Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Purpose of the North Carolina Citizens Association

Griffin discusses his career in North Carolina politics and business from the 1930s into the 1970s. First serving as a state senator under Governor John Ehringhaus, Griffin continued to work for Ehringhaus until his retirement in 1975. Primarily, he worked as the executive secretary of the North Carolina Citizens Assocation. It was here that Griffin began to work closely with B. Everett Jordan and he describes their mutual concern for enacting legislation that was beneficial to North Carolina businesspeople, thus demonstrating the ways in which business and politics interacted.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

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.
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.