Rivers, Lucius Mendel
“R” is for Rivers, Lucius Mendel [1905-1970]. Congressman. Rivers successfully passed the bar exam by reading law. In 1933 he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and served until 1936 when he went to work for the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1940 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was re-elected fifteen times with only minor opposition. He was appointed to the Naval Affairs Committee, headed by Carl Vinson of Georgia. In Congress, Rivers developed a career as a staunch supporter of national defense, increased military spending, and the establishment of a nuclear navy. During his years in Congress, the First Congressional District was a major benefactor of military spending. Following Vinson’s retirement in 1965, Lucius Mendel Rivers became the chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, a position he held until his death.