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Oral history interview with Terry Sanford, date unknown

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Creator:Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998
Creator:De Vries, Walter
Creator:Bass, Jack
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Terry Sanford, date unknown

Former North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford assesses the progressivism of North Carolina politics, arguing that though North Carolinians as a whole are not solidly progressive, they do tend to embrace progressive ideas. Sanford points to Chapel Hill as the beacon of North Carolina politics, where progressivism dominated the political discourse. He also discusses the potency of race in political campaigns, highlighting the 1950 Frank Graham-Willis Smith Senate race and his 1960 gubernatorial campaign against I. Beverly Lake. Sanford contends that racially charged campaigns often determined the direction and fate of politicians' careers. His work with established Democratic Party organizations taught him important lessons on how to divert the public's attention from racial matters to other campaign issues.

Sanford explains that North Carolina did not support machine politics, although the state was dominated by the Democratic Party for nearly a century. Bert Bennett's integral role as political campaigner helped ensure Democratic rule over the state. However, as the Republican Party began to challenge the Democratic Party, North Carolina's one-party system was abandoned. Sanford asserts that the realignment of political parties was able to occur because unfavorable public memories about Republicans faded and internal fighting among Democrats increased. With his 1972 presidential bid, Sanford realized that Republican use of conservative political ideology and rhetoric heavily influenced the future of North Carolina politics. Sanford contends that southern distinctiveness no longer divides the nation, as ideology replaced race as important campaign issues in the 1970s. Sanford finishes the interview by emphasizing the importance of ethics and credibility in political campaigns. He discusses how the increased use of television ads changes campaign strategies and how they impact the ethics of politicians.

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 (document genres) | Sound | Text
Subjects:Helms, Jesse | Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998 | North Carolina--Race relations | Press and politics--North Carolina | Politicians--North Carolina | North Carolina--Politics and government--1951- | Political parties--North Carolina | Political campaigns--North Carolina | Democratic Party (N.C.) | Governors--North Carolina | United States, North Carolina, 35.759573, -79.0193
Collection:Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/A-0140/menu.html