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Author: Sanford, Terry, interviewee
Interview conducted by DeVries, Walter Bass, Jack
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
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Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
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Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
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2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
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Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, [date unknown]. Interview A-0140. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0140)
Author: Jack Bass and Walter DeVries
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, [date unknown]. Interview A-0140. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0140)
Author: Terry Sanford
Description: 111 Mb
Description: 53 p.
Note: Interview conducted on [unknown], by Walter DeVries and Jack Bass; recorded in Durham, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series A. Southern Politics, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Terry Sanford.
Interview A-0140. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sanford, Terry, interviewee


Interview Participants

    TERRY SANFORD, interviewee
    JACK BASS, interviewer
    WALTER DEVRIES, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
JACK BASS:
Governor, I want to read you a quote from V. O. Key about North Carolina. You've been active in North Carolina politics ever since Key wrote his book. And in there he said that "It has been the vogue to be progressive. Willingness to accept new ideas, sense of community responsibility toward the Negro, feeling of common purpose, and relative prosperity have given North Carolina a more sophisticated politics than exists in most southern states. The spirit of the state has not tolerated strident demagoguery. The spirit that has not feared to face community needs, and to levy taxes to meet them, has had no place for a Huey Long. The spirit that recognizes a responsibility to citizens who long were unable to participate in their government does not tolerate a Talmadge. The spirit that is unchained to a social and economic hierarchy of great tradition and authority has no place for a Byrd machine."
And my question is, does the 1956 defeat of Congressmen Chatham and Deane for failing to sign a Southern Manifesto, the rise of Dr. Lake to a position of some influence in deciding gubernatorial elections, the victory last year . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
I think V. O. Key was . . .
JACK BASS:
. . . the victory last year of Senator Helms . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I wouldn't put Helms in . . .
JACK BASS:
. . . of Governor Wallace . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Yes, but you'd have to take Helms out of that category.
JACK BASS:
And my real question is, was there a misreading of Key in

Page 2
North Carolina, or have things changed? And if so, why?
TERRY SANFORD:
I don't think that he misread it at the time, and I don't think that that would be too far off right now. What you've got to remember, I'm sure Key was aware that North Carolina wasn't all one way, any more than Virginia was all one way for Byrd. Though at many times it looked like Virginia was. Many times we were just a few percentage points of going in that direction, if you'll look back at the turn of the century particularly. And it was just by luck that Aycock, who ran as a white supremist, and did certain things to make the party white supremist, nevertheless turned around and became a very liberal education governor, advocating the education of the blacks. Now, he could have taken a shorter range view. Had he taken a shorter range view he probably would have ended up in the United States Senate. He was trying, anyhow, when he died, but he wouldn't have been elected, most historians think. We've always had some Alabama and South Carolina and Virginia here, just as they've always had some North Carolina there, if you can use those terms in that way. We've just been luckier, because our slight majority fell on one side, whereas their majority fell on the other. And I take it that the other majority somehow feeds on itself, and the more you get, the more you get. The more popular it becomes. And then I think that's probably what happened here.
The first straight-out racist campaign that I remember was the 1950 election. The first election I remember in detail where I watched it, took part in it, observed it, from a statewide point of view, although I was in high school, was the 1936 campaign, which had all seeds for this kind of campaign, and yet none of them sprouted. You had Hoey, the conservative old hypocrite, that was the representative of the manufacturing forces. If there was an establishment, it wasn't much of an establishment in

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North Carolina. You had Sandy Graham, the clever legislative likable politician. And you had the rebel from out of state, the professor from Salem College, that had been in one term in the legislature, Ralph McDonald, who almost beat him. If ever there was a Henry Howell type situation, that was it. But the race issue, in my memory, never came forth from any side. They never accused McDonald of being racist. McDonald never raised that issue. And that, I think, would justify what Key wrote, even under that stress and strain, when the establishment was assaulted by a carpetbagger in the worst kind of way. We survived those kind of tensions. Then our elections fell back into being pretty much within the accepted framework. That is, the . . . the North Carolinians of some distinction running against each other, something like this last time. You had Broughton and five other . . . the race issue never got into that. Occasionally the labor business would get into it, but that's a little bit different. Broughton-Umstead campaign made a big thing out of Broughton's support of organized labor. And Broughton handled it by saying he was for all citizens. Even so, I think we kept down some of the more violent differences, just by the nature of the people.
Then Frank Graham was appointed, and that was the turning point, just as it had been the turning point in the thirties to help Key write this. I think you'd have to . . . I think you'll find that the influence of Frank Graham and the University of North Carolina had a whole lot to do with shaping the leadership of North Carolina. Now, not many people would admit that, and not many, maybe, would observe it. But I think it's true. You can just look at the leadership . . . you can look at the legislative leadership, you can look at the governors. It was the University of North Carolina and the Edward Keter Graham tradition which

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Frank Graham picked up. Edward Keter Graham was his uncle, whose life was cut short by the flu epidemic of the World War One era. But he set the tone for the new University. Of course, the old University was . . . put out all the substantial leaders, too. Morrison, Kitchin, and every governor, I suppose, from the turn of the century on, was from Chapel Hill. And Chapel Hill, even before World War One, was the beacon of light in the South. So, I think a great deal of that. And then Frank Graham's picking up the liberal causes, making them less unpopular, or at least giving hope to those who otherwise might not have come close to some of those issues. So I think Frank Graham had a lot to do with it.
Now, Frank Graham was named to the Senate, and it scared a lot of people, a lot of his friends. Now, how are we going to win? Well, interestingly enough, the Tom Pearsalls, the Battles, the Coxes in Asheville, just look around the state . . . all the substantial people that had been leaders in the legislature and leaders in politics supported Frank Graham. And he got 49.2% or 48.7 or something like that. And the spoiler was Robert Reynolds. So into the second primary they went, Willis Smith, virtual unknown . . . president of the American Bar Association, but that doesn't cut much ice in eastern North Carolina . . . legislator two or three terms. Kerr Scott had appointed him to some kind of state committee. He was more on Kerr Scott's side than the old establishment side. But they talked him into running against Frank Graham. At that time he was chairman of the board of Duke, incidentally. In his first speech, he talked about the socialist/communist influence. I think he made the speech in Elizabeth City. And talked about the Anglo-Saxon heritage. Well, that's . . . you know, if you were a little bit worried anyhow, both of those rather innocuous phrases would cause you to wonder and worry slightly as to just what he's up to . . . But he wasn't up to

Page 5
much. They played those issues slightly, they played more the "pinko" issue than the racist issue in the first primary. But all of these things could be credited back to Frank Graham's very liberal attitudes on labor and on race. And on everything else that amounted to anything.
In the second primary, just all the fury and the hatred broke loose. Jesse Helms now disclaims any part in that, but he and a young lawyer named Daniel, or Daniels, from Wake County . . . I don't know what ever's happened to him . . . led the way of making this the race issue. Then it got to the nastiest campaign we'd ever had. That was the same time Nixon was running against Helen Gahagan Douglas and Senator McCarthy's man was running against Willard Tydings . . . forgotten that man's name. Those three campaigns were just the ugliest in the whole nation. And that was when people said, "You know, this race issue is powerful medicine." And it did win. It had just swept this state like a prairie fire. If I had the energy and the time and the . . . a little bit of resources to do it, I would have done something like you're doing around the state now, just to pick it up while it was still fresh. Because I think today that it's unbelievable that passions ran so hot, and it's . . . it was the . . . it was the lesson to those who would heed it, that the race issue is a terrible weapon and can be used with overwhelming effectiveness. Simply because there was no reason for Willis Smith to beat Frank Graham. I happen to say and think that Willis Smith was hardly involved in it. That it swept him up just as it swept up everybody else. I always thought he was a very decent kind of a person, but still the people around him saw this as winning more votes and support every day, and building up a bitterness against the opposition. And they used it and played it and threw more fuel on the fire, until actually, it really consumed the state, in that

Page 6
sense.
Well, Willis Smith died. I always thought there had something to do with it, that he himself was bothered and hurt by the fact that . . . he had been the victim also of this kind of campaign. Now, I could be wrong, but I simply don't think he sat down there and plotted that out and thought it out and saw what was happening, here, under the pressures of the second primary. He was caught up in it. I think that's . . . he was quite different from Beverly Lake, for example, who deliberately plotted his course. Beverly Lake, parenthetically, supported Frank Graham in that election with, among other things, a radio speech. So Frank Graham never got back in to my election, though I was considered a closer associate. The reason he did, he was mad with Willis Smith, because Willis Smith had blackballed him for membership in the American Bar Association. And he blackballed him in the American Bar Association because he . . . just . . . he thought he had done something dishonest in a law case that they had been involved in. It involved a mill in Wake Forest. I know nothing about the details except that Beverly Lake despised Willis Smith, and Willis Smith had him be . . . blackballed him. And so he took Frank Graham out of the 1960 election by making that radio speech. Now, so . . . 1950 was the turning point in what he said. This is where we swept over to the over side and the . . . if I may call them this . . . the baser elements won.
JACK BASS:
Can I interrupt for just a minute with a question? Did that come as a great surprise to people like you, who had supported Graham, that there was this much force involved in the race issue? That the politics of fear, in a sense, which was at that time relatively new, that that was a great factor that had come . . . ?
TERRY SANFORD:
I was president of the Young Democrats and I'd gotten more

Page 7
involved than I should have been involved statewide. And I had especially gotten involved in Cumberland County, where I was new. I had been there about a year and a half, or two years, but I wanted to do what I could at every level. And not only did I help in the county, but I picked a precinct, Cumberland Mills, and learned how to work a precinct, among other things. And I knew at the end of the first primary that this race issue would just tear us to pieces in the second primary. We had seen enough of it, as they had seen enough of it. They were determined to use it, and I was just certain that it would tear us to pieces. I went down and I worked those . . . a mill village house by house. They'd voted for Willis Smith in the first primary against that communist Graham. In the second primary it was one of the few precincts, and probably the only mill precinct, that switched over to Graham. Which proves the value of close precinct organization work, I thought. Yes, I was not surprised at the second primary, and I was hoping against hope that we would get over fifty percent in the first primary. I was afraid of the issue. I kept a little notebook as I went along, about how to counteract these things, because Frank Graham was such a gentle person that he would not counterattack in any way. And I concluded that you had to counterattack on some other issue, and divert their attention from this issue. And I made a lot of notes. And when I ended up in a similar situation, the first thing I did was, at the beginning of the second primary, was to go to Fayetteville and get my little notebook I'd kept ten years earlier. And there were a lot of good points that I use. But it did turn there. The next time we had it was '54.
JACK BASS:
Do you recall some of those good points?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I think basically . . . well, I had written a lot of statements that could be used to justify being fair to people in an aggressive

Page 8
way instead of a gentle way like Frank Graham did. By that time I accused Lake of closing the public schools, he having made statements to that effect. I accused him of running industry away and had films and statements from Arkansas to prove it. I accused him of voting Republican in the last three elections. He had to take up a lot of time answering those things and, you know, getting off with me. He put out a leaflet saying that I'd gotten the block votes. This was a technique in the Graham campaign, showing the black precincts of the cities. Graham 972, Reynolds 1, Smith 0, and that type of thing. So he put that statement out on me, and I said that's . . . I got all I could get, and I'd have gotten them all if I could, but all you've got to do is look and see that Seawell got the black vote in Durham. He got it because I didn't try to get it. I wanted him to have it, knowing something about the experience that Frank Graham had had. I felt it'd be better if I didn't have all those votes, because Lake could use that in the second primary. I said Larkin's got the black vote in Asheville, which is true, because at that time that was pretty much of a controlled vote, and controlled mostly by the sheriff who was for Larkin. And I was reasonably sure he'd gotten it. And I said Dr. Lake got all the black vote in Iredell County. Well, it took him a week to sputter and spew and try to challenge that and deny it . . . and he got off of me for a week, cause we only had four weeks . . . deny that he got the black vote in Iredell County. Well, I don't know whether you could identify the black vote, but he had his greatest friend up there, and supporter, who had a reputation for buying the black vote in 1960, and I think he probably did. In any event I didn't get very many votes in Iredell County. But the point is, that was one

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of the things of being more aggressive in attacking him, to take the race issue out of the campaign as such. And then I was determined that I had to go ahead and win by not compromizing on the question of the black man's position in society, because this was, I thought, a historic moment in North Carolina's history. That winning wasn't nearly as important as holding that flag in the right posture, so that, if we did win, it was a great victory undoing what had happened ten years earlier. Want some more coffee?
JACK BASS:
No, thank you.
TERRY SANFORD:
And I think it was. I think in a way, it was the first time, in the South, where an all-out racist attack from a reasonably popular candidate was defeated. With a counter-campaign. In the sense, the reconstruction.
JACK BASS:
You think that occurred in 1960?
TERRY SANFORD:
I think we turned back from what we had done. I think we turned back the GOP statement of position in '60 from what we had turned in '50, though I think we were turning in the meantime.
JACK BASS:
Now, you were bringing us up from '50 on to '60 when I asked you that question.
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, there was only one election in that period, oddly enough, and that was the '54 election. There was, of course, the '52 election for governor, but that was run between Umstead, who was just a totally decent person, and Judge Olive, who was just as decent. And they ran it on other issues. The race issue, to my knowledge, never entered that campaign. I doubt if it entered in much other than the local level. In the first place, neither man was vulnerable to that kind of an attack, and they did as they've done in the past. They just

Page 10
reached around that issue in the campaign. It was a very close campaign.
Then the next campaign, that our workers called the third primary—meaning Frank Graham had two primaries and this was the third one—was Kerr Scott's campaign for that seat, Mr. Willis Smith having died. Alton Lennon, having been appointed in what I judged to be a very clever move on Umstead's part. He picked a totally unknown person, more unknown than Tom Eagleton or Agnew, for that matter. Just totally unknown. He'd been an obscure state senator from Wilmington. He picked him so that the campaign would be Umstead versus Scott, which was not a bad move on his part. And it was almost successful. People were not voting for Lennon. They were voting for Governor Umstead, or Governor Scott. At that time, you've got to remember, Governor Scott was run out of office, fairly unpopular. At any rate, we got supporters that had never been supporters. I was the state campaign manager, which I think you know. We had supporters that had never been supporters. We got the Battles and the Winslows and the Coxes and the Frank Graham people. We got the Jaycees and the young American Legionnaires, primarily because of my own participation in drawing some of their leaders in. We got his own Branchhead Boys, who, in a way, were most likely to be appealed to by the Willis Smith type campaign.
The race issue stayed fairly well out of it, until the 1954 . . . the Brown decision. Was it the Brown decision or the St. Louis . . . at any event, you can correct your manuscript to make it the right one. It came right at the beginning of the . . . oh, a few weeks before the election. We had a Byrd candidate in there that was running as kind of an advanced Jesse Helms. He was against everything. He was against the Post Office. He had a whole lot more sense than most people thought. He was against the Post Office being

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run by the government. He was against the government building highways. He was against the government doing anything. And I though he would get enough votes to kill us. Then, looking at it from the other side, Clyde Hoey died, and, again, Umstead handled this thing in a very skillful way. I counted one time that he had suggested to local delegations that eighty-six different people would make a splendid replacement for Senator Hoey, and the next question was, "How is Lennon's campaign coming in Union County?" And it was devastating, because it gave him still another wedge. I think we had Lennon defeated. But those were a couple of things that added to the pressure.
And then they must have been concerned that if they could turn the working man and the rural man—Scott's Branchhead Boys—in part, that they could finally overwhelm Scott. And so they decided . . . and I don't know who "they" were . . . but they decided on a racist appeal. And I had been worried about it, and I had Ben Roney, who is an extremely knowledgable person about eastern North Carolina, about politics . . . we had everybody alerted, we had a network all through the east, to immediately inform us if any . . . when the race issue came, because we were expecting it, especially after that Supreme Court decision. An ad appeared about Tuesday of the last week in a Winston-Salem paper, with a picture of a black man that Kerr Scott had named to the state Board of Education. Of course, it was very fine. Signed by the Citizens for something or the other, thanking him for putting a black man on the Board of Education. Our great governor, who did this. Well, that was phony as it could be, and you knew it when you saw it, but you didn't quite know what it meant. And we weren't the least bit worried about Winston-Salem. And furthermore, with the tremendous black vote in Winston-Salem, that would have been about

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as helpful as hurtful. The worst that happened, it would have balanced itself out. It was a . . . it didn't make any sense for it to be in the Winston-Salem paper. So we didn't connect it with what ultimately happened.
But then Thursday, we got a telephone call that the state purchasing agent had left a package in Charley Cohoun's service station in Columbia, North Carolina. And that it contained a reprint of this advertisement, and said it was a reprint of the advertisement in the Winston-Salem paper. And a great big package of leaflets. Well, we had them brought immediately to Raleigh. They were illegal, they weren't signed. And I got a friend of mine who is very skillful, a politician. Still is, but then he was much active. It's Leslie Atkins from Durham. Then, was the one person that knew mostly about the black leadership and the labor leadership in the state, and he'd been very helpful in several ways. He sent me a labor man, who I sent down to see Abie Upchurch, to get some leaflets to be distributed in Durham. Abie gave him a card, that he had wrote in his handwriting, to where to go get the . . . the print shop where he could go get them. He said, "Put these out on the porches of mill houses and the mailboxes of rural homes, and that's where we think they'll be most effective." This, now, would be coming up on to Friday, you see, and the election's Saturday.
So we had the greatest fun of any campaign I've ever been in, and it's probably more detailed than you want, but it's fairly well outlined in the papers. It was a terrific story, of course, for Friday morning before the election, that we had caught them red-handed with this kind of a thing. And we just made the most of it. We had . . . of course, we took a picture of the leaflet, we reprinted what the leaflet said, and just by a stroke of pure luck, we found out who was behind it.

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The mayor of Winston-Salem . . . and I found out . . . I'd already had a dispute with the Winston-Salem paper for printing some libelous stuff just the week before. I'd been by there and I said, "You print it and I'll sue you the next day." Well, they modified it considerably. And I had a good case against them, having warned them in advance. I didn't really care whether I had a case or not, but I'd have been in the papers suing them. Well, I already had some trouble with them, and I found out through Leslie Atkins' connections in Winston-Salem that Kurfees indeed had done it. And they finally had to admit it, the newspaper—all this, now, just in a very tight span of time . . . had to admit that Kurfees had come down and paid the cash himself, and they hadn't bothered to ask who the Citizens for such and such were. And they, of course, had violated the law, the paper. And they immediately retracted. And this Kurfees . . . gosh, you know, this is a Nixon lesson that he didn't take. Kurfees went to Sunday School the next Sunday and publicly apologized for doing such a horrible thing, and said he was just deeply sorry that he would have stooped to such . . . just got out of it like that, got reelected the next time. Now, I'm simply saying that we put that down purely out of the best of luck. If we hadn't caught it, Alton Lennon would still be the United States Senator, in my opinion. Of course, we only won, finally, with all these other things, by twenty-five thousand votes.
So the race issue was tried, and failed, in '54. And furthermore, it outraged so many people. We wired every Lennon manager and threatened him with prosecution if he distributed them. And Lennon managers, on Friday and Saturday, were making statements like, "I had nothing to do with this." And they were saying locally they had nothing to do with it, and where they did distribute them, we used a plane to drop our counter-leaflets, because

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we didn't have time to do it any other way, accusing Lennon and his people of criminality. Saturday morning, the News and Observer, this was election day, had a headline, "F.B.I. Investigating Lennon Campaign Headquarters." And they were, or should have been. They should have prosecuted. We could not get the Justice Department, even with Kerr Scott senator, to prosecute, though there were four or five obvious violations. But I didn't really care about that, except I thought it would teach people a lesson for the future if we could have prosecuted. You know, we didn't want any retribution, but I thought it was good to steady the pattern. This stuff would not be tolerated. Then there was no more campaign. Umstead got into office in '56 without a substantial campaign. I expect he had some nominal opposition, but no real opposition. So the next campaign was '60.
WALTER DEVRIES:
But did race ever enter into a statewide contest since then, up until 1972?
TERRY SANFORD:
Yes. Obviously it did with Lake running in [unclear] until '62.
WALTER DEVRIES:
'72.
TERRY SANFORD:
Yeah. Well, in '64 it was an issue for two reasons. Garvey was supporting Moore and violently, publicly opposing the Open Accommodations Act. I was trying to get around that issue by saying that other states may need it, but North Carolina didn't. We were getting on with our business, which was substantially true. The Chapel Hill thing, which John Ehle wrote his book The Free Men about, was erupting, and while they thought they were helping the cause, they of course were destroying the cause. Because they elected Dan Moore and defeated . . . or they contributed to the defeat . . . of Richardson Preyer. So it had all the carryover. The resentment against me for

Page 15
the things we had done to implement the racial policies. The fact that the demonstrations were still going on in a number of cities, that they erupted right in the middle of the campaign. I never really understood this. These people obviously were misguided. I never was able to pin down the fact that somebody was prompting them to it, somebody from the Lake-Moore side. I don't really think so. I think it was just a terribly unfortunate break.
JACK BASS:
What was that, now? I'm just not familiar with that.
TERRY SANFORD:
Oh, street demonstrations. They had . . .
JACK BASS:
Where was this?
TERRY SANFORD:
Chapel Hill, of all places. They had three places. Brady's and some other drugstore downtown that hadn't integrated. Just three. And they put on the wildest, meanest, most damaging demonstration we had during my administration. Because everywhere else, it was possible to contain it. And there I . . . well, I virtually did, but in the meantime they got . . . they arrested all of them. I finally had to pardon a professor over here who'd been sentenced to jail from the Divinity School for demonstrating, and a bunch of students who have got to be so involved. But it was right in the middle of the last two months of the campaign. Couldn't . . . you know, if they had set out to figure something out as Nixon did, say, in Charlotte, they couldn't have gotten anything more damaging than that. Ehle wrote a book about it, and how we attempted to ride out the storm.
So it was a factor four years later, and the difference being, the racist didn't win. The moderate won. Who, I've always thought, is a very decent man. But he won because Lake was pulling votes on this issue. In fact, if Lake had come in number two, I'm satisfied we would have beat him in the runoff. But

Page 16
with Moore in there, there wasn't any way a Lake supporter was going to hopscotch over Moore to Dick Preyer. He just . . . you know, I knew that night if there'd been any way that our man could have not called for a second primary, we wouldn't have called for a second primary. But, of course, there wasn't any way, and we had to take our medicine. And we took it, and it just tore us up. Now, I'll have to say that Preyer did not strongly position himself on the general issue, nor on open accommodations. Though I don't see how he could have on the open accommodations law. It simply was absolutely devastating. But I thought that Preyer waffled a little too much on that issue. I think he would have picked up additional strength and enthusiasm, including the black votes, had he not waffled. But, again, you know, those were difficult times. We probably would have lost this state for Kennedy in that year, on the same issues. Because, if you'll remember, we were carrying a terrible political burden, historically a great burden. What Nixon was doing, what we were doing. And it caught us in '64, but not in a violent way, because had Lake run, that would have been one thing. But Lake simply helping Moore win, that was the more moderate conclusion that I think would still fit the initial statement you made.
WALTER DEVRIES:
How do you explain '72? Wasn't race an issue in at least one election and possibly two elections in '72?
JACK BASS:
Before you get to '72, the effect of race can be shown as steadily increasing the [unclear] in the '68 election, where Gardiner came closer, much closer, than Lake had come. And, of course, you've got that combined with . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, if you will pardon my saying so, Gardiner had a hell of a lot weaker opponent than Lake had, for one thing. I'm talking about

Page 17
in terms of organization and background and everything else. Scott almost gave the election to Gardiner and Scott waffled on many things in a way his father never would have. Yes, Gardiner played it some, but now . . . I've been up until now talking about the primary elections . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
Right.
TERRY SANFORD:
Because we never really bothered, prior to 1960, with what would happen in the general election. We were bothered in '60 because of the race issue and because of the Catholicism, which . . . and with the background of having voted for Al Smith in '28.
WALTER DEVRIES:
What's the context of the primaries, because essentially these are all intraparty plays. You really don't have any interparty plays until just recently.
TERRY SANFORD:
So, for the moment, I would exclude Gardiner as being kind of a festering boil on the political skin here. He's gone, I hope. The truth of the matter is, Gardiner's not a mean, vicious person. But Gardiner, in my judgment, simply didn't have enough background to have any strong political principles, so Gardiner would do whatever it took to win. You know, then, it became the most important thing. I think, in a complimentary way, that Gardiner was a lot like Nixon. Winning became the central goal of political activity. He did use that issue to some extent, and he used it, I think, effectively. But again, he didn't win. You know, this . . . I've said, it's always been a narrow margin, and he did not win. Well, let's look at what else happened in '68 . . . why don't we leave this dirty table and go downstairs and talk, if you'll . . .
[interruption]
Well, I'm contending, except for a few bad years, that we still justify Key's early appraisal. We were on '72, and we also skipped over the Southern Manifesto, which had its

Page 18
ups and downs. Now, I assume, in '72, that you're talking about Nixon's campaign and Jesse Helms's campaign.
WALTER DEVRIES:
No, let's stay within the primaries first. I didn't detect any racial problems in the gubernatorial contest, but in the presidential, wasn't that a principal factor?
JACK BASS:
I think we ought to even skip the presidential, because North Carolina certainly was no more than part of the rest of the country.
TERRY SANFORD:
All right. I don't think that proved anything. I regretted that I let the issue be drawn in a way that added to the evidence that North Carolina is that kind of state. But more than just that, there were some other factors that I think if you wanted to look at them, would have to be taken into consideration. One is that I myself made a couple of misjudgments that contributed to it. I concluded, and I think your polls would show that, if you touched on the issue, that in the beginning, he would have gotten about a third of the votes, Wallace. Well, I figured that I could live with that. I figured that that's what he'd get, because that's what's voted for Lake on this issue in the past. But I did . . .
There were three things that changed that picture, and we're talking about percentages that voted, not percentages of North Carolina, anyhow. And that's . . . if you'll look at the returns, a distinction in this case. First of all, I assumed that Scott would come immediately and support me. I figured he owed it to me. I figured that it made a lot of sense for me to do this under the circumstances, and I figured he'd have sense enough to see it. But . . . he may have had sense enough to see it, but he was too stubborn to change. And I don't know that I quarrel with him. As he said to me, "But you didn't tell me you were going to run." Well, obviously I didn't, because I didn't know I was going to run. But it was

Page 19
the kind of thing that I should have been able to expect him to rally on me. He didn't. Well, that tremendously damaged my credibility. Here I was, the News and Observer editorialized, simply trying to spoil a sure thing, that Muskie had it sewed up, that we had gained harmony in the party, and I was just a spoilsport. Well, that destroyed my credibility in a great many places. "What is he after?" even my friends were saying.
Now, the other thing that I didn't count on, people had been associated with me and I felt they were and still are very loyal to me, that I thought would just spring forth to this campaign in a joyous way, were all tied up with . . . Skipper had supported me, Hunt had supported me, Taylor had supported me, Sowers had supported me, Margaret Harper had supported me . . . who else is running for governor? Hawkins had supported me. In any event, there was Wilbur Hobby, but that [unclear]. Everybody was already deeply involved in a statewide campaign, in a way that, even if they wanted to, they could hardly help me. Add Shirley Chisholm to that, and take away probably fifteen percent of the vote that I would have gotten . . . she got about eight, but I would've, I think, under the proper circumstances, would have gotten fifteen percent of the total vote that would've been the black vote. I just misjudged on all three of those things, and I don't really think it proved as much as on the surface it seemed to prove. Though, obviously, it proved Wallace had a tremendous appeal. To the same extent it proved that I didn't have much of an appeal, or at least didn't put it together. I don't think you can interpret the whole trend, though, with that election in mind.
WALTER DEVRIES:
What about . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
There was no racial issue in the primary. The nearest thing

Page 20
was the little bit of waffling statement that Skipper made on busing, which was all right, and the more forthright statement that Taylor made. That was the nearest thing that you could find in there, and I take it that that was so mild that it's just not very influential one way or the other. But that's the only thing I saw. And then, again, neither one of those was a dishonorable position . . . just . . . it was . . . an indication that it wasn't in the campaign. Helms did not run on the race issue. He did not win on it, and to the best I could tell, he wasn't particularly involved in it. I think he won because he got by with saying, "I'm a mere conservative," when the truth of the matter [interruption] . . . by with saying "I'm a mere conservative," when the truth of the matter is, he's a damn wild conservative. And Galifianakis let him get by. I couldn't see the race issue in that. Nixon made it, of course, but that's an entirely different southern strategy. Nixon did not win on the race issue in this state. He won on a great many other things. I take it, had he . . . I take it he lost votes. But the truth of the matter is, nobody was going to beat Nixon, for reasons quite aside from the southern strategy or race or anything else.
WALTER DEVRIES:
So, in the twenty-five years since Key wrote his book, there've been basically no racial politics except that one example you cited . . . ?
TERRY SANFORD:
Right. '50 and '60.
WALTER DEVRIES:
'50 and '60?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, of course, Lake's campaign was really more vicious than Smith, because it was more deliberate and started earlier. And he had more going for him, of course. By that time we were beginning to feel the . . . we were having the sit-in demonstrations at the lunch counters during the campaign.

Page 21
WALTER DEVRIES:
When you look back over that twenty-five years, can you characterize it in any way in terms of what happened politically in the state? When you move to this state, the first thing you hear about is the Sanford machine. Everybody that I've ever talked to about politics has been somehow involved in your campaign. And the notion in '72 that I've come across continually is that somewhere all in North Carolina there are these people involved since 1959 with you, and that you can just call a spring to action, at almost any time. It's like a Kennedy.
TERRY SANFORD:
But you saw the difficulty I had. I think I could have. I think if I had started that campaign before Christmas, it would have been a different story. But if I'd started it before Christmas, it wouldn't have been the true story, because obviously I started at the last minute, after the trustees said, "Go ahead and do it." Which I would not have predicted they would have said, and I wasn't even thinking about resigning to run. I took it as a tremendous compliment that students initiated it, and I thought it'd be good to say to the trustees, "Look what the students think of one university president." You know, obviously, that wasn't going to hurt me in the setting that I was operating in. I had . . . did not anticipate, until a few days ahead of time, until Charlie Ryan called me, that they would overwhelmingly insist that I run. Well, that was just so late, and I still had a month's obligation that I couldn't get out of, you know, that I had to ride on out. I made the mistake of saying I'd campaign on the weekend, and that further damaged my credibility. But the more important point, I would not take credit for this, but

Page 22
I'd say it's a fact that by 1972 everybody involved in a substantial way in North Carolina politics has been associated with me. So I judge that as being a very good thing, that though we had factions within the factions, the great thrust had been made in that ten-year period. And now we were all contending with one another, instead of contending with people that would have been more reactionary. They were where they belonged over in the Republican Party. Quite a few people left the Democratic Party in that period, Helms one of them. Left the Democratic Party.
JACK BASS:
On the Helms thing, you say Helms didn't really use race as an issue, but when he was speaking of himself as being a conservative, wasn't that sort of perceived as a code word? Wasn't his position sort of . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
No, I don't think that was. I think there was a . . .
JACK BASS:
. . . on race?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I think there was a code word in that campaign, but it was busing.
JACK BASS:
But he was using . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
The code word was busing.
TERRY SANFORD:
Yeah.
WALTER DEVRIES:
That was . . .
JACK BASS:
That wasn't . . . wasn't that pretty much then, he was using race?
TERRY SANFORD:
It was in such an indistinct way that you could hardly attribute his victory to that. I don't think he stirred anybody up that Galifianakis was going to do . . . integrate the nation. I just don't think it was an issue. Obviously . . .

Page 23
JACK BASS:
Then to what do you attribute Helms' victory?
TERRY SANFORD:
To the fact that more people in this state are conservative than are not, and you've got to let the conservatives see that what you're talking about is good for the state. And Helms was known by his listeners, who were for him anyhow. The people that were not for him long ago quit listening, very often. He wasn't that appealing and attractive. In fact, I never listened to a Helms broadcast but once, and that was by his special request. Supposed to be complimentary. I just have made a thing of not listening to Helms, and enjoyed the joke very much with Mr. Fletcher and him. Whole lot of people didn't listen to him. People in Charlotte, you know, have [unclear] thing, except that Helms was a conservative supporter of Nixon's, and Nixon was sweeping the state. I don't think it's more complicated than that. But they had plenty of money to spend. But even without it, their campaign was geared to softening the hard edges of some of their stated positions, and Galifianakis never came forward to challenge him on those. And I think Galifianakis threw the election away by not doing it.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Well, if that's the case, do you see that continuing in the next, say, . . . throughout the '70s?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I hope those that vote that way will move that way. I don't mean all of them, because there's a great body of independents. Let's take those on down. Take yourself some cream. [interruption] About the only thing we had that looked decent. I didn't realize it had a chip in it.
JACK BASS:
No, thank you.

Page 24
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, do neither one of you have a match?
JACK BASS:
I might have a match. I'm not sure. Let's see if I can get it.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Are there any other things we should look for in the last twenty-five years in North Carolina politics? And obviously the impact of the people you had in the administration and the campaign have been great. As you say, in '72 just about everybody running against each other was a part of your administration.
TERRY SANFORD:
Or part of my campaign.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Or your campaign, yes.
TERRY SANFORD:
And from my point of view, of course, that's a good thing. I think during that period of time, too, the Republican Party has been gaining. I don't know that I agree with what you are reported to have said, that that's the dominant party, but . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
I didn't say that.
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, good, because I don't agree with it. I think the Democratic Party is still dominant. But I think there's been a very wholesome transfer of party registration. I said the other day somewhere that I thought that the two-party system was a wholesome development. And a couple of Democrats challenged me and I said, "How can you be against the flag, motherhood, and the two-party system?" The only thing we don't want to allow, is we don't want to allow the other party to win very often. But it obviously is wholesome from two points of view. From the broad, objective point of view, the two parties contending with one another will give us a better government. From the more narrow point of view in North Carolina, it more clearly draws

Page 25
the lines. And you can work, therefore, with a better understanding of what you're going to accuse. In the past it's been the Sanford machine - actually, I never use that word except when I'm talking about my opponents. It's the Sanford organization. It's the . . . was the Broughton organization, the Umstead organization, the Scott organization.
There wasn't any Democratic party except in times of those organizations coming together down to election time. In '60, Mr. Broughton had died, Mr. Umstead had died, Mr. Scott had died, Governor Hodges didn't have any organization. And we were operating without the usual structures that made a political organization in this state, our one-party system. And so the time was right for somebody to put together a new coalition of people, and that fell to me because I came along at that time. And that's what we see today. Not with any intense loyalty to Sanford, but people that have more or less coalesced around the concept of the kind of politics we worked at. And I take no particular credit for that, except that I happened to be here at the time. Nor do I think all the loyalty runs to me, because it was proved [unclear] in the '72 election.
WALTER DEVRIES:
But is there an organization other than just personal contact and informal contact?
TERRY SANFORD:
The enduring thing about the machine, if that's the word you want to use, is that we never really set out to have one, that we never based it on what they could get out of it. And we never based it on the fact that we had to win all the elections. And we might have solidified that organization by the Richardson Preyer defeat. A little side note, that carried over, as you know. All these candidates didn't

Page 26
necessarily want to be associated with me, or didn't want to be considered a part of a machine, or a machine handpicked candidate. In any event, it was bad politics. Almost everybody knew that I was for Preyer, but Preyer himself didn't want Bennett and me working for him or speaking out for him. I think it was a mistake in strategy, but how could I say so. I might say that I thought Skipper lost some votes by standing too far away from me, but how again can I say so. And I couldn't in Preyer's campaign, though we had talked with him about running after Hodges had, incidentally. But we had encouraged him to run, Bert Bennett and me. Then it was concluded that it would be better for us to look out for the national campaign, let Preyer run his own campaign. He called on me about two days before the second primary, and asked me if I'd make a public television appearance with him on his behalf. But that's the first time in that calendar year that he'd called on me. It's almost the first time that he'd mentioned my name. And his wife was so delighted. They thought it was so great. And I felt like if they'd called on me back in February, it might have been able to change some things. Cause I could've campaigned mostly for him without fear that if we lost I'd take all the blame from him. But I think I could have been very effective, and . . . if they let Moore campaign against me, not against Preyer, and wouldn't let me campaign back against Moore, that is what they said . . . I figured that Preyer had a right to run his own campaign. But when they asked me on about Thursday to speak on Friday night, or maybe it was Wednesday, I knew that it was an absolute lost cause. The only question in my mind was

Page 27
whether it was going to get to be two to one or four to one. But I decided to go speak. I could have just left it alone and I'd have been about halfway tainted with the defeat. But I decided to go speak, because all of our friends, all over the state, were going down in local defeat. Our candidate was being defeated statewide, and I figured it would be a damn good thing for the long-run life of the group if I went down real publicly, right on out there, taking all the things that they took. And that's one of the main reasons I just eagerly jumped on it. So I had no illusions that we could turn the election around. Anybody could, with one speech.
JACK BASS:
What is Bennett's role in North Carolina politics?
TERRY SANFORD:
He's now . . . the reason for Hunt being lieutenant governor, and he's the reason for Hunt being a formidable candidate for governor.
JACK BASS:
Well, as for Bennett.
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I must say that he and I . . . he doesn't take orders from me and I don't attempt to give him orders or instructions. And we stay fairly well in touch with one another. But that's the size of it. We never conspire to do anything, and I didn't necessarily agree that he should put all the emphasis on Hunt. I simply agreed that he could if he wanted to.
JACK BASS:
Well, after campaigns are over and [unclear], and aid, apparently, is something that is solicited by a lot of candidates, and is, apparently, very respected. How much of a role does he play insofar as on policy matters?
TERRY SANFORD:
A very tremendous role in my campaign . . . in my administration,

Page 28
because I called on him and used his tremendous organizing strength. I think one of the reasons we managed to keep out of trouble for some of the things . . . worthwhile, progressive things that we did, was that he helped organize the county support to the Democratic Party organization.
He was chairman for the first half of my administration, and then continued a very active role afterwards. He never wanted anything. He toyed with the idea of running for governor in '64, and in hindsight should have. I doubt . . . I think he fell out with Scott totally. I talked him into supporting Scott finally.
JACK BASS:
This was in '64?
TERRY SANFORD:
Yeah.
JACK BASS:
Lieutenant governor's race, or in '68?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, in '64 . . . I don't know who pulled the string. Bennett did not . . . was not particularly fond of Scott. Didn't want him to run. Scott wanted to run for governor then, and, again, would have done better than Preyer, because of his name. But he was so inexperienced. I remember finally . . . and, of course, I kept putting my foot down on that thought, of Scott running for governor in '64. I think it would have been very bad. It would have been bad for him, even if he won. But I did agree that he ought to run for lieutenant governor. I told Roney he was working for me, that . . . and they was mostly concerned with Scott . . . that it would be all right with me for him to run. Now, that they would have run anyhow I don't know. Bennett didn't take part in that particularly, and then he didn't want to support him four years later. I think he might have supported Skipper at that time, because Skipper could have won. But I didn't think Skipper could win in '68,

Page 29
and he apparently decided to run for lieutenant governor, and then backed out of that for his own reasons, whatever they were. So with some reluctance Bennett came forward supporting Scott, got involved in it. Two of the key people that helped Scott win finally, Sowers and Bennett, who were both our friends, they used . . . it turned out that he didn't have any influence with Scott, [unclear], or Sowers. In fact, that's one reason he developed Hunt to run against Sowers. He was so irritated with Sowers' lack of responsiveness, once he had put that together. And he thought it had been in a substantially contributing way. So he didn't have any influence in the Scott administration.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Can we talk a little bit about the '74 election? The . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
. . . the noise level . . .
JACK BASS:
I guess we'll be able to decipher it out.
TERRY SANFORD:
All we've got to do is move over here. Put it over on this coat.
JACK BASS:
Can I move this chair over here?
TERRY SANFORD:
Yeah. We had a party in here the other night, three hundred surgical wives, the night before last, and they probably got hot in here and opened that up.
WALTER DEVRIES:
The piece I [unclear] that 1972 election in North Carolina was one of the most traumatic in the state's history, especially because I think, for certain statewide offices now, it's now competitive. That's all I ever argued.
But you had, in '72, in the primaries, the favored candidates—so-called establishment candidates like Taylor, Senator Jordan, even in the Republican Party for governor—

Page 30
all of them, in a sense, upset and overturned in what were anticipated to just normal kinds of victories. Do you think that that had any impact, say, first of all in the Democratic Party? And do you think this kind of thing's going to continue in the future in this state? Ticket-splitting, so that . . . and also where the two parties are really competitive now for certain offices.
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I think it's good that the parties are competitive, and I think that would be as good a place to mark that turn as anywhere else, though obviously it's been developing. Outside that we almost had a two-party system when people grew old enough and there were enough young people that they couldn't remember secondhand tales of Sherman coming through the South. They had to be thirdhand tales, and Hoover carried the state. There were some other factors, but at least it was respectable to be a Republican for the first time. And then Hoover fixed it so as long as anybody could remember the Depression we wouldn't have a two-party system, and as they grew too old to . . . for enough people to remember that, they began to bring on the rise of the Republican Party. And that began in '60, really. Nixon got fifty-nine-plus percent of the vote, Gavin got forty-five percent of the vote. And it certainly has reached that point of fruition now that Holshouser and Helms being elected. And we'll continue to see it, so it's a very significant if not traumatic year.
WALTER DEVRIES:
What about within the parties themselves?
TERRY SANFORD:
Of course, I don't think . . . I'm not sure that I agree entirely with the upset theory, you know, because I don't think that was as big an issue as you might think, and you might be able to demonstrate. From

Page 31
where I viewed it, without any more technical research, it seemed to me that Bowles was no more antiestablishment than Taylor. It's true Taylor had a few more of the old conservative people with him, but in a way, Skipper had the most . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
The most party people with him?
TERRY SANFORD:
The most party regulars. This would be hard to prove, and I just was running through my mind a half or dozen or so counties as you said that. I would say he had as many, and possibly more, but he got the . . . he did . . . y'all got across the impression that the courthouse gang, of which there is none, was with Taylor. And Taylor gave that impression more, by his manner of speaking and everything else. But I don't think you could really say it was the kind of establishment upset that occurred in this state in '48, when Scott beat the man that was so certain of election that he'd already ordered the new Cadillac with special hubcaps. Who, incidentally, became one of my very strong supporters, and that's another story. Scott upset the establishment, tore it all to pieces, and it's never been the same since. Hodges was not of the establishment. Hodges was despised by Umstead, who was the last of the establishment governors. Literally despised. The only person he despised worse, probably, was Scott. Then Hodges didn't have to take sides, because he walked into the office. By the time I ran, the establishment was John Larkins, who got a hundred thousand votes, or fifteen percent. Seawell, who was Hodges' candidate, got fifteen percent, or a hundred thousand votes. And the race was between the Scott man, in a sense me, and a totally unrelated person, Dr. Lake, who got twenty-eight or nine percent of the vote, almost twice as much as the regulars. And if you'd put the two regulars together—

Page 32
if you could consider Seawell a regular, and that would have been stretching it a bit—they didn't get two hundred thousand votes, which would have been thirty percent. So I think this . . . I think the organization was, the old organization, which wasn't bad, was torn apart. They had . . . from Gardiner's time on had won, and the greatest victory, the greatest threat, the greatest assault, I suppose is the word, was in 1936, when the Depression was on and many things were bothering us. But they survived then and they survived right on through, until Scott. And it . . . and there hasn't been . . . Dan Moore might be considered a throwback to the old establishment group, and I think he was, but it was, again, you could almost count that election as a fluke, because of Lake's entry into it. Otherwise the new crowd would've beat him. But then the new crowd became the establishment, or will have become the establishment, and what have you gained? I would say that I wouldn't agree with that entirely. I think . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
Was the '72 election a fluke?
TERRY SANFORD:
No, I don't think it was a fluke, but I think there were two fairly equal people running on fairly equal grounds with fairly equal backgrounds. And I don't think, in truth, it was the overturning of the old order or the establishment by any means. You've got Dick Phillips, a strong Taylor supporter, who was just one of the strongest Frank Graham/Kerr Scott/Sanford supporters in the state. You had Luther Hodges Jr., who was in the same category from college days. He was more for me than he was for his father, politically speaking. I mean, he was more . . . that's not a fair statement, and I wouldn't want to read that in cold print, but he was more attuned to my politics than

Page 33
to his father's politics. You had Lindsay Warren, who was the bright hope of the east, as his campaign manager, who certainly was more attuned to my politics than to his father's politics. So I really don't think that it stands as a contest between the old and the new. Granted that that came through some in the publicity, and it probably affected some people, I don't think it was a fact. In the case of Galifianakis, I may be looking at these things from too narrow a view, and not a long range view, but I . . . the way I see it, Galifianakis was almost bound to win, and so was Jones or Brown or Smith, against Jordan. Jordan was not a good campaigner, had been carried through by his old friends and associates because of his loyalty and because of the fact he was a good senator. But he simply didn't have it to campaign at that age as a cancer victim. You know, just the . . . Cochran absolutely wouldn't listen to anybody, and Cochran made him run. Cochran ought to run. Cochran would have won, probably, you know, if he'd run instead of Jordan. He'd have had Jordan's goodwill and his relative youth and vigor.
JACK BASS:
To what extent did these interparty fights in the Democratic primaries have an effect in the Republican victory in November?
TERRY SANFORD:
You mentioned one other '72 primary, those two and . . . ?
JACK BASS:
Well, you had Jordan against Galifianakis . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Yeah, I've explained that once.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Taylor and Bowles, and then within the Republican Party there was Holshouser . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Yes. But the truth of the matter, and that doesn't really count, because we aren't talking about long-standing establishments when

Page 34
when we're talking about the Republican Party. But to the extent we are, Gardiner's defeat would prove the opposite. He was the challenger. He was the rebel. The Jonases and the old line Republicans supported Holshouser.
I think the party, in any state, has to get together in the fall, if you're going to have open primary elections. Because there's so much bitterness, even healthy bitterness developed in the primary, that you've got to heal those wounds. Galifianakis didn't have many wounds to heal, but he had been right vicious against Jordan. Jordan was an old line regular, that felt a sense of obligation to dutifully support the nominee. But he felt terribly offended at some of the things that he perceived that Galifianakis had gone and said. He was not an enthusiastic supporter, but he did, in a dutiful way, speak for the ticket. As did Sam Ervin. But we did not get the party together in the governor's race, and this was Bowles' fundamental mistake, it seems to me. I don't fully understand it, and I'll simply comment on it in response to your question. You have to get the party together. He failed to get the party together. Now, if he'd have won, who could have questioned him, but it'd been done. He'd done it his way, and he'd come out the governor with the absolute mandate. But he didn't have the sense of coalition that I thought was essential.
And I was worried from the first of the summer about it. I later asked one of his very close associates, about Christmastime, and they'd had a month and a half to think about it, if he thought Skipper was going to run again. We might talk about some of the mistakes. Otherwise, let's just forget about it and get on down to this Christmas oyster roast. He said, "He didn't make any mistakes." After Skipper decided to tell

Page 35
Pat Taylor and Scott to go to hell—and I don't think he quite decided to tell them to go to hell, but for all appearances from their points of view, he did tell them to go to hell—and he failed to bring the party together. Now could the party have been brought together? Could Taylor have been brought in? Could Scott have been mobilized? I suspect that some of Scott's closest associates supported Holshouser. You would know more about that than I, perhaps, but I think they did. I think they resented Skipper's treatment of Scott, especially after he got the nomination. And I know Taylor's people were terribly resentful that Skipper more or less told them that they were on the second string. And that's simply not good politics in a two-party state. And it, I would say more than anything else, lost it.
You . . . I'm sure you have some other views on it, and I'm not basing mine on any studies or trends. I take it that in the past . . . in the last two or three weeks that it began to break against Bowles, and not until then. That he had . . . he was riding pretty much of a majority until then. Again, I don't . . . I wasn't following any polls. But that I could see resentment building up and I tried to communicate this. And I even sent Bill Wright a couple of notes about it. Even I couldn't get through to them much. And I'm saying the pressures of the campaign . . . I'm not complaining about it. But when I say "even I," if I couldn't get through to them, certainly some Taylor supporter in Gaston County couldn't get through to them. They began to feel that they'd be better off with Holshouser in there than Bowles. And I went back to '60s, a whole lot of people were saying, "I think it'd be better to have a Republican than to have Sanford. If we elect Sanford, he'll be

Page 36
in the saddle for twenty years, and if we can put up with four years of one Republican and then we'll start over . . . " Well, there weren't enough of those people. That was the old guard. Lake didn't support me, you see, and I had to put up with that kind of opposition. He didn't support the opposition. He campaigned, best I could observe, for Thomas Jefferson. But he didn't support me. Morgan did, enthusiastically, and that got to what I . . . if I could have traveled, as I did, with Morgan, with great appreciation . . . he introduced me, spoke for me, went to rallies I couldn't go to. He carried the Lake forces back around to me, or I would have lost. Especially carrying Kennedy. And I think that was a fundamental mistake, and I think that's the lesson, that the nominee has simply got to make it the first order of business, to heal the primary wounds. And that sore. To keep the two-party system, We never knew it before.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Well, you really didn't have a two-party system before.
TERRY SANFORD:
I say, we never knew it before.
WALTER DEVRIES:
You didn't know it until . . .
JACK BASS:
One of the interesting . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
I think Skipper was getting on dangerous ground and really didn't realize it, because there was no precedent.
JACK BASS:
One of the interesting statistics we've uncovered was that in 1960, of the eleven states of the old Confederacy, North Carolina had the highest rate of participation in the presidential election. In 1972, North Carolina ranked ninth among the eleven states in participation of eligible voters, and actually, only two of the eleven states had declined. Everybody else was going up in the South. And we're trying

Page 37
to figure out why. One of my hunches on this is it may be that this alienation within the party just resulted in a lot of stay-at-homes in November.
WALTER DEVRIES:
What was the figure, Jack? Thirty-nine per cent of the eligible voters over eighteen?
JACK BASS:
I think it was about forty-four or forty-five.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Well, the point is that even though you're getting more intraparty competition, which should stimulate more interest in the election, you've got voter participation going down.
TERRY SANFORD:
I don't have an explanation for that except to say that we didn't put the party back together. That may not explain it.
JACK BASS:
Do you think there was a lot of stay-at-home voters in '72 because of the . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
President.
JACK BASS:
. . . Scott people just saying, you know, to hell with the governor's race, and to hell with voting. And this presidential race wasn't stimulating a great deal of excitement anyway.
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, it was stimulating alienation among Democrats, who just couldn't bring themselves to vote for McGovern or Nixon. I think it was a whole lot of that, more maybe than . . . I say, I have no real explanation for it.
JACK BASS:
But that would apply all over the nation and all over the South. A decline from '68.
TERRY SANFORD:
North Carolina wasn't in the habit of voting Republican, and I think given the choice between McGovern and Nixon, that more people stayed home for that reason than lack of enthusiasm for Bowles. It would be my

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guess. In fact, I think a lot of Taylor and Scott people got out and went to the polls just to vote against Skipper, unfortunately.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Can you talk a little bit about the role of the South in national politics, say, in the seventies. Or even looking back a little bit. Where do you see it? Do you think it's now possible for a southerner to run for something other than vice president?
TERRY SANFORD:
I made a speech in Roxboro about 1955 or '6, and I don't know whether I've got a copy of that somewhere or not, I never have bothered to look, in which I contended that it was time to put away the regional inferiority complex. And I named a whole list of people that we could run for president. Some of them I could have justified, and some of them I simply had to include. That we had gone past the time when we had to think of ourselves as a deprived region where our candidates were not eligible for the top office, and that I thought we ought to start now to contend for the presidency and not consider ourselves as inferior. I remember having a conversation with Lou Harris and Jack Kennedy about that very thing in '60, because Catholicism and the South were two things that automatically excluded a person from being president. Catholics had to be vice president, if anything. Southerners had to be vice president, if anything. And it would be great if we could break both of those myths of the past. I don't know whether they were myths. Facts of the past, maybe.
So I, for a long time, contended that it's degrading to the region for a person to contend for the vice presidency, or to seek it. That a governor of a southern state is just as qualified as the governor of Ohio or any other place. Or a senator from the South. And that we

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should see ourselves in this role. And that was one reason that urged me to consider the odds to go ahead and run for president anyhow. You don't know this, but I do. If McGovern had offered me the slot of vice president, I would have flat turned it down. No question in my mind. I was braced to do it, against any other advice, though agreed with me, for different reasons. He agreed with me because he thought it was such a lost cause, that it would be damaging in the long run and of no good effect. I would have flat turned it down, simply because I contended that I wasn't running, that I didn't think the South ought to put itself in the role, and I would have made my point even stronger in that way. I didn't have a chance to do it, and I'm just as glad, but I would have. And so I'm speaking from a considerable bias when I answer your question, in effect, to hell with the vice presidency. The southern political leader ought to aspire to the presidency if he wants to move into that level.
JACK BASS:
What do you think of Jimmy Carter's suggestion for a southwide presidential primary? In part he said that this would give the South a real sense of power at the national convention.
TERRY SANFORD:
I think it'd be totally disastrous.
JACK BASS:
Why?
TERRY SANFORD:
Because I think primaries, generally, are utterly disastrous. And I think a regional one would let all the base elements come out. I think it would cast the South in a role of still being a region apart, which I've been spending most of my life trying to make it either a leading region or a region in a construction sense, and not a region of . . . apart from the mainstream of the nation. And it's just contrary to my total

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philosophy of where the South ought to be.
WALTER DEVRIES:
On that point, is the South really a region? Is it that much different than the rest of the country?
TERRY SANFORD:
There's no question about it.
WALTER DEVRIES:
How is it different?
TERRY SANFORD:
It's a difference in the sense of history, a difference because it's been the only oppressed "nation" ever to have to deal with the United States government. It's been the only enemy that the United States government has ever extracted tribute from after a military defeat. It's been the only nation that—and, again, in quotes—that, having been defeated, was not given a helping hand in rebuilding it by the national government. And obviously, in this, we were too close to home. Defeat had helped the Germans and the Japanese, but it was impossible to get rid of the bitterness than divided the North from the South. And it has been oppressed. There's no question about it. The Southern Governors' Conference was organized to fight the discriminatory freight rates that prevented industry from coming to the South. It's been . . . it had to, having had the slaves freed, it then had to carry almost the total burden of integrating and educating the freed slave into society, without any help. No federal funds for education. A little bit of foundation money temporarily for a period of several years, which of course was ineffective. So the South, out of its own exclusion and its own bitterness for fifty years, became a region apart. And they . . . that was thought as a region.
JACK BASS:
Do you think the South . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
I think they're over that, I might say.

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JACK BASS:
Do you think the South has shed its inferiority complex?
TERRY SANFORD:
To a considerable extent, I think so. The Deep South still has the . . . a somewhat justifiable chip on its shoulder. But I think it's pretty well disappearing. I think you look at Louisiana now, and Mississippi, for that matter. I was down there not long ago to a Governor's Conference on Education. I think the South is beginning to look at itself as a region that just by, again, the chance and turn of history is in a position to lead the country in a constructive way. Again, I'm speaking partially from my bias, but I think that that's true. I think more and more people are seeing that we've got a freshness and an opportunity of growth, and many, many advantages. That we can be the brightest part of the nation now.
WALTER DEVRIES:
So you don't see these regional differences diminishing, but . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Yes, I see them diminishing as differences, because I think our problems are the same problems that the rest of the nation has. I think as we look at . . . I think any region can deal with some of its own problems better than they can be dealt with as part of a national pattern. I think particularly, just to take a narrow example, that New England can deal with problems of transportation better than they can take a pattern for nationwide transportation programs and make it fit them. I think we can do it in terms of zoning and regional planning and land use and so on, a better job in one region than we can do if we try to do it nationwide. I think the Midwest has been able to do some things in education better than they could be done nationwide. So I think there's definitely a place for regional effort. But that's not necessarily regional differences, and it's not necessarily that region

Page 42
setting itself apart. But because we are historically a region, there are a lot of things we can do well together.
But I don't think a presidential primary is one of them. I think that gets back . . . the premise of that is power [unclear], which is repugnant to the Democratic Party at large, rightly so. And I think to come in and trade as a bloc is just contrary to what the Democratic Party stands for and what the nation needs. And it doesn't appeal to me in the least.
JACK BASS:
Based on what you said earlier, I sort of read into that a feeling that if the South had a southwide presidential primary, that George Wallace would likely run away with it. And Governor Carter took the position that if a second candidate showed that he could make a strong showing against Governor Wallace, even if he didn't win, that it would enhance the South's position of coming up with a candidate . . . [interruption]
TERRY SANFORD:
The candidate in the South is going to have a hard time getting southern support, if he's going to win the national nomination. Now, he's going to have to have a respectable showing of support in the South, and he would, I think, run away with the South in the general election. I think the South then would rally to his cause and with a great sense of pride. It would run in his favor the same way that the Catholic vote ran in Kennedy's favor. A great deal of Catholic vote was and is again Republican vote, of course. But there weren't too many Catholics that voted for Nixon in 1960. I think the South would react that way in a general election. But I think the candidate from the South is going to have to understand in advance

Page 43
that he's not going to have solid support at the nominating level. There are two reasons for that. One is the carryover of the Wallace type influence. The other is that every Carter in the South sees himself damaged by a southern presidential candidate. Every southerner that aspires to be vice president is automatically eliminated if the South has the presidential nominee. Not because party . . . ticket balancing is any longer in style, but it's still a fact of life, and you're not going to take two Catholics from New England, and you're not going to take two southerners to run on any ticket. So I think as a southerner attempts to develop support for the convention in the South, he runs into the governor, who sees that candidate as a threat to whatever position he might have. They should see it as the establishment of a precedent that in the long run will help them. And to the extent that they do, they'll support such a candidate. But to the extent that they see a short-run disadvantage, they'll be reluctant to support him.
JACK BASS:
In 1972 I believe you had a meeting with Senator Muskie in Florida before you announced for the North Carolina primary. Could you tell us what you discussed in that meeting, and what sort of understandings were reached?
TERRY SANFORD:
We reached no understandings. I had said to Scott, "If I run, will you support me?" He said, "I'm committed to Muskie. I will if Muskie will release me." I said to Muskie, "Release him. You're going to make a very bad showing in North Carolina." And he said, "That's nonsense. I'll carry North Carolina overwhelmingly. The governor is supporting me." I said, "Well, that's just not so." He said, "Well,

Page 44
I can't let the governor down. He came on early to support me and I simply can't let him down." Well, Scott didn't let Muskie down and Muskie didn't let Scott down, and that was about the size of it. And other than that, our conversation was very pleasant, because we were and are friends, and we left on a friendly understanding that he would talk with Scott. And I realized that I'd have a terrible time without Scott, not because Scott himself was so important, but because he was in a position of speaking for the state and the party in a way that nobody else was. And the very fact that the number one Democrat, Scott, was supporting a New England senator and former governor against me probably diminished my credibility. So I sat there with Margaret Rose and said facetiously, I said, "I, you know, this is so foolish. I just ought not to get into this thing." And then I said—that wasn't facetious, that was serious. But then I said facetiously, "If the Lord wants me to save these people, I've got to see a burning bush." About that time, we stayed over a day down there, just resting in the sun. About that time the television came on, and there was Muskie, who had flown out of there to New Hampshire, standing on a truck bed and putting on that performance that was so damaging to him. And as it came on color television when he began to cry, the color did something that his face, already reddened, exploded into a flash of red. And I said, "There's the burning bush."
JACK BASS:
You, I think, received some criticism for staying in the presidential race after the North Carolina primary. What was that decision based on?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, it was based partly on the fact that I did not want to be considered a regional candidate or a favorite son. That I had set out

Page 45
to prove that the southerner could establish credibility all over the nation, and that, having gone that far, I hoped not to let Wallace have all the marbles. That I ought to go on and attempt to prove at least to myself what I thought was true, and which I think I did prove to myself. Now, there was never any way to get a public count, because we never got to that point, but I think I proved to my satisfaction that I could campaign well in Idaho or Maine or Ohio or New Mexico. And that being a southerner didn't in any way serve as a handicap any longer. So I wanted to do that. Furthermore, I felt that the odds were still, at least, there. I didn't think from that point on that I had much of a chance, but I still concluded that if McGovern were knocked out of the race, or at least knocked down so that Humphrey came up, that the convention would take, then, neither Humphrey or McGovern, and that I was in as good a position to be in the middle as anyone else. Probably a better position. I was the only remaining candidate that had the support of the young people. And I was the only remaining candidate that could've had most of the McGovern supporters, and at the same time most of the Humphrey supporters. Humphrey . . . I don't know what Humphrey would have done, personally, but a great many of his people were friends of mine and I had worked in the '68 campaign, probably as effective as anybody in it. I felt I had a good deal of standing with them.
Well, I couldn't see any reason for getting out at that point. We were talking about another two months of energy and effort. It seemed to me that I would have done an additional disservice to the South if I just quit. And that furthermore I would have just proved everything people . . .

Page 46
that I was trying to say to people, by just quitting after making a run in the state. I inadvertently said in Washington that I thought I'd get out if I didn't win. I came back and looked at the polls and said, "I can't live by that [unclear] because Wallace is going to beat me with Shirley Chishom, Scott, and all the other forces. It . . . he's very likely to come in ahead of me, and I'm not going to put myself in that position." So I came off of it immediately and said that I will run if I . . . would continue regardless of how North Carolina came out. I had to say that to establish any credibility here, that I wasn't just a stalking horse for Humphrey. So, having taken that position in the primary, it was essential that I go on with it just for future credibility.
JACK BASS:
Speaking of the future, are you thinking of a candidacy at all?
TERRY SANFORD:
Yeah. I haven't made a decision on it, but I've kept it as an option. And I honestly don't know whether I can generate the kind of desire that you've got to have to do it. I've never really been consumed with being president in the sense that Humphrey has been and, to an extent, Muskie and to an extent . . . not to an extent . . . but McGovern, and many other people. That may partially stem from the fact that nobody in his right mind in the South in my period would have really conceived of the possibility. And so I'm not consumed with it. I think I can look at the whole thing in a more objective way than most anybody else in the country that might be contending. But when I analyze it, I know very well that I've got about as good a chance as anybody in the country to get the nomination, except Kennedy. And Kennedy is such an uncertain factor, that I'd do well not to read myself

Page 47
out of it yet. On the other hand, I've been very, very careful—and you won't print this until it's past that period and I'll either be doing it or not doing it—I haven't wanted to get my name in the speculation, and I've been very careful to try to keep it out of it until I got the Charter Commission work behind me. I think it'd be extremely damaging to that if I were widely viewed as a person using that for my own ambitions. So I can do a good job at that for the sake of doing a good job, and if I do a good job it works to my benefit and my option is still open.
So I . . . I'm doing exactly what I ought to be doing if I had determined to be a candidate, and I'm doing it in a way that serves that purpose as well as leaving that option open. So I'm not slowing myself up by putting off a decision, and because what I'm doing certainly helps me as much as anything else I could be doing. In fact, maybe more. I could be dashing around the country making speeches at political gatherings at the request of political leaders who could be encouraged to invite me if they thought I would come, in the way any other candidate would do. And I don't think that would be rewarding at all. You know, I just think it would be spinning wheels, for the most part, unless you were going to work full-time at it, as Nixon did. I'm not anywhere near prepared to do that. So I'm . . . I've got the option open. I think if I decided to move nationwide in an effort to get the nomination that I'm in a much better position than Jackson. A whole lot better position than Mondale. And who else is there? So, that's about where I . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
So that you concluded that a southerner indeed can run for the nomination. That's really a change in perspective for you in the

Page 48
last ten years, isn't it?
TERRY SANFORD:
I thought it was possible, but I thought it was . . . before it arrived, that I'd be too old to run. Well, I think it may very well have arrived at about the same time I've arrived at a position of being able to . . . I would've thought that, if you'd asked me ten years ago, that this never would be. And I would never be in a position. But I think I am in a position. I think I've established a relationship with the Democratic leadership, and I think I've proven just by the reception I got in Montana, and Oregon, and California and Idaho, just to pick some, that I would be accepted on the merits, and the South itself would not drag me down.
JACK BASS:
You think . . .
WALTER DEVRIES:
Excuse me, Jack. Might it not be that in 1976, you could even make the argument that a southerner brings a lot of positive things that we've never thought about. Things have changed so rapidly in the course of the last eight or ten years . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
I think somebody in my position, and I put the saving clause in that I don't want to contend at the moment that I'm the person, but I think somebody in my position now could run a winning campaign nationwide from the South. Nobody can attack my record on the race issue. You know, they might snipe at it, but my record on the race issue is better than—I say with some degree of vanity, maybe, a certain pride—that I faced the issue where it was the toughest in the country, at about the toughest time, and I handled it in a way that it can't be attacked. So on that issue alone, I've got . . . the burden, the historic burden of the South is not on my back.

Page 49
WALTER DEVRIES:
Well, in the context of just that issue, you might argue that the South is doing so much better . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Exactly.
WALTER DEVRIES:
. . . on this whole problem, that any southerner, irrespective of who he is, might in '76 be the . . . in a better position than anyone in the country.
TERRY SANFORD:
I think so, unless he personally has got a bad record. Now, Carter, of course, to some extent has got a blight he's got to erase in his campaign against Carl Sanders. Now, he quickly recovered in his inaugural speech, and I think he handled his administration. But there're some things he did in that campaign that smacked of racism. And he will not get Carl Sanders's support.
JACK BASS:
Do you think someone like Governor Bumpers or Askew would be in the same sort of position?
TERRY SANFORD:
I think Askew could possibly, if Askew has that much substance to him, to project as a national candidate on other issues. I don't know him that well. I think Bumpers is a little too remote, and nationally his reputation is not well enough established to be a serious candidate this time. But what I was saying a minute ago, I think the Askews and the Bumpers—and I use those words in the plural—would have a distinct advantage from their own points of view in strongly supporting a southern candidate at the convention level. Because they are young enough to run in eight years from now. And it would be well for somebody to break the ground for them. Whether they will see that or not, I don't know, but I don't see either one of them at this moment with quite the nationwide connections, if that's the word, to make a serious run right now. It would just take a tremendous amount of resources and energy on Askew's

Page 50
part to do what I've already got done by long association with the Kennedy campaign, the Humphrey campaign, and, to a degree, with the '72 campaign. I've got personal friends in every state in the union, personal political friends. And so I think they would have to do that. I think Askew is in just about the same position that Mondale is in.
JACK BASS:
Do you think that North Carolina . . . I mean, the leading economic interests of the state, I think, are normally considered to be tobacco, textiles, furniture manufacturing, banking, insurance, and power companies. Do these sources basically dominate decision making on the state government level?
TERRY SANFORD:
They are influential, but I don't think they dominate it.
JACK BASS:
Can you think of any legislation of any substantive nature that has passed that they've opposed?
TERRY SANFORD:
Tobacco tax.
JACK BASS:
But that . . . how about anything that all of them, or more than one single one opposed? Any other structural change in the tax system?
TERRY SANFORD:
Most of those people were in favor of liquor by the drink. How's that for a political answer?
WALTER DEVRIES:
The problem with liquor by the drink was you didn't know what you were voting on. The advertising campaign was totally unrelated to the issue and what it was about.
TERRY SANFORD:
Of course, there's no simple answer to politics.
JACK BASS:
I think South Carolina went through that to turn down liquor by the drink as an open-ended thing, but then it got to where you could have that big bottle and the little bottle would say this or this. It made a difference.

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TERRY SANFORD:
I think . . . I don't really think since Scott's time that . . . that that vague group has been very conclusively influential. Robert Hanes was head of Wachovia. He was the focal point of that establishment, that is an establishment. He was the biggest banker. He was the most political banker. He was the most skillful fundraiser, in or out of banking. He could put together a sizable sum of money and make that available to the candidate of their choice. Obviously not just his choice. And as . . . certainly up until 1960, the pattern of campaigning was that he got that big sum of money and he sent a few thousand dollars to every county. Of course, you didn't have television then. And that helped control it, that influenced the local politicians. It supplied the money. Scott couldn't get that kind of money, and on a very modest budget won anyhow. In 1960 we changed the pattern of fundraising in this state by giving the quota to the county to send us money. And it worked extremely well. And so that in itself . . . campaign money had a lot to do with diminishing the influence of such a group. And, by and large, that's not an extreme conservative group anyhow. There's . . . the conservatives may be all in that group, but all the people in the group aren't conservatives. So you could see in the primary election Charlie Cannon supporting me, and at the same time Millard Barbee, who then was head of the AFL-CIO, supporting me. The . . . a great many of the tobacco people, Charlie Wade in particular, supported me. Now, the rest of Reynolds didn't support me because I would not make a pledge on the tobacco tax. The only thing I promised them was before I recommended it I would give them a chance to argue me out of it. But I wouldn't pledge not to propose it if I thought the

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state needed it. The textile people . . . Spencer Love supported me. The bankers almost all supported me, for reasons that I don't particularly know except personal friendships. Carl McGraw, the head of the First Union bank then, was my chief fund raiser in Mecklenburg County. Mr. Jones, the old Edwin Jones Sr., was my campaign manager in Mecklenburg County, the head of the First Citizens Bank was for me. I didn't have a whole lot of Wachovia support, but not strong opposition. I didn't have a whole lot of what then . . . what now is North Carolina National Bank support in Charlotte. That was because I had First Union support, had nothing to do with anything else. The banks were more concerned about not cooperating than cooperating. I'm not sure I proved anything by that, though. Not a lot.
JACK BASS:
Who is the establishment in North Carolina?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, they organized the liquor by the drink campaign. C. C. Cameron, Charlie Wade. The textile people are sort of out of politics, interestingly enough. Charlie Cannon was the most astute politician in the group. It'd be hard to say. The people that support the North Carolina Symphony.
JACK BASS:
Is the . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
It used to be the University of North Carolina and the Board of Trustees that you . . . you know, if you could pick out one group and say, "Let's take them and mobilize the establishment." Good and bad. Now, "establishment" is not necessarily a bad word. The people that can move to good decisions would be one definition. And we don't have an establishment in the sense that Virginia does.
JACK BASS:
I think of an establishment as a group that can exercise power, not that they necessarily exercise power badly. They may exercise it

Page 53
wisely. But you . . .
TERRY SANFORD:
Yes, but you've also got to find the connecting links to make that an establishment, and I don't know where they are.
JACK BASS:
It's no longer the Board of Trustees?
TERRY SANFORD:
Well, now, see, that's abolished.
JACK BASS:
Abolished.
TERRY SANFORD:
And furthermore, it had been diminished in authority, anyhow, by the rise of State and the emergence of East Carolina and other institutions.
JACK BASS:
Well, do you think the power in North Carolina, political power, is more diffused than in Virginia?
TERRY SANFORD:
Yes. Yes.
WALTER DEVRIES:
In other words, would you have answered this question much easier twenty-five years ago?
TERRY SANFORD:
Oh, in 1948 I could have named names.
END OF INTERVIEW