In 1946, Robert E. Jones, Jr. was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives to fill Alabama's 5th Congressional District seat vacated by John J. Sparkman's election to the U.S. Senate. Elected to 15 consecutive terms, 1946-1976, Congressman Jones became Alabama's longest-serving Representative. The Robert E. Jones Bridge that spans the Tennessee River east of Scottsboro was dedicated in his honor in September 1985. Congressman Jones is remembered for his ardent support of legislation leading to the expansion of the Tennessee Valley Authority, construction of the nation's interstate highway system, development of the U.S. Space program, protection of the environment, and construction of major public works that included the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Museum of History and Technology, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Madison Annex to the Library of Congress. He retired to Scottsboro in 1977 where he lived until his death in 1997.