A Guide to the Sam Rayburn FBI File, 1935-1968
Born in Tennessee in 1882, Rayburn moved to Fannin County, Texas, in 1887. In 1906, he left teaching for politics. He served as a Texas legislator from 1906 to 1912, when he was elected to the United States Congress. He was elected House majority leader, Democratic Party, in 1937, holding that position until 1940 when he was named speaker of the House. He continued in that office until his death in 1961, except for two periods of Republican control when he served as minority leader. He played a key role in the passage of New Deal legislation, including the Rural Electrification Act; and was instrumental in obtaining legislative support for the World War II military effort and for Truman's postwar foreign aid and domestic economic programs.
"Mr. Chairman, I came to this body a few weeks ago with childlike enthusiasms and confidence. It has always been my ambition since childhood to live a life that one day my fellow-citizens would call me to membership in this the popular branch of the greatest lawmaking body in the world. Out of their confidence and partiality they have done this. It is now my sole purpose here to help enact such wise and just laws that our common country will by virtue of these laws be a happier and a more prosperous people. I have always dreamed of a country which I believe this should be and that is one in which the citizenship is an educated and patriotic people, not swayed by passion and prejudice and a country that shall know no east, no west, no north, no south, but inhabited by a people liberty loving, patriotic, happy and prosperous, with its lawmakers having no other purpose than to write such just laws that shall in the years to come be of service to humankind yet unborn."
-- Address to Congress by Sam Rayburn May 6, 1913
Copies of Federal Bureau of Information files comprise the Sam Rayburn FBI File, 1935-1968, documenting special investigations and death threats against Sam Rayburn.
This collection is open for research use.
Sam Rayburn FBI File, 1935-1968, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Evan Usler, January 2012
Detailed Description of the Papers