Interview with Alben W. Barkley,

Project: Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this interview, Alben W. Barkley revisits some topics that he has mentioned in other interviews in greater detail. He explains that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been urged by friends to consider the presidency as early as 1920, and recalls when FDR was nominated for the Vice Presidency at the Democratic National Convention of 1920. This convention was the first at which Barkley served as a delegate. Barkley also revisits the Democratic National Convention of 1952 and his relationship with the labor unions.

Barkley skips back to the political situation after World War I, and states that people all over the country wanted to disassociate themselves from the war. He discusses the scandals of the Harding administration and feels that although people lost faith in the individuals involved, they did not lose faith in their government as a whole. He talks about Calvin Coolidge's presidency and the election of 1924.

Barkley also looks back at the Truman administration and ponders when the American people and historians will be able to look at Truman's presidency with perspective. He talks about Truman's great accomplishments including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and aid to developing nations. Barkley discusses the role of the United State in the Korean conflict, and states his opinion that if the United States had not become involved the United Nations would have been discredited and the USSR may have taken the U.S.'s inaction as a sign of weakness.

Barkley discusses General Dwight D. Eisenhower's election to the presidency in 1952. He feels that the Republicans were looking for a strong man to nominate and they found a sure winner in Eisenhower. Yet, Barkley feels that it was an Eisenhower victory rather than a truly Republican victory.

Barkley describes his association with Justice Louis Brandeis of the Supreme Court. He explains that Brandeis was raised in Louisville and became a prominent lawyer after moving to Boston. He states that Brandeis was a "fascinating character" with a "clean sense of humor." Barkley also discusses his sympathy and respect for the Jewish people and his support of the new nation of Israel.

Barkley mentions some of his collectibles that he has gathered in his various travels including a stone from the British House of Parliament, a table that once belonged to Henry Clay, and various Senator shaving mugs. He discusses Franklin D. Roosevelt's amazing memory.

Interview Accession

2008oh220_bark023

Interviewee Name

Alben W. Barkley

Interviewer Name

Sydney Shalett

Interview Date

November 2, November 3, 1953

Interview Partial Date

November 2, November 3, 1953

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.

Restriction

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 Sydney Shalett. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Barkley, A.W. (n.d.). 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 Sydney Shalett. (n.d.), 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/xt71c53f1h4v