The Congress: Mr. Speaker

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The great walnut doors of the U.S. House of Representatives swung wide, and Doorkeeper William ("Fishbait") Miller announced in his drawlingest Mississippi delivery the arrival of a distinguished member. Through the door came a tall, gaunt man with a shock of white hair, rimless glasses and a thin-lipped smile. The House rose in welcome, and Massachusetts' Representative John William McCormack made his way slowly down the center aisle. His peers had just elected him the 45th Speaker of the House.

When McCormack mounted the rostrum to voice his thanks and to...

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