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Jackson, “Scoop” (Henry)

Jackson, “Scoop” [Henry] (1912–1983), U.S. senator.Born in Everett, Washington, Jackson was the son of working‐class Norwegian immigrants. As a young boy he sold newspapers, the source of his lifelong nickname, “Scoop.” After becoming a lawyer and county prosecutor, Jackson won election to the House of Representatives in 1940 as a Democrat, serving six terms before winning a Senate seat in 1952.

Between 1952 and his death of a heart attack in 1983, Jackson became one of the Senate's major champions of a strong military defense. In the late 1950s, he criticized the Eisenhower administration for neglecting defense and supported controversial claims of a “missile gap” with the Soviet Union. Deeply suspicious of the Soviets, Jackson opposed arms limitations, arguing against President John F. Kennedy's creation of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and voting reluctantly for the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Later, he opposed the Anti‐Ballistic Missile Treaty, and he extracted major concessions from the Nixon administration on the SALT arms control agreement. He opposed SALT II.

Jackson vigorously supported U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, beginning with Laos in 1962, and more particularly in Vietnam. He only reluctantly voted against PresidentGerald Ford's 1975 request for aid to South Vietnam, claiming the United States had been correct in entering the Vietnam War.

A ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee when he died, Jackson was known as a centrist Democrat, a lifetime liberal in civil rights and organized labor, a strong backer of Israel and Jewish immigration from the USSR, and a major supporter of the Boeing Aircraft Corporation, one of the largest employers in his state.
[See also Arms Control and Disarmament: Nuclear; SALT Treaties.]

Bibliography

Peter J. Ognibene , Scoop: The Life and Politics of Henry Jackson, 1975.

John Whiteclay Chambers II

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Jackson, Henry Martin Scoop

Henry Martin Scoop Jackson, 1912–83, American political leader, b. Everett, Wash. As a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1941–53) and Senate (1953–83) he was a supporter of organized labor, civil rights, the emigration of Soviet Jews, and a strong defense posture. He differed from many of his Democratic colleagues in his outspoken support of the Vietnam War. Jackson had a considerable impact on the conservative turn of politics in the 1970s and 80s, both through his own policy statements, and through the influence of his supporters and staffers, many of whom later supported President Ronald Reagan. Jackson made unsuccessful bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 and 1976.

See biography by P. J. Ognibene (1975).

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