March 13, 1972
Vol. XI, No. 1

Carl Hayden: Quiet History Maker

If the course of history is not preordained and is, instead, altered by strong leaders, Carl Hayden must be recorded as one of those who shaped events.

It has been said that his life spanned the Appaloosa to Apollo 15. He carried memories of the Civil War and Custer's Last Stand. When he was a youth the population of the U.S. was only a fourth of what it is now, the first airplane had not yet flown, the first gas engine had not yet turned, the electric street car and automobile were not yet on the streets and movies, radio, penicillin and atomic energy were decades away.

But Carl Hayden was not content to watch the changes sweep the land -- he wanted to and did in large measure help guide this nation during a period of fantastic development and sometimes agonizing stress.

These pages are very little space to do justice to the career of this man who served 57 years in the U.S. Congress. But I wanted to share some thoughts with my newsletter readers because I think there are important lessons to be learned from his life.


Perhaps he achieved so much because he was a doer, not a talker. "When you have the votes, don't talk," he'd advise. He often said that in Congress there are workhorses and showhorses. Himself a workhorse, even near the end of his career he outworked his staff.

He grew up with a nation, and particularly a West, that needed building and he set out to help build it. Efficient roads, numerous dams, military bases, and his triumph, the Central Arizona Project, are or will be Hayden's stamps on the American landscape. As John F. Kennedy said:

Every Federal program which has contributed to western irrigation, power and reclamation bears Carl Hayden's stamp.

Let us trace those years during which the young workhorse from Arizona grew into one of the most powerful men in government.


Hayden was born October 2, 1877 at Hayden's Ferry, Arizona. Hayden's Ferry later became Tempe, home of Arizona State University where Hayden spent his last years.

His first and only childhood hero was his father, Charles, a Yankee trader from Connecticut. In 1848

this enterprising man loaded ox-teams with a stock of goods and left Independence, Mo., to establish a store in Santa Fe. For the next 15 years he traded down the Rio Grande and as far away as Chihuahua in Mexico. The Apaches were still a danger then and an 1863 Army message reported:
In May, Charles T. Hayden, citizen, reports that Indians attacked his train near the line of Chihuahua; they were defeated with a loss of 11 killed, including the renowned Copiggan. Three horses were captured in this fight."

Most of Carl's young life was spent around the Hayden farm, on a bluff over the Salt River in Tempe. He went to Tempe public schools and graduated from Arizona Territorial Normal School in 1896.


His father, a well-educated man, decided Carl should go to Stanford University. Carl later reminisced about his college years:

In September, when I presented my Normal School records to the Registrar, he informed me that I had only eight entrance credits and 12 were required for admission to the University. He then softened the blow by saying that I would be permitted to register as a special student and that I could remain as long as I made a passing grade in all my classes, every hour, every semester.

It is needless to say that I did not take Latin, Greek or mathematics. I devoted my time to courses in economics, history and English. The only exception was a course in elementary geology. . .

I came to the University wearing a cowboy hat and corduroy trousers. I lived in Encina Hall and nobody paid any attention to me. After some time, I wrote to my mother saying that if she wanted her boy to look like other boys she would have to send me some money. When it came, I went to San Francisco, where I obtained skin-tight pants, high roll-down collars, and all the other things that a young man then should wear. Immediately afterwards, I received invitations to visit fraternity houses, all of which were declined. I remained a "barbarian" so long as I was a member of the student body.

When I came to the University I weighed about 130 pounds so I went to the gym to build up my weight. . .I tried the track, but my legs were too short to be a sprinter or a hurdler. I later got on the football second team where I played center. In time, I weighed 180 pounds.

In my junior year, I played in a practice game against the Olympic Athletic Club in San Francisco. The opposing center was a big bull-necked man. When I had my head down as I passed the ball to the quarterback, he placed his big hands on my head and twisted my neck. So, when his head was down, I hit it with my knee and knocked him groggy. I then reflected on his ancestry and told him that

he must play like a gentleman.

After that, we got along very well and at the end of the game, when I went to the showers, I asked who was that fellow who played against me. To my surprise, I then learned that he was Jack Monroe, who had fought in Butte, Montana, with Jim Jeffries, who soon afterwards became the heavyweight world champion prize fighter.

Antony Henry Suzzalo, who afterwards became President of the Washington State University, was for a time my roommate in Encina. We were members of a Debating Society, and were chosen to represent Stanford in both the Intercollegiate and Carnot Debates. He was a natural orater and I doubt if I could have made either of them without his help.

In 1899 1 came home for Christmas. My father became ill and passed away in February, 1900. I had to take charge of his flour mill, general merchandise store, and some farm properties so I could not return to Stanford. Later, I had an opportunity to turn over the mill at a good rental which made it possible for my mother to go to Palo Alto with my two sisters who became students at the University.

Stanford remembered its famous Arizona alumnus in 1967 with the Herbert Hoover Medal for Distinguished Service. During his lifetime Carl Hayden was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Arizona and from Arizona State University.


Charles Hayden had been a very popular man in Phoenix and thus he left his son with a valuable political legacy.

Carl Hayden was easily elected to the Tempe Town Council in 1902, was treasurer of Maricopa County in 1904 and Maricopa County sheriff in 1906. The Haydens, both father and son, knew that if you wanted to get ahead in Arizona politics in those days you had to be a Democrat. Carl recalled his first Democratic National Convention:

In 1904, I was selected at a Territorial Convention in Tucson to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in St. Louis, to nominate a candidate for President. I was made the Chairman of the delegation and performed my duty by standing on a chair and saying in a loud tone of voice, "Arizona casts four votes for William Randolph Hearst."

Hayden admitted he did not quite fit the stereotype of the frontier sheriff:

I never shot at anyone and nobody ever shot at me. About the nearest I ever came to shooting was the day I identified a horse thief who was supposed to be badly wanted in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

I found him standing at a bar. I stuck my gun in his back, took his pistol away from him. To give me time to notify law officers in the other states the justice of the peace put him in jail for 10 days on a concealed weapons charge. They weren't interested enough to come and get him, so I turned him loose at the end of 10 days. I told him that as long as he didn't steal any horses in Arizona it was all right with me.


Meanwhile, Hayden had joined the National Guard

and soon rose to the rank of captain. While training at Camp Perry in 1911, Hayden read in a newspaper that President Taft declared that as soon as Arizona adopted a constitution, it could become a state. Hayden decided to seek Arizona's only congressional seat. He visited all his guard friends across the state as well as all the county courthouses and sheriff's offices and concluded his campaign with a rally in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Gazette showed prophetic wisdom in an editorial in support of Hayden's candidacy:

Carl Hayden will make the best Congressman that Arizona will ever send to Washington. A man of sterling character, sound convictions and dominating personality, Hayden will make himself known in the halls of Congress. . . Hayden is a born fighter and he will not allow the interest of the new state to be overlooked. . .

Hayden has tramped over Arizona from the Grand Canyon to the tropic land of Santa Cruz. He knows the mineral wealth; the timber wealth. He knows the ranges over which browse the lazy herds of sheep and cattle. Hayden knows the needs of every county and knows them well."

Hayden received 11,556 votes and his Republican opponent, Jack Williams of Tombstone, received 8,485. Women and Indians didn't vote then, which accounts for the relatively small turnout.

In February of 1912 Hayden came to Washington and later recounted the first piece of political advice he ever heard on Capitol Hill:

Without any legislative experience, I became a Member of the House of Representatives on February 9, 1912. When Congress was about to adjourn, Dorsey W. Shackelford, a Member of Missouri, gave me some good advice by saying: "When you go home you will be a Congressman; but you have not yet learned how to be one. Shake hands as you go along the streets, but if anyone stops to ask you about some piece of legislation, say that you must go on to keep an appointment. If you stop and talk to him, he will soon find out that you do not know any more than he does."


Hayden made his first speech in Congress on March 11, 1912. In a simple yet eloquent style he argued in favor of more federal expenditures for national forest fire fighting. Hayden told his colleages:

As I understand it, Mr. Chariman, the primary purpose of the Forest Service is fire protection. If the forests burn, there will be no timber to sell, the regular flow of the streams will be diminished, and the value of the reserves for grazing purposes will also be cut down. The secondary purpose of the Forest Service is to make the resources of the forest available for use, such as the sale of timber, the granting of grazing permits, and the disposal of water power, and a great variety of other special uses. We may honestly disagree about the methods used by the Forest Service in carrying out its secondary purpose. . .But I do believe that here is one thing upon which the whole American people are agreed, and that is that the remaining forests of the United States should be protected from the needless and preventable waste caused by the ravages of fire. . .When you reduce this appropriation you are cutting at the very heart of the conservation idea.

In 1912, Hayden introduced his first bill -- to authorize construction of a railroad to Fort Huachuca, a historic frontier cavalry post. Today, Fort Huachuca is headquarters of the worldwide U.S. Army Strategic Communications Command and the site of other important Army organizations including the Intelligence School, Combat Surveillance and Electronic Warfare School, Electronic Proving Ground, Combat Developments Command Intelligence Agency, and the Security Agency Test and Evaluation Center.

Hayden fondly remembered the first President he served under:

William Howard Taft. . .was a kindly man, and put me at ease when I went to the White House to see him. I have often thought that if his son, Senator Robert Taft, had been fortunate enough to inherit his father's friendly manner, he might have become the Presidential candidate that he so much wanted to be.

That same year, 1912, Hayden supported Champ Clark for the Democratic presidential nomination. But he greatly admired the party's and the nation's choice -- Woodrow Wilson. Hayden was a trusted supporter of Wilsonian domestic policies and he also went to bat for the President over the League of Nations.

Always an advocate of national preparedness, when World War I broke, Congressman Hayden joined with three of his colleagues to defy an Executive Order forbidding Members of Congress to volunteer for military service and was sent to Camp Lewis, Wash., as a battalion commander. Armistice came, however, before his unit completed training and he did not go overseas. In a speech to Congress at the end of the war he said:

I pray that the result of this war will be a peace so just and so profound that the American people will not be called upon to endure even the most democratic form of conscription.

Returning to domestic concerns in 1919, Hayden sponsored the 19th amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage for women. He was author of the language stipulating that rights enjoyed by women at the time of adoption would not be nullified or abridged as a result of suffrage. In the same year, he was the sponsor and floor manager of the bill which established Grand Canyon National Park.

Hayden was learning in Congress that politics is quite accurately called the "art of the possible." He learned that legislation is a compromise; that there must be give and take to accomplish anything.


One of the projects for which Hayden worked hardest was the Central Arizona Project, a dream he had had since the 1920s. He was convinced that Arizona's prosperity and growth depended on getting the water of the Colorado River into the central part of the state. Other states laid claim to those waters and in an effort to work out a compromise Hayden proposed a gathering of the states involved. He said:

If the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada,
New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming can agree upon an equitable division of the waters of the Colorado River, and that agreement is ratified by Congress, it is certain that much litigation will be obviated.

As it turned out, the states did devise a plan to divide the waters of the Colorado River and signed what is known as the Colorado River Compact in 1922. But the only state which refused to ratify the compact was Arizona, the result of Governor Hunt's pledge to block it. Hayden was a slow man to anger but he was angry over this one. Though he went before the legislature and pleaded for ratification, it was not until 1944 that Arizona finally ratified the compact. After the Arizona-California Supreme Court decision and congressional passage, Carl Hayden's dream of 1921 became a reality on September 30, 1968. As I wrote in 1967:

Senator Hayden has practically made a career of trying to pass the Central Arizona Project, a reclamation undertaking which would enable Arizona to utilize its legal share of the waters of the Colorado River. After many years of effort and passage twice by the Senate this project was delayed in 1951 with a demand in the House that Arizona go to the Supreme Court to prove its right to certain waters of the Colorado. For 12 years Arizona fought that case, and in 1963 Arizona won.

For an octogenarian, now turned nonagenarian, Senator Hayden has shown amazing energy in advancing Arizona's cause in the 4 years since the Supreme Court handed down its decision. He has devoted long hours to negotiations, hearings, writing, and rewriting sections of the bill, entertaining new approaches, conferring with the administration and leaders of the various Western States. He has displayed a capacity for work that a man half his age could be proud of.


During those long years between the suggestion of a CAP and final passage of the bill, Carl Hayden continued to make congressional history. By 1926, his name was so sure a shot in politics that he easily won the senatorial primary. He was elected to the Senate for the term commencing March 4, 1927 and reelected in 1932, 1938, 1944, 1950, 1956 and again in 1962 for the term ending January 2, 1969.

During his Senate years, Hayden never voted for cloture to cut off debate. He successfully used the filibuster himself, along with Senator Henry Ashurst. They labored successfully for a month in 1927 and two weeks in 1928 against the Boulder Canyon Project Act to protect Arizona's Colorado River water rights and to obtain power from Hoover Dam.

Hayden was an internationalist and a strong influence in the New Deal. In 1934 he traveled to the Philippines and Asia and reported to the Senate on Philippine independence and Japanese war buildup.

As the New Deal tried to get the country moving again, Hayden's role was considerable. For example, he recalled:

I was then the Chairman of a Senate Committee which authorized appropriations for Federal aid to the States for the construction of highways, which the states were required to match. At the White House I suggested to the

President that a great way to provide the much-needed employment would be to make highway construction funds available without requiring the States to match the money. He wanted to know what it would cost and I said $400 million. He then asked how I had arrived at that figure and I said that I had telegraphed to all of the State Highway Departments, asking how much they could spend. President Roosevelt then said, "Go tell Bob Wagner to put it in the relief bill," which the Senator from New York did.

In 1939, he sponsored legislation authorizing government insured loans to farmers -- Farmers Home Administration.

In those years preceding 1939, Hayden tried to alert Americans to the threat of Naziism. In March 1935 he could be heard on the Senate floor arguing against military appropriations cuts and arguing for new military installations, new warships and for increasing the size of the regular Army. When World War II was finally drawing to a close Hayden successfully sponsored and helped secure passage of the World War II Veterans Readjustment Act -- the GI bill of rights.

In January 1957 and for the next 12 years Hayden was President pro tempore of the Senate, third in line for the Presidency. And his last 30 years in the Senate were served as a Member of the Appropriations Committee, the final 14 years as chairman.

Interviewed by The Arizona Republic in 1967, Hayden had some insightful comments on the functioning of government:

Sen. Hayden is undismayed by the growth of the federal budget. There are more people, he says, and people demand services and create problems. They cost money.

Therefore, looking ahead from his 57 years as a law maker, Hayden says the total figure on yearly appropriation measures will be bigger.

This does not necessarily, he cautions, indicate that the per capita expenditure is higher, or that the federal government is spending more and more of what the people produce.

On the contrary, as a percentage of the Gross National Product -- the total production of the economy each year -- the federal budget might be said to be getting smaller.

Are they productive capital expenditures like public roads, flood control projects or other types of tangible things needed and wanted by the people? If so, he is for them.

Are they valuable programs which benefit the whole nation? He cites the postwar "GI Bill of Rights" with its educational aid for veterans as an example, since it provided the country with skilled and scientifically trained manpower not otherwise available.

The appropriations process is one of immense complexity and subjects committee Members to the strongest pressures. Yet Senator Hayden thrived on the work and on his 90th birthday was still setting a stiff pace. Aides used to complain that the Senator worked from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 7 days a week.


Although there was no deterioration in the Senator's mental facilities, he suffered some major reverses to his

physical well-being. His wife's death in 1961 after 53 years of marriage came as a tremendous blow to the Senator. Following Nan's death, Hayden contracted a stubborn flu and then a debilitating intestinal condition. But he recovered almost completely, ran for reelection and won by 30,000 votes in 1962.

Came the spring of 1968, a new election year, and Carl Hayden did much soul searching. He wanted to return to Arizona for the remainder of his life and he didn't believe he could perform his duties as Senator as effectively as he would want to. I was touched by his words:

Among the other things that 56 years in the House and Senate have taught me, is that contemporary events need contemporary men. Time actually makes specialists of us all. When a house is built, there is a moment for the foundation, another for the walls, the roof and so on.

Arizona's foundation includes fast highways, adequate electric power, and abundant water, and these foundations have been laid. It is time now for a new building crew to report, so I have decided to retire from office at the close of my term this year.

I would now like to tell the people of Arizona how deeply grateful I am for the lifetime of rewarding service. You have elected me to represent you for over a half-century in the Congress. You have given me the opportunity to serve with 10 Presidents; take a front row seat at the most important events in mankind's greatest century; and to vote on and help fashion the legislation that helped build a state and nation. . .

To my friends and supporters, I can only say, "Thank you." Your trust in me and your help is the highest tribute a man can have. To the memory of friends no longer with us, I can only say that "I remember" in the fullest of my heart.

Well, the Old Testament has said it best, so I will use it in modified form to close: there is a time of war, and a time of peace, a time to keep, and a time to cast away, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to stand, and a time to step aside.

So he returned to his Arizona and to "retirement". Though troubled by failing health the old workhorse spent much time during his final years at work in an Arizona State University Library office.

Carl Hayden spoke infrequently during his long career. But when he spoke, people listened. My own association with him has been one of the most valuable and memorable experiences of my life. I wholeheartedly agree with the words of Barry Goldwater:

There are no words of any eloquence which I could use to express my respect for this lifelong friend -- both words and eloquence have been exhausted. Let me put it this way; whenever my service in Congress is terminated I hope that my service to my country and my state equals a small fraction of what Carl Hayden has provided in both areas.

Previous Report: September 15, 1971 -- The Right to Write: Some Suggestions on Writing Your Congressman
Next Report: April 17, 1972 -- Is The System Working? Six Thousand Arizonans Sound Off

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