By Sarrah Peters
Gadsden resident and U.S. Congressman Albert McKinley Rains will be inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday, September 22. The induction will take place during a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at The Club in Birmingham. The public is invited, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, call reservation chair Rebecca Mason at 205-968-0967 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hall of Fame was created by Alabama legislature in 1987. The honoree plaques are displayed in Samford University’s Harwell G. Davis Library.
Rains was born in Grove Oak in Dekalb County in 1902. He attended Snead Seminary. He then taught at Jacksonville State University for three years, before deciding to continue his education. He went to law school at the University of Alabama. He then worked as a deputy solicitor for Etowah County, city attorney for Gadsden and a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. Before his term in Congress, he practiced law in Gadsden. From 1945 to 1965, he represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Gadsden. He returned to law in Gadsden after his terms. He remained active in community service. Rains died in 1991 at age 89.
Etowah County Probate Judge Bobby Junkins said that while he was in college he worked driving Rains around.
“Everybody loved him,” said Junkins. “He was known for his speeches. He had a voice like a million dollars.”
According to Samford University’s press release: “His legislative proposals expanded Federal Housing Administration programs that made housing affordable and available for millions of persons. Other programs that bear his legislative imprint include housing for the elderly, urban renewal and redevelopment, nursing homes and rural housing programs. He wrote the nation’s first mass transit bill and was instrumental in legislation that led to the establishment of the Interstate Highway System.”
Rains also supported the Tennessee Valley Authority and the development of the Coosa-Alabama River System. The national military park at Horseshoe Bend in Tallapoosa County was a result of his work as well.