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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Southern Politics
    POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
      Leadership Practices

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Edward L. Rankin, August 20, 1987. Interview C-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Edward L. Rankin served as private secretary to North Carolina Governors William Umstead (1952-1954) and Luther Hodges (1954-1961). In this interview he describes their political leadership, the Pearsall Plan, and the spectrum of political responses to the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., June 4, 1998. Interview C-0328-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
James E. Holshouser Jr., who in 1972 was the first Republican since 1896 to take North Carolina's governorship, reflects on his term and on the state of the Republican Party.

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., March 13, 1998. Interview C-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's first Republican governor since 1896, reflects on the office and the challenges it presents.

Oral History Interview with James B. Hunt, October 3, 2001. Interview C-0332. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In the third of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt assesses his leadership and the changes that occurred in the Democratic Party during his tenure.

Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 11, 1998. Interview C-0336-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott discusses his time in office, reflecting on subjects like the power of the governorship, his accomplishments and disappointments, and the effect of the job on his family.

Oral History Interview with James B. Hunt, May 18, 2001. Interview C-0329. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this first of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt recalls the forces that shaped his political views. He also discusses his early interest in elective politics and describes his rise through the ranks of the Democratic Party.

Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 4, 1998. Interview C-0336-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former North Carolina Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott recalls his early life and describes his ascent from the lieutenant governorship to the governor's mansion.

Oral History Interview with Jack Hawke, June 7, 1990. Interview C-0087. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
North Carolina Republican Chair Jack Hawke outlines the evolution of the party from the 1960s through the 1980s. Hawke especially focuses on divisions, various leaders, and organizational limits and successes within the Republican Party.

Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, June 10-13, 1975. Interview A-0311-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Virginius Dabney recounts his early experiences as a reporter for the Richmond News Leader as well as his later stint as the editor of that newspaper. He also discusses his attitudes about the role of reporters in the political and social arenas, and his work with the Southern Regional Council.

Oral History Interview with John Ivey, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0360. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
John Ivey received his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1944. He and his wife, Melville Corbett Ivey, describe their interaction with such leading figures as Howard Odum, Rupert Vance, and Frank Porter Graham. After a brief sojourn working for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Ivey became the director of the Southern Regional Education Board, where he advocated for the desegregation of public schools in the South.

Oral History Interview with James B. Hunt, August 15, 2001. Interview C-0331. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In the second of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt discusses the elements—including team-building and bipartisanship—that shaped his philosophy as governor and resulted in political accomplishments.

Oral History Interview with Robert Giles, September 10, 1987. Interview C-0063. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Robert Giles recalls state politicians' efforts to hinder total school integration in North Carolina through the use of moderate token desegregation and effective state policy.

Oral History Interview with Herman Talmadge, July 15 and 24, 1975. Interview A-0331-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this interview, the first in a three-part series, Herman Talmadge discusses his political career as governor of Georgia and his decision to run for the United States Senate.

Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, May 14, 1976. Interview A-0328-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Terry Sanford—former state senator, governor, president of Duke University, and member of the United States Senate—describes Democratic politics in North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Ferrel Guillory, December 11, 1973. Interview A-0123. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Political journalist Ferrel Guillory describes the state of party politics in North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Richard H. Moore, August 2, 2002. Interview K-0598. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
North Carolina State Treasurer and former Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Richard Moore describes the impact of Hurricane Floyd (1999) and the state government's response to the crisis. Moore describes the evolution of the Division of Emergency Management during his term and what he sees as its increasing effectiveness in responding to natural disasters.

Oral History Interview with David Pryor, June 13, 1974. Interview A-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
David Pryor discusses the new political order in Arkansas just months before he won the state's governorship.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, July 8, 1985. Interview F-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff recall their work with the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and with the Penn School. The interview centers largely on the internal problems and external mission of the Fellowship.

Oral History Interview with Reubin Askew, July 8, 1974. Interview A-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Florida governor Reubin Askew describes his approach to politics and comments on the political character of Florida and the American South.

Oral History Interview with Lauch Faircloth, March 22, 1999. Interview I-0069. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
North Carolina businessman and politician Lauch Faircloth describes his ascent through both business and politics.

Oral History Interview with Herman Talmadge, July 29 and August 1, 1975. Interview A-0331-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia recalls national political happenings during his tenure in the Senate from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s.

Oral History Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987. Interview L-0030. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
J. Carlyle Sitterson discusses his tenure as University of North Carolina chancellor during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the difficult balance he struck between the Board of Trustees and the student body on issues of student rights.

Oral History Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985. Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
George LeMaistre remembers Alabama politics from the 1920s to the 1970s, a story troubled by violent racism and the struggle over integration.

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., January 31, 1998. Interview C-0328-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
James E. Holshouser Jr., the first Republican governor of North Carolina since 1896, reflects on his early political life, his gubernatorial campaign, and his governorship.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Elizabeth Pearsall reflects on the role of her husband, Thomas Pearsall, in the North Carolina school desegregation plan. She also discusses her own efforts at fostering racial cooperation.

Oral History Interview with James Folsom, December 28, 1974. Interview A-0319. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
James Folsom served as the governor of Alabama for two terms in the 1940s, during which time he worked to change racial politics and improve the plight of black Americans. As governor, he opposed the poll tax, appealed for reapportionment of state funding, and avoided campaign slogans and gimmicks based on racist rhetoric. He describes how he developed liberal ideas on race and why he believed that race was no longer a viable political issue in the South.

Oral History Interview with Clifford Durr, December 29, 1974. Interview B-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Southern lawyer and activist Clifford Durr describes his work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the 1940s. In particular, he focuses on federal efforts to regulate broadcast radio. He also discusses the impact of the burgeoning Red Scare on his work and his life. The House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoenaed him and his wife, Virginia Foster Durr, during the early 1950s.

Oral History Interview with William W. Finlator, April 19, 1985. Interview C-0007. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Reverend William W. Finlator speaks about his Christian devotion to racial and economic justice and his fear that the modern-day mingling of religion and politics is polluting both.

Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lloyd Griffin was a lawyer who was born and raised in Belvedere, North Carolina. Following his service in World War I, Griffin returned to North Carolina and became involved in state politics. He describes his involvement in the North Carolina Citizens Association and his perception of North Carolina politics, focusing specifically on the leadership of B. Everett Jordan.

Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, August 20 and 21, 1976. Interview A-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Terry Sanford was a North Carolina governor and Democratic United States senator. This interview describes his political career since 1960, including his unsuccessful presidential runs and his term as president of Duke University.

Oral History Interview with Nancy Kester Neale, August 6, 1983. Interview F-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Nancy Kester Neale remembers her father, Howard "Buck" Kester, who founded the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and held leadership positions in the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice.

Oral History Interview with Martha C. McKay, March 29, 1974. Interview A-0324. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Martha McKay, women's rights activist and Democratic Party member, describes the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the North Carolina General Assembly in 1973. Focusing on the role of the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus (NCWPC) in lobbying for ratification of the amendment, McKay describes how the opposition successfully organized to defeat the amendment and how that defeat affected the NCWPC.

Oral History Interview with Thomas Jackson White Jr., March 14, 1986. Interview C-0029-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Thomas Jackson White Jr. describes his leadership on the State Art Museum Building Commission and his career as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry in North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Howard Fuller, December 14, 1996. Interview O-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Howard Fuller began his activism in Durham, North Carolina, as a student volunteer for the North Carolina Fund. His experiences as an activist for low-income black residents shaped his lifelong work and involvement in anti-poverty campaigns.

Oral History Interview with Herman Talmadge, December 18, 1975. Interview A-0331-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia offers concluding remarks in this final interview of a three-part series, reflecting on contemporary political issues of the mid-1970s. Additionally, he reflects on his own political legacy in the state of Georgia.

Oral History Interview with Calvin Kytle, January 19, 1991. Interview A-0365. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Calvin and Elizabeth Kytle, both born and raised in the South, held liberal views on race issues and supported civil rights. Here, they describe their perceptions of race problems and their thoughts on the actions of various leaders and politicians, ranging from pro-segregationists to racial moderates to civil rights activists.

Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, April 4, 1990. Interview L-0193. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former Governor Robert W. Scott discusses the consolidation of the University system during his administration, focusing on the leadership of William Friday and Cameron West and the political maneuvering that characterized the process. In addition, he reflects on his accomplishments as governor, expressing pride in his ability to significantly reduce racial unrest during a tumultuous era.

Oral History Interview with David Burgess, September 25, 1974. Interview E-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
David Burgess discusses how his religious faith fused into his life work of social activism. In particular, he explains his involvement in labor organizing in the South.

Oral History Interview with Jesse Helms, March 8, 1974. Interview A-0124. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Senator Jesse Helms describes some of his political positions, and reflects on the state of the Republican Party.

Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0144. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former president of the University of North Carolina System William Friday describes his relationship with and perception of his predecessors Frank Porter Graham and Gordon Gray. In addition, he describes various aspects of his own presidency, including his approach to desegregation and his relationships with a variety of individuals and organizations.

Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, [date unknown]. Interview A-0140. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Terry Sanford recalls his political career as a Democratic governor of North Carolina. He discusses the impact of race on southern politics and the realignment of political parties in the late twentieth century. Sanford attempts to reject the image of southern exceptionalism.

Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, September 18, 1986. Interview C-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Robert W. (Bob) Scott, former governor of North Carolina and the state's community college system president, describes his tenure as governor and discusses North Carolina politics.

Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, December 16 and 18, 1986. Interview C-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Terry Sanford, a Democratic politician who served as a state senator, governor, and U.S. senator in North Carolina and held the presidency at Duke University, reflects on his political career.

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., May 9, 1998. Interview C-0328-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's governor from 1973 to 1977, reflects on his term, the Republican Party, and North Carolina politics.

Oral History Interview with Clark Foreman, November 16, 1974. Interview B-0003. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Clark Foreman worked in the Atlanta Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Roosevelt Administration, and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare from the 1920s through the 1940s. This interview traces his efforts to provide equal social services and political rights for African Americans through these organizations and explains how he developed these goals. He also discusses his travels in Europe, his work with Black Mountain College and organized labor, and his criticism of the Red Scare.

Oral History Interview with Jimmy Carter [exact date unavailable], 1974. Interview A-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jimmy Carter, the governor of Georgia, discusses the growing influence of the Democratic Party in southern states and links it to distinctly southern trends, such as increased voter participation and the impact of the civil rights movement.

Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, December 3, 1990. Interview L-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
President of the University of North Carolina System William Friday discusses his interaction with American presidents from Herbert Hoover to George H. W. Bush. The bulk of the interview revolves around descriptions of Friday's work with Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter on issues of higher education.

Oral History Interview with Paul Green, May 30, 1975. Interview B-0005-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and activist Paul Green—most famous for his symphonic drama The Lost Colony—reflects on social justice and art as he describes his work as a playwright and his efforts as an activist.

Oral History Interview with Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen, May 11, 2006. Interview U-0098. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen recalls her community activist work and her service as a congressional liaison for Congressman Mel Watt. She assesses the tensions between lower-income and wealthier residents in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, November 8, 1976. Interview B-0041. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Oral History Interview with Mack Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mack Pearsall recalls his father's role in the Pearsall Plan, a school desegregation strategy in post-Brown North Carolina that allowed parents to move their children to non-integrated schools. He expresses faith that economic progress will positively affect the state's race relations.

Oral History Interview with Roger Gant, July 17, 1987. Interview C-0127. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Roger Gant explains the professional and personal activities of his father-in-law, Everett Jordan, Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina. Gant discusses how he became involved with Jordan's textile mill and how Jordan structured his business. Jordan's skill at relating to people helped him in business and in politics. Gant focuses on a few of Jordan's political successes, including the way he helped Lyndon Johnson before his presidential bid.

Oral History Interview with Ellen Black Winston, December 2, 1974. Interview G-0064. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Ellen Black Winston was born and raised in North Carolina. She received her doctorate in sociology in 1930. Actively involved in issues of social welfare in North Carolina, Winston was appointed as the North Carolina Commissioner of Public Welfare in 1944 and went on to become the first United States Commissioner of Welfare in 1963. In this interview, she describes problems and opportunities for professional women, her goals to improve standards of social welfare in North Carolina, and her work with various branches of government.

Oral History Interview with Hodding Carter, April 1, 1974. Interview A-0100. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Journalist Hodding Carter describes the changes wrought in Mississippi by the civil rights movement.

Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0048. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Daniel Pollitt describes his admiration for University of North Carolina Campus Y director, Anne Queen. He discusses his and Queen's engagement in social justice movements and the city of Chapel Hill's reaction to student political engagement.

Oral History Interview with Maury Maverick, October 27, 1975. Interview A-0323. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Born into a long line of Texas politicians, Maury Maverick Jr. served in the Texas House of Representatives for six years during the 1950s, and as a lawyer from the 1960s into the 1970s. Maverick speaks at length about his radical political leanings and the evolution of liberalism in Texas.

Oral History Interview with Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Interview C-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Architect and politician Harvey Gantt describes his ascent from a childhood in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, to becoming the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. As a southerner, he sees the accomplishments of the civil rights movement as dramatic; as a member of the black middle class, he leans toward negotiation rather than revolt.

Oral History Interview with Asa T. Spaulding, April 16, 1979. Interview C-0013-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, remembers and reflects on community activism in Durham, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Albert Gore, March 13, 1976. Interview A-0321-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Albert Gore Sr. reviews the history leading up to his senatorial career, concentrating on his rural upbringing and his early political experiences. He also reflects on his impressions of other important politicians he knew, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, Estes Kefauver, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
I. Beverly Lake Sr. reflects on his long career as a teacher, attorney, and judge. He counsels white political unity as a means to stem racial integration.

Oral History Interview with Sherwood Smith, March 23, 1999. Interview I-0079. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sherwood Smith, chairman of the board of Carolina Power and Light, reflects on the energy business, and business in general, in North Carolina from the 1960s to the late 1990s.

Oral History Interview with Aaron Henry, April 2, 1974. Interview A-0107. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Aaron Henry describes the role of race and racism in Mississippi politics.

Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Virginius Dabney traces his involvement with the school desegregation crisis in post-1954 Virginia. Dabney's political and social beliefs about integration appeared in the newspaper he edited, the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This interview spans the breadth of his career from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Oral History Interview with George Wallace, July 15, 1974. Interview A-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Longstanding Alabama governor and former presidential candidate George Wallace discusses Alabama politics and racial issues in the United States.

Oral History Interview with Harold Fleming, January 24, 1990. Interview A-0363. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Harold Fleming recounts how he became involved with the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and the criticism he faced for opposing racism in the 1940s and 1950s. He describes the effect of the Red Scare on limiting the involvement of racial progressives in the organizations like the SRC. Additionally, Fleming compares the leadership styles of those he encountered within the organization.

Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this interview, Jonathan Daniels discusses his father's role as a newspaper editor and Secretary of the Navy, as well as his father's racial and religious views. Daniels also describes how race and the University of North Carolina shaped his own life.

Oral History Interview with Bert Nettles, July 13, 1974. Interview A-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Bert Nettles discusses the state of politics and the Republican Party in Alabama in the 1970s. He discusses, among other things, desegregation, the need for honesty and ethics reform in the political system, and the effect of Watergate on the Republican Party.

Oral History Interview with Albert Gore, October 24, 1976. Interview A-0321-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Albert Gore Sr.—a politician from Tennessee noted for being one of two southern senators to refuse to sign the Southern Manifesto, a 1956 document decrying the desegregation of public spaces in America—summarizes his senatorial career. He discusses his opposition to the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as his activities on a variety of Senate committees.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, March 13, 14, 15, 1975. Interview G-0023-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this fast-paced 1975 interview, Virginia Foster Durr remembers her growing awareness of social problems in the South, and continues sharing her life stories through 1948. Along with her husband Clifford Durr, Virginia recounts their move to Washington, D.C., particularly her disaffection with social society and her transition to political action.

Oral History Interview with George Esser, June-August 1990. Interview L-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
George Esser remembers his contributions to the North Carolina Fund and pulls back the curtain on a network of organizations that worked for social justice in the 1960s.

Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Margaret Carter, the "grand dame of liberal Texas politics," reflects on how she and her husband became interested in politics, what she learned through her political experiences, the ways the state's political structure changed from the New Deal era through the late 1950s, and the character of various state politicians.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, October 16, 1975. Interview G-0023-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
This is the final interview in a series of three with Virginia Foster Durr. Since the previous session, Clifford Durr had died, making the interview feel very different from the two in which he had taken part. The interview begins with Durr's growing awareness of racial matters and her activism during their life among the New Dealers in Washington, D.C. Among the topics she touches on are the anti-communism of the 1950s, sexual discrimination on Capitol Hill, and the southern reaction to Roosevelt's New Deal policies.

Oral History Interview with Strom Thurmond, July 20, 1978. Interview A-0334. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Strom Thurmond discusses his childhood and the people who inspired his long political career. As an attorney, judge, and governor, Thurmond advocated for states' rights and witnessed the desegregation of South Carolina. He recounts how he lived out his values in regard to the United States Constitution and race relations.

Oral History Interview with Sidney Leneer Pete Underdown, June 18, 2000. Interview I-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)