Henry M. Jackson High School was named after Senator JacksonHenry Martin Jackson was born in Everett, Washington on May 31, 1912. He died there on September 1, 1983 at age 71. When he died he was the senior United States Senator from the State of Washington and had served in Congress for nearly 43 years.
The son of Norwegian immigrants, Senator Jackson went to school in Everett and he graduated in 1930 from Everett High School. He developed a reputation for diligence as the carrier for the Everett Daily Herald. His sister nicknamed him "Scoop" because she thought he resembled a comic strip character who managed to get others to do his work for him.
Senator Jackson attended the University of Washington and received his law degree from the University's law school in 1935. He was admitted to the Washington bar and began practice with an Everett law firm. He announced his candidacy for prosecuting attorney of Snohomish County in 1938. After what was then an innovative door-to-door campaign, he was elected to the prosecutors office at the age of 26. He remained in public life until his death.
As prosecuting attorney, Henry Jackson was strongly against bootleggers and gamblers. He made it a point to prosecute those who did not obey the law. That set the stage for his election to Congress in 1940 from Washington's Second District. He played an influential role on issues of particular interest to the West like public lands reclamation and hydroelectric power development.
In the House of Representatives, he became a specialist in Military Affairs and Nuclear energy.
During World War II he served in the Army as an enlisted man until he was recalled to his Congressional duties by President Roosevelt. At the close of the war he accompanied U.S. troops as they liberated the survivors of Buchenwald.
Henry Jackson was reelected five times to the House of Representatives and in 1952, he challenged Senator Harry P. Cain for his seat. Despite the Eisenhower landslide he won by plurality of 135,000 votes.
In more than 30 years in the Senate, Jackson was deeply involved in the major issues of American political life, from the drama of Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 to the fight for Soviet peace in the 1970's. He became an acknowledged authority on national security, energy and environmental issues.
From 1963 to 1980, Senator Henry Jackson served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Interior Affairs. He played a leading role in the conservation legislation of the 1960's and the energy legislation of the 1970's. Senator Jackson was the author of the Alaska and Hawaii Statehood Acts and to the landmark National Environmental Policy Act.
Jackson also served as a member of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and the Armed Services Committee for many years. He was the ranking Democratic member of the Armed Services Committe until his death.
Through all his years in Congress, Senator Jackson would be almost unchanging on his views. A social liberal on domestic issues, a stern adversary of the Soviet Union in foreign policy, a great friend of Israel, a man often viewed by Americans, as well as Russians, as a dangerous saber rattler.
Jackson and Helen Hardin met in a Senate elevator in January, 1961. He was a notoriously shy, 49-year-old bachelor. She was 29, the receptionist in the Senate office of a Jackson friend, Clinton Anderson of New Mexico. They were married later that year and honeymooned in Hawaii.
A capacity crowd of 1,500 jammed the Everett Civic Auditorium as Senator Henry Jackson was mourned and praised, but mostly missed in the the town of his birth, his life and his death at the age of 71.
Robert M. Humphrey stated that "He thought Senator Jackson got his love for the mountains and streams and that he fought to protect during his long life in Washington. He was an environmentalist long before it became fashionable."