As House Page Congressman Dingell Hunted Rats 'nearly as big as dogs' In Capitol Basement

Rep. John Dingell (D – MI), the longest serving U.S. Congressman, announced his retirement on Monday. The 87 year old Democratic Congressman served 29 terms and also served as a House Page from 1938 to 1941 before running for his dad’s seat 58 years ago. As one of the few members of Congress who participated in the recently ended House Page program, Dingell told Roll Call in 2006 that he hunted rats  “nearly as big as dogs” in the Capitol basement. In fact young “Jack” Dingell even kept a shotgun in his locker in the page school:

Dingell kept a shotgun in his locker in the page school (which from the 1930s to the late 1940s was housed in the Capitol Terrace) and would “walk in and out of the Capitol” with the gun en route to or from hunting excursions. Congressional pages, Dingell says, had a rifle team and used “to shoot over in the old NRA range behind Union Station.”

Known today as an avid hunter and gun enthusiast, Dingell sat on the board of the National Rifle Association for a period of time but eventually quit. However, he did receive the advocacy group’s highest rating.


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