March 19, 1928
Born on this day, John Hall Buchanan Jr. was a Republican representative in Congress from 1965 to 1981. He was a strong advocate of civic education, women’s rights and civil liberties and was the first Alabama congressman to promote diversity through hiring staff and nominating students to military academies regardless of race. Buchanan was born in Paris, Tennessee, in 1928 to John Hall and Ruby Lowrey Buchanan. He grew up in El Dorado, Union Springs, Arkansas and Birmingham before serving in the United States Navy from 1945 to 1946. He returned to Alabama to attend Samford University in Birmingham and received his B.A. in economics and history in 1949. He then studied economics at the University of Virginia and graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, with a doctorate in theology in 1957. Buchanan worked as a Baptist minister for 10 years in Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Moore of Birmingham, with whom he had two daughters.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s bicentennial, go to Alabama 200.