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Henry Styles Bridges Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Henry Styles Bridges passes away in 1961.

Henry Styles Bridges was an American politician.

Bridges was born on September 9th, 1898 in West Pembroke, Maine. He attended local public schools and then went on to the University of Maine until 1918. After leaving college, he had a variety of jobs including teaching, newspaper editing and state government.

In 1934, Bridges ran for Governor of New Hampshire. With his election he was the youngest Governor in the United States at the time. He served only two years.

In 1936, Bridges was elected to the United States Senate he served there until 1961. In 1940 he attempted to win the Republican nomination for President, when he failed he attempted unsuccessfully to win the nomination for Vice President. During his time in the Senate, Bridges served as Senate Minority Leader and President Pro Temore of the United States Senate.

What Bridges is most well known in the Senate for is his association with Senator Joseph McCarthy. He was one of McCarthy's staunchest defenders and was one of only 22 Senators who voted against McCarthy's censure during the "red scare" Communist trials and for the so-called "lavender scare" when those same tactics were aimed at homosexuals. Bridges was also an active participant in the harassment of Senator Lester C. Hunt Sr. Senator Hunt's son was arrested for soliciting sex from a male undercover police officer. Hunt stood in opposition to McCarthy and Bridges when it came to the "red scare." Bridges told Hunt if he didn't retire from the Senate immediately and not seek reelection he intended to reveal the fact Hunt's son was a homosexual. Bridges also threatened Roy Blick of the Morals Division of the Washington Police Department when Blick refused to prosecute the case. It is believed Hunt Sr. killed himself in his office because of the harassment.

Bridges passed away from a heart attack on November 26th, 1961.

Bridges was a member of Eureka Lodge, No. 70 in Concord, New Hampshire. He was also a member of Trinity Chapter No. 2, Royal Arch Masons, Mt. Horeb Commandery Knights Templar and Bektash Shrine Temple, all of which are in Concord as well.