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Author: Kornegay, Horace, interviewee
Interview conducted by Bulla, Ben
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Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989. Interview C-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0165)
Author: Ben Bulla
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989. Interview C-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0165)
Author: Horace Kornegay
Description: 184 Mb
Description: 31 p.
Note: Interview conducted on January 11, 1989, by Ben Bulla; recorded in Greensboro, 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 Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989.
Interview C-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Kornegay, Horace, interviewee

Interview Participants

    HORACE KORNEGAY, interviewee
    BEN BULLA, interviewer


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This is January 11, 1989. I am Ben Bulla in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the office of former congressman Horace R. Kornegay, whom I am interviewing. We will be discussing the late U.S. Senator, B. Everett Jordan. Congressman Kornegay worked with Senator Jordan in various capacities while they were in Washington representing this state. One of the areas we will be looking into will be the area of the tobacco industry in which both were vitally interested. To start with Horace, give me a brief background about yourself; then from there let's tell how you came to know Everett Jordan.
Well, briefly, I was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but I was raised here in Greensboro. My mother was from Greensboro, and my father was from Duplin County, N. C. In World War I he served over-seas in the infantry, and when he came back home he decided he wanted to get off the tobacco farm and get involved in the business end of it, and so his job as a traveling salesman for Rumford Baking Powder Co. ended him up in Greensboro and he married my mother, moved to Asheville for a couple of years. I was born in March and in September they came back to Greensboro. So this is really the only home I have ever known. I went through the school system here and graduated from Greensboro senior high school in 1941, then in the fall of 1941 I enrolled at Wake Forest College. I went to school with the idea from the very beginning that at some point I wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer. I was there three semesters—Pearl Harbor had come along in my first year and I wasn't but 17 years old then—next year when I became 18 I enlisted the Army. I was away for three years, came back and resumed my studies and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in June of 1947. Two years later I graduated from the law school in June of 1949 and actually took the bar examination in March of '49. I passed it so I started practicing law here in Greensboro, actually, before I graduated from law school—before I received my degree.
While at Wake Forest I'd become interested in

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politics and I had been very deeply involved in campus politics and was elected president of the student body and also president of the Student Bar Association while I was in law school. I came back to Guilford County and shortly—they are always looking for some young lawyer to work in political campaigns—the political leaders were—so I obviously came to the attention of some of them. I knew a number of the lawyers around town anyway before I had finished. So the first thing I knew some of them had come to me and involved me in some of the local campaigns. I managed the Sheriff's campaign in 1950. I had been active in the YDC before I left Wake Forest, and so I maintained my interest and in the group of contemporaties, the lawyers and business people around High Point and Greensboro and throughout the county, we had—I think—a top-notch YDC Chapter here.
I believe it was in '53 I ran for state president of the YDC and was elected, and Everett Jordan—Luther Hodges had come on the scene—I remember when he ran for Lt. Governor in 1952, and I was running around for YDC business and he and I would sort of go around together. After I was elected I was going all over the state making appearances and making speeches and meeting people, and Everett Jordan pretty soon became the Chairman of the State Party. I don't recall exactly when this was, but it was after Governor Umstead had died and Luther Hodges had been elected—unexpectedly, really—to the position of Lt. Governor, became Governor. He and Everett, of course, were good friends. Everett was, I think, one of the best state chairmen this party has ever had. He was available, he was interested, he was practical, he was straightforward and honest, and I think, highly respected. The only criticism—among some people—was that he

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was a businessman and not quite as liberal as some. I expect you have heard that from others.
Everett, I think, did a fine job, and I got to know him in those days. Then later I became prosecuting attorney, or solicitor we called it then, I was elected to that position twice for the 12th district composed of Guilford and Davidson Counties. Held court in Greensboro and High Point and Lexington prosecuting the docket. Then when Mr. Carl Durham, our long-time Congressman from Chapel Hill announced that he was not going to seek reelection in late '59—I remember distinctly, I was holding court in Lexington and one of the Greensboro reporters called me, and somebody suggested I might be interested and wanted to know if I was going to run for Congress, that Mr. Durham had announced that he was retiring.
Well, I gave him what I thought was a pretty good political answer—I didn't say yes or no, I said Maybe—it depends on this and that. Anyway, I did run and was elected in the fall of 1960 and went to Washington. Everett, in the meantime, had been appointed by Governor Hodges to the seat that had been occupied by Kerr Scott who had died unexpectedly of a heart attack. I believe that was about '57 or '58. 1958, because I know that when I got to Washington, Everett had been there a couple of years. Senator Ervin had been there five or six. I guess he came in in about '54. Anyway, Everett and I were friends when I got up there. Coupled with an appreciation for each other and a fondness for each other, there was also the factor that we were from the same Congressional District. Everett used to flatter me considerably—as a fairly young man in those days—by introducing me, or telling people in groups that I was his Congressman. He always emphasized the his. One day I said, "Senator, I don't know

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how to take that. I don't whether you mean I'm representing you, or you mean I'm in your pocket or something like that." He laughed and he said, "Oh, no. You're from the 6th district and it's the finest district in the state and one of the finest in the country. And you and I always work together like two mules." I said, "Well that's what I thought." As a matter of fact, we did. For the eight years I was there.
I was elected and reelected four times—I had a young family and in those days unlike now, they didn't hardly pay you enough to live on—of course they say the same thing now, and I guess it's true because prices have increased substantially—but my family was living down here in North Carolina and I was up there, and we had three young children, and I finally decided that my first responsibility was to my family, my wife and children. As much as I regretted having to make that decision and give up my congressional seat, I voluntarily did that in 1969. I announced in late '67 that I was not going to run so anybody that might be interested in succeding me had an opportunity to get in and start a campaign. I went out of office on January 3, 1969. Several months after I had announced I would not seek reelection to the 91st Congress, Senator Earl Clements of Kentucky, former Senator and former Governor of Kentucky, who at that time was president of the Tobacco Institute in Washington, which is a trade association for the major tobacco manufacturers or for most of the tobacco manufacturers in the country, came to see me and wanted to know if I would be interested in going to work over there. I told him, "No, I wanted to get back to Greensboro and get into law practice." Well he'd keep coming back. Earl had a fascinating way about him; he never pushed you too hard; never hustled you, so to speak, but he

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had a way of sort of moving up on your blind side. I'd come back during that last session of Congress that I served in. Every time I would come home another group would call on me and say, "Now you be back here, and when Congress adjourns we want you to come back on the board at the church and we want you to get back interested in the Boy Scouts and always somebody you couldn't say no to. They were smart in that respect. I told my wife, I said, "Annie [unknown], you know I figured it up today, when we come back here I'll be out for some kind of fried chicken and peas dinner or supper about five nights out of the week. One of the things both she and I were striving for was more time together and more time with the children. I particularly was just hungry almost, for an evening when I could come home and read the paper or look at TV, or talk or play with the children without being constantly interrupted by telephone calls and other things of that sort.
When I went to Washington the oldest child was eight and the youngest was one. The older two sort of grew up while I was away in Washington, and that preyed on my mind, and I felt that all the time I was there in the Congress—I told somebody—this may be an over-statement to some extent—some of my friends in Washington who were incredulous that I, at my age of 43 or 44, after having served eight years, would decide to quit. Because the way most people get out of Congress—the story goes—there are two ways to get out and both involve boxes—the ballot box or the pine box, and I had done something that nobody had done in a hundred years almost. [unknown] I carry a guilty conscience all the time. If I'm with my constituents I feel guilty that I'm not with my family; when I'm with my family I feel like I ought to be with my constituents—that's just the way I'm made up, and the only way I knew to resolve that and lead any kind of

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a reasonably satisfactory and sane life was to go on back and say that this opportunity—and it was that and I always appreciated it—came to me at the wrong time in my life and I had other commitments that were of equal magnitude in my mind, to me personally. So that's what happened so finally I agreed to stay up there and go with the Tobacco Institute.
I started as vice counsel—I was the only lawyer in the organization at that time. Earl was still the president. Then in a year and a half after that in May of 1970 Earl decided he wanted to retire as president, and the board of directors composed of the executives of the major companies selected me to succeed him as president. Earl had been in the Senate—he was the assistant to Lyndon B. Johnson back in the '50's at the time Lyndon had his heart attack and was incapaciated for some several months, Earl—one of my close friends there—later to become my close friend in Washington who was then President of the Tobacco Institute was the acting majority leader of the United States Senate. Well Earl was defeated because he paid too much attention to Washington according to everything I learned, and Thruston Morton came along, a popular, fairly young man at that time, and beat Earl. But politically it did not hurt Earl any in his Washington relations. He had a lot of friends there; he knew a lot of the old timers, and had more stories, almost, than Sam Ervin about people and places and occurences of the past. He was a good student of history and dwelt on them and the reason I mention that to you is that I learned a whole lot from him as I tried to do with most of the people like Everett Jordan, Sam Ervin, Earl Clements and others that I had been close to through the years, and I had great respect for them, and they had been great teachers.
During all those years in Congress Everett Jordan and I worked very closely together. Not only on legislative matters that were important to N. C., matters that involved the tobacco industry; the textile industry, the furniture

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industry—it seems that back in those days there was more to do about textiles than there was about tobacco, believe it or not, because the biggest, and about the only legislative involvement with tobacco in those days was the farm program itself—the support program.
Horace, can you go into a little more detail about the support program?
Oh yes.
I was talking to D. K. Muse and he was saying that Dr. Henry Jordan was involved in an original idea about the farm support program—the allotment of acerage—and that Everett Jordan got into the act then and carried it from there.
I remember Dr. Henry very well, but I have no knowledge of his early involvement. The tobacco support program actually started in the early 30's, then something happened to it—I'm not sure—but in '39 it was reinstated and that's the first important date in the tobacco support program. It's been in existence every sinde 1939. Now the program basically does this: The farmer agrees to limit his production of tobacco in exchange for a guaranteed minimum price for the tobacco when it's sold on the warehouse floor.
Now my first recollection of this involvement with Everett Jordan on tobacco, other than just general talk about the importance of it to N. C., was in the mid '60's when it became clear to a number of us that there had to be some changes in the program. Prior to the mid 60's the limitation of production was based on acerage. In other words the Dept. of Agriculture would give a farmer, based upon the history of a particular farm, the acerage he could grow. How much tobacco had been grown on that farm in the previous three years, and it was related to acres. With the advance of agricultural technology, improved ferterlizers, herbesides, MH-30, sucker control, tobacco worm control and all of that.

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We started developing and growing. 2000 pounds on an acre of land that ten years before may not have produced but a thousand pounds. So what we were doing we were selling it by the pound and producing it by the acre, and with the advent of this technology there was no relationship—not a very accurate relationship. So I remember so well that Everett and I, and others, started really pushing the modification of the program to go to a poundage system. There is still acerage involved, but to limit the production based on the pounds that a farmer produced, not just on the acerage he had been assigned. He's still assigned a certain number of acres that he has to comply with even today, but the pounds is what he has to deal with when he goes to the warehouse. He can only sell a certain number of pounds. This improved the program considerably, because what we were doing we were building up expensive stocks in the stabilization program which is set up some quasi governemnt agency, and they buy the tobacco that the commercial buyers don't buy and if a pound of tobacco, for example, doesn't bring a penny a pound more than the support price, if a buyer for one of the tobacco companies doesn't offer that much for it, it goes into the state tobacco pool, and the farmer is paid by the Stabilization Corporation, which is an arm of the Commodity Credit Corporation, which is the big area in the Dept. of Ag. that funds and supplies the money for the several, the many in fact—government support programs. Tobacco, corn, wheat, feed grains, cotton and all those things, and it changes from time to time. Basically that's the way it works.
Too much tobacco was being taken in by the stabilization board; more tobacco was being produced than needed. But Everett was one of the leaders in that, and I remember when he and I would go to farm meetings and meetings of tobacco growers around the state and particularly this district and urge the farmers to recognize that this needed to be done.

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And Everett was very effective in that sort of thing. He'd call on me and I'd echo what he had to say, so I believe it was about '65 that bill was passed and it's been the law since then. That is controlling production—authorizing the farmer to sell by the pound instead of selling all he could grow on an acre.
Horace, the excess pounds he grew, over and above the allotment, he had to sell on the market at what the market would bring?
No. All of his tobacco is sold, he can't sell in excess of his allotment. Now he can carry it over to the next year—10% can be carried over. For example, if I have a farm out here and I'm authorized to market 5,000 pounds and I product 5500 pounds, I can sell the 5,000 this year, carry the 500 over and sell it next year. You can sell over, and it may be that if you sold only 90% last year of your allotment, then you could sell 110% the following year. There's that leeway because it's not like packing sugar where you can weight it all out and get it to the right amount. The farmer puts a lot of work and a good bit of money into the production of a crop, and to require him to market it down —or to grown it down to the pound would be sort of un-realistic.
But Everett was that way. He had an understanding of human nature; he had an understanding of business; he had a deep dedication, in my view, of the welfare of the farmers, whether they be tobacco farmers or other farmers. But it seemed like that tobacco was always the thing, because of it's tremendous importance in this state—the number one cash crop. Then you had the manufacturing element here, and I think it's still true that N. C. produces and Manufacturers more cigaretts than any other state in the Union.
The farmers produce more too?

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Oh yes. We are by far the biggest producer of flu-cured tobacco. We produce about as much as all the other flu-cured producing states in the country do—N. C. does.
The number one state in production and also manufacturing.
That's right. In flu-cured that is—we're not the number one in burley. Kentucky is the number one in the production of Burly. Put it all to gether we grow about as much as in the rest of the country. Now these figures—in 1987 North Carolina produced $738,000,000 of tobacco—most of it was flu-cured. South Carolina, only $151,000,000, Tennessee $147,000,000, Georgia $118,000,000, Virginia, traditionally one of the biggest producers is down to $116,000,000. You see we are growing at least six times as much as Virginia now. Florida and Maryland are on down. Kentucky is your main producer of Burley, I don't think they grown any flu-cured out there. In '87 they produced $514,000,000 worth of burley. Burley is about ⅓ of the tobacco in an American blend cigarette.
What is the difference in flu-cured and burley?
Burley is air cured. Flu-cured, as you know, comes off a leaf at the time and it takes on an average about four weeks—four different primings to get it off the stalk. You start at the bottom and pull off the ripe leaves then the next week pull off the next ones, and go on up. It is put in a tightly controlled barn or container and heat is applied to it and it takes about 4 or 5 days to cure it out—to dry it out. It turns from a green heavy leaf full of moisture or sap into a reasonalby dry, much lighter weight leaf.
Burley: the whole stalk is cut down the latter part of August or early September—same thing is true of Maryland, which is a first-cousin to burley—and it's speared and the whole stalk is hung up in barns which are considerably bigger than flu- cured barns. They have louvres on them

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and they regulate the moisture and temperature in them they don't ever get the high heat that you get in the flu-cured. And it stays in there for several months—three months anyway.
No artificial heat applied?
No, very seldom. A few people, if it gets too moist—too much humitidy—over a protracted period of time, they may put a little heat in the barn to try to absorb the excess moisture to keep the tobacco from molding. But then it's all stripped off and up until very recently they tied burley in hands before they carried it to market, such as we used to do 40 years ago in flu cured. But now it's pretty much loose. They've gone to bales and all sorts of arrangements out there.
The flu-cured market opens in late July ordinarily, starting down in Georgia and moving north. Georgia and then the border belt which is South Carolina and Southern North Carolina and from there to the eastern belt, the middle belt


then the flu-cured market ends around sometime in October, and then just before Thanksgiving—well after the middle of November, the burley markets out in Tennessee, Kentucky and Southern Ohio, western Missouri, southern Indiana open up. Depending on how much tobacco they have, that market stays open up until February. The Maryland market, of course, is in the spring in April and May. There's been a shortage of burley over the last couple of years, and the prediction this year is the market will probably close by mid-January. They'll get it all sold.
Is burley inferior to the flu-cured?
Oh, no. It's a different variety. Burley is a heavier tobacco. It's used very extensively in smoking tobacco. In fact many of your brands of smoking tobacco are composed almost exclusively of burley. About ⅓ of

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the content of an American blended cigarette is burley, and about 50 to 55% is flu-cured. Flu-cured has more sugar in it than burley I understand. Then to get the ideal American blended tobacco you put in about 12 or 15% of Oriental. That's a variety of tobacco that's grown primarily in Turkey and Greece and to some extent in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Then just a small amount of Maryland tobacco goes into some cigarettes because it has an ideal burning quality about it.
In talking to some of our political friends, they say, at one time the tobacco industry played a major role in funding elections in this state. Back in the '30's, '40's and '50's, I'm not sure when it stopped. Everett Jordan, of course, was known as a fund raiser, he was named Chairman of the Democratic Party mainly because he was a fund raiser. Can you comment on that?
Yes, I can comment on it. My own personal experience, the tobacco companies—I think this is true of the leaf dealers, warehousemen and growers, as well as the companies—made very little contribution to political campaigns. At least this was my experience up until the mid-sixties. The first two or three times I ran I don't think I got any money out of any tobacco interests. Now the last time or two I ran some of them contributed some. That's not to say that individuals employed in companies, executives and all—because campaigns in—contributions in N C have to be individual. You can't make any corporate contributions. R J Reynolds as a company can't contribute—Phillip Morris can't—but individuals employed in the company can, or the individuals can contribute to a fund and that fund can be distributed to political candidates, but I do not believe that the tobacco companies, as such, took too much of a financial position in campaigns.
Now in the State, there could have been a different story, however I have no personal knowledge of it having never run for governor nor managed

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a gubernatorial campaign.
Did you ever have a chance to observe Everett Jordan in his role as a fund raiser?
No, not really. My opinion would be that he would be a good one. He was well connected with the business leadership of this state, well known to, and liked by the people that were in a position to make substantial contributions to political candidates. And with the personality that he had; the way he would work with people, those qualities make for a good fund raiser.
Let's go to another area. Everett Jordan was in the Congress for fourteen and a fraction years, involved in many things, but as a congress-man of the tobacco industry, what other areas of legislation did you work with him on?
Well, virtually every piece of legislation that was of primary interest here in N. C. On projects he and I did a lot of work—for example: The New Hope Dam down here, which is now Jordan Lake, he and I worked very closely on it. That's one of the interesting exercises that occurred, in terms of projects, while I was in Washington.
Harold Cooley who was then the dean of the House delegation, he had been there for many years, he was opposed to the dam, and some of his constituents—he represented Chatham County and Wake County in those days. I represented, in those days, Durham, Orange, Alamance and Guilford. Now the big part of the lake was not going to be in the 6th district, but it was going to back up into southern Orange County and maybe to some extent over in Durham. I was for it for a number of reasons. First I thought it was needed as a flood control measure on the Cape Fear River, because it was there at the junction of the Haw and the Deep, which are the head-waters of the Cape Fear. So I worked very hard on that on the house side and Everett worked on it over on the Senate side. This is one area where

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we in N. C. were fortunate in those days with the two senators, that is. Your had Ervin and Jordan. Jordan was a practical, pragmatic type who saw, and understood the value of these projects such as the New Hope Dam, better highways and all—it's not that Ervin was against them, but Ervin was a scholar and a constitutional lawyer and he spent his time thinking and working on things of that sort, and the abstract principles. Jordan was the down-to-earth Senator. So we sort of had the best of both worlds in that regard in N. C. at that time.
My people down in Durham wanted this psychiatric center over there and I worked and got that and Everett helped me over on the Senate side with it. It's out there at Camp Butner. It's part of the Federal Penal System. It was called the Psychiatric Hospital for the Criminally Insane—at the federal level. It's still there at Camp Butner. In those days Camp Butner and all that area out there was pretty thinly populated. I used to ask and wonder why leaders in Durham wanted that kind of hospital there. They said it would be good, it would increase the tax base—the usual arguements you know from the Chamber of Commerce standpoint. I went to my good friend John Roony who was Chairman of the Appropriations Sub-Committee. He was from Brooklyn N. Y.—and old enough to be my father—but he always took a liking to me for some reason, and he said, "Horace, why in the world do you want this thing down there? putting all those dangerous criminals in there." I said, "My people want it, John." He said, "That's reason enough then. I'll see what I can do to help you get it." And he sure enough did. These things got to be worked on both sides, the house and the senate. So I'd go talk to Everett about it and we worked on it, and it was in our 6th district.
That, and the highways, this environmental—I did a lot of work and as I recall Everett was interested in it too—getting this Environmental Protection Agency thing into Research Triangle down there.

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What role did Everett play in that?
I don't remember, specifically. Usually these things were a matter of, number one, appropriation. And so you had to be sure they were included in the appropriation bills. Some of them had to be authored, like on the hospital I don't think that required any authorizing legislation. Many of these things that start from scratch require a bill authorizing the construction, then next you have to fund it in order to get it built, and that comes under the appropriation bills. Things like a dam which is under the authority of the Corps of Engineers, and the Corps comes in with its budget and its requests for money for a given fiscal year and the projects that they recommend after all these feasibility studies and all that stuff has gone on.
So Everett was interested, and I'm sure, because it was finally authorized. Exactly what he did I don't know, but you can bet your boots he was for it and he did something to help make it a reality. This was a long time ago and it's hard to remember specifics.
The point I'm really making is that he and I always worked together. Like on the New Hope dam there was Alton Lennon from Wilmington was very much in on that too, and he is entitled to some of the credit on it, and perhaps other members to some extent. But as I recall Terry Sanford was governor and he was for it. He asked me to appear in his behalf for the State before the committee on that dam thing. That was back years ago, and Everett had to go on the Senate side and we worked together very closely
Everett became Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. Did that happen while you were in congress? How did he get the position?
Seniority. In those days that's how you got any position up there—seniority. He had been there longer than anybody else on the committee, and had moved up through the ranks.
In that area, he and Lyndon B. Johnson were very close friends in

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the Senate and later on when he was president. Do you know anything about their relationship as far as the two working together in the senate?
No. No, you see that would have happened just before I got there. Lyndon left the senate and became vice president. In fact I was sworn in the House on the 3rd of January, and he was sworn in (there's a picture over there, by the way) as vice president on the 20th. This is Earl here, that I've talked so much about. That was the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby. There's Johnson and Kennedy. That was taken my first year. I got to know Johnson pretty well. I've got to find my picture of Everett.
Do you have a picture of yourself with him?
Oh yes. I'm sure I do, we had all kinds of pictures made. I've got so much stuff in so many places. I've got one personally inscribed somewhere. That's him. Everett, Sam Ervin and I came down to Elon—


Lyndon Johnson was Vice President and it was founders day or some big occasion over at Elon, and obviously Everett had invited, and prevailed upon Johnson to come down. I've often told this story for the purpose of comparing those days to this day in terms of security and all of the entourage that a president and vice president now carry with them. Anyway, there was Everett, Sam Ervin, Lyndon Johnson and myself, and Johnson had one aide with him, a fellow by name of Jarred (Jerry) Givett [unknown] Nice young man. I wouldn't call him a body guard, I doubt he was armed; I don't know whether he was or wasn't.
We flew down and landed over here at the Greensboro-High Point air port and got in some kind of old helicopter and flew over to Elon and landed right on campus. Now you talk about creating excitement. Katherine Jordan, and I don't remember if Margaret Ervin was there, but

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Katherine was over there, because I can visualize this picture of this group there on the Elon campus. I may have all kinds of pictures of Everett if I can find them and I'll look for them for you. Anyway, Johnson came down and started out with a prepared speech and finally threw that away and just started talking. He had them all just hanging from the rafters. He had a way about him—he really got off on his own away from the stuff that somebody had written for him, and made a good speech. It was a fine day and Dr. Danieley was then president (of Elon) and we just had a great time over there.
I'm just thinking of other occasions when I was involved—he and I never took any foreigh trips together, because I don't think, as I recall, that Everett did much foreign traveling. I didn't do much, but once in a while I'd go somewhere.
He was in that Interparliamentary Union. Those meetings were always over holidays or weekends, and I just couldn't get away from family. I got invited to several of them but I usually declined.
In talking to Hugh Alexander in Kannapolis, we were discussing Everett Jordan's philosophy. Everett Jordan was basically conservative, and he grew up in the [unknown] and had a hard time making a success, but did. When he went to Washington he seemed to get more to the liberal side then he was when he left home. Hugh Alexander said he thought Bill Cochrane played a very important role in this apparent change of philosophy. How did you observe Everett Jordan?
Everett voted, perhaps, a little more liberally than his person al philosophy would indicate. If you recall, he was appointed to succeed Scott. There were certain elements of the Democratic party here in North Carolina that were very critical of that decision. The liberals in the party in particular. I can remember that.

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Was Ben Roney one of those?
Yes, I'm reasonably sure Ben would have been one of them.
How about Roy Wilder?
I don't remember specifically about Roy, but I suspect that he would have been one.
Terry Sanford?
I don't remember what, if anything, Terry had to say about it. Somebody, and I don't want to lay it to any one person said, "It was a disgrace to the memory of Kerr Scott" or used some rather strong language that I'm confident—particularly those that knew Everett well—would not have agreed with that. There was a group of recognized liberals in the Democratic Party who were very unhappy with the fact that Kerr Scott was succeeded by Everett Jordan. Scott being of the liberal school more so than the average North Carolenean. He was progressive, to say the least, and some to them thought—and you had Frank Graham for a short while, and the turbulence we had experienced changing from Graham to Smith, then Alton Lennon was regarded as a conservative, Kerr Scott had defeated Lennon, then Kerr died not long after he got up there—two or three years.
Four years.
Anyway, all this played a role in the Democrats being the only party—so to speak—in those days.
Bill Cochrane, of course, had been administrative assistant to Kerr Scott, and Everett asked him to stay on and he did. Bill will have to tell you this—I know a little about it—he's living, and his memory is better than mine. Let me put it that way, Ben. But he made the choice and the decision, and Bill was very closely connected with these people that had been critical of the appointment of Jordan. So I think that Bill's presence there, and influence on the Senator (Jordan) did a

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couple of things. One, I'm sure, He was able to calm some of the turbulent water out there that had been created—allay some of the misgivings that some of them had about Everett Jordan's reputation—I'm talking about the liberals, of course the business community was delighted. They thought it was the finest thing that had happened in a long time. Then Bill had a very substantial influence on him. I do know that. Very substantial influence on Everett.
That's what I hear.
I think that's a fact. Bill had been there; knew the ropes; he loved the job that he had and the workers there, and he continues to be there. I would urge you to spend some time with him.
I have an appointment with him in February.
Do you recall the Bobby Baker case?
Mason Mclendon (sp?)here in Greensboro was Senator Jordan's attorney?
That's right.
As you know, there were a lot of things in the press at that time, and I've talked to members of Everett Jordan's family and they don't mind saying that he, in effect, protected Lyndon B. Johnson. To what extent they don't know, but they think this—in that investigation. No one has any definite proof that I know of, but they say that they were good friends, and Jordan took care of his friends.
You have any comment on that?
No, I really don't know. Just based on my recollection, I expect Everett got more criticism from people here over that one episode than most anything else. And there was one other time—and there was only two times that I recall that people were pretty vocal in criticism of Everett—of things he did in Washington. One was on the Bobby Baker thing. Some of them wanted to tar and feather Bobby, and as far as I

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know, Everett tried to run a judicious hearing. Everett was not a lawyer, he had never been a judge or prosecuting attorney. He had no background to hold, really, this kind of hearing. It may be going too far to say it was a mistake on his part or others part, to thrust him in that role. You know you could look at it in that light.
The other was some vote on—or failure to vote or something on some Supreme Court nominee. I don't remember all the particulars of that. They were the two things that stand out—or that I recall where there was pretty substantial criticism. One day I remember, on the Bobby Baker thing—and this is on the comical side. One of the witnesses th$ came over there before the committee that had had some involvement with Bobby, was a man who had sold some kind of cookware. The reason it sort of amused me—the way it occurred it was amusing.- it caused me to relate back to my childhood. In growing up in the same environment as Everett, although he was a good deal older than I—you know terminology is something you can identify with. Well this fellow had come in there and he was sort of acting like a big deal, and part of his work at some-time in his past he had sold some kind of heavy aluminum cookware. They call it cookware now. Well to Everett they were pots and pans, and Everett called them tinware. Do you remember back in the depression in the early '30's when most of the cooking utinsels came out of the 10¢ store—Woolworths or Kress's or W. T. Grant's, and they were basically tin. At least they appeared to be, they could have been thin aluminum, but people called it "tin wear." So when Everett in referring to this fellow, asked him about his business in tinware. Well he became indignant. He said, "Senator, it's not tinwear. My lord what are you talking about. This is very fine cookware." Then Everett would go along and he would come back and say, "I want to ask you something about those days when you were selling tinwear." Everett didn't mean to embarass

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him, it was just his way. Knowing Everett as I did, I could sit there—it was all written up pretty extensively in the Washington Post. I got a real big kick out of that.
But I expect that a study of his long career in public life would show that was one of the points that he sustained the most criticism of. It was unfortunate—and I take this position—in a matter of that magnitude and of that high degree, it was an extremely difficult task for Senator Jordan.
With his background in textiles and not being a lawyer.
Sure, that's right. Now Major McLendon was an excellent lawyer, and I'm sure he did all he could to try to see that this thing ran, but after all he wasn't the chairman of the committee—Everett was. I guess he was accused of some of that stuff, but I have no knowledge of anything like that. Bobby was a very popular, gregarious fellow, and LYndon relied on him. I remember distinctly that I have already told you about our trip down to Elon that time. A week or two before the trip we wanted to plan it and Senator Jordan called me or Bill Cochrane and said that Lyndon wanted to have us all over for lunch in his office and we're going to talk about to Elon. Well I went, of course, and Bobby Baker was right there, Bobby had handled it and made all the arrangements—brought in some of the best steaks you have ever seen, and Bobby was there


On that Bobby Baker case, Senator Ervin said this, "The only thing he could remember that might be critical of Everett Jordan was there was some person that handled insurance matters and Everett refused to let him testify. And Sam said, "Everett let him testify [unclear]
I don't have any knowledge of that. What was the date of that Bobby Baker thing. It was pretty close to '69—it may have been right after I left. Of course I was still in town reading the Washington Post

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every day, and over there, and I continued to go see Everett from time to time on tobacco matters after I left the house.
On the Viet Nam War, Everett Jordan was the first of the Southern Block to vote for bringing the soldiers home and curbing the war over there. This was a very positive change for him, before he had been more of a "hawk" now he had become a so called "dove." Do you remember any details about that?
I don't. I think that occurred shortly after I left the House, because the real opposition to that war was developing before I left, I had numerous delegations calling on me. I had people in my office—I finally got an office in the Federal building here and they used to parade around there, I remember every time I'd come to town, they never bothered me particularly in Greensboro, but they'd have vigils out there, not against me, but just symbolic. But the extreme bitterness started developing and really culminated after I left the congress in '70 or '71 just before Everett ended his career there.
One of the other votes—and I voted the same way as one of the few House members—was to end the poll tax. I think Everett did that. Head of a national bill to end the poll tax as a requirement for voting. I think he did that, and I voted the same way. Not many over on the House side did.
Was that part of the Civil Rights package or was that a separate deal?
No that was an individual bill. No, everybody from N. C. voted against all those major civil rights bills. There wasn't a soul in either the House or Senate that supported or voted for any of those.
Everett Jordan helped filibuster against civil rights?
Oh yeah, he and Sam Ervin were a couple of the mainstays over there. Sam was one of the strategists in the whole thing, being a master of the

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senate rules that he was.
Awhile ago a couple of things occurred to me that I might add. Everett and I were very much involved in health legislation. I was on the commerce committee, health legislation, and I think that from time to time I would talk about stuff that I was working on in the House. Also in veterans matters—I was very involved in that. I was also on the Veteran's Affairs Committee. And Everett was always receptive to being of assistance in matters pertaining to veterans. You know he and Sam Ervin both had served in WWI. I forget what branch of service Everett was in, but he was always very agreealble to cooperation in those areas.
He was a great storyteller, and had one for almost every occasion. Do you remember any stories he told?
Yeah, I remember one, and I don't know whether we ought to put it in this book or not. It's not a bad story, it's got a bad word in it. One of the funniest I remember him telling was about the time when he was a young boy living in Gastonia or somewhere. The only way a young boy had of picking up nickels and dimes in those days, or the best way was to hang around a train station. A train would come in and these 8 or 10 year old boys would grab the suitcases—particularly for the ladies—and carry them and they would give them a nickel or a dime. So one time there was 5 or 6 of them waiting for the train and there was one boy that was sort of—well not in with the rest of them shall we say. They sort of shunned him aside and didn't let him get too much business. So the train comes in and here comes this great big old fat lady off the train and she had a great big old suitcase. All the boys said, "I ain't going to take the fat lady's suitcase, I ain't—Johnny you take the fat lady's suitcase. They turned that job over to him. Johnny saw an opportunity so he goes and gets the fat lady's suitcase, and he was walking by —the other boys—and he turns to them

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and he is struggling with this tremendous suitcase with the big fat lady walking along beside of him. He turns to the other fellows and says, "You can just kiss the fat lady's ass. That's telling them ain't it, fat lady?"
Had you ever heard that one? Well that's one I remember that I've told a time or two to some of the boys and told them that Everett told that. I know one thing, It wasn't a joke, but it was so typical of Everett the way he said it.
I was over there talking to him on tobacco matters. This was shortly after he became chairman of the rules committee. He had authority over assigning rooms—these private rooms the senators have there in the Capitol, and he had one, and he and I would meet in there. We were in there—I went in there to talk to him about Frank Moss from Utah—Senator Moss who was always introducing bills to abolish the tobacco support program. And I said, "Everett, talk to Moss. He just goes out of his way—we don't ever expect him to vote for anything involving tobacco, he's a Mormon, he's from Utah. That's all right, everybody understands that, but he's just going out of his way to harass and aggrevate the tobacco people contrary to the best Interest of the people of North Carolina." Everett said, "You're right. It ain't going to do any good for me to talk to him. The only thing we can do is just beat him. Every time he pops his head up, just beat him." And we did, and Everett always helped.
He said, "Horace, that fellow is the "wantin'est" fellow I ever saw." That was his term. He said, "Old Moss is the wantinest fellow." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "He was over here the other day talking to me and he wanted to take one of these chandeliers here that have been in this Capitol building almost since it was built, and move it out of the Capitol and put it over there in his private office in the Senate Office

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building, and he couldn't understand why I wouldn't approve it. He's the wantingest fellow I ever did see." He said that about Ted. Ted Moss. His name is Frank E. Moss, but everybody called him Ted. I'll say this for him because since those days, particularly working in the former members of congress organization I've gotten to know Moss, and other than his natural bent on being against tobacco, he's a pretty decent fellow. I have to say that lest I leave the indication that he was a bad apple. He was not a bad apple, he did have that bent on trying to politicize—to his advantage of course—in the State of Utah, his opposition to tobacco.
Today the opposition is based upon health-was it health then?
Yeah, Oh, yeah he always talked about health and everything else. This was after the Surgeion General's report came out in '64. The first one was issued January 11, 1964, and this was well after that, and he had picked it up then.
The opposition on health has grown since you left Congress.
Oh yes. Since I left it really has flourished all during the '70's. Then beginning about '72 was when this public smoking—preventing people from smoking anywhere they wanted to smoke. It all started about '72 or '73. Some nice little old lady that didn't have anything else to do started it out in Arizona. I can give you the whole history of that too, but you are not interested in that as far as this book is concerned. You could write another book on that, Ben.
I wanted to ask you if you have been through Everett's files and records. What you say makes sense. . . .
One thing does cross my mind immediately—it's not a major point, but it is indicative of Everett's loyalty. And it is absolutely true that he was loyal to his friends and to the institutions of this country. He was loyal to his school, he was loyal to his state, and he was extremely loyal to the individual. He was loyal to his family, and he

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was loyal to all those things that he loved and appreciated. One of them that I did want to comment on was that he and Katherine were two of the most loyal members of the Carolina State Society. They never missed a meeting up there. And that's not true of all the people that are elected from the state and go up there. Now that's not a big deal and I'm not trying to make it one, but I'm saying that it's a pretty good indication of the way an individual approaches his responsibilities, because after all he is elected by the people of this state to represent the people of this state on a national scene.
What was the function of the North Carolina State Society?
Well it's purely social. It is a group of North Carolinians who live and work in Washington. They meet about 6 times a year for barbeques, and put on the Cherry Blossom Festival and pick a queen, or a princess we called it, for presentation in the national cherry blossom thing, which is a big deal now in Washington. You know it's in the spring of the year.
Bill Cochrane took me to a meeting one night when I was visiting him. They gave me a little desk paperweight.
Well, it's a great organization, and I was active in it and it's difficult for sitting members to be as active. The Ervin's were the same way. I don't think we've had quite the same participation by Senators since then.
A lot of folks I have talked to have said that Everett Jordan was not an intellectual—he was smart—he was not a parliamentarian, because of his background—a businessman. And in Congress he was called a service senator, did a lot of little jobs for a lot of little people—big people too. Could you comment on that?

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I think it pretty well describes my view of Everett, and I think he would be the first to admit that, because it is evident from our discussion here today that he and I never sat down and talked about the national scene or international scene or what we were going to do about world Communism or of the big civil rights business that was so troublesome during the '60's. And these some of the most tumultous and troublesome times from a domestic standpoint that we've had—the '60's were. I used to say that there's more turmoil in this country—right or wrong, regardless of what your views on civil rights are—now than has been in a hundred years.


You'd have to go back to the 1850's to get a reasonable comparison with some of the things that we had to face there in the congress in the 1960's. Yes, we've had economic problems; we've had world wars, but so many of the troublesome days in the intervening period were those that weren't confronted by most people as being almost insoluble. And that was pretty much the feeling in the '60's there. For right or wrong as I say—uncompromising on the part of both sides, that led to very strong debate and strong feeling. Emotionalism was running high. After listening to that debate in the '60's particularly '64 and '65, I remember telling somebody that as I walked down the corridor in the Capitol I could hear the rambling and the ravings of Charles Sumner of a hundred years before. You know the troubles, if you go back to the history of those days—the 1850's. But Everett, I just started out by saying, was a practical man; his best work was done on projects and this kind of thing and looking after the people as best he could that he was representing in a very direct way. He was always interested in who was going to be postmaster. That was another area that he and I

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would talk about, particularly when it involved anybody from Alamance County. I recommended for appointment a postmaster for nearly every postoffice in this district while I was there. That was back when the congress in the majority party had the privilege—the responsibility—some people didn't particularly like it—as the old saying goes, every-body in a small community wanted to be the rural mail carrier. You'd have ten strong applicants and you could only appoint one. You ended up making 9 enemies and 1 ingrate as the old saying goes. But I remember an appointment in Saxapahaw, and I went to Everett and I said this ought to be your appointment, this is your home town. He and I worked very closely on everything. Appointed a new postmaster for Burlington. He never tried to take over, it was my responsibility of course. In any of those appointments he never tried to dictate to me. He just couldn't have been a better fellow to work with in that regard. But he was interested, and he wanted good people put in positions just as I did. And I think we pretty much did that throughout that time.
One other thing, Horace. When he ran in 1972 against Nick Galifinakis the Democratic Party had gotten a little bit older and maybe a little bit self-satisfied, and I hear that they were really surprised that Everett Jordan got defeated like he did. What happened in that election?
Well, before we get into what happened let's look back, and I'm the first to admit that hindsight is better than foresight. Everett should not have run again. I concluded in my own mind that Everett should not have run. Exactly what the state of his health was at the moment when he—I've always understood and thought it, that he had some pretty good indications that he was in a declining state of health.
I've said many times that Jesse Helms ought to write Nick Galifinakis a letter and thank him for setting the scene for Jesss's election to the

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United States Senate, because that's precisely what happened in my view. Everett was so liked and admired by most of the political leadership in this state that—there were individuals out there, they were out there, I'm satisfied, they were out there—but they would not run against Everett, because of their fondness for him. If Everett had announced that he was not going to run then I think you would have seen a condidate that would have come out and run in the Democratic primary in '72 that could have been elected. Nick has been a friend of mine through the years. What happened in my view: Nick is an extremely attractive campaigner. He's always got a joke and a smile. He capitalized on a number of things I'm sure, and I'm not prepared to enumerate all of them. I think Everett's health was one of the things he capitalized on in that campaign.
How about his age?
His age and his health and to what extent, if any, the Bobby Baker thing. I heard people that were still sort of concerned about that. I don't think that helped Everett any in his campaign in 1972. But how did Nick do it? I think he was extremely aggressive, he was energetic, he had some fairly good financial support from some sources—I don't know what they were, but obviously that was true. And he got out here and he worked hard. He worked harder than Everett could work in the state at that time. He capitalized on the points that we have mentioned and perhaps others that caused Everett to lose. I was surprised and shocked that Everett lost. You know I was just very loyal to Everett all the way through the whole thing.
Had the party become complacent, do you think? The so-called senior element.
Well this could have been, and I'm sure it was a factor, just like it happens in a lot of political races. The people that can do the most

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and help the most become complacent because they do not recognize the seriousness of the campaign. The closest campaign I ever had they said, "Horace, you don't have any problem." Then that's when I began to get worried. And I think that was one of the factors in it—people that had really gone out and done a lot of good work for Everett thought he had no problem, that he would take care of Nick very quickly and that would be it. But he didn't. You see surprises—that was one surprise.
This may be an unfair statement or question, but can you sort of summarize the kind of person that Everett Jordan was and what he did?
My impressions and my thoughts, my feelings and obviously my fondness for him as an individual colors, to some extent anyway, judgement. But just to sum up what's been the theme of most of the things I've said here this morning to you, Ben, is that he was a very effective Senator for N. C. behind the scenes. I've told you about the numerous projects we worked on. He was just good at that. He was not a great speechmaker—he was humorous, and he could be entertaining in a short speech. He was not a philosopher or somebody who sat around and thought about visions of a city on a hill such as we heard last night—not that Reagan is a philosopher either, but nevertheless Everett didn't even attempt—and to me this is a good quality, he was himself. He didn't change his personality, he didn't change many of his attitudes—I think we have decided that he became a little more liberal in Washington than basically he really was, but at the same time he was the same old Everett Jordan the day he left the Senate as the day he went in. He maintained his loyalties to all the people and the institutions that he admired and loved; he did the job the best he knew how. I'll repeat what I said earlier: I think N. C. in the '60's, the late '50's and '60's and early '70's were fortunate in having two senators that complimented each other. They didn't think the same way, they didn't do the same thing. As I said earlier, if

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I wanted to really get into an intellectual discussion about international affairs or a lot of other things I would go talk to Ervin about that, but if I wanted to get a project for the 6th district, man, I went right to Everett Jordan and told him about it and we worked together and were pretty successful in getting these things he thought would be of benefit to these people.
So Sam Ervin's "loaves and fishes" senator applies to Everett Jordan?
It's a good analogy to Everett Jordan, because he was a man that believed in putting a meal on the table. I think, basically, that he was a very religious man. I think he had a high sense of morality. He didn't go around and talk about it all the time, but deep down he was a good Methodist layman as I aspire to be.
Are you a Methodist too?
Yes, I'm a life-long Methodist—historical Methodist.
Do you know any more anticdotes?
Horace, thank you very much. I hope some day you will see some of this material in my book.
Ben, I look forward to seeing the book and the reading of it.
You shall get an autographed copy.