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THOMSON, Vernon Wallace

THOMSON, Vernon Wallace
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
1905–1988

Biography

THOMSON, Vernon Wallace, a Representative from Wisconsin; born in Richland Center, Richland County, Wis., November 5, 1905; graduated from Richland Center High School in 1923; attended Carroll College in Waukesha, 1923-1925; graduated from University of Wisconsin in 1927; taught at Viroqua High School, 1927-1929; graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1932; engaged in private practice of law, Richland Center, Wis., 1932-1951; assistant district attorney of Richland County, 1933-1935, and city attorney, 1933-1937, and again, 1942-1944; mayor of Richland Center from April 1944 to February 1951; member of the State assembly, 1935-1951, serving as speaker, 1939-1945, and as Republican floor leader, 1945-1951; State attorney general, 1951-1957; Governor of Wisconsin from January 7, 1957, to January 5, 1959; delegate, Republican National Conventions, 1936, 1940, 1952, and 1956; elected as a Republican to the Eighty-seventh Congress; reelected to the six succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1961, until his resignation December 31, 1974; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1974 to the Ninety-fourth Congress; member, Federal Election Commission, April 1975 to June 1979 and January 1981 to December 1981; was a resident of McLean, Va., until his death in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1988; interment in Richland Center Cemetery, Richland Center, Wis.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Lawrence F. O'Brien White House Congressional Liaison Office Files, 1961-1963, 14 linear feet. Correspondents include Vernon Thomson.

Wisconsin Historical Society
Archives Division

Madison, WI
Papers: ca. 1941-1974, 40.2 cubic feet. The papers of Vernon Thomson primarily document his career as governor of Wisconsin and U.S. representative. Included are correspondence, memoranda, notes, background material, speeches, tapes, films, and files on press and publicity, legislation, and constituent cases. The papers are arranged into two public record series of gubernatorial papers and one manuscript collection that includes Thomson's congressional papers and his speeches. Covering Thomson's tenure as governor is general correspondence with constituents, legislators, state and party leaders, governmental executives, and others; memoranda; reports; background material; speeches; tape recordings; and films. While there is much routine administrative material and extensive correspondence on individual constitutent problems, there are also significant files on the economic development of the state, highway safety, conservation and the environment, the state budget and the prospect of a sales tax, and the St. Lawrence Seaway and Wisconsin's participation in the Great Lakes Compact Commission. There is little of a personal or political nature, although there are many letters from citizens concerning the vacancy created by the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and some material on Thomson's support of Robert Taft in 1952. Documenting his career as a member of Congress is constituent correspondence, case and project files, and material on legislation which Thomson sponsored or introduced such as bills concerning tariffs on shoes, dairy and agricultural products, and lead and zinc, and benefits for Mexican border veterans. One file contains correspondence concerning Thomson's anti-gambling legislation introduced in 1945. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Walter H. Brovald Papers, 1938-1990, 9.6 cubic feet. Correspondents include Vernon Thomson.
Papers: In the John W. Byrnes Papers, 1938-1972, 142 cubic feet. Persons represented include Vernon Thomson.
Papers: In the Kirby Hendee Papers, 1956-1960, 1.2 cubic feet. Correspondents include Vernon Thomson.
Papers: In the Wayne J. Hood Papers, 1947-1968, 0.4 cubic foot. Correspondents include Vernon Thomson.
Papers: In the Miles J. McMillin Papers, 1938-1959, 1.2 cubic feet. Correspondents include Vernon Thomson.
Papers: In the National Association of Social Workers, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter Records, 1950-1963, 2 cubic feet. Correspondents include Governor Vernon Thomson.
Papers: In the Lowell A. Nelson Papers, 1956-1959, 1 folder. Correspondents include Governor Vernon Thomson.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Ralph Nader Congress Project. Citizens Look at Congress: Vernon W. Thompson, Republican Representative from Wisconsin. Washington, D. C.: Grossman Publishers, 1972.

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