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Hoosiers Remember And Mourn Former Congressman

Last updated on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(STATEHOUSE) - The memorial service for former Indiana Congressman Andrew Jacobs will be Friday in the statehouse rotunda.

Visitation will begin at 10 am, followed by a service at noon.

Jacobs served a single term in the Indiana House before being elected in 1964 to the congressional seat his father, Andrew Sr., had held 14 years earlier. He went on to a 30-year career in Congress, interrupted by an election defeat to future Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut in 1972.

Indiana political analyst Brian Vargus says Jacobs' greatest achievement in Washington may have been his first, as part of the committee which drafted the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. He says President Lyndon Johnson singled out Jacobs' work for praise when he signed the bill.

Jacobs carved out an individualistic reputation in Congress as a fiscal hawk and military dove. The Korean War veteran was consistently skeptical of military action, and authored a book after leaving Congress, "The 1600 Killers," which blasted a succession of presidents for sending troops into harm's way without congressional approval.

Former Indiana Congressman Phil Sharp was first elected in 1974, the same year Jacobs returned to Congress. He recalls Jacobs was fiercely resistant to the perks of office, using only a fraction of his budget allocation for staff.

Jacobs himself used to tell the story of passing up a flight from Indianapolis to Washington as a congressman-elect because only first-class seats were available. The plane crashed and killed everyone on board.

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