Fulbright, J. William


1982 TLS of the 5-term Arkansas US Senator, namesake of the Fulbright international scholarship exchange program


Autograph ID: 7173
Condition: Very good, 2 mail folds
Description: “(1905-1995) Arkansas US Senator (D) 1945-74, longest serving Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman. A staunch multilateralist, he supported creation of the UN but also was a segregationist who signed the Southern Manifesto. He opposed McCarthyism, HUAC, and involvement in Vietnam. He helped create an international program that became the Fulbright Program. He earned a BA in history from the Univ. Of Arkansas (1925), was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford’s Pembroke College (1928) and received an LL.B. from George Washington Univ. School of Law (1934). He lectured in law at the Univ. of Arkansas 1936-39, University president 1939-41, youngest US college president; the School of Arts and Sciences is named for him. He was a US Rep 1943-45, on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The House passed the Fulbright Resolution backing international peace-keeping initiatives and encouraged US participation in what became the UN in Sept. 1943. Elected to the Senate 1944, unseating Hattie Caraway, 1st woman elected to the Senate. He promoted legislation establishing the Fulbright Program in 1946, educational grants (Fulbright Fellowships and Fulbright Scholarships) sponsored by the State Department, foreign governments and the private sector. Some 294,000 “Fulbrighters”, 111,000 from the US and 183,000 from other countries, have taken part from its inception 60+ years ago. The Fulbright Program awards 6,000 new grants annually. He filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act, opposed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but in 1970 voted for a 5-year extension of the Voting Rights Act, and led the fight against Nixon’s Supreme Court nominees Haynesworth & Carswell. He raised objections to JFK on the impending April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, and also to LBJ (who called him “Half Bright”) on the 1965 Dominican Republic Civil War. In 1966, he published “The Arrogance of Power”, attacking the justification of the Vietnam War, Congress’s failure to set limits on it, and impulses which gave rise to it. In May 1969, at the National War College, he urged the US to withdraw from Vietnam and possibly settle for less than a standoff against the Communists and backed overhauling foreign policy that concentrates less on the power of the executive branch. In 1970, he introduced a resolution on commitment of US personnel for combat in Laos by Pres. Nixon, who under it could not send combat forces in or over Laos without approval by Congress. On Aug. 22, he favored a bilateral treaty to give authority to use military force to guarantee the “territory and independence of Israel within the borders of 1967″ and would obligate Israel not to violate the borders created prior to the Six-Day War. He left the Senate in 1974, defeated in the Democratic primary, and practiced international law 1975-93. In 1993, at his 88th birthday celebration, President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

TLS to a Washington admirer on his 10 ½ x 7 ¼ law firm letterhead, Washington, February 19 1982, thanking his for his “generous comments” as to Fulbright’s Senate service. In a handwritten postscript, he adds: “you are indeed very generous in your kind words.” With envelope.”
Type: Letter

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