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Oral history interview with Herman Talmadge, July 15 and 24, 1975

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Creator:Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-2002
Creator:Nelson, Jack, 1929 Oct. 11-
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Herman Talmadge, July 15 and 24, 1975
Date:1975 July 15-1975 July 24

This is the first interview in a three-part series with Herman Talmadge, who served as governor of Georgia from 1948 to 1955 before going to the United States Senate from 1957 until 1981. The son of Governor Eugene Talmadge, Herman Talmadge discusses his early career in politics and his perception of southern politics during the mid-twentieth century. Talmadge begins the interview by reflecting on his first awareness of political issues when he helped to campaign for his father during the mid-1920s. In discussing his father's political career (Eugene Talmadge first served as the Commissioner of Agriculture in Georgia before serving as governor from 1933 to 1937 and again from 1941 to 1943), Talmadge places his father within the changing social and political landscape of Georgia. Following his father's unexpected death in December 1946 just after his reelection to the governorship that same year, the younger Talmadge was elected by the legislature to fill his father's seat. His election, however, was highly contested and soon became a notorious scandal dubbed "the three governors controversy" (referred to here by Talmadge as the "two governors row"). Although he firmly believed that he had been rightfully placed in office by the General Assembly, Talmadge was forced out of office by a Georgia Supreme Court ruling before returning in 1948, after being elected in his own right. In discussing that initial gubernatorial campaign, as well as his subsequent campaigns, Talmadge emphasizes the importance of his father's legacy in his own political career, the growing importance of race in southern politics, his thoughts on his political rivals and colleagues, and his relationship with the press. Talmadge also discusses his decision to run for the United States Senate and his growing prominence in national politics during the 1960s and 1970s.

Title from menu page (viewed on August 28, 2008).

Interview participants: Herman Talmadge, interviewee; Jack Nelson, interviewer.

This electronic edition is part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South. It is a part of the collection Oral histories of the American South.

Text encoded by Mike Millner. Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Types:Transcripts | Sound recordings | Oral histories | Sound | Text
Subjects:Long, Huey Pierce, 1893-1935 | Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-2002 | Talmadge, Eugene, 1884-1946 | Georgia--Politics and government | Georgia--Race relations | Press and politics--Georgia | Governors--Georgia | Legislators--United States | Georgia--Politics and government--1865-1950 | Georgia--Politics and government--1951- | Contested elections--Georgia | United States, Georgia, 32.165622, -82.900075 | United States, 37.09024, -95.712891
Collection:Oral histories of the American South (Georgia selections)
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/A-0331-1/menu.html