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Title: Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Lake, I. Beverly, Sr., interviewee
Interview conducted by Dunn, Charles
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
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Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 144 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
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2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
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Title of recording: Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0043)
Author: Charles Dunn
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0043)
Author: I. Beverly Lake Sr.
Description: 230 Mb
Description: 51 p.
Note: Interview conducted on September 8, 1987, by Charles Dunn; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by El Marie Erwin.
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 I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987.
Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lake, I. Beverly, Sr., interviewee

Interview Participants

    I. BEVERLY LAKE SR., interviewee
    CHARLES DUNN, interviewer


Page 1
This is an interview with Dr. I. Beverly Lake for the Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lake, I'd like to start by asking you a little bit about your childhood, and what it's like to grow up here in Wake Forest?
Well, I was born in Wake Forest, August 29, 1906. My father was Professor of Physics at Wake Forest College. So I grew up there under the shadow of the college. As to what it was like to grow up in the little town of Wake Forest, I guess I can just summarize it by just saying it was a wonderful privilege. Wake Forest in those days was a very remote, isolated, little country village centered around the great college. There were no paved streets, and there were, in those days, of course, no paved highways in the state of North Carolina. There was a dirt public road leading from Raleigh to Wake Forest and then on north through various and sundry detours to Richmond. But there were virtually no automobiles anywhere in 1906 and for several years thereafter. When I was growing up, as a child, the passage of an automobile along the road in front of the house was an event which called for all the children to run out and look at it. Now we don't even bother to look at a jet plane. [Laughter] But Wake Forest was, as I say, a very isolated, little town.
The only practical way in or out was by the passenger trains of the Seaboard Railroad. Seaboard ran a train called the Shoofly which left Wake Forest, rather came through Wake Forest,

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from the north about ten o'clock in the morning. It arrived in Raleigh in say forty five minutes, and then it returned from Raleigh at six in the afternoon. So anyone who had business in Raleigh or wanted to go shopping in Raleigh would ride over and spend the day in the capital city and come home. There was also a train which arrived here from the south at twelve o'clock. Its companion train arrived going south at about three o'clock in the afternoon. There were two fast trains, as we called them, that did not stop at Wake Forest. If one wanted to go on to Richmond, Virginia, one had to take the local train, change in Henderson, and then board the fast train, and then go on to Richmond, Washington, or wherever, and, similarly, if one ever had to go south. There was also a train which would pass through Wake Forest about midnight. I never was on that train but the students used to use it. The students going and coming to and from Wake Forest had to use those trains, or, as many of them did, catch a ride on a freight train as they slowed down going through Wake Forest. They would then, to come back, catch a train, freight train, going north. Sometimes they had difficulty in getting off because the train was going too fast for them to get off. They would go on up the railroad about eight or ten miles where the train had to stop to take on water. Then they would alight and catch another train coming south. I use that to illustrate that Wake Forest was indeed an isolated. little village.
The students would come to college in September, and with rare exceptions they would not go home until Christmas. Many did

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not go home then. The result of that isolation was that the students, when they came to Wake Forest—and we had in those days about 450 or 500 college students—would remain. The students became very well acquainted with and closely associated with the inhabitants of the village, not only the professors and their families, but the town people generally.
There was in those days no church in Wake Forest except a Baptist church which, in the early days, met in the college chapel, which was burned by an arsonist much later on. The present church was built in 1914. It served as a place of worship for all the community of all denominations. There were a few Methodist and Presbyterians, and except for the football team, we didn't have many Catholics, but they came too. The students would go to the church in large numbers. The church was always filled. It was a large auditorium.
One of the fine things I remember in those days was the singing in the Wake Forest Baptist Church. Dr. Hubert Poteat was the son of the president of the college and himself a very highly regarded, nationwide, classical scholar, a professor of Latin. He also played the pipe organ in the church and was an accomplished musician. Later on, to show his versatility, he became the Imperial Potentate of the Shrine. He and Mr. Earnshaw, the Bursar of the college, had, in student days, won the tennis championship of the South. So Dr. Poteat was a versatile man.
There were other remarkable men on that college faculty. I suppose, I've forgotten the exact count. I think at the time of

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my young childhood there were about twenty-three-or-four members of the faculty. It was a great privilege to grow up in this community because, by virtue of the conditions I have described, we children became well acquainted with the college students and well acquainted with the college faculty. That old faculty of the Wake Forest College. under most of whom I had the privilege of studying when I later went to college, was one of the most, if not the most, remarkable group of cultured, Christian gentlemen and scholars I have ever known. I have, of course, in my later years, in my graduate studies at Harvard and Columbia and, in my teaching days, going to various educational association meetings, had the privilege of coming into contact with many better known scholars. I'm sure many of them were equally as cultured and capable, but I have never known an entire group so devoted to causes of culture, Christian living, and community service as those men under whom I had the privilege of studying, and with many of whom I later taught. They were my friends when I was a little boy running barefoot along the dirt streets of our village. They were a great benefit to me culturally and otherwise.
I thought, until I went on to do my graduate work, that all college professors were that way, but I soon found that they were not. These men had a very close association with their students. The students never had any hesitancy about going to visit in the homes of the professors, either socially or to get further assistance with their college work. There arose between the Wake Forest faculty and the students a close comradeship which lasted

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throughout the life of the two. I was also the beneficiary of that situation when later I became a professor in the Law School of Wake Forest College.
Before going to that, perhaps I ought to give you a little description of the public schools which I attended. Now we have today—and to some extent I'm in sympathy with it—we have today a rather hysterical determination that public schools must be given an unlimited quantity of money and palatial buildings in which to operate. I know from my experience that that is not true. I do not belittle the importance of buildings and equipment. But I know that the important thing in any educational institution, whether it be the kindergarden, grammar school, an undergraduate college, or a graduate school in the university, the important thing in the institution is the faculty. That is what made Wake Forest College great.
Now the public school that I attended was about three blocks, not three blocks, about one block from my home. There were of course, no school buses in those days, and usually the parents of students lived within the village. The building had five rooms, plus one room across the street in which the first and second grades were taught by a single teacher. There were five rooms in the, shall we say, the main building, which was a very dilapidated wooden structure. One room was devoted to the high school. We had in one small room, I suppose about fifteen to twenty feet square, the entire high school of Wake Forest. It was taught by one teacher. Sometimes the teachers came in platoons because the college students sometimes filled in if the

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teachers were unavailable. For example, I had in the fifth and sixth grade, I had one room. So I, you might say, I repeated every grade from the fifth grade on up through my stay in the high school. That gave me an opportunity to learn the subjects a little better perhaps.
The high school was, even by the standards of those days, so deplorable in equipment that most of the people of Wake Forest, who could financially afford to do so, sent their high school students to Cary, which had a very fine high school under Mr. Drye, I believe. It was a boarding school. They went there to finish their high school. I stayed at Wake Forest. There were only eleven grades in the school curriculum. That was the entire school curriculum in those days. When I was in the tenth grade, I was the only student in the tenth grade. That being true, I did not want to be the only student in the eleventh grade, although that would have given me a very fine opportunity to be the valedictorian of my class. [Laughter] That was the only way I would have made it, I suppose.
The college entrance requirements in those days were not quite so rigorous as they are now. So Wake Forest College agreed that if I would take a fourth year of Latin in high school without college credit—in those days you had to have four years of a foreign language to get into college—if I would take a fourth year of Latin without college credit, they would let me in. So I entered college at the age of fifteen. One reason I entered college at the age of fifteen, in addition to the one I mentioned, that I short-circuited the high school curriculum, was

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that I was a very delicate child. My parents did not feel that I could go to school. So my mother taught me at Wake Forest, taught me in our home. So I was a beneficiary of the most exclusive private school I know about, one teacher and one pupil. My mother was, of course, a cultured, educated lady. I had excellent instruction in between her duties as housekeeper and lookng after the rest of the family needs. But I studied under her. I do not remember learning to read. I don't know how old I was, probably about four. But anyhow, that circumstance enabled me to enter, when I did go to the public schools, the fifth grade at the age of nine. So for that reason, plus as I say bypassing the last year of high school. I got into college at the early age of fifteen. That was not due to my exceptional ability. It was due to my exceptional handicaps and having other educational opportunities. So I went to Wake Forest and graduated.
Let me ask you about your family. Tell us a little bit about those early years.
All right. My father, as I say, was a Professor of Physics at Wake Forest College until his retirement in 1932. My father was a native of Virginia. My paternal grandfather was a Baptist minister in Upperville, Virginia. Served that church as its pastor for fifty years. I had two brothers and two sisters, all older than I. My own mother died six weeks after I was born. My father, four years later, married my mother's sister. So I had the priviledge of having a marvelous stepmother. I guess I'm about the only person who has a beautiful picture of his mother and his stepmother together. My stepmother was the maid-of-honor

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at my mother's wedding so I had them both together. Now my grandmother, my maternal grandmother, lived with us and assisted in bringing us up.
My two brothers went to Wake Forest College. My oldest brother left the College at the end of his sophomore year and transferred to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1920. My younger brother, middle brother—I was the baby of the family, that's why I was fairly spoiled I guess—my middle brother, John, is now retired from the textile industry and farming in Mississippi and lives there. He, incidentally, was one of a small group of five or six who worked for the DuPont Company and was assigned the duty of developing nylon. So he had a major part in the development and discovery of nylon. My two sisters and mother wore nylon hosiery long before they went on the market because he would send various samples down for them to try and criticize. They didn't like them at first. They said they were not comfortable. But they improved, and of course they've become what they are today. That brother now lives in Mississippi.
My two sisters went to and graduated from Westhampton College, a part of the University of Richmond, of which my father was an alumnus, and, incidentally, was captain of the Richmond baseball team. My two sisters, both widows, now live in Wake Forest about a block from me.
My oldest brother, as I say, went to West Point. He served in the Army, commissioned, served in the Army in the Cavalry for about eight years. Then in 1928—promotion in the army was

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notoriously slow, he was then a First Lieutenant—he decided there was never going to be another war so he might as well get out, doing civilian work. Went into petroleum engineering.
Before Pearl Harbor he tried to get back into the United States Army but they said he was too old. So he did not go back. So, I think strictly against the law, but anyhow, he went up to Canada and caught a ride on a little, what do you call it, banana boat going across the ocean and went over to England and joined General DeGaulle's Free French. He was a Captain in DeGaulle's Foreign Legion and in the Battle of Bir, B-i-r, Hachaim, H-a-c-h-a-i-m, I believe, in Northern Africa, he won the Croix de Guerre. That was Rommel's last break through, and it looked like he was going all the way to the Suez Canal. But this detachment of the Free French, to which my brother was attached, was cut off. They were across Rommel's communication line, and for many, many days Rommel tried to dislodge them but was not able to do so. That, I think, had a great deal to do with the ultimate failure of Rommel's offensive. For his service in that, Jimmy won the Croix de Guerre.
Then Pearl Harbor came along. For some reason, strange reason, he was no longer too old to serve in the United States Army. So he came back and became a Major in our Army. Went over to Burma and served under General Stillwell. Then after the war—if I'm going too long on this, you just cut me off—after the war he stayed in service over in China. He was assigned to General Marshall's mission, to the Chinese Communist headquarters when Marshall went over there to try to bring some reconciliation

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between Chiang Kai-Shek and the Communists. As you know, that failed. When Marshall returned, he left my brother, James, up there at the Communist headquarters as an observer. I have a letter from Jimmy telling of a Thanksgiving dinner that he gave in his cave for Mao Tse-Tung, Chou En Lei, Shu-Teh, and their wives, and one or two other of the high ranking Communist generals with whom he was very well aquainted. He said that he didn't think they had a very good idea of what Thanksgiving was all about but they did enjoy the dinner. One of the things they enjoyed most was some old Western movies which he played for them. There were very much entranced with the cowboy and Indian battles. Then he came back to America eventually. Before doing so, he built a bridge across the Yangtse River at Shanghai which no one else had been able to do. For that he got the Bronze Star from America. He died in 1975. He died in Texas. Now then, I don't know just where I was, but after I graduated from Wake Forest…
Let me ask you two more questions about growing up in Wake Forest.
What did you do for entertainment? And also, knowing of your strong Christian feelings, what about the church in your childhood?
Well, let's take the church first. The church was, indeed, the center of the community. It was fortunate in that we had always an exceedingly capable pastor of the church. Now our church in those days was never a rip-snorting, shall I say Hell-

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raising, church. It was a deeply devout and dignified religious worship service to which, as I say, Methodists and other denominations came and felt perfectly comfortable. The student body attended almost on masse. They were not required to but they attended because, well. I suppose, being truthful, for one reason there wasn't anything to do on Sunday morning. So they came, and the music, great old hymns of the church sung by the students, were indeed magnificent. We had in our choir a quartet, famous all through the South, composed of members of the faculty. My father was tenor. Professor Highsmith, who later became Superintendent of Public Instruction, was tenor. Dr. Brewer, who later became President of Meredith College, was one of the basses. Dr. William Poteat, who was President of Wake Forest College, was the other. Those men had a marvelous ability to produce vocal music. They were much in demand throughout the South at various Baptist meetings.
Every year we had a revival service in which some distinguished minister of the Baptist denomination—many from the Theological Seminary of Louisville, and others, such as Dr. George Truitt down in Dallas, Dr. McCracken, who was at that time, I think, Pastor of the Riverside Church in New York, that type of men—came and preached. The college faculty and the community were very much interested in the religious welfare and life of the students. There was no undue pressure brought on anybody to join the church but everybody was very happy when the students did so. Of course, Wake Forest, at that time, had a very strong department of the Bible under the leadership of Dr.

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W.R. Cullom and Dr. James Lynch. It later blossomed out into the School of Religion, and it is now at Winston Salem. A seminary, which is now on the campus, is a successor to the college. It was not a development from the college. When the college left to go to Winston Salem in response to the generous offer of the Reynolds Foundation, the Baptists sold the campus to the Southern Baptist Convention for the establishment of the seminary. That came in, I would say. I'm not sure exactly, I think it came in 1950. For two to three years before the college moved, both institutions occupied the campus together.
For amusement, like everything else, our entertainment activities centered around the college. We children would always go to the college athletic field and watch the football and the baseball practices. Wake Forest has always been noted, was always noted I should say, for excellent baseball teams. We used to go up and watch the ball games. The football was not at all good, though we had in our Wake Forest history from about 1918 to 1920. I think the finest football player I ever saw. His name was Harry Rabenhorst. He came from Louisiana. He was a marvelous ball carrier and a most expert punter. So far as I know, he still holds the world's record for the longest punt in an intercollegiate game.
Wake Forest was playing what was then called A and M, now called N.C. State, at Riddick Field. The State team pushed the Wake Forest team back to within six inches of the goal line but it couldn't cross. So the ball went over, Rabenhorst stood deep in his own end zone and punted the ball over the head of the

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State safety man. It rolled all the way, the whole length of the field across the State goal line. The State man tried to pick it up and fumbled it so Wake Forest then fell on it for a touchdown. The only incident of that sort I suppose that has ever occurred. I might say that I think that it's the only touchdown that Wake Forest scored. [Laughter] We had some excellent baseball players.
Now, the college had entertainments of various sorts. Traveling theatrical troupes would come and present plays; usually. I would guess, Shakespearean plays in the college chapel which was also an auditorium. We all bought tickets for that. Other institutions, such as the Oxford Orphanage. every year sent its Glee Club over to give a concert for the benefit of the orphange, and we went to that.
Otherwise, the chief entertainment, I suppose, was going to watch the noon and afternoon trains go by. They stopped at Wake Forest—during the noon recess of classes and then in the afternoon after most classes were over. So all the college students would go down to see who was on the train and flirt with all the girls who were on the train, if possible, and generally make nuisances of themselves, I suppose. Dr. Billy Poteat, the President, at chapel one day was urging us to be a little more courteous and dignified to the passengers on the train. He told us, I'm sure he made it up, a good story. He said he understood that the other afternoon, when the afternoon train stopped on a hot Spring day, the windows were all up, and students were

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crowding around the passenger coaches, outside of course, hollering and raising Cain generally. In a lull in the commotion this elderly lady leaned out the window and turned to her husband and said, "Ransom, we has done got to Dix Hill and all the lunatics is loose!" [Laughter] Well, it was a lot of fun to go down and see who was on the train and where they were going and so on. Then we rode. We had bicycles, and we rode on Sunday afternoons. We children took long walks out into the surrounding country through the woods and had a general good time, boys and girls together. I think that covers most of the events. Of course, we boys as we grew older, say up to the age of 13 or 14, we formed our own little baseball teams. We played makeup teams in Youngsville, Rolesville, Franklinton, and other communities around and had a good time generally doing that.
In the summer when college was out, there was no summer school in those days, anywhere. We all boarded the train, and we migrated, the whole Lake family migrated, up to my grandfather's home in Upperville, Virginia. I said he was the pastor of the church there. We spent the summers there. The purpose was not only to visit my grandparents but the family farm, which we call Lakeland, was five miles from Upperville. Each morning my father would hitch up the horse and buggy, and he, accompanied usually by one or two of the children, would drive down to the farm and give instructions to the colored foreman who operated the farm. He was very much beloved by all the children, called Uncle Peter Scott. He had been with the family for many, many years. He continued to serve the family until his death. We, in

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Upperville, which was even more isolated than Wake Forest, being five miles off the railroad, we had about the same kind of childhood entertainments and community life.
The Baptist church—and we had a Methodist church and an Episcopal church too—Baptist church there had services two Sundays a month and the Methodist church, the other two Sundays, in order not to compete with each other. My grandfather was also a pastor for a very old Baptist church down in Loudouss County called Ketoctin Church. So every other weekend he and my father would ride the horse and buggy down to Ketoctin where he would preach. On those Sundays all the Baptists went up to the Methodist church, and all the Methodists on the alternate Sunday came down to our church. So again, I grew up in an atmosphere of tolerance and brotherhood and knowing the different denominations. I guess that's about all I need to say about my childhood. I've probably talked too much.
Well, going on into your college career, was there ever any doubt that you'd go to Wake Forest?
No, I didn't know that there was any other place to go. I thought all people with fine sensibilities would naturally go to Wake Forest because I had grown up here. There were great rivalries in those days between Wake Forest, and Carolina, and what is now State College, Trinity, as Duke was then called, and Davidson. When one of those schools would come over to play baseball, the Seaboard would run a special train over usually to bring the State student body, and sometimes the Carolina student body, over to see the ball game. They would

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park down on the side track at the athletic field. We had great contests in baseball.
Then, as I say, I went on to college, a remarkable opportunity under that faculty which I mentioned. One of the benefits was, by virtue of the smallness of the institution, most of my work was under the heads of the various departments. They were, indeed, scholars and gentlemen, and I learned a great deal due to their efforts.
When I graduated, I first planned to go to the University of Chicago, as my father had done, and do graduate work in Physics and Math, which were my majors in college. I had the idea of teaching. In my senior year I became interested in the possibility of studying law. So my father said, "It doesn't cost you anything to go to law school here because you get your tuition free as a child of a faculty member, and you can live at home. So why don't you take a year at law here and see whether you like it." So, I did—and a marvelous Law School faculty, the dean of the school, Dr. Gulley, and his associates, Professors Timberlake and White, great professors—and I became very much more interested in law. Then I went on to Harvard.
Wake Forest, in those days, although a fine law school and, I think, generally regarded as the best in North Carolina, was not a member of the American Association of Law Schools. Wake Forest had remarkable success in getting its students to pass the bar examination. At that time, I think, most practicing lawyers in North Carolina were products of the Wake Forest Law School, either directly or the graduates of Carolina or Trinity

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who would come here to take their review courses for the bar examination. I went on to Harvard because, as I say, Wake Forest was not an accredited law school at that time because we did not have the physical resources that the Association of American Law Schools regarded as essential.
I went on to the Harvard Law School, and there, again, I had a remarkable opportunity. I think I went to Harvard in what is called "the Second Golden Age" of the Harvard Law School. Roscoe Pound was the Dean, and on the faculty were Professor Williston, who was an authority on Contracts; Professor Warren, who taught Property; Professor Bohlen, who taught Torts; Professor Morgan, who taught Procedure; Professor Scott, who was a world authority on the subject of Trusts; and Professor Powell, who taught Constitutional Law. I don't think he was a particularly great teacher but he was an interesting man. There again, I just had a remarkable opportunity. So I enjoyed my three years at Harvard. I had to start all over again. My year at Wake Forest helped me a great deal to get along with Harvard standards, and I graduated in 1929. That was my first acquaintance with a large university. Of course, that in itself was an educational experience.
Quite a change from growing up in Wake Forest too, wasn't it?
Yes, yes, it was. Then I came back to practice in Raleigh. I had an opportunity, an offer of a job in one of the Boston law firms, magnificent salary, $150 a month. I tell you it was quite a temptation. But I thought it was at least worth

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$150 a month to come back to North Carolina. So I came back and became associated with one of the fine law firms in Raleigh, Smith and Joyner. In those days the whole of Raleigh was small. The population of Raleigh, I think, was about 40,000. The firms were all small. This firm was one of the best in Raleigh because of Willis Smith, who later became the President of the American Bar Association, and Colonel William T. Joyner, who was truly a remarkable lawyer in every sense of the word, also a Harvard graduate. I got the job with Smith and Joyner, very remarkable salary of $50 a month. In those days my classmates at Harvard, many of them, were paying New York firms and New Jersey firms for the privilege of having a year of apprenticeship in their firms. I had a great privilege of being paid $50 a month. At the end of the first month I got, proportionally, the greatest salary increase I ever had. I was raised to $100 a month.
A 100 percent increase.
With which I was able to pay my room and board and pay the gasoline, at least, for the Model-T Ford. I worked with Smith and Joyner for three years. It also was a remarkable educational experience. Then I had an invitation to come back to Wake Forest as Professor of Law. The reason was that to be accredited in those days, the Law School had to have a faculty of at least four members. Wake Forest had about three. So I got into the teaching profession. I suppose, on the grounds that they had to have a fourth man and they scraped around and found me. I came over and I taught at Wake Forest for eighteen years. Well,

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actually, I was on the faculty for twenty years. I came in '32 and stayed until '50. Well, that was eighteen years, wasn't it?
There was an intermission during the war years to serve as Director of the Rationing Programs for the State of North Carolina. In those days, we had scarcities of almost everything, gasoline, rubber, automobile tires, automobiles, sugar, canned goods, meat, virtually everything, shoes. The state was divided into two districts, the eastern district composed of 54 counties. Our district office was located in Raleigh under the direction of Ted Johnson, a member of the State faculty. I was Retioning Attorney first, then Rationing Executive. So I had the duty and privilege of directing all of the 54 county rationing boards, and interpreting the rationing regulations, hearing appeals from the county boards. I generally had to administer the programs. That continued until after the war. I was there in 1943, '44, and '45.
During the war years, of course, law students had no draft deferment by reason of occupation. So except for the halt and the lame and the blind, all the law students were in the army. Wake Forest and Duke went down to such a low number of students—Wake Forest, I think, had at the time, the next year was going to start, four students, and Duke, I think, had a total of sixteen. So, the two schools combined, and we operated a joint program over at Duke. I did not go over to that because I was with the Office of Price Administration myself. At the end of the war, when rationing terminated. I went back and taught for a year in

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that joint program at Duke. So, I have a few Duke students on my rollbook.
The relationship between the Wake Forest students, and to some degree this was true of Duke also, but the relationship between the Wake Forest law students and the Wake Forest professors was remarkably close. The students would frequently come visit us. They always came to our offices at will to consult us about anything that was troubling them. We had law school on the upper floor of a very old college library building which has now been destroyed. But we turned out remarkably capable men. The two best classes I ever had. I think, were the class of 1938 and the class of 1950. In the class of 1938 we graduated, if I'm not mistaken, eighteen men. Among those eighteen men were the later Chief Justice Branch. Justice David Britt of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, and Judge Robert Martin of the Court of Appeals, who ran for the Supreme Court and was defeated by Judge Brock by some 50 votes statewide. So I came that close to having three of my students, classmetes, on the Supreme Court of North Carolina at the same time. Also in that class was Shearon Harris, who became President of Carolina Power and Light Company and President of United States Chamber of Commerce. Several of the other pupils became successful and distinguished men. The other fine class that stands out in my mind was the class of 1950. That class was composed almost entirely of returned veterans.
When the war was over, the two law schools separated, and we came back to Wake Forest. We were all somewhat uneasy, I mean

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all over the country, uneasy as to what, how we were going to handle these returned veterans, ranking from private to brigadier generals to rear admirals. They were much more mature both in years and in experiences than the students before the war. We were not certain just exactly what problems those situations would create, not only at Wake Forest but all over the country. We found that the returning veterans were, as a group, the best students we ever had particularly in the first year classes. One of my students, not in that class of 1950, was Dr. Norman A. Wiggins, who is now President of Campbell University, and who, after serving in the Marine Corps, came back to college and then to law school. But in the class of 1950, the top man in that class was Sam Behrends, who has recently retired as vice president of Carolina Power and Light Company. Others, I think I've got them more or less in order, were: George Womble, who's President of Durham Life Insurance Company: Hiram Ward, who's United States District Judge for the Middle District: Charlie Whitley, who's retired as a United States Congressman. Then it went on down the line, not necessarily in order, United States Senator Robert Morgan and—it'll come to me immediately—a great number of men who became distinguished judges and legislators in North Carolina. So that shows the quality of the Wake Forest Law School, and it was a great honor to have served as a member of its faculty.
Those men whom I taught, not only in that class but in all the others before it, those men became the nucleus of my political campaign when I ran for Governor in 1960 and again in

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1964. My manager was Robert Morgan, who was later United States Senator. Those men just did magnificent service. I was the rankest amateur in politics who ever ran for public office in North Carolina. I had no idea of running for office. I ran at the time when the great issue in North Carolina was what was going to happen to our public school system, which was about to be destroyed by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States declaring separate schools for white and Negro children unconstitutional.
Incidentally, before I came to teach, well, I mean, before I ran for office, the college moved to Winston Salem. I did not want to go because my home was here and my roots were here. So I didn't go.
I went to Washington and had my second tour of duty as a Federal employee. That was in 1950, and as you will recall, the Korean War had broken out. There was a great deal of anxiety that it might become a third World War. And if so, there would be a need for a return to rationing of vital materials. So the Government asked me to come to Washington and assist. I don't mean to head up the program but to assist, in drafting rationing regulations which I did for a year. I was up there through the year 1950. While I was there, General MacArthur came back with his famous speech in Congress when Truman fired him. Anyhow, that was a pretty exciting event.
While I was working one morning in the office in Washington, I had phone call from Mr. Harry McMullan, the great Attorney General of North Carolina. Mr. McMullan invited me to come back to North Carolina as an Assistant Attorney General, they now call

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it Deputy Attorney General. Once more, I decided that a smaller salary was a small contribution to make in order to return to North Carolina. I've always thought that Washington is the most beautiful city I've ever known, especially when you look at it from the window of a south bound plane.
Yes sir.
But it's not a very nice place to live, and it's worse now than it was then, by virtue of the Supreme Court decision. Anyhow, I think I've skipped over the fact that, well, no—after I came back and became Deputy Attorney General of North Carolina, the Supreme Court handed down the School Segregation Decision, outlawing separate schools for white and Negro children.
Before you get into that, may I ask you a couple of other things? First of all, you went to Columbia, also, as a part of your college?
That was before. You're right. I went to Columbia. I'm getting out of chronological order. I went to Columbia in the Fall of '39. The war in Europe had just broken out.
Yes sir.
I took a leave of absence and went up there on a fellowship to do graduate work in Public Utilities in the Law School. I got my doctorate in the Law School, called it Doctor of Juridical Science—SJD. So I got back in 1940. So I had the year 1939-1940 in Columbia. My wife and my then small, six year old son, who is now a Superior Court Judge, lived in New York, and we had a very interesting and delightful experience.

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There was another time that—you went into private practice, of course, with Willis Smith and Colonel Joyner—but then didn't you at one point, weren't you in practice with Mr. A.J. Fletcher?
Yes, that was later.
Later, okay, later.
After the college moved to Winston Salem and after I had served as Deputy Attorney General, as I was saying a while ago, when I was Deputy Attorney General, the Court came down with the School Segregation Decision and ordered a re-argument, a second argument not a re-argument, a second argument on the question of whether it should put that decision into effect immediately or give the states time to make necessary adjustments. Mr. McMullan invited the Attorney Generals of the southern states to go up with us as amicii curiae to present their views to the court which we did. Mr. McMullan asked me to write the brief for North Carolina, which I did, and present the argument, which I did—my first appearance in the Supreme Court of the United States which was also quite an interesting experience. I presented that argument and the Court, as you know, granted the states an indefinite time but required them to proceed with what they called "all deliberate speed." I had told the Court that if it required the State of North Carolina forthwith to admit Negro children to the schools of their choice, they would create such disruption in the public schools of North Carolina that there would be no public schools whatsoever. The state would abolish the public school system, and it would have

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done so at that time. I think perhaps on the basis of that argument, which the Court said they were not going to put this decision into effect today. So then I came on home. Shortly thereafter, Mr. McMullan died of a sudden heart attack. I don't know whether you knew Mr. McMullan or not but I think you did.
Yes sir.
He was a great men, a splendid gentleman, one of the most delightful persons to work with I've ever met, and a fine lawyer. He had a remarkable ability to promote an espirit de corps in his staff which you do not ordinarily find in any organization, let alone a State department. One reason was that in addition to his ability and enjoyable personality, Mr. McMullan almost always, when anything was done by the Attorney General's office that was approved, said, "Mr. Moody or Mr. Bruton or Dr. Lake or somebody else, handled that." When anything was done, and sometimes it was done, which merited criticism, Mr. McMullan would say, "I was responsible for that;" that is, he, himself, was responsible for that. It's a marvelous tribute in the Commander in Chief. Be that as it may, I enjoyed my work in the Attorney General's office. I handled, at that time, all of the Public Utility rate cases before the Utilities Commission and on appeals to the courts from the Commission. I tried the first public utility court cases that I ever saw. We held the electric power, gas telephone, and railroad rates down far below what the companies were asking.
After Mr. McMullan's death, I decided the time had come to go back into private practice. My friend, A.J. Fletcher, who was a

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practioner in Raleigh, a sole practioner, which was a very practical thing in those days, invited me



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to be his partner, which I did. Our partnership lasted then for ten years. Mr. Fletcher actuelly retired before that time. Then I took in as junior partners in the firm. Eugene Boyce, who is now practicing law in Raleigh, and my son, I. Beverly Lake, Jr., now a Special Superior Court Judge. We had a very fine time practicing law in the old Capitol Club Building. building. It was reasonably rewarding financially. At least we didn't starve. So I got along with that.
One of my most interesting cases was the Wilson Tobacco Market case in which Center Brick Warehouse sued all the other operators on the Wilson market, alleging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The bone of contention was what was then a system of allocating selling time among the several warehouses operating on the Wilson Tobacco Market. Time [was allocated] on the basis of floor space in the various warehouses, which brought on a wasteful expansion of warehouse floor space. The more floor space a warehouse had, the more selling time. But anyhow, we tried that case in New Bern before Judge John Larkins in the United States District Court. That trial lasted six weeks. We were successful. The jury returned the verdict in our favor. While the jury was out. I had a telephone call from Governor Dan Moore, who had been, incidentally, my opponent in my second campaign for Governor in 1964, and always my very good friend. He asked me to come by the next morning to the mansion. He had something he wanted to talk to me about. So I waited to get the jury verdict, which was in my favor, and then I came on home, and

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the next morning I went over. Governor Moore offered me an appointment to the Supreme Court. So within a space of about twelve hours, I had won my biggest trial in the United States District Court and got appointed to the Supreme Court. I was appointed to succeed Justice Rodman, also a very fine old friend. Justice Rodman actually did not retire until some few weeks later, and I was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice on my birthday in August, 1965.
I then had the most delightful experience. Work on the Supreme Court was extremely interesting. Some of it, of course, was a little dull but very interesting work, very pleasant work. The associations, particularly associations which I had with the other members of the Court, were delightful beyond description. I served with Chief Justice Denny, who swore me in, Chief Justice Parker, Chief Justice Bobbitt, and Chief Justice Sharp. United Chief Justice Sharp. I was the Senior Associate Justice, so I sat on her right and, figuratively, became her right hand man on the Court. [Laughter]
Well, the Supreme Court, of course, had many differences of opinion. Those discussions in the conference room, of course, were and should be strictly private. Those discussions in the conference sometimes became rather animated but never discourteous. We had a remarkable fellowship on the Court due in part, at least, to the fact that it was then the custom of the Court to have lunch together. At twelve o'clock the Chief Justice would buzz each justice. We then met at the elevator and

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went down to the Hudson-Belk Store's cafeteria for lunch. We'd all sit around what we called the "Round Table."
Chief Justice Sharp, when she first came there, one of her lady friends said, "Oh, I envy you the opportunity to sit with all those gentlemen at the Round Table. You must have such very interesting discussion of points of law and state policy." Judge Sharp said, "You were never more mistaken in your life. All they talk about is football and grandchildren." [Laughter] We never dicussed the court cases down there. But the fellowship was very delightful.
Incidentally, Chief Justice Sharp was an excellent Chief Justice, and earlier an Associate Justice. She and I, not infrequently, dissented from each other. But our companionship, on and off the court, was very pleasant. She had a remarkable ability for the law and, as I have told people frequently, I'm not personally—I can say this now since I'm retired from all active participation in anything—I'm not personally enthused about women lawyers because to put it somewhat rudely, I guess, I just don't like to see a sow's ear made out of a silk purse. [Laughter] But Chief Justice Sharp was a remarkably able lawyer, and tough, and one of the most delightful, cultured ladies one could ever see. You do not often find such a combination of virtues. Sometimes you do—now, she's not the only one. Judge Morris on the Court of Appeals was another one. Sometimes you find a woman who is both an excellent lawyer and a delightful, charming lady. But the two qualifications don't necessarily go together.
Yes sir.

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Somewhat inconsistent.
I served on the Court until I reached the mandatory retirement age of 72. So I was on the Court for thirteen years. Then I retired and came back, well, I've always lived in Wake Forest. I went down the following fall to Campbell University and taught as a visiting professor in the Law School, teaching Constitutional Law. Fine class there. Campbell is, indeed, an excellent law school. I think that it is the closest approach to the Wake Forest Law School, that I knew, of any of the schools in the State. In the years to come it is going to be recognized as a seed bed for fine lawyers.
When my son was practicing in Raleigh—when I retired, occasionally I would drift over and sit in on conferences, listen to cases he and his partners were involved in at that time. Technically, I guess I became a member of his law firm. I had an office three doors from his, but I did not spend all my time studying law. But we had and have a very fine relationship. I was associated with him in some of his cases. He did the work. I made suggestions from time to time. Then when he was appointed to the Superior Court—he is now a Special Superior Court Judge—when he was appointed by Governor Martin, he, of course, had to withdraw from the cases he was then handling. His partnership dissolved. So some of those cases, three of them particularly of some importance, fell on my shoulders. So I went back into active practice in that sense.
One was an annexation proceeding by the Town of Wake Forest, which was endeavoring to take in an extensive area to the south

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of the town, taking in the village of Forestville and some industrial plants further south, which plants were our clients. We resisted that on behalf of those clients and the village of Forestville. We resisted that proceeding in the Superior Court. It finally came on to trial about a year ago. I handled the trial. We lost in the Superior Court. We appealed. By that time my son had gone on the Court, so he was not able to handle it. Had he been able to handle it, we probably wouldn't have lost in the Superior Court, but we did. So we took the appeal to the Court of Appeals, and we lost that. Then we appealed to the Supreme Court. In that case the Supreme Court has issued a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals on the grounds of public interest in the case and what we contend was a departure by the Court of Appeals from the established laws of North Carolina, and right now I'm involved in writing my new brief in that case which I hope to have done by the end of this week. If all goes well, or not, that will be my last brief. [Laughter] I'm sure the Supreme Court will be glad to hear that. I don't know when that case will be heard. Then I'm going to, definitely, not only retire, but I'm going to quit and spend my time with my charming wife and our five dogs. So I'm just looking forward to cutting the grass and raising flowers and strawberries and string beans.
Let me go back to the times when you were Assistant Attorney General. You were right much a Populist when you took the cases, weren't you?

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Well, I guess that was the way I was characterized. Incidentally, at that time, I was almost the fair-haired boy of the News and Observer which changed very quickly when I began running for Governor. The utilities at that time, were, I thought, outrageously successful in the Utilities Commission in getting almost any rate increase they sought. One morning, when I was over in the staff meeting, Mr. John Paylor, who was the Assistant Attorney General, assigned to the Utility Commission cases, said, at the close of the staff conference—this was on Friday—he said, "Mr. McMullan, I've got to be in Washington all of next week." Mr. McMullan said: "Well, that's all right, John. Go ahead." John said, "Well, what are we going to do about the Duke Power rate case, which starts on Tuesday morning?" Mr. McMullan said firmly, "Beverly, didn't you do graduate work in Public Utilities?" [Laughter] He said, "Well, you go on and take over that case." I had no idea what the case was about. I had never seen a case heard in the Utilities Commission. I did not know what the procedure was. So I walked over with Mr. Paylor to see the accumulated evidence. There he had a stack of exhibits and financial reports by the Duke Power Company at least three feet high and two feet wide. So between that time and Tuesday morning I had to get somewhat aquainted with what the case was about.
I went into that hearing with, literally, my heart in my throat, fearing I would make some comment and everybody would start laughing. [Laughter] But we got through it all right. Then as a result of that case, Mr. McMullan asked

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me to handle all the utility rate cases from then on, which I did. Because I was the Assistant Attorney General I was appearing on behalf of the rate payers. It was my duty to represent them the best I could. So I guess I got the reputation among the utilities of being anti-utilities. Actually, my students in the utilities classes at Wake Forest thought I was pro-utilities. [Laughter]
You probably had as much to do as any other person with maintaining reasonable utility rates in North Carolina.
Well, I like to think I did. We had to carry many, many cases to the Supreme Court because the Utilities Commission was composed of very fine gentlemen and very able gentlemen, appointees of the Governor. I thought they had been for years pretty much selected by the then Governors largely on the recommendation of the utility companies, which was understandable because the utilities attorneys knew more about public utilities than anybody else. So the Commission was heavily slanted, I thought. Now, I do not mean any improper influences.
Yes sir.
But just by virtue of their backgrounds, their interests were heavily slanted in favor of utilities. So I took a number of cases to the Supreme Court and was rather successful in many of them. So that's how I got my characterization as a Populist, I guess. Since before the war I had always considered myself a Conservative and still do.

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Going back to the Brown vs. State Board of Education, in North Carolina in response to that, the Pearsall Plan was one of the answers North Carolina came up with. Did you have a role in putting the Pearsall Plan together?
Well, the Pearsall Plan really had nothing to do with our presentation in the Brown case because the Pearsall Plan came afterwards. The Legislature, just before we went to Washington to argue that case, the Legislature passed a resolution, unanimously, saying that if integration of the public schools in North Carolina were attempted forthwith, it would destroy the public school system, and it would have to be abolished. The State would have to rely on only private schools to educate children. So we urged the Supreme Court not to put that into effect immediately. I presented that resolution to the Court.
The Legislature then had a special session to decide what to do, which was after the second decision of the Supreme Court came down saying, "You must proceed with all deliberate speed," and so forth and so on. So the Pearsall Plan, well first, before the Pearsall Plan, first, while I was still in the Attorney General's office, Mr. McMullan asked me to prepare what was called the Pupil Assignment Plan, which I prepared. It was presented to and approved by a committee appointed by the Governor of which Tom Pearsall of Rocky Mount was Chairman. The committee actually had very little to do with that plan, except we conferred. After I drafted it, Mr. McMullan approved it and the committee approved it, and it was adopted.

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That pretty much gave each school board rather wide discretion in assigning pupils to the schools, not on the basis of race, but on the basis of residence and other, what I thought, material, educational and sociological factors. That was approved and was put into effect. It was held to be valid by a state superior court. Then the same plan was adopted by one of the southern states. I believe Alabama or Mississippi. That plan was attacked in the Federal court of that State and was upheld by the Federal court. So the assignment plan which I prepared was held to be constitutional.
The Legislature then—after the second decision of the Supreme Court the following summer—the Legislature had a special session. That was when the committee—I was back in private practice and I had nothing to do with the committee at that time officially—the Pearsall Committee then came up with what we know as the Pearsall Plan, which was the only plan that North Carolina ever had authorizing the closing of a public school. The assignment plan which I prepared didn't say anything about the closing of schools. The Pearsall Plan provided for closing public schools if it was found that they could not be operated with safety on an integrated basis, not the schools generally but a particular school. That was the Pearsall Plan. It went into effect to a resonable small degree. I do not remember just what happened to it offhand. My recollection is that a comparable plan was adopted in Virginia, and that was attacked in the Federal courts of Virginia and held to be unconstitutional. The Pearsall Plan faded out in North Carolina.

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It was never used. It was there?
Well, it was never used to the extent of closing any public schools. I think the Pearsall Plan incorporated much of my Pupil Assignment Plan, giving the school board considerable discretion in assigning children, which they exercised. Under that plan, first the school board requirements—if I mistake not. The school board in Greensboro, Guilford County, had admitted some colored students to white schools in Greensboro and likewise in Winston Salem under the influence largely of my good friend Irving Carlyle. He and I disagreed sharply on that point. Winston Salem began to integrate its schools, and I anticipated that would spread from place to place. Again, if I mistake not, the Pearsall Plan had more or less faded out. You probably know more about that than I do because you were active in the newspaper world at that time.
I did my master's thesis on the Pearsall Plan. [Laughter]
I thought you did.
Yes sir. Apparently it was never…
I know. I may have misrepresented it because I never had any confidence in it.
No sir! Going on, what prompted you to run for Governor in 1960?
Well, my opponents thought that I was running for Governor because I wanted to ride in on the racial program and racial animosity. That I can truthfully say, always have said, that was not my motive. My motive was that I could see, as the

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Legislature had said, and as everybody else could see, that the public school system in North Carolina was in very grave danger. The great danger perhaps was not our official abolition of public schools but a desertion of the public schools by children of all the white families who could afford to send them to private schools. That did develop and has continued. The private school in North Carolina began springing up. We have many, many excellent private schools, academies, in North Carolina, such as—Ravenscroft was already established—such as Hale School in Raleigh, Wake Christian Academy, and various other Christian Academies, Enfield Academy, Albermarle Academy down in Elizabeth City. Those are the ones that particularly come to mind. Those are good schools.
What I foresaw has actually happened, perhaps not as completely as I thought it would, still, remarkably so. The white children, with the natural ability, would be withdrawn from the public schools and be sent to private schools. The remaining white children in the public schools, to a large degree—of course not universal, there are always exceptions—but to such a large degree, would be composed of white children who came from underprivileged homes; homes not quite so interested in education, not affording the background of culture. Those children going to the private schools would leave the public schools—I mean the other children going to private schools would leave the public schools crowded with colored children who, for various reasons, and no need to go into all of that, various

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reasons, not all the colored children, of course, were not as well qualified for high calibre school work.
I knew from my own teaching experience that the success of the school depends on two things: one, as I said, was the ability of teacher, and the other is the ability of the pupils. A good teacher with substandard children cannot produce as good a product as a good teacher with a cross section of students. The students do their best work when they have to do good work in order to make good grades. When you take out all of your top students, or most of your top students, and leave the class composed of, well I'll say, mediocre students, for one reason or another, either in ability or background, then your quality of teaching and instruction goes down. I have always said, as I said in my campaign, it is one thing to keep the school physically open. It's another thing to keep the school efficiently operating as an educational institution.
I thought the Legislature was right in saying that to integrate the schools completely would destroy the schools of North Carolina as an educational institution. I think the result of the last twenty years, twenty-seven years now, have pretty well born out what I said. That is more especially illustrated in the schools of Washington, D.C. which, under Eisenhower's administration, were supposed to become a model for the country. Well, the Washington public school system became a model but not the kind that he was talking about. The schools in Washington became disorderly, in extreme, unsafe for teachers and students, and basically did not produce good education. I wanted to save

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the State of North Carolina from that. I felt like, and I still feel like, that had I been Governor, we could have promoted a much better system of education, whereby not only the affluent children but other children would be aided financially so that they too could go to the superior schools, white or black. I have never had any animosity for the Negro people. I have today, and I always have had, numerous, devoted friends among the colored people, particularily at Wake Forest and also in Raleigh.
At the time you ran for Governor, you were somewhat of a political novice weren't you? Had you been active in politics?
Somewhat! I was a rank political novice! [Laughter] I didn't know anything about organization. Well, I'll show you how naive I was. Bob Morgan, my manager, although he had been in the Legislature, was almost as naive. I said, "Bob, how much do you think we've got to raise?" Bob thought $40,000.00 would be enough to run a successful campaign, and I didn't know any better then, I didn't have any money, and I wasn't going to mortgage my home and jeopardize my family's home in order to run for Governor. I said, "If the people of North Carolina want me to run for Governor, I will put out a program." It was not just schools. I had a twelve point program, if you will remember, dealing with highways, attraction of business, schools, crime prevention, various public utility regulations, and various and sundry other vital programs. All of them, I discussed all of them in my campaign. But with the exception of the Durham Herald, thanks to you—you were a reporter over there—most of the newspapers in the state did not give my campaign a fair deal.

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Every time I spoke it was belittled, and it was portrayed, my campaign was portrayed, as an anti-Negro campaign which it was not. I never in my campaign, either one, I never made a speech to a white audience that I would not have made to a Negro audience or to an integrated audience. So I have no apology for my campaign. I've [unknown] got all my speeches. And I'll show them to anybody who asks about them.
I remember you made some outstanding speeches, I thought, on fiscal responsibility of the government.
That's right. I thought that the administration of Governor Hodges was not a remarkably business-like administration. [Interruption] Have you run out of tape?
No sir, I was just turning it over.
I thought we'd run out.
No, I've still got plenty of them. [Laughter]
Oh! Well, I haven't got much more to say. I had, I thought, an excellent highway program. At that time there was no really good highway through the mountains in the West. This was 1960. I advocated the construction of a four lane highway running from our ports, Wilmington and Morehead, to the Tennessee line, so as to open up the Middlewest markets to North Caroina products, which in those days basically had to go by railroad to the northeast. That was one of my plans and, as you say, fiscal responsibility. Governor Hodges' administration, in my opinion, was a rather extravagant administration. I still think so. The only thing that saved him was his so called windfall tax, which was not a windfall tax. It was a collection of income tax twice

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in one year—collected in the spring of 1959, I believe it was, on the income of the previous year. But also in the then current year, say 1959, we collected on a withholding program. So in 1960, or whatever year it was that Governor Hodges' plan went into effect, we collected two years income tax in one year.
Yes sir.
I thought that was not only intellectually dishonest but was fiscally irresponsible.
I understand you wrote every one of your speeches too. They were rather remarkable.
Well, I never made a speech that I didn't know what was coming at the end of it. Governor Moore was one of my opponents in the '64 campaign. After I lost out in the second primary, which, as you recall, was extremely close between the three of us, I supported Governor Moore in the second primary. I liked Judge Preyer—Judge Preyer was a fine gentlemen—but I thought he was an extreme liberal, economically and philosophically. Moore was, he called himself a ‘Middle-of-the-Road man’ but I think that was a political gimmick. I kidded him by saying, "The worst accidents always happen in the middle-of-the-road." I didn't intend to be a Middle-of-the-Road man. I was a Conservative. But there's a difference between being Conservative and being intolerant of change and opposed to improvement. Governor Moore, asked me, "Do you have any suggestions on my speeches?" Now Governor Moore. Justice Moore as he later became, was a very fine gentleman, very able man, but was not a good speaker. He read all of his speeches. I always

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had my manuscript, followed my manuscript, but I knew what was in it so I could speak it, not as well, but more or less like it was written. So, when he asked me. [unknown] "Do you have any suggestions?" I said, "Well, I just have one. Before you get up to make a speech, at least read the manuscript before you start to speak." [Laughter] "Sometimes you give me the impression that when you turn over from page four to page five, you're just as much surprised at what you find as anybody else." [Laughter] He said, "I am." [Laughter]
In the 1960 campaign, you ran against Terry Sanford.
Terry Sanford, John Larkins, and Malcolm Seawell. Mr. Seawell had been the Attorney General of North Carolina.
Yes sir. That was a pretty formidable field.
It was. I came in second. We eliminated Larkins, who had been Chairman of the Democratic party and State Senator for several terms, and eliminated Seawell, who had Hodges' support.
Had been Attorney General.
Was Attorney General until he retired to run for Governor in the primary.
What do you attribute your success to in that campaign?
I think that my success was due to the fact that the people of North Carolina who listened to what I said, and I spoke on television frequently, saw that the newspaper characterization of my campaign was not true. That I was not advocating racial discord. I was advocating racial harmony and racial cooperation. My program for the schools was a practical, educational program. One time I made a speech, for example, down in Albermarle—all

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four candidates spoke down there on what they wanted to do for the schools—I said: "The thing that the schools of North Carolina need most is a complete reworking of the programs in the primary grades. We've been talking about the high school curriculum. What we need to talk about first is the primary schools. You need to teach the children to read. If you teach a child to read, not just to repeat the words or say aloud the words that are on the printed page, but really to read and understand, and enjoy reading, you will teach him that reading is a pleasure. He will then, if need be, he can then go on and educate himself regardless of the schools. Then as the first three grades move on up, the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades have people who know how to read. They go on up into seventh grade and then into high school, and you have high school students who can read and have a good background. Then we get those students in our colleges." Now, as I read the papers, we are having high school graduates who literally can't read. That's no benefit to the graduates or to anybody else. Those students pull down the quality of the whole educational system.
Any teacher, who's worth a salary, should not ignore the bottom of his class. He should try to do something for them. The best way, he should probably sort of pitch his program to the middle of the class, hoping that the best students would go on further and the bottom students will get something. Now I think we're having a school system—maybe I'm wrong, I don't know—but I think the school system is too much inclined to devote its time to the bottom students and not do enough for the

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capable students, not do enough to inspire the capable students to do their best work. I know from my own students, for instance, teaching those—very few students work any harder than is necessary to get an A or even a B+. When you have a good student thrown in with a group of mediocre students, and the teacher's spending all the time with the lower echelons in the class. it's easy enough for a bright boy or girl to get an A without doing much work. And that's all they will do. So your education program should be geared to the middle which should be good enough to fire the top of the class with some ambition to do something extra. If you raise the middle of the class up over, say, a B level, then the top level has got to go to work in order to make A's.
Yes sir. Push them ahead.
That's right. I know that's what they're trying to do now. They're trying to put that pressure on the top students by lifting the bottom ones. But th bottom's got so many holes in it that you can't lift it very well. [Laughter] I still think—with exceptions, and I realize there are exceptions and something has to be done for those exceptionally bright, colored children—I think that the majority of the colored children today could get a better education in a school predominately, at least, if not entirely, composed of their playmates of equal cultural backgrounds and colored teachers. Now, I know that's heresy but I still believe it.
After you ran in 1960 and were not elected, what prompted you to run again in 1964?

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Well, I guess it was basically the same thing. Of course, Terry Sanford had been Governor for four years.
Yes sir.
I guess you might say he prompted me to run more than anything else. [Laughter] I thought that the Sanford administration was characterized by "cronyism," and I'm not talking about financial corruption but I'm sure that there was some of that too. I thought that it was characterized by a catering to the black vote which was understandable because it was the black vote which selected Mr. Sanford. I got more votes in the 1964, I mean the 1960 second primary. I got more white votes than Mr. Sanford did. No question about it. The colored people themselves. who were in the NAACP group, publicly claimed that they were the ones who elected Mr. Sanford, and they wanted him to remember that when he became Governor, and he did. Those were the things I thought the government of North Carolina—now please don't misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting any personal corruption on the part of Mr. Sanford. He was and is an honorable man, an able man. But I think his political machine culminated, probably in Bert Bennett—and Mr. Bennett was and is, without a doubt, an honorable man in his own business and personal activities—I thought and still think Mr. Sanford's political machine was a very undesirable machine to be in charge of governing North Carolina. I guess I'd like to say that that was what prompted me to run in 1964. I saw him over again in Judge Preyer, who was Mr. Sanford's choice as his successor; that is, the choice of the Sanford group.

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There were several who were considering running, just as there are now, considering to run for the Democratic nomination, but most of them dropped out of consideration. Judge Moore vacillated back and forth as to whether he was going to run for a long time. It looked for a while like I'd be going alone with Judge Preyer. Justice Moore, who was then Judge Moore, did some very fine things in his administration as Governor. He made an excellent Governor, especially when it came to appointing me on the Supreme Court. [Laughter]
Going back to Mr. Sanford, I thought that he had appointed to the Superior Courts in North Carolina some men who were not as well qualified as some others. The school system under Mr. Sanford's regime, the school system and the court system were being jeopardized. I thought that the promoting and the bringing into existence of the sales tax of food was an unjust burden on the poor people of North Carolina, and I still think so. I think it's here to stay. I think that Mr. Sanford put in the sales tax on food as an educational measure to get more money for the schools. I thought money was not the crying need for the school system. You always need money. I didn't think that was the crying need. So I guess you would say that the record of the Sanford administration was the reason I decided to run again in 1964.
In two campaigns, if you had them to do over again, would there be anything you would do different?
I have, as I say, I have all of my speeches of both campaigns. I have gone over them several times. I find nothing

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basically that I would change. Naturally, I would have improved some of the speeches. I thought, each time, that I had a perfectly sound program, a diversified program for the whole State. I think, still think, I would have had a good administration. I would have done my best to appoint to each office within the Governor's power of appointment. the man who was best qualified for the job. I would have appointed judges who were capable of being good judges. I think I would have had a very good and efficient administration. Well, I guess that's about all. I've talked too much, Charlie.
How would you like to be remembered?
How what?
How would you like to be remembered?
[Laughter] Well, I think I'd like to be remembered as a good judge with a reasonable amount of ability and completely fair and whose decisions were honorable. I want to be remembered as a capable, I meant to say inspiring, law professor. I'd like best to be remembered by my family as a good father and husband.
I think certainly that as a teacher you have attained that. Just looking back over your career, I think that the impact that you had on so many young lives coming into the Wake Forest Law School…
Well, Charlie, I'm really very proud of the accomplishments of the men I taught at Wake Forest Law School. Now, I don't, I'm not so vain as to say that I deserve all the credit for that. I don't. Wake Forest had other good teachers.

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But I know, I may sound egotistical, I know that I was a good teacher. I know none of my students studied the lesson as hard as I did. I know that I wanted to be a good teacher. I think those were the qualifications.
I think that the way that your former students rallied to you during your political campaign …
Well, I think that's …
A great deal of respect and admiration and appreciation.
That's right.
And I'm not certain that you didn't leave a greater legacy of service through your teaching than you would have had you ever been Governor.
I suspect so because those values go on and on and spread out.
Yes sir.
They may not know, and I might not know, where they got the incentive to do this or that particular thing but I think may be they got some of it from me.
Where do you see North Carolina going in the future?
Well, it's always impossible to look very far into the future. I think that North Carolina will continue to develop as an industrial state. New industries, which you and I cannot now perceive, will be developed as the result of inventions which we've never dreamed of. I am concerned about the growth of many of our North Carolina communities. I think we're about bursting at the seams. I know we are in Raleigh, and I know we

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are in Wake Forest. The little town of Wake Forest today is a delightful place to live, or I wouldn't live in it. I have fine neighbors. The trouble is today that the Town of Wake Forest is about three times as large as it was when I was growing up. Consequently. I do not know a third of my neighbors, whereas I used to know practically everybody in town, white and black. That is a disadvantage, in my mind, of the development of this little community, and I think in the development of Raleigh. I went to Raleigh to practice in 1929. Within, I think, three months I had at least a speaking acquaintance with every lawyer in Raleigh because Raleigh was very small. We would meet each other on the streets, cafeteria for lunch, and we knew who we were. That carried over into our clashes in the court. We respected each other, and we liked each other. Of course, we had some we liked better than others. Today, there are so many lawyers in Raleigh, they haven't the faintest idea who's in the next office. They don't know each other. They don't know how to deal with each other in the courtroom which we knew how to do. Now to me the changes in the legal profession have taken, and I like to say, all the fun out of practicing law. Now, I use fun in the broad sense, pleasure. I think that there is not today the former close relationship and concern between the average lawyer and the average client. They don't know each other as individuals. I'm sure, the more I observe, that that is probably even more true of the medical profession. My very dear friend—my present wife's former husband, George Mackie, who died about twenty years ago—was genuinely beloved by all the people

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in this area, country and town, a great doctor. He had the opportunity to go up and be one of the "Main Line" Philadelphia social doctors, and he would have done well up there and prospered greatly. He preferred to be a country doctor in North Carolina. The people in this area remember him as "The Great and Beloved Physician." Now, there is a man who was a real success, who left his son a heritage which will never rust or fade away. I should like to be remembered somewhat comparably.
I don't know where North Carolina's heading. With all due respect to the members of the last Legislature. I thought the performance of the Legislature was a disgrace. I have a letter sent to me by a friend from a man who was prominent in politics in North Carolina and still carries a great deal of weight. The man to whom that letter was sent was critical of the Legislature for making the birthday of Martin Luther King a state holiday. I also think it's a disgrace to have a state holiday for a man of deplorable character like Martin Luther King. It bothers me. This former legislator and prominent lawyer was defending that action. He said, "I think it was disgraceful to make Martin Luther King's birthday a holiday in North Carolina. But I must remember that the eastern counties of North Carolina politically lie in the hands of the Negro block vote. Any legislator from eastern North Carolina who had not voted for that would not have been re-elected." I don't think that's right. Now this man said the remedy is, "You've got to get the white people out to vote as white people." Now that's different from my position

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originally. But you see, you're in danger of racial crisis and discord. It's not gone.
No sir.
And he said, "You've got to be elected." I say that I was ashamed of that statement. A man who has held high office in North Carolina said that he would vote contrary to his moral principles and his belief as to what's good for North Carolina in order to be re-elected to the Legislature. Now, when we've got legislators who are imbued with that philosopy of politics, I am concerned for the future of our State and the happiness of our people of both races.