Alton A. Lennon Congressional Papers
Scope and Contents
- Lennon, Alton, 1906-1986 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
In 1934, Lennon entered politics and ran for the office of judge of the New Hanover County Recorder’s Court. He was victorious in the election and was reelected for another term in 1938. He served as judge from 1934 to 1942 and later from 1947 t0 1951, in the North Carolina Senate. On July 10, 1953, Lennon was appointed by N.C. Governor William B. Umstead to take the void United States Senate seat of Willis Smith who had died. Lennon served from July 15, 1953 to November 28, 1954. Despite efforts to continue, Lennon lost the senate primary of 1954 to Kerr Scott.
In 1956, Lennon ran for U.S. House of Representatives for North Carolina's 7th district and faced little opposition. He served as a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he was chairman of the Special Sub-committee on Enlisted Promotion Policy Review. As a representative, Lennon supported the Vietnam War and pushed for attacking North Vietnamese ports and the Justice Department’s prosecution of Stokely Carmichael, who vehemently opposed the draft. While serving in Congress, Lennon joined Merchant Marines and Fisheries Committee, serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceanography. Lennon advocated for the protection of North Carolina’s coastal resources and money for rebuilding ports. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives until 1973.
Lennon did not seek reelection in 1972 and returned to Wilmington to practice law. Despite being a Democrat, Lennon helped with Republican Senator Jesse A. Helm’s re-election campaign in 1978.
Lennon died on December 28, 1986 at Cape Fear Memorial Hospital and is buried in Wilmington's Oakdale Cemetery.
316 boxes (Contains 312 document boxes and 4 oversize boxes)
This collection is arranged in 10 series:
Series 1: Legislation
Series 2: Bills and Records Statements
Series 3: Congressional Department Files
Series 4: Congressional Subject Files
Series 5: Armed Services Committee Files
Series 6: Veterans Files
Series 7: Public Works Files
Series 8: Post Office Records
Series 9: Political Files
Series 10: Scrapbooks
Source of Acquisition
- Alton A. Lennon Congressional Papers
- Partially Processed
- Rebecca Baugnon
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note