- Tydings, Millard Evelyn
- (1890-1961)Born in Maryland, Millard Tydings graduated from Maryland Agricultural College in 1910 and the University of Maryland Law School in 1913. He briefly practiced law before entering the Maryland House of Delegates as a Democrat in 1915. During World War I, Tydings served in the army and rose from private to lieutenant colonel in command of a machine gun brigade. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medal for his bravery and afterward wrote a book The Machine Gunners of the Blue and the Gray (1920) based on his war experiences. Tydings returned to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1919 and was elected to the Maryland Senate in 1921 and then to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1922. In 1926, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he made a name for himself as an opponent of prohibition and a campaigner for Philippine independence. Tydings was an advocate of states rights and increasingly critical of the New Deal and attacked the National Recovery Administration, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, and Tennessee Valley Authority. He was one of the leaders of the opposition to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempted “court packing” in 1937. Having survived Roosevelt’s attempted “purge” of his opponents in 1938, Tydings allowed his name to be put forward as a potential candidate against the president for the Democratic nomination in 1940. He continued to be critical of government waste and bureaucracy throughout World War II. After the war, he called for the elimination rather than simply the control of atomic bombs.In 1950, Tydings headed the Senate committee investigating the charges of communist infiltration made by Joseph McCarthy in his speech in Wheeling, West Virginia. The committee found the accusations to be a “hoax and a fraud.” However, their findings had little effect, and McCarthy attacked Tydings when he stood for reelection in 1950 and contributed to his defeat in a particularly dirty campaign. After practicing law in Washington, D.C., Tydings attempted to return to the Senate in 1956 but was too ill.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.