.S. Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama, George W. Andrews III poses with his dog Bambo in front of the Capitol in March 1965.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
The Alabama Congressional Delegation
<em>The Alabama Congressional Delegation</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_alabama_delegation.xml
Representative George Andrews of Alabama served in the U.S. House from 1944 until his death in 1971. In this April 1967 photo, Andrews (second from left, first row) is pictured with the other members of the Alabama congressional delegation on the Capitol steps.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
Congressional Baseball, 1955
<em>Congressional Baseball, 1955</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_batboy.xml
A young George W. Andrews III (seated with baseball cap) poses for a photo with the Democratic team before the Congressional Baseball Game at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. in May 1955.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
Representatives George Andrews and Hale Boggs
<em>Representatives George Andrews and Hale Boggs</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_boggs.xml
Representative George Andrews of Alabama (left) shakes hands with Representative Hale Boggs of Louisiana. Boggs, who served as Democratic Whip and Democratic Leader, broke with many southern Members to support the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
Alabama State Campaign Headquarters
<em>Alabama State Campaign Headquarters</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_campaign_headquarters.xml
State campaign headquarters for Congressman George Andrews of Alabama. George W. Andrews III discussed several of his father’s early House campaigns.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
George W. Andrews III with his Father at the Capitol
<em>George W. Andrews III with his Father at the Capitol</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_capitolsteps.xml
George W. Andrews III poses with his father Representative George Andrews on the Capitol steps in October 1971. Andrews served as a House Page while his father was in Congress.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
The Democratic Cloakroom
<em>The Democratic Cloakroom</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_cloakroom.xml
George W. Andrews III (closest to the counter in the back) spends time with his fellow House Pages in the Democratic Cloakroom. Andrews described the culture and atmosphere of the cloakrooms during the 1960s.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
Representative Elizabeth Andrews, 1972
<em>Representative Elizabeth Andrews, 1972</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_elizabethandrews.xml
Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama is sworn into the 92nd Congress (1971–1973) after winning the special election to replace her husband George Andrews after his death in 1971.
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
Staff for Representative George Andrews of Alabama
<em>Staff for Representative George Andrews of Alabama</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_andrews_officestafff.xml
Representative George Andrews’ staff takes time out for an office photo. Two of the Congressman’s longtime women staffers are pictured here, Clara Belle Blount (front row left) and Eva Hammond (front row right).
Image courtesy of George W. Andrews III, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives