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  American HistoryUnited States: General History and DescriptionEarly 20th Century, 1901-1960Dwight D. Eisenhower's Administration, 1953-1961

Lewis L. StraussLewis Lichtenstein Strauss

On November 13, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower named Lewis L. Strauss to replace Sinclair Weeks as Secretary of Commerce.

At the time of his nomination, Strauss had already rendered distinguished public service under three Presidents: in the Navy Department under Franklin Roosevelt, as an original member of the Atomic Energy Commission under Harry Truman, and as special adviser on atomic energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission under Eisenhower. Despite that service, Strauss' nomination stirred controversy. New Mexico Senator Clinton P. Anderson, and others, accused Strauss of having misled the Joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee on several occasions, of distorting his role in the Dixon-Yates Affair, and of giving evasive answers during his confirmation hearing. His nomination was barely confirmed by the Senate Commerce Committee (9 to 8) but the full Senate voted against confirmation on June 19, 1959 (49-46), the first rejection of a cabinet nominatio since 1925 and the first of any major appointment by President Eisenhower. The President thereupon promoted Undersecretary Frederick H. Mueller, who was confirmed without difficulty. Strauss' term as interim Secretary of Commerce officially ended with the swearing in of Mueller on June 30, 1959.

Left: Lewis L. Strauss in his office after being named interim Secretary of Commerce.

Secretary of Commerce
Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Truman

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  The Robinson Library > American History > United States: General History and Description > Early 20th Century, 1901-1960 > Dwight D. Eisenhower's Administration, 1953-1961

This page was last updated on February 26, 2016.

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