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Author: Griffin, Lloyd E., interviewee
Interview conducted by Bulla, Ben
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
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Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
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Languages used in the text: English
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2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-12-12, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0135)
Author: Ben Bulla
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0135)
Author: Lloyd E. Griffin
Description: 121 Mb
Description: 25 p.
Note: Interview conducted on August 20, 1982, by Ben Bulla; recorded in Edenton, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series C. Notable North Carolinians, 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 Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982.
Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Griffin, Lloyd E., interviewee


Interview Participants

    LLOYD E. GRIFFIN, interviewee
    BEN BULLA, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BEN BULLA:
Mr. Griffin, to begin with, tell me a little about yourself—where you grew up and what you have done in your lifetime.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh my goodness. Well I was born at Belvedere, N. C., which is in Perquimans County, the adjoining county, and I went to a Quaker school until I was about 15 years old. A Quaker school in Belvedere. These Quakers were very closely associated with the Quakers at Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and their teachers were trained there. They posessed one of the best schools, I think, in the community or in the area at that particular time which was from 1905 to 1910. After my mother died my father moved to Edenton and shortly thereafter I came to Edenton too. Ifinished public school here and then around 1910 I went to Wake Forest College. After Wake Forest I taught school for two years at Walburg, NC, then I went to Harvard Law School. From there I went to officers training school or camp some place in S. C. or east Tennessee, one or the other, and after finishing there I became a 1st Lieutenant and became a member of the 81st Division. We went to France and saw combat until the war ended. I was lucky enough to escape being killed, but came very near death two or three times. After the war ended the forces decided to have pistol matches and rifle matches between the various nations involved while waiting to be transported back home. With ships only to carry us back it meant that it would take a long time for all the forces to get back home. So they had to find something for us to do to keep up busy. So I was lucky enough to make the team for the pistol matches for the United States. We had several matches and the Americans were very lucky and won out and we had quite a time at it. As a matter of fact [Shows trophies that he won and modestly states that he was one of the top American marksmen in the pistol matches] Quite an honor for a country boy.

Page 2
Then I came back and took my law examination and passed the bar and got married; then Ehringhaus got to be Governor, he was from Elizabeth City, and I ran for the Senate when he ran for Governor and I was elected to the Senate twice and served with him while he was Governor. Then he decided that he wanted me to take a job with him in Raleigh. I was practicing law here, but I was very fond of him—he was a very fine person—so I went up to Raleigh and took a job in his administration. Stayed up there about 35 years.
BEN BULLA:
What did you do in his administration. What was your position?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, it wasn't directly in his administration as it was carrying out the things he wanted done in his administration. First of all I was for the State School Commission; then with the other branches involved in it and finally I came here to the North Carolina Citizens Association.
BEN BULLA:
Can you explain to me what this organization is and does?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
The North Carolina Citizens Association was set up for the purpose of trying to provide—the Legislature of N. C. should try to provide the type of laws, and administration of the laws that would be best for the business people of the state. And that was a field in which Everett Jordan was very much interested, and we spent many hours talking over the problems involved both as a manufacturer as well as the other types of industry in N. C. We were interested first of all in taxes. We were interested in having tax laws which would be fair to all the people, but would attract people from the outside. It was a terrifically big job—still is. Everett and Henry were very much interested in that and Everett got the idea that somebody ought to go to Washington and look after that angle of it, and so he finally agreed to take the job.

Page 3
BEN BULLA:
You mean when he was United States Senator?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Yes. Well I used to talk to him while he was there and went to see him once in a while. I was in Raleigh and he was in Washington—I would see him about mutual problems that Carolina and Washington had. What to do about them—what would be best to do about them in North Carolina, and it kept me involved from one thing and another until Everett died. I retired in 1975; the last time I saw his widow she was thinking about moving to Burlington.
BEN BULLA:
Mr. Griffin was the North Carolina Citizens Association organized under your leadership? Was that how it got started?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I don't like to brag about things like that.
BEN BULLA:
I just want to know the truth, that's all.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Here's a magazine that tells all about that sort of thing.
BEN BULLA:
Who helped you organize it? Did Everett help you?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh yes. Everett was interested in all the things we were involved in.
BEN BULLA:
Who besides you and Everett?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh, plenty folks.
Leroy Martin, he's dead now, he was with Wachovia Bank.
BEN BULLA:
How about Bill Saunders?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
To some extent—I don't know how much he was involved in it.
BEN BULLA:
How about Bob Hanes?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh yes. We used to meet in Winston-Salem frequently. They used to ask me to go to Winston to make a talk at some of the clubs there. The Rotary Club and others. The last time I remember going to the Rotary Club, I was introduced by the president of the Reynolds Tobacco Company—I can't think of his name right now. After the meeting he invited me to go with him to his office (and I thought, Oh—oh, something is up). But I went with him and when we got there he said, "I suppose you are

Page 4
acquainted with the fact that the Reynolds Tobacco Company is not incorporated in North Carolina. I told him that I did not recall ever having heard that. Well he said, "It's incorporated in Delaware, and a lot of people in North Carolina have been after us to get out of Delaware and come and be incorporated in North Carolina." And he said that he had been advised to get me to do the job. I said, "No sir, I don't believe I'm interested in that. You know that I know that Reynolds Tobacco Company is one of the largest organizations in N. C., and has as much influence with the general public and with the making of laws as any organization that I know about. Why is it that Reynolds still maintains its main office in Delaware?" Well he said, "We've had so much trouble lately we've decided to change it and that's the reason I want you to head up the change." Well I knew that was a bigger change than I wanted to handle so I said to him, "I tell you what I think you had better do. You better pick out a good strong young man who is able to get enough of the folks innvolved in Reynolds Tobacco Co. to agree to make a strenous effort to move it, and it will take somebody other than someone connected right here in the company to do it, because the Delaware folks are going to raise cain about losing the money they are getting out of it if the company moves from Delaware." So I told him it was going to take some outside folks to do it. He said that he was advised that I could do it and that he was sorry that I would not be able to. I told him that I had a job already that took up my full time, and that what he wanted me to do would take another person's full time. [tape broken] . . . - . . . North Carolina or Delaware. An outside person; and get enough of the business persons here in the state involved in it who are willing to pay the price to get out of Delaware. He said, "well

Page 5
go ahead and see what you can do." So I heard of a young man—I suppose he was 35, maybe a little older—from California who was in this area of the state who was not fully employed all the time. I can't think of his name—they finally got him and so far as I know he got the job done. Shortly after that my time in Raleigh was up and I retired and came home. I was almost 76 years old.
BEN BULLA:
What was your position when you retired?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I was the Executive Secretary of the North Carolina Citizens Association.
BEN BULLA:
How many years did you hold this position?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh, from the beginning until the end, almost.
BEN BULLA:
Was Spencer Love one of the organizers in the association?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Seems to me like he was; I'm not real sure. That's been a long time ago. We chose the top business men in the state to hold some job or other with the organization you know. In fact it was created for businessmen and actuated by businessmen. Well we had to have some lawyers mixed up with us too you know. Of course I couldn't do all the law. But it was a very interesting field, a very interesting work and the fellows around Asheville were very much interested in it too. Charlotte—in fact all over the state little by little were more or less concerned about the laws of North Carolina and especially its tax laws. Everett Jordan was as much interested in its as anybody I know of.
BEN BULLA:
Where did you first meet Everett Jordan?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh I probably met him in Raleigh; most likely in an assembly in Raleigh. I was there in the Senate in '33 to '35 with Governor Ehringhaus. During theseyears is the time I think we first met. You see, there was a group of folks around there—Leroy Martin with the

Page 6
Wachovia Bank, Bob Hanes of Wachovia Bank and others involved with them—all in a group, and we worked together. Leroy had been secretary of the Senate, and Gov. Ehringhaus from Elizabeth City had been up there before too. We all worked together for the common interest of the general good. Not for any one particular person, and they were members of the Citizens Association. The Citizens Association employed me.
BEN BULLA:
The association assessed dues and the business paid those dues based on the size of their business?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, yes and no. You see every organization has its own goal out yonder that it wants to reach and the question is: How soon can they reach it; and who do they need to help reach it, etc.—among the various organizations in the state. I'm talking about state organizations-members who had contact with the state government. You want to see the state government operate in such a way that its tax laws are favorable; all types of its laws are favorable as far as the public is concerned, but where you would have the least trouble with getting the laws executed and so on. Some of the laws back in the old days were not too carefully thought out—I'd say around 1900. But little by little as business began to expand and trouble popped up, then you try to find out what the trouble was and get the laws properly executed.
BEN BULLA:
Can you give me an example?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I've got an idea what you've got in mind [Laughter] but I don't want to get involved. Let me tell you something. Each time an organization grew up here in the state and got a little bigger than the surrounding neighbors, it started having critics. I don't know whether you ran into that situation or not, but it was—there were some fellows in Asheville and Charlotte and Winston-Salem and Raleigh—
BEN BULLA:
How about Greensboro?

Page 7
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, to some extent, but these various groups found out after a while that it paid them to work together; they could save money doing that; they could have less trouble to contend with doing that, and more success that way.
BEN BULLA:
Working as a unit.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Yeah. That's the reason they had to have something like the North Carolina Citizens Association, where they could work together and get their laws executed.
BEN BULLA:
I'm sure the organization was highly pleased to see Everett Jordan go to the United States Senate. Then he could do the job in Washington that you were doing in Raleigh.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh yeah.
Go back to another phase of it—and I don't mean to burden you with it, but there was another fellow in Raleigh who was very anxious to go to the U. S. Senate.
BEN BULLA:
What was his name?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Did you ever know Willis Smith? Do you know how he got there?
BEN BULLA:
Not really.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well my office in Raleigh was on the nineth floor in the building where the S & W Cafeteria was and I could see up and down Main Street and see who was coming and going and what not. Willis Smith's office was on the other side of the street—it's a long story and I won't go into all of that but it just illustrates how, if you are aware, you can see what's going on down there. And I very often saw some very interesting things—but you didn't come up here to get a story on me—
BEN BULLA:
It's all relevant; background material.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Ehringhaus came down here [Edenton] for a funeral while he was Governor and saw me across the street and said, "Come over here." He says, "I want you to go to Raleigh with me." I said, "What in the

Page 8
world for?" He says, "Well some things have come up and I need a little assistance. I want somebody I can talk to to be on hand." I said, "What in the world have you got in mind?" He said he had two or three jobs open and he wanted me to take one of them. I told him that I was practicing law and doing right well. He said, "I know, I used to practice right here with you. I know all about this down here
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

Page 9
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
. . . and I said, "Governor, I know you are going to do that anyway, you'll do the best you can and it's going to be a job well done." And he said, "Yeah, but I want to be able to look across the street to where you are and phone you to come over to my office, that I want to talk with you a little while." I didn't much want to do that, but he kept on you know and you try to do what you can for the Governor, so I finally agreed to take the job and go up there.
BEN BULLA:
If I understand it right, The North Carolina Citizens Association was largely responsible for Willis Smith going to Washington. Is that correct?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, there's a long story connected with that but Willis Smith went as a Senator to Washington with the right much help he got.
BEN BULLA:
From the Citizens Association?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I won't say the Citizens Association. [Laughter]
BEN BULLA:
You're very modest.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
But anyhow, I was on his side and he won out over Frank Graham. Do you know how that happened?
BEN BULLA:
No.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Frank Graham's wife's folks live right down this street here, and naturally they participated. Most everybody in Edenton figured that Frank Graham was going to win, but there were a lot of people around Raleigh that didn't care whether Frank won or not, so they wanted somebody to run against him. Willis Smith was interested in going to Washington, but he did not know whether he could win or not without a big campaign and a whole lot of money being spent. So after the campaign had been going on for some time Willis got out and campaigned around about and became encouraged, but he still wasn't convinced he was going to win. So a lot of things happenend—I could see a lot of

Page 10
what was going on from my windows up in my office. What happened was: The Graham folks were so confident that they were going to win that they had the machinery all set up to take his picture to announce his having won so it would be in the next morning's paper "Frank Graham Wins - Willis Smith Defeated" - but before dark came—looking out of my window—those folks had so persuaded Willis Smith that he couldn't win that he sent for the secretary, down at the Sir Walter Hotel, to come up there so he could tell him that he wasn't going to run. Well Everett Jordan was sitting there with me looking out the window—I'm not real sure it was Everett—I'd better not say that—but anyhow here came the fellow out of the Sir Walter Hotel, going up to Willis Smith's office to get his release that he wasn't going to be a candidate any longer. We saw him going up there and we saw him slowly coming back. But—in the meantime some other folks got hold of Willis Smith and said, "Now look, you are going to run. We are going to put you in!" And he didn't know what to do or say so he leaves his office and goes home. Meantime these fellows go around to Willis Smith's home and told him, "Smith you are going to win this thing. You get in it right now and you are going to win." Willis did not know what to say but he finally agreed to get in it. So these folks went back around to the hotel where the machinery was all set up to take pictures but no picture was taken. Why? Because Willis Smith had not turned loose of the material to show that he had gotten out of the campaign. In other words he was going to run. Of course not many knew about it—still no announcement that Frank Graham had won—so the newspaper boys were wondering what in the Sam Hill had happened and who in the world was causing Willis Smith to run. But Willis started running, made a winning campaign, and won as you know. And I saw it—I was looking at it.

Page 11
BEN BULLA:
The folks who changed Willis Smith's mind were from the North Carolina Citizens Association weren't they?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I won't say it was the Citizens Association—I would say that many of them were friends of the North Carolina Citizens Association.
BEN BULLA:
You're being too modest, I think.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, you know Frank Graham's wife came from right here in town.
BEN BULLA:
Did Willis Smith carry this county?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I think he did.
BEN BULLA:
Everett Jordan was chairman of the Citizens Association for a term or two. How did he do as chairman.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh all right. He was in the association during its early years. I mean he was among those who helped organize it and got it going. Yeah he was chairman for as long as he would keep it I reckon. He had it at least two terms.
BEN BULLA:
Do you remember how he operated as chairman?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
He did alright—did alright. Of course the folks who ran the office, you know they had to do the work, but they didn't do anything beyond the [unknown] of the chairman.
BEN BULLA:
What was the chairman's position—to give guidance or?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well the chairman naturally had to be a person of quite some standing already. He had to be a person that was head of a going organization or he had to have considerable capacity to operate. You just couldn't pick up any individual and let him be chairman you know, and consequently we didn't select anybody but folks we thought could do the job—or willing to do the job. That's a big part—you take two or three fellows around Asheville, they were very much concerned and each city was concerned for the reason that they want their own area to have considerable to do about it.

Page 12
BEN BULLA:
How is the chairman named?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
At the annual meeting you had a regular routine to follow and the naming of the chairman was about the last thing you did as I recall. Of course you would agree on it and you knew who it was going to be but you didn't bring his name up to vote on until right before adjournment because a lot of things could happen in the meantime.
BEN BULLA:
But the board of directors pretty well knew in advance who it was going to be because they had a nominating committee I suppose.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
As they went into the business they would name a nominating committee, and of course the committee knew who they were for for the top jobs.
BEN BULLA:
Did you have any dealings with Everett Jordan in his business in any way?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
No.
BEN BULLA:
Your dealings with him were mostly political?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I wouldn't call it political exactly. I wouldn't call it political.
BEN BULLA:
Didn't it amount to that?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
[Laughter] We were neither Democratic or Republican so to speak. We had members of both parties as members of the association.
BEN BULLA:
I know that Everett Jordan is considered a conservative and I was thinking that your group would have tried to look after the conservative viewpoint.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, Everett was a conservative, but at the same time he was anxious to see things happen. Things that were good for the economy of the state. I don't recall now that he was a member of the general assembly?
BEN BULLA:
No he never was. He served as chairman of the Democratic Party.

Page 13
He never ran for office until after he was appointed to the Senate, then he ran for re-election.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I'd say that if we could have had—all along through the years—a group of fellows of the type of Everett who would work together and had an opportunity to be put together they could have got along mighty well for the state. And one thing that I have thought through the years that has been overlooked in a way—is that when the North and the South finished their war—of course that's beyond your day and mine too—but at the end of that war, if they could have had some means or other of keeping those who were anxious to see our state get along well with its schools and roads—without there being a wide separation because of political beliefs—that our state could have made more progress in a hurry. And that was really the thing that we were trying to get done by the leaders of the state without themselves stepping out front—just wanted to get somebody else to do what they knew had to be done. You take Bob Hanes in Winston-Salem—he was a strong man. He was at Wachovia bank at that time—he was a very capable—he was in the Senate when I was there. That's the reason I got to know him. I had a seat right next to him in the Senate. So we became very friendly—he invited me home with him and so on. He wanted Wachovia to be the leading bank in the state. Of course Hanes and The Reynolds Tobacco Co. were growing all the time—expanding—and they wanted to have more and more influence all the way through. In order to get it and not be run over and buried later on you had to have folks of the same opinion who lived outside too. You had to have folks over here and over there and have them all come together and express the same opinion or else you wouldn't get anywhere. Those who weren't willing to adopt that sort of opinion weren't going to be able to lead people very much.

Page 14
BEN BULLA:
[audio missing]
This is Ben Bulla in the home of Mr. Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982
How effective was Everett Jordan as a leader?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Everett was an influential fellow among certain groups. He was not the type that had grown up apparently—I'm saying this with all kinds of soft feelings for him—but Everett had more of a churchman's viewpoint; if you understand what I mean by that. He had a viewpoint that if/you could get something done by doing good, then O. K., let's go! Well now that should be everybody's viewpoint, but unfortunately it's not. Most of the fellows have this question, "What's in it for me." That's the main question they got, "What do I get out of this." Well now Everett and Henry I found were a little different. Apparently their parents were not of the same viewpoint; I don't know about that I may be wrong completely about it, but Everett, I do know, was anxious to work in and throughout wherever he could for what seemed to be good.
BEN BULLA:
How was Henry's viewpoint different?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well Henry's viewpoint was, as I remember now, was not too much different except that he was more conservative, more quiet, more restrained—I think it was because of where he worked and what he did. You see, Everett had been pushed out in front and his brother came in later—they weren't so awfully different from each other, actually—they were both good fellows to work with. I was very fond of both of them—all of them for that matter.
BEN BULLA:
What is you appraisal of Everett Jordan as a Senator?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well Everett had not lived up there long enough to develop an outstanding viewpoint that some of them that had been up there for several years had, but at the time of his death he had been up there for what seven or eight years?
BEN BULLA:
Almost fifteen years.

Page 15
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
As I recall now, Everett was anxious for the North Carolina Democrats to understand his viewpoint up there. Not only because he thought his viewpoint was a sound viewpoint to have, but because he hoped to sell it to the North Carolineans and hoped himself to be returned. See that's got actually more to do with a man's viewpoint—I mean his viewpoint that he speaks out about—he can have two viewpoints; one he talks about and the other he doesn't. Now everybody you talk to may not agree with what I'm saying about these things, but mine came from actual experience because I wasn't running for any job in Washington. I didn't want any job in Washington. Pshaw! Hunh! I've had many suggestions about running for Washington right from this district here, but I wasn't the leeast bit interested in it—not the least in the world. We had a man over here from little Washington—a pretty good man, and he did alright, so I thought. Pshaw, I can't think of his name but he was a pretty good man—pretty well known. I went on a fishing trip with him and two or three more friends one time and that got to be a standard set up you know. Best way to really find out what a man thinks or to impress him with what you think is to go on a fishing trip [with him]. 'Bout time for me to stop talking.
BEN BULLA:
I've got some questions here that I'd like to run over with you Mr. Griffin. One thing I've heard is this—and you've touched on it a little bit—about having two opinions, one you talk about and one you don't. Did Everett desert some of his conservative viewpoints after he got to Washington? Some of his friends back home thought that his voting record was not quite as conservative as he appeared to be here in North Carolina. Would you comment on that?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
No I can't make any positive statements about that because I don't know exactly what you are talking about.

Page 16
BEN BULLA:
Well some people thought that he might have tempered his viewpoint somewhat in order to get re-elected. Because if you appeal to just one group only, you lose the support from the other group and he tried to kind of play a moderate and middle road, and doing that he couldn't always be on one side.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I'm not certain what particular incident you are talking about, but I can say this: In my opinion, Everett tried to follow the wishes of the administration both in Washington and Raleigh as well as he could. He thought that was his duty and I think he was trying to follow what he felt like that would be best for the administration.
BEN BULLA:
The national administration?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
His state first.
BEN BULLA:
So when Kennedy was president you think he went along with that administration and when Johnson became president he went along with that one?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I don't remember his attitude on those two, but I think he came as near as he could of trying to do what he thought was best for the administration; and that means that a lot of people could have different views you know. They did have different views. If you had to go out with a dog and gather up a dozen rabbits without scaring the rabbits so bad they would go in all different directions, you sort of see what I'm talking about. People in North Carolina, or any other state you put them in, think and talk just as mixed up as any group you ever saw—and why are they? because from the time they are born until the present age they have heard different folks say so many different things and came to so many conclusions that you just wonder what is right anyhow. That's what used to bother me when I was a

Page 17
young fellow. There was a very responsible man in my neighborhood and I thought that he ought to know everything, and a man next door to him come along and had a different—completely opposite—viewpoint, I think to myself when I was a young fellow, what in the world is the matter between them. Well there wasn't anything wrong between them, they were just expressing viewpoints in the community—and kept it up all their lives. Well now that's what Everett heard. As he became Senator and got to hear the viewpoints of Senators from other states, many of which varied from his own viewpoint, he didn't know which one to express. And so he usually expressed the one that he thought would suit the fellow he was talking to. That's the way they all do near about.
BEN BULLA:
Yeah, I think that in Washington and Raleigh and the county seat, all three; many times the men in office say and do things that get for them the most votes in order to return to their office again.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Yeah. Yeah.
BEN BULLA:
When Everett Jordan ran the last time and was defeated by Nick Galifinakas—can you tell me why you think he got defeated?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
No, I never did know that. I heard a lot about it. I was disappointed about it, but I didn't know what caused it.
BEN BULLA:
Well here's another story I've been trying to chase down. You recall when Hodges appointed Jordan to the United States Senate a lot of people said it was a seat-warming appointment, that Hodges himself wanted to go to the Senate and that in two years he would run and Everett Jordan would step aside. Did you ever hear that discussed?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I've heard it mentioned; yeah. That was only a natural discussion though because that's what all the Governor's wanted to do. All the Governors wanted to go to the Senate after their term was up

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you know. The reason he wanted to be Governor was because he could go to the United States Senate. He wanted to be Governor first, he didn't know where he would ever go anywhere else or not—none of them did.
BEN BULLA:
In that respect, I heard just recently, that Jordan would have liked to —before he became Senator—would liked to have been Governor of North Carolina. Did you ever hear that from Everett Jordan?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I think Everett could have been elected Governor if he had really wanted to.
BEN BULLA:
Was it ever openly discussed?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I won't say it was or was not. I mean I don't think Everett ever seriously discussed it, he might have had some discussion.
BEN BULLA:
He did not talk to a lot of folks unless they were very close to him about his personal ambitions and all. Harold Makepeace said that he was sure that Everett Jordan wanted to become Governor of N. C. and said as much in his presence. [End of tape] . . .
BEN BULLA:
[audio resumes]
Have you ever been to the Governor's mansion when Jordan was present?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Not for a special occasion. I've been over there when Everett was there, but I don't remember what the subject was—but usually when the Governor was wanting to know the opinion of a half dozen or more people about a certain individual for a certain job he would call you to the Governor's office rather than around to the mansion. Now if he just wanted to have a big crowd—men and women both—he would have you around to the mansion and that was usually at night you know. I used to live across the street from the Governor's mansion.
The Governors of North Carolina I'd say didn't really have an easy

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time—those that I know about. Some of them made it a little easier for themselves than they might have because a lot of things that they should have done, they didn't do.
BEN BULLA:
For example?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, sometimes I don't think they gave enough recognition to visitors from out of state who came on state business. After they left the office in the afternoon I don't think they paid any more attention to them. Some did—it's just a question of the individual make-up as to how he carried on his work.
BEN BULLA:
Everett Jordan, I hear, did not change from one day to the next. If you saw him on the street today, in his office tomorrow, he was always the same person.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
That's probably true I think. I think Everett Jordan was Everett Jordan wherever you saw him. He came as near being that way as far as I was concerned as any person I ever knew. I don't know whether he had any different make-up for other people or not. Of course you know I was just a country boy—that is a boy from a country town who was on a country job trying to carry out the job which was assigned to me. Whether I did it well or poorly, I don't know—probably won't ever know because I'll be 90 my next birthday.
BEN BULLA:
I've got a feeling you did pretty well.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I've had good help most of the time.
BEN BULLA:
If you had to identify the strong points of Everett Jordan, what would you say.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I would say that Everett came as near being friendly with most everybody as any general official that I knew. I don't know whether that really answers your question or not. I'll say this: I didn't know of any real enemies that he had or knew about. He was

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congenial and friendly with most everybody he came in contact with.
BEN BULLA:
You say you were very fond of him; can you explain why?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well because I was with him quite a bit and we got to be friends from being together so much. If you are friendly with someone for a long time if there is something about them that you don't like, or if they don't like you, it does away with friendship. I remember one Governor we had—I won't call his name—but he called my office one afternoon and said, "What you going to do this afternoon? I'm thinking about getting the car and driving to Asheville or beyond and I'll be gone a couple of days and I'd like for you to go with me." I said, "Who else is going Governor?" he told me nobody was that he wanted to just take me; and of course a chauffeur . . . I said, "What's going on?" He said he just wanted to get out of the office and that if I could go, to be ready to start at 8 o'clock in the morning, that we would be gone two days, maybe three. I said, "You really want to go to Asheville?" He said, "No, but the places I'm going I pass through there." So I said, "Then you are going to Tennessee." He said he had that in mind but that he might not go that far. I thought to myself—I hope it's not what I think—what I'm afraid it is. This man wanted to go on a drinking trip—that's what I was afraid of and I don't drink and he knew I didn't drink, and he knew I wouldn't tell it on him. He's dead now. But he just wanted to get away from everything; away from Raleigh—wanted to take a drink of liquor when he wanted it and so on and so forth.
BEN BULLA:
And he wanted you as a traveling companion to look after him?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Yeah. Hunh! I told him the second day coming back, "I don't say you are drinking liquor but I got a notion that what you're drinking is liquor and you ought to have told me this before we came on this trip." He said, "Aw well I knew you wouldn't say nothing about it and you

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wouldn't care if I did drink and things have just been worrying me so in the office that I just had to get out and drink some." And I reckon he was telling the truth—he's dead now—problems—one sort or another.
BEN BULLA:
Anything else you might want to add to this discussion?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
No, I didn't know what you were interested in in particular, I've taken all your time and I don't know yet whether we've hit on the subject that you were interested in. [text missing]
BEN BULLA:
Mr. Griffin, Luther Hodges said before he appointed Everett Jordan to the Senate, the he had a list of about 33 names he was considering. People close to him said that he only considered two or three. Anyway Hodges said he was under a lot of pressure about the appointment. Can you tell me who was pressuring him to appoint Jordan?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I can't name any one individual that I would point out in that particular situation because I knew Hodges pretty well and I knew those he had most confidence in and relied on too, but I don't know of a single one that I would pick out that Hodges would say, "This is the man, I will rely on his judgement." I didn't know anyone like that. Hodges was not that kind of person. He made his own decisions mostly.
BEN BULLA:
Hodges and Jordan were very close both politically and in business—do you think Everett Jordan himself could have been calling the Governor and . . .
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Everett, huh—Everett had tried to have some influence with each Governor that he associated with and he thought that he had influence with each one. Now he had influence, but I won't say that his voice was the top influence—except in—for this reason. As a member of the United States Senate, everybody who talked to him wanted something done naturally he wanted the Senator's opinion—favorable opinion—whereas

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if he had not been a Senator he might not have even spoken to him—see that's the way it worked.
BEN BULLA:
Had Hodges not appointed Jordan, who else do you think would have gotten top consideration.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
At that particular time, as I remember, I was of the opinion and I still am, that Hodges felt like that Everett could probably succeed where others might fail and if he wanted to succeed himself it would be best for him to go along with Everett. Not because Everett was his brother, his cousin—or kin to him—but that Everett would be able to get more things done in Washington for him—for he—for himself than most anybody he could name at that particular time.
BEN BULLA:
Some said that Hodges, during this period of time, also had his eye on the Vice Presidency and when Kennedy ran for President, Hodges put himself in a position where he might be considered as a candidate for Vice President.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I heard some conversation along that line but I never heard anything serious about it.
BEN BULLA:
How would you describe Everett Jordan as a person?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
As a person? Huh—well I didn't know his father nor his mother, and to know a person well you've got to know his parents. That even applies to animals. You can't expect a squirrel to be the mother of a rabbit—so I didn't pay much attention to anything until I could see the individual themselves. You see I'm saying a lot of things to you that are not necessary for the reason that I don't know what your past life has led you to and what the future holds for you, but I do know that in the course of 35 or 40 years I'll say—having run upon a lot of individuals-there isn't so much difference between individuals if they have had the same kind of experience and the same kind of fellowship and the same

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kind of ways to win and have been able to go to various meetings where people met and had good speakers who were concientious speakers—to talk to them, and I have found that regardless of what church you are interested in, or what group you've been associated with you sometimes have a feeling that you've been let down. And sometimes you have a feeling that—that these people were on the up and up and you can afford to go along with them. I had so many occasions in Raleigh to run into situations of that type that I got so that I didn't like to have any discussions any more than I could help with any of them. Because I had responsibilities which I knew I had to meet and I had to meet them in a certain way and if I had allied myself or had pledged myself in certain directions—I knew later on that I couldn't do it—so, stay out of it. But I was very fond of Everett Jordan personally and I think Everett, so far as I could ever find out, never tried to lead me on a wrong trail. He knew what he was doing. You see I wasn't running for any office or anything. I didn't want any office. Everett and some of his associates felt like that they ought to have an office. If they were big enough to run their own business at home, they were big enough to run the state's office. If they didn't get it, then some of their contemporaries would get it and could not do a bit better job than they could. I've heard that quite a bit and I'm not discussing parties now—Democratic or Republican a'tall—but I had some very interesting hours listening to folks talk about what they could do and couldn't do and what they should do and shouldn't do and so on and so forth and I knew that an hour later they would change their mind.
BEN BULLA:
Would that apply to Everett Jordan?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
No, Everett was a little different type. I think that Everett's feelings about matters were influenced by his upbringing—you realized

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he had been around a religious home. I think he felt indebted for that too, and he felt that he had an obligation to do what he could for people on account of that. He didn't tell me that—I just gathered that from being around him.
BEN BULLA:
I've heard this before.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I was with Everett on right many occasions and spent many hours with him talking about things that had happened and things that might happen and I could tell there was a religious influence involved there.
BEN BULLA:
He taught a Sunday School class at our church for a long time, in fact I was his assistant teacher when he went to the Senate. He was always faithful in his church attendance when he was at home.
Mr. Griffin is there anything else that we havn't discussed?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well I don't think of anything that is outstanding that hasn't been mentioned. I think that he could have been named Governor if he had run; and I think that he would have made a successful Governor. I don't know whether he ever gave that much thought or not, and I never tried to get him to think that way. In fact, I never tried to get anybody to think they ought to run for Governor unless they were really interested in it, because that's a—I think you are doing a person an injury rather than a help when you get them to run for some office they ought not to be in and they can't handle it after they get it—and that's a failure of a type that gives them a lot of worry. I've seen them in office there—I've talked to them. I've been invited to dinner at the Governor's mansion a good many times and sometimes it was for the purpose of trying to really create an impression, that some outstanding visitor who was there would go away with a very fine impression when they left the mansion. Naturally when visitors come they would invite a few other people to come along with them you know and there would be different

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conversations going on from which the Governor hopes the visitor would receive a very fine impression—toward him I'm talking about. I can't blame them—they want to help themselves out all they can.
END OF INTERVIEW