Title: Oral History Interview with Nancy Palm, December 16, 1974. Interview A-0194.
Interviewer: DeVries, Walter
Interviewee: Palm, Nancy
Subjects: Republican Party (Tex.) Texas--Politics and government Women political activists--Texas Bush, George, 1924-
Abstract: Nancy Palm describes her role as the chair of the Republican Party in Harris County, Texas, from the early 1950s through the mid-1970s. Educated at Vanderbilt, Palm held liberal political views early in life and cast her first vote for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. However, by the 1950s, her growing belief in the importance of "individual initiative" had shifted her political views towards the right. In 1951, Palm moved with her husband from Tennessee to Houston, where she became involved in organizing school board elections. Shortly thereafter, Palm became a precinct organizer in Harris County, Texas. She explains that until 1964, she worked for both Republican and Democratic candidates. By 1964, however, she had established herself solidly in the Republican camp. In this interview, Palm emphasizes the importance of organization to the development of a strong Republican Party in Texas. In addition, she explains her perception of Texas Republicanism as it evolved from roughly 1950 to 1974. In so doing, she emphasizes the role of such politicians as Senator John G. Tower, Governor John Connally, George Bush, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford. Finally, Palm discusses her perception of women's rights and women's liberation. Although not a proponent of the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Palm asserts her belief that women should have strong roles in politics and that she laments the fact that she never sought public office. Overall, Palm's comments here reflect the character of the Republican Party in the South as it had developed by the mid-1970s.