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Rayburn Goes Home to End His Days Among Friends and Neighbors

Oct. 31, 1961 - House Speaker Sam Rayburn (pictured last May) went home to Bonham, Texas by ambulance today. The Democratic leader had spent 30 days at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Exploratory surgery on Oct. 5 disclosed an incurable form of cancer. Today was gray and dreary as Mr. Rayburn left the hospital covered with a blanket. His face was thin and drawn and yellow-gray, a startling contrast to his once ruddy, healthy appearance. It was the first time in nearly a month that anyone except a few relatives and close friends had seen him. His eyes remained closed as the 60-mile trip began. John Holton, his assistant, said the decision to take Mr. Rayburn home recognized “the Speaker’s often-expressed desire to end his days among, in his words, ‘those friends and neighbors who for so long have given me a love and a loyalty unsurpassed in any annals.’”


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