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Carl Vinson, A Georgia Biography

Carl Vinson was sworn into Congress in 1914 at the age of 31 and would serve a record twenty-five consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives - a total of more than 50 years.

Before World War II began, Vinson improved aviator and aircraft procurement for the Navy. He was proficient in getting bills through Congress. His bills are credited with helping the U.S. build war ships quickly after Pearl Harbor. One of his most famous sayings is that, “The most expensive thing in the world is a cheap Army and Navy.” His insistence that America had to be prepared, even during the Cold War, enabled the armed forces to maintain their status of strength and readiness.

In 1973, Pres. Richard Nixon announced that the nation's third nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would be named for him. He attended the launch of the USS Carl Vinson in March, 1980. The next year he died at age ninety-seven.

Teacher Tip: Carl Vinson said that, “The most expensive thing in the world is a cheap Army and Navy.” The video mentioned the support Vinson gave to building up the military. Explain how Vinson’s achievements in getting bills passed to support our armed forces supports this quote.

Related Websites include the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry, and a photo gallery from the United States Navy. Georgia Info, at The Carl Vinson Institute of Government also has an informative section.