Samuel Taliferro Rayburn – May 6, 1913 (Maiden Congressional Speech)
Rayburn: Mr. Speaker is a feature length documentary in production about the life and career of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sam Rayburn of Texas (b. 1882 – d. 1961). For nearly fifty years (1913 – 1961) he was the Congressman for the 4th District of Texas, a rural part of Texas just northeast of Dallas. And from 1931 until his death in 1961, Sam Rayburn was the most important American politician who was never President during that time period. He was the chairman of the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee (1931-1936), the House Majority Leader (1937-1940), and was Speaker of the House for just over 17 years, longer than anyone else in U.S. history (1940-1947, 1949-1953, 1955-1961). His fingerprints are on some of the most important legislation of the 20th century. During the New Deal alone he sponsored and ensured the passage of the Securities Act of 1933, the Emergency Railroad Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Federal Communications Act of 1934, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, and the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
Though he had a great impact on laws affecting different areas of America’s domestic policy and international relations Rayburn never forgot his roots as a cotton farmer in Northeast Texas. Remembering the hardships of farming at the turn of the century, Rayburn ensured the passage of laws (e.g. farm to market roads, soil conservation, and rural electrification) to benefit the farmers of his district and the rest of the country.
Sam Rayburn, an important American politician almost lost to history, is finally receiving a feature length documentary about his life, career, and impact on the United States and the world from Reed Penney of One Cent Productions LLC.
Feel free to browse this website for more information about Speaker Rayburn and this documentary. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. If you would like to request a screening of Rayburn: Mr. Speaker once it is finished click here.