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Oral History Interview with Albert Gore, October 24, 1976. Interview A-0321-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    In this second of two interviews, Albert Gore Sr. summarizes his senatorial career. He begins with his election to the House of Representatives in 1948. While there, many of the issues that would come to characterize his time in the Senate began to come to a head. Through his relationships and committee assignments, he realized that he could not support U.S. involvement in Korea or the role the nation played in the Cold War. In 1952, he ran and was elected to the U.S. Senate, and while there, he worked on a variety of committees related to his key interests. Especially meaningful to him were his positions on the Joint Commission on Atomic Energy, the Joint Committee on the Library, and the Foreign Relations Committee. He continued to develop his social justice interests, taking a stand against Vietnam earlier than most other politicians did. He tried to use his relationships with Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, and William Fulbright to argue for better civil policies. One of his most famous actions related to civil rights was his refusal to sign the Southern Manifesto, a 1956 document decrying the desegregation of public spaces in America. In the interview, he explains how that happened and what effect that decision had on his career. He ends by describing his impressions of the American political system, including what the government does well and what it does poorly.
    Excerpts
  • Crump Machine crumbles and Tennessee begins to change party loyalties
  • The 1948 election and the various pulls on Gore's loyalties
  • Gore's antipathy toward Cold War sentiments
  • Gore's committee assignments
  • How Gore defeated McKellar
  • Gore's role in passing the Interstate and National Defense Highway Bill
  • Gore joins the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy
  • Gore and the Dixon-Yates Bill
  • Gore's relationship with senatorial leadership
  • Gatekeepers to the "inner circle"
  • Gore's key political interests
  • Gore's relationship with Kennedy
  • Gore's support for Civil Rights and opposition to the Vietnam War
  • Gore's opposition to Vietnam
  • Description of J. William Fulbright
  • Gore's growing interest in the civil rights movement
  • The Southern Manifesto
  • Gore's support for voting rights
  • Gore and the 1964 Civil Rights Bill
  • Gore and the 1956 vice presidential nomination procedure
  • Gore's perspective on the American governmental system and hopes for his son's career
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Tennessee--Politics and government
  • Civil rights--Tennessee
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.