In the scope of world history, 1933 was a big year. It was the year that North Dakota state Rep. Minnie D. Craig became the very first female in the country to become Speaker of the House. It was the year that German president Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as chancellor and the year that he dissolved Parliament. In 1933, the first issues of Newsweek and Esquire magazine were published and President-elect Franklin Roosevelt survived an assassination attempt. The gold standard was abolished in 1933, as were trade unions in Germany. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was created and the Golden Gate Bridge was completed. In London, 500,000 people marched against anti-Semitism. FDR created the Civil Works Administration and Albert Einstein escaped from Nazi Germany and came to the United States. Prohibition ended and the Lone Ranger began on radio.
And on June 9, 1933, in Meridian, California, Donald Edwin Young was born. After serving in the U.S. Army’s 41st Tank Battalion and after college, Young made his way to Alaska, where he taught in a 25-student BIA school house. He also captained his own tug and barge and delivered supplies to villages along the Yukon. He met his wife Lu in Fort Yukon. They were married for 46 years.
Young was elected to the House in 1973, and he hasn’t lost a race yet. He is fourth in House seniority overall and is the longest serving Republican in the House.
He’s ornery. Cantankerous. Shrewd. And I’ve heard told that he can even be kind. One thing’s for sure: he knows how to win.
He’s spending his birthday in D.C. with one of two daughters and three of 14 grandchildren.
His staff fed him cupcakes.