This report has been contributed by Shayna Waltower, a student from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism.
We were “just curious” about who Carl Vinson was and what roles he played to earn the honor of having buildings and bridges named after him, a memorial on Coleman Hill and exhibits in locations around Georgia.
William P. Head is a historian at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins.
He says Vinson was an important figure in both the U.S. Navy and in the House of Representatives.
For 50 years, “he was one of the most powerful military (and) political people in the United States government,” Head says.
Born in Milledgeville, Vinson grew up to attend Georgia Military College and graduate with a law degree from Mercer University. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1914 and served 25 consecutive terms in office, becoming the longest-serving member of Congress, according to the Georgia Encyclopedia.
He was also the head of the House Armed Services Committee.
While in this position, he advocated for a powerful navy that would create stronger protection for US coasts.
After Vinson left office, President Richard Nixon commemorated a naval aircraft carrier to honor his work in the Navy.
“He pushed very hard to get ships built that otherwise we might not have had when World War II came along,” Head says.
Macon is known for its rich history, and we are setting out to answer many of the questions we all have about Macon and its surrounding cities.
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