The Honorable Beverly Barton Butcher Byron
Much like her mother-in-law Katharine Byron, Beverly Barton Butcher Byron’s House career began unexpectedly when she succeeded her husband in Congress after he died in office. During her 10 years representing a Maryland district, Byron forged her own path in the House as the first woman to chair an Armed Services subcommittee and as a steadfast supporter of the military and American defense.
U.S. Representative from Maryland (January 3, 1979–January 3, 1993)
Beverly Barton Butcher Byron married into a family with deep political roots. Her husband Goodloe Byron and his parents William and Katharine all served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Beverly Byron, much like her mother-in-law Katharine, did not pursue a political career. Rather, both women won election to Congress after their husbands died in office. In her oral history, Byron discusses the transition from a supporting role in her husband’s career to her own position as a Member of Congress. Byron also touches upon the prevailing opinion at the time that she—like many other congressional widows—would serve as a temporary placeholder. The Maryland Representative explains that once she came to Congress, she had no intention of stepping aside for someone that party leaders deemed more qualified.
In her interview, Byron compares how she and her late husband approached the job. Both enjoyed constituent service, but she observes that her strength and interest lay in policy work. The first woman to chair an Armed Services subcommittee, Byron describes her leadership style and discusses her work for the military during her seven terms in Congress. Byron also talks about her interest in physical fitness, her work on the American Discovery Trail legislation, and the bond that formed among the women representing Maryland in Congress.
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Quick Decision to Run for Congress
"Dine with the Byrons"
Careful Consideration of Committee Assignments
Congress and Hard Work
Congresswoman Katharine Byron
No Assigned Seats
"They Are Four Peas, but They're Not in the Same Pod"
Dressing for Congress
President Carter and Congress
Camp David Accords
Touring a Submarine
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