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Author: LeMaistre, George A., interviewee
Interview conducted by Going, Allen J.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
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Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
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Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
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Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-01-04, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985. Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0358)
Author: Allen J. Going
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985. Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0358)
Author: George A. LeMaistre
Description: 847 Mb
Description: 223 p.
Note: Interview conducted on April 29, 1985, by Allen J. Going; recorded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series A. Southern Politics, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985.
Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
LeMaistre, George A., interviewee


Interview Participants

    GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE, interviewee
    ALLEN J. GOING, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ALLEN J. GOING:
So the firm started with you and Clement and Partlow in '30. Clement came in '34, y'all in '33.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Partlow and I started in August of 1933 and Clement joined us in 1936, '34. Gewin graduated and was a friend of ours, who, close contact. He didn't practice in Tuscaloosa till about 1949 when he joined the firm, he had practiced in Greensboro during the meantime and had been in the legislature for two terms, as I recall, and was also county solicitor down there and was prosecutor . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Who was it, was it Clement who wanted to run, what were you saying, wanted to run for something?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, Gewin wanted to run for the seat which was the 6th district of U.S. Congress. He mentioned that several times, but he never did. The last time he mentioned it was when Armistead Selden ran and was elected, because he felt certain that he could beat Selden, who also was from Greensboro. Selden of course was a student in Law School when I was teaching there. He was a Sewanee undergraduate and also a Naval officer and had come back to law school after the war.

Page 2
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, it was after the war when he was here. I wasn't in school then but I just was working some with fraternity affairs when I was on the faculty here. So I knew some of those famous and infamous SAE's. But now, Clement never ran for an office at all. Did he hold positions in the party as such?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not as such. Only office that was anywhere near political that Clement ever held was the head of the savings bond drive. He set all kinds of records for the Treasury Department in selling savings bonds both before and after the war. The way the firm broke up was in 1940 when Partlow, who was a member of the National Guard, was called into service—when they called the National Guard into service early in 1940.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now which Partlow was this?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Billy. William D. He went into service I think in January of 1940 after he had run unsuccessfully against Pete Jarman for House of Representatives the year before and then in '41 prior to Pearl Harbor and prior to the declaration of war, Clement was called to work full time for the Treasury Department and in December '41, I was the only one here.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So you were left.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Left with the firm when Pearl Harbor happened. I had already gone into the Naval Reserve and when Roosevelt was speaking to the Congress in his famous speech, "We will hit them again and again and again." Just as he said again the third time, the phone rang and they told me to report to New

Page 3
Orleans the next day. So I had to close the law office up and get down there.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So that was when the firm disappeared—disintegrated.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, actually it didn't. E. W. Skidmore came in and operated his practice, wound up our practice, too. Of course, none of us came back until 1945. When we did come back, Clement and I started out practicing together and Partlow did not come back.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So it was after the war, you and Clement were back together. So those files were there in the office and would cover all those years.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As a matter of fact, if you could find the newspaper accounts of the race between Hill and John Crommelin and between Sparkman and Crommelin you would find that somebody broke into those files and purloined some of Clement's letters, and Crommelin published some of them attempting to prove that there was some kind of a hidden veil for Clement. It wasn't much of a conclusion that could be drawn from it and the letters obviously didn't hurt the man they were run against. But, we never did know who actually broke into those files. We had a young man working for us at that time who had recently graduated, and his subsequent conduct leads me to believe he was probably the one who did it. Mainly because he has never been back or called any one of us since he left the firm. Nobody has ever had any contact with him and yet no one ever accused him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He wasn't actively political?

Page 4
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He became actively political later as a Republican down in Florida.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, that would lead you to that conclusion almost.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But at any rate you would think that anybody who ever worked for six to eight months in a law office at least would call up and speak to people in the firm at some time after that. It would be rather unusual for thirty years to go by and never have any contact. But I don't know that he took those papers out. What happened was he took pictures of them and put them back. Things that were run were the photostats.
Actually Bull Connor's big buddy in Birmingham head of the detectives—was his name Darnell?
ALLEN J. GOING:
That sounds vaguely familiar. I think that was his name.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There's a Darnell in the police force here that has nothing whatsoever to do with it. This man, whatever his name was, was head of detectives up there, came down and conducted an investigation and said he knew who did it, but we never did know for sure. At least I never did.
But these were letters from people like Estes Kefauver and Kefauver's law partner. There was a letter in there from one man had written in Tennessee and asked how he could spend that much time in politics and how in the world he could afford to do it without taking a political appointment or running for office. Clement had written back about the

Page 5
contacts he made and how they were fruitful in producing business that the others in the firm looked after.
And this man took this to mean that he was selling his services for legal work that was brought to the firm, although that was not exactly correct. As far as I know we never had a case out of Tennessee.
At any rate that file if we could have located it would have a great deal of information. I don't know whether I ever told you or not but Clement's law books were worth examining. The margins of the books were all filled up with tallies showing how many would vote for something, how many against. Other people would make notes about what the case was about, but Clement spent all his time worrying about the political things that were going on the campus. How many Wallaby had, how many Garrett had, how many so and so had. He spent the entire time thinking about politics.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, now just to round out this chronology, you and Clement and Gewin were together from '49 to 1960 when you went to City National.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's when I left the law practice—in September of 1960. Clement died one year later. Approximately one year after that Gewin went on the bench. That would have been about '62, I think he went—early '62 or late '61. Clement died in September '61.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I can't remember the date—seeing Gewin in Houston.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was after '62 but Gewin was on the bench when the Meredith case came up in Mississippi.

Page 6
I remember when Jack Kennedy went on nation-wide T.V. He referred to the judges being Southern lawyers and referred to him as Judge Gerwin.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That would have been before September '62.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Because that was when the actual order had been issued requiring him to be admitted and that came from the Circuit Court of Appeals.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was that the 9th?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
At that time it was the 5th circuit. It's now the 11th. Alabama is in the 11th. Mississippi is in the 5th.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Ours is in Atlanta now.
So the law firm (I mean you three) itself continued in a way, I mean in the legal records.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Actually, what happened, the young lawyers who were with us continued together for about a year and then they split into two law firms.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I see. Was Perry one of them?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Perry Hubbard and Vann Waldrop stayed with the original firm with about five or six lawyers. Gordon Rosen and Bernie Harwood went into another firm.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I didn't realize Gordon Rosen was originally—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Gordon came in just about the time Gewin did. Bernie Harwood was Bob Harwood's son. He is still practicing here. He and Gordon and George Wright started a firm and since that time the Hubbard firm has split into two. Split into three. The young tax man they had there, Bob Tanner, and two or three others pulled out and started their own firm.

Page 7
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well back in 1933-'34 when you all started, how many law firms were there in Tuscaloosa?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There weren't over 20 lawyers in Tuscaloosa. Now there must be 200 or at least 180 I would think. You could count the law firms in town on one hand—at least at that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But Foots was the most politically active?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was. He was 100% politically active. He didn't profess to look up law or write legal documents or anything of that sort. He spent all his time working on politics. I must say, very successfully. He was probably the best political organizer that ever worked in this state. He was such a good organizer that when Ed Livingston ran for the Supreme Court, after about three weeks E.L. dodged Foots. When he'd see him coming down the street, he would cross over to go around the block to keep from meeting him because Foots would have another job for him to do, somebody for him to see in another county. He just couldn't stand it, he said. He wasn't able to do all the things that Foots thought up for him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Foots died in '61. He wasn't too old. Just about 50?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was born about 1910 so just about 50.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I remember. It was rather sudden wasn't it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he'd been sick for a long time but of course he was so much overweight that from time to time he'd lose 50 pounds, put back 60, lose 40, then put back 50 and over his career he lost at least a ton. His heart just wouldn't take that sort of thing.

Page 8
ALLEN J. GOING:
And I guess they weren't as sensitive to that problem as they are now. I guess it's just as well—you'd enjoy life more.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
His first successful political race really began before he graduated and that was Chester Walker defeating Fleetwood Rice for probate judge and that was in Tuscaloosa. Judge Rice had the support of all the politicians, every single county official and all the rest of them were out working.
Foots organized a group that met every night at Pug's after Pug's closed. They'd sit at the counter, Pug'd give them coffee or coca-cola—whatever they wanted—while they made plans for the next day's work. They divided the voting list up into small segments and each man had a certain list of people he had to report on the next night. They kept a running account of how that race was going and until the week before it came off, the local political establishment had no inkling they were in trouble. They were already defeated. Chester Walker won by a sizeable margin. The strange thing about it was Wood Rice and Boss Hinton, who were the big powers before that, became the closest friends Foots had—after he demonstrated his ability.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So he really got started in county or local politics?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Local.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Although you said he was active in student politics.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. He worked faithfully in student politics even after he graduated. See, he wasn't married in those days and the students in the campus machine used to come up to

Page 9
the office late at night and plan what they were going to do. Most of that planning took place not at our office but at the Spanish Inn, upstairs rooming house right over the drugstore.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Right across from the SAE house.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And the Hill grocery had a supermarket right below. Clement managed that operation for Dr. Patton. T.H. Patton owned that whole building—that whole block almost.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I remember the one that ran the drugstore was Ben Levy.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. He ran Rex's. The man who ran the drugstore at the corner of 12th avenue was Doc Martin.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was called Spanish Inn Drugstore but the next one was on 13th Ave., Rex's. The man's name was Leverty. I remember one night—I don't remember his first name, but Leverty came running out after a shop lifter and hit him over the head with a pistol and the gun went off when he hit him. Leverty ran one way and the shoplifter ran the other, scared both of them so they never made an arrest.
At any rate upstairs at the Spanish Inn is where it all took place.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's where it all took place. John L. Lewis' nephew, Fats Lewis, lived up there.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You mean the labor leader's nephew?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. Bob Jones lived up there, Foots Clement lived up there—15 or 20 of the most politically active figures on the campus lived in the Spanish Inn.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And that would have been in the early 30's.

Page 10
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
'32. Foots lived there and ran it even while he was practicing law until about 1938, I believe. When did Bear Bryant graduate?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Around '35.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, the next year Bryant was married and rented a house at Buena Vista across the highway from the Highlands.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He married right after he graduated; he married Mary Harmon Black.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think before he graduated; she made him come back to get his degree. They had a room in their house they were not using and Foots moved in and lived with them until Bryant went to Vanderbilt to coach. He left the Spanish Inn in' 37 or '36 or so. He didn't marry 'til after the war in the fifties.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So he really had plenty of time to devote to politics—campus and local . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And if you were associated with him you had plenty of time too, because it didn't make any difference to him what the time was. If we came through Birmingham at two o'clock in the morning and there was somebody he needed to get in touch with, he didn't hesitate to stop and call them.
He always said, and I think he's right, although I don't think it's a very popular practice, that the way to impress a man with the importance of what you had to say to a man was to wake him up and talk to him. When you call him up in the middle of the night and tell him what you want done, you can usually get it done. Right or not, that was

Page 11
his theory. He worked morning, noon, and night, and all night on politics.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He really didn't practice law as such, then?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, but the way he got into the State political field was through the Chester Walker race in Tuscaloosa County. That attracted some attention. That race was in '36 or '34. Lister Hill had been in the House of Representatives since 1923, and he was not unfamiliar with campus politics either. He was president of the student body here and he organized the first campus machine.
When Black was going to the Supreme Court, Hill decided to run for the Senate and whether that election was in late '37 or '38, I don't remember. I think it was in the summer, as I recall, Black was on a trip to Europe for summer vacation when the appointment was made, and that thing about the Ku Klux Klan broke while he was on shipboard coming back. Maybe that was the best place for him to have been. Of course he would have been run over with reporters before he had a chance to think about a statement.
But anyway, a Pittsburgh paper broke it while he was at sea and I think that the election was called in the fall of '37, but I'm not sure. When Hill ran, he had represented the district that I came from in South Alabama, and he knew my father, and I had shaken his hand. Montgomery was the northern part of the district.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That district ran all the way from your county on the Florida line.

Page 12
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Covington. So when he came up here, he came to our office, he of course knew Dr. Partlow, Billy's father, he was head of Bryce. And he heard about Clement, and he just asked us to meet him there one night and so the three of us just got in this little room that wouldn't hold four chairs—we just stood around the desk and talked. That's when Foots started working for Lister Hill.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's when he really moved into state politics. Has Virginia talked to you about Lister Hill?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Virginia Hamilton?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
She talked to me one time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
She didn't take you down on a tape recorder?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, I don't think so.
ALLEN J. GOING:
She has done some of these oral history things.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think she did bring a recorder one time when we talked. The report she had on Hugo Black I think was factually correct . . . In that speech, that paper she read the other day, as I say, I think she attributed to Hill a little more ambition than he really had when she said that he was thinking about going after Hugo's seat. Actually he was thinking about saving Hugo's seat for the Democrats, when there was such an uproar in the Party because it began to look as if Black could not be reelected, and he was coming up shortly after the appointment was made. I don't know whether it was the following spring he would have had to qualify—I guess it was. He would have had to qualify to

Page 13
run again the spring after he was appointed to the Supreme Court. By that time it was pretty clear that he had stirred up some tremendous opposition in Birmingham, particularly among what Bibb Graves used to call the "big mules," because he was very active in the short work-week and the wage and hour law, and the wage/hour was simply bitter gall to the people who . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
To the "big Mules" it would have been.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh, so that was when Hill was looking at that place . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Because Black's background is labor oriented in Birmingham, particularly, and Hill, I guess, got interested in it at that time—but going back to Hill's origins—political orientation in Montgomery: now were he and Gunter, were they pretty much together?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They were.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Gunter is usually considered the boss in Montgomery for a long time.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Bill Gunter controlled Montgomery for a long time. Bill Gunter was a distant relative of my mother's. I never knew him that well, but I met him and talked to him. But he was not the Boss Crump type of boss . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
No, I know that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He didn't lay down hard and fast rules, but whatever he said was what happened and I think there was an occasion a little later on when Gunter and the others pulled away from

Page 14
Hill. Hill's career in Montgomery wasn't going very well; when he ran against Simpson, Montgomery went against him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I was wondering about that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was very close. Whether he squeaked out a little margin in his own county or whether he lost it by a little bit, I don't know, but he lost a tremendous amount of support.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In the last two or three years a little book came out on the Halls—did you see that? Grover Hall Sr.— Grover Hall Jr.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Grover Hall wasn't a big supporter of Hill either.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, what I was thinking—although they came to be later on, I guess, kind of reconciled or something but—they were not in the beginning but— the other person I was thinking of—do you know Mills Thornton? He has written a good deal.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The name is familiar, and I know he made the first talk in this series, but I wasn't here and I didn't get to hear it. Where is he? At Michigan?
ALLEN J. GOING:
He's a professor at the University of Michigan, but he's from Montgomery. As I understand it, his mother was a Gunter, and I guess Bill Barnard was telling me.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, we still have a Gunter in politics—Annie Laurie Gunter you know is state treasurer now—has been for two terms. She can't succeed herself, but I understand she is going to run for Secretary of State.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Do you remember Mrs. Sue Gunter?

Page 15
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Out here at the University?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now, was she related?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't know.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I thought she was from Montgomery.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
She may have been. She was Assistant Dean of Women.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, she was mainly official chaperone. That was the job to stand at the door and sniff everybody.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
To see whether or not those young men were coming in with alcohol on their breath.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's right, that was the general idea. Actually Clement was primarily in politics, but what about Gewin? Was he involved?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Gewin wasn't that much involved in politics. Gewin would make a speech for a candidate or would do specific jobs; helping organize Greensboro or something like that; or helping him write up the platform or something of that sort, but he didn't spend full time on it like Clement did. Clement used to take a map of the state and divide it into I don't remember if it was 13 or 15 trade areas. And he would draw a line around those areas very much like Congressional districts except they would be smaller, and he would assign certain people to organize those areas, and most of them were people who had been in school right in the area.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He knew . . .

Page 16
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He had a machine going all over this state just made up of acquaintances who had gotten interested or that he had helped some way—getting some political favor or something. So when the time came to have a state-wide race, it took him less time than anyone else.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Cause he had all . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He had all of it already set up. He'd spend a few hours on the telephone and he'd have his organization going. Of course he kept me broke with the telephone bill.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, that's what I was wondering . . . who's paying for all of this?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But that was where he started in that Hill race. I'm just trying to remember who was Hill's opponent in that race. [It was Tom Heflin in 1938.]
ALLEN J. GOING:
We can pin that down I'm sure.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I'm trying to remember whether Frank Boykin ran.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Would he have been in that district?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, I'm talking about the race for Senate. Boykin was in the House at that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was from Mobile, wasn't he?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was from Mobile—the old first district. He did run later against Sparkman and was defeated. But whether he ran in that race—seems to me he did—but whether he just threatened to run, I don't remember.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Wasn't your role something like Gewin's? You tried to keep the law office going? But you were well aware of most of the things going on, I guess.

Page 17
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I used to write a lot of political ads and speeches and stuff like that. I remember one mayor's race here. I wrote the ads for all three candidates. Dr. Walker was running [Laughter] against Luther Davis and he said, "I got to have something to put in the paper," and said "I know you're going to support Luther Davis, but I want you to write some ads for me."—I wrote 'em for him [Laughter] . We had some good issues built up, too. But somebody had to run the law office.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeh, Yeh . . . But you were not doing any teaching then?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, I was teaching eight o'clock classes.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You did?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I had an eight o'clock class every morning.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Even . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not until '38. I was teaching in the summer of '38—I began teaching eight o'clock classes in fall '39
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, that's when I started law school in the fall of '39. I didn't remember you were teaching a class.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was teaching when the war started.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What did you teach?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was teaching evidence and —I taught evidence the first year, I taught torts and trial and appellate practice, and one year I taught a course in equity. After the war I taught a course in equity pleading, oil and gas; went back to evidence and in '48, I guess, I wrote a book on real estate practice. And I started teaching real estate transactions—making an examination of abstracts and closing

Page 18
real estate deals; and of course all the time I had the practice court.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh you did?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
See, Ed Livingston, when he left, the practice court was open.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was he . . . Mr. Ed Livingston on the faculty in the '30s?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, he was on there when I went to law school '30 through '33.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was? And then . . . ?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Then he was elected to the Supreme Court in '38 or '9—somewhere around there. Must have been '39 cause I took his place.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, that's right; so he left when I started in '39. The ones I had, course the dean's contracts, Whit McCoy and criminal law and . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Did you have Hepburn?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Hepburn for both real and personal property and then Mr. Masters taught equity.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess that's about all you had in your first year. Legal bibliography—that's the one that . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was Dean Farrah, wasn't it?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, who was Mavis?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Mavis Clark.
ALLEN J. GOING:
She was the one who did it all. I guess it must have been listed under Dean Farrah.

Page 19
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And when Hepburn became Dean . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
He became dean right after Dean Farrah.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, he did a little less teaching. I remember I took over one of his property courses. See, right after the war in 1945, I got back here September the 14th and I think school started the 15th in '45, and I taught full time because they had so many GI students coming in, they didn't have enough people to teach them so I taught full-time and practiced too, and I was glad to get it because coming back out of the navy, I didn't have any practice.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Right. See, in the fall or summer of 1944 I decided I've got to start on my dissertation and so I just resigned from the University. I hadn't been able to do much; I'd done some research, but I was teaching history, running the Union building, and acting Dean of Men. Well, there were very few men here.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, 'til the next year; then they flooded the place.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, I went and I stayed in Montgomery through the fall and winter of 1944-45, but we were on the quarter system. Dean Moore called me and said, "You've just got to come back. I'm desperate, everybody has left except Mrs. Panell, and even Al Thomas has left. He went into the OSS and John Ramsey wouldn't . . . he was something in the historical . . . the army historical program. So there really wasn't anybody, so I agreed. I said, "As long as I don't have to teach Latin American history, because I cannot. I know nothing bout Latin-American history." Well, I came back in

Page 20
the spring of '45 and I remember of course then by the fall we were just flooded, but of course the faculty began to come back. That's when you were full time.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
We got some good students long about that time: Frank Johnson, Tom Christopher, Reese Phifer, Rufus Beale, all those were in the same class.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, back from the war . . . [some discussion about the tape running out] Maybe before next time we can get our chronology a little better organized.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Maybe we can get some information about who the various candidates were. I can remember the ones that we represented, so to speak, but I can't always remember who was on the other side. For instance in the Truman race, I remember quite well that Foots Clement was the only person in the state of Alabama that I knew who predicted that Truman would win. And that was when Truman took his whistle-stop campaign . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was in '48.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '48 Clement said "that is going to win this election." And of course none of us could vote for him, and of course we just didn't think he could get votes in Alabama—didn't have a chance of getting elected. But he did win.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But now Foots never . . . What was his connection with the national Democratic party?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was very friendly with people in the national party through the senators.

Page 21
ALLEN J. GOING:
I see, that was the tie—Hill and Sparkman.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was very active in the state Democratic Party, and the national committeemen were always good friends with Foots. Again, I can't keep straight who all those people were, but people like Albert Rains and John Sparkman and Lister Hill were always active with the national party. We had some, Pete Jarman for instance, wouldn't work for the national party at all. Some in our Congressional delegation just didn't think the national party could help them. I remember when Jim Farley came through town in Roosevelt's . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was that the first?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
First administration.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was the leg man.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
This was after '32, he was Postmaster General at this time. Between '32 and '34 he had been down here and had met Clement and some others and I don't remember, I think they all rode a train together from here to Birmingham or somewhere. But I remember quite well when he came through on the train, he came out on the back platform to make a little talk at Tuscaloosa station, and he saw Foots over there and yelled, "Hey, Foots!" That just pointed up how much of a memory Jim Farley had. He could remember people's names better than Dr. Denny almost.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Or Ralph Adams, Ralph Adams was awfully good at it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes.

Page 22
ALLEN J. GOING:
But he never, Foots never really held an official position.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He never considered one.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess he could work better without being in an official capacity.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, it was helpful not to be in a position of working to get something for yourself.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He just loved it, I guess.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was a good thing as far as our whole law firm is concerned that none of us ever took a place. I had left law practice before I ever got the appointment. I did have an appointment as referee in bankruptcy from the district judges in Birmingham. I guess indirectly that might be connected with politics. More than likely it was because Seaborn Lynn was a close friend of ours. He also had been appointed by the President at the behest of Senators Hill and Sparkman. So there were a lot of good connections and good contacts, but there was never any feeling that if I don't do this, I won't get that job. So none of us ever really felt that we had to either do something we didn't want to do or that they had an unusual call on us. The call was always the other way.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Just as a matter of curiosity—the referee in bankruptcy, does he do the same thing the judge would do?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's what the term really means. "Referee" means that the judge has referred to that person the bankruptcy case for him to handle it for him. Today there is no referee.

Page 23
ALLEN J. GOING:
They don't use . . . ?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They now have a new code which was passed two years ago which designates certain people as judges in bankruptcy and they have original jurisdiction rather than have something assigned to them by a district judge. Used to be that the federal judge would refer to me all the bankruptcy cases in Tuscaloosa. But now they come directly to the judge of bankruptcy, whoever he is.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, now George Wright is the . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
For Northern Alabama.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But there are other judges too.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. And they all now have status somewhat similar to the Federal district judge.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah. Well, we went up a couple of weeks ago when Fulford was made a bankruptcy judge.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Clifford?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes, you didn't know that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
See, I didn't get the papers while I was gone.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, I guess you were away then. He succeeded Coleman.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I'm glad he did.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And he called up and wanted Dora and me to come up. Said they were going to have a little ceremony in Judge Pointer's courtroom, and, oh, the place was just overflowing with people—clerks and secretaries and all his friends and so forth were there.

Page 24
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think Clifford got a bad deal when he didn't get the district judgeship. He deserved it if it's a political appointment.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He worked so much in the Democratic . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I thought Heflin did him a grave injustice, and I wouldn't blame him if he never voted for Heflin.
ALLEN J. GOING:
[Laughter] Well, he was pretty bitter about it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I know he was, but you know you usually get over those things.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They introduced other bankruptcy judges, and there were I guess 5 or 6 of them.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
One of the bankruptcy judges for Alabama is a boy named Chandler Watson. Boy . . . he's 65 years old. But he was one of my students out there from Anniston.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So they don't use referees?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No longer have referees. Now they still have special masters that a federal judge can appoint to decide certain facts.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In a particular case?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, but that's just for a single case.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Apparently Coleman . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Steve Coleman has been referee in bankruptcy for 40 years.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He had been referee and didn't have the title of judge until that new act.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. Of course everybody called him judge, but it was just a courtesy. His title was really referee.

Page 25
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, I was just curious about that. Well, George Wright was not actually judge then until this new act.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was referee in bankruptcy when the new act was passed.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did the same thing as you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Now— now he's called judge, bankruptcy judge.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Apparently he's considered the senior one. I don't know how they refer to—presiding judge, I guess.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, he's stationed in Birmingham.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes, but he lives here.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I know it. That's his headquarters. If he wanted to file something in his court, Birmingham would be just as good as here.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ALLEN J. GOING:
We can start off with any recollections of the early years and of law school. Now you came—where did you do your undergraduate?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
At the University of Michigan.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, that's right.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was at Ann Arbor when my father died, and my family was planning to live wherever I went to school. My older brother had already graduated and was doing graduate work at Duke, and my younger brothers were not yet college age. So we decided to move to Tuscaloosa to live rather than go some place else. We certainly didn't want to live in Ann Arbor. The winters up there didn't appeal to me that much.

Page 26
ALLEN J. GOING:
What did you major in?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was majoring in journalism, actually. I was working on a sports page of the Detroit Free Press and the Cleveland News, not because I had any talent as a sports writer but because my roommate's father was the sports editor of the Cleveland News.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But you got some experience.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He got us jobs while we were in school. We covered the sports on the Michigan campus for those two papers.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Is that how you first got interested in sports?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was already interested in them, but that's where I made use of it for the only time I can remember.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It increased you interest?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Actually I might have gone on to school up there except that one Sunday I had hitch-hiked into Detroit to watch a baseball game and Herb Vetter who was doing the work for the Chicago Tribune was trying to call me and he missed me and left a note for me to call him. Came over to the house. And I didn't get back 'til late that night. I called him the next morning, to find out that he had resigned from the Tribune and had recommended me to take his place. And when I called they figured I didn't want it cause I hadn't responded and they had already given it to somebody else. If I'd got that job, I might never have [Laughter] studied law. I probably would have stayed with what I wanted to do.

Page 27
ALLEN J. GOING:
One of the peculiar twists of fate—but you did, when you decided to study law, you thought you would be practicing in Alabama.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. So we came to Tuscaloosa to live.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And it was the only law school in the state. That was 1930, as you say, with the depression just around the corner.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, it had just begun, actually. The crash of '29 had come in the fall just before that. We moved up here in the summer of '30 so it was about six or seven months after the stock market crash when we came to Tuscaloosa. And banks were failing right and left. We went through three bank failures in one year, in each of which we had accounts and we got no payments, no deposit insurance from any of them.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did that have some effect you think on your later banking experience?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, actually, I'd say it made me appreciate deposit insurance when I read about them adopting it in the banking act of 1933. It became effective January 1, 1934.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was one of the early New Deal measures.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But in 1929 I had worked—my father had got sick in January, so I came home from school and worked in a bank in Florala from January first to September first, and each month I'd let them deposit my salary in my savings account. I was living at home. I didn't need any money. So they put it in this savings account so it would bear interest at the great rate of 3 ½ percent and when I went back to Ann

Page 28
Arbor in September, I went to see about my money that I had in my savings account which was about $900. And they said, "We pay interest again on December first. Why don't you just leave it and get your interest?" So I did, and when I came home from Ann Arbor for Christmas holiday, I got ready to go back around the second of January, and I went to the bank and drew a cashier's check for the balance of my savings account to take it back and deposit it in Ann Arbor. And I rode the train up there and I guess about the fourth or fifth of January I deposited it in the bank. The bank in Alabama closed before my check cleared, so I worked the whole nine months for nothing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Never got any of it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Never got any of it. So I was pretty much sold on deposit insurance. It wasn't hard to get me to believe that that was a good thing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I can understand that. I remember they were encouraging savings. They started in the schools in Birmingham—a savings program. And of course it was in cooperation with one of the banks. They got a lot of business started that way. I never had very much in it, but I guess it did survive. Of course, Birmingham was hard hit.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, we had a big bank failure out there in Ensley—Sam King's bank. Mr. King moved down here and lived in Tuscaloosa for a good many years. I got to know him pretty well before he died.

Page 29
ALLEN J. GOING:
When I was teaching, my brother and I had an apartment there at 1414 down on the corner of Reed Street and University. The Hamilton Bushes lived in between. Was Erskin Ramsey connected with that too?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't know. He was very much connected with Ensley.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, I know he was.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But whether he lost a lot of money in it or whether he was an officer I don't know. Mr. King went to jail.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah. Well, I had just heard that he took the rap.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, this banker in Florala where I lost my savings account, also was sent to jail. And tried to commit suicide—shot himself in the head but missed anything of vital importance. He didn't die and some of the people said [Laughter] he failed at everything—he couldn't even kill himself. There was just sort of a stream of bankers going to prison, because nearly all of them had violated some federal law.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It wasn't very strictly enforced.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It wasn't till they all went broke. When they went broke they began to enforce it against those who were in office. But even today it's almost impossible to conduct a banking business without violating some law. The truth in lending law said that you should state the annual percentage rate of interest that you're charging in a certain size type. If you happen to use a note that is one point above or below that then you've violated a law.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So you can't be watchful and be aware . . .

Page 30
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No you can't. We had a situation in 1933 when Roosevelt took office in March. One of the first things he did was proclaim a bank moratorium.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, the states had declared . . . Michigan had started . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Several states had declared a moratorium. Michigan was the first state to do it. But when he took office he said all the banks should be closed and none of them should be reopened until they satisfied the authorities that they are well enough capitalized to serve the public. Some of them never did reopen, but most of them reopened anywhere from 15 days to 3 months. But it was a pretty difficult time. I know I had three dollars in my pocket when we closed the banks, and there wasn't any place to get any more.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In Tuscaloosa at that time—were there just two banks?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Just two banks. City National and First National. First National was the survivor when they merged the Merchant's National Bank which originally built the building that First National now occupies. And First National was a block down the street in what used to be Adrian's Department store. When they took over the Merchant's National, which was failing, First National moved into the old Merchant National's quarters.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When was this?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Twenty-nine.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It started failing early, and what about City National?

Page 31
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It survived and managed to stay open. Neither one of them was very big—wouldn't have made a tremendous amount of difference if they had closed them both, I guess. It would have made a lot of difference in Tuscaloosa, but it wouldn't have mattered anywhere else.
ALLEN J. GOING:
City National was where it was there on the corner.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was on the corner of 23rd Avenue and University Avenue.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Now that's occupied by Security Federal.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And the Moodys were all in the First National?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They were in the First National. Washington Moody and Frank Moody's grandfather I think were the original ones who started that bank in 1871 or something like that. And J. H. Fitts, Jim Fitts, the architect's grandfather, is the one who started the City National Bank. He didn't call it City National, it was J. H. Fitts and Company, and he was president of Alabama Bankers when it was still J. H. Fitts and Company.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I remember seeing that. I was looking at some newspapers from Tuscaloosa in 1880, and it just said J. H. Fitts and Co.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That name didn't change until 1900. But the bank continued to operate. it was still J. H. Fitts and Co.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And when did the Alstons come along?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They came in the twenties—before the collapse. Mr. Cochran was the connecting link, I guess you might say,

Page 32
between the Fittses and the Alstons. Actually the Fittses and the Alstons are related, you know. Jim Alston's name was James Fitts Alston. They probably had some stock in it even before they acquired the controlling stock.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Didn't the University always have its money in the City National?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Mr. Fitts was the treasurer of the University.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh he was? Before Shaler Houser?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. Mr. Fitts was treasurer of the University in 1865 when they burned it. And he was treasurer when they started the little bank. Matter of fact, he met the University's payroll when they tried to start it up again after they rebuilt it. He paid the payroll himself.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You mean in the Reconstruction years?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It actually closed for several years. I've forgotten the dates.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't remember them either but roughly between 1865 and 1870.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Back when the radical government came in 1869, then things went really to pot.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And of course that's the source of Dr. Denny's call on Franklin Roosevelt when he asked for WPA money to build the library. He (FDR) said well, we've run out of money to do that sort of thing. All we can do is replace something that has been burned or damaged in a tornado. He (Denny) said that's what I'm talkin' about—a library that burned. He

Page 33
said when did yours burn? He said [Laughter] your troops burned it in 1865.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And if Dr. Denny knew it, he didn't admit it that Congress had appropriated money in the 1880s.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Either money or land; I forget which. They gave 'em something. I think they gave the minerals one time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's right.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And they gave them the coal lands up in the Warrior basin, too . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now I'm with you. It might not have been an outright money deal.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, they thought they had paid for it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They used the money to build the so-called second quadrangle—Clark and Garland and Manly.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And, course, they got that 16th section reserved for the use of schools. A lot of it was squandered.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, I imagine there was a lot of mismanagement in all of that. But now, coming back to the Law School—in 1930 what was it like?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was a pretty closely knit group of people. You knew everybody, you knew where they came from, when they were gonna go home, who they'd see when they got there, and what their plans were when they graduated. One reason that you were pretty sure about what they were going to do was you knew there was no job available for any of them. You couldn't go out and hire yourself as a lawyer to anybody. Walter Gewin in 1936, I guess, or whenever he graduated, got

Page 34
a job reading law in Logan Martin's office. He was the counsel for Alabama Power Company. I think in my class there were maybe two people that got jobs. Fifty-two or three in the class, and one of them was employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. And Skeeter Snow went into the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Buck Oliver was largely responsible for both of those—he was the Congressman here at that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Long-time Congressman.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. And I remember when I graduated, I wrote several people and tried to find a job and Mr. Evins E-v-i-n-s, used to be the counsel for the Birmingham News and was also counsel for the TVA when it first started, called me one day. He had known my father in the legislature some ten years before that. He called me and said, "George, I've got something that you might be interested in. Next time you're in Birmingham, come to see me." Well, I didn't have anything to do so I was about ready to go that afternoon. This was, I think, on a Friday, and on Monday I was planning to go up to Birmingham to see what he was talking about. I just had a feeling that it had something to do with the new legal set-up at the Tennessee Valley Authority.
ALLEN J. GOING:
This would have been when—the fall of '33?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '33 after I had already set up an office. It would have been in September or somewhere along in there. But unfortunately, Mr. Evins had a heart attack and died that weekend, and I've never known yet what it was [Laughter] he

Page 35
thought I'd be interested in. Course, he probably knew that I would have been interested in anything.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was the freshman class larger—by the time you got to be a senior had many fallen by the wayside?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, a lot of them would fall out because they simply couldn't afford to go any more.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Not because of Dean Farrah's threats?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, as I say, they couldn't afford to go because Dean Farrah wouldn't let them work and go to school at the same time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Couldn't work at all?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He wouldn't let you have any kind of a job. Fact is, he frowned very much on students working on student publications—the Corolla and the Crimson White. He just didn't want his law students doing anything except studying law.
ALLEN J. GOING:
"The law is a jealous mistress."
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's what he used to say. He said you've got to live like a hermit and work like a horse". [Laughter] Lee Damsky stood up in class and said, "Dean, do you mean like a stud horse or [Laughter] or a mule?" The dean didn't think that was funny either.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He didn't take too much to the lighter side.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, he didn't. He wasn't joking when he said the law was a jealous mistress.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They followed then the pretty strict case method of teaching, didn't they?

Page 36
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Altogether. Everyone of the classes—the ones that I had were taught by Bob Harwood, who taught a course in Domestic Relations, and Dr. John Masters who taught Equity, the Dean, who taught Contracts and in your second year taught Constitutional Law, and Hepburn, who taught Personal Property in the first semester and Real Property in the second, and then Ed Livingston had the practice court and that's all you took in your freshman year.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Ed Livingston was—he was a practicing attorney. Was he a judge then?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was an adjunct professor, but they didn't call it that in those days. He was practicing with his brother Frank; he had an Office in the First National Bank Building and Ed taught two courses—Practice Court and Evidence.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now Whit McCoy was there, wasn't he?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Whit McCoy taught Criminal Law. That was another course you had your first year. We had another professor named Brockelbank—Bill Brockelbank, who taught Common Law Pleading. And in your first two semesters you had to take all of those courses which pretty much crowded your first year in the essentials of the English Common Law.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was it Dean Farrah who brought the case method?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It started at Harvard. The dean had . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was he at Harvard?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, he graduated from Michigan in 1912.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Uh huh.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And he and Dr. Denny came here the same year.

Page 37
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, they did—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He had been to—had been the dean at Stetson University down in Deland, Florida, and had done a pretty good job getting that school going and it's still a pretty good law school. The case method was tried at Harvard and had become very popular. I guess it still is—most everybody still uses it all over—there's some courses now that are getting away from it. More seminars being taught, more writing courses, but there are still a lot of professors who simply stick to the case method—require their students to be able to stand and tell what that case is about. That was the Dean's method and you didn't vary from it one bit. You gave the cause of action, well he gave the title of the case, the jurisdiction where it came from—Michigan Supreme Court or United States Supreme Court or whatever, and you gave the cause of action, and you gave the facts of the case, the question that arises from those facts, the judgment of the court, and the ruling of the court. Every case was treated in that same fashion.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You did have to prepare summaries, didn't you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
You were not required to turn them in; you were encouraged to prepare them for your own use.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But you didn't have to turn them in—for your own use in preparing for the exam. Well I had understood that later on it had been modified, at least some Professors had modified . . .

Page 38
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It has been modified a great deal. Today you can buy summaries before the court starts. All of the big publishers now publish summaries too.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And they do have textbooks.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Textbooks are still case books in style. And there are a few textbooks written in style other than case law.
ALLEN J. GOING:
More of a narrative.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Some of them are written pretty much like Corpus Juris or one of the others like American Jurisprudence or some of the other definitive authorities, but they cite numerous cases—they just don't take the facts out of any one. They have a lot of citations that you can follow up on.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now, as I recall last time, you started actually teaching very soon after you finished, didn't you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well I guess I did more informal teaching. You mentioned preparations of summaries. I made summaries that evidently covered the course pretty well, because from the year I graduated to the year 1937 or '38, there would be eight or ten students who would gather at my house or at Foots's apartment or some place like that every year for about three to four weeks before exams, and I'd start drumming into them what these cases meant and where they came from.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So that's the way you just kinda . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I've got a lot of alumni . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
—merged into teaching—

Page 39
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
People like Peter Pride, Bob Jones, Billy McQueen—all that bunch, went to these little testing sessions.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Practice in a way.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was good for me going back through the cases and working on it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
As you've implied before, you didn't have too much else to do, sometimes in the early years of practice.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. We'd been practicing a year, I guess, before we began to break even. The first month that we practiced Billy Partlow and I took in two dollars and a half cash and put $250 on the books. I don't think we ever collected any of the $250 but it looked good. But during that period of '33, '34, and '35 . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
There was still a depression.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There just wasn't any possibility that a young lawyer could make any real money. He might be able to get a damage suit that would be rewarding, but if somebody had an accident, it wasn't a question of going to some young lawyer cause he could spend a lot of time on it—the old lawyers had just as much time as the young ones. People who had established reputations could then take those damage suits because it wasn't going to interfere with the practice either; they didn't have any.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I want to back track just a minute. Was you father a lawyer?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No.
ALLEN J. GOING:
How did you . . .

Page 40
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I just went wrong somewhere, just got in [Laughter] with evil companions, I guess.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well you must have had maybe even in undergraduate—. Did they have anything like that now in business law?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
If we did, I never took it. Actually there had been no lawyers from my family that I know of. There are some in a collateral sense. My grandmother was a Harlan, and Mr. Justice Harlan of the Supreme Court was her first cousin. That's as close as I . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was he from Kentucky?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
From Iowa.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Maybe that was a different . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The earliest one was from Kentucky. Harlan County in Kentucky was a big coal producer. But then there was one who was on the Supreme Court around the turn of the century, and there was another one, John Harlan, who just retired about 20 years ago. He was a very . . . not an extreme liberal, but by no means a conservative. Right after Harlan Fisk Stone. There have been three of the Harlan family on the . . . [NOTE: On Supreme Court.: John M. Harlan (Ky) 1877-1911; John Marshall Harlan (NY) 1955-71; Harlan F. Stone (NY) 1925-46 (Ch.J.) 41-46.]
ALLEN J. GOING:
With that name?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Stone was appointed by—I guess by Hoover [NOTE: Coolidge] , wasn't he?
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think so. Now that's an area where you can really get confused. When the justices came on or when the changes

Page 41
took place. But then you did actually start formal teaching in '38.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In 1938. I taught in summer school I think in '37. In those days summer school was pretty informal.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I didn't know they even had summer school.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They did in the law school, but it had no connection with the University. They enrolled students—well, say it had no connection—it had to have some connection or they wouldn't be accredited. The amount that you made depended on how many students came to school. No salaries. And if forty students signed up and paid $200 each, that meant they had $8,000 to divide among the faculty. And the University would provide the building, and when the year was over the Dean would divide that up in even shares.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Sounds like something Dr. Denny might have [Laughter] thought of.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It might have been Dr. Denny, I don't know. But I taught there in '37 summer school and in '38 when Ed Livingston had run for Supreme Court, and he knew he was going to be elected in the fall. So then the next regular session Dick Foster called me and told me to go out there. He wanted me to teach—he said the Dean wants you to teach. So I went to see the Dean and sure enough, the Dean wanted me to teach just like Foster told me.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did he tell you what your salary was going to be or did they just kind of leave it up in the air?

Page 42
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was pretty much ashamed off it I think. As I recall, it was something like $250 a month for the full year. About a $3000 salary.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But—so you continued teaching then—the one course.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, I was a part-time professor from then on. The only time I didn't teach was when I went in to the Navy in December of '41. That was, oh I guess, two weeks before the end of the semester, because in those days our semester began in September and ended about the second week in January and I left on December the ninth, I guess it was.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You went in then just two days after Pearl Harbor.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. I was already a reserve.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You were in the reserve?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And Gordon Madison took over my class for the next two or three weeks and gave the exam.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And your law office was always in the First National Bank Building?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Up until about 1950.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But I mean all during those early years.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh, yeh.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And as we said last time, I believe, wasn't it, Foots came in . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
'36.
ALLEN J. GOING:
As soon as he graduated.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He came in '34. Gewin came in about '49 after the war.
ALLEN J. GOING:
After the war. Yeh. Partlow was with you at first.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh, Billy Partlow.

Page 43
ALLEN J. GOING:
So, of course, you were out of Tuscaloosa and in the service of Uncle Sam 'til . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
'Til September of '45. Actually I was in the service until about November. I had accumulated leave that left me technically a member of the service but I was on leave and teaching out here in '45 and from around Thanksgiving I was officially turned loose.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And did somebody continue the law office as such during the war?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, E. W. Skidmore took it over just to close it as I told you the other day. Foots had already gone to work for the Treasury Department selling bonds and Billy had already been called into the National Guard and I was there by myself. When I got the call to go to New Orleans, the alternative was to close the doors or get somebody to wind up the thing. Skidmore, just sort of wound up the business we had going on, and I would guess he closed it about '43. Then Foots and I reopened it in the Fall of '45 or winter of '45.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And it wasn't long after that that Gewin . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Gewin came in a couple of years later. We—the three of us were partners until '60 when I left in September. Then Clement died in '61 and Gewin was appointed to the Circuit Court of Appeals either late '61 or early '62—I think late '61.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What kind of significant or insignificant experiences would the Navy—would you like to get on record?

Page 44
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
[Laughter] Some of the stories really don't bear repeating.
ALLEN J. GOING:
[Laughter] At least not for the public record.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Actually I was in New Orleans for about a year and two months in Naval Intelligence. And it was a right interesting experience. I don't know if I've told you or not, but the most dangerous work I did during the war was in New Orleans. I was in two or three invasions, but none of them was as difficult as the work down there. And most people really don't know yet the extent of the submarine warfare in the Gulf.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I remember you mentioning that once before.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
We started losing ships to a submarine which we thought was German—turned out to be Italian—in February of 1942, which was really about a month and a half after all of us had reported down there. The alarming state of the defenses of the United States was really shocking. I would never have believed if anybody had told me how poorly defended we were. Mexico could have invaded New Orleans. We had one 75 mm. gun at the Burrwood Section Base, which is 105 miles south of New Orleans on the river, where the river runs into the Gulf. And that gun was used to fire salutes and things like that. It was not used for defense. There wasn't another weapon between there and Algiers Section Base in New Orleans, and the number of boats that the Navy had was practically zero. The Army had many more boats than we did. They used them in rescues for Army aircraft, and that sort of thing. Of course, the Navy had the Naval Air Station in

Page 45
Pensacola, and they had a naval training station out on the Lake. [Pontchartrain]
ALLEN J. GOING:
But New Orleans was a major . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There was a Navy base out on the Lake where they trained, and the Algiers Navy base was a base where supply ships and things like that would come in and load up but there were not any armored vessels over there. Immediately when the war started they were extremely busy putting guns on merchant ships. But in the first six weeks I was down there we set up a system of travel control where our officers had to board every ship that came into the port of New Orleans, and interrogate the captain to find out where he had been. In fact, one of those early ships, I remember, was a Swedish vessel called the Temnaren. It had just come out of the Baltic after going up between Russia and Finland, taking on a load of timber, and they brought it down and discharged it some place in Holland or somewhere like that and then came around with another cargo for New Orleans, and came over here to load sugar or something of that sort. And we got more information about where various vessels were, where the Germans were basing their pocket battleships, and things like that, just from talking with those skippers who were not involved in the war at all.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Just observing.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
This man from Sweden remembered having seen the Scharnhorst and several others, but they were heading in to

Page 46
the place where they were based. That was material that we didn't have. Our intelligence was really pathetic.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess there had not been much intelligence operations developed prior to when we got into the war.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The best information we had about the nation of Japan was an issue of Fortune magazine which was devoted to the country of Japan early in the year before the war started. That was about as much information as we had about it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
A stark contrast from the way it grew in the war years—well it expanded into the CIA and military intelligence. I guess there wasn't much there.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was a matter of taking a lot of time to get all that information together.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's mainly what you all were doing.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And then we would try to recruit some people. One of the first things we did was to take on a number of old FBI agents, who had either gotten out of the service or had transferred out of the bureau—something of that sort. People who really had something to give to the Navy. They were extremely helpful in setting up the interrogation and examination procedures. I would say that our relationship with the FBI was not always real good. The FBI would do anything in the world for you if they got all the credit.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They reflected J. Edgar Hoover.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. They were just an elongation of the shadow of J. Edgar Hoover, and that's the way he thought. One of the amusing things that happened was they caught a

Page 47
big gangster, Alvin Karpis, in New Orleans right at the beginning of the war, and Hoover flew down from Washington to make the arrest.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I remember that vaguely.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They blocked off Jefferson Avenue, the big boulevard that goes out to the lake. Canal Boulevard, I guess it is, or Jefferson Boulevard—one of those—anyway, it was a fourlane with a median in the middle. They blocked it off for about three blocks. They had about 60 FBI agents. They had about 50 deputy sheriffs. They had policemen everywhere around there surrounding this apartment house where Karpis had been spotted. And he came walking out of the house—he must have been stupid, because anybody could see there was no traffic out there, he must have known something was wrong, because they turned every car off that was coming that way. Hoover jumps out of the car and calls him by name and tells him to freeze.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did they have movie cameras?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh, they had everything. The newsreel was there and everything. But when they got him under arrest—he didn't resist or anything—they said put the cuffs on him, and out of 165 [Laughter] officers, not a single pair of handcuffs was to be found. They had to tie Alvin Karpis's hands together with a necktie to take him to jail. But at any rate the FBI office in New Orleans and the Naval Intelligence worked very closely together. People who ran that office over there were extremely helpful.
Some of them had Tuscaloosa

Page 48
connections. We had a man there named Herb Cutler who married Gene Beatty's daughter in Tuscaloosa. Gene Beatty had been fire chief at one time and custodian of the First National Bank Building so we all knew—in fact, Herbie Cutler later, after he left the Bureau went into the Navy.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Wasn't that Ellie Ozment's family name—Beatty? Eloise Ozment?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, she's a sister. The main thing they did for us was train our people in shooting pistols.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Ya'll hadn't had much experience along those line.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Frank Knox came down there, and they handed me a .45 and said, "Now you protect him." I stuck the .45 in my belt, and he was in more danger from me than he was [Laughter] with any saboteur or anything like that. But anyway, I stayed with him with that hog-leg pistol sticking out of my belt, for the rest of the day, and after that . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
What was he, Secretary of War?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was Secretary of the Navy. We all got little quickdraw holsters that were issued to the FBI. They issued those with a .38 magnum pistol to each one of us. So we were at least properly dressed for the occasion after that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I remember you telling once about getting an adjutant general's office or division or what was that? Was this in connection with Foots Newman? He was down in New Orleans.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Foots was in personnel and his boss was a man named Richard Rubottom. You may have known him in Texas; he was Dean of Men at Texas before the war.

Page 49
ALLEN J. GOING:
I know that name, it's a Texas name.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was later Ambassador to Argentina.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Latin America?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. And he was probably the most unpopular man that ever graced a naval uniform. I don't know why nobody liked Richard Rubottom. He had an unpleasant job. He had to tell these people where they had to go, and who wanted to enlist in the Navy and get sent to Cameron, Louisiana or something like that. So it was not easy. Then this work that I was talking about being so difficult really came about after we had gotten established, and the boarding procedures were pretty well underway, and everybody knew what information he was looking for, where were any strange or unusual concentrations of ships or anything of that sort. We began to build up quite a lot of information. Then in February we started having ships torpedoed at the mouth of the river.
ALLEN J. GOING:
in '42?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
'42. And as a matter of fact up until that time most of our commissions in our office had not yet come through. They had been issued but hadn't been signed by President Roosevelt or something. We were all working in civilian clothes. We were commissioned agents rather than officers. And I think I remember mine came in on February second or something like that. Then they put us in uniform. Well, we were a lot safer in civilian clothes to tell you the truth [Laughter] We then had the job as intelligence officers of bringing in the passengers and crews off torpedoed ships,

Page 50
and debriefing them before they were allowed to go anywhere else. We had to find out what they knew, what the submarine was like, whether it surfaced, if so, get a sketch of it and all that kind of stuff. And it sounds like a very simple job, and it would be if you had one ship torpedoed every month, but in the month of February we had 42 ships torpedoed in the mouth of the river. One of them the largest tanker in the world at that time, a seventy-five thousand ton French tanker. Another one was a troop transport called the Robert E. Lee, run by the U. S. Army. It was bringing 450 family members from Trinidad back to the mainland, because they were stationed with their people down there in Trinidad, and . . .
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The people who were passengers on the Robert E. Lee were standing on the rail in the open—standing on the deck by the rail—and looking out and they saw the torpedo approaching the ship. They all cheered because it seemed to be going past the ship on the side about a hundred yards away. They could see the wake of the torpedo. They thought it was great. All of a sudden it turned and came back into the rear of the ship, and hit the ship dead astern right where the propellers were. Turns out it was a new type torpedo they were using that was set to follow the noise of a ship's screw. That was quite a new thing, and quite a startling thing, but the amazing thing was out of the 400 odd people on the ship, we managed to get all of them off

Page 51
without anyone being seriously injured or killed. The explosion of the torpedo usually killed one or two. This one, even though the ship sank rather quickly . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was in a convoy?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. It was running alone. Later on in interviewing the passengers we think we pinpointed where the information about the ship got out. The captain of the ship, when he left the light outside the port of Tampa, sent a signal to the base on shore with his signal light, "course is so many degrees north by west and speed so-and-so." And to anybody who intercepted that message they knew exactly where that ship would be the next day at a certain time if it maintained that course and speed. So the next day the submarine was at that point, and it came by and picked it off. But it was just one of those picked off. There were a number of them. The Alcoa Steamship Company, the Aluminum Company of America, lost several ships one of which was attacked by a submarine on the surface. It came up and started firing its canon instead of torpedoes. Another one of the Alcoa ships took three torpedoes and didn't sink.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well they were not armed?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No not at that time. Some of them later on were armed, and most of the merchant ships were armed as quickly as they could get 'em, but we didn't have any gun crews trained. But there were training facilities and there was an armed guard training school at the Algiers naval base across the river from New Orleans. They were putting people on the

Page 52
merchant ships at that time. This was made even more difficult by the fact that we had no air cover. No planes. In those days the Army had an air force, the Navy had an air force, but there was no United States Air Force. The Army air force was not very heavily concentrated around New Orleans, because it was pretty well protected being way up at the head of the Gulf. So they didn't have any planes with any armament. They had a few observation planes and one or two squadrons of training planes. They were using Barksdale Field just to train them—potential pilots. But they were not armed with anything bigger than .50 caliber machine guns and 50-pound bombs that might blow a hole in the side wall. Right after the Robert E. Lee went down, the army sent some planes down there that were equipped with a magnetic detection device that could pick up metal objects on the surface of the Gulf. The effectiveness of those was sort of indirect; they didn't destroy the submarine, but they made them stay under water. They couldn't surface to recharge their batteries. In those days submarines had to come up at least every 24 to 36 hours for the purpose of recharging his batteries so it could run the next 20 hours under water. And by making them stay under water all the time, they became much less effective, they could not get on the surface and chase a ship or anything of that sort.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And that was in what year?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was in early '42 shortly after Pearl Harbor. Of course, the public had no inkling at that time of the extent

Page 53
of the damage at Pearl Harbor. No one was advised as to what that was like, and to this day, as far as I know, no one knows how much loss we suffered in the Gulf of Mexico. There has been very little publicity on those sinkings down there. We lost quite a few men down there. I remember several times going out and bringing in people off tankers and bringing bodies and live sailors, survivors too. Our job was not a rescue job; our job was to try to find out what was bringing this about—how they were able to do that and it was in that connection that we found out after about a week that this submarine that everybody thought was German was, in fact, Italian. It was a very good ship. Later it was depth charged by one of the old four-piper destroyers, I forgot which. The Dahlgren I believe it was. Duhlgren Hall in Annapolis is named for the same man that this ship was named for. And it was operating in water that was pretty shallow for the use of depth charges. As a matter of fact, when it blew out the submarine, it also blew out its own condensers and couldn't make any water for its boilers so it had to come in to port and get fixed up. As far as I know, that was the only submarine accounted for in counter measures in the Gulf. Now there may have been some, but there were not any more publicized.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That would be a good subject for some historian to get on.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes it would be.

Page 54
ALLEN J. GOING:
Because I imagine with all the official reports and records—it may have been done in some thesis or other.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The submarine which had somehow managed to get into the Gulf, and it's not as hard as you might think. Today it would be pretty difficult for a submarine to get into the Gulf because we have better patrols. But entrance down there below Cuba is really not more than about a hundred miles wide anywhere along there. We do pretty well at policing it. But this submarine evidently was not instructed to pick any certain targets. It was just shooting at anything that it could get a fix on. As a matter of fact, about half the tankers that were sunk didn't have any cargo. I remember two or three of them didn't sink. The first one I went on in early February of '42 was a tanker bound from either Houston or Baytown, one of those places in Texas, to Mobile. It was going over for some repairs at the ship yard, Alabama Drydock. The submarine fired three torpedoes that hit the ship in the side and blew holes in it 20 to 35 to 40 feet in diameter, but the ship was in a number of water-tight compartments and it didn't sink. Those things would just fill with water but the rest of the ship was bouyant enough to hold it up. I remember we put our group on board to see what we could do with the ship. We had no tugs. We got a Coast Guard cutter to come close to it, got one line on board, but with that strong current of the Mississippi coming out into the Gulf there you couldn't control the ship with just one line pulling it

Page 55
along behind you. We tried to bring it into the river, but we never were able to get it straightened away where we could make it up stream. We had no tugs to help us so we had to beach it. We pulled it over on to the ground at the mouth of the river. That night another submarine came up on the surface and fired another [Laughter] torpedo at it. That one missed and hit the jetty. It was amazing what they spent their torpedoes on. I think I told you about the Wanks, a little ship about 140 or 50 feet long of Honduran registry. It never brought anything into New Orleans that I know of except mahogany logs. The submarine that finally sank the Wanks missed it with one torpedo, hit it with another one that didn't sink it, and hit it with a third one that sank it. I would guess that the three torpedoes would be worth more than the ship.
ALLEN J. GOING:
After New Orleans, where did you go then?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
After the battle of the Gulf, so to speak, subsided, after that submarine was dealt with, we didn't have any more sinkings for a while. Although one or two of those ships that were sunk out there were heavily loaded with aviation fuel and gasoline; they made spectacular torches. I remember seeing one of them blow up. I was walking along the levee down at Venice which is 100 miles south of New Orleans on the river. I heard this noise and looked over to the east and there was this huge ball of flame. We borrowed a boat as usual, we had none of our own, and went out there to it and didn't find anybody. We never found a soul. We found

Page 56
the board off the bridge of the ship which had the ship's name on it. It was the Raleigh Warner. Raleigh Warner is now the president of one of the big oil companies. He was the son of the president of Pure Oil Company. But after the shipping scare subsided, we spent a great deal of time setting up travel control, because most of the neutrals, or so called neutrals, came in by ship in those days. Not many planes flew in. We had passenger ships coming in from Spain, a great many ships from South America; Chile and Argentina just continuous traffic between New Orleans and their home ports. The Delta shipping lines based in New Orleans had passenger ships and cargo ships. Mostly mixed cargo and passenger ships. Freighters carrying a few passengers. And all the United Fruit ships carried passengers. Some of them as many as 150. Standard Fruit was still running a big fleet of white ships, all of them carrying passengers. So we had to set up some kind of control to interview every passenger that came in to find out where he came from, what he had seen. In effect, a debriefing without him really knowing what we were trying to find out. Most of them volunteered information and were very helpful. The Spanish government had a little bit of a problem with us or maybe we had one with them. I don't know. On one or two occasions they were suspected of bringing information that was helpful to the German fleet—submarine fleet. That they would either drop off in South America or Corn Island or somewhere down in the Gulf, or

Page 57
maybe bring it on with them. I assume we would use the same tactics if we were trying to get information to somebody. It would be a lot easier to let some neutral take it than it would be to try to get the word there yourself. We used to visit with the officers of these ships—spend maybe half a day quizzing them. In a few cases we actually put surveillance on those officers and followed them everywhere they went to see what kind of contacts they made. You'd be surprised how many times a man with a name like Fernandez would make his first contact with somebody named—a name like von Peppinon [?] or [Laughter] something like that. They seemed to have an affinity for people with German names. And, of course, at that time everybody was suspicious of anybody with a German name. I guess there were no Japanese names. I don't remember anybody ever contacting the Japanese. Which did two things: it gave us a chance to observe the man who come in on the ship and it also pinpointed some of his contacts. By cross checking lists like the German-American Bund and organizations like that.
We quite often found that the people that they were making contact with were engaged in other subversive activities. Matter of fact, we had a great setup in New Orleans in one regard. A young man who had joined the Communist Party and had become a minor official, assistant secretary or something like that of the cell that was located in New Orleans, decided that that was the wrong thing to do. He had joined before the war and when the

Page 58
United States became involved, he decided he was a loyal American. So instead of just quitting and going into the army, he came to see us in Naval Intelligence and asked if he could be helpful. We said, "Yes, stay right where you are." So we had the entire roster of the Communist set up not only in Louisiana but throughout the entire mid-South. We ran into some interesting problems with it. For instance, this boy's number in the draft came up. We had a problem. We couldn't just let him escape the draft when nobody else could, but we wanted to keep him where he was, so we managed to get him assigned to Algiers Naval Base. So he remained in uniform a member of the Communist Party. It was a dangerous job for him but he did a good job. He kept us pretty well informed.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You could keep track that way.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
We knew when meetings were going to take place, and we could infiltrate the meeting—have someone there who would otherwise attract attention—let them join up with some group before the meeting started.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When you identified actual subversives and informants, what happened?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I never did quite understand why we were so reluctant to make examples of some of those people, but I do now understand it. It was much better for us to watch those people and to somehow neutralize their activity without them knowing it than it was to punish them. Because punishment would just mean that they would search for somebody else,

Page 59
and you'd lose your contact and your information. Whereas to let them go and observe them closely kept them, we hoped, from being suspicious and they became more open with their activity. I will say this, though; when Russia came into the war on our side, or when they began activities on our side I should say against the Germans, the Communist activity slowed down a great deal. They became pretty much interested in the welfare of the American military. It was not a source of worry really.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah that, I guess, was '42.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't know exactly when they declared war on Hitler, but remember in '40, I guess it was, they had had a nonaggression pact. [NOTE: Germany invaded Russia June 22, 1941.]
ALLEN J. GOING:
It might have been '41.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, I think it might have been before our actual participation in the war that they came out on our side. But as they began to suffer more and we were trying to get goods to Murmansk and that kind of thing, we got a great deal more cooperation.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You stayed in New Orleans . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I stayed there for a year. Along about May or June of '42 I was sent to a school in Washington for six weeks I guess and after that there was a graduate school in New York at the old Henry Hudson Hotel. I went to that school twice—two different sessions. And that was where they put you through the different phases of intelligence; operational

Page 60
intelligence, some people would go into. Background work on special countries. For instance, Wade Coleman, you remember him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He went into the Asian group. He was doing a lot of work on Japan and places like that. I asked the Bureau of Personnel for operational work with the fleet at Boston.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The eastern Atlantic.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. After I guess in January of 1943, I was in Panama. We had continued to set up travel control and we had to call on every government in Central America. Luckily for us Pan American Airlines was opening a new service from New Orleans to Panama City. In order to do it they had to make what they called a proving flight where they took their biggest plane and landed at every airstrip in Central America that was capable of taking that plane. At one or two of them, I wondered if they hadn't over-estimated its capability, but anyway, they took all of their pilots who were going to fly it and stewards (in those days they had stewards, not stewardesses) and they took them to train them on what they were going to be expected to do, and they trained the pilots on the problems of landing and taking off at those airports some of which had been militarized. In Guatemala, for instance, we had a squadron of B-26 bombers there and one or two others. Of course Panama was fully fortified. And we spent about 3 weeks flying down there landing in each of these places, and everywhere we landed

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the head of the government would either have us down to his palace or house, or he'd come out to meet us. And we'd get an agreement out of him about how we would handle the outgoing passengers or his own citizens. The main thing with each one of them was to make sure he understood that we were not harassing his citizens and letting the other ones go. We got great cooperation from all of them. I don't know whether we would now or not but we did then. The trip lasted a little longer than it should have because when we landed in Guatemala City we struck a pile of .50 caliber machine gun shells that had been spilled on the runway. One of them blew a tire. I don't know if it was the explosion or just the point of the shell. Anyway, it blew a tire and our ship ran around through all the revetments that had B-26's hidden behind them. Nobody got hurt and no real damage except one of the plane's engines conked out. This was the bomber that was just bigger than the B-17, this was the B-19 which came in really not into common use until the war ended almost. All raids in France and Japan were carried on by the B-17's. But this was a little bit bigger version and this was the commercial version that Pan Am had. To get that engine fixed we had to fly that plane from Guatemala City across the Gulf to Miami. When we got to Miami we were about first in line for repairs so the government had to put us up for ten days at the Columbus Hotel on Biscayne Bay there with nothing to do except enjoy Miami. So as I say,

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it took us a little longer to do that job than it ordinarily would have.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You didn't complain too much?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, but while I was on that junket I got my orders to report to the destroyer base in Casco Bay after a little leave and after reporting again at the Henry Hudson Hotel in New York City. So I went on the staff of destroyer squadron 17. Actually with the various degrees of training, I had several weeks of communications training and I had to go through a Combat Information Center School in Quonset Point, right outside of Newport News. A few things like that took up most of two or three months. I reported to Casco Bay in July 1943 and caught my ship there because the squadron was there, there wasn't room for me on my ship. I had to go over to another destroyer on my first trip across because I just got there the day before they were leaving.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was convoying?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was convoying troops. We would pick up a troop convoy in New York and a typical convoy would be a hundred ships. Ten troop transports in a line one mile apart, then one mile over there would be ten more. So there would be ten miles across the front and ten miles deep. And we had, oh, 15 to 17 ships to escort. We always had either a battleship or a cruiser at the head of the convoy which gave us just one other thing to protect. The rest of it was made up of the destroyers in destroyer squadron 27. Once in a while they'd attach two or three other destroyers from

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another squadron. Most of the time we had our own group plus two or three destroyer escorts. On two or three occasions we had some Canadian destroyers going with us. We really didn't care too much to have those with us because they really weren't fast enough to keep up with the convoy. But it wasn't too bad. We'd leave New York usually at midnight or before daylight and nine days later we'd be off Belfast, Ireland. Outside Belfast we'd split up and a third of the convoy or half might go into Belfast, a fourth of it would go into the Clyde at Glasgow and the rest of it go down to Cardiff or Swansea, Wales. That duty was, to say the least, interesting.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Pretty routine, I guess.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, the truth of the matter is you had more trouble living than enjoying living. It wasn't the enemy that was the trouble, it was the weather.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, the North Atlantic is rough.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Many times we could make a trip across and never set a meal on the table. The tables were equipped with fiddle boards that stood up about like the sides of a bed tray and plates and trays wouldn't slide off, but usually what you'd get in that kind of bad weather was a cheese sandwich, which consisted of a piece of cheese and [Laughter] two pieces of bread and in one hand a mug of some kind of coffee and in the other . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Tryin' to survive. I guess it was a good thing you weren't prone to motion sickness.

Page 64
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
One or two of the boys were. We had one officer who finally had to be sent back to shore. He lost anywhere from 20 to 25 pounds each trip. Finally he was living off of Karo syrup, he'd take two tablespoons at each meal and that's all he'd eat. Couldn't keep anything else down. But it wasn't that bad. Everybody got sick the first night out, but you get your sea legs; then you could usually stick with it the rest of the time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You did that for the remainder of the war?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Until January '45, and then my ship was assigned to escort the Quincy, which was carrying President Roosevelt to Yalta. I got off the ship in Casco Bay five minutes before it sailed. I couldn't even get a boat from my ship to take me in; we were about five miles out in the bay. I had to borrow a boat from another ship that wasn't going to Yalta to take me ashore, but I made it. The reason I was that late, I had been relieved in August, but it took my relief four months to catch up with me.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So you didn't make the trip to Yalta? [NOTE: Yalta Conference Feb. 4-11, 1945.]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I didn't make the trip to Yalta. Almost did. I talked to some of the boys after they got back. It was really about as much of a vacation as anything else, because when they got over there, Roosevelt turned our destroyer over to Ibn Saud, the dictator, leader of Saudi Arabia and when he went on the ship he spread thick oriental rugs across the forecastle—just covered the whole thing, or, he didn't, he

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had his minions do it. Then they built a fire right in the middle of it to roast [Laughter] these sheep. When Roosevelt turned it over to him he said, "Now, take it as your own. That's your ship now wherever you want to go." He took 'em all over Bitter Lake, the Suez Canal, and everything else.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Just as a gift?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, it was kind of like one of those things where you win the use of a car for a year. He had the use of that destroyer for as long as he needed it, and he kept it for about thirty or forty days. He gave every member of the ship's crew a month's salary as a bonus. He gave . . . all the officers fine gifts. The boy who took my place was given a gold dagger—gold handled dagger—with rubies and other stones set in the handle. Other officers were given a gold watch that was from Tiffany's and were appraised at about $1,500 each. It didn't bother Ibn Saud. He was spending Standard Oil's money.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's when Arabian oil was coming into . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's even before Aramco and before . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
But they knew the potential.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh, they knew what was there but the Arabs hadn't yet learned the secret of getting all the oil . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Getting in on the development.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. Expropriation came later.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was in '45 . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '45 I went back to New Orleans.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's where you were at the end of the war?

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '45 I was sent ashore in January when they left to go to Yalta. I was given 30 days leave and then ordered to report to take the zone intelligence office for Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and a chunk of east Texas, and Arkansas. So I had a real good setup. I had an office there on Canal Street in the Wohl building. I guess I had 25 or 30 officers and yeomen assigned to it and no sign on the door—completely incognito. I don't know what people thought with all these uniforms going in and out, but they had nothing to tell them what the office was. And I stayed there doing that work which was somewhat different than it had been when we were under danger from submarines.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was four years later.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The biggest danger was to get out of the way on V-E day [Laughter] when they were throwing typewriters and things like that out of the upper windows on Canal Street. Then in September I got mustered out one day and got back here and started teaching the next.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Is that right? You were back for the fall semester?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, I got back here on September the—well, I forget if it was the first, fifth or tenth, but say if I returned on the fourteenth, the school started on the fifteenth.
ALLEN J. GOING:
V-J Day was sometime in late August, wasn't it? [Aug. 10, 1945.]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. We had a minimum of information about the atomic bomb. We knew there was a Manhattan Project, we knew it was something that no one understood, we knew it would be a

Page 67
devastating weapon that, if developed, could end the war, we knew we had to develop it before the Germans did and that they were also trying to develop it, but we never knew what it was. Nobody ever said this is a bomb that will fracture the atom or anything like that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
How early did you know about it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Five days before Hiroshima.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I meant the Manhattan Project.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh, earlier in the year.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Then you hadn't heard of it before '45?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I hadn't been there. Maybe the people in the field office had. I would say it wasn't commonly talked about until January or February '45. Then everybody wondered how the project was coming along. They knew something big was going on at Oak Ridge and places like that because you had tons of money being directed in that direction so people had a pretty good idea that something was brewing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You came back to Tuscaloosa, then, right away.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I had all the necessary points to get out. I remember when V-J day was made official, the next day I was in my commanding officer's office, and I told him I had X number of points, so many points were required to be discharged, mine was considerably above that, my relief was trained and ready, and I awaited his command. And he was very nice. He let me out the next day, I think, or started

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the process. It takes a couple of weeks to get you mustered out.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Then you started up the practice again?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Started practicing law, teaching at the law school. It didn't hurt me to teach full time cause I didn't have any practice.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, you were teaching full time?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And you were just in time for the post-war deluge of students.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, that's really why I taught full time because beginning in mid-year '45 that huge crowd of GIs started pouring in. They hadn't really got out in the summer of '45. Not enough of them were moving toward the colleges to overrun us in the first semester, but the second semester we were really loading up all the facilities. I don't know how many people there were, maybe not as many as we think, but at the time we were going from classes that had typically been 15, 20, 25 girls and three men during the war to 100, 150, and most of them men.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When you came back had Paty already left? When did he go to Georgia?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, uh . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
I know he came in the fall of '42.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I guess he was still here. He was here for a year. He was here for a year when I got here. And then of course Hepburn had succeeded Dean Farrah and he stayed until about

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1950—maybe '51 or 2, something like that. Then he moved over to Emory.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And is that when Lee Harrison took over?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Lee took over as dean and I guess Lee was dean for ten, twelve, fifteen years.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But you said—had you kept up with what was going on in Alabama much during the war?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not really. I had voted in 1944 absentee and, as I told you, the information about how the election came out was two or three days late. I got the flash on the Fox schedule of the navy that Roosevelt had won. This shipmate of mine just sent the words, "Oh what a beautiful morning." But I didn't know that Lister Hill had beaten Jim Simpson until maybe ten days after the election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was Lister Hill's probably most serious challenge.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think he won by six or seven thousand votes. It wasn't a very big margin.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Here it says [Hill says?] 126,000 to Simpson's 101,000.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, it was more than I thought.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was the primary, I guess. There was just one primary.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't know what the opposition was, if any, in the general election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't imagine there was much . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Simpson ran as a Democrat.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He had been in the legislature, hadn't he—a state senator?

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
State senator.
ALLEN J. GOING:
From Birmingham.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. He was a lawyer from Birmingham. A very capable lawyer. Later a trustee of Vanderbilt University for many years. Extremely conservative.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was his reason for opposing Hill, because by the end of the war Southern conservatives were beginning to gain momentum, I'd say.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As a matter of fact, during the war the support of labor lost a lot of its appeal. You remember John L. Lewis brought the coal industry right to the brink of a disastrous strike. If they had—if he had carried out his threats, I'm sure we would have had soldiers in the coal mines. Truman, you know, said he was going to put the soldiers in there. He even threatened to [Laughter] hang John L. Lewis. But the fact that labor had consistently supported Hill I think gave some of those extreme conservatives a little more comfort than they really deserved. They were led to believe that he was ripe for the picking, but he really wasn't. He wasn't that vulnerable. Simpson's campaign was a pretty expensive campaign. He got about all the votes you could get against Lister Hill.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then Simpson ran again in two years against Sparkman. Sparkman had been in Congress, I think, for about ten years.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
For about ten years, and he had only been in the Senate for one term. he went in '40, I think.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, they had a special primary. No Bankhead died in May of '46 and Robin Swift was appointed. Then they had a special primary in July of '46, and that's when Sparkman and Simpson and Frank Boykin ran in that special primary. Then in '48, Sparkman ran on his own; that was the regular election.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That first time is when Bob Jones was elected to Congress.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When was that, '46?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Sparkman ran for the Congress and Senate. I don't know if you can still do that or not. He ran for both offices, for representative and senator. Then resigned as representative when he went to the senate. So he never did step out of office to go to another one.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And Bod Jones —
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And Bob Jones was elected in a special election to take his seat.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In Congress Bob Jones was pretty much of that same persuasion
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was a big Sparkman supporter, roommate of Foots Clement at the Spanish Inn. So he was pretty liberal in his views.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, Clement was back in '46?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Clement came back in early '46. He settled into his regular routine, telephoning all night [Laughter] and planning all day. He was active in both Sparkman campaigns.

Page 72
ALLEN J. GOING:
What about the governor's election in '46? Was he active in that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was between—
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was when Folsom—it was
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was 1946.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
When Folsom was running in the runoff with Ellis. In that campaign I remember Foots and his crowd maintained contact with all of them, but never did get identified particularly as the people behind anybody. They were all involved, but not in a managerial capacity.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was when there were five of them, including Folsom, in the original primary.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And the truth of the matter is all those people were really at heart just Populists, and each one was trying to outdo the others. I don't think Joe Poole was much inclined that way except to talk before his own people.
ALLEN J. GOING:
How did he get into—? He was in Folsom's administration, wasn't he?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, but he was in the House or in the legislature, whether it was the House or Senate, I'm not clear. But he had been in the legislature since the Brandon administration. He was a veteran legislator, and so was Handy Ellis. See, both of those had come out of the Alabama legislature. Gordon Persons had held some other office, but he was not at that time considered to be a

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leading candidate for anything. Shortly thereafter, he was elected governor.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I recall that Gordon Persons was head of REA in Alabama when it first—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But that was an appointed job. I think Lister Hill got it for him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Probably did, but he got a following there among the rural people.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's where he made his sweep through the farm sections following up on his REA work.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And the obvious target there was Alabama Power, so it was kind of Populistic oriented.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In those days it was safe to run against Alabama Power and Chamber of Commerce. If you could get those two on the other side, along with the Birmingham News, you were pretty well sure of election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess what I was thinking was Joe Poole, after Folsom was elected, held some office—I think in the administration under Folsom.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't recall what it was.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You said he was more conservative.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Much more conservative than Folsom or any of his followers. So my guess is if he held an office under Folsom, it would not have been a policy making office. I frankly don't remember his holding one, but he could well have, but I don't know what he did.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, let's backtrack now and we'll come back to the Folsom administration later. I would still like to hear a little more about the Spanish Inn group and how they originated. How far back did they go?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It actually started about 1929. The undercover political group actually began when Lister Hill was president of the student body in 1914, but it just came along working as best it could. These people who were in the Spanish Inn, a number of them had actually lived in the Masonic Home, which was up University Avenue toward town about two blocks. You pass Rex's and the next intersection the Masonic home, or whatever they called it. It was owned by the Masons and they rented rooms to students, that's what it was. Some [Laughter] major poker games of the five and ten cent variety went on there all night long. But the Masonic home went out of existence not long after that. Mr. Nicol built the Prince Apartments up there where it used to be, and Dr. Goode bought some of the property and had his home on a corner of that section. Later on, he used that home as an office. To get back to the Spanish Inn. In 1929, all those boys moved out of the Masonic home and most of them Foots Clement got to come to the Spanish Inn, or they became familiar with the Spanish Inn and used to visit there a lot. But big Foots, the older brother, was the captain of the football team in 1930. They went to the Rose Bowl and that attracted some attention to little Foots, who was the one who was really the political power.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
You mean they called his brother Foots too?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh, his brother was the original Foots. He was Foots Clement when he came here. He had been an outstanding high school player in Arkansas, and John Tucker, who later was Dean of Men at Arkansas Tech, had played with Foots in a junior college over there at Russellville. John was appointed to West Point, and went up there and played for a couple of years, then came down here and played football on that 1930 team. I think he had one or maybe two years of eligibility left. John was a very intelligent person and more or less a leader and he sort of shepherded Foots into the group. Hank Crisp brought Foots over here and John Tucker came with him. John couldn't play until the second year he was here, as I recall. Tucker is the last man in football history to start a run and he found out he couldn't get around the end so he stopped and drop kicked [Laughter] a field goal. He did that for the Army when he was at West Point. Big Foots was living in the quarters with the football players, eating over at the Bull Pen with Claude Stalworth. Little Foots got a job managing the Spanish Inn for Dr. Patton, T. H. Patton. He was also making a little commission on dry cleaning. He was soliciting dry cleaning all over the campus. If you sent your suit down to get it cleaned it'd cost you fifty cents and I think Foots would get a nickel of it. He also got his meals free for soliciting business for Pug's. He'd go around and call on boys and get them to come eat at Pugs. When they bought a

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meal ticket, Pug would ask them why them came and they'd tell him Foots asked them to. That way he was able to keep his contacts there. Bob Jones worked at Pug's. The whole group just sort of gravitated to the Spanish Inn, and they'd meet four or five nights a week, I mean it wasn't just a sometime gathering where people casually ran up on to each other. They would sit there and make their plans for student elections or whatever all the time. Among the group that came by and participated in those meetings, there were people who later became very prominent in politics: Kenneth Roberts who was in the Congress, Carl Elliott who was in the Congress, Bob Jones who was in the Congress.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did you mention Albert Rains?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Albert I don't think was a student at that time. Albert was a close friend of Foots', but I don't recall him coming to the Spanish Inn. If he happened to be here as a student, he didn't get in on much of that. I think I'd remember it if he'd been here at that time and I don't remember his ever being up there. Course, there were some older Congressmen, Sam Hobbs, Frank Boykin, who were pretty well set in their jobs. There wasn't any . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Kenneth Roberts was then congressman in 1950.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, well when the vacancy occurred, Kenneth ran.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What happened to—well, no that was in the black belt district where Kenneth Roberts succeeded Hobbs.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. He was on the eastern end of Hobb's district.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did he die?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Hobbs died.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And Albert Rains was over in Gadsden-Anniston area.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Roberts lived in Anniston and actually grew up in Piedmont.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But he was around here at that time?—in the Spanish Inn?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was the editor of the Corolla. Foots was the business manager of the Corolla. That's where the money was, and I've forgotten who was the editor of the Crimson White, but I think it was Paul Duncan, or Kilpatrick. Carol Kilpatrick.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Kilpatrick was editor before I came here. I remember the name now. Wasn't Gould Beech head of the CW ?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, but Gould was a few years behind those I think. He wasn't long out of school when Folsom was elected.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In '46.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, and we're talking about the late 20s and early 30s.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Almost 15 years before that. That group was very much interested in student politics, but they just kinda carried that over into public affairs.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I guess the distinguishing quality of that group was that they kept in contact. As one would graduate, he'd go down home and start doing the same there that he had done

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here, working up a group to go out and solicit votes and influence elections. If you were to take the people who were involved in political elections, particularly the senatorial elections, from 1945 on to 1960, you'd see that everyone of those boys who who had been at the Spanish Inn was active somewhere. Some of them had their own jobs—people like Bob Jones and Carl Elliott and Kenneth Roberts. They had already been elected but the others maintained close contact with each other and with the people they intentionally set out to influence. They went out to change politics and apparently they did a pretty good job.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now when you say "to change politics," what were they changing? Any basic philosophy?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They didn't have any big issues. I don't think they were going out to disfranchise the blacks or anything like that. What they were doing was trying to get the power away from the black belt. The people of that area had just about said who would and who would not hold public office in this state and they could pretty well make it stick, because the voting was all warped in their favor.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They controlled the legislature and wouldn't reapportion.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't recall when the first reapportionment was, even though the constitution calls for it every ten years, there hadn't been a reapportionment for fifty or sixty years before the first.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Folsom tried it.

Page 79
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He tried it and failed, and the Justice Department filed a suit.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, it wasn't until up into the 1960s.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
You recall that they ordered the legislature to provide for some sort of reapportionment, and instead of doing that they came up with a scheme to have everyone run from the state at large.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Wasn't that when Alabama lost a congressman?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right, they had to redistrict then.
ALLEN J. GOING:
After the 1960 census.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think it was. They lost one then and we've lost one since then. We had nine, that brought it down to eight, and now we have seven. But the legislature never did take the initiative and re-district the congressional districts.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That generalization hasn't been made about Alabama that the conservatives commonly referred to as the "black belt," and "big mules" had that tight grip on the legislature but not so much on the two senators or certainly not all the congressmen and not even the governor.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, if you'll recall in those days Barbour County had two senators . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
State senators.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Tuscaloosa had two senators. Birmingham with a population five times as great as the two of them also just had two senators. So representation was nowhere near proportional or equally divided. It wasn't until after the

Page 80
one man-one vote decision that we really got anythng done by the legislature.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, that's right. I was trying to think in terms of right there at about 1929 or 30. This group was beginning to graduate and go out to the state. That came right at the time of the controversy around Heflin.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was two years after Heflin had deserted the party.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In 1928.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He tried to come back in, but they actually read him out; wouldn't let him qualify.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He couldn't run in the primary. That would have been in 1930 when he would have been up for re-election.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Then when the depression came along, this group of—most of them young lawyers—really didn't have enough practice to keep them busy. So they managed to stay busy politicing. They would work at this sort of thing. Each one of them would get himself some little job. Kenneth Roberts, as I remember, had an assistant district attorney job or something like that, Bob Jones had a little county judge thing or something of that sort. Just enough to keep the body and soul together, but it wasn't long before they were getting themselves into position to run for office. Of course running for office was the best way to become known. There was no way to raise money like they do now, and set up an advertising campaign. You announced and then just went out and tried to shake every hand in the county. I would guess that the budget that Roberts and Jones and Carl

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Elliott used to run for office the first time was probably the cheapest race they ever ran. Later on each one would try to raise money to stave off opposition or something of that sort. I would guess also that that young group of recent Alabama graduates was about as influential a group as was ever turned out here over a period of two or three years.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now Sparkman was a little before them.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Sparkman had graduated about 1928 I believe. Maybe a little earlier than that, '24.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He must have been elected in the 30s.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He had been in the House . . . Well, Hill was elected in '23 and Sparkman, I think, was just a few years later.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's what I thought. He was in the House at least five terms, I think, by the time he became senator.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he was elected to the Senate in 1946—somewhere around there. So he must have been elected to the House about maybe 1930s. [NOTE: Sparkman first elected 1936.]
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, Bankhead died in May of '46 and they held a special primary. Sparkman had then been in Congress for five terms. So he was a little ahead of this group.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Actually John Sparkman, as far as I know, was never closely tied to the student group. He was a member of the same group that kept getting elected, but he had gone from here before these ones we're talking about got here. I also remember that he was in a good law firm. He was in one of the better law firms in Huntsville, but he wasn't making any

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money and nobody else was. When he first ran for office, Foots, I remember, went to Huntsville and helped out with his election one time. I don't recall if he had opposition or if he was just trying to beat it back and not have any. I don't think he had any. As I recall, that district up there had a habit of returning the incumbent without opposition through year, after year, after year. If somebody died, then they'd have two men or three run for the job, but if somebody was in office, he was not likely to have opposition.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's true of most Alabama districts.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Then with the New Deal coming along, I think it gave impetus to this new blood idea in Alabama politics in general.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not only gave impetus to new blood, but it made possible for the new faces, new people to do something for their constituents. If you had been elected in 1930, you could stay on the floor of Congress the rest of your life and you wouldn't get an appropriation that would help Alabama. But after Roosevelt went in, some funds were voted like the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and things like that that really meant cash to constituents in Alabama.
ALLEN J. GOING:
To the rural people particularly. And of course Sparkman and William D. Bankhead, Bill Bankhead, along with Lister Hill were frequently mentioned as stalwarts of the New Deal.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As a matter of fact, along about this time Bill Bankhead was Speaker—Speaker of the House. And a couple of times he was considered for a vice presidential nomination. Hill was not considered for vice presidential nomination until about the last Roosevelt term. Hill made a stem winding political speech nominating Roosevelt and . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
In the last convention, in '44, he nominated him.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
His southern accent was so thick on the radio that you could hardly understand it. I think that speech killed his chances of being named the vice presidential candidate. As a matter of fact, when Stevenson and Sparkman ran in '52, a number of people thought that Hill was extremely disappointed at being passed over. I never heard him mention it but I know he never thought a lot of Stevenson. He very much resented Stevenson coming to Alabama and calling on Gordon Persons and asking him for advice and help and ignoring the people in Hill's group. He didn't call on Clement, he didn't call on anyone that Hill had working behind him. I don't know if that was a deliberate oversight or if he just didn't have time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Or he didn't have good advice. Yeah, Bankhead, Bill Bankhead, was in the Congress until '42. I guess that's when he died, wasn't it? [NOTE: Bankhead died 1940.]
Well, I have here that he was re-elected in '40.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, but he died before the war started, cause I know I was in civilian clothes.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
I was thinking that he died before '40 but it must not have been 'cause I have here that he was re-elected in '40.
Now Black was much older than this group. He graduated around 1907 or somewhere back in there, didn't he? [NOTE: Black: b. 1889, d. 1971. Received his LLB 1906]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, Black was 92 when he died or 91, something like that. I would guess that he was ten or twelve years older than Hill and Sparkman. [NOTE: Hill: b. 1874. Sparkman b. 1899]
ALLEN J. GOING:
In 1930, of course, he was already in the Senate. He was elected in '26.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was in his first term . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's right, and re-elected in 1932 in a run-off against Kilby—former governor. But there was no real tie or connection between Black and this group was there, other than the New Deal?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not really, There was a great deal of interest in this group in the New Deal and as a supporter of the New Deal they recognized Black's influence and all were supporters of his. One thing that these recent stories of the University honoring Black, I think either left the wrong impression or got some erroneous information, because every one of the stories recently when they had the week here dedicated to Hugo Black and next year which would have been his hundredth birthday, they're gonna have a whole week of lectures and various kinds of activities by some pretty important figures at the Law School honoring Hugo Black. I noticed a number

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of these stories—one in the New York Times or Time magazine—saying that the University resented him and never wanted him to come back after being appointed to the Supreme Court, never recognized that he was . . . Well, that isn't true. Dick Foster brought him back here to speak at the commencement in about the last year before Dick died.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Would have been about 1940 or '41.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Just a year or two before the war, and he pulled out all the stops to honor Hugo Black. I remember Devane Jones, who was a local lawyer here, who was one of the Chesterfieldian types, who was sitting around in the president's mansion waiting for lunch. And Devone began to say something to Hugo, he said "Mr. Justice, uh, Judge, uh, Hugo . . . what do your friends [Laughter] call you?" Black said, "Well, Devane, my friends call me Hugo." But there was no feeling there that Hugo Black didn't deserve recognition from the University. There may have been a change; there may have been a revulsion when the Ku Klux began to—
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, when the emotion of the segregation crisis began to take hold.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Black was not shy about writing those opinions; he took part in all of them and some of the reactionaries, who probably didn't go to the University themselves, may have made some disparaging remarks about the University and its graduates. The school certainly shouldn't be painted as having not been willing to honor one of its famous sons. I just don't think that was fair.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
I've gotten the impression, kinda like you, that they are going all out to remedy or make amends—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Making up for something that they didn't do then. Matter of fact, I don't recall anybody connected with the University administration who ever had a bad word to say about Hugo Black. Some of them didn't agree with his decisions; some of them wished he'd decided otherwise, but they could read. They could read the Constitution—they knew what he was interpreting.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What was your role in the group in the 1930s before you got called into the service?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, mostly my role was to try to keep a law office open, and to write speeches, write ads. I used to come up with three or four pages for each one of them to deliver when he'd go out on his mission. And I, uh, I don't think I had a very important role in it. [Laughter] I just made it possible for Foots to have one.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You provided a lot of the material for them, though.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I raised a lot of hell about the telephone bill, trying to keep it down so we could keep the office open.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Foots was the great one for personal contacts via the telephone lines.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There was rarely a day passed that he and Lister Hill didn't talk by long distance. When I say talk, I don't mean three minutes then hang up; they just kept talking. Luckily, most of them came out of Washington this way instead of us paying for it going that way. They discussed

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all the things that were coming up. I don't think Foots ever told him,, "Now you ought to take this position," on a particular subject. Sometimes in one or two cases I remember in talking to him he'd say, "now Senator, you're getting a little off base. Remember what you said, "so and so." And he'd sort of bring him back to what he had said before. I don't think that Foots would ever try to say to him, "Because your people want you to do this, you ought to take this stand." I don't think he ever did that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Actually Foots was more involved with the Congressmen and the United States Senators and Lister Hill than he was with the state officials.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was the difference. I've heard him say a number of times to the people that you make fewer enemies working for the officials in Washington—the Senators and Congressmen than you do with the local probate judge, or sheriff, or governor, or Lieutenant governor, or something of that sort. I don't know if he was just sort of justifying his leaning toward the federal officers after his sort of disenchantment with Dixon and some of the others, or whether he really felt that way, but that's what he always said.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was there any relationship at all with Graves and the so-called Graves machine?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I remember one contact that I participated in; now there may have been many others, I don't know. Before the last election before Graves' death, he called one day and asked

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Foots and me to drive to Montgomery. This was in '40, I guess, or '41.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He died in '42.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I know, but he was getting ready for the '42 election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, he was thinking ahead to the '42 . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It must have been in '41, cause I left here in December of '41.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When Dixon was governor.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, and Graves called us, oh this must have been in October before the primary the next spring. He asked us to meet him down there and we did, and as I recall we met in a hotel room rather than his office.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Smoke filled room?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not smoke filled, but there was just the three of us there. And he was asking whether or not it was possible for us to help organize to get set up. He said that he had a good operation left over from the other administration but that he didn't have the young people.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes, his backing went back into the 1920s.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. I was agreeably surprised to hear him talk. I always thought that Bibb Graves was sort of another Tom Heflin, but not quite as bad. He was saying that he thought that he could do a lot for the University, and he thought he could do a lot for Tuscaloosa and this area, and he wanted us to know that if we (to use his term), "helped make that pie," that we would help distribute it around here. He said, "that's my philosophy; the ones who work for me are

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the ones to say who gets the gravy. And there's gonna be a lot of appointments. I want you boys to go back and set the thing up and let's get started with it." And I remember Foots telling Governor Graves that he was interested in it, that he thought he had been a better governor than people expected him to be, and that he wasn't going to give him an answer right then but that he would give him an answer within a week.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, I thought I recalled you saying on another occasion that Clement, uh, had he supported Dixon?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Foots was one of the top supporters of Dixon. I didn't vote for Dixon.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Back in '38?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
'38 or whenever . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was elected in '38, he ran . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was defeated in '34.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was defeated in '34 by Graves.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Foots worked for him then. I voted for Graves in that election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In '34?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, and Foots and John Leland were the local managers for Dixon. And they organized a torch light parade. I bet they had 5,000 people marching through Tuscaloosa on the night before the election carrying torches and that sort of thing. I just for some reason just didn't like Frank Dixon.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course, it seems like in Alabama during those years the governorship would shift back and forth between what you

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loosely call the Populist supporters and the more conservative.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But the big mules never made it except with Dixon. Before, it had been people like Bill Brandon who'd step in there who was just as much a populist, agrarian type as Graves was. The leading candidate the next time was Charlie McDowell, who was defeated—lived down in Eufaula.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was Graves that defeated him. [1926]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, then Chauncy Sparks, who was elected, defeated Folsom in 1942. Chauncy Sparks was from Barbour County; lived in Eufaula; practiced law down there. So Birmingham . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was he the one they called the Bourbon from Barbour?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. And this group . . . you're right it switched back and forth, but it never completely switched to the power company and U.S. Steel until they got Dixon. Dixon was the first man from Birmingham to be elected in years.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And of course he was not an Alabamian.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Now Kilby had represented that group but kilby came out of Anniston. He was in the steel business. He represented the conservative industrialists, but he wasn't tarred with the Birmingham brush.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So you and Foots in the '30s were on Graves-Dixon—well opposite sides? You weren't active but you voted.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I just told him a night or two before the election, "I just can't vote for your man." And Folsom came along and pulled an upset which you remember the reason Folsom ran for

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governor, he had run for the Congress. He lived in Elba down in southeast Alabama, and he ran against Henry Steagall down in that area, and Steagall just mopped up the earth with him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was 1938.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, and so Folsom left Elba and went to Cullman. It wasn't because he knew anything about the division of the state so much as he just wanted to get out of the place where he had been so soundly defeated. He got up there and realized that all of the votes [Laughter] of the state were north of Birmingham anyway. So he made the most of it. He got them organized up there and got elected.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But then really about that time, during the Dixon administration, the war came along. There was an interruption in the political activity.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Quite an interruption. I was at sea in '43 and '44 so I don't know what the politicing was that went on in the national elections.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Foots was in Washington?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Foots was in Washington. He was the state chairman of the bond drive. Ed Leeigh McMillan was the chairman and Foots was the executive, I guess is what I should say. Foots was paid by the Treasury Department to promote U.S. savings bonds. As an employee of the Treasury Department, he wasn't able to do as much of the political work as you would expect. That didn't mean that he didn't keep close contact

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with Lister Hill and Sparkman and people like that. He didn't get out and organize their races.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now Lister Hill had formidable opposition in 1944.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Formidable opposition yes. Jim Simpson. He beat Simpson by a small margin.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was 126,000 in round figures to 101,000.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But you can see from that vote that there was not a big turn out.
ALLEN J. GOING:
No. That was before the so-called Allwright decisions of the Supreme Court that outlawed the white primary. By that time there was already considerable increase in conservative reaction against the New Deal, and gradually the question of segregation and integration was already beginning to emerge.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As a matter of fact, though, the Alabama delegation was not opposed to the New Deal, as I recall, in any degree whatever.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You had no outstanding opposition like you had in some other states.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. We didn't have anybody like Bilbo or . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Cotton Ed Smith.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right, the ones who made it so difficult for the New Deal to operate. We may have had one or two who reluctantly voted for the New Deal measures, but I don't even recall George Huddleston voting against anything that . . . Well you can see why. The biggest employer in Birmingham was U.S. Steel.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And you had T.V.A. in North Alabama.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And the savior of North Alabama was Tennessee Valley Authority. And you just have to look at the Warrior River now and you can see the Tennessee-Tom Bigbee, but Buck Oliver and the Mobile people were all trying to get dams completed on the Warrior River. They got them through.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then the war industries came along, and Mobile developed those areas.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. Blakely Island and Alabama Ship Building and all those things were just booming.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think the Childersburg plant was one of the largest ammunition—explosive plants in the country. That was Dupont.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, they manufactured explosives too. My oldest brother was stationed over there for two or three years. I don't know what his job was but he was a research chemist with Hercules Powder Company. He had substantial authority over there in Childersburg. This reaction against the administration didn't really begin to show up until Truman was in office.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In Alabama. I think you're right because Alabama, in a way, was unusual among other southern states. There was no prominent opposition—outspoken. You've got Talmadge in Georgia . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And Russell.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And Russell, and George.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And Spessard Holland in Florida. Those were people with a great deal of influence. Joe T. Robinson in Arkansas.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Old Garner in Texas wasn't very happy about that time.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. But it had a chilling effect when Truman was nominated after Humphrey made his civil rights speech in the 1948 convention. I think that triggered the opposition which may have been latent all the time. When they began to see that this may lead to the integration of the races, we had some people challenge.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The Civil Rights Commission had already made its report. I think that was '47. It reported with that whole list and Truman endorsed it. That's when the fat was in the fire, so to speak.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
What was the governor of Illinois named that headed that civil rights investigation and made the report? Later he was a judge of the circuit court of appeals and was convicted and sent to prison for some act. I can't think of what his name was, but he was . . . [NOTE: Gov. Kerner]
ALLEN J. GOING:
Federal circuit court in that area?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't remember. I just associated, of course, Humphrey cause he took a leading role in the convention.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
ALLEN J. GOING:
In the 1930s one of the most controversial issues in Alabama was Scottsboro. What was your recollection of it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well the Scottsboro case attracted a great deal of attention in the trial. They had a judge who came from Athens, Judge Horton, Jim Horton. He was scrupulously fair

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in trying that case. I don't think there was any doubt that he leaned over backward to make sure that the evidence that was to be presented on behalf of the defendants got to the jury. It didn't do any real good because the jury already had its mind made up I'm sure. At that time there was a great deal of dissatisfaction throughout this part of the country with the representation of people like the Scottsboro boys by lawyers in New York—many of them Jewish—who attracted a lot of flack from the Ku Klux Klan, people like that. One of the attorneys for the Scottsboro group was later appointed to the Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, I think by Roosevelt—I'm not sure. But they were good lawyers, but at the time we had a similar case here in Tuscaloosa. Segregationist Violence and Civil Rights Movements in Tuscaloosa An alleged rape and two black defendants trying to escape from capture. Then after they were convicted in a local court, the national guard was called to protect them. They put them on a train to take them to another prison and the members of the—it wasn't a mob, it wasn't that big, but the people who were protesting were lined up outside the courthouse. Some of them got in automobiles and drove out to Cottondale and uncoupled the car from the train when the train slowed down. But they got 'em back together and got 'em out of here. But the group that was hiring the defense lawyers sent a telegram to Judge Foster on the morning of the trial protesting the "lynch

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court" was the phrase they used; putting these people on trial in such a prejudiced atmosphere and with lynch lawyers and a lynch judge to preside over it. I recall that Jack McGuire and Charles LaFrance were the two lawyers that had been appointed to defend these people, and they filed suit against the Western Union Telegraph Company and recovered a substantial judgment because of their accepting and delivering that libelous telegram. So it was a situation where the subject of race was pretty much on everybody's mind, and the subject of public discussion.
ALLEN J. GOING:
This was in the '30s?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Mid-'30s. Yet it was not really in any way at that time connected with a civil rights act or proposed legislation. These were simply protests against what they called our way of life. They were largely directed against radicals who were of the Eugene Debs stripe—people like that, and against the International Labor Defense (ILD) which furnished the defense counsel.
It was not, as it became in the '60s, connected with any proposed bit of legislation. One of the ironic things about the Scottsboro case is that one of the Attorney General's assistants (Tommy Knight, as I recall, was the Attorney General at that time), one of the assistant attorney generals was Buster Lawson.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh yeah.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Who later became a trustee of the University of Alabama and was on the Supreme Court of Alabama for a long time.

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The irony that I'm speaking about: Buster Lawson went into the navy when the war started, and his assignment was with the Bureau of Personnel in Washington, D.C. placing [Laughter] black sailors in their permanent billets. I don't think anyone up there ever realized that the Lieutenant Lawson who was doing that job was one of the prosecutors in the Scottsboro case.
ALLEN J. GOING:
As I understand it, in the beginning the defense was more in the hands of some local, uh, the Commission on Interracial Justice tried to do some things before the outsiders began to push in, before it became internationally publicized.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The American Civil Liberties Union was interested in it but the actual defense was in the hands of a different group, the ILD.
It became identified with the Communist organizations that later were the subject of investigations by Martin Dies and the un-American Activities Committee.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But during all of that time the evidence became pretty strong that there wasn't anything to the case really. The two women were obviously of questionable virtue, to put it mildly, and that's where it put the judge and the Alabama public officials on the spot. The sentiment had built up so against this outside interference. But there were other cases where that didn't develop.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The protests and the money raised for the International Labor Defense and other causes in this connection were not

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directed at civil rights as we know them today. They were simply directed at constitutional rights. They were claiming the rights under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. So it was not quite the same thing that sprung up later when there was a great move after '48 to get some kind of civil rights act on the books to implement the Constitution.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Let me ask you again, what do you care to say, do you have any ideas about Bibb Graves as such? What was your general impression of the "little colonel?" Didn't they call him the "little colonel?"
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. Well, Bibb Graves had a very outgoing, friendly personality, and he was the consummate politician. He, everywhere he went, he glad-handed everybody. He had a slogan which he put into practice that in any administration that he had anything to do with, those that made the pie would help eat it. What that meant was that if you didn't help him, you were not likely to be appointed by him to any kind of job.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Kind of another version of "to the victor belongs the spoils."
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The spoils system was in complete charge when he was there—it was just the spoils system. Some of his people like Jim Folsom's later on were not all that interested in the public's welfare. They were more interested in number one, I guess, but Bib Graves was not a bad governor.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Classifications, of course, are often times misleading, but he's generally classified in the progressive column.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not only a progressive, but he is classified as one who was a great supporter of education, and typical of Bib Graves, wherever he supported education, he left a monument to Bib Graves. If you look at all of the campuses in the state, you'll find a Bib Graves Hall for education somewhere on it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And he's also usually referred to as one of the Southern governors who was strongly supportive of the New Deal that they managed to soft-pedal. Whereas other southern governors were very much opposed to it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Most of the southern governors, though, saw so many opportunities . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
For their state to receive benefits from the New Deal, they managed to soft-pedal their opposition. They might criticize it in private, but you didn't find many of the governors out leading a fight against anything Roosevelt was trying to do.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And, of course, the two senators then, first Black and then Hill and then Bankhead were all strong supporters of the New Deal.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, and once the TVA was put in place the support of Alabama was just almost conceded.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's right.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No way you could afford as a politician to oppose TVA, because there's no doubt about it, it did bring tremendous prosperity to the Tennessee Valley. That was a section up there that just wasn't paying its way. They didn't have anything.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess of all the states included in the TVA region Alabama probably had more actual territory than—well, East Tennessee would be a vital part of it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, East Tennessee just has that part of the valley that comes down through Knoxville and down into Alabama, but it swings into Alabama, then makes a U-turn, then goes back up.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Really, the bulk of the benefits, and I guess that that part of Alabama was one of the most depressed areas anywhere.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Those beautiful farms up there that had for years produced the best cotton crops in the United States, had begun to wear out. And they were not getting anything for their product—it wasn't commercially feasible to raise cotton. The cotton mills up there were closed down or working one shift, and the people working in them weren't making more than a dollar an hour, something like that. One of the big arguments made against the minimum wage law, where Hugo Black was involved, was that if they paid $1.35 an hour they would break every hosiery mill and every textile mill and every saw mill in the state of Alabama. none of them could operate under those terms. So as the New

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Deal went on, it just became obvious that it was good for the state.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
[Laughter] Maybe deficit financing is good even for the Reagan administration.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But, again, there was strong opposition to the New Deal in Alabama from industry.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes, Alabama Power Company never stopped its fight against the New Deal. And some of the big banks; it's amazing that the thing that saved the banking industry in this country, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created by a bill sponsored by Henry Stegall. He represented the second district—third district, I guess, down in southeast Alabama. Yet the bankers never supported it. They were very much against this interference of free enterprise.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Ironical—then they were saved in desperate times.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
[Laughter] Like the doctors with medicare, they didn't know what was good for them.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, then you were still here when Dixon was elected governor?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Dixon was elected in '38?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Thirty-eight. Of course Bibb Graves couldn't succeed himself.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In those days a governor couldn't succeed himself. Dixon had run once and had been defeated.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He had run against Bibb Graves, I guess.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Graves had defeated him after a three-way race with Leon Mccord and Dixon in '34.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And when he ran in '38, it was Chauncey Sparks—was Dixon's principal [opposition]. Was Sparks a Graves man?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, Sparks was a very conservative legislator. He had been in the legislature from Barbour County for many years.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, that's right, his nickname was the Bourbon from Barbour [Laughter] .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. He had a good following among legislators and had not made many enemies. Like most people from down in that area, he voted for every appropriation and against every tax. His single most important point in his platform, I guess, was his opposition to the sales tax. Which Graves had put on or had raised—I don't know if there was one before that or not.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was the first one, I think.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think it was the first one. Then Sparks was later elected over Jim Folsom.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In '42.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '42.
ALLEN J. GOING:
After the Dixon . . . Well, I guess . . . you say both Dixon and Sparks were essentially conservative. Now Dixon maybe was more oriented toward the business and banking groups, but both of them were conservatives. Maybe it reflected that rising anti-New Deal, anti-Roosevelt sentiment in the South by '38.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There may have been some of that in it, but it was not included in the discussions about it in the newspapers. I remember Grover Hall, who supported Frank Dixon, they used to call him [Dixon] the "fighting major" or something like that—he was a major in the air force—and they brought out political leaflets referring to him as some kind of an eagle. I remember Grover Hall said that eagle had flown the last [Laughter] time in his newspaper. He got disenchanted with him, too. I think that the opposition to the New Deal may have been latent and may have been due to an uneasy feeling about the loss of some state rights.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I recall that Roosevelt campaigned against Senator George in Georgia and against Cotton Ed Smith in South Carolina and Both of them won despite the Roosevelt influence. But I don't guess—Roosevelt was not directly involved in the Alabama campaign in '38.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
If he ever came down to Alabama, it would only be for doing something like appointing Hugo Black to the Supreme Court. That was a political move in many ways. Roosevelt, whether rightly or wrongly, was convinced that Hugo could not be re-elected. Let's see, he was coming up I guess in '38. He felt that to keep the influence and the intellect of Hugo Black active for the country for the state, you had to put him somewhere where he didn't have to be reelected. The Wage-Hour bill and the Fair Labor Standards Act and all those things were simply anathema to these manufacturers in Alabama. They were out to get Black by whatever means. He

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never came down and made a speech for Black or did anything for Black as he did to oppose Walter George. Remember he was on the platform over there demanding that Walter George be replaced so he could do something about the Supreme Court.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now, your point was that that may have influenced Roosevelt's decision to appoint Black to the court? Now that was done in '37.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, and the election was in '38.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was thinking ahead. Hill I guess really had no serious opposition in '38.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Hill could have been elected for a hundred years in his district if he had stayed in the House.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah. 'Course Heflin ran against him, but there wasn't much support for Heflin.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, there hadn't been any support for Heflin. Heflin was somewhat like Stassen. Once he was repudiated when he left the Democratic party in the Al Smith race, Heflin was never a big factor from then on.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He had some minor New Deal appointment, I think, just to give him a little livelihood.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think so.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And he used to tour around speaking a lot.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was a great orator. As a matter of fact, some of the people I was in school with remembered him being on the campus here, and they say one of the greatest speeches ever made in this state was made when he walked out onto the

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balcony, not in too sober a condition, over there at Woods Hall, [Laughter] and he made a speech nominating George Denny for president of the United States. They said that he attracted a crowd and they stood there and heard him through the whole thing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, now you've already said that you never particularly favored Dixon, and I guess you left to go into the service while he was still governor, didn't you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '41. Now Dixon was not a bad governor. I never opposed him because I thought his governing ability was bad. As I mentioned last time, I think that we wrote a—group of the Alabama Policy Committee—wrote a model constitution for the state, and a number of the provisions of it were either incorporated into our constitution by a member—into our present constitution or into statute. Among them being the Fletcher Budget Act and the Merit System and the Prison System, all of those were a part of that matter that we put together. And Dixon supported every one of them. He was a progressive governor in the sense that he knew that was good political science. He was not likely to take a stand just because it favored Birmingham or some of his cronies. He'd give things to his cronies like that liquor appointment. I think we've covered that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, I think we did.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But those were just evidences of flaws in character, but not making him a bad governor.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
And I guess he really was ideologically conservative. He thought in terms of sound, honest, low taxes . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Conservative in the sense that he wanted to conserve what we had, and get the most he could for the money that was available. But not conservative in the sense that he wanted to preserve the status quo. He was in favor of a new constitution for the state, and would have liked to have had a short, simple constitution that contained the framework of government without all of the little bits of legislation that are now in our constitution.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Coming back to that group of Congressmen that we talked about before, with whom Clement was rather closely associated. I guess they were pretty closely associated with Hill too. We identified Albert Rains, Bob Jones, Carl Elliott, and then was Kenneth Roberts . . . ?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Kenneth Roberts was editor of the Corolla and Foots was the business manager in the same year.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Roberts was from where?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Piedmont. That's up near Jacksonville.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Jacksonville is not too far from Anniston.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. They were very close in campus politics and then when Kenneth ran for office, Foots went over there and helped him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was one of the later ones. He went in 1950. Who had been the Congressman there? That was Sam Hobbs. Was it the 4th district which includes Selma? I think that's right.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It didn't include Selma. Yes it did too; it went clear across the state. We have Selma now in the district with Tuscaloosa.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, it cut across, because so many of the districts cut into the Black Belt—they still do actually.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Selma is now the same district as Tuscaloosa. Then it was gerrymandered all the way across the state.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The changes didn't come until '62 or was it even '64 before they got around to dividing . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was actually after that nine/eight election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Then again it changed in '70. I mean after the '70 census. But anyhow he, Roberts . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Joe Starnes was the Congressman.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, well now Starnes was in the 5th district, and that's where Albert Rains took over. He succeeded Starnes in 1944. So he was . . . Now Sparkman was associated with that group, but he wasn't one of the Spanish Inn group.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No Sparkman had already been out of school for some time when that group was here.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think they said he had been in Congress five terms when he was elected senator in '46 right after the war.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, but he had been practicing law with Lanier and Pride in Huntsville for several years before he ran for Congress.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Even before he ran for Congress.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It's my understanding. I would guess he graduated from law school about '29, but I'm not sure.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Well that would have been . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Maybe a little before that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That would have been about right. I think he first went into Congress about 1936.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As you mentioned the other day, Sparkman not only took an undergraduate degree here, he took a master's degree before he went to law school. So he was here probably a year or two longer than most of the others.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He took his master's before he went to law school. Yeah, I remember that master's thesis. It was in the late '20s.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right; I think he graduated in the very late '20s.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But in political philosophy he was with that group. Then Bob Jones was elected in '46.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He succeeded Sparkman
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, that's right. And Carl Elliott in 1948.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I guess Carl beat Carter Manasco, didn't he?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes, I think so.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Carter Manasco had been the administrative assistant (that's what he would be called now, but I don't know what they called it then) to Bankhead.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well Manasco succeeded Bankhead.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, Will Bankhead died in '30s or . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Must have been the early '40s because he was elected again in '40.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well he died shortly after, because he was speaker of the House. That was shortly before I went into service in '41, because I remember going to his funeral in Jasper.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think he probably died in '41. [NOTE: W. B. Bankhead died in 1940]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Luther Patrick was . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was in from '36 to '42.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Luther Patrick was a lawyer in Birmingham who was not making a big splash in the legal profession. He was not a recognized prosecutor nor was he a well-known lawyer. he did a lot of work in the lower courts—city court.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was a wheel horse lawyer, I guess. Was he a graduate of the University?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. The best way I know to describe Luther Patrick is the way Judge Grubb did. One day Judge Grubb had a case when Luther Patrick was the District Attorney for the northern district of Alabama—federal court, and Judge Grubb had a black man before him charged with violating the Internal Revenue statute—making whiskey and not paying tax on it. And he called the man around and he called him uncle. He said "Uncle, do you know what you're charged with?" Yes sir, Judge." He said, "Do you have a lawyer?" He said, "No sir Judge. I can't afford no lawyer. I ain't got one." Judge said, "Well, the government hasn't got a lawyer either; let's go to trial." [Laughter] Luther Patrick was the prosecuting attorney. But Luther was good at going to Americas Legion meetings and things like that.

Page 110
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did he get labor support?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was my impression. He succeeded Huddleston in the mid-'30s and I assume he must have been at least generally supportive of the New Deal.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Now he succeeded George Huddleston.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, that's what I mean.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was defeated by the other Huddleston which was his son. Well, he stayed out one term from '42 . . . no, he was defeated by John T. Newsome first. Newsome was in from '42 to '44, then Patrick came back and was defeated by Laurie Battle. Laurie Battle came in between Luther Patrick and Huddleston junior. Huddleston senior was way back. I don't remember how long he had been a congressman.
Yeah, I remember both the Huddleston boys in my law class. I taught George and John too.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The sons.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
George Huddleston succeeded Battle. But as I recall it, Luther Patrick lost his race to Battle in connection with some sort of an incident in a restaurant. Either he hit somebody with a catsup bottle [Laughter] or someone hit him with one, and it made the front pages. People thought they weren't dignified enough for their congressman.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Luther Patrick was never one of the . . . uh . . . you wouldn't label him one of the progressive congressmen.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I wouldn't think that he was ever considered a very effective congressman. He was a kind of man to run errands

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but not really to put any major legislation on the books. He had nothing like the Defense Education Loan Act or anything like that that Carl Elliott put through and then the things that John Sparkman did for housing or Albert Rains did for housing. These major bills just were not written by Luther Patrick.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then of course Laurie Battle was pretty conservative, wasn't he? I think of him more as a spokesman for the big mules.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Laurie Battle was influenced pretty much by his constituency. Anybody representing Birmingham in those days didn't have the big black vote that you have now. You had to get your money and your votes from the Mountain Brook people and the downtown people. So, in fairness to Laurie Battle, I don't know if he was as conservative as he appeared to be or if he was just trying to tailor his beliefs to those of his constituency. But he was much more conservative than the other members of the delegation.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now Laurie Battle—did he run against Sparkman in '54?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He didn't run for Congress [House] in '54.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think he was appointed ambassador to some place after he lost. I've forgotten where it was.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But he doesn't appear again.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, he's been lobbying in Washington for some group ever since—bituminous coal people, I think. No, Carter Monasco has been representing the coal people. Monasco, to me, is

Page 112
one of the most interesting ex-congressmen in Washington. Mainly because he's made a detailed study of the United States Capitol Building. He talked to the architects at the Capitol and he can take you through there; if you're ever in Washington and go into the Capitol and see him, ask him to go with you wherever you want to go, because he'll walk past a painting and say, "See that scar on that painting? That's where so and so took his sword and cut that painting when he was mad at Andrew Jackson." He knows something about every room in that capitol.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's just his hobby, I guess?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's his hobby. And, of course, being a lobbyist for the coal company, you don't have a lot of litigation. he gets involved about twice a year when the coal contract comes up and when something is done about the gasification of coal or something like that. The rest of the time his is largely a job of just keeping up his contacts. So he roams the Capitol and he absorbs all the information. He's about eighty-two or three years old now, but he's still an interesting man to talk to about the Capitol itself.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then, leaving Jefferson County, the Montgomery Congressman from 1938 to 1964 was George Grant . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
George Grant originally cast his lot with the Agricultural Committee; stayed on it for years, and I don't think he ever sponsored any legislation, never got into any great controversy.

Page 113
ALLEN J. GOING:
Never stirred the waters much either in Washington or at home, I guess.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he was good at running errands for his people, and he's lucky the district that he represented, about the only organized labor in it was in Montgomery. And not a whole lot of that. So he could stick with his agricultural leanings.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But he didn't survive the Republican sweep in '64.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
[Laughter] Who did? Not many did.
ALLEN J. GOING:
There were five Republicans elected and three democrats. Right.
Was Boykin defeated I guess. Was he still . . . ?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Boykin lost the nomination. He ran 9th [in 1962] when they had only 8 places.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, that's right. That's when they had that crazy thing. But ever since '64 the three big cities have remained Republican with Buchanan first in Birmingham, and Edwards and Dickinson.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Funny thing, though. Edwards was succeeded this time by Callahan, a turncoat Democrat who became a Republican for the purpose of running. And yet it wasn't the big city vote that elected Callahan. Callahan lost Mobile; lost most of the other counties in the district, but Baldwin County overwhelmingly voted for him and put him office. So maybe the hold on the city is not as strong as it appeared to be. Birmingham still has their group of Republicans, but they lost to Ben Erdreich. So Montgomery, with Bill Dickinson,

Page 114
is the only city with the representation of a Republican supported by its voters.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's right. Now the Congressman we haven't mentioned is George Andrews. No he stayed in from 1944 to 1971. He survived the Republican sweep.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't remember George having any effective opposition.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Where was he from?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Union Springs, which is in the farming section, but not the rich farming section. Its on the edge of the wiregrass.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That whole district is from there southeast; included all the way to Dothan, I think.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But George was quite conservative.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I gathered that he survived during the '60s, the '50s and 60's, both—and then he was succeeded by Nichols. They changed those districts. Nichols is still in, isn't he?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Nichols is there now. In fact, Nichols is the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. No, I guess he's outranked by Dickinson who's a Republican.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, Dickinson's been there since '64 and Nichols was elected in '70. Then finally Tom Bevill from Gadsden.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, Tom Bevill is from Jasper.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, from Jasper.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Bevill didn't succeed Jones, but he succeeded to Jones' place on the Public Works Committee. By far the most powerful man on the water projects in Washington.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Whom did he succeed in Congress now? Let's see, if he came in '66; that was after all that shuffling around.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Elliott was the last one of that group to lose, and I guess he lost in either '66 or '68.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Bevill was in '66—he was elected from the seventh district. Now that was after the reshuffling. Elliott survived in '62 and it must have been '64—yeah, that's right, that's when Martin [Republican] came in for one term.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In the Goldwater thing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, and then Bevill came back and defeated the Republican. Is he still there? Is Bevill still in Congress?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. He's the chairman of the Public Works Committee, and as such he's probably gonna stay in office as long as he wants to because of the Tennessee-Tombigbee. He almost single-handedly drove that through the House in the final stages when the Republicans looked like they had the votes to kill it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Coming back to the questions we were talking about before we actually started this recording just to round out some of these loose ends. Virginia Hamilton in that paper, mainly on Hill and some on Black, said that Hill's greatest disappointment was not getting the 1952 vice presidential nomination. I think you had some doubts about that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I have some doubts about that. I think that Hill was a little bit jealous of John Sparkman. He felt that there were others who had probably done more for the party than Sparkman, and that they probably should have come first, and he thought that he was one of them. But he didn't make any

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active campaign for the job. There was even some indication that the nomination was passed by him to see if he wanted it, but Hill was very much inclined to think that years of service ought to be rewarded. He was a big believer in the seniority system.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And regularity.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I remember he got very upset at Adlai Stevenson for coming to Alabama and going by to see Gordon Persons and not going by to see Foots Clement. Of course, Foots had always worked with Hill and Hill respected him and realized that he had helped organize the state, and Persons had only organized his own campaign. He had never fought for the Democratic Executive committee control.
ALLEN J. GOING:
This was in '52.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. And he was very critical of Stevenson for doing that, but that doesn't mean he didn't support Stevenson.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course Persons was governor at that time.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But he [Stevenson] was down here on Democratic business. He was down here supposedly to help Democrats get elected. Persons was in office and he wasn't helping [Laughter] anybody at that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, Stevenson didn't really select his vice presidential nominee like they do now. Didn't he leave it in the hands of . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, let's put it this way; he said, "I'm leaving it to you," but his people all went to Sparkman. It took about all of one evening and until about four o'clock in the

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morning to get the thing done. You see, there were a number of cross currents. Kefauver had his TV appearances.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, he was getting a lot of publicity.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Some of the others were hoping to balance the ticket by getting someone from the West. There was some talk of Wayne Morse. I think that Stevenson probably tipped the scales in favor of Sparkman.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The other thing that she [Hamilton] stated in there, she quoted Clement as saying—no, this was referring to the 1954 senatorial election and the 1956 senatorial election when Crommelin accused Clement of controlling Hill and Sparkman for his own personal . . .
[END OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]

[TAPE 3, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE B]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
the story of the Crommelin-Hill and Crommelin and Sparkman elections. One thing that has to be understood is that Crommelin was really a fanatic on the subject of not only race relations, but he was completely obsessed with the idea that everybody that he didn't vote for was crooked; yet he based his campaign against both these two senators on materials which he admitted were stolen from Clement's file. He had about, oh I guess, half a dozen letters from various people written to Clement, many of them not even dealing with the subject of the election but just talking about something that had happened between elections, and from those letters he was drawing completely unwarranted conclusions that Clement was making a fortune out of being a

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political figure, and he couldn't have been more wrong in that particular regard, because, well, in the first place, the only political appointment that Clement ever accepted in all the time he was dabbling in Alabama politics was an appointment in the Treasury Department to head up the State savings bond drive.
ALLEN J. GOING:
During the war.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Before and during the war. He was physically unable to pass the test to get into any of the services and this was probably the best service he could render and he went with the Treasury Department in 1941 full time before—for at least eight or ten months, maybe longer—before Pearl Harbor, and he stayed with them throughout the war working with Ed Leigh McMillan, who was the volunteer head of the service and a number of other people on various committees. But Mr. McMillan was the head of the group and Clement was the only paid employee. And he travelled from one end of the state to the other calling on bankers, labor unions, any kind of organized group that he could get together to organize a sale of U.S. savings bonds—
ALLEN J. GOING:
War bonds
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As evidence of his ability, the State of Alabama is the only state in the Union that met its quota in every drive before time expired and he never had one that wasn't bigger than the last one. He did a remarkable job with it. And later, after Clement came back to practice law in Tuscaloosa, which I think was early in '46, Young Boozer

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took the job for the Treasury Department, which was being the head of the effort in the state, and he, too, had considerable success. So I'd have to say that the feeling that Crommelin had that Clement was benefiting personally from politics was just so much hogwash.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Purely vindictive.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. And one thing that I've always been sorry for is that we never determined exactly who stole those letters out of Clement's file. The letters were not of themselves of an incriminating type letter—they were just something where somebody would kiddingly say "we know you're going to be there because all the rich people will be there," or something like that, you know, and some friend of his would say "Why don't you make Lister do this (or that?)," and—
ALLEN J. GOING:
They took it out of context.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And they just took those statements to make it appear that he was actually doing those things which he was not. I have always suspected a young man who worked in our office. He was a young lawyer. I think he worked there a few months before he graduated and just a few months after—purely a temporary employee. But my only reason for suspecting him is that he's the only person we've ever been connected with that has never renewed his contact with us—hasn't been back to the office—he never called anybody in the office—as far as I know, he's never been back to Tuscaloosa, but he's never even sent a Christmas card or anything of that sort,

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so I just feel that the guilty conscience is probably keeping him at a great distance.
ALLEN J. GOING:
May have done it just for— probably just for money and not political commitment to Crommelin.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't think he was committed to candidates—matter of fact, he wouldn't have been foolin' with the Democratic primary if he was, because he came from a Republican state.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Uh huh.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And the political connection never had any bearing on the employment of people in our office. We had many good—a couple of them are on the Federal bench right now. [Laughter] Judge Foy Guin worked in our office. He's now a district judge in Birmingham appointed as a Republican. So really, there wasn't any political test that you had to pass.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Clement just loved politics—he was fascinated by it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He loved it and he was enough of a detached critic, I guess you'd say, to realize the he really was not a good lawyer. He never applied himself to being a good lawyer. In his law books that were used when he was in school, you'd find on almost every page a tally of some kind where he'd count the votes that were for this proposition and those that were against it, or you'd see one of the candidates for student office with the number 46 beside his name and his opponent down there with 37. You'd be left to figure out whether that was how they were voting in the Barracks or whether that was how they were voting over at the "Piping Hot" corner [Laughter] , which was one of the places where the

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campus politicians gathered, but it's perfectly obvious that he did the thing he was best at doing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And shows where his mind was running when he was looking at the law books.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Exactly. And he was shrewd enough to be able to pick out of a group of people—he had hundreds of friends—but the ones that moved into political office were largely brought there simply because he saw that they had this product that could be sold to the public and he set about and helped them organize their campaigns, worked with them, and he never exercised any kind of king-making powers. He never said "you've got to hire so and so."
ALLEN J. GOING:
Not like a typical boss.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, he was not the political boss. I've heard him, much to my regret because I was paying the telephone bills, get on the telephone and talk for an hour and a half to the senators just about what the climate was in Washington and was it looking any better and that sort of thing and he just liked to do that kind of talk, and as an aside, he had one principle which I always disliked but I had to admit it probably is correct, that was that he was dedicated to the proposition that if you wanted somebody to pay attention to what you had to say, and to carry out what you asked them to do, the best time to approach him was about two or three o'clock in the morning. Wake him up and then he's got nothing else to think about except what you're saying, and you'd be surprised how many people he would call at the wee

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hours of the morning, tell'em to support somebody or some proposition that he was interested in. And the interest in politics didn't only extend to candidates, it extended very strongly to the Democratic party. He helped to organize the State Democratic Executive Committee and to protect it from some rather strong attempts by people who had no reason to try to get hold of it except to further their own interests. And he was almost uniformly successful. One reason he was successful was because he started a lot earlier than they did. He would have his candidates lined up and ready to go before the time came to qualify.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That, I think you had indicated before, he was very influential and instrumental in getting the State Democratic Executive Committee back in line after the Dixiecrats . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well he saw that the key to getting the state back in the Democratic column instead of going off with the Dixiecrats was not trying to persuade two million people that this was the better of the two choices. The first thing he had to do and the most important thing he had to do was to persuade the executive committee that was laying down the rules for the party, the Democratic party, that it was important that they stay within the party and not do as they did in 1948 and go chasing moonbeams and leaving their constituents in a situation where they couldn't even vote for the nominee of their party. So he saw that and began working on the Committee and was extremely successful with the chairman of the Committee— all worked with him,

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conferred with him. I guess Roy Mayhall was chairman longer than any of the others during the time Clement was active, but all the members of the Committee were friendly to him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was just a dedicated loyal Democrat who wanted to be sure that the state didn't go astray from the regular—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right.
ALLEN J. GOING:
—from the regular party, and I guess that all goes back to his early background and interest in the Party.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, let's face it, in 1930 through 1939 the only hope this part of the country had was with the Democratic party. The Republicans had not—I don't suppose anyone in the Republican party ever said let's get the South now like we did in 1865, but the result of what they were doing was about the same thing. The steel mills couldn't compete, the textile mills couldn't compete, and it was simply a matter of changing the policy so people down here had a fair chance.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And that was—didn't come about until the catastrophe of the depression.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. It took the disastrous depression to shake the people's real sense of fairness enough to make them say, "Well we can't keep doing a big segment of the country that way."
ALLEN J. GOING:
So Clement, like you and I, were really kind of brought up in our formative years in that tradition but he was really giving a practical application

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
You would have been very lonely in Alabama as a Republican. Your only hope if you were a Republican in Alabama was that every few years when the Republicans were in power in Washington you might get an appointment as postmaster in a small town.
ALLEN J. GOING:
To kind of summarize, his efforts were largely with the congressmen, particularly those with whom he was closely associated and with the two senators, not so much involved in the state or the gubernatorial race other than the party—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The party officers were the only state offices that he really turned all out for. His primary interest was always the two senators. The congressmen were close friends, and received his support wherever it was possible to do it but he would, as far as I know, he would never have taken a position favoring one of the congressmen against one of the senators. What would have been very upsetting to him would have been to have one of his associates, one of his group to run against either Hill or Sparkman.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now if we can kind of shift gears and take a running start toward the politics of race, I think it's pretty well agreed that by 1950, in most southern states including Alabama, race began to be the predominant element, I guess you could say, in politics, but—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It probably was the most effective element in influencing votes. To say it was predominant would probably indicate that it received the most attention, and that isn't

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true. The people in office would do almost anything to avoid having to take a position on a racial matter, and —
ALLEN J. GOING:
Particularly after World War II, that's when it became—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And particularly after 1948 when the civil rights—well '47 I guess the civil rights commission reported and then Hubert Humphrey made his stirring speech to the Democratic party which provoked the walkout and began the Dixiecrats rise. For the next three or four years it was a matter of not so much race as party loyalty—how you get these people to straighten up and be Democrats regardless of what happens to the race question.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeh
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And then after the 1954 school decision, then it became more and more open discussion, then when the civil rights act—what was the date of that?
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was '64, but you mean the big civil rights act. There was a civil rights act in '57.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
'57 was the first one.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then one in '60
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They were the first ones that really carried the label "civil rights act" except way back in Civil War times . . . but after they went on the books you could get a few more people saying, "Why don't you take a stand on civil rights?—Where do you stand on this (or that)?" And the best that we could get from most of the successful politicians was that whatever was being proposed was so completely unfair to the whites that they could oppose it on that ground rather

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than because it did something for people that they agreed needed to be helped. If you remember, the discussions in those days always referred—at least the discussions by an incumbent—would almost always include the mention of the "so-called" civil rights act, the implication being that while they labeled it civil rights, it really wasn't civil rights, it was taking something away from one and giving it to another, and they stuck with that position, I guess, for four or five years. That doesn't mean that they took that position on principle that they were against the civil rights bill because it was not a fair bill or anything like that, they just found some way to talk it to death. Some of the most interesting parts of the Congressional Record are some filibusters that were mounted one after another by southern senators in discussing the civil rights act or various civil rights acts—of '51, '60, '64, and they never did get around to convincing any of those sitting senators that it would be politically expedient for them to come out and say "I think we've been wrong, I think we need to rethink our positions, I think these people are entitled to what they're asking for, and I think it's time we gave it to them because they're Americans." You never heard that. The only one you've heard say that is George Wallace. He's recently said that. Whether he means it, I don't know. But it is now possible for a man in office to make such a statement. It wasn't in those days, he would never have stayed in office.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
And back, if we keep backing up, we were talking about, for instance, the Scottsboro case, now about the only thing that was discussed widely in the 1930's as far as race was concerned was the question of violence and lynchings, and that was the concern more than any mention of civil rights as it came to be understood later.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The real problem in the Scottsboro case was not that a mob was about to take those seven people out and lynch 'em, the real problem was that the jury did the dirty work for them. When the case was tried, Judge Horton did almost everything a judge could do to say to the jury, "They haven't proven these people to be guilty." And yet it didn't take them any time to come back with a guilty verdict. And yet, I suppose that one of the real reasons that competent lawyers felt that they had to take part in the Scottsboro appeals was that this was really subverting the judicial system—you were using the system to do what the mobs had done before and I would think that Judge Horton, who really suffered considerably because of his rather liberal charges to the jury, his rulings in the case, should have been regarded as something of a hero. But he wasn't. He had a great deal of difficulty with the Ku Klux and White citizens and people of that stripe for the rest of his life.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But there was a great deal of sentiment in support of measures to curb lynching—that goes way back—back into the World War I period and in the twenties and the thirties. But, again, there was this resentment that was mounted

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against outside interference that was why Southerners generally opposed federal anti-lynching legislation
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, and I think you have to face the fact that some of it was based on the thought that prevailed in the Old West—we'll give you a fair trial and then hang you. And that was better than letting a mob take him out of jail and hang him, but the guy was just as dead one way as he was the other. And it really didn't do much for the cause of justice. But one of the most difficult problems, I suppose, with the trial of those cases was to get adequate representation for defendants of that kind in the South. Almost invariably the court had to appoint the lawyers to defend them and almost invariably something like the International Labor Defense, or whatever that group was called, would send somebody down here who was recognized or charged immediately with being a known radical with Marxist leanings and all that kind of stuff. The fact that some of them later became very fine judges doesn't seem [Laughter] to have made any difference. But the trial of people in Alabama, and I'm sure it was true in Mississippi and other parts of the South, by Southern trained lawyers before Southern juries and Southern judges was almost impossible to bring about, because most of the time the people that were appointed to defend such defendants were inexperienced and it was almost giving up the defense of the case if you didn't send experienced counsel down to help out.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
But now there was a very small group in the South trying to actively work for better racial relations like the Commission on Interracial Cooperation dated from right after World War I. It was active during the twenties and thirties.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And this group that was based in Atlanta. Can't think of the name right now but they did a . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think Commission in Interracial Relations was based in Atlanta, and then that becomes Southern Regional Council?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think so. And they worked hard at it and there were some dedicated lawyers—Morris Ernst, for instance, his wasn't so much on race as it was religion, remember the Frank case.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes, Leo Frank.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. He was lynched simply because he was a Jew.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But you don't have any real—none of that was really actively working in this part of the country, was it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I really don't recall any campaign in the thirties or forties in which race became a factor except when Tom Heflin was running or—well maybe one or two others.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The other issues overrode all that— issues of the . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But underneath all the other big issues, there was always a feeling, "Well, he knows how to handle race relations." Frank Boykin goes up to Washington and gets involved in a shooting scrape with a black man —all that kind of stuff, you know, yet the people never made him come out and say in his campaigns, "Just leave the blacks to me,

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I can handle them." He never had to take that position. He could talk about other things like building up the Port of Mobile—that sort of stuff—and they just spread the word and old Frank will take care of whatever else we need.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Sometimes mentioned in connection with the New Deal era as being—a Southerner being active in this was Aubrey Williams—but he was involved as I recall in some of the very early and small movements to get more blacks involved in the New Deal, uh, bureaucracy, but . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't think that—to give him credit I don't think—
ALLEN J. GOING:
He wasn't a typical Alabamian—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't think that Aubrey Williams would have ever been elected governor of Alabama [Laughter] . I think he was sincere in the things that he believed and thought, and he may even have had some Marxist leanings for all I know.
ALLEN J. GOING:
A lot of people in the thirties might have had some of that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right—
ALLEN J. GOING:
Might have had some—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Some of the most conservative ones in the country now if they'll admit what they thought when they were in college would be guilty of a little Marxist leanings one way or the other. But I don't, I really don't think that we ever got black on white, white on black, until John Paterson ran against George Wallace—
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's when it really came out in the open.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
When he just more or less said that I don't want your black vote, I want the pure white vote. Wallace, to the surprise of people who have heard him since then, was pretty much on you might say moderate side and, as everybody knows, Wallace's comment after the race was lost was "They'll never out-nigger me again." Of course the papers always write that up as "out-seged" me again.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He really said that. And there wasn't much push in Alabama, was there, on the part of the blacks themselves to get more voting rights?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not until after the Kennedy election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Really not until the sixties. You see in the first series of cases about the white primary, all came from Texas, and it was in 1935 that the court validated the Texas white primary.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And it wasn't really until the one man one vote decision coming up out of Chattanooga in the sixties that blacks really took enough hope to say "we've got a chance on this thing. We can go out now and get the right to vote—get these things carried out the way we want them." Whether that decision came before or after the voting rights act I don't know.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was before, I think. I think it was '62 I believe—Baker against Carr. But you see Grovey against Townsend which upheld the white primary was reversed in Smith against Allwright in 1944. That was sometimes mentioned as

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the first major breakthrough by declaring the white primary unconstitutional.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But now that—all this doesn't mean that there wasn't a continual pressure for further integration. When Truman was president he put out an executive order that race should not in any way affect the selection of people working in federal offices and, if I'm not mistaken, he also made it apply to the army.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He started that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't think it was fully implemented until—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
—But I remember Mort Jordan who was a Collector of Internal Revenue in Birmingham and a . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
This was when Truman was president?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Uh huh, and when the Inspector General or one of the people inspecting the office reported that there was a black secretary capable of being promoted to a rather good job, the White House sent a copy of the order—I'm not sure it was the White House or whether it was the Collector of Internal Revenue—but one of them sent a copy to Jordan telling him to move that woman up, and Jordan refused to do it, and Truman fired him with an open statement that because of his contumacious conduct he was being discharged. He's the only federal employee I know of who ever got that treatment around here. [Laughter] And I think that he did that without even consulting any of the political figures in Washington. He called the senators so that there was pressure I

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mean. There was a great deal more movement toward integration than you would infer from the fact it was kept out of the political races.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was beneath the surface.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh, it was under the surface more than anything else.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But you had the FEPC during World War II that a—then it was a very controversial issue after the war.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And if you look through the record, and the speeches that were made by the candidates from the South, almost without exception they found some reason to be against FEPC—an unwarranted interference with free enterprise, keeping people from making rightful business decisions that they ought to be entitled to, whatever the argument. Most of the time it was a specious argument of some kind, but they never said, "I'm against it because it helps the blacks." There was never anyone of them that I know of who said "I'm just for a white democracy."
ALLEN J. GOING:
Do you ever recall Joseph Gelders? Does that name ring a bell?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, I remember him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well you know he was I think sometimes listed or mentioned as the founder of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Do you remember that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I attended his meeting. [Laughter]

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ALLEN J. GOING:
You did. What do you recall about it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The only thing I remember about it was that I. J. Browder and I went up there together.
ALLEN J. GOING:
To Birmingham
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And Mrs. Roosevelt was invited to come down and did come. And after we'd been there a few hours we walked out of the hall and said "The way this thing is going does not sound like it would be very helpful to either one of us and I don't think we can help them very much." So we left. But that was the first confrontation that I remember between Bull Connor and Eleanor Roosevelt. He was making some kind of a speech on the floor of the meeting in which he was talking about how well we get along down here, and how these people are making a little more than they ever made and that their income is better, their housing is better and all that sort of stuff, and Mrs. Roosevelt interrupted and said, "Well, if you have seen their ability to make progress, doesn't that make it even more important for you to get out and try to help them move ahead?" And Bull didn't exactly like that. [Laughter] .
ALLEN J. GOING:
He thought they were moving ahead too fast.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh, he thought they were going too fast already. But Joe Gelders was—
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was on the faculty here.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, and he also was either a teacher or lecturer or had some connection with that Monteagle School. What was the name of that thing?

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Oh, I've forgotten. [Highlander Folk School, probably]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But anyway, it was really a sort of a "fellow travellers" organization.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Front, sort of.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And I don't think he ever had a great deal of influence in the state, although he was one good target for the Ku Klux and people like that [Laughter]
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeh, 'cause he was so outspoken. But what reminded me—I think they were working, trying to focus on the poll tax as a—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well that gave them a convenient thing to focus on because . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Alabama of course had the most extreme . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, there were a great many people who thought the poll tax was just wrong and particularly the cumulative poll tax. As I told you, this Alabama Policy Committee back in the thirties wrote this model constitution. One of the things, the first things we wrote was a provision outlawing the poll tax.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was the one that Dixon was—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh, —
ALLEN J. GOING:
Trying to get support on.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeh, and Simpson. We had all the Republican-leaning Democrats on our side and it was not a—that was not a subject that was the property of the Southern Conference of Human Welfare.
ALLEN J. GOING:
No.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But they grabbed on to it, and I think it was smart of them to do it. It gave them sort of an air of propriety to their whole organization which it really didn't deserve.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But, in that connection, it was along about then that the Boswell Amendment passed, that was in November of '46, and I guess that was an attempt to thwart what looked like might be an increase in black voting.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was. I've forgotten what county Boswell was representing. [Geneva]
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't know either.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
One of the Black Belt counties as I recall it, but I'm not sure
ALLEN J. GOING:
But—I'm sure—I imagine it was. But Folsom had already been elected, I think.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, Folsom went in right after—[the war]
ALLEN J. GOING:
And he tried to oppose it but didn't succeed. It passed both the legislature and then the voters but I think at the time wasn't it generally understood that it wouldn't stand up in the courts?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. But it was a gesture in that everybody could get on board and be recognized as being on the right side of this thing. Actually there's been so much posturing and posing on the subject of civil rights, you never really did get to know what anybody thought about it. I get tickled by that reference to the bill always as the so-called civil rights act.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
It got into the emotional — But now, coming on up to the '48 convention, you didn't go to that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, that was in Philadelphia and . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did Clement go to the convention?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Clement, I think, may have gone. Not as a delegate.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What was happening prior to the Philadelphia convention?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well,
ALLEN J. GOING:
The delegation was obviously splitting on this.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But you must remember that Truman had come through the end of the war, setting up the United Nations, all these various things that took him sort of up to a peak, and then he was going down very fast. When Harry Truman was renominated, there was, or, I guess he was at a lower ebb than Jimmy Carter, and everybody just wrote him off. And in this state particularly where he wasn't on the ballot, his electors weren't on the ballot, nobody gave him a chance of being reelected. And not many people expressed any admiration for the fight he was making for it. All of them now talk about how they admire the scrappy little Truman and how he took that train and went through the country, dared the Republicans to come out and fight, you know, and all that sort of thing., But in those days they did not give him credit for anything. And I think I've told you before that the only human being that I know of in this state who insisted that Harry Truman had a good chance to be elected was Marc Ray Clement
ALLEN J. GOING:
And he was convinced of that.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was convinced he was going to be elected because he was attacking the people that could do something about the problems and when they got in there to vote they realized, well, if they do what Truman's asking them to do, we can get this thing solved and so they voted for him. Course I think Truman, while I think he was a great president, I think that he was an excellent candidate, I think he gets a lot of credit that he really doesn't deserve just because he had such a lousy candidate against him. Tom Dewey couldn't really sell hot coals to the Eskimos.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And Henry Wallace was tarred with the Communist taint. But the states rights resentment against Truman largely stems from the racial issue.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Almost 100%.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeh. And they were organized before going to Philadelphia, I guess that Nixon and McCarthy all—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They were not organized. They were organized in this sense, they were organized to oppose him
ALLEN J. GOING:
But they had no—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They were organized to defeat a civil rights plank, and when they failed on both of those, they walked out. They didn't organize till they came to Birmingham and had their convention. That's when they called all the ones who had walked out there plus whatever other eighteen—thirteen minds they could get their hands on to come join 'em and that's where they put together the Dixiecrat group.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
But now the Democratic Executive Committee, the state executive committee—my impression was that McCorvey kind of ran the—although he wasn't chairman of it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was chairman.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was chairman.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
McCorvey was extremely conservative, not a deep thinker politically, was more interested in how you control issues to keep them either from coming flaring up in your face or to go along the way you want to go than he was in what the issue was. I'm—I have to get into some of the press files to find out just how he managed to manipulate things so that the Democratic Party of Alabama did not nominate electors that could vote for Truman.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I know that was—
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The result was that we didn't have a vote in the election when it came down to a choice between Republicans and Democrats.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And they tried to challenge it in the courts but it was too late, I think that there wasn't time enough or something.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I took the case to the Supreme Court, asking whether the electors could be bound and we had a resolution through the Democratic Committee requiring anybody elected as a Democrat to at least one time vote for the nominee of the Party, and the Supreme Court struck it down, said that you couldn't follow through.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You couldn't—

Page 140
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I regret to say, however, I'm familiar with that one. I was the one to take it up there.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And that's been from back the . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And now that came right after McCorvey. This was when McCorvey had taken the electors away. Then Ben Ray was elected president—
ALLEN J. GOING:
Chairman.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Chairman of the Committee. That's when Clement organized a group to bring Ray in and loyal Democrats into the Committee. And the first thing they did was try to shore up that position by saying anybody else who gets nominated by this party is gonna have the support of the party. And the court held they could not. Well, it hasn't hurt very much. We had one instance where an elector voted for Harry Byrd and one vote for Paul Bryant one time and one or two others like that but none that changed a result in any serious way. In 1960, though, when Illinois was still out
[END OF TAPE 3, SIDE B]

[TAPE 4, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 4, SIDE A]
ALLEN J. GOING:
So you were talking about the Illinois vote in 1960.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
While they were still counting the vote, as you remember, the Illinois vote was delayed for about a day and a half, and gave rise to the famous wisecrack which Jack Kennedy made that his father didn't have to buy the entire election; all he had to do was to buy Illinois—something of that sort. Well while that vote was out, it had already been determined that some people who had been nominated or named [elected] as electors in Alabama were not going to

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support the Kennedy ticket, and Governor Luther Hodges of North Carolina, who was a big supporter of the Democrats, called, at the request of John Kennedy, to ask if I would file a law suit to compel the Alabama electors to support the party which elected them or to enjoin them from voting against it, whichever one could work out. I thought about the results of the Ray case back in 1953 and didn't hold out a lot of hope of being able to compel them to vote for the Democratic Party even though they had been elected as Democrats. He called back the next morning early to say it really wasn't necessary any more, to let them vote for anybody they wanted to because Illinois had come in for Jack Kennedy, and so we didn't have to file a follow-up law suit. Sometimes I think it might have been better if we had because there may have been a possibility of reversing that decision in view of the fact that the nominations for electors were made by the Committee which also prescribed the oath which they refused to abide by, and the failure to abide by the oath really should have been tantamount to refusing the nomination.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But was that the same situation in the case you took to the Court in 1953?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was not the same because there wasn't any such loyalty oath in the—well, I say there wasn't any; there was one, but it had just already been declared unconstitutional. They still had it on there and the wording of the oath appeared on the ballot, and in the case of the ballot it was

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not a sworn oath—it simply said that by voting in this primary I pledge to support the nominees of the primary, but the people who were named as party nominees as a result of that vote in qualifying had taken an oath and signed before a notary public that if nominated in the primary they would support the nominees of the party. And they also certified that they had not supported any other party in the immediately previous election.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now, to clarify the other court case, which occurred the year before, 1952, after the Loyalists had . . . No, no, I meant the one in 1952 that the State-Righters started when they were trying to undo what the Democratic Committee had prescribed as a loyalist oath—that was the one that the Alabama Supreme Court held for the State-Righters—You were not involved in that one directly?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As I recall it, Truman Hobbs filed that suit . . . along with Gordon Madison and somebody from Birmingham; it may have been Dick Rives; that was before Dick's appointment to the Circuit Court of Appeals.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Before he became judge?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, I think he represented the Party in that case.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then the Supreme Court reversed that in essence—I guess, held that the Committee could handle . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, actually, as I recall the case (and I haven't looked it up for years), but as I recall it, the Supreme Court really decided that that was a political question which they would not decide. They didn't come right out and

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say yes or no, but when they got to the Ray case in the case of electors after having been elected not voting for the people that elected them for the nominee of that party, then they decided that it was a substantive question that was not a political question, and that in naming an elector the constitution assumed that he would be a man of such integrity that he would not go back on a pledge or whatever and that he had a right to do so if he felt compelled to do it. I suppose that the Supreme Court's idea was that if a man committed murder between the time he was nominated and the time the Electoral College met, that the electors wouldn't have to vote for a murderer for President of the United States. There's not much argument against that logic really. We have a representative form of government where you name somebody to do what you want done, but as your representative, he's not bound by statements made at other times or by, in that case, oaths to the Party.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Right. This controversy between the Loyalists and the State Righters for control of the Committee, as I understand it, took place before it was known that Truman was not going to offer himself again, and after that when Truman withdrew, then it was said, I read, that that took the steam out of the State-Righters.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, it didn't give them a target where before it had the Fair Employment Practices Committee and the Executive Order requiring fair employment practices. Now all they had was the memory of Truman, and he was no longer the candidate

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and announced he was not going to be. I recall going to the dinner in Washington at which Truman made the statement that he would not be a candidate and introduced Adlai Stevenson, and that action was pretty startling to some of the people there. They really didn't think that Truman was going to take himself out of consideration. But the atmosphere at the time was simply overwhelmingly against Truman. It was just believed that everybody that was hired by the national administration was in some way corrupt, and you remember Harry Vaughan, who was Truman's right-hand man from Kansas City, had been the recipient of some freezers, or something of that sort, deep freezers. It was pretty much like the Goldfine scandal in the Eisenhower administration when Sherman Adams had to "walk the plank." Vicuna coats and rugs. There was quite a lot of talk in the country about what had been described by some of the writers as the "mess in Washington," and Stevenson stepped into a trap at the very beginning of his campaign. Somebody asked him what he would do about the mess in Washington if elected, and instead of replying on the question of whether there actually was mess in Washington, he tried to tell them what he would do as president. And everybody took that to mean he accepted the fact that Washington was corrupt, and that something ought to be done.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But Stevenson did not provoke the bitterness and adverse reaction in the South that Truman had?

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, Stevenson had been a pretty good governor in Illinois and received a great deal of praise for some of the things he did as governor, and he insisted on pitching his campaign on a very high level; he didn't talk about personalities. He might have been better off if he had talked about Eisenhower's lack of political know-how and Eisenhower's lack of knowledge of political science. But instead he talked about goals for the United States and stayed above a battle in which he was really a part. He should have been fighting his battle instead of using these lofty phrases to describe his campaign.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What about Sparkman's nomination—any "inside dope" on that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Sparkman was nominated by a convention which Stevenson contended until the day of his death that he did not influence in any way. And I think he told, at least as well as he knew the truth, he told it. He didn't ask anybody to nominate John Sparkman, nor did he ask them not to nominate anybody else. Once he was nominated, he threw the convention open and told the delegates that he wanted them to nominate the best man they could—which is contrary to precedent and to recent history. Nearly all the presidents in the last twenty years, or thirty years, ever since that election, have chosen their running mate and let somebody put them through the convention. Stevenson did not, and there was a little undercurrent of dissatisfaction in this state, the theme of which seemed to be that if an Alabama

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senator was nominated, it should have been the senior senator. I really don't think, contrary to some written reports, that Hill really got his feelings all that much upset or that he was made to feel that he had been victimized by Stevenson or anything of that sort. He never was very enthusiastic for Stevenson though. I remember some time after the election Stevenson made a trip to Alabama and went to see Gordon Persons, who was the governor, and I think properly a visiting dignitary ought to call on the governor. But he did not go to see any of the people in Alabama who had managed Hill's campaign or had worked for him and the party—even in Montgomery. Even people there who had been strong Hill supporters were more or less ignored by Stevenson when he came down, and Hill became quite bitter about that. He felt that he not only had failed to help build up the Party but that he had in effect actually slapped in the face some people who had supported him just because Lister Hill was for him. And he was quite outspoken about that to his friends, I don't know whether he was ever quoted publicly about it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was Clement involved in any way, as you know, in the nomination of Sparkman?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, he was not. He was not at that convention. Now he may have been on the telephone with some people talking about it, but I never heard him mention the nomination as being anything affecting the party.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
He was probably much more involved in the controversy within the State.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
One reason I don't have much information on the nomination of Sparkman was that that night he was nominated I stayed up to listen to the speeches and the nomination, and he was finally named the nominee for vice president at about four o'clock in the morning. And I got in my car then and drove to Dallas which was about an eighteen-hour drive, or something like that, and so I didn't get to talk to Clement immediately afterwards. If he had been involved, and I had visited with him on the day after the convention, I might have picked up something that I don't know now. But in all the years since then he never mentioned it, so I assume that he was not really involved.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now I also read that most of the State-Righters, once their target had been removed, really become supporters of Eisenhower, more than Stevenson. Do you think that was correct?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think that was right. I think the large vote that Eisenhower received was largely made up of crossovers. There was no strong Republican organization to deliver a vote for Eisenhower in Alabama.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But it is said that Winton Blount headed up the Citizens for Eisenhower.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think he did, but he was a comparative newcomer and not a very accomplished politician. In fact, you have to face the fact that Winton Blount, except for his money, is

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not an accomplished politician anyway. Look at what happened when he ran.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was he always a Republican?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As far as I know, he had been. Blount owes a great deal of his success to the Republicans. After all, he wasn't chosen to build the National Airport in Washington and to build all the bridges from there into town just because he had a good tractor and bulldozer and whatnot. It was because he supported Eisenhower that he got those "plums," I would guess. But at any rate that's the foundation of the Blount Company's success.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well now lets move again, looking at the 1950s. It has been said that there was a kind of a lull in this internecine warfare between State-righters and Loyalists, and even on the racial question, between 1953 and 1954 (the Brown case) would you think . . . ?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think that's true. I think one reason for it is that everything that could be said had already been said. And you didn't have the situation that we had in 1980 when it became fashionable for well-to-do young people to be active in the Republican Party. What we had in those days was, more or less, a reaction of people voting for a war hero or voting against a man whose conversation they couldn't understand. Adlai Stevenson was a beautiful writer and a good speaker, not a compelling type speaker; he was not a rabble rouser, but the things he said were said in polished, complete sentences with proper number of subjects and

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predicates and objects and those things that ought to go into a grammatical expression of logic. And a lot of people just refused to listen to that. They said that we want somebody to call the roll, start talking about political events.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Speak their own language. Now returning really a moment to state politics. Of course, the Dixiecrat movement occurred right in the middle of Folsom's first term, and it has been said that Folsom was a Loyalist, as opposed to the Dixiecrats. That was one of the reasons why he wasn't successful, but I'm sure it wasn't the only one.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, one thing that Jim Folsom did, and Jim Folsom as a politician was probably as good at appealing to the little man as anybody. He really paved the way for George Wallace's hold on the little people with small income or no income and with very little contact with wealth or industry, and he was at that time sort of building his base with continued New Deal pronouncements. Jim Folsom was a believing liberal. He wasn't just mouthing the phrases that came out of the New Deal. He also was not a very, I guess you'd say, successful image for somebody to pattern himself after. Jim was such a problem to his own supporters that you'd never say anybody supported Jim because he admired him. They admired what he stood for and what he said, maybe, but, for instance, the Dean of the law School here, Bill Hepburn, considered Jim Folsom the purest disciple of democracy that we have ever had. He felt like the big

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decisions ought to be made by the people. And for that reason he [Hepburn] supported him although he detested the way he conducted himself. And I think there were some others who did, but one by one people would drop off the Folsom bandwagon simply because they didn't want to be "embarrassed' by their Chief Executive, or they didn't want to see him conducting himself in a way they thought was undignified . . . I guess his support was at its peak in the mid-fifties.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But what about Gordon Persons, How would you evaluate him?—as governor and a political figure?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Gordon was a routine, run-of-the-mine type governor who didn't cause any big problems.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He had risen up through the bureaucracy.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right, and he wasn't a man who would blaze a new trail; he never went off and said, "We are now going to take this course" and persuade people to follow him. He would go along the way people had already started. And he was not a bad governor, but he was not an exceptional governor either.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He had been, as I understand it, head of REA (Rural Electrification Administration) in Alabama, and some of the country people thought he invented electricity.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, I think that's true. I have a recollection of Dr. Gallalee becoming very much upset because he landed his helicopter out there by the Denny Chimes and said that if he landed there again, he was going to have him arrested even if he was the governor. He thought he was endangering the

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young people—putting his bird down there in the middle of the campus.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Dr. Gallalee didn't think too much of modern mechanical devices.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. But Persons, to his credit, I guess, never really tried to create a political machine. When Persons moved out of office, there weren't a great number of people to be taken care of or taken over by somebody else.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was said, or at least I have read, that he was expected to run again in '58 but that he had a stroke.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think that's true. And the only man that I connect with Persons, as a sort of an insider, was Vernon Merritt who was his Executive Secretary or whatever you call the number one man in the campaign. As far as I was concerned, Merritt's greatest achievement was that his mother made beaten biscuits and sold them, and they were real good. But there was no Persons machine. He was a very personable man; his habits were good, and he looked good in comparison with Folsom's habits. But he was not a great politician . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
But, as I think we've mentioned before, beneath the surface we know now, looking back, that the racial problems were brewing; there was increasing pressure for school integration, I mean not in Alabama particularly; but I guess there was a little in Alabama.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There was a little in Alabama. It was beginning to bubble. After all, the Arthurine Lucy thing didn't just happen over night. It was the sort of thing that built up.

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And when she came down here—I've forgotten what the pressure groups' names were—but her expenses were paid by some activists; her tuition was paid by one of the groups that Arthur Shores represented. I've forgotten what the name of it was.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't know whether he represented the NAACP or not.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Maybe that's who it was. I remember it wasn't her father's check or her check that was cashed; it was furnished by one of the activist groups that paid for the expenses and the tuition—that sort of thing. It was the kind of thing that had begun to come to a head and really boiled over until then. That was what, '58?
ALLEN J. GOING:
No, that was '56. You see, the Brown decision was handed down in '54, but, I think, that decision came too late to affect the elections of 1954 either, well Sparkman ran in 1954 and Folsom ran . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Sparkman was running for a second term, and, as I recall it, he had opposition, but he didn't have any grass-roots opposition up in north Alabama which was where the big vote was.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Laurie Battle and Crommelin were the . . . But he won overwhelmingly, and . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And actually the campaign was enlivened by all the accusations that Admiral Crommelin made, but . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
We've talked about before.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, but they really didn't produce any impact on the voters.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
And Folsom won without a runoff over seven candidates. It has been pointed out that this was the first election after Alabama abolished the cumulative poll tax. They still had the poll tax, maybe two-year, but not the cumulative.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well now, that was the election too in which Folsom made his famous speech in which he told a mixed audience . . . He said to the audience, "Now for my black friends in this audience, I want to assure you that I'm not going to require you to go to school with any white children." He also said that he didn't bother to answer any of the bad things that were said about him, his conduct—that sort of thing. He said his mother told him years ago, "If you get mud on your clothes and try to rub it off, you will smear it; but if you let it dry, you can just thump it off." And he said that's the way he was going to do; just let it dry. He was not going to make any defense against those charges that had been filed against him, all of which were probably true.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That's pretty smart politics.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It's good politics. Just as his suds bucket and mop were good politics. Once one of these country farmers came into the meeting and dropped a dollar into that suds bucket, he had bought his own vote; he was going to vote for Folsom regardless of what happened after having contributed to it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I just noticed here I had a note that said that after the cumulative poll tax was abolished, almost a third of the voting age population was registered whereas in 1938 it had been only ten percent. I think Virginia Durr said thirteen.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, and I was surprised that it was that small, but I do remember that it was very small.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't know where that figure came from, but it did boost the number, and I imagine that practically all of them were white.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And most of them were women who had just never paid poll tax and didn't bother with it. This gave them a chance to pay two years poll tax and vote. You see they had had the right to vote since, what was it, 1921? Yet they had never exercised it because they never did bother to pay the poll tax.
ALLEN J. GOING:
There was also, of course, prior to the Brown Case and the integration controversy, Persons had to contend with all the trouble over Phenix City, and that's when all of that was coming to a head.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's one of the things that marked Persons as a better than average governor. I said awhile ago that he was sort of run-of-the mine; he really wasn't in that respect. He carried out the duties of the office pretty well. He was not colorful, but he knew that that problem over at Phenix City had to be dealt with; and he appointed special prosecutors and got that thing behind us.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And, of course, in the process gave the impetus to the Pattersons.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, when they finished with the cleanup in Phenix City, the next election, you remember, Albert Patterson was running for Attorney General, and it was believed that that

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influenced some people to bring about his assassination. Those who were accused of actually having pulled the trigger either were hired gunmen, a gunman, or had some other grievance. The ones behind it were believed to be in state politics, and I recall the situation that came up right after that assassination, everybody sort of turned to John Patterson as the son of the martyred Albert Patterson. And he more or less swept in over George Wallace in '58, and he did it on a completely segregationist ticket. He didn't believe in any mingling of the races, and I would guess that that had as profound effect on state gubernatorial politics as anything that ever happened because it converted George Wallace from a liberal to an out-and-out segregationist. His statement that he "would never be out-niggered again" has been cleaned up and published by the national press as "I'll never be out segged again." But the truth of the matter is that before that time George Wallace had been quite much of a New Dealer.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But now during the '1950s Clement was still pretty active in politics?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes, he was active. He began to have health problems about 1959 I guess, and he had a heart attack in probably the middle of that year. And he recovered to some great extent; he never got well, and he continued to have that problem until he died in 1961. So the last two or three years he really conducted most of his political campaigns from his telephone. He didn't get out and drive all night

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like he used to. In times gone by it was not at all uncommon for him to drive down to Dothan for a meeting at seven or seven-thirty and leave Dothan at eleven o'clock and drive back to Tuscaloosa. It didn't make any difference where it was, he was quite willing to go.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Looking at the decade kinda as a whole, there wasn't serious trouble for the two senators or for the more progressive congressman during those years, because the backlash on race hadn't yet developed, wouldn't you say?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It had begun to show though. You see, in Lister Hill's last race . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
But that wasn't until the '60s, was it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
When did he retire, '66?
ALLEN J. GOING:
'68 I think. In '62 didn't Martin run against him?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Martin ran as a Republican. That was the strongest campaign that the Republicans had put on for the Senate up to that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Six years later Hill decided not to run. What I was thinking about was the '50s.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There wasn't a great . . . There were some unpleasant campaigns like the Crommelin campaigns against each of the senators (in '54 and '56) and it seemed quite obvious that he was more interested in spreading whatever kind of poison he had control of than he was in getting elected.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But just glancing at this [list of elections], Roberts, Rains, Elliott, Jones, all held office all during the '50s.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They did, and they seemed to be in good shape until we lost one seat in Congress.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was after the census of 1960.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right, and I think in '62 when Hill had difficulty with Martin, they also had problems which diverted the attention of a lot of Hill supporters because a great many of the senatorial supporters were active in the congressional campaigns. What we got into, I guess you can't describe it as anything except a stupid campaign where the nominations were made at large for the state—nine candidates with the ninth man to drop out and the others to be put in the slots for the eight remaining places. Since then we have had another reduction; you know we only have seven now.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The person that dropped out was Frank Boykin. Then did the others . . . Did they redistrict them? Or were they considered—in the old districts? That never was clear to me.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As I recall, in the beginning they ran in the state at large, and . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Once one of them was eliminated . . . When I was looking at the official returns, it looked like to me it wasn't until '64 that they regrouped the counties.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think that's true, and I think that was after the "one man, one vote" decision.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was in '62.)
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, and when they did that, we redistricted the state.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
But actually in 1962, the eight who were elected, I never have understood what district each of them . . . They must have taken over some of Boykin's district.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, the legislature set that thing up.
ALLEN J. GOING:
After the election they must have set it up some way. Well, anyhow . . .
What is your impression of the first reaction to the Brown decision in Alabama?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '54. It was in the spring, as I recall. The first reaction was, "Well, this is another obstacle that we are going to have to overcome." The general talk was, "Well, that's in Topeka and really doesn't affect us yet, but we've got to be prepared." And you had a lot of talk about how we are going to get around it. I remember one of the senators became quite angry with me when he asked me what are we going to do about the Brown decision, and I told him that I thought it was pretty damn near time we started enforcing it. That wasn't what he wanted to hear; he thought that we ought to have some way of accommodating ourselves to the decision without coming up with mixed schools. And there just wasn't any way, the way that decision was written.
ALLEN J. GOING:
A lot of Southerners thought there were some ways.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. You remember we even got around to that massive resistance stuff in Virginia where they would simply have no schools if they had to have blacks and whites together.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think Alabama was fortunate, if I can use that term, in having Folsom in at that time.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
So we did not have any . . . I don't think we even had a bill introduced—may have, but it didn't pass, to abolish public schools. That was one of the solutions that was suggested that nothing in the constitution said that the State had to educate anybody. And so they were talking about abolishing public schools, and one or two states attempted to do that. The Little Rock confrontation between Faubus and Eisenhower probably had a profound impact in Alabama, and the blowing up of a school in Clinton, Tennessee, one or two places like that where the Klan got into it made some decent people realize that we don't belong on the side of those people. And they tried to figure out ways to accommodate themselves to the procedure without destroying the system.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And also the implementing decision in the Brown case, I think, came a year later, and that seemed to moderate because that's when . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's when they came out with "all deliberate speed," phrase and I think that the Supreme Court used an unfortunate expression then. A lot of people thought all deliberate speed meant be deliberate but make it look speedy. And really some people were sort of lulled into a feeling of well, it's not as bad as we think it is; we don't have to comply immediately.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It's certainly an ambiguous phrase.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As a result we are still fighting it; we still have cases pending right here in Tuscaloosa on the method of integrating the schools.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Alabama was brought rather suddenly into the spotlight December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, and then it was just a few months later when Autherine Lucy registered here. That really brought it out.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It also brought out rioting and renewed activity by the Ku Klux Klan and brought that genteel group known as the White Citizens Council out of the woodwork. And so it was a pretty tough time round about then. As a matter of fact a lot of the energy of some of our "loudspeakers" (so to speak) was turned to the subject of integration rather than politics. I think that accounts for the fact that the congressmen and the senators didn't get a whole lot of flack at that time, but what they thought was the backwash from the integration arguments . . . I know the situation in the early sixties reflected very much the public reaction to school integration and didn't really translate itself into a division politically. It was all members of the Democratic Party, those who were segregationists and those who were not stayed in the Party. Now we are getting into a situation where those who are outspoken segregationists have moved into another party.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course, you were very much involved in the integration at the University seven years later. Would you

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say that the Autherine Lucy case sort of caught everybody by surprise?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It did. Autherine Lucy disturbances (I don't like to call them a riot) there was a failure of law and order, and they were not sparked by the educational people. It wasn't a group of students saying "I'm not going to school with blacks." It was a group of Ku Klux, rubber workers, and hoodlums saying "You can't make those folks go to school with blacks." And the rock throwing and the uproar that took place.
[END OF TAPE 4, SIDE A]

[TAPE 4, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 4, SIDE B]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Threats that were prevalent in Tuscaloosa at that time came from these outsiders, not just rubber workers, people from Holt, other unions, and what you might call the bluecollar class around town were pretty much excited. The only real organized work done on the campus by students was led by Leonard Wilson, who was a student who at that time I think lived in Selma. He later lived in Jasper, but when he came here as a student, he was from Selma. And he became pretty much carried away with his own importance as a student leader, I guess you might say, and had some ideas of being elected governor by acclamation, or something of that sort. At any rate, he organized and led several rather mild protests by students, the biggest of which was one that took place on the night of a Vanderbilt basketball game.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That must have been either Friday or Saturday night.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
At that time we were playing them on the weekends. That night after the game the students all marched from Foster Auditorium down University Avenue making a lot of noise and generally behaving like students, having more fun with it then they were seriously trying to upset the constitutional rights of anybody. But at any rate they gathered at the flagpole at the intersection of Greensboro Avenue and University Avenue, and that's the time when Walter Flowers, who was president of the student body, climbed up on the base of the flagpole and pleaded with them to go home. And his opposition when he was addressing the students was led by Leonard Wilson. I think they were sort of directly opposed to each other, but Walter didn't have a whole lot of people in his camp; Leonard had more supporters. About all they achieved was that they finally broke up the parade; they didn't go anywhere else. They didn't change their minds.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Were you at the basketball game?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was at the basketball game, but I wasn't at the parade. I found out about it after I had gone back home.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now, one night didn't some group march on Carmichael's house?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There were two or three times when that happened. One time Mrs. Carmichael was there by herself, I remember. She came out and the students at that time who had come to protest simply told her to tell the President that they were

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protesting. They didn't actually stay there very long. The next time when they came out in front of the President's Mansion, He [Carmichael] was there, and they did shout and raise a little sand, but nobody was hurt and no damage was done. I think it was enough to make him pretty much upset with the way things were going. I think that he could see that this whole student body was susceptible to that kind of rabble rousing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Do you know anything about the efforts to get more police protection, etc.? There were all kinds of stories . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I heard the same stories: That they were called for, and a few minutes later a call would come back and they would say, "Where did you say to come?" Or something like that, and nothing would be done. But actually Bill Marable who was the Chief of Tuscaloosa Police at that time, was a very strong-minded kind of person who actually did not resist integration. I wouldn't say that he was an integrationist, but he was not willing to let the city be torn up to keep the blacks and whites from going to school together.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was trying to preserve law and order.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Exactly. I think he was not only for law and order, but he didn't object to the integration of schools. And when he was present at the police station, it didn't have any of that dilly-dallying around; he got out and took care of the situation as best he could. Of course, he couldn't be there

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twenty-four hours a day, and I'm not sure that some of the stories, some of the rumors, might not have been true. That they may have called down there and got no action. But if he were there and knew about it, I'm sure that they did get results. The best evidence that Bill Marable was trying to enforce the law, even the law dealing with the right to go to an integrated school, was that the Ku Klux had him on their list to get rid of—very high on the list
ALLEN J. GOING:
Weren't there also stories about attempts to get the State Troopers here?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There was an announcement by George Wallace . . . George Wallace had announced in 1963 when we had the Vivian Malone incident . . . Well at that time George had announced that he could keep order in Alabama. I don't recall that anything was said about the National Guard right after the 101st Airborne went to Little Rock in '58, but the first place I remember the National Guard being brought into it was, I think, at the bombing of the school in Clinton, Tennessee, when the governor called out the National Guard to keep order and, if I'm not mistaken, the President federalized the Guard at that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was '56 I think. Pretty close to the Autherine Lucy [incident]. But what I had heard was that there was some attempt to get Folsom or the head of the State Troopers just to send some Troopers over here to help with police protection.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't remember them doing that although you know the troops were here in the Vivian Malone time. In '56 and '57 I do not recall the troops being physically present. Whether there was a discussion of it . . . I am sure the news stories of that time would tell us, because it would have been a public discussion of it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't think they ever came; even the state patrolmen didn't get here, and that was the source of some controversy as to why they didn't come.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Now the state patrol came in after the Autherine Lucy [affair] but not during it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Some said there was an uncalled for delay.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think they came in and sealed off the campus; you had to have a pass to go on the campus. Whether that was to keep out her supporters or to impress on people that this was going to be a safe and secure place for their students to go to school, I don't know. If I'm not mistaken the State Highway Patrol did come in.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I know they did that in '63.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, but I think even then they came in some force and sort of put a ring around the campus, but after the problem had pretty well died down.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Were you on campus that Monday when all the so-called rioting took place?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I was out at the Law School, and of course I was in my office downtown most of the day.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
I wasn't aware that it was as critical as it was. I was way over in Woods Hall, where nothing much . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Nothing much went on at the Law School either. We were very much involved in the Malone incident, because Foster Auditorium was immediately behind the Law School, and all of it took place where we were all watching. I remember the National Guard attempted to keep people away from the windows, and I can understand why. Of course that was before the assassination of President Kennedy . . . And it pointed out that it was dangerous to let people stand in those windows when some kind of demonstration was going on, particularly if a man had a weapon of some kind. The presence of the police on campus though in the Lucy incident never developed into any kind of battle between police and students. I don't recall any situation where there was a confrontation. There was some rock throwing, noise making, and that kind of stuff when the local police and the University police attempted to move that mob of outsiders off the steps of the Union Building.
ALLEN J. GOING:
All of that by Graves Hall [where] she had a class—where the real danger point was. But talking earlier about Carmichael, when he gave up the presidency, what was your impression of his relations with the Board right after this incident?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't think that it could be described as pleasant. I think that the feeling existed on the part of some of the "leading" members of the Board who had pretty much grown to

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believe that they personally owned the University, that he had outlived his usefulness. I don't think anybody on the Board ever publicly asked for his resignation; he beat 'em to that. He determined to resign before they could get themselves into position to find some reason to ask him to leave. But there were some members of the Board and some members of the faculty who were very much upset that he didn't lead a militant opposition against it, like the situation at Ole Miss.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course he hadn't been here very long, as I recall—three years, I think.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he wasn't of that nature anyway. But I don't think that he would ever have been a party to an armed resistance against . . . certainly not against the United States authority, but not against the State or even the City.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Was Gessner McCorvey on the Board at that time?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I'm inclined to believe that this may have been the last period that he was on the Board. Hill Ferguson was still on the Board, and some of the . . . Buster Lawson was on it and whether Sam Earl Hobbs had come on at that time or whether he came on right after I don't recall. Hobbs left the Congress about this time [1965], and Sam Earl was appointed, I believe, after his father resigned, but I'm not sure of that. The Board meetings in those days were not covered as well by the newspapers as they are now. About all you got out of the news about Board meetings in those days was

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whatever they gave out in a statement after the meeting was over. They weren't secret, as far as I know. There was no attempt to bar the press, but today every time the Board meets there is a reporter there reporting what they do. But that wasn't always true in those days; certainly there wasn't any reporting of who said what.
ALLEN J. GOING:
During the intervening five or six years before the next crisis at the University of Alabama, as we have said before, there was a gradual increase in tension over racial incidents, particularly the Little Rock in '57 and '58, and then remember beginning about 1960 many of the younger blacks began to (not so much in Alabama but in other states) take matters in their own hands with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating and the sit-ins. So all of that was occurring during that interval. But what was your impression of what was going on in Tuscaloosa during that five to six-year period?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, there was a pretty strong undercurrent in Tuscaloosa both for and against this integrating of public schools. Most of the discussion, though, dealt with integrating the lunch counters, busses, and things of that sort. The Rosa Parks case down in Montgomery had attracted an awful lot of attention and had drawn the support of Martin Luther King. The public was more attracted to the boycotts that were called from time to time in various towns and the increasing demands that were being made, the attempts to integrate churches, things of that sort, things

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that were more or less irritants to the people but really didn't make a whole lot of difference. Nobody really cared whether some black ate at the lunch counter at Woolworths. They just didn't want to be told that they had to let him do it. I think the general feeling in this area, and much more so in the Black Belt was that if something doesn't happen to cool this kind of disturbing element that we are really going to get into trouble. People were beginning to think about Reconstruction days; they were worried about cross burnings leading to house burnings and bombings and that kind of stuff. And the people in Birmingham, as you recall, particularly in the very early sixties, they became quite accustomed to having black homes dynamited.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Somebody said that was brought about by the extensive supply of dynamite used in mining up there. They were familiar with it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, subsequent events have proved that to be true. One or two of those cases where they had a conviction of someone on charges of dynamiting a church, the sixteenth street [avenue] up there, the bombs were made from dynamite that was stolen from a mine or from some other type of industrial operation near Birmingham. It didn't come from anybody's store.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was the evidence that came out. Well, Mr. Blasi's little book devotes a few pages to this period and he cites a few instances that there was tension, some centering around the Episcopal Canterbury Chapel where they would have

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some meetings, and the Ku Klux Klan would come out and ride around, that sort of thing, nothing really major happened. He refers to the only bi-racial group that was active at that time in Alabama was the Council on Human Relations. Do you remember anything about that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I remember the Council on Human Relations. I'm not sure I remember the names of any of the people connected with it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He doesn't call names, you know, but he refers to an Alabama law professor as being active in it. Now I don't know whether that was Jay Murphy or not.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Could well have been Jay Murphy, although there really wasn't any structured effort to bring about a rather calm and serene sort of integration until after Kennedy took office. Eisenhower, very properly I think, used the strength of the Federal government to say these things have been declared to be among the rights of citizens white and black, and that he was going to enforce the law. But he never got around to appointing groups to smooth the way. Kennedy, and even more so Lyndon Johnson later on, got the people with some standing in the community to serve on groups that were themselves bi-racial and were trying to make the change to a bi-racial, integrated society a little smoother. They didn't always succeed, but at least there was a place you could go.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Eisenhower didn't ever call up Martin Luther King when he was in jail like Kennedy did.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Eisenhower wasn't that good a politician. But the thing that Eisenhower did was to rely on his legal advice, and when they told him what the rights were, to his credit he didn't back off and say, "Well this is too difficult a job for me to handle."
ALLEN J. GOING:
Attorney General Herbert Brownell was active in promoting some moderate reforms leading toward civil rights, because there was the first Civil Rights Act in '57 and the second one in 1960. Of course, in the '60 one, Lyndon Johnson had a lot to do with it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Lyndon Johnson had a lot to do with it, and that doesn't mean, however, that Brownell was not in favor of it. I think the truth of the matter is that there was no favorable climate in the Senate or the House for the passage of such a bill before that. Nobody could have got one through. You could have got one through with a general declaration that all citizens have certain rights. But when it came down to spelling out those rights, it was just like the old Fair Employment Practices Act that Truman supported. It had an extremely difficult time in Congress; the people that were in Congress were not ready to do anything about it. I'm not sure there was even a voting rights act pending in Congress until after Kennedy took office.
ALLEN J. GOING:
There may not have been. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 tried to encourage, if you want to use that word, or to make an inroad into more blacks voting by certain powers—you know they tried subpoena powers to get registration lists,

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and that's when Circuit Judge George Wallace got himself a lot of publicity by resisting that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's when the "integrating, Scalawaging, lying, Federal judge" said that he had delivered the lists to the Federal marshal, and as a matter of fact Wallace's lawyer said that Wallace delivered those things to the Grand Jury as required, and he did it after he had a conference with the Judge. In that conference he is supposed to have said that if you go ahead and find me in contempt that will set me up where they can't beat me for governor. He had already lost his first race for governor and was running again. And Frank Johnson, who happened to be the judge answered and said, "George I'll find you in contempt, but it won't be any little fine or slap on the wrist. You'll go to jail for as long as I can send you if you don't deliver those things."
ALLEN J. GOING:
That must have been about sixty or sixty-one.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
When was Wallace first elected?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Sixty-two.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, it was right before that when he was running for the office.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was June of 1960 when Johnson . . . It was appealed to the Supreme Court when Johnson was upheld. Then it was in the campaign when Wallace referred to him as the . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
"integrating, carpetbagging, scalawaging liar" or something like that. Johnson had been appointed by Eisenhower with pretty much the acquiescence of the two Alabama senators—Not that they wouldn't have taken a Democrat if they had had the power. But they felt that

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Frank Johnson was the least objectionable of any Republican being considered by Eisenhower.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was about fifty-four, wasn't it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Fifty-four or fifty-six—either his first term or second.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When was Johnson here at the University?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I believe he was a student here when he went to the army and came back and finished up law school.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did you ever have him?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. I taught Frank and his brother both, Wallace. And to be truthful about it, Wallace was probably as good or better student than Frank. But Wallace wound up in the penitentiary. He was addicted to drugs and got into a stolen car racket, trying to finance his drug habit. And was caught and sentenced, I believe, to three years in the penitentiary.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, of course, Johnson's appointment turned out to be a correct one for the civil rights movement here in Alabama.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he was another one of Foots Clement's' boys here on campus, and Clement had a lot to do with the two senators not opposing his appointment or suggesting anybody else.
ALLEN J. GOING:
By that time, as we've said before, Hill particularly was becoming a little sensitive on the subject.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
One reason that I think this problem was probably in the second term of Eisenhower was that Johnson had already been appointed United States Attorney and was prosecuting cases in the Birmingham District Court when he was appointed to

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the judgeship. I don't know how many years he served there, but it seems to me it could have been three or four which would throw it into the second term.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That '54 date may have been when he was appointed District Attorney.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
May have been. I've got the little book which was put together when his clerks had their recent meeting to celebrate the occasion. I don't know what the occasion was, but he got the judges over there with all his old clerks. (It tells when it was, but at the moment I don't remember the date.) He was favorably known to Republicans and Democrats as a very fair prosecutor—a very tough one but very fair. He was good about letting somebody off not really shown to be guilty, but he insisted on punishment for those that were, and did a real good job.
ALLEN J. GOING:
In those years we are talking about in the late fifties, Sparkman had won his first election. Was that '58?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Sparkman was elected in '48, and he was in his second term.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yes, Sparkman was reelected in '54, and Hill was coming up for his major challenge in '62 by Jim Martin.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think you are right. Of course, the strongest challenge Hill ever had was the '44 primary with Simpson, but the closest the Republicans ever came was when he was with Martin.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I just wonder if you recall anything about Clement's activities there, while he was still active.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he and Hill were on the telephone, I'd say, at least once every day during all that time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Until the time . . . When did he get sick?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he never got too sick to use the telephone. Well, I shouldn't say that; there were times when he was really too ill to do anything. But most of these discussions would be from his bed, in the very late 50s and '60-'61; he died in September of '61, I think. And up 'til maybe two years before that, he was extremely active—driving all night—that sort of thing. Those last two years he stayed pretty close to home, but did all his organizing and politicing by telephone. I said he and Hill were on the phone every day; he and Sparkman were on the phone practically every day. You see, if he didn't talk to either one of the senators, John Horn was Sparkman's administrative assistant and Charlie Brewton was the administrative assistant to Lister Hill. As a matter of fact, just about everybody in both those offices felt like he owed part of his appointment to Clement, and so if he wasn't talking to the boss, he was talking to somebody in the office almost every day. And he was extremely fond of Frank Johnson; they were close friends. I think that his close friendship with Johnson had about as much to do with his [Johnson's] not being the subject of a floor fight in the Senate and being confirmed with no real problem as anything else. Not that Hill and Sparkman didn't respect Johnson, but he just didn't have the reputation at that time that he does now. And he wasn't as

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well known to them. They knew that he was prosecuting attorney up there, but they didn't know really what kind of man he was. And I think that Clement pretty well sold him to them. Now during this period when Eisenhower was President, Sparkman was very much engaged in developing a housing program for the country. He was pretty much one of the two or three leaders in creating the FHA and the programs that became pretty popular. They had been created under the Democrats, and the administration under Eisenhower had appointed some fairly well known Republicans (there weren't very many fairly well known Republicans in Alabama at that time, and the fact that a man was well known didn't have any relationship to his capabilities for whatever office he was appointed to.) And two or three appointments that were made by the President for state FHA Director, the collector of Internal Revenue (whatever they called the man who had that job at that time) proved to be right embarrassing to the Administration. A couple of those appointees were found with their hands in the cookie jar and were pretty well humiliated. Now one or two of them were even sentenced to a short term—or were convicted; whether they ever served any time I don't know. But most of these programs under Eisenhower were extensions of, or perhaps slightly amended versions of those that had started under Roosevelt.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Sparkman was working particularly in the area of housing while Hill . . .

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Hill was in health. He was very much engaged in not only the Hill-Burton Bill, which is responsible for building hundreds of hospitals, but the National Institute of Health which really caught his attention and received, I'd say, an inordinate amount of attention from him. I think he, if anything, overdid his emphasis on those health measures. And I'm not sure he didn't do it to keep from getting into some of these others. I think it was an escape. He did a tremendous job, and I think he deserves all the credit he gets. But I don't really think that it was necessarily because that's the only interest he had. I think it was to keep from getting into some other things that he threw himself so heartily into those.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You've already said that Clement was not directly or very closely involved with state politics. But it was during these years when Patterson was governor that Wallace was beginning, of course, to . . . Now what about deGraffenried?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was actively engaged with Ed deGraffenried—Foots [Clement] was a part of the election of deGraffenried, and I think one of the biggest worries that Clement had during those years was the unfortunate habit that Ed had, deGraffenried had, of leaning on the bottle a little too much while he was in Washington and finding himself unfit for duty on the floor of the House. I know two or three occasions where either Ed's wife or some friend would call

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Clement, and he would go to Washington to get him up and out of his room and into a drying out position. I don't know whether he ever had him committed to any of the hospitals or anything. For some reason Ed was pretty much afraid of Clement. Whenever he would walk in, Ed would say, "I haven't missed any time on the floor; I've been there every roll call." And then they would begin their discussion, and he would finally get himself in shape to go back to work.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And he was actually defeated by Armistead Selden.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Defeated by Armistead Selden because of his absenteeism. That is what he [Selden] used to defeat him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And I would gather that Selden wasn't as close to Clement as deGraffenried.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. Selden ran for the state senate, or the state legislature—I think it was the senate—after he graduated from law school. And he served one or two terms down there—I think maybe only one and then jumped on the chance to run against deGraffenried simply because Ed had not answered a number of rollcalls. And everybody knew why he hadn't answered them; it wasn't any secret that he was drinking too much. And without having to say, "You've got a drunk in Congress," he [Selden] was able to run on that platform and get elected. By that time Foots had not detached himself from the deGraffenried campaign, but he was interested in other things. For instance, that was the year that Stevenson was running against Eisenhower, and he was pretty well engaged in trying to keep the State's

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Democratic Executive Committee out of the hands of the Dixiecrats and figure a way to try to get Stevenson's name on the ballot, or at least the electors pledged to Stevenson on the ballot. So there never was any head-to-head battle between Clement's forces and Selden.
ALLEN J. GOING:
My general impression was that Selden was more conservative in his general outlook.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he didn't run on a conservative platform. He became conservative after he got elected to Congress when he revealed his conservatism.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And because of the trend of the times, he was going along to get along.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. Well, he was a Black Belt politician, and he was naturally more conservative than a north Alabama politician. But, face it, the district that he represented was itself conservative. Tuscaloosa was the only place that had a labor union in it. Selma wasn't in this district; neither was any part of Jefferson County. Since then, in the redistricting, they've put in part of Bessemer and parts of Jefferson County. Shelby had a few union people in it but not many. And Shelby County had a situation where it was almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats and had been for years. Shelby and Chilton Counties were both in this district, and both of them had a very heavy sprinkling of Republican voters normally. They didn't carry those counties regularly, but it wasn't any great upset when they did. What was the man's name who was the head of the

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Republican Party? He came from Chilton County—Percy Pitts. And there were a number of Republicans over there, but the Democrats in Bibb, Tuscaloosa, Greene, Sumter and Perry this area outvoted them . . . I guess I should say there were some unions in Bibb County in the mines. But that was about the only union labor around here—in Tuscaloosa and the mining sections of Bibb County. Selden came from the upper edge of the Black Belt, and he just never had any background except a conservative background. He felt much more comfortable, I think, the time he ran for Senator as a Republican, although he got the hell beat out of him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I think he was an undergraduate at Sewanee.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. He came to law school after the War.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did you teach him?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was pretty smart, I think.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was a very good student. At that time Selden was in class about the same time Clifford Fulford was—in Birmingham—one of them just as far over on the liberal side as you can get, and the other one just about as conservative as you can get. But we had a lot of good students.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Both of them SAE's.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. We had a lot of real good students who had recently come out of the service; they were more mature than the earlier students. And I think that Selden probably knew when he gave up his seat in the House that if he lost the

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race for the Senate, he would never be elected again. And yet he was ambitious and wanted to move up.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, we kinda digressed a bit, but we want to approach the 1963 integration at the University. Prior to that you had moved to the bank, hadn't you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I went to the bank in 1960, in September. And I just left the law firm. I had to leave it completely, because I didn't move into the bank gradually; I had to go in all at once. The man who was president of the bank had a heart attack and died very suddenly. He was water skiing, had a heart attack, and two or three days later he was dead.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Who was that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Alton Barr. The real problem with the bank was that it had changed hands the year before, and Barr had been brought in from Birmingham and had spent all his time getting acquainted in the community. But he hadn't had time to develop anybody in the bank to take his place. So they were desperate to get somebody in there and work full time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was still City National at that time?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. And it had been through a trying period with Jim Alston who, with all his faults, was well known but had been completely removed from any connection with the bank. So it wasn't possible to get any help from him or his family. So they asked me to take it.
[END OF TAPE 4, SIDE B]

[TAPE 5, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 5, SIDE A]
ALLEN J. GOING:
We were talking about the increase of tension and pressure for the "movement," as it was called, after Kennedy's inauguration in January of 1961.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Actually, I would think that the increasing pressure really began in the latter part of Eisenhower's administration. A great many more blacks had become interested in voting in Kennedy's campaign. And there was a good bit of open movement toward demanding rights, and that sort of thing, and there was a feeling on the part of black young people that they had certain rights that were being denied to them, where I think that their fathers and mothers had just written off that they never really had them. These youngsters were beginning to lead demonstrations and start sitting in. I think the sit-in movement probably spread even before Kennedy got into office. And they were sitting in Woolworth's cafeteria and the bus station cafeteria. One of the things in the bus station that very quickly attracted attention was the water fountains with "white" and "colored" signs on them, and most bus stations solved that very quickly simply by taking down the signs. One or two didn't ever make the change, and at least one, I recall, put up a sign on one of them which said, "White Only." But the implication was that if you wanted to drink with black people, you could drink at the other. When Kennedy took office in sixty-one, there was a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, and I think that had been building under John

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Patterson. In his administration there was more evidence of Klan activity. Bobby Shelton became much better known—in Tuscaloosa. He was the Imperial Wizard of the Klan and was much better known in the early sixties than he had been in the early fifties. I don't know how many new members they had or whether their contributions were any greater than they had been before, but they became a great deal more active; and they were publishing things like The Thunderbolt. I know that The Thunderbolt even attacked the United Fund because some of the causes for which its money was spent included blacks and Jews and Catholics, people that they traditionally had fought.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They were becoming more active in resistance to civil rights-integration now than the White Citizens Councils; they were kinda fading out, I guess.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The White Citizens Council in Tuscaloosa never became quite that big a deal. In Mississippi I think they were effective; I think they were effective in Selma and in the Black Belt, but around here the head of the White Citizens Council was not any big wheel. It seems to me Mr. Lassiter was the head of it, but I'm not sure—J.B. Lassiter who was a CPA and didn't have much to do and didn't do much as the head of it. As you say, I think they were beginning to lose their popularity.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The Klan had more support, particularly from labor, I guess—the workers in Tuscaloosa.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And the Klan had several meetings around here where they blocked country roads, burned crosses, and made themselves rather obvious to people if you were more conscious of the Klan—maybe because you expected more, I don't know. I never really thought the Klan developed into any great political persuasive group. They were noisy, I guess is the best description of them.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The so-called Freedom Rides where you had the riots in Birmingham and Montgomery—there weren't any in Tuscaloosa though?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
We didn't have any Freedom Rides, but we did have a very serious incident at the First African Baptist Church.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But that was later. That came after the University's integration.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. That came after it and came at a time when they were trying to extend integration to the churches.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When we were talking earlier, you were saying something about the head of the State Troopers.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Floyd Mann was the head of the Highway Patrol under Patterson's administration, and there was a very serious incident at the Montgomery bus station when the Freedom Riders came there and were attacked by a group of thugs that were gathered at the station. And more and more seemed to be joining them, and the Montgomery police just stood with their hands in their pockets or looked the other way. And Mann brought in the Highway Patrol and broke it up. I'm convinced in my own mind that if he had not come in with the

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armed state troopers, there would have been a good amount of bloodshed because it was clearly out of hand. The question was whether the people doing the beating would restrain themselves enough to keep from killing those Freedom Riders. And, as you know, along about that time, maybe a little earlier, they had burned a bus on the highway between Anniston and Montgomery. And as I recall, one man was seriously injured when he jumped out of the bus after they threw a fire bomb into it. I don't know whether anybody was killed or not.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But as you move on into sixty-two, that was an election year, and the Democratic primary for governor was in May. Was that when Ryan deGraffenried ran against Wallace? I'm pretty sure it was, because he was killed in sixty-six in that airplane accident.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I'm trying to think who was eliminated in that race. Ryan was not very outspoken on the race issue; he didn't get involved in it very much. Wallace was because Wallace was now seeking to switch to the other side. He had run against the Ku Klux Klan when Patterson was elected in fifty-eight.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Patterson got the Klan support.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. And that's when Wallace made his famous statement, "They'll never out-nigger me again." And this time he consciously set out to stir the issue of segregation and whatever other racial issues there might be. And took a very determined stand against mixing of the races in any way, schools, busses, or anywhere else.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
In the first primary Wallace ran against deGraffenried and Folsom. Folsom and deGraffenried got about the same number of votes, but then there was a runoff between deGraffenried and Wallace.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. That was when Folsom had slipped quite a bit. His conduct didn't please most of the people at that time. I think that was the inauguration speech that Wallace threw the gauntlet down and drew the line in the dust and said that he would be for segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. That encouraged quite a lot of rabble rousers around the state.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That would have been January of sixty-three.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And that was the culmination of this race we are talking about.
ALLEN J. GOING:
What about deGraffenried? He wasn't ever involved much with Clement and the congressmen and the Hill group was he?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was too young.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I didn't mean in school.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he came by Foots's office every now and them. He was Ed's son and was a very good student, a good mixer, and was fairly liberal. He was not a left-winger, but opposed to Wallace, he looked very liberal. He was a very knowledgeable boy; he finished near the top of his class in law school and ran a very creditable race for his first race.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Had he been in the legislature? Must have . . .

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I'm sure he spent one term in the Senate. I'm not sure when he was first elected. He ran though almost immediately after getting out of law school. His influence was quite keenly felt around Tuscaloosa. He had a good following in Tuscaloosa and was a real factor in the races. As a matter of fact, in the race four years afterwards it was pretty well believed around here by most everybody that he was going to win when the plane flew into the side of that mountain and killed him. Of course, that's when Lurleen was elected.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But as you've said before, he couldn't afford to take a strong stand on the civil rights question.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he didn't have to because he hadn't been a party to any of it. He had come along at a time when his own political races didn't involve any of the issues that were being brought out in the governor's race. There really wasn't any great movement in Tuscaloosa County to get a black in the legislature; there weren't enough black votes. He appealed to both white and black. I think Ryan got a generous number of the black votes. He was not a crusader, and he didn't come on as the one to save us from Wallace. He just showed up as a rather clean-cut young man that would make a good governor.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Tried to conduct a positive campaign. But Wallace's slogan was "Stand up for Alabama," whatever that meant.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It meant whatever George Wallace wanted it to mean. He had the Alice-in-Wonderland approach to language. One

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reason that Wallace's statements and the language he used really didn't make a great problem or issue for any of those who were opposed to him was that about this time Wallace began to turn his attention to national affairs. And was talking about the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, if you put them in a bag and drew one out, there wouldn't be a dime's worth of difference between the two—and that kind of stuff. Wallace, I suppose, was blessed with a complete absence of principles. He didn't have to worry about what he believed; he simply attacked what somebody else believed. And it made entertaining listening for somebody listening to political speeches who liked that kind of thing, but it certainly had no relationship to political science or to decent government. He was prone to say whatever he thought the people out there wanted to hear.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Kinda like the present president.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. [Laughter]
ALLEN J. GOING:
And, of course, race didn't enter into Hill's election that year very much.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not openly. There was an undercurrent of ill feeling toward Senator Hill because of some of the things that Crommelin had said.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Crommelin was in the primary.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes. Because some of the members of the old Bourbon aristocracy thought that he had sort of betrayed his own people. He didn't have to go out and seek the support of black voters and that sort of thing, in their opinion. And it disturbed them very much that he got support from liberal voting groups. I think he probably had as good a cross-section of

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support as anybody we sent up there, and it was pretty hard to hold it all together. His union vote was usually a majority, his Jewish vote was almost solid, his black vote was at least evenly split and probably more than that in his favor certainly in his last election, sixty-two. They were pretty solidly for him. I think that at that time he got most of the young people's vote. He was viewed as being more liberal than most of the Southern senators.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But in the November election prior to that, race was not really the issue between Martin and Hill; Martin, I guess, appealed to basic business-conservative interest.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Except that he wasn't really running, as I recall it, on the issues of what is good for business or what is not. He was running against Lister Hill as not representing the people of Alabama. He [Hill] had gone to Washington and become inoculated with the left-wing ideas, and that this was foreign to what the people in this section wanted. That was the theme of Martin's campaign.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course, Clement was gone by this time.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, he had been dead since September of '61. So it was about a year and a half. The campaign really didn't stir the racial problems. As i recall it, we didn't have any racial problems at the polls; we didn't have any racial disturbances during the campaign. It may be that's because everybody looked the other way, or it may be that the people who stirred those disturbance up didn't think that was a good time to do it.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
But in November of sixty-two concern began to grow about integrating the University because of the Mississippi—that was in September of 1962.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, there was always the feeling of apprehension in Alabama that the same thing might happen over here. I remember hearing Judge Reuben Wright on a number of occasions talking about the activities of the agitators—always called "outside agitators"—that were going to get a number of those blacks killed over in Mississippi. There were a number of incidents over there other than the integration of the University. You remember the black boy who was evidently thrown into the river.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Till was his name.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, Emmet Till, and he was weighted down with chains. The big joke that was being spread around by the Ku Klux Klan was that was just like a dumb nigger; he would steal so many chains that he couldn't swim across the river with them. And they made a lot of that sort of thing. And I think there were several instances in Birmingham. A black man was seized on the side of the road and castrated by a group of Klansmen. I've forgotten his name, but that made a big front-page story. So the general attitude was that we really can't let this sort of thing happen around here if we can prevent it. And I think a lot of people who would have spoken in answer to some of the things that were said just held their tongues rather than get into a controversy about it. If I'm not mistaken, in the campaign, while there was an undercurrent of race agitation, you might say, there

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wasn't anything on top of the table. There weren't any platform planks or anything of that sort that would say, "Look here, here's how I think about this racial situation." They more or less avoided it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But it was known that applications were in for blacks to enter the University. In fact I'm sure that Vivian Malone and Hood had their applications in before that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, and they had had several letters back and forth by this time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now Blasi in his book mentions a meeting in the fall of 1962 of business and civic leaders and mentions that Bear Bryant was there, Buford Boone, George LeMaistre, Harry Pritchett. You don't remember when that first meeting was?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't remember the date, but I remember that we met at the Pritchetts' house. Frank Rose was the presiding officer, so to speak. The University, while they didn't make the calls, gave the list of people they wanted to come out there to . . . I think about three people did the calling. The purpose of the meeting was simply to discuss what our situation here is, where we are going to have to go, how we can prevent happening here anything that resembled what had happened in Little Rock or Oxford. At that time we had had one university already integrated, more or less against the will of the group then; that was Clemson.
ALLEN J. GOING:
that was in the fall of '62.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That's right. And they had brought their student [Harvey Gantt, later Mayor of Charlotte and candidate for the U.S. Senate in

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1990] in and put him in school and got by with no rioting or rough house, although there was just as much loud talk and rabble rousing going around in that part of South Carolina as there was in Alabama. But the president of the University stepped out front and made the head of the textile manufacturers of South Carolina his counterpart with the business people, and between them they brought it off without any real upset. There was a lot of mumbling and grumbling, but there wasn't any riot or mob or confrontation. And so we thought that if we could work something of that sort here, we would be much better off. Pritchett and . . . I'm trying to think who the third one was. Three of us went to Clemson—flew up there and talked to the president, to the man that was the head of the Cotton Council, actually the chief lobbyist for the textile industry, and spent a day with them. Frank Rose at the last minute couldn't go. He called the man and explained why he couldn't get there, but the president was a friend of Rose. He was very kind to us; he gave us all the written material that they had, and I think that if we had had a student to present herself at that time, it would have come right on in the regular course of business. Because of the fact that they could only enter at a certain time (and I guess that that had to do with the rules of matriculation) that you just couldn't take students whenever they just showed up at the front door, we probably wouldn't have had the Vivian Malone incident.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
You could have done it like Clemson. Get one on your own, so to speak.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And Wallace had just as much notice as the NAACP or anybody else about when it was going to take place because a definite date was set for the hearing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, and, of course, Judge Grooms's ruling for Vivian Malone and James Hood didn't come until the following April. I read somewhere that they thought it was possible to integrate the University at Huntsville at that time. Do you remember anything about that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't think so, because at that time the University at Huntsville was not really a University. It was an extension point as Dothan, Mobile . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess that's what they were thinking about—to integrate the University of Alabama's Center at Huntsville.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Some of them may have suggested that, but it was never a real possibility, or I don't think that anybody seriously thought that would stop the movement to bring black students here. In that same period the University of Alabama football team took an unmerciful beating in Birmingham from the University of Southern California, and the man who carried the ball was one Sam Cunningham, a black, 215-pound, six-foot-four fullback. And when Sam Cunningham got through running over that football team, they were pretty well convinced that they would be a better football team if they had some blacks to play. So they didn't have that group of people fighting the integration.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Do you think that was the reason Bear Bryant was active . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think it was. Bear was not very active in this situation; he had other things to do, and he didn't have time to do it. He did go to the meeting. Bear Bryant was also a strong supporter of George Wallace. He just couldn't stand it when Wallace failed nationally. He thought that Wallace should have had at least a chance to run for president.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But he didn't support Wallace
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not openly.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I mean in the integration at the University.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. I don't know what his feeling was about integration. Obviously he couldn't have played as many black football players as he did and been very much opposed to it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But he did support Rose's efforts to try to bring it off as peaceably as possible.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right. I think you have to give him credit for going against what he would probably preferred, just for the good of the University . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did you go to Jackson?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, I did. After we went to Clemson, we flew to Jackson, about the next week and talked to the lawyers there for the University and asked them if they could outline to us what led up to the shootings on the campus and what the Meredith admission to Mississippi taught them. And the lawyer was kind enough to spend half a day with us going

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over the whole thing and explaining where he thought they had made their mistake and giving us a good bit of guidance. And after we had talked to those two where integration had been brought about, one of them by violence and one by peaceful means, we felt there weren't many other places to go look. We started working here. And that's when the committee formed that group that met down at the Stafford and got the resolution . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was toward the end of May, it says. But in the meantime you had been traveling around the state some speaking . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, I had made speeches in Florence, Decatur, Huntsville, Dothan, Selma. It looked like I was running for office. All of them on the same theme: If we didn't have sense enough to learn something from Little Rock and Mississippi, we deserved to have the government just take us over and run our business for us. And I can say that most of the business men that attended those meetings, and most all of them were Rotary Clubs or some civic club or a group of executives who were just called together for that purpose, nearly everyone of them gave one hundred percent support . . . I don't recall anybody in the group ever getting up and saying "You're wrong" in any of those towns, even Selma. One man in Selma, I remember, got up and said he appreciated somebody coming in and saying the things they felt they couldn't say. But he didn't disagree with them.

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So I guess that took about three weeks to get all around the state.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When did you really become aware that Wallace was going to try to capitalize on this?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
We went to see Wallace.
ALLEN J. GOING:
When was that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Barret Shelton and John McConnell from Mobile and about four others from here, (I think Tandy Barrett may have been in the group), went to Wallace's office about two weeks before Vivian Malone came in. And our plea to Wallace at that time (I was spokesman for the group; I guess they thought that I could talk to him because I had taught him in law school) . . . I based the request on the example we needed to set that if Alabama was going to be a leading state in the South, it had to show that it could take the things it didn't particularly like as well as the things that were pleasing like winning football games. And it seemed to me that the least we could expect from a state administration was that it do everything in its power to promote law and order. And Wallace at that time interrupted me and said, "Well, I don't like that law and order business. ‘Law and order’ is a Communist term. You hear them using that as an excuse for what they are doing." And I used a little expletive there that wouldn't look good on the tape and told the Governor what I thought about his thinking. And I don't think that helped any; I think I made a mistake. I should have said, "Yeah, Governor, you're right but come on and go with us." But I didn't. And we

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spent about two hours with him, and after we left—we left with his assurance that he wasn't going to have anybody get hurt or have any trouble.
ALLEN J. GOING:
This would have been in May, I guess, about two or three weeks before the registration in June.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, the meeting that we held at the hotel of the businessmen here was to adopt a resolution that was to be presented to Wallace. (I don't know whether we've got the date of that meeting or not; I think we do somewhere.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was May 28.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah, well that was what the . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
400 civic leaders.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
And they all signed this petition to Wallace, and the gist of it was that we wanted him to stay away and not send armed troopers in but simply leave the chief of police and the citizens of Tuscaloosa to handle the problem. And we felt that we simply could not put Alabama through what Mississippi had gone through. And we left there—left Montgomery after . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was after you took the petition?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
We spoke to Wallace and then brought the petition back. But the one thing that probably caused us to feel a little badly about it was when Wallace said goodbye to us, he pretty well assured everybody (There were a number of people there, and I can't remember all of them. Mayan Layman was there, as I recall it.) that he wasn't going to do anything to harm the University, that he wasn't going to do anything to cause loss to the State of Alabama. But he made it pretty plain to us that he was still going to take some political stand on it.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
He wanted to "stand in that school house door."
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he never did mention the "schoolhouse door" in our discussions. He just said that he felt as chief executive there were some things he could do.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He didn't make it clear what he was going to do?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. And one of the things we asked him to do was simply stay out of Tuscaloosa—not come up here and not send the troops up here, troopers I should say, the Highway Patrol. And he didn't mention calling out the National Guard. And I don't think that was by accident; I think he already had made up his mind that he would call out the National Guard. He didn't think, however, of the possibility of the President federalizing the Guard and taking command away from him which is what happened.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But, as I recall, the Guard went on "maneuvers" in this area, and Wallace didn't object to that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But then he issued the order to send them over to the campus to protect the property of the University, as I recall it. The campus was sealed off, not by state troopers but by the National Guard.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But it was said also that Wallace made a direct appeal to the Klan to stay away. I don't know whether that was true or not.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He probably did, and I don't remember the wording of it, but he issued a statement which in essence said, "Let the authorities handle it. The people that are interfering with

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these things, stay away from it." And whether he mentioned Ku Kulx Klan by name, I don't know. I doubt that he did.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well it was said that he sent word unofficially somehow.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Of course, that's like his sending word to the grand jury about those lists that they wanted down in the original investigation.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That wasn't for public consumption.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Right.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't know when this was, whether it was immediately after he had formulated his plan of action to stand in the door. He sent some kind of assurance, again privately, to Rose that he was going to step aside and let things proceed normally.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As I remember that little charade, he proposed that he be allowed to read his protest. Now when I say proposed, that was his attempt to deal with Bobby Kennedy as the Attorney General. And he asked that he be allowed to make his protest and then, I remember him using the term, "overwhelmed," that then he be "overwhelmed by Federal might." And I guess he wanted to be carried out of that door, I don't know, but Kennedy turned him down and sent Nick Katzenbach down with the court's order. And so he wasn't permitted to do his little act of raising his hand and then being picked up bodily and carried away with cameras clicking all around the place. He was reduced to having the order read to him and then the head of his own National Guard saying, It was his "sad duty" to order him to comply. And so the one that would have been hauling him off

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would have been his hand-picked head of the National Guard which would not have been all that good a political picture.
ALLEN J. GOING:
One little sidelight on this is mentioned where Al Lingo was head of the state troopers. He was here first, before the National Guard came—some time before.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He had a security patrol set up on campus.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And at one point it was said that he issued an order where no blacks whatsoever could come on campus. And somebody pointed out to him that a good many, if not the majority of the help on the campus . . . Do you remember? It was said something about having to have a meeting about it.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, he had ordered, in order to protect them from violence, that blacks should stay away from the campus. I don't know who took him the message, but it was quite clear that that would shut down all the kitchens and all the janitorial work on the campus. Most of the cooks and the great majority of the maintenance people were black; not all of them, but that was a pretty well integrated group even in those days. But the message went back to Lingo that the order he had given was so broad that he was simply shutting down the campus, and he withdrew it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I believe it was said (this was in that Blasi book again) that they had to go through Wallace to get Lingo to retract that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think that's correct, because the highway patrol was always treated by Wallace as pretty much his personal bodyguard. And as chief executive he technically had the

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authority to order them to do whatever he wanted them to. But most governors, I don't think, spend a lot of time telling the highway patrol chief how to run his business. But Wallace was more prone to do that than others.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But by and large, as everyone knows, it has been written up so often, the whole thing went off without any violence anywhere. I guess the efforts of your group paid off in that respect.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think the group that was probably most incensed by the whole deal was the law students. They sent an order over there ordering them to stay away from the windows in the school. The school looked right down onto the scene, and anybody looking out the windows could have seen everything going on. It was quite warm, and the windows were open; the building wasn't air conditioned. It would have been easy to follow it from the second floor of the law school. But the national guardsmen sent word up there that no one was to be allowed in those windows. And I suppose today that would be a reasonable precaution. The Secret Service probably wouldn't let them get anywhere near there in order to protect the Federal personnel that were around.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So the integration of the University went forward from then on really without any problems at all.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
There were several, but very few, problems from then on. Once in a while a student would report some insult or remark that was made that really wasn't funny. And there may have been some cases where black students were made to feel quite

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uncomfortable, but I never have noticed any concerted efforts by white students in any number to get rid of black students since the thing was integrated. Obviously there is still not a flood of black fraternity members, and I am not sure that there are any whites in the black fraternities. But the students as a whole have never made any big fuss over whether someone was white or black in the classes or in the student activities.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And there wasn't any real repercussion in any sense from outside the University—I mean from the Klan. I guess that by that time they had pretty much accepted the inevitable.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, one of the earliest, if not the earliest, black student after Vivian Malone was admitted was John Mitchell who played end on the football team. And actually was captain of the football team his last year, and was the first black coach that Bryant had. He kept him here as the coach after he graduated. Then Wendell Hudson came down and became a black basketball player. Both of them were successful; both of them were diplomatic in speaking to people. They didn't cause any problems, and they didn't act like the downtrodden, humble black either. They took what they thought to be theirs, and I think they deserve some credit for the way this thing has gone on.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I guess it was probably in Wallace's second term by the 1970s that he crowned the first black Homecoming Queen.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I remember that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That was about ten years after integration?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, it was at least eight years anyway.

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The stand in the door never did seem to produce the political results in Alabama.
[END OF TAPE 5, SIDE A]

[TAPE 5, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 5, SIDE B]
ALLEN J. GOING:
In March of 1967 Robert Kennedy spoke on campus here. Did you go to hear that or do you remember it?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I heard him in one place and he spoke twice, and I only heard him one of the two. I remember he had a Hugo crowd, Foster Auditorium was filled up. But later when he came back, I'm not sure whether the Memorial Coliseum had been finished and they moved over there. But I didn't go to that one.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Somebody mentioned his speaking to ten thousand cheering students.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I think the Memorial Coliseum had been completed about the time he made his first talk. And then when he came back the next year, he had a huge crowd. I don't remember what his message was, but he got a good reception.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I doubt if that had too much to do with race relations or civil rights. He was popular because of his stand against the Viet Nam war.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well that was part of it, and another thing he was a potential candidate for President. And the first time he spoke was right after it became pretty clear that he was not going to be receiving Lyndon Johnson's support; at that time Lyndon hadn't taken himself out of the race, and it seemed that Kennedy was speaking about improvement in the race

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situation in the South. And at that time, the time of his first speech as I recall it, he didn't put much emphasis on the affairs in Washington. The second time he spoke, which was probably the same year in which he was killed, he did talk about national politics, and again by that time Johnson had not officially taken himself out. And you remember, he was killed before the Democratic convention—not too long before, just a couple of months. The convention was in July, and he was killed on the day of the California primary and also on the day of the runoff in Alabama. Because I remember I had agreed to be his campaign coordinator for the State, and he was to announce it on the day that Walter Flower's race in the runoff was over. Because they didn't want my connection with him to influence the vote either for or against Flowers. That night when the California primary was over, and he had won, about that same time they announced that Flowers had won the runoff. And he was killed before he ever made any public announcement about his campaign setup in Alabama.
ALLEN J. GOING:
You had also indicated that during the time when you were trying to prepare the way for peaceful integration of the University you received a good many annoying phone calls. Were some of them threatening too?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes. We had calls to me and my family all day and all night—at most any hour. I found out later that the group that was behind it was actually the Ku Klux Klan. And they were assigning people whose duty it was to call me and

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Buford Boone and one or two others periodically so we couldn't get a good night's sleep. It was annoying, but I guess it wasn't dangerous. Jeff Bennett was one of those getting calls, and, as I recall it, he stopped the calls that were being directed to him simply by confronting Bobby Shelton and telling him that he had named Shelton as the physical guardian of his son. And if anything happened to his son, he was just going to kill Shelton. He just made it plain to Shelton that's what was going to happen; he never got another call. So I guess that they were simply carrying on a campaign. The big uproar in Tuscaloosa really came about at the time of the meeting of the merchants at the Stafford Hotel before the Wallace stand in the door when we were sending the petition to him not to come up here, not to send troopers up here, to let the local people handle it. There was quite a lot of interest at that time. As a matter of fact, the NBC had a camera crew here. They came around taping my office at the back. The BBC came out to my house and set up all the equipment to interview me and other members of my family. And one of the men in the crew told me that they were hoping that one of these calls that had been coming in might come in while they were there, but it didn't happen. So they didn't have any sensational call to put on the British TV the next day, but that was the kind of interest that was generated. As I recall it, Tom Petit was here for the NBC news. Tom's getting a little old now but he's still with them. I recall a number of others—local

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(not Tuscaloosa, because we didn't have a station at that time); Birmingham correspondents of TV stations were down. We got complete coverage. Buford Boone undertook to set up a center for the journalists where they had telephones, some wire service to get their material back—but not as elaborate as the one Ronald Reagan had when he spoke here this past year. It was quite a good setup for the time, and most of the visiting journalists were quite high in their praise for the facilities that were made available to them. I've forgotten the man from the London Times—Henry Brandon covered the thing. He spoke to me several times about how nice people had been to him. It didn't seem to him that there was any great undercurrent of violence or any real hatred involved. It was just a matter of breaking customs, and I think that may have been a pretty fair solution. I don't think at that time, outside the Ku Klux Klan and a few rabble who were easily roused, we had any demonstration that people had any real hatred of blacks. They were hoping that they wouldn't continue with their thrust for civil rights, but the truth of the matter is that a great many people recognized that they were not getting a fair shake. They just hoped against hope that there would be some way to assure them of what they were due without going through some kind of traumatic experience for them to get it.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It probably would have gone off pretty quietly if it had not been for George Wallace.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't think there's any doubt that George Wallace did more to stir up ill feeling between the races than any of the local people did. That doesn't mean that there weren't some evidences of violence. As you know, later on we had the first African Baptist Church almost torn up by a mob.
ALLEN J. GOING:
That wasn't very long after . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Later that summer.
ALLEN J. GOING:
It was later in 1963 when the Reverend T. Y. Rogers became pastor there, and the Tuscaloosa Community Action Committee . . . Apparently that was closely related to Martin Luther King and the . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The Community Action Committee was made up pretty much of black preachers. There were some few white people who sympathized with them and met with them on occasion and a handful of black leaders who worked in various businesses; one or two had their own business. And they were taking a real risk in coming out front and demanding that something be done to correct the mistakes of the past, because what that meant was that their businesses were pinpointed by Ku Klux and people of that sort. I don't think there was any instance of a boycott or anything like that because most of the black businesses had only black customers.
ALLEN J. GOING:
The account that I read indicated that it was mostly a march from the Church to the courthouse. One of their targets was the segregated facilities in the courthouse. Ironical that the clash, where there was some violence there at the church, was less than a month before the Civil Rights Act went into effect.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
T. Y. Rogers was a smart man. He had worked with Martin Luther King. He was not any important cog in King's machine. He had certainly been attached to it and was under the direction of Martin Luther King in some ways, but he was much more given to strident language than King was. Rogers was younger, and I don't recall his ever making an open threat. But he made several speeches in which it seemed that he was simply trying to inflame his black brethren against the whites. I remember on Brotherhood Sunday the following year, which was some day in February—I don't remember what date it was—I made a talk in the First African Baptist Church on "brotherhood," and Rogers preceded it by going back to the times telling about the discrimination against his mother and how she had been forced to work for white women taking care of their babies and that sort of thing, and really made it a little uncomfortable for me to talk to this group of people who were my friends, most of them—people who I knew downtown. And ignore what he had to say, because you couldn't talk about brotherhood when you talked about how badly somebody treated your mother. I don't think it was malicious; I just think that was the way he was leaning, and he felt that way.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Were the students at Stillman involved in this?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
The students at Stillman were not involved in the situation with George Wallace. The students at Stillman became very much involved in the following summer. They burned a small building out there; Stokeley Carmichael spoke

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out there on the campus; Rap Brown spoke out there on the campus. There were a number of instances where students, in sort of a competition among themselves, were trying to show "We're tougher than you are" on the civil rights thing. And it got pretty much out of hand; we actually had to expel a couple of them. I was on the Board at Stillman, and we had a couple of instances where they left the campus to conduct some . . . what amounted to raids in the downtown white community. That was strictly against the rules, and they had no privilege that allowed them to do that. We also had a sizeable loss when they burned the little building. The building was not of great worth itself, about a ten thousand dollar building. It was not a school building. It was a building in which we had accumulated all the cards and pledges and information for a financial drive. It was all destroyed, and the work that had been done for a year or so by the College to try to raise funds was simply destroyed by the students that night. Obviously they didn't intend to do that; they didn't know what was in the building. But I would say that the school itself suffered a great deal more than the community did by the burning of that . . . At the same time, almost within two weeks of that, there was a building burned on the Alabama campus—an old gymnasium near where the Student Recreation Center is now. It was not being used for anything; as a matter of fact, it wasn't built for a gymnasium. It was more like a warehouse or a garage, but somebody had put a couple of basketball

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backboards up, and marked a track or something of that sort . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
All of this was a part of the "rebellious sixties."
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. This was largely directed against the Viet Nam war. This had to do more with recruiting on the campus. Army recruiters or Navy recruiters would come through trying to sign the students up for the military. That's when this kind of thing took place. It did not relate to what George Wallace was fussing about when he came over here. But it was just a continuation of a rebellious spirit that was pretty much stirred up when Wallace came and never really died down.
ALLEN J. GOING:
So there was continuation. But taking up the involvement in the commission that you and Blount were on, it had no connection with the Community Service.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. That was a group which we formed after the Community Service—What's the name? Community Service is not the . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Community Relations Service. That was created in the Civil Rights Act of '64.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Community Relations Service. After it was done, the group met, went to Washington for indoctrination, and came back and worked with Governor Collins in several cities. One of which was Selma. This was before the march on the Selma bridge and the beating of the . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Wouldn't have been much before, though.

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Not long, but it was in that period. And the hope was that if they could get any of this integration accomplished without violence, that the people would wake up to the fact that nobody was going to be really hurt by going to school with somebody of a different race. And the group that Red Blount and I were co-chairmen of was a statewide group. I don't have my files on it, and I don't recall the makeup of the committee, but it was one which was quite active. We met in Birmingham—Birmingham was the most serious spot at that time. Bull Connor was still there. We probably had a more violent confrontation in Birmingham than anywhere else, even in Selma. Because they had the history of the Freedom Riders being beaten and all that sort of thing.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Would this have been before the spring, '63 riots in Birmingham, when they had the fire hoses and the dogs and got so much publicity?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. This group was not formed before that. It was formed shortly after that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Bull Connor wasn't around much after that.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
He was defeated for his race . . . They changed the form of government which shuffled him out, and he ran for one of the places, and I guess Albert Boutwell beat him. But the cleavage was still there between those who supported him and his tactics and those who wanted do so something better. Sid Smyer, who was head of the Birmingham Realty Corporation, was at that time 67 or 68 years old; he died

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just recently in his eighties. He was quite active in putting together a group of people in Birmingham who neither represented Bull Connor nor Charles Morgan; they didn't fit on either side. Remember Morgan wrote a letter to the paper saying the town was already dead, and he was leaving. Of coursel, he was more or less forced to leave. And one of the other sad things about Birmingham was [that] Hugo Black Jr. was in effect run out of town. Not because Hugo had been in the forefront on the integration deal, although he favored those who wanted to help out, but simply because his father had been on the Supreme Court and had spoken out for the constitutional rights of all citizens. The others who were pretty much victims of that same sort of thing were Bill Mitch's son (Bill was the head of the United Mine Workers) and their partner, Buddy Cooper. Cooper, Mitch, and Black were all caused to suffer a great deal because of that same situation. Then when Smyer got the group together, he got a lot of help from people like Charlie Zukowski, Jim Head, and a number of good, solid business men. Zukowski was with the First National Bank; Jim Head had his own business, the office supply business—and a number of others. Albert Boutwell was identified with that side of the problem. And this committee which was formed to try to protect Birmingham from itself, was pretty much dominated by the thinking of people like Sidney Smyer. And I remember quite well what his comment was when somebody interviewed him to ask him why he was taking such an active

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part. And he pointed out he owned a great deal of property. His family had been there since the town was known as Elyton; in fact he owned the Elyton Land Company—his ancestors did. And his conclusion was that "I'm a segregationist, but I'm not a God-damned fool." That explained his attitude, and it made sense to a lot of people who were worried about whether their businesses could survive the boycott that was being conducted. You remember that after Conner's attacks with the dogs, the blacks defied him in downtown Birmingham, and a number of small businesses didn't survive. But Mr. Smyer and some of the others—David Vann was one of those who was quite active—and a number of those were dedicated to not letting it get out of hand again.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did that broaden out into a state-wide group?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. That group worked with a state-wide group, and some of those on that were on the state-wide group. I think Judge Coley, over in Alexander City, was on the state-wide group. I really can't remember the names of all the people who served on it, but the very fact that it existed gave people some kind of a forum to go to. If they got into a dispute about whether or not they were going to close down the bus station in some small town, they could at least come to that committee and say send somebody down there to talk to us and see what we can work out. Once you got them talking, you could usually work one of these things out. The main problem was to get the two together instead of

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standing on the opposite sides of the street shouting and throwing rocks at each other.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Did you ever go on any mission like that?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh, yea. I went to two or three places when we all seemed to get good results. And at that time we (and when I say we, I mean the state-wide committee) would get together and invite representatives from the black group in to try to work out a strategy for handling whatever dispute was arising. And I remember one of the people that came to visit with us one time, and was quite helpful, was Andy Young. Young was King's first deputy, you know. And one thing that everybody decided about Young was that if he gave his word about something you didn't have to worry about it. He would go ahead and get it done or call you and tell you why it couldn't be done. You would never be surprised about something going wrong. And there were two or three others who were equally good at that sort of thing. Of course this group had no enforcement power; they couldn't do anything . . . The Community Relations Service didn't have a lot, but it did have some. We had the help of some marshals; we had two or three people assigned to it who had been Federal marshals and were now assigned to the Community Relations Service. And they were very effective because they did have some teeth in their law—not a real strong law but it was at least something you could tie to.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Primarily it was a mediating group?

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
It was a mediation group, although I remember . . . I think I told you about Fred Miller, that big six foot six, 240 pound marshal that was assigned to them?
ALLEN J. GOING:
I don't know that we put it on tape.)
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well anyway he was in Albany, Georgia, and they had a big parade over there and a confrontation and then a little violence. And, of course, the police at that time with any kind of disturbance immediately grabbed the blacks and threw them in jail, although they didn't limit it to blacks. They would also get whites if they thought they were known Ku Klux and that sort of thing. And this time they got one of the white people who had come down to Albany to help lead the demonstration. He was a white man, and I remember in the cafe, about two blocks from the jail, a group of seven people were in there drinking beer or coffee or something. They began to fuss about what we ought to do; "We ought not have to waste the time of the county trying that so-and-so who was down there in the jail. Why don't we go get him out and teach him a lesson?" They saw Fred Miller over there; Fred was sitting at a table drinking coffee. They began telling him what they were going to do: "Nothing you can do to stop us; we are just gonna get that so-and-so. We are just going to take him out and either give him a good beating or something he'll remember." At any rate, they made it sound as if they were going to start a lynching again. And after they had talked a few minutes, they said something to him along this line: "You just wait around

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here a few minutes; we 'll be bringing him back." Fred pulled out a revolver about a foot and a half long, laid it on the table, and said, "Before you go I wanna tell you six of you ain't coming back." So they didn't go to the jail.
ALLEN J. GOING:
He was one of those marshals or ex-marshals?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yes, he had been appointed to a place in the Community Relations Service and assigned to Leroy Collins. Most of that work was persuasive; it was not confrontational.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And you went on some of those outside of the State, didn't you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yeah. They were working all over the South. Actually, as I recall, they were called into a couple of places up North. I didn't go up to those meetings. They had situations in Detroit, places like that, that had to be resolved some way.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Well now, shifting a little bit toward politics in the 1960s, how did you decide to become a delegate to the sixty-eight convention?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, that came about from the holdover from the fight for control of the State Democratic Executive Committee.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Because there was still a fight . . . )
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well they never did get a huge majority. We had a working majority, but we never swept the Dixiecrats out, so to speak. I've forgotten when Bob Vance was named chairman of that Committee, but in '68 he was the chairman. And we were sitting there one day in the office of the State Committee trying to decide whom we would try to encourage to run for

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delegate from one place or another. And at that time the Chairman could appoint six or eight delegates from the state at large, and usually that was taken care of by appointing a sitting Congressman or Senator or something of that sort. Today National Party rules gives them representation without election; you don't have to be either appointed or elected, as I recall, to be a delegate to your party's convention if you are in the Congress. I didn't run for the place; I was appointed . . .
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now Bill Barnard in his book says that the Loyalists retained control of the State Democratic Committee despite Wallace except for certain changes in 1958 and 62. I don't know what they were; they must have been some minor alterations, probably about the oath you had to take or something.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, I'm sure that all that information is in the files of the Democratic Executive Committee. They've got a complete history on the thing, and I don't recall what the changes were. But we had some bitter battles with the Wallace group . . . just sheer out-and-out control of the Committee.
ALLEN J. GOING:
But they never won?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No. We managed to beat 'em there every time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course, sixty-eight was when he ran on the third party, the American Party ticket.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Which really made the Democratic nomination almost hopeless in Alabama. David Vann and I were co-chairmen of

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the campaign for Hubert Humphrey. And while we made a respectable showing, we were not able to carry the state for him. George Wallace split the thing in real good fashion. So there wasn't any possibility of the State of Alabama going for the Democratic nominee. How big it went for Nixon, I don't remember.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I've forgotten; I don't have those figures in front of me either. But the electoral vote went for Wallace. Wallace carried five states as I recall.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Yea. He got the electoral vote. As I recall it, we managed to come in ahead of Nixon—how big his popular vote was. But not much ahead of him.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course, sixty-eight is kind of a turning point in a way. Here you have two Democrats, Jim Allen and Armistead Selden, running for that seat, and neither of them were anything like Lister Hill, I'd say.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, not only were they not like Lister Hill, but Armistead Selden later ran as a Republican; now Jim Allen never did. But Armistead officially changed his registration. He ran for a Senate seat against . . . Who was it, Heflin?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Heflin ran in '78 when Jim Allen died. [NOTE: Heflin ran for Sparkman's place when he retired in 1978.]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
When did Armistead run as a Republican? I'm not sure whether it was the time when . . . What's the man's name who was defeated by Denton?—defeated by Folsom for the nomination. Don Stewart.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Don Stewart won in 1978—the Jim Allen seat.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Who did he beat?
ALLEN J. GOING:
Maryon Allen. Well that was for the nomination. Who did he beat? Selden was the Republican nominee either that time or the time before.
For some reason I didn't put the November elections [1978] down. So I'm not sure of that. [In the November, 1978, elections Heflin had no Republican opponent, and Steward Defeated Jim Martin, the Republican nominee.] She [Maryon Allen] served, of course, temporarily for a few months.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
She was appointed for the unexpired term.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And then, of course, Heflin ran against Walter Flowers—that was in '78 [This would have been for Sparkman's seat, while the Stewart-M. Allen race was for J. Allen's seat]
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Selden must have run before that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Must have. Now, Winton Blount ran against Sparkman in 1972.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, Winton Blount was another one who was never very certain whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. He was nominated by the Republican Party, but prior to that he had talked to the people in the surrounding community of Montgomery about running for governor against Wallace. And I recall Roy Noland telling me about the possibilities that Blount would run against Wallace—I guess at the time of the third term or the second, I've forgotten which, second, I guess, and he suggested the slogan, "Beat the runt with Winton Blount." I don't know whether it ever got beyond the talking stage or not.

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ALLEN J. GOING:
Of course the gubernatorial election of 1970 was supposed to have been one of the most vicious, one of the dirtiest, mud-slinging ones-between Brewer and Wallace. I remember reading that Brewer really got pretty open support from the Republicans and Nixon.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well, that's an example of what Sam Rayburn meant when he said, "If you just do these things that are unusual, you just teach your own people bad habits." Brewer was probably finished as a politician as soon as he took that money from the Republicans to run against Wallace in the Democratic primary. But it's true; he got a sizeable contribution to his campaign, and I don't know whether it was funds that were raised by the "Creep" group in trying to perpetuate Nixon in office or where it went or where it actually came from. But I'm under the impression that Maurice Stans was the one who raised the money which later came to Brewer. He's also been the treasurer of the Committee to Reelect the President.
ALLEN J. GOING:
"The Creep" group. And of course by 1972 Wallace was pinning his hopes on the Democratic nomination.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Well he was campaigning for the Democratic nomination when he was shot in Maryland, just outside the District.
ALLEN J. GOING:
By that time there was less racist appeal and more populist sort of appeal.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
As soon as Wallace finished that first term, he began to talk about the shortcomings of the Federal government—"Not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties." And

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he was pointing out all the things that he thought were wrong that were brought about by the "pointy headed professors in Washington that couldn't park their bicycles straight." And he talked about what he thought were constitutional issues; whether they were or not, I don't know. Wallace was not what you would call a high minded candidate, but he would seize on demands that constitutional rights be given to everybody including folks in Alabama. And that's where his "Stand up for Alabama" was being used.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And by the early 1970s you had some blacks being elected, and Wallace saw the potentiality of black voting in that thing.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Oh yes, as a matter of fact, until this past election, Alabama had the greatest number of elected blacks in office of any state in the country. It seems to me that Mississippi or Louisiana one either came up with somewhat similar numbers or greater numbers last time.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Now what was the origin or role of the National Democratic Party in Alabama?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
That was the group that was headed by John Cashin in Huntsville. They were, I guess you might say, the Wallacites of the black people.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They considered themselves a separate party?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
They qualified as a party; they were on the ballot as a party.
ALLEN J. GOING:
They weren't challenging the Democratic convention or anything?

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GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
No, but they started in the Democratic convention. And after they were shut out in '68, the group that I was a delegate with, were challenged by the National . . . the people who either then or later became the National Democratic Party. I don't know whether they adopted the name at that time or not. But they were demanding that they be seated because they had qualified as the National Democratic Party at that time. And they had qualified and received votes, and they contended that ours were illegal votes or illegal appointments, and were demanding of the Credentials Committee at the '68 convention that they be seated as true delegates from Alabama. And you recall that this was the same tactic that had been used four years earlier by the Mississippi group when Fannie Lou Hamer and some others were bodily carried out of the seats of the Mississippi delegation. That produced a great deal of grist for the TV mills, but it really didn't make a whole lot of difference in the state vote.
ALLEN J. GOING:
I noticed that the Reverend Rogers ran on that ticket for Congress in 1970. They were a separate party at that time.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
I don't know when they began that—whether it was in '68 in order to go to that convention or whether the National Democratic Party—I'll have to look at the newspaper files to see whether they were created prior to the '68 races. I'm under the impression that they were probably a little earlier than that; that's the first time

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that they fielded a full slate. And they created quite a bit of stir in the convention. I remember at that time Charles Morgan, who had left Birmingham, was—I don't remember whether he was representing the National Democratic Party or another group. But they were also contesting the seating of the representatives named by the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee.
END OF INTERVIEW