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Celebrate Sam Rayburnís birthday at the Sam Rayburn House Museum Jan. 4
By Anne Ruppert, Sam Rayburn House Museum
Jan 4, 2014
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The Sam Rayburn House Museum will host an open house in celebration of Sam Rayburnís birthday on Saturday, January 4 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The birthday open house will feature free, themed tours. The tour theme will focus on the January 1946 events and activities in the life of Sam Rayburn and his sister Lucinda Rayburn. 

Sam Rayburn arrived home in Bonham for the holidays on Christmas Eve, 1945. He arrived at such a late date because Congress had worked up to that point on post-World War II legislation. During that holiday season Rayburn enjoyed decorating the familyís Christmas tree, opening gifts with family, and relaxing by the homeís fireplace.

Constituents and friends often dropped by the Rayburn home or called to pass along their Christmas greetings. A veteran, just released from service after World War II, stopped by the home with his wife and son so that the youngster could sit on ďMr. SamísĒ lap.

Rayburnís friend, Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson and his wife Roberta arrived in North Texas on the morning of January 3, 1946. The Secretary arrived in Denison at the Union Station via the Katy Texas Special.

Mr. and Mrs. Vinson were making their first visit to Rayburnís Fourth Congressional District. A small crowd met the Vinsonís at the train station. The group included Sam Rayburn, his sister Lucinda and brother Tom, Denison Mayor W.L. Ashburn Jr., Lake Texoma Manager Lee Simmons and Denison Postmaster J.R. Brown along with other friends from the region. 

That afternoon, Sam and Lucinda hosted an open house at their home in Bonham for members of the community. The open house had been announced in local newspapers such as the Bonham Daily Favorite and Denison Press. It was estimated that approximately 2,000 guests attended. Visitors, in their Sunday best, were greeted at the front door by Rayburn, sister Lucinda and Mr. and Mrs. Vinson. Later that evening the family provided a buffet supper for the Vinsonís and a few other close friends.

The next day, Friday, January 4, 1946, the Rayburnís and Vinsonís made the trek to Dallas. Lucinda was honored during a luncheon given by the Democratic Women of Dallas County that afternoon. Mrs. Vinson was an honored guest.

Later in the evening, the Democratic Women held a supper at the Hotel Adolphus in honor of Sam Rayburn in which Secretary of the Treasury Vinson was the featured speaker. The testimonial dinner was attended by notable Texans such as Attorney General Tom Clark and Congressmen Lyndon Johnson and Wright Patman. Nearly 1,000 admirers attended the banquet. President Truman, General of the Armies and Chief of Staff Dwight Eisenhower and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt all sent congratulatory messages to Rayburn for the occasion. The tributes and testimonials were a great source of pride for Rayburn and quite possibly aided in garnering votes for his re-election to Congress in November 1946.
Please join us on Saturday, January 4 as we look back at the events in Sam Rayburnís life from the early days of the year 1946. Along with free, themed tours the museum will also provide refreshments.

The Sam Rayburn House Museum tells the real story of Sam Rayburn, one of the most powerful and influential politicians of the 20th century, in his authentic 1916 home. Preserved as a period time capsule, the two-story home contains all original Rayburn furnishings. The Sam Rayburn House Museum is one of 20 historic attractions operated by the Texas Historical Commission. For more information visit www.visitsamrayburnhouse.com.