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Title: Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Carter, Margaret, interviewee
Interview conducted by Davidson, Chandler
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 224 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Wanda Gunther and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-02-12, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0309-1)
Author: Chandler Davidson
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0309-1)
Author: Margaret Carter
Description: 234 Mb
Description: 61 p.
Note: Interview conducted on October 25, 1975, by Chandler Davidson; recorded in Fort Worth, Texas.
Note: Transcribed by Joe Jaros.
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 Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975.
Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Carter, Margaret, interviewee


Interview Participants

    MARGARET CARTER, interviewee
    CHANDLER DAVIDSON, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
This is October 25, 1975. I am Chandler Davidson, Professor of Sociology at Rice University, interviewing Mrs. Margaret Carter of Fort Worth, Texas, long-time activist in statewide liberal politics. Mrs. Carter, I would like to begin by probing into your early family history and getting a little biographical information from you. Would you kind of bring me up to date on your vital statistics? Where you were born and so forth.
MARGARET CARTER:
I was born in Sherman, Texas, in 1909. My father was a city clerk in the first city manager government in Texas, and my mother was a second generation immigrant from England whose family had all been miners, and my husband's family were also miners in the United States. They met in Chicago and were married eleven years before she died. I and my sister were brought up by my great-aunt and great-uncle. He had a business in Sherman and my great-aunt had been a teacher in the first public schools in Fort Worth after the Reconstruction.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What was her name?
MARGARET CARTER:
Lua Dial was her name and his name was Preston Drury Hollingsworth.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Did you say that Sherman had the first city manager government in Texas?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That is surprising. I had always thought that that originated in Galveston.

Page 2
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, maybe Galveston and Sherman both claimed to have been first and perhaps neither knew that the other had that form of government. The Hollingsworths were really the principal influence on my whole youth.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And were they involved in politics?
MARGARET CARTER:
No.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When did you get interested in politics?
MARGARET CARTER:
After I married a lawyer.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When was that?
MARGARET CARTER:
May I tell you a little more?
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Yes.
MARGARET CARTER:
My great-aunt was one of the first graduates of the first normal school at Huntsville. Before she was eligible to go to Huntsville, she went to a private academy where she lived in the home of the principal and did housework and sewing for his large family to make her expenses. That was not because her father had never earned any money, but because her family had invested what they had in Confederate currency as all the loyal Texas families did at that time. She was born the year that the Civil War began and she was a change of life child. I remember my great-grandmother, Amanda Anderson Dial, who lived to be ninety-five years old.
My great-grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Dial, was a general in the Army of the Confederate States of America and they had lived in Marshall, which was then an outpost of Anglo-American civilization. Many of their old friends had lived in Marshall and I have had a pretty long jump to make in my personal orientation. They told me that it was a shame that Mr. Lincoln was assassinated. The South would have been better off if he had lived, but they also told me that the Negroes would be much better off if they stayed in their place and that part of it I didn't believe, probably on account of my mother, whom I did know—I

Page 3
was ten years old when she died. Her older brother had become a Friends minister, so I had some Quaker influence on her side and then I married the youngest son of a miner who had had some experience with seeing his male relatives belong to and take leadership in local unions at a time when there was discord with management and activity required real sacrifice and courage.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
This was a coal miner?
MARGARET CARTER:
A coal miner. In Thurber.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Where is Thurber?
MARGARET CARTER:
It is not far from Stephenville. My husband [Jack Carter] was actually born in Stephenville because they had to go to Stephenville to get a doctor. Thurber was a company town. There was a Thurber Coal Mine and a Thurber Brick Company and that was all that was there. He grew up there for, I suppose, the first ten years of his life. He moved to Fort Worth a little before I did and when my family moved to Fort Worth, it was coming back to Fort Worth. They lived in Fort Worth, then in Sherman about twenty years and came back to Fort Worth when I was eleven. So, I spent almost all of my life in which I did much thinking in Fort Worth.
We were quite active in the Baptist Church, which is where I met my husband. He expected to become a Baptist minister until he went to Baylor University and began to realize what was involved in being a minister in the Southern Convention and decided that his outlook was already too broad to permit him to have a successful career in the Southern Convention. So, he took a long summer off, went to West Texas and thought about it and decided that the thing he needed to do was to become a lawyer instead. We were already engaged and when he came back after that long exile, he said, "I'm going to become a lawyer," and I had to decide whether I wanted to marry a minister or marry him. It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to

Page 4
marry him, although that wasn't easy because it didn't occur to us then that people got married before they were ready to support themselves and sustain a home. That meant that he had another long period of professional education ahead of him. After thinking it over for a few days, I said, "Yes, I think that it is all right. I would still like to marry you if you still want me. I wouldn't mind so much being married to a lawyer as long as you don't go into politics." [Laughter] Then, he did go into politics. [Laughter] With my enthusiastic support and after awhile, he became discouraged and I never have.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When were you married?
MARGARET CARTER:
In 1934.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And you were living in Fort Worth at the time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And had he earned his law degree by then?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh yes, he wasn't about to marry me until he had his Texas law degree.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So you had a long courtship?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, yes we did.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
This was often the case.
MARGARET CARTER:
And then we waited a long time to start our family after that.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, after he became a lawyer, how long was it before you became actively engaged in politics?
MARGARET CARTER:
Let's see . . . he became a lawyer in 1934 and by 1940, we had become appalled at the way the local establishment abused the New Deal program. They cursed it. They swore at it until they realized that they themselves had to be rescued by it and then as soon as it had rescued the

Page 5
banks and the biggest insurance companies and the largest landowners, they wanted it to stop there. We didn't believe that most of the people had lost confidence in the New Deal or lost their enthusiasm for Roosevelt. So, in 1940, in cooperation with Maury Maverick Sr., we organized our county convention for Roosevelt. We had not organized the precinct convention. We just took the people that the regular machine had sent to the county convention and turned them around so that they sent delegates who would pledge continuing support of Roosevelt without continuing support of Garner, who was vice president at the time.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Had you been an enthusaistic supporter of Roosevelt from the beginning?
MARGARET CARTER:
As soon as he had been elected, after the first hundred days, I was an enthusiastic supporter of him.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You voted in the 1932 election?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, I did. That was my first presidential election, but you couldn't tell from Roosevelt's campaign, the part of it that reached down to the grassroots where I lived, that Roosevelt was going to do anything very different from what Hoover had been doing.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Did you vote for Roosevelt?
MARGARET CARTER:
No.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Did you vote for Herbert Hoover?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. I voted for Norman Thomas. [Laughter] You're the first person I've ever told that. [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You feel that there is some liability attached to that?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh yes, there certainly is.

Page 6
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Do you think that there still is?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, because I tried voting outside the Democratic party once later and I keep hearing about that time. I also voted for Republican John Tower.1 He ran in a special election, as you remember.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Yes, in 1961.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, against Blakley,2 who had just run in the Democratic primary and been rejected. So, no one could say in the special election that Blakley was running as a Democratic nominee and we had no obligation as party members to vote for anyone in that special election. Tower was the lesser of two evils, in my view. I thought that a relatively impecunious teacher from Wichita Falls would be easier to get rid of than a millionaire from Dallas. [Laughter] In that, of course, I was very clearly mistaken.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Would you care to speculate on how many Texans could say truthfully that they have voted both for John Tower and Norman Thomas?
MARGARET CARTER:
[Laughter] That would be interesting.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
To go back to that first election—I'm trying to put two and two together here—at the time that you found out that your husband was going to be a lawyer, you warned him not to get involved in politics, and then in 1932, you voted for Norman Thomas. What happened in the intervening time?
MARGARET CARTER:
I didn't marry my husband until 1934.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was there a period of several years there when you went from a relative lack of political involvement in your early twenties to a time when you became fairly aware and politically conscious in your early thirties?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, but it was as a person on the sidelines. For one thing, I was a teacher and I had begun to teach in high school and the thing that I was most interested in was history and by that time, I had gone to graduate school at

Page 7
Texas Christian University and the man who was head of the history department was named Jack Hammond, who had also been a successful reform candidate for mayor of Fort Worth. I suppose that it was Dr. Hammond's campaign that first made us actively interested. He was also a Disciples minister and he was appalled at the conditions that leading citizens allowed to continue in the '30s. People actually starved to death in the hotels and rooming houses on the courthouse square, and the public hospital was so overcrowded that people died lying out on the grass in front of the hospital. They couldn't get in. And he went around preaching in as many churches as would listen to him—and that was a good many—saying that no matter how hard a time the rest of us were having, we were all in the same boat and local government must do more about the poorest people. Both my husband and I had been very poor. His father had died when he was three weeks old. I was separated from my father by a family quarrel after my mother died . . . we had both known extreme poverty and although we never starved after we were married, we lived on an extremely limited income and that didn't make us want to get over with the people that were safer than we were. It made us feel a part of all the people who were as insecure as we were. We felt that the New Deal leadership of the Democratic Party was dedicated to taking practical steps to improve the lot of the poorest people. My husband has been a poverty lawyer all his life. No one told him that you couldn't make a living in poverty law, and so he did.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And at the time you voted for Norman Thomas, was there much support at all in a place like Fort Worth for a socialist candidate?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. As far as I know, no organized support. It was just something that I did by myself. The only other influence that I can think

Page 8
of that moved me in that direction was that I majored in English in college and became acquainted with the magazines that had the best literary critics. Among them, of course, were The Nation and The New Republic. I couldn't afford to subscribe to The Nation or The New Republic but I read them regularly in the Fort Worth Library and before I knew it, I was getting out of the literary section and into the political commentary.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, what I guess I'm getting around to was that this was more or less an isolated person voting in secret for a socialist candidate. There were no organized socialist clubs or anything like that?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. And I had no ideological interest in socialism. But I couldn't see a dime's worth of difference between Hoover and Roosevelt as they made their campaigns.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Have you ever known Carl Brannin in Dallas?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He was a pretty outspoken socialist, wasn't he?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. He was secretary of the Socialist Party in Texas for awhile.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And I believe that he also ran for governor on a socialist ticket in 1936?
MARGARET CARTER:
It may be, I don't remember.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Did you see Allred as a pretty strong leader of the New Deal? Was he considered to be a liberal governor for his time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, he was.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And they still talk about him today as the only liberal governor of Texas.
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, he was the only governor of outstanding ability after James Stephen Hogg.

Page 9
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, at any rate, by 1940 you had become, you and your husband had become involved to the extent that you began to try to engage in factional politics within the Democratic Party at the convention level. How did Maury Maverick3 get involved in this? Was this in Fort Worth, or was this the state convention that you are talking about?
MARGARET CARTER:
It was the state convention. Maury Maverick was in Congress at the time and I suppose he was seeking people who would give Roosevelt the support he needed. I've heard Maury Maverick talking about those conventions in the '40s, but at the time, I don't really know how he found us because we weren't anybody. He may not have met my husband until he arrived at the state convention, delegates in tow. I didn't go to the convention; our first child was born in 1940. I do know that after that, we began to look into the machinery by which people expressed themselves through the party. In 1944, my husband ran for county chairman and won.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Would you say that 1940 was really the first time that anything like a liberal faction within the Democratic Party machinery began to develop in a systematic way?
MARGARET CARTER:
In Fort Worth.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Had anything like that existed prior to 1940 in any other area of Texas?
MARGARET CARTER:
Not that I know, but you know, I had a worm's eye view of the situation. I didn't know.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
But you would put it then around '40 or '44? When really the cleavage here between the liberal and conservative factions in state politics developed?
MARGARET CARTER:
The 1940 state convention was wildly disordered. We think that we have had disorderly and usually ill-managed conventions since then, but I imagine that the 1940 convention was the most disorderly convention in the history of Texas.

Page 10
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Could you describe that?
MARGARET CARTER:
I wasn't there, but I know that we finally allowed some of the establishment people including the late, great Amon Carter, [unclear] publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to go on the list of delegates at-large with one-fourth vote. It was possible then to divide the votes into fractions as small as one-fourth. Of course, he didn't do it, he wasn't going to cast only one-fourth vote, which was our purpose. [Laughter] But he was able to persuade a good many of the people that we had elected to change sides by the time of the state convention. The elected county chairman, who was of course, looking toward the next election, had promised both factions that he would vote with us and when the time came to vote, the sides were exactly divided. It was necessary for the chairman, whose name was Mr. Kaufman, to cast the deciding vote.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Kaufman?
MARGARET CARTER:
I think maybe it was Kaufman. As I said that, it didn't sound very right. I remember him very well. He had a seizure in the aisle of the convention and was carried off in an ambulance to the hospital.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You mean when it came time for him to cast the deciding vote?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, that's drama.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
By '44, we were able to develop a precinct organization and we carried ninety-nine of the 116 precincts that were in the county and tied one.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
"We" being the liberals?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. The establishment candidates . . . well, my husband was running his own campaign. There was not really much of a well-organized liberal

Page 11
group yet.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
In other words, the vehicle for the liberal coalition in the election was your husband's running for Democratic county chairman?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. This Mrs. James Farmer became a member of the executive committee after that, the one who was the secretary of the suffrage group with the office in the First Baptist Church.4 She had helped us. She had some experience in precinct work and there was a rather unattractive man who was part of the old Populist Party.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Who was that?
MARGARET CARTER:
His name was Claude Spratling.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And you mean the Populist Party around the turn of the century?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. He had a great deal of experience in doing precinct work. He had lists of the people who had worked with their neighbors in the precinct. But he was not a very personable man and he couldn't get people whom he didn't already know to work with him in public. So he advised us behind the scenes. He was a great help because we were very ignorant about the precinct structure of the county. And he was outright radical in a good many of his views but some of the other people from other states who came in later and tried to work with him found that he was extremely reactionary in race relations.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What were some of the issues that you can remember his being radical about?
MARGARET CARTER:
He was an agrarian populist. He was radical on freight rate

Page 12
discrimination and the undue influence of banks on public policy.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, really, these were the old Populist issues.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
But very conservative on race?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, on that same question, how did the people who were beginning to form the core of the liberal group in Fort Worth feel on the racial question? Or was this even a viable issue at that time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Not very, but by 1944 when my husband ran for county chairman, the decision which required the Democrats to take whites . . .
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You mean the Smith v. Allwright decision?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, came down from the Supreme Court when I traveled in '45 and '46 for the Young Democrats, which I did do, we ran into various opinions among the county chairmen whether this Smith v. Allwright decision would be followed, but we were already far ahead of the community practice in that area. Of course, that was where my Quaker background came in and my husband was just decent. The kind of people who were found in his law office were of all colors because he had very poor people for clients and he was uninfluential, he didn't know any rich people. He didn't look at their color, he looked at their problem. That was a very unusual thing and it cost him the possibility of developing a middle-class clientele of whites. White people wouldn't sit down in the same waiting room with a black person. So, we were already ahead of community practice about race relations.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was he relatively unique so far as white lawyers went in this resepct in Fort Worth? Were there very many?
MARGARET CARTER:
So far as I know. I am sure that there were some white lawyers

Page 13
who had occasional black clients, because there were no black lawyers, in town, but they made it a back-door business. They didn't invite their white clients into the same entrance as their black clients and he just treated them the same and anyone who had a good reason to need a lawyer, he helped.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And so in 1944, this was the same year that the Texas Regulars were trying to unseat Roosevelt?
MARGARET CARTER:
That's true.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was that an issue in Fort Worth?
MARGARET CARTER:
It was the issue of the race for county chairman.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And was Amon Carter a Regular?
MARGARET CARTER:
I think that he tried to stay out of it personally, but most of his friends were in it. There is a group of privileged people in Fort Worth who are civilized, and although they are not about to encourage anybody whom they consider radical or in any way unusual, they usually let social climbers and some true believers, carry the burden of prejudice.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was he in what you would call an old family, wealthy . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
No. He was an upstart from Bowie who was brought up without a father, as my husband was, and who sold chicken and bread to the people who came through on the railroad at Bowie. There was no railroad cafe at the station in Bowie. So, his mother began to fry chicken and he took it down to the train and he sold it through the windows to the people who were hungry when the trains stopped there.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Is Bowie close to Fort Worth?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. And he had little formal education. Much later, a high school in Fort Worth was named for him, And he wrote a rather pathetic letter saying how

Page 14
much he appreciated having the high school named for him since he had never had the privilege of graduating from high school. He came to Fort Worth and married the daughter of a very well-placed lumber man who [unclear] in local politics. Her name was Nenetta Burton and she is still active in Fort Worth, not so much in politics as in general charitable projects. And it was her father's money and position that gave him his start. He built on the fact that he came into possession of a newspaper. Of course, he had to be a pretty good businessman to become a publisher of a newspaper, which he was, at the time when the oil boom hit Fort Worth. He was a boss who used economic power to get his way in politics, too. He really had more interest in making sure that he controlled what went on in City Hall than in anything else except national elections. He wanted to be sure that he was the man that campaign managers of national candidates came to in Fort Worth. He raised the money for national candidates and not even the campaign managers knew from whom he got the money. He had the checks made to him and then he put them in the bank and wrote his check for the total amount that had been collected for Fort Worth.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So he got the credit for it?
MARGARET CARTER:
He got the credit for it and there was nothing that Roosevelt could or would do . . . he probably wouldn't want to do anything to find out who were the dependable New Deal supporters in Fort Worth. I remember one supporter who resented bitterly the fact that he raised more money for the national ticket than Amon Carter did. Didn't raise it in Fort Worth, he went to east Texas, the oil boom had moved from west Texas to east Texas by that time and he raised the money in east Texas and in every other way made himself as useful to the national leadership as Amon Carter had. His name was Karl Crowley and he was very bitter because his service didn't gain him any access to national leadership when they won elections.

Page 15
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What sort of coercion did Carter have at his disposal to force the people to channel their money through him?
MARGARET CARTER:
He was a very heavy-handed political boss. He was a benevolent despot, but he was a despot and we are still suffering from the lack of leadership that his period of leadership left us in.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What was that period?
MARGARET CARTER:
From 1920 to 1955.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That's a sizable chunk of years.
MARGARET CARTER:
He allowed no one of an age to be his children the opportunity to show any leadership. The great mistake that my husband made, the reason that he had no political career, he ran for public office twice, was that he had the temerity to announce for public office without first consulting Mr. Amon Carter about whether it was a good idea to run. To tell the truth, he just didn't know that that was part of the procedure. [Laughter] He thought you went to the city secretary or the county chairman and got a blank and filed.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And when did he find out that he had made a mistake?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, he was told after his application hit the newspaper. The newspaper was Mr. Carter's eyes and ears.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was his the only major newspaper in Fort Worth at the time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, except the Scripps-Howard paper . . . I can't say exactly when it came in, we had the Fort Worth Press most of the time that I've lived in Fort Worth. It was a Scripps-Howard newspaper for many years, but it was not long before the Fort Worth Press began to follow the Star-Telegram's editorial policy on everything, except national and international issues.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, what happened then to your husband's career?

Page 16
In what way did Amon Carter influence it?
MARGARET CARTER:
He retired my husband. [Laughter] Without even taking the trouble to do it personally. Dr. Hammond had great difficulty on the city council. My husband had become a staunch admirer of his and a staunch follower of whatever tactics Dr. Hammond decided to use, which were sometimes rather dramatic and unconventional.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Would you say that he was a liberal?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, he was. He was a humanitarian.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was he rather unique in that respect, so far as Fort Worth councilmen went?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. So, of course, we were labelled as Hammond people. There came a time when the Star-Telegram had used its influence to persuade enough members of the city council to resign one by one, that there was no longer a quorum able to hold meetings and conduct business, or it had almost reached that point. They kept bringing economic pressure on Dr. Hammond, who was vulnerable to it. Dr. Hammond had run against the chairman of the board of the university where he was a member of the faculty, and beat him.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He was at TCU?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
A law professor, did you say?
MARGARET CARTER:
He was a history professor.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That doesn't fit my image of the usual timorous faculty member.
MARGARET CARTER:
He was approaching retirement age and he would have been unable to get employment at another school had he been forced to resign from TCU. So, he stayed as long as he could and he was convinced that he would be fired at TCU unless he resigned as mayor. He wasn't mayor at first; it was

Page 17
after two or three elections that he became mayor.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was this a citywide election?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, it was.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And he ran on what, a rather humanitarian and enlightened platform?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. And he carried out the programs that he advanced, too.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And he was undoubtedly opposed by the Fort Worth press?
MARGARET CARTER:
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram all the way.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Were there any papers that supported him?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. Dr. Hammond reached the point where he needed to resign, which would have left the city council without a quorum. They couldn't have held meetings or conducted city business. The idea was to throw the city government into complete anarchy, and he asked my husband if he would accept that seat by appointment.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What year was that?
MARGARET CARTER:
I would have to check it. I think that it was '38. My husband accepted the appointment.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
As mayor?
MARGARET CARTER:
No, the replacement would not be mayor then, he was a member of the council. There had been a long series of recall movements. Dr. Hammond had never succeeded in electing the whole city council but he had succeeded in getting six of the nine members elected on a slate and then several of them had turned against him. My husband had been chairman of the recall movement to get petitions signed to remove these people who had double-crossed Dr. Hammond. When my husband took the seat on the council the very petitions that my husband had gotten signed against other councilmen were also used in district court in a law suit to unseat him. Not a single voter

Page 18
had ever signed a petition to recall my husband.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You mean that they just used the same list of names?
MARGARET CARTER:
They just used the same list of names. And when they held a special election to recall the people who had disappointed Dr. Hammond, they also put my husband's seat up for grabs. He took them as far as he could go in the courts to protest that illegal unseating and then when the regular election came around, he ran for the seat and was defeated. This was all before he ran for county chairman.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So again, this is pretty much the doing of Amon Carter?
MARGARET CARTER:
No, I wouldn't say that. Because it was a situation where practically all the others interested in politics were sheep. Everybody who worked for a major oil company or a utility company or a bank or for a large business was automatically in the pocket of Mr. Carter. They were quite willing followers. There was very little rough pressure brought, it was just their finding out what the boss wanted them to do and that is what they did.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
In other words, sort of a business class here which shared his values to begin with.
MARGARET CARTER:
People who did not share similar benefits came to identify with more privileged people even if they were not sharing the benefits which the privileged wanted them to help protect.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Of course, this was a time too when the minorities, the blacks, were able to vote in city elections?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, they were but the organization of black voters was quite venal. There were a few precinct leaders who sold votes and after awhile, it became evident that they were not delivering the votes they sold so they sort of put themselves out of business. But black voters had no significant

Page 19
effect on city elections at the time.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
About what percentage of Fort Worth was black at that time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Perhaps fifteen percent.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Is that about the percentage today?
MARGARET CARTER:
It is somewhat larger, now.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was there a fairly sharp increase after the white primary decision?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, with the white primary decision, blacks became interested in at least becoming Democratic precinct chairmen in the precincts they dominated, because they didn't understand too much about, say, the difference between Dr. Hammond and Mr. Jarvis, but they could understand, because they could listen to the radio, the difference between Roosevelt and his detractors, and they very much wanted to support Roosevelt.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What was the reason for their not being able to clearly understand the issues in city government?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, they could be confused much more easily when you had only one newspaper and the newspaper also owned the local radio station, than on national issues.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Does Fort Worth have nonpartisan municipal elections?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Do you think that had any influence on the tendency to be confused?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. It was only very occasionally that any slates of candidates ran for city offices, so there were just individuals that they had to select and that was beyond them. It wasn't just that there were several unsavory characters in control, but that the ministers were pretty venal and they were able to get some participation from their congregations, which they

Page 20
controlled. They probably didn't understand the issues either, or maybe we didn't understand the issues.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
At this time, along with Amon Carter—he turns out to loom very large here—were there other families who would be considered members of the establishment at that time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. Raymond Buck was a very dependably loyal Democrat through the Texas Regulars and the "no third term" movement, and it seems to me that those movements to break the Democratic Party lasted for at least three presidential elections. And Raymond Buck was the son of a district judge and a very highly regarded lawyer himself who was aware that the New Deal had saved the privileged class and that included himself, and he once said to my husband, "I have not forgotten what made me a rich man and I do not intend to turn my back on the Democratic Party." He never did.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Are you referring here to the Jesse Jones Reconstruction Finance Corporation?
MARGARET CARTER:
That type of thing, yes.5
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, then . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
And of course, Mr. Buck was Mr. Carter's right-hand man and although he never crossed Mr. Carter, he had the sophistication to give Mr. Carter detailed advice about how to get done what he wanted to get done.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
How about Anne Tandy and that group of wealthy ranching families who lived in Fort Worth?
MARGARET CARTER:
To the best of my knowledge, they never took any direct active interest in politics. Anne Burnett Tandy has always been a private person until she married Mr. Tandy. Mary Sears, the former editor of the Star-Telegram's

Page 21
society section, was inundated with information about parties in which she had little interest. She never found it difficult to get copious, accurate information about Mrs. Carter's parties, but Anne Burnett's social life was a closely guarded secret. Most ordinary people were hardly aware of the names of Anne Burnett's successive husbands. The Tandys were guests at John Connally's party for President Nixon at Connally's ranch during Nixon's campaign for reelection. The guest list for that affair was not given to the press.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, really Amon Carter was Mr. Fort Worth.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And the two Carters had a falling out in the late thirties . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, they never had a falling out. [Laughter] My husband was just among the people that he didn't have to notice.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He was never "in" so he couldn't very well fall out.
MARGARET CARTER:
He couldn't very well fall out. He did have some other partisan experience, though.
After my husband became the county chairman in '44, he was too old to go to the war, and of course, the younger men who might have been active in politics were in the war in '44. And in '45, a young man from Georgia came into Texas because he was part of the staff of the Democratic National Party, to organize some Young Democrats. By that time, we had elected a staunch New Dealer from Dallas, Mr. Harry Seay who was president of the Southland Insurance Company, as state Democratic chairman. And Bill Kittrell, who was Mr. Rayburn's man in Texas, was the secretary of the state party when the national committee sent this young staff member down to get Young Democratic clubs organized. Their thinking was that they wanted to be able

Page 22
to receive the veterans as they returned from the Second World War and to make sure that young people stayed faithful to the Democratic Party. My husband was able to help, and by December 1945 we had a good many Young Democratic clubs formed. That was when I travelled for the Young Democrats and my husband was elected president of the Young Democratic Clubs of Texas. Jim Wright was elected national committeeman.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Jim Wright who is presently a congressman?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.And Bob Eckhardt6 was active in that group and so was Stewart Long7 and so was Chris Dixie8 and Bob Slagle . . . well, Bob Slagle flaked in '46 and gave us trouble.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Bob Slagle?
MARGARET CARTER:
S-L-A-G-L-E. He was from Sherman and he was also at one point the statewide manager of the Ralph Yarborough campaign. The first campaign that Senator Yarborough won was run by Bob Slagle.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What do you mean when you say that he "flaked"?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, we knew that we had something, and we did have something. We had a very good organization, a very lively organization and the establishmen began to infiltrate it. And Slagle and Joe Kilgore9 were flaked by the time of the '46 convention. [Recorder is turned off and then back on.]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Would you like to continue?
MARGARET CARTER:
I'm not sure where I was . . . I think that I was telling you about my husband and the Young Democrats. After we had had a highly successful convention in '45, that is, highly successful from the point of view of people who were interested in issues, we got a great many of the returned veterans into the organization and they were on fire about

Page 23
issues. They wanted to know "what did we mean pretending that China didn't exist," or "why in the world weren't we doing more about getting ethnic minorities interested in politics," and all kinds of questions that our elders and betters didn't want brought up. I was on the resolutions committee. We adopted a bloc of resolutions which were much tamer as we adopted them than they were as they came into the committee. [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You say that this is '46?
MARGARET CARTER:
'45. And Jim Wright was chairman of that resolutions committee. The reason why it is rather fresh in my mind is because he is writing an autobiography and . . .
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Jim Wright is?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, and he sent me a rough draft of a chapter for which he asked me to check the exact dates of that state convention and if possible, to send him a copy of the resolutions we adopted. I found it and xeroxed it for him. So, I have just been over the resolutions and the eighteen-year-old vote was one of them. There are several things which have been achieved in the years between then and now. Some of them have not yet been achieved but will be. By '46 of course, Bill Kittrell at least was wishing that they had never seen the man from Georgia who started all this. [Laughter] Of course, Mr. Kittrell had to answer to Mr. Rayburn for any disturbing influences in Texas and when we had an even more successful convention in '46, the national committeeman, whose name was Myron Blalock, from Marshall, tried to buy it with paper clubs. We didn't let him . . . our credentials committee sat down and called all people whose names were listed as members and said, "When did you join the Young Democratic club?" You know, it was just paper organization in most instances.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You are suggesting at this point that the Young Democratic clubs

Page 24
in Texas were essentially a progressive network of organizations?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. We were able to keep our statewide organization or network of only bonafide clubs. They didn't have to all agree with each other, but they did all have to be Young Democrats who were actually organized. That was the point when Bob Slagle and Joe Kilgore rose up, after the credentials report, and said that they were leaving us and they wanted their money back. Chris Dixie rose and made a fiery, eloquent speech in which he said with great dignity that there had been many reasons why Democrats had had to bolt in the recent past and there might be other reasons why it would be necessary to do so serious a thing as to bolt, but this was the only occasion when people had bolted because they wanted their money back. [Laughter] And he moved that the money be returned to the persons who provided it and that money was never claimed.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Who did Chris Dixie suspect had provided the money?
MARGARET CARTER:
Mr. Blalock.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
I see.
MARGARET CARTER:
So, in 1948 when Truman announced for president and the establishment in Texas was not for him, he had no money with which to open a state headquarters and Marion Storm was the secretary, my husband was then the president. She was then in charge of a local liberal office which Mrs. Cunningham had encouraged her to open back in 1944.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
This is Minnie Fisher Cunningham?
MARGARET CARTER:
Minnie Fisher Cunningham.10 Marion saw my husband and said, "We still have this two thousand dollars in the bank that nobody ever claimed from the '46 convention. Why don't we contribute it to the Truman campaign and they will be able to open a statewide headquarters?" So, that was what we did,

Page 25
because long before '48, Myron Blalock had persuaded the national committee to lift our charter.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
On what grounds?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, they didn't have to have any grounds, as far as I know, there never were any. Of course, he had not approved our organization in the first place.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
To go back one step, you give the impression that Rayburn was not pleased by the Young Democrats.
MARGARET CARTER:
Mr. Rayburn didn't mind our organizing in the first place, or Mr. Kittrell wouldn't have encouraged us. You see, we thought that the proper auspices were the secretary and chairman of the state Democratic committee. We didn't even know Mr. Blalock and you know, we're not much for looking up influential people. [Laughter]. We didn't see the need to, which I suppose we should have. The first that we heard from Mr. Blalock was that Mr. Rayburn was dissatisfied on account of the content of these resolutions.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
In other words, on account of these rather progressive resolutions?
MARGARET CARTER:
They didn't suit his friends over the state. And he was blamed for not having ridden herd on us before we gave publicity to these wild ideas like the eighteen-year-old vote.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, in various accounts of Rayburn's political career, he is often described as a New Deal liberal, but what you seem to be suggesting here is that at least by this point in his career, he was of a more conservative view.
MARGARET CARTER:
No, Mr. Rayburn was involved in a dichotomy. He was one person in Texas and another person in Washington. In Washington, he was Roosevelt's faithful organizer of the majority in the House. Since he and Roosevelt were elected and reelected in the same elections, on the same

Page 26
ticket, he felt that it was his duty to give the president practical support and he did. Except, of course, the depletion allowance could not be touched. He was there to see that the Texas oil industry was not offended. But in Texas, he was the man who extracted the checks from the millionaires. And everyone in Texas who disturbed the sensibilities of the millionaires had to be repressed so that he could get the credit for bringing substantial sums of money to the national party and also be free to give the president practical support of the kind that most ordinary voters don't understand.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So what happened when you incurred the ire of Rayburn?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well of course, in the process of taking the charter away from us they did have the grace to organize a Young Democratic club. [Laughter] They organized rival clubs, a few, which they recognized and as soon as they were recognized, they stopped meeting.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, once the charter was revoked or once it was taken from your hands, did the liberal control of the Young Democrat movement subside?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, yes. We were not even invited to the organizing meetings of this other group. We don't even know whether they met to this day. They just had newspaper stories saying that they met and there were frequently stories in the Star-Telegram about meetings that were said to have taken place when there had been no meetings.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And then did the Young Democratic movement in Texas kind of die out through this period?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When did it get started back up?
MARGARET CARTER:
I'm afraid that I don't know, because we were at the top of the age group then and you know, who cares what happens to a Young Democrat except another Young Democrat? [Laughter] Furthermore, we were grown people

Page 27
and my husband was already a county chairman then and when he learned what a vigorous and well-financed campaign—illegally financed, incidentally, as there was a ceiling of $125 on the amount that a party chairman could spend on his campaign—he decided that he would run for a public office rather than for reelection as county chairman. He ran for the state senate and was defeated for that. That was in '46. By that time, we were involved in the Rainey situation, which was how we became most closely associated with Minnie Fisher Cunningham, although she had been active in the '44 state convention. The office at 711 Littlefield Building, which she was instrumental in opening, had been continuously open since '44.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, you are speaking here when you say the Rainey affair, you're talking about President Homer Rainey who was fired by the board of regents at the University of Texas. Could you describe a little bit about how the Rainey bid for the governorship, the entire Rainey affair there, served as a focus for liberal organizing energies at that period?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. If you want to know where I knew Rainey, he was the youth director for the Baptist church that I attended as a little girl in Sherman. He went to Austin College and his wife taught in the high school that was a block from our house. He left Texas soon after he graduated and went into religious education rather than the ministry. At the time that he was youth director of our church, he was a ministerial student and it was a long time before he came back to Texas as the president of the University of Texas. When we were organizing the Young Democrats, many people thought and some were candid enough to say that they thought we were only organizing the Rainey campaign for governor. You may not remember, I don't know whether you were here then, that after he was fired—and of course, he

Page 28
realized fully that the course he was following for at least a year before he was fired was leading to that—he became a regular radio commentator with the support of a man who had invented a power mower, Jacques was his name, from Denison, which was just ten miles from Sherman. Mr. Jacques had made a good deal of money with this invention. He was a good mechanic and he had had enough good business advice after inventing something good that he did reap the profit himself. He was embarrassed because he couldn't find enough things to spend his tithe on and there was a Baptist minister named Blake Smith who was pastor of the University Baptist Church and Homer Rainey belonged to the University Baptist Church.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
In Austin?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, in Austin.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He was a rather liberal minister, too, wasn't he?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, he was.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
I don't believe that he was a Southern Baptist, was he?
MARGARET CARTER:
I'm not sure of that, but he was nonabrasive and quite dependable in a controversial situation. He persuaded Mr. Jacques that the Lord wanted him to use the rest of his tithe to subsidize Homer Rainey in a series of radio programs. I heard Dr. Rainey say once that now that the regents had fired him from the University of Texas, his classroom was the state of Texas. [Laughter] They were excellent radio broadcasts.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Why was Rainey fired, incidentally, by the regents?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh . . .do you really want to go into that? [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, if you could just briefly . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
For protecting the rights of his teachers to academic freedom, for one thing, and for insisting that the University of Texas Medical School

Page 29
should attempt to train as many doctors as Texas needed and . . .
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Wasn't there an academic freedom case involved with some English professor who was teaching John Dos Passos in the classroom and people were . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
That was an excuse, it was not the reason, really. Because those Dos Passos books which were made the campaign issue, although I'm sure they were really an issue at the time that he was fired, were on optional reading lists for a sophomore course. No one was required to read Dos Passos.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, what was the key academic freedom issue, then?
MARGARET CARTER:
It was a matter of the faculty members excercising their rights as citizens. During the war, there were three young teachers who did not have tenure, they were not professors, who had gone to a meeting that was being held by . . . I'm not sure which business group, but whichever group it was, it was misrepresenting . . .
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
MARGARET CARTER:
I knew the name of one of those instructors. His name was Peach, I don't remember the names of the other two. Large newspaper advertisements, sometimes full page, were being bought . . . I think that it was the National Association of Manufacturers, by one of the business groups and the advertisements completely misrepresented the impact of the federal forty-hour week law on the war effort. They said that our soldiers were out there facing the enemy without enough bullets and people back here in the war plants were not being allowed to work more than forty hours a week. Well, that was a lie. After they had worked forty hours a week, they had to be paid overtime. These three young men had gone very

Page 30
quietly to a mass meeting called by this rabble rouser for the business group and asked for a brief time to explain his misunderstanding of the forty-hour week, of the provisions of the forty-hour week law. He had immediately set out to get them fired at the University. The AAUP investigated that case and as I remember, Dr. Rainey was not able to protect their jobs because they didn't have tenure, but he took their side.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And it was the regents who insisted on their being fired?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. I can't remember the details, but that was the power arrangement. One of the first things that happened after Dr. Rainey became president was that Professor Clarence Ayers, who was a professor, he was the head of the economics department . . . well, I'm not sure he was the head, but he was a tenured professor in the economics department, was making a routine speech at one of the businessmen's luncheons, I think that it was the Rotary Club, and W. Lee O'Daniel was the governor of Texas. O'Daniel was plugging his sales tax on every radio program. He was, of course, on the radio very frequently because he wanted to go to the Senate. He had promised that he would not seek any other office than the governor's office until he had brought this money in to pay the old folks' pensions and every effort was being made to get a general sales tax passed by the legislature, which was resisting vigorously. At the end of the program, one of the members of the club asked Dr. Ayers what were the provisions of this sales tax bill which was causing so much controversy.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
The members of which club, now?
MARGARET CARTER:
I think that it was the Rotary Club. It was a downtown businessmen's club in Austin. He told them and there was a reporter there who put in the paper the actual information that Dr. Ayers gave in answer

Page 31
to a question. And the lobbyist from the State of Texas Chamber of Commerce immediately demanded in print an investigation by the proper committee of the legislature of this information that this "radical professor" was giving out in opposition to the governor's sales tax program. But somebody pulled his coattails before the next edition of the paper and said, "For heaven's sakes, don't push for a legislative investigation, Dr. Ayers will tell everybody in Texas what is in that damn thing and that is the last thing that we want." [Laughter] Dr. Rainey had hardly gotten his feet under the president's desk at the time and as soon as it was apparent that there was a controversy, some reporter called him and asked him what he thought. Well, he didn't know and he asked a few questions about what had happened and as soon as he learned that Dr. Ayers had been a guest at a club meeting and had answered a question that was asked him, he said, "Did he answer it truthfully, were there any inaccuracies in the statement?" He was told that there were none and he said, "Well, he is a citizen of Austin and he was operating on his own time and not representing the University and I don't believe that it is any of my business." That sort of insensitivity to the interests of the privileged was unheard of.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
On the part of the University of Texas president. You mentioned also that he was for increasing the number of doctors that was produced by the University of Texas medical school branch, and this was opposed by whom?
MARGARET CARTER:
By the medical school. The faculty was against it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And what was their purpose for opposing it?

Page 32
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, doctors then and I suppose that still doctors now, wanted the number of doctors low enough to ensure that each licensed doctor would have a chance for a good income and it didn't occur to them to look at their problem from the potential patient's point of view. The excuse that Dr. Rainey was given for resistance to his program for enlarging the student body at the medical school was that in Galveston, there were not enough opportunities for clinical experience for any larger graduating class than was now being produced. He said, "Well then, we'll need to move the medical school from Galveston, won't we?" [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, eventually he was fired and it became a cause celebre so far as the liberals were concerned.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, and of course, the best people on the faculty left and it became a cause celebre nationally.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So then he immediately ran for governor?
MARGARET CARTER:
That's right. And at the 1945 convention of the Young Democrats, he was the principal speaker at one of our sessions. We were most of us, Rainey supporters, but we had made every effort to gather in other Young Democrats. We didn't know who were Rainey supporters when we went out and looked for them to serve as Young Democratic organizers. I was the one who did the looking.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He ran and he was unsuccessful and . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
But he was not unsuccessful. He only didn't get to be governor.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
In what way was he successful?
MARGARET CARTER:
In the process of running for governor, he was able to

Page 33
acquaint the population of the state of Texas with the basic issues and before Beauford Jester could win the governorship in the primary, he had adopted Rainey's program. Dr. Rainey led the whole field of thirteen candidates and by the time the field had been reduced to him and Jester, who had already, of course, won elective office in one statewide race before, he came from the Railroad Commission to the governorship, the whole state of Texas was familiar with Dr. Rainey's position on the issues, and then in the runoff campaign, Jester took over every one of Rainey's principal positions on issues. So, by the time that he was elected, it was Rainey's program that people were expecting and they got it, which was something that Rainey could not have accomplished had he been elected governor. Because Rainey would not have had the cooperation of the legislature. That was why my husband ran for the senate.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He ran for the state senate?
MARGARET CARTER:
He ran for the state senate. He said that if by some quirk, Homer Rainey should get the governorship, he would need somebody in the state senate who could help him. Of course, the Lord didn't intend for Rainey to be governor of Texas and He didn't intend for my husband to be in the state senate, either. [Laughter] So, that was that.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So then . . . well, would you say that this also had the effect of revivifying or at least giving a boost to the liberal movement at that time?
MARGARET CARTER:
No, it had a bad effect on the liberal movement. There were not many people who were perceptive enough to understand how much Dr. Rainey had contributed. What they saw was that he had to leave the state

Page 34
to get another job and we were in difficulty at that point. That state senate election, though, persuaded us that it was foolish for my husband ever to run for office again and at the local level, an issue was made of his membership in the NAACP.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
How long did he belong to that?
MARGARET CARTER:
As long as there had been a chapter. We had been charter members and helped to organize it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When was that?
MARGARET CARTER:
I'm not sure when that was. It was probably '44.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
The year that the white primary was outlawed.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. The NAACP didn't amount to much, heaven knows, but . . .
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Were there very many white members in it?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. I suppose there were about as many white members as there were blacks, because the blacks didn't know what it was about. There were more white members who understood the purpose of the organization and it was a fully interracial organization at that time.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Were the blacks in it primarily professional people?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, a dentist became the first president of the NAACP and he retained the office for about twenty-five years.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, that would seem to suggest that there was . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
I didn't get to tell you what my husband had to do with that. When he ran for the senate, his opponent's supporters began to tell everyone that he was a member of the NAACP and . . .
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And that probably cost him quite a few votes.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. There was no way that he could have won, but that was another thing that cost him votes and a dear soul who was president

Page 35
of the Woman's Democratic Club at the time said after he was defeated, "It was unfortunate that Mr. Carter was a member of the NAACP." I said, "Mrs. Douglas, it is not a misfortune to be a member of the NAACP." [Laughter] But we realized that with our position on race relations well-known and far ahead of the majority of voters, we would never win an election.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, he just really gave up the idea of . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
Running for office. But my husband became a member of the state Democratic committee after that.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When was that?
MARGARET CARTER:
1948.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And how long was he a member of that?
MARGARET CARTER:
One term.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
How many liberals would you estimate were on the committee at that time?
MARGARET CARTER:
It was the committee that had a majority of liberals, I think the only one in the history of Texas.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Is that right?
MARGARET CARTER:
Stuart Long was a member of that committee and Lillian Collier.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Lillian Collier?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And Stuart Long of Austin?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What accounts for that, why were they able to control the committee at that time?

Page 36
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, the people who hedged their bets all expected Truman to lose and it was only the Democrats who were Democrats-win-or-lose who were active in the Truman campaign. So, we controlled the convention.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Wasn't it the case in 1948 that there was at least some split among the liberals, between the Wallaceites and the Truman people?
MARGARET CARTER:
Wallace in '48?
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
The Progressive . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, Henry Wallace.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Yes, Henry Wallace.
MARGARET CARTER:
The Progressive Party. It didn't amount to much in Texas.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Is that right? Were very many of the prominent liberals identified with the Wallace effort?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. I was in Austin, in Gregory Gymnasium on the night in 1947 when Wallace intimated, although he didn't formally announce, that he would be a candidate for the presidency on an independent ticket and I was appalled. I don't remember that there were any of my friends who felt any other way. We went from that very large meeting to . . . you see, that was another end of the war meeting with a bunch of very progressive veterans, students at the University. I don't remember how it was, but I do remember that we went . . . oh yes, I do. It was because Marion Storm had made the arrangements for that meeting and we went from that meeting to a much smaller meeting in the penthouse of the Austin Hotel, which was the newly fashionable hotel at the time, where Wallace was staying and to wait for the time that his plane would leave. There was maybe two hours between the time of the end of the meeting and the time that he needed to go to the airport

Page 37
and John Henry Faulk11 was there entertaining Henry Wallace with a stand-up kind of lampoon of all the Texas leaders in the national Congress. [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, John Henry then, was a Wallace supporter though, wasn't he?
MARGARET CARTER:
I don't really remember.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
I remember watching the television show a couple of weeks ago, although i haven't read John Henry's book, but the right-wing people who got him blacklisted said that he voted for the Communist candidate in 1948. Well, the "Communist candidate" in 1948 was Henry Wallace, the Communist Party supported Henry Wallace, and that was how he was slandered there.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, I suppose you could say that. I met John Henry Faulk that night and I don't remember what he did in the campaign. We ran the Truman campaign. Nobody who was anybody wanted to have anything to do with it and you know, that was the year that Allan Shivers, who was the governor, persuaded the . . . no, I beg your pardon. In '48, everybody just kept their hands off, everybody who had any influence, because they didn't want to be caught associating with a loser.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, did that include some of the liberals, or were the liberals pretty strongly out in force to back Truman?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, it was our definition of a liberal that he supported the Democratic candidate. [Laughter] And of course, my husband was a state committeeman. He had an obligation, which he took very seriously, to organize for Truman and it embarrassed Mr. Blalock to have to come to

Page 38
Fort Worth and associate with the man whom he had gotten thrown out of the Young Democrats, as a state committeeman, but he did it and we associated with him. Then, he put Mr. Buck in charge of raising money for the campaign and made my husband the chairman of the Truman-Barkley Club, which was supposed to round up smaller donations and make the little people feel a part of it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Now, what was Mr. Blalock's position at this time?
MARGARET CARTER:
He was national committeman for Texas.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
I see. And what role did Sam Rayburn play insofar as Texas went in that campaign?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, Mr. Rayburn, of course, was loyal to the nominee and was happy to receive whatever money Mr. Buck could raise from our county.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, it was largely then, the labor of the liberals, at least at the grassroots level, which accounted for . . .
MARGARET CARTER:
That was all there was. They said that Mr. Amon Carter placed a bet . . . now Mr. Amon Carter made a substantial contribution to Truman and then he placed a bet with Jimmy the Greek with the odds ten to one in favor of Dewey. So, by making a hundred dollar bet, he got a thousand dollars back and that was all he had given to Truman. It cost him nothing to be known as a staunch Truman supporter. [Laughter] And he did nothing but write a check.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
He wasn't stupid, was he?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, no. [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You mentioned just a moment ago when we were talking, about Truman's turncoat role in 1952. Could you elaborate on that? I'm sorry, not Truman, but Shivers. His role in the 1952 election.

Page 39
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, by 1952, Shivers was in a position . . . you see, the liberals had come into some influence in the state party in presidential elections because that's when the ordinary people are interested enough to turn out. And then we go out of influential positions in the convention two years after that when nobody but the regulars are interested in the convention. So, this liberal state committee in '48 had gone out and had been succeeded by a very establishment-oriented state committee in '50. Well, it was no trouble at all for Shivers to persuade the '52 convention that had been arranged by that committee elected in '50 to take the entire machinery of the official Democratic party in Texas into the Eisenhower campaign, which he did do. Well, that left Mr. Rayburn without the semblance of a party structure through which to operate the '52 campaign. He came to Dallas and set up a party headquarters in the Adolphus Hotel and personally managed it, the '52 Stevenson campaign. Well, he had the grace to be somewhat embarrassed about having to come to Jack Carter in Tarrant County, and by that time, we had elected a railway clerk who was a dependable Democrat, [unclear]. So, Mr. Ward was technically in charge of that campaign, but Mr. Ward was inaccessible during working hours, and while he was as helpful as he could be, it was Mr. Carter who was really in charge of the campaign, Mr. Rayburn was very embarrassed at one point when he promised us a good deal of literature, we hadn't raised enough money to make any difference and he said that if Mr. Ward would come over to the Adolphus Hotel, he had a good deal of literature that he would give us. And Mr. Ward couldn't go, so Mr. Carter went

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and Mr. Rayburn was frustrated at having to deal with Mr. Carter. But we got the literature.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What did Mr. Rayburn say?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, I don't know that he said anything. [Laughter] But it was obvious that he hadn't expected to see Mr. Carter. Of course, that was also funny because back in '48, when my husband was elected to the state committee, it was after a credentials contest and the Dixiecrats, who were thrown out of the '48 convention, state convention, by a vote of the convention, took us to court and said that their civil rights had been violated and quoted the federal civil rights statute under which no suit had ever been filed in Texas at the time. But they filed their suit in the state court, to remove my husband and his committeewoman from their seats on the state executive committee. But during the campaign, Truman came to Texas in September of '48—during the campaign, my husband was a committeeman. So, when Truman came to Fort Worth, my husband had to be invited to be in the receiving line. Of course, Mr. Amon Carter and Mr. Raymond Buck were in charge of the arrangements for the president's visit. Which was quite all right with us, we didn't have any facilities for planning presidential visits. But Mr. Amon Carter had to treat Mr. Jack Carter as if he were a personal friend and it was not easy for him. Soon thereafter, my husband was forbidden by injunction issued in the district court to perform any of the duties of the state committee.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
On what grounds?
MARGARET CARTER:
That there was question about whether he was the proper person to be the state committeeman.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
As a result of this suit . . . ?

Page 41
MARGARET CARTER:
No, as a result of the credentials contest in the convention.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Oh, I see. OK.
MARGARET CARTER:
And as long as that litigation was pending, said the district judge, there would be no state committeeman. That was all right, we didn't care what the title was. Mr. Blalock had already been to Fort Worth and appointed my husband president of something he called a club and so my husband went differentially to the district judge and said, "I understand that I cannot perform the duties of a state committeeman. Would it be a violation of your order if I served as the chairman of the Truman-Barkley Club, which the national committeeman has asked me to do?" Well, the district judge said, "Jack, you know better than to ask me a question like that. You do what you think that you ought to do and then I'll tell you whether it was the right thing." [Laughter] So, he went right ahead and served and Judge Morris never had anything to say about it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Of course, that was the same year that Lyndon Johnson was elected to the Senate.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, it was. And my husband was on the state committee that was sued by Coke Stevenson12 over the certification of the returns.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was effort put forward by the liberals who were backing Truman at that time to back Johnson?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
In other words, he was perceived as a pretty straightforward liberal candidate in that context?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, don't go too far. [Laughter] But we supported him.

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CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, what I'm trying to get at is at that time, did he appear to be more liberal than some people came to believe perhaps than he was later on?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, he was a useful member of the Texas congressional delegation. He had been in the House and he had a pretty good record as Texas congressmen's records go. We certainly didn't want to see Coke Stevenson in the Senate. He had been the governor during part of the struggle over whether people who intended to oppose the national nominees had a right to control the state machinery. That was what all this Dixiecrat "No Third Term" Texas Regular squabble was about and Coke Stevenson had stood aside and said, "You never drink coffee from the boiling pot and I have friends on both sides."
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
This was at the time that he was governor?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. In the forties. So, we knew that we didn't want Stevenson to go to Washington and furthermore, when Rainey's situation developed, Stevenson had been the governor when Rainey was fired and he had made no effort to influence the regents. So, we had that against Stevenson, too. Of course, Stevenson very much wanted to run for reelection, but come '46 when the powers that be saw that they weren't going to be able to guarantee Stevenson's reelection, they supported Jester for governor and Stevenson was promised that if he would support Jester for governor, the same people who were supporting Jester for governor would support him for the next Senate race. They tried to deliver and they just couldn't quite do it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And that was known by the liberals at the time?
MARGARET CARTER:
Oh, yes. From the establishment's point of view, Johnson was an upstart who was trying to get promoted to the Senate when

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it wasn't his turn. We were always for upstarts. [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Still are, aren't you?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
How is the time going? Do you still feel like talking more?
MARGARET CARTER:
It's 5:30, isn't it?
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Yes. I still feel like asking questions if you are up to it. Would you like to take a little break, perhaps? Well, in the 1950s the liberals began to get what I guess you would call rather ambivalent feelings about Johnson. What was the source of those feelings?
MARGARET CARTER:
I never was too much disturbed about Johnson until he began to lean heavily on John Connally's advice. You know, Johnson lost his first try for the Senate. John Connally tried to make everybody forget that, but we remembered it and we had been for Johnson then.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That was when, 1942?
MARGARET CARTER:
'41. It was a special election. Raymond Buck was for him then, too and that was the first time that we knew him. He lost that one. Well, you know how close he came to losing it in '48, but he had been to Fort Worth and made an involved deal, the details of which I do not know, but some of them became obvious later, with Amon Carter and Sid Richardson.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Were Carter and Richardson close friends?
MARGARET CARTER:
Very, and Richardson was supposed then to be the richest individual in the world. He was an East Texas boy who had made an oil fortune at the same time that Carter was making one in oil and newspapers and several other areas.

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CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
At the time that this deal was made, was Connally Richardson's lawyer?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. Connally was Johnson's secretary.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That's right. This is in '48?
MARGARET CARTER:
'48, well, before '48. Apparently, part of the deal was that Connally would become an employee of Richardson and another part of the deal was supposed to be that Amon Carter's access to Canadian newsprint would be facilitated. I don't know just which agency of the federal government had to do with that, but Amon Carter was having a hard time getting enough paper to print his newspapers. That was part of the deal and I don't know what else was part of it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, who was able to make that available to him?
MARGARET CARTER:
I don't know, but I have heard that was part of the deal and I do know that there was an acute newsprint shortage in this country at that time and that was how John Connally happened to move to Fort Worth and get into our hair. After John Connally began to be the fundraiser for Johnson, the people whose arms he twisted for money brought pressure on Johnson and that was the point at which Johnson began to look less than useful to Texas liberals.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was John Connally perceived, at that point, back in the early fifties, as the conservative that he is now known to be? Were his political views fairly clearly known at that point?
MARGARET CARTER:
No.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
But the inference was drawn because he was Sid Richardson's

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lawyer and people knew how Sid Richardson saw things, it was assumed that he was a conservative influence?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, but John Connally was not seeking publicity for his views.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And then, of course, we come to the 1952 election. What role did Johnson and Rayburn and the liberals play?
MARGARET CARTER:
Rayburn tried very hard to carry Texas for the Democratic nominee. I don't remember that Johnson was active in the campaign, but I'm sure that he supported the nominee. Rayburn had to depend on the unions, which at that time had liberal leadership. We had a very good labor-liberal coalition going in our county by that time.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Who were some of the labor leaders?
MARGARET CARTER:
Paul Gray was one. He's in Austin, now, for the CWA and trying to organize the municipal workers into the Communication Workers Union. Don't ask me why. [Laughter] Ross Mathews was perhaps the best one. He was one of the chairmen of our labor-liberal coalition. He was the secretary of the largest machinists union in the world, the largest machinists local in the world, at General Dynamics, which was then called Convair, the plant where the military airplanes were made. It was the largest single employer in Tarrant County, as it has been for some years now. Ross was really something. His political enemies got him defeated for reelection to his union office. Then, A. J. Pittman was vice-chairman of the coalition and he was the regional organizer for the packinghouse workers union and somehow, the local establishment people got to the radical leadership of the packinghouse workers union, because Pittman was elected in the international convention and Ross was elected by the members of his local.13 You can

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understand how they might have had enough local influence, enough local entrees to manage to defeat Ross, but they also managed to defeat Pitt. They took a radical approach to get him thrown out and a very conservative approach for getting Ross thrown out and they were both thrown out because they were officers of the labor-liberal coalition.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Has anyone speculated as to how that was achieved?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, I know how it was achieved.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
How?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, they persuaded . . .in the first place, they wouldn't give Ross credit for anything that he was doing or publicity to show that he was making friends for the union at the same time that he was making enemies. He was, of course, making enemies but they were the kinds of enemies that union officials should be proud to have and he was making many friends and strengthening their educational program with political clout. Ross was a real grassroots organizer. He took members of his union who were absolutely unsophisticated and inducted them into the mysteries of a precinct campaign so that they began to control their conventions and to become members of the county Democratic committee and when they had been through the campaign where they were elected to the county committee, they began to look around for public offices for which they could run and we kept having to fill vacancies because everybody that Ross turned into a party officer then turned around and ran for the water district or the school board or even the city council of some working man's suburb. He was doing an excellent grassroots political education job, but it was easy to persuade malcontents . . .

Page 47
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Within his union?
MARGARET CARTER:
Within his union, that he was spending too much time on politics. This in spite of the fact that he was also the best office manager of union records within the United States and after he was defeated, as secretary of that local, he went to the international headquarters of his union and became assistant treasurer and was put in charge of a program of educating other people how to keep their union records as well as he had kept his. It was not true that there was a conflict between his duties and his interests in politics.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, who do you speculate was involved here in getting the malcontents in his union to actually overthrow him?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, we know about one effort. There was one young man who is still active in Fort Worth labor circles and who worked at Convair at the time, who circulated a disaffiliation petition among the members of the machinists union there. There is another small union there that is not affiliated with any international group, that has one or two departments organized at Convair and these men, some of whom were affiliated with another AFL-CIO international . . . I mean, they were influenced by organizers for another AFL-CIO organization, were circulating a disaffiliation petition and of course, you can't do that long without being caught. Two of them were caught and were charged with disloyalty to the union. They had what they called a trial and they were found guilty and assessed a large fine. The hearing board was satisfied that the large fine would amount to expulsion but they didn't want to expel them formally, they felt sure that they would never pay the fine so they would never have them on their hands again, they hoped.

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And this young man that I knew, I didn't know one of them but I knew the other one, was the son of a [unclear] member of the stockhandlers union. When my husband first came to Fort Worth, the first winter, his mother and her seven children lived in a tent on the north side of Fort Worth. North Fort Worth was at one time a separate town from Fort Worth. It was an industrial suburb that included the packinghouses. The people who worked in the packinghouses were organized into unions, one of which was the stockhandlers union. And this boy's father had been active in the stockhandlers union and had been known as a stool pigeon for management since my husband could remember. My husband was doing an Amon Carter among the stockhandlers and selling them refreshments, because they worked for a cafe and he had to start to work by the time he was twelve years old. And he knew from hearing the men talk as he sold them sandwiches that no one trusted this boy's father. And the father called Ross—the secretary's position is the important office in that local, because it's a paid office—the secretary of the local which the son had been trying to destroy and said, "I want you to use your influence to get the amount of the fine reduced." Ross said, "I'm not going to do it. He was trying to destroy my union and I don't want him to ever be an active member of it again." The father said, "Oh no, he wasn't trying to destroy your union, he was just trying to destroy your political interests." [Laughter] So, we know about that effort and the man who defeated Ross was a very ignorant man who probably meant well and really thought that Ross was neglecting his duties. Then he tried to take up the political action which Ross had

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to leave off. He just didn't know how.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, Ross's influence was effectively destroyed.
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, he just had to leave Texas. He went right ahead, but he did it somewhere else. [Laughter] And he was a vice president of the international union when he retired. There was an effort to get him into a business, which is another thing often done to union leaders. Either they move them up into management or they try to persuade them that they would like to be in business for themselves. He was offered a job in business that would have made him very much his own man and utilized his skills as an office manager, but he said, "I've sat on one side of the table for too long, and I know which side I belong on." He was a tool and die maker. He said, "I can always make a living with my hands." He was a great man.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That's a moving story.
MARGARET CARTER:
And his motivation was, his inner motivation, that he was living on borrowed time. He had contracted tuberculosis before there were the cures for tuberculosis that there are now and had lived in a sanitarium for about a year, expecting to die. While he was there, he began to read practically everything in the library, which wasn't very much, except they had some of the liberal magazines for which Victor Reuther was writing. Victor Reuther was travelling in Europe for the United Automobile Workers and Ross educated himself. He knew more about what was going on in the Italian elections, for instance, than most Americans ever bothered to keep up with. He was never ostentatious about that, but if you talked with him, you knew how well informed he was. And he was

Page 50
the superintendent of a Baptist Sunday School.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Would you say that his type is characteristic of the labor leaders in Fort Worth today?
MARGARET CARTER:
No.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What has happened there?
MARGARET CARTER:
I don't want to say anything bitter about the leadership of organized labor. It has no leadership. There are only opportunists looking for a way up into the middle class. They don't understand that it is an honor to be a member of labor.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Would you explain this to some extent in terms of the story that you just gave here, the way that the labor leaders of an earlier period were weeded out?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, it would be easier, I think, to tell you another story. [Laughter] When Paul Gray was the chairman of our coalition, he became the chairman after Ross left, by that time, the UAW had pulled out of the AFL-CIO and it had more money in its citizenship fund for coalition activity than any other AFL-CIO union or all of them lumped together. Paul was with CWA, which of course, is a small union in terms of numbers, and we needed someone from labor to be taken out of the plant, to serve full-time as an organizer before the big convention. I believe that this was '56, the second Stevenson campaign and the UAW got to nominate the person because they had the most money to add to the fund and they nominated an old boy who was a graduate of Texas A&M. They thought that was great because most of them had never been to college at all, you know. He meant well, but he couldn't help but be impressed by well-heeled Johnson supporters. That was the year that Lyndon Johnson was trying to impress the national convention with his ability to bring

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to the national convention a delegation which would stay hitched. The reason that Mr. Rayburn never had a chance to be nominated on a national ticket was that from 1940 on, and I believe for a long time before that, back in 1924, there was never a time from 1924 until 1956 that a Texas delegation to the Democratic national convention supported in the convention the candidate whom the majority of Texas voters supported the following November. The Texas delegation was atypical and had neither the will nor the strength to deliver the Texas vote in a general election. Of course, in the forties, they had been impudent about it and insulting. I believe that it was in '40 when they walked out of the national convention.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was this so even during the '30s, during the Roosevelt years?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. It was so from the time when Al Smith was nominated in '28 at the Houston national convention. The Texas delegation did not support Al Smith. Most of them bolted to Hoover. So, there never was a time after Cox was the national nominee, until Lyndon Johnson put together the '56 delegation, that the delegation could say to be typical of Texas voters. That was a source of constant embarassment to Mr. Rayburn. Well, he advised Lyndon, "For God's sake, before you make your bid, get a delegation together that will impress delegations from other states with its loyalty to the national party." So, Lyndon put the organization for the '56 delegation in our hands and he directed John Connally and Raymond Buck and Hunter McLean to work with us.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Who is Hunter McLean?
MARGARET CARTER:
Hunter McLean is a member of one of the oldest families in Fort Worth. That picture that I was showing you, from the suffrage scrapbook, of the lady with the Scotch tartan around her shoulders? That's a picture of his Aunt Margaret,

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who was an enthusiastic Stevenson supporter both times and who lost a good many of her influential friends because of her outspoken support of Stevenson. Hunter owned an insurance company, which he had built by writing into the fine print exceptions which made it most difficult to get his company to pay out any of the income which he took in. [Laughter] He was the son of a very useful and very loyal Democrat, who was also a medical doctor and was an industrial surgeon whom working people trusted more in our county than anyone else. Other members of his family had been the first lawyers and judges in the county. The Scotts and the McLeans had a kind of a monopoly on the professions in early Fort Worth.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, Hunter McLean was a conservative who usually would not be expected to work in the Stevenson campaign?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. He was the kind of conservative who would have worked for Lyndon Johnson out of opportunism. Those three were the conservative but loyal leaders who helped the rest of us carry the conventions in '56. I was a delegate to the national convention in '56, because Mr. Buck said that the person who does the work ought to go to the convention.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Did you get to know John Connally personally in this role?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, I got to know John Connally and found out what a double-crossing so-and-so he was and I have never had the slightest occasion to change my opinion. We were talking about the labor leader and I told you that I would tell you a story about that. Well, he was in charge of the office that labor set up to help with this coalition effort and he couldn't help but be impressed with the people from the Fort Worth Club who were involved with us. Hunter was a gentleman, I'll

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give him credit. He was elected to the board of our labor-liberal organization. He accepted election to the board and he attended meetings and took part. Now, John never let himself get caught in the same room with us, but once. There was one point where we threatened to back out of the whole thing and he did allow himself to sit in the same room with us for a few minutes while Raymond Buck and Ross Mathews worked out the situation. [Laughter] But Hunter was a gentleman, he did work along with us, and this kid, whose name I can't recall at the moment, I'll think of it, was bowled over at the opportunity to play golf with Hunter McLean and they pegged him as the person whom they could persuade to accept their guidance rather than the guidance of impecunious liberals who had put him in a position to meet them in the first place. And that poor boy got so mixed up and so torn between the various loyalties that were fighting for him inside, that by the time Connally's inauguration was being held—Connally went after the governorship, of course, after this '56 campaign—and he was expecting a good appointment which we now think that Connally never intended to make, but he thought that he had a serious offer and he couldn't decide whether he wanted to do that or stay in the labor movement. He dropped dead, and he wasn't forty years old, at Connally's inauguration.
He was typical of the kind of labor leaders that we have had since then. The lure of associating with executives is too much for them, especially as they get into positions where they have got to maneuver so as to satisfy conservative people or go back into the plant. Most of them aren't like Ross. They don't think that they could make a living with the skill they used to use to make a living. They can't bear the thought of becoming blue collar workers if they have had a white

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collar job. They have no intention of doing as volunteers, anything for which they have ever managed to draw pay and of course, we don't have job patronage, or contract patronage, or campaign headquarters financing to offer. They say, "Well, we provide the money and you liberals get the credit." Well, of course, they have provided a good deal of money, but they are mistaken about the liberals getting the credit. They provide the money but we do the work, because when their members see that they get the money, their members expect not to be called upon to do work. The situation is now impossible, in my opinion. It doesn't make any difference which personality is head of the state AFL-CIO. If he gets to be head of the state AFL-CIO, he is already committed to do nothing that will offend the governor, because they think that it is more important to be able to submit a few names for a few appointive positions to the governor than it is to keep their membership informed about who is gutting whom for what.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
When do you think this first began to be the dominant view?
MARGARET CARTER:
I'm not sure that it was at the same time in all parts of the country. I'm sure that it was not the same time in all the labor unions.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Say so far as the Texas AFL-CIO was concerned?
MARGARET CARTER:
I can't say. Until the merger, we worked more with the industrial unions than with the craft unions.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And that was when, 1956?
MARGARET CARTER:
No, surely it's been farther back than that. There were Jerry Holleman and Hank Brown and Roy Evans and Harry Hubbard, they've all presidents since the merger . . . I'm not sure exactly when it was, but I know back in the '40s and early '50s when we first became

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active, the state secretaries of the Industrial Union Council, I believe they called it, they didn't even call it the state CIO for some time, and the one of those that we got to know best was Jeff Hickman who was an oil worker. Jeff had also been a schoolteacher and he was great.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
So, you see this gradual change in the labor movement as being really due to structural features, which are pretty much endemic in the system?
MARGARET CARTER:
I think so. I think that it is a tragedy.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Do you see the labor movement as gradually splitting off from the liberal movement?
MARGARET CARTER:
Not gradually . . . well, I guess that it has happened gradually, but it has happened. The unions have been co-opted.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
And this again, would you say, really began to become evident in the middle '50s?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, the 1956 election was also the election where finally the liberals did come to blows with Lyndon Johnson, with Mrs. Frankie Randolph leading them.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. Well, we didn't exactly come to blows until we got to the convention. Mr. Rayburn and Lyndon were so high-handed, they were utterly out of touch with the realities of the situation. You know, we had two members of the national committee to elect, and they thought that Mr. Rayburn was going to hand-pick one and Mr. Johnson was going to hand-pick the other. Mr. Rayburn was a man of his word. Now, back in the '40s, when we had been willing to present contests which we had a good chance to lose, Byron Skelton from Temple had been willing to be our candidate for

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national committeeman, knowing very well that Mr. Rayburn probably couldn't get the job for him and Byron was a proud man who didn't especially like to be a losing candidate. Mr. Rayburn had promised Byron in the middle '40s—I believe that was '48, anyway, when Byron was the spearhead for an unsuccessful contest which Mr. Rayburn wanted to carry to the national convention—that since Byron didn't get to be national committeeman then, the first time that loyal Democrats could elect a national committeeman, Mr. Rayburn would support Byron Skelton. Well, he remembered that and he didn't have the slightest intention of ever crossing Byron Skelton, and he said to Lyndon, "Byron Skelton is going to be the national committeeman. Now, you can pick the national committeewoman." Neither one of them ever thought to consult the people who had done the work that gave them the chance to have any input, about what we wanted. So, we went to the convention pledged to Mrs. Randolph and we elected her on the floor. You probably know as much about that as I do.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, why don't you just tell it.
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, Lyndon and Mr. Rayburn, of course, were able to handpick the committees and the officers of the convention because there were no state party rules until 1972. And the nominations committee kept trying to bring in a winning team. [unclear] By that time, Kathleen Voight from San Antonio had also become a well-known organizer and was very close to Mr. Rayburn.
John Connally was trying to get to be the national committeeman and that was probably why he tolerated us in his district at all. He had agreed to work with Raymond and Hunter in keeping us in line to do the work, in the district. He wanted to be the national committeeman. I had suggested that

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we support Mrs. Randolph for national committeewoman and Mr. Buck for national committeeman. Mr. Buck had wanted to be national committeeman all his life and the national committeeman has to raise a good deal of money and I saw no reason why we couldn't deal with an honest conservative. The Fort Worth liberals refused to help Mr. Rayburn keep his commitment to Byron Skelton because in the course of their interfactional squabbling, Byron Skelton had helped Mr. Rayburn to cut Creekmore Fath's throat.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Creekmore Fath being an Austin liberal?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, and many of us were and still are friends of Creekmore's. So, we didn't feel any obligation to help Mr. Rayburn get the committeeman's seat for Byron. He hadn't been of any effective help to us in some time. We supported Raymond Buck for national committeeman and I had gotten to know Mrs. Randolph rather well by that time.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Mrs. Randolph being a rather wealthy Houston liberal and publisher of the Texas Observer, the liberal weekly.
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes and of course, the founder of the Harris County Democrats.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Yes, the liberal organization in Houston.
MARGARET CARTER:
I proposed to Mrs. Randolph that Houston and Fort Worth join forces and support Buck and Randolph as a team. She said, "I don't know Raymond Buck." [Laughter] She said, "Of course, you may address the Harris County caucus." So, Mr. Buck found out that he wasn't going to get any liberal support and he knew that he wasn't going to get any conservative support, so he didn't run. [Laughter] They made him the temporary chairman of the state convention then. That was all right, too, because he was fair. When we got to the convention on Sunday, the convention was

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due to start on Tuesday morning and we went up on Sunday afternoon, having made all our local caucus decisions Sunday afternoon, then a few of us went immediately to Dallas to find out what was going on. The first thing that I had to deal with was to go and tell Byron Skelton that we weren't going to support him, because he thought we were. That wasn't easy to do. But I found him and told him that I was sorry and that he knew why and he said that he did. Then I looked around to see where else I might get some information and on the way up the stairs, I found out that Lyndon was pushing Mrs. Lloyd Bentsen for national committeewoman. So, we got up to Ed Levy's suite, Ed Levy was the state committeeman from Texarkana and my husband had served on the state committee with him and he was a loyal, if not a very liberal, Democrat. I knew some of the people and some I didn't and as soon as I came in, they quit talking to each other. So, as soon as I got a drink in my hand, I said, "Who is going to be the national committeewoman?" They were sure that I was pledged to Frankie Randolph and so nobody would rise to the bait and there was a long pause and somebody said, "Well, who do you think it is going to be?" I said, "Well, I don't know, but it sure isn't going to be Lloyd Bentsen." [Laughter] Poor old Ed realized that there was tension in his party, so he came wandering over with about his fifth drink in his hand and he said, "Lloyd Bentsen can't be the national committeewoman, he's a man." [Laughter] That was the feminist point that we tried to make during a good part of that convention, that whichever woman became the national committeewoman should be someone who had worked hard in the campaign, not someone whose husband was given the committeewoman's seat as a consolation prize.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

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CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
You sometimes wonder if history would have been different?
MARGARET CARTER:
Had we allowed Mrs. Bentsen to have the committeewoman's seat in '56. She got it later, about three presidential elections later, as I remember. [Laughter] There was a big pre-convention rally that night and when Lyndon Johnson came on the platform to speak about something . . . I don't remember what . . . he was booed, largely by Harris County people who were disappointed that he had tried so hard to try to find some other candidate besides Mrs. Randolph for national committeewoman. We discovered his weakness. Up to that point, he hadn't been willing to negotiate with us, but he could not bear the thought of being booed and he came to terms with us. The agreement was that Mrs. Randolph would get a chance, not that he would support her, but that she would get a fair chance to recruit as much support as she could, support on the floor of the convention, which was necessary when you had no rules and you had to have an agreement with whoever was in charge of the platform if we would guarantee that he would not be booed anytime during the convention.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That's the deal he made?
MARGARET CARTER:
We had great difficulty carrying out our part of the bargain. [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That's a very potent power to wield.
MARGARET CARTER:
And still, he would not allow the committee on nominations to consider her name. He tried to get the wife of a doctor from Lake Whitney considered and he tried to get Kathleen Voight considered but Kathleen was so close to Mr. Rayburn that Mr. Rayburn would have had to accept Kathleen as his half of the bill, John Connally was going to be the other one. Well, John Connally didn't have the support of his district—our district. But they almost put that past us and it was Mr. Buck who tipped me off that they were about to put that past us. So, we rushed up and quickly transferred

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our support from Mr. Buck, who had not formally told us that he would not accept the nomination, to Mr. Skelton and that, among other things, locked Mr. Rayburn into his choice of Mr. Skelton and it knocked Kathleen out of her chance to be considered in competition with Mrs. Randolph. Then, the nominating committee still didn't have a candidate to suggest with Mr. Skelton. They recommended Mr. Skelton for committeeman and they made no recommendation for committeewoman. Then we got a vote on the floor on Mrs. Randolph for committeewoman. Before the convention proceedings got that far, we had some contests decided because Hunter's and John's and Raymond's friends who had joined them in working with us had filed a contest against our delegation. At that stage in the development of convention politics in Texas, it wasn't usual to get contests settled early enough in the convention for the decision to mean very much. We got the contests settled before we took the crucial vote and Mrs. Randolph was elected from the floor. Of course, she worked very well with Paul Butler who became the national chairman. And when Paul Butler was setting up this executive committee of the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Rayburn and Mr. Johnson didn't want it set up at all, whoever made the motion for Butler's proposal in the national commitee was seconded by Mrs. Randolph. You know, she had a deep voice, she sounded like a man when she spoke and some reporter, who was new to all this, went scurrying around in the room where the National Committee met to find Frankie Randolph. Well, for one thing, she turned out to be a woman and for another, she turned out to be from Texas. He said to Mrs. Randolph, "Did you know that Lyndon Johnson would be displeased with your having seconded that motion?" She said, "Young man, Lyndon Johnson was displeased with my having a seat on this committee." [Laughter]
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
As indeed he was.

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MARGARET CARTER:
I'm getting tired, now.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Fine. This is the end of the interview with Mrs. Margaret Carter of Fort Worth, by Chandler Davidson.
END OF INTERVIEW
1. For the United States Senate.
2. William A. Blakley. Blakley had been appointed to the Senate in 1957 to fill the unexpired term of Price Daniel, who resigned to become governor, and in 1960 to succeed Lyndon B. Johnson, who ascended to the vice presidency. In the special election in 1961, Blakley led a field of seventy-one candidates, running without party designation. The runner-up was Tower. In the 1961 runoff, Tower won the Senate seat. Blakley had opposed Yarborough in the Democratic primary of 1958 and been defeated by Yarborough. Blakely had, therefore, been denied the Democratic nomination on the only occasion when Democratic voters had had a chance to express a preference.
3. The former New Deal congressman from San Antonio.
4. Mrs. Carter is here referring to a scrapbook that she had shown to Dr. Davidson prior to the interview containing an account of the women's suffrage movement in Fort Worth in 1917 through 1920.
5. The RFC was organized during Hoover's administration.
6. A Houston labor attorney who later served in the Texas House of Representatives and the United States Congress.
7. Long, an Austin newspaperman, and his wife, Emma, have long been associated with the liberal movement.
8. Houston labor lawyer and statewide liberal strategist.
9. An Austin attorney, former congressman, and political fundraiser for such conservative candidates as U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen and Governor Dolph Briscoe.
10. Mrs. Cunningham was a leading liberal figure in Texas for many years. She was a woman suffragist leader in the teens, a staunch Progressive and Prohibitionist, and a New Deal Democrat. She ran unsuccessfully for governor in the 1944 Democratic primary.
Fear on Trial
12. Former governor of Texas, and the unsuccessful opponent of Lyndon Johnson in the 1948 Democratic primary race for a U.S. Senate seat.
Labor News