Frank Church

Born Jul 25, 1924

Frank Forrester Church III was an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Senator from Idaho from 1957 to 1981. Church was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 1976 presidential election, losing to Jimmy Carter. He is known for heading the Church Committee, which investigated abuses in the U.S. intelligence agencies.… Read More

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1924 Birth Born on July 25, 1924.


1940 15 Years Old In his youth, Church admired William E. Borah, who represented Idaho in the U.S. Senate from 1907 to 1940.
1941 16 Years Old As a junior in 1941, he won the American Legion National Oratorical Contest. … Read More
Church graduated from Boise High School in 1942, where he served as student body president.
1944 19 Years Old He was commissioned a second lieutenant on his 20th birthday in 1944 and served as a military intelligence officer in the China-Burma-India theater.


1946 21 Years Old Following his discharge in 1946, he returned to Stanford to complete his education, receiving his bachelor's degree in history in 1947, with Phi Beta Kappa honors.
1947 22 Years Old In June 1947 he married Bethine Clark, daughter of Chase Clark, a former Democratic governor of Idaho and the federal judge for the state. … Read More
1950 25 Years Old In 1950, Church graduated from Stanford Law School and returned to Boise to practice law and teach public speaking at the junior college. … Read More
1952 27 Years Old Church became an active Democrat in Idaho and after an unsuccessful try for the state legislature in 1952, he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1956. … Read More


1957 32 Years Old 1 More Event
Upon entering the Senate in January 1957, Church made the mistake of voting on a measure against the wishes of Democratic Majority Leader, Lyndon Johnson, and Johnson punished Church by all but ignoring him for the next six months. … Read More
1964 39 Years Old Recently declassified documents show that the young veteran also challenged his mentor, behind closed doors, after the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, making this prescient warning: "In a democracy you cannot expect the people, whose sons are being killed and who will be killed, to exercise their judgment if the truth is concealed from them."


1967 42 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1967, a recall campaign was waged against Church by Ron Rankin, a Republican county commissioner in Kootenai County in northern Idaho. … Read More
1970 45 Years Old 1 More Event
He was the co-author of two legislative efforts to curtail the war: the Cooper–Church Amendment of 1970, and the Case–Church Amendment of 1973.
1972 47 Years Old …  He was also the primary proponent in the establishment of the Sawtooth Wilderness and National Recreation Area in central Idaho in 1972. … Read More
1974 49 Years Old …  In 1974, Church joined Senator Frank Moss, D-Utah, to sponsor the first legislation to provide federal funding for hospice care programs. … Read More


1975 50 Years Old In late 1975 and early 1976, a sub-committee of the U.S. Senate led by Church concluded that members of the Lockheed board had paid members of friendly governments to guarantee contracts for military aircraft in a series of illegal bribes and contributions made by Lockheed officials from the late 1950s to the 1970s. … Read More
1976 51 Years Old 1 More Event
Church was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 1976 presidential election, losing to Jimmy Carter. … Read More
1980 55 Years Old …  The latter position proved to be widely unpopular in Idaho and led to the formation of the "Anybody But Church Committee" (ABC), committee created by the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC), based in Washington, D.C. ABC and NCPAC had no formal connection with the 1980 Senate campaign of conservative Republican congressman Steve Symms, which permitted them, under former Federal election law, to spend as much as they could raise to defeat Church. … Read More
1981 56 Years Old His papers, originally given to his alma mater Stanford University in 1981, were transferred to Boise State University at his request in 1984. … Read More
1983 58 Years Old Church received an honorary doctorate from Pennsylvania's Elizabethtown College in 1983 to honor his work for the American people during his career in public office.
1984 59 Years Old 1 More Event
It was renamed the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in 1984, shortly after the diagnosis of his pancreatic cancer.


1984 60 Years Old Died on April 7, 1984.
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