Interview with Chesley A. Lycan, January 9, 1975

Project: Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Judge Lycan starts off the interview by relating some of his biography, his distant cousinship with Fred Vinson, and some of their common family history. He reminisces on Vinson's early history in Louisa and how Vinson got the job of city attorney. He comments on Vinson's memory which leads into a discussion of Vinson's reputation as a lawyer. The importance of Vinson's family in his campaign for Commonwealth's attorney is touched on. Lycan talks about how he really got acquainted with Vinson during the 1928 presidential campaign. He discusses Vinson's role in Al Smith's campaign and the reasons for Smith and Vinson's defeat. Lycan mentions Vinson's law offices in Louisa and Ashland. He considers Vinson's success as lawyer during this time period. Vinson's campaign for Congress in 1930, including Republican support, is discussed. Lycan comments on Governor W. J. Fields and his campaign against Vinson. Kentucky Democratic politics are mentioned, as is Vinson's relationship with A. B. "Happy" Chandler. Lycan gives his opinion that Vinson never wanted to run for governor. He discusses Vinson's role in Congress. He talks about the reasons why Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Vinson to U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and why Vinson accepted the appointment. Lycan reminisces about Vinson's role as secretary of the treasury. Vinson's relationships with Roosevelt and with Harry Truman are discussed. Lycan relates the opinions of some Kentucky lawyers on Vinson's appointment to the Supreme Court. He discusses Vinson's position on the Court in regards his decisions on Shelley v. Kraemer, the "steel case" (Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, and civil rights cases. Lycan talks about Vinson's intentions of running for president, which leads into a discussion of Vinson's financial status. Lycan tells anecdotes about Vinson playing cards and some of Vinson's early law cases. He reminisces on Vinson's continuing relationships with old friends and Vinson's years playing baseball.

Interview Accession

1975oh002_vin008

Interviewee Name

Chesley A. Lycan

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1975-01-09

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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Lycan, Chesley A. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 09 Jan. 1975. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Lycan, C.A. (1975, January 09). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Lycan, Chesley A., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. January 09, 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/xt7bg7373f2s