Henry Thomas RAINEY Edit Profile
Rainey attended the public schools and Knox Academy and Knox College, Galesburg, Ill. He transferred to, and graduated from Amherst College in 1883 and then the Union College of Law, in Chicago which he graduated in 1885.
He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1903 to 1921 and from 1923 to his death as a Democrat from Illinois, and was its Speaker during the famous Hundred days of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, and the last Speaker of the House born before the Civil War. Early years
He was admitted to the bar in 1885 and commenced practice in Carrollton, Ill. Political career
Rainey was appointed master in chancery for Greene County, Ill., from 1887 until 1895, when he resigned, and returned to private practice.
He then decided to return to politics in 1902 getting elected to Congress and serving for nine terms before losing to Guy L. Shaw in 1920. Leadership
Due to the Great Depression, the Republican party lost its majority in a landslide, and, with John Nance Garner elevated to the Speakership, Rainey ran for, and defeated John McDuffie for the Majority leadership. McDuffie remained as Whip.
Speaker of the House
With Speaker Garner having been inaugurated Vice President on March 4, 1933, Rainey, being next in line, was elected Speaker of the House when President Roosevelt called a special session of Congress two days later. Rainey gave the Roosevelt administration carte blanche to do whatever it wanted, allowing almost the entire New Deal to be passed with little or no changes. More reforms were passed during the regular session starting December.
Rainey died of a heart attack the following summer, before the new Congress could meet.
Member: Elks; Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Knights of Pythias.; Modern Woodmen of America. Re6.: Carrollton, 111.
Married Ella McBride, June 27, 1889.