Title: Oral History Interview with Albert Gore, October 24, 1976. Interview A-0321-2.
Interviewer: Gardner, James B.
Interviewee: Gore, Albert
Subjects: Tennessee--Politics and government Civil rights--Tennessee
Abstract: In this second of two interviews, Albert Gore Sr. summarizes his senatorial career. He begins with his election to the House of Representatives in 1948. While there, many of the issues that would come to characterize his time in the Senate began to come to a head. Through his relationships and committee assignments, he realized that he could not support U.S. involvement in Korea or the role the nation played in the Cold War. In 1952, he ran and was elected to the U.S. Senate, and while there, he worked on a variety of committees related to his key interests. Especially meaningful to him were his positions on the Joint Commission on Atomic Energy, the Joint Committee on the Library, and the Foreign Relations Committee. He continued to develop his social justice interests, taking a stand against Vietnam earlier than most other politicians did. He tried to use his relationships with Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, and William Fulbright to argue for better civil policies. One of his most famous actions related to civil rights was his refusal to sign the Southern Manifesto, a 1956 document decrying the desegregation of public spaces in America. In the interview, he explains how that happened and what effect that decision had on his career. He ends by describing his impressions of the American political system, including what the government does well and what it does poorly.