Interview with Alben W. Barkley, August 4, 1953

Project: Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Alben W. Barkley begins this interview with an explanation of where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He describes the atmosphere when Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed both houses of Congress to ask for a declaration of war. He recalls the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died and meeting with Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt shortly afterward.

In the remainder of this interview, Barkley discusses his experiences in Congress and the people with whom he served. Barkley states that the House of Representatives is too large and it hinders the workflow of Congress. He mentions Congressman Carter Glass and Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. Barkley also remembers Miss Hebe Hamilton, a newspaper reporter and the first-short haired woman that Barkley ever saw.

Barkley explains how a member of the Secret Service was assigned to him after an attempt on Truman's life in Puerto Rico. He reflects upon meeting King Michael of Romania and King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece. Queen Frederika was kind enough to tell Barkley about her courtship by King Paul and he retells the story.

Barkley continues discussing his congressional colleagues. He mentions Claude Kitchen of North Carolina, James Mann, Senator Kenneth McKellar, James Farley, Henry T. Rainey, and Sam Rayburn. He describes Joseph Cannon in detail and tells of a feud between Cannon and Nicholas Longworth. Barkley recalls that older members of Congress were happy to share advice with new members. Barkley also reminisces about picnics in the Kentucky countryside, he mentions his interest in visiting historic sites, and he remembers practicing his oratory skills in the woods as a young man.

Interview Accession

2006oh050_bark016

Interviewee Name

Alben W. Barkley

Interviewer Name

Sidney Shalett

Interview Date

1953-08-04

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Barkley, Alben W. Interview by Sidney Shalett. 04 Aug. 1953. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Barkley, A.W. (1953, August 04). Interview by S. Shalett. Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Barkley, Alben W., interview by Sidney Shalett. August 04, 1953, Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt705q4rk486


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