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Blitch, Iris Faircloth

Politician Iris Faircloth Blitch was born in Vidalia, Georgia on April 25, 1912. She attended the University of Georgia and South Georgia College before marrying in 1929. During the 1930s she and her husband ran successful businesses involving naval stores, pulpwood, and livestock. She served in the Georgia Senate (1946-47), Georgia House (1948-49), and again in the Senate (1952-1954). In the early 1950s, she also worked as secretary of the Georgia Democratic executive committee and was a Georgia delegate on the National Democratic Committee. In 1954, Blitch was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s Eight District, serving four consecutive terms. In 1956, she joined Georgia’s congressional delegation and legislators from other states in signing the “Southern Manifesto,” pledging to work toward undoing the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision. She also worked to protect the jute industry in her district from foreign competitors, and defended the use of the comic strip character Pogo in a government pamphlet for parents concerned with television viewing habits. Failing health prevented Blitch from running again in 1962; in 1964 she announced she was switching parties to support Barry Goldwater for president. Blitch retired from public, political life, living on St. Simons Island until 1988, when she moved to San Diego, California, where she died on August 19, 1993.

Blitch, Iris Faircloth View large image

Source: National Archives