Interview with James R. Vinson, November 12, 1975

Project: Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Born in Kentucky but raised in Washington, D.C., James Vinson attended Washington and Lee University and later transferred to his father's alma mater of Centre College. After holding various jobs in the Kentucky area, he returned to Washington and eventually got the chance to serve on the Appalachian Regional Commission. To begin this interview, James Vinson briefly remembers his early childhood and then goes on to relate details of Fred Vinson's early political history, including his loyalty to the Democratic party during Al Smith's presidential campaign. Vinson reminisces about the relationship his father had with his wife Roberta. He describes how his father was quite involved in the family until the pressures of his work interfered during World War II. He reminisces about his father's interest in baseball and in cards. An anecdote is related as to the problems he ran into in the military as a result of being his father's son. James Vinson talks about how his father's background influenced decisions he later made in Congress and on the Supreme Court. His father's family members are mentioned, which leads to an anecdote about his grandmother stopping his father from signing with a semi-pro baseball team. James tells how he and his brother interacted and about his mother's role in their early family life. He talks about his father's relationship with W. E. Crutcher, Sam Rayburn, and Harry Truman. There is discussion about Fred Vinson as a New Deal Democrat and the importance of "public trust" and loyalty to Vinson. He talks about Truman wanting to support his father as a possible presidential candidate in the 1952 election and a cancelled trip to Russia after war that Truman wanted Vinson to make. An anecdote illustrating Fred Vinson's relationship with Paul Blazer of Ashland is given. Another anecdote is related which demonstrated why Mrs. Vinson chose not to participate in campaigns and Vinson's Republican support.

Interview Accession

1975oh036_vin016

Interviewee Name

James R. Vinson

Interviewer Name

Charles Atcher

Interview Date

1975-11-12

Interview LC Subject

Law and legislation

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

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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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Vinson, James R. Interview by Charles Atcher. 12 Nov. 1975. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Vinson, J.R. (1975, November 12). Interview by C. Atcher. Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Vinson, James R., interview by Charles Atcher. November 12, 1975, Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7b8g8fj05v