Interview SummaryAlben W. Barkley begins this interview recalling a time when he was not recognized while traveling through Marshall County, Kentucky. He describes his disagreement with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's veto of a tax bill in 1944 and the speech that he wrote in response. He talks about his family and his children, and addresses his children's accusation that he is a procrastinator. He describes his fear the night the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre collapsed in Washington, D.C., because he was afraid that his son David was inside. He explains how he received the nickname "Sinister" after a trip to Panama.
Barkley also provides some more details about his experiences campaigning. He recalls his first race for United States senator against Richard Ernst and describes how Ernst was always on his mind. He discusses in detail his Senate campaign against A.B. "Happy" Chandler and hints at his personal feelings about Chandler. Barkley remembers when Roosevelt came to campaign with him in Kentucky. He discusses his memories of Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, particularly events surrounding Vinson's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Barkley explains how he was able to procure votes in largely Republican areas of eastern Kentucky simply by talking to the people there. He recalls taking his mother to a county fair in Rockville County when she came to visit him in Washington and he comments on his mother's longevity. He describes an amusing incident involving a club in Kentucky called the KKK Club which had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan. Barkley also discusses Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court, hearing of the death of Senator Robinson, and his conversation with Colonel House about the possibility of Barkley running for president.
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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. 18 Oct. 1953. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Barkley, A.W. (1953, October 18). 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. October 18, 1953, Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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