August 16, 1869
Born on this day in Eufaula, Stanley Dent began his political career a few years after moving to Montgomery in 1899. In 1902, Gov. William Jelks appointed Dent as prosecuting attorney for Montgomery County. Dent then ran successfully as a Democrat for Congress in 1908, and would hold the Second District seat until losing a re-election bid in 1920. As chairman of the Military Affairs Committee during World War I, Dent opposed President Woodrow Wilson’s proposal for universal conscription. Dent believed instead in voluntary enlistment and pushed legislation to authorize the president to call for 500,000 volunteers, another 500,000 if required, register men ages 19 to 25 and draft up to 500,000 more only if the Army did not have enough volunteers. The Senate removed the volunteer stipulation and moved ahead with selective service. Dent resumed practicing law after his departure from Congress, and died in 1938.
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