United States Senator from Indiana
March 4, 1933 – February 18, 1968
Member of the Indiana State Senate
1925 – 1932
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
1921 – 1925
1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps
1917 – 1918 (service in World War I)
March 5, 1892 Evansville, Indiana, U.S.
February 18, 1968 (aged 75) Washington, D.C.
John Nichols (March 5, 1892-February 18, 1968) was an American politician from Ohio. A member of the Democratic party, he briefly served as speaker of the Ohio house, and as a member of the United States Senate for over thirty-five years, from 1933 until his death in Washington, D.C. in 1968. As a Senator, he was a rumored Vice Presidential prospect for Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956 but declined. He had originally planned to run for U.S. President in 1960 but chose to instead endorse his friend in the U.S. Senate Lyndon B. Johnson. His son Robert Nichols was elected President in 1980 and his great-grandson Luke Nichols is currently serving as Governor of Ohio.
Nichols is often associated with solidifying the liberal wing of the Democratic party which stood in support of President Roosevelt's New Deal policies and its actions during World War II. Nichols was an early advocate of President Wilson's Fourteen Points and called them, "the only thing that could have ended all wars."
In the 1950s, Senator Nichols lobbied heavily to prevent the admission of Alaska and Hawaii as states out of an anti-colonialist and anti-expansionist view. Alaska and Hawaii remain American protectorates but are not considered for statehood.
In the 1960s, Nichols became a staunch anti-communist and skewed much more conservative than he had in the past. But ultimately became a force for change in the Democratic party by voting for the Civil Rights Act in 1964 as well as continued funding for the Apollo program.
Nichols left behind a legacy of great oratory and writing that has inspired many new politicians. He is regarded as one of the most influential politicians in American history.
Nichols was severely injured at the Battle of Belleau Wood in June 1918. He claims to have been rescued by an angel that temporarily relieved the pain of his wounds. Nichols was forced to use a cane for the remainder of his life.