Rivers, Mendel


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(1905–1970), South Carolina congressman and House Armed Services Committee chairman. Rivers, raised in poverty, was a lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department during the depression. In 1940, he began a thirty-year career representing Charleston, South Carolina, and surrounding counties in the U.S. House. He was a member of the Armed Services Committee for most of that time, serving as chairman from 1965 until his death. Rivers was an enthusiastic proponent of a strong military and was unmistakably “hawkish” in the political debates of the Cold War. He was unrestrained in his advocacy of increased military expenditures and the use of American power, including support for all-out prosecution of the Vietnam War.


From The Oxford Companion to American Military History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Military History.

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