Arthur Glenn Andrews (1909-2008) represented Alabama‘s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for one term as a Republican during the tumultuous mid-1960s. Formerly a Democrat, Andrews won a seat in the House of Representatives after joining the Republican Party. In general, the conservative Andrews opposed Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” policies designed to end poverty, fighpollution, protect voting rights, promote education, and help the elderly. Living to age 99, Andrews held the distinction as the oldest living former congressman.
Generally known as Glenn, Andrews was born on January 15, 1909, in Anniston, Calhoun County, the only child of Roger Lee Andrews and Beryl Elizabeth Jones Andrews. He attended the Mercersburg Academy, a private, coed, boarding school specializing in college preparation, in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, before attending Princeton University in New Jersey, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1931.
After graduating from Princeton, Andrews moved to New York, where he worked at the National Bank of New York for a short time before joining International Business Machines (IBM), in 1933. In 1936, Andrews moved to New Orleans, where he had been hired as a district manager for a Kodak subsidiary. The following year, Andrews married Ethel Standish Jackson; the couple would have three children. In 1946, Andrews changed careers again: He and his family moved back to his hometown of Anniston, and he became an advertising executive at his family’s outdoor advertisement business, a position he would hold for the next 24 years.
Andrews made several unsuccessful attempts to run for political office as a Democrat. In 1956, he ran for a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives and for Secretary of State two years later. In 1964, Andrews switched parties and ran as a Republican for the Fourth Congressional District, which stretches across north Alabama from the Mississippi border to the Georgia border and encompasses some 11 counties. That same year, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention when it chose Arizona senator Barry Goldwater as the party’s presidential candidate. Andrews defeated his Democratic opponent, Kenneth Roberts, by 18 percent. He became one of five Republicans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama in 1964, marking the modern rise of the party in the state. Alabama’s largely Democratic voters opposed the national Democratic Party’s stand on civil rights and supported Goldwater, who had voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and supported states’ rights.
Generally speaking, Andrews opposed Johnson’s Great Society efforts, voting against the Social Security Act, the Highway Beautification Act, the Appalachian Regional Development Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and several similar bills. Most notably, he, like the rest of the Alabama congressional delegation, opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices targeting African Americans. Although Johnson had been considering such legislation since winning the presidency in 1964, the bill was prompted by the March 7, 1965, voting rights march from Selma, Dallas County, to Montgomery, Montgomery County, during which state and local law enforcement officers attacked marchers in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” This event and subsequent marches pressed Pres. Lyndon Johnson and Congress to enact the law later that year. Andrews also opposed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provided financial assistant to schools with students from low-income families. He voted against it because grants were given directly to each county, and he believed that funding would thus be distributed in places that did not require it and that the supplements instead should go to state governments for dispersal. Andrews served a single term before losing to Democrat William Flynt Nichols by a 16-percent margin in 1966.
After another failed run for Congress in 1970, against Nichols by a very wide margin, Pres. Richard Nixon appointed him as a trustee in bankruptcy court in 1973. As a trustee, Andrews was responsible for managing a debtor’s properties and assets and ensuring that the creditors received what they were owed. He remained a trustee until his retirement in 1985. Andrews died in White Plains, Calhoun County, on September 25, 2008, at the age of 99 and was cremated. His ashes are interred at Grace Episcopal Church Columbarium in Anniston. Some of his congressional papers are housed at the Department of Special Collections and Archives of the Auburn University Libraries among Alabama Farm Bureau Federation records.
- Anderson, Lee. Congress and the Classroom: From the Cold War to “No Child Left Behind.” University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007.