George W. Norris: U.S. Legislator from Nebraska
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U.S. House of Representatives & U.S. Senate

George Norris as a newly elected U.S. Senator, 1912
George Norris as a newly elected U.S. Senator, 1912.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3298-2-484

George Norris was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1902 as a Republican, and married Ellie Leonard in 1903. He was known as rebellious while serving five terms with the House. He helped create the National Progressive Republican League in January, 1911, supported Roosevelt for the 1912 Republican Convention, but never actually joined the Progressive Party. In 1936, he won his Senate seat as an Independent.

Norris was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1912, where he also served five terms until 1942, a total of 40 years in Congress! During that time, he supported the direct election of senators and was a confirmed isolationist, fearing interference with other countries’ affairs could lead to another world war. He changed his mind about the latter in 1937 when he saw horrific photos of Japanese violence in China.

"I have done my best to repudiate wrong and evil in government affairs."
        — Senator George W. Norris, 1942

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