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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989. Interview C-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

B. Everett Jordan as a conservative Democrat

Kornegay describes the changing political views of Senator B. Everett Jordan of North Carolina during the 1960s. Jordan was known as a conservative Democrat for most of his business and political career, nevertheless many believed he became more liberal during his tenure in the Senate. Kornegay acknowledges changes in Jordan's political leanings by noting that he eventually changed his stance on Vietnam and was one of the first senators from the Southern bloc to vote to bring soldiers home. Yet, in matters of race, he remained conservative. To illustrate this, Kornegay explains how Jordan helped to lead filibusters against civil rights legislation along with Senator Sam Ervin, also of North Carolina. Kornegay's comments are demonstrative of the political leanings of Southern Democrats during these transformative years.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989. Interview C-0165. 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

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 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.