Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt
From Harrison to Hanoi, this exhibit explores the life of John Paul Hammerschmidt, including 13 terms in Congress, service in the Army Air Corps. and numerous awards and causes.
As part of the opening of the John Paul Hammerschmidt manuscript collection, Special Collections staff have created an exhibit celebrating his life and accomplishments.
Hammerschmidt was born May 4, 1922, in Harrison, Boone County, Arkansas. He attended The Citadel in South Carolina followed by the University of Arkansas before joining the Army Air Corps in 1942. He served with the Third Combat Cargo Group in the China-India-Burma Theater, flying numerous missions over “The Hump” (the eastern portion of the Himalayan Mountains) during World War II. He was awarded the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, three Battle Stars and the China War Memorial Medal by the government of the Republic of China.
In 1966 Hammerschmidt defeated incumbent James W. Trimble for the 3rd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to become the first Republican elected to the House from Arkansas since Reconstruction. He served 13 terms from 1967 until his retirement in 1993. One of his first initiatives was to sponsor the 1967 legislation to establish the Buffalo National River. During his tenure Hammerschmidt served as ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and also served on the Public Works Committee. In 1974 he was appointed to the Select Committee on Aging. In 1977 he was chosen as a delegate to the Middle East Peace Talks. In 1984 he served as a delegate on the first post-Vietnam War “official” party to Hanoi. In 1989 he was appointed to the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, which was sent to investigate the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The exhibit features highlights from the manuscript collection, including photographs, campaign flyers and buttons, significant legislation and issues, and family mementos.
Find more information at http://newswire.uark.edu/article.aspx?id=16734.