Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen Jr., 1916-2011

The N.Y. Times is reporting that former Congressman Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen Jr., 95 years old, died on Monday at his home in Harding Twp.

According to the Times, a “leader in the successful fight to block an airport proposed for the state’s Great Swamp wildlife area,” Frelinghuysen served in Congress from 1953 to 1974, part of a family line that produced four U.S. Senators and two Congressmen, including his son, U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11).

From the Times article: “Mr. Frelinghuysen persisted in subsequent terms with bills calling for even more federal money for building schools. He devoted much time to melding his proposals with those of colleagues also active on the issue, and to seeking compromises with Democrats, who formed the House majority during most of his tenure.

“The battle over the Great Swamp began in 1959 when the Port of New York Authority (later renamed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) announced a plan to use 10,000 acres of the sprawling Morris County tract for a fourth major airport in the New York region.”

Also in the article: “In 1954, during his freshman term, Mr. Frelinghuysen called on fellow Republicans to speak out against Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, also a Republican, for his tactics in seeking to expose Communists. ‘By remaining silent we permit the public to believe that most Republicans condone the senator’s tactics,’ he wrote. ‘By remaining silent we lend credence to the view that we prefer to risk losing our freedom than to offend a questionable ‘asset’ to our party.’

“Mr. Frelinghuysen supported the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in employment and in places of public accommodation. But that year he also led House Republicans in opposing President Lyndon B. Johnson’s successful antipoverty legislation.”

Frelinghuysen is survived by his three sons Rodney, Peter, and Frederick; two daughters, Beatrice Frelinghuysen van Roijen and Adaline H. Frelinghuysen; 13 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren, according to the article.

Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen Jr., 1916-2011