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Oral history interview with James Mackay, 1999 January 15

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Creator:Mackay, James A. (James Armstrong), 1919-2004
Creator:Steely, Mel
Creator:University of West Georgia. Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with James Mackay, 1999 January 15
Date:1999 Jan. 15

James Mackay (1919-2004) was born in Fairfield, Alabama, the son of a Methodist minister. During World War II he served on a Coast Guard destroyer escort in the Mediterranean, where he earned the bronze star. After his service, Mackay returned home to earn a law degree from Emory University in 1947. He was a liberal Democrat in a mostly conservative state, representing DeKalb County in the state legislature from 1951-1952, and from 1955-1964. Mackay was elected from the 4th Congressional District to serve in the United States Congress in 1964. He was one of two Southerners to vote in favor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and was not re-elected to a second term. Among his accomplishments were founding the Georgia Conservancy in 1967, acting as a mentor to future Senator Max Cleland, and serving as an attorney for Martin Luther King, Jr. Mackay spent much of his later years working on environmental issues and died in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee in 2004 at the age of 85.; Interviewed by Mel Steely on January 15, 1999 at Mackay's home.; The interview begins with Mackay discussing his family and upbringing. His mother was born in China, the daughter of missionaries, and he was born in Fairfield, Alabama. Mackay talks about the various places he lived growing up, as his father was a pastor who moved around to different churches. He talks about his years in college leading right up to World War II, citing his friends and most influential teachers. Mackay then answers questions about his military service and being stationed in Florida when the war broke out. After a year of enlistment, Mackay came back to finish law school and entered politics, aiding Mack Mattingly. He discusses his elections, his committee appointments, and alliances he made in Washington. Major issues discussed include the Vietnam War, segregation, and the changing of the Georgia flag. The interview concludes with Mackay citing some of his favorite book passages in relation to his political and spiritual philosophies.

Types:oral histories (literary works) | moving images | MovingImage
Subjects:Mackay, James A. (James Armstrong), 1919-2004--Interviews | Mackay, James A. (James Armstrong), 1919-2004 | Arnall, Ellis Gibbs, 1907-1992 | Bell, John Simons | Carter, Jimmy, 1924- | Gosnell, Cullen Bryant | Egan, Mike, 1926- | Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 | Flynt, John James, 1914-2007 | Griffin, Marvin, 1907-1982 | Harvey, Mose L. | Johnson, Leroy R., 1928- | Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 | Landrum, Philip M. | Mattingly, Mack, 1931- | McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-2012 | Miller, Zell, 1932-2018 | Moore, Arthur J. (Arthur James), 1888-1974 | Murphy, Thomas Bailey, 1924-2007 | Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 | Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971 | Sanders, Carl Edward, 1925- | Swaggart, Jimmy | Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-2002 | Vandiver, S. Ernest (Samuel Ernest), 1918-2005 | Weltner, Charles Longstreet | Georgia--Politics and government--1865-1950 | Georgia--Politics and government--1951- | Legislators--Georgia--Interviews | Emory University--Alumni and alumnae | United States. Navy | Tennessee Valley Authority | Athens (Ala.) | Segregation--Georgia--History | Flags--United States--States | World War, 1939-1945 | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 | Callaway Gardens (Pine Mountain, Ga.) | United States, Georgia, 32.75042, -83.50018
Collection:Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program
Institution:University of West Georgia Special Collections
Contributors:University of West Georgia. Special Collections
Original Material:

Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program oral history interviews. Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections, Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library, State University of West Georgia

Carrollton, Ga. : University of West Georgia Special Collections in association with the Digital Library of Georgia

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Cite as: [interview title], Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program oral history interviews. Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections, Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library, University of West Georgia

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/uwg/phc/do:mackay19990115