Interview SummaryFormer Vice President Alben W. Barkley continues describing the duties of a U.S. senator. He discusses how improvements in transportation have reduced the traveling time for members of Congress. Barkley also mentions Huey Long of Louisiana, referring to him as a colorful senator who was both ruthless and unscrupulous. Barkley describes one of Long's filibusters and comments on Long's son, Senator Russell Long, and his role at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1952. Barkley mentions the role of women in Congress and provides his thoughts about the need for an extension in congressional terms. He discusses the convention system of selecting presidential nominees and describes problems with the Electoral College.
Barkley also remembers some of his trips abroad. He discusses a trip he and Mrs. Barkley made to Korea during the Korean War. While in Korea, they wore regulation army clothing, met South Korean President Sigmund Rhee, ate with the soldiers, and heard an orphaned children's choir. Barkley describes Truman's decision to get involved in Korea and his first experience with the Secret Service.
Barkley then recounts a trip to Russia in 1930. This was a personal trip during which he visited both Moscow and rural Russia. Before arriving in Moscow, he stopped in London where he met David Lloyd George. He describes the collective farms that he visited in Russia and the peculiar way that the Communists recognized married couples. He also recalls seeing churches in Russia.
Barkley concludes this interview with remembrances of his friend and colleague John Nance Garner. He describes the 1930 election and Garner's role as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Barkley also discusses a visit to Garner in Texas after Garner's retirement.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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. 25 Jul. 1953. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Barkley, A.W. (1953, July 25). 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. July 25, 1953, Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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