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Melvin Maas

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Title: Melvin Maas  
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Subject: Godfrey G. Goodwin, Frank Clague, Arlen Erdahl, Chip Cravaack, United States congressional delegations from Minnesota
Collection: 1898 Births, 1964 Deaths, American Roman Catholics, Blind People from the United States, Burials at Arlington National Cemetery, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota, Minnesota Republicans, Naval Aviators, People from Chevy Chase, Maryland, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, United States Marine Corps Generals, United States Marine Corps Reservists, United States Naval Aviators, University of Minnesota Alumni
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Melvin Maas

Melvin Maas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1927 – March 3, 1933
Preceded by Oscar Keller
Succeeded by District inactive
In office
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1945
Preceded by District inactive
Succeeded by Frank Starkey
Personal details
Born Melvin Joseph Maas
(1898-05-14)May 14, 1898
Duluth, Minnesota
Died April 14, 1964(1964-04-14) (aged 65)
Bethesda, Maryland
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Political party Republican
Alma mater St. Thomas College
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1918-1952
Rank Major General
Battles/wars World War I

Melvin Joseph Maas (May 14, 1898 – April 14, 1964) was a U.S. Representative from Minnesota.


Melvin Joseph Maas was born in Duluth, Minnesota, May 14, 1898. He moved with his parents to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1898. Educated in the public schools, he graduated from St. Thomas College at St. Paul in 1919 and also attended the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. He worked in the insurance business.

During the World War I, Maas served in the aviation branch of the United States Marine Corps in 1918 and 1919. He left active duty in 1925 and served in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring on August 1, 1952 at the rank of major general.

Maas was elected as a Republican to the 70th, 71st, and 72nd Congresses (March 4, 1927 – March 3, 1933). He ran unsuccessfully for renomination in 1932.

On December 13, 1932, a 25-year-old department store clerk from Pennsylvania pulled a gun in the House visitors' gallery and demanded to be allowed to address the House. As members fled the chamber, Maas stood his ground and shouted to the man that no one was allowed to speak in the House while carrying a weapon and demanded that he throw it down. The man did so, was promptly arrested, and escorted from the House Chamber by police. For this act of courage, Maas received the Carnegie Medal.

He was re-elected to the 74th, 75th, 76th, 77th, and 78th Congresses (January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1945). Maas served in the South Pacific as a colonel in the United States Marine Corps from 1942 to 1942 while still a Member of Congress. He again was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1944 to the 79th Congress.

Maas was special advisor to the House Naval Affairs Committee in 1946. From 1947 to 1951, he was assistant to the chairman of the board of the Sperry Corporation in New York City.

In 1949, he became a member of the President’s Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped; he served as chairman from 1954 to 1964. He had been stricken with total blindness in August 1951.[1]

Maas was a resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland until his death in Bethesda, Maryland on April 13, 1964. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Correspondence, reports, photographs, diaries, and professional papers are available for research use.[2]


  1. ^ A gunman in the House Gallery in 1932. Office of the Historian.
  2. ^ Melvin J. Mass Papers
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Oscar Keller
U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 4th congressional district
1927 – 1933
Succeeded by
At large on a General ticket:
Henry M. Arens, Ray P. Chase, Theodore Christianson, Einar Hoidale, Magnus Johnson, Harold Knutson, Paul John Kvale, Ernest Lundeen, Francis Shoemaker
Preceded by
At large on a General ticket:
Henry M. Arens, Ray P. Chase, Theodore Christianson, Einar Hoidale, Magnus Johnson, Harold Knutson, Paul John Kvale, Ernest Lundeen, Francis Shoemaker
U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 4th congressional district
1935 – 1945
Succeeded by
Frank Starkey
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