Remembering a legend: US Senator John C. Stennis

STARKVILLE, Miss, (WCBI) – When he retired in 1989, John C. Stennis was the second-longest serving U.S. Senator and had never lost an election.

Today, his former Press Secretary was recounting his days working alongside one of the lions of the Senate to business and community leaders in Starkville.

Now retired, Rex Buffington also served as director at the Stennis Center at Mississippi State, named for his former boss.

In Stennis’s 41 years in the Senate, he served as the Chairman of a number of powerful committees, including Armed Services and Appropriations, and for a time was the President Pro-Tem of the Senate.

He was also instrumental in securing full funding to create the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Buffington said one of Stennis’s strengths was a positive outlook.

“He just had an incredibly powerful belief in the potential of people, and of our country, and he felt like that there was no problem that we had that could not be solved by working toward it, and there was nothing wrong with our country that couldn’t be fixed by what was right with our country,” said Buffington.

Among the lasting tributes to Stennis’s legacy are the Stennis Lock and Dam here in Columbus, and the Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier USS John C. Stennis.

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Categories: Local News, State News