Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Catherine Hampson, November 11th, 1975

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Overview of Earle Clements' career

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Partial Transcript: --following is an unrehearsed interview with Catherine Hampson, former staff assistant to Senator Earle C. Clements for the Earle C. Clements Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Hampson begins the interview with a prepared statement giving an overview of Earle C. Clements' career during her time in his service.

Keywords: Careers; Democratic Campaign Committee; Employees; Farmers; Politics; Principles; Public office; Statement; Tobacco Institute; Trades

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:06:08 - Arriving in Washington, D.C.

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Partial Transcript: Going back for a minute, then, uh, a little bit of background on yourself, you mentioned, uh, earlier to me that you were from Kentucky originally?

Segment Synopsis: Hampson recalls Clements and his position in Washington from 1940-1950, as well as her short time working for Senator Garrett Withers.

Keywords: Campaigning; Elections; Garrett Withers; Majority Leader; Public speaking; Speeches; U.S. Senate; Washington, D.C.

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:11:20 - Beginning to work for Clements

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Partial Transcript: Well, when you, uh, first joined, uh, Senator Clements' staff, what was your position, and what was your responsibilities on, on the staff?

Segment Synopsis: Hampson recalls Clements' dedication and vitality, and the long hours he spent at the office. Hampson describes the large amount of mail that would arrive each day, and Clements' personal attention to all of it. She also discusses the administrative assistants (A.A.s) in the office and Clements' advisory relationship with Gil Kingsbury.

Keywords: Administrative assistants; Advisers; Dedication; Gil Kingsbury; Mail; Staff; Vitality; Work ethic; Work hours

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:18:29 - Clements' additional duties

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Partial Transcript: Of course, uh, as the Majority Whip under Senator Johnson, he was again, uh, asked to do additional duties.

Segment Synopsis: Hampson describes some of Clements' other duties under Lyndon Johnson, as well as how office staff took care of business during the frequent times Clements was not present.

Keywords: Energy; Lyndon Johnson; Majority Leader; U.S. Senate

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:23:49 - Clements' move to Washington

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Partial Transcript: Then in 1955, of course, politics, uh, got moving again in Kentucky with, uh, uh, Happy Chandler's--

Segment Synopsis: Hampson gives an account of the political campaigns and key players involved with Clements' move to the U.S. Senate.

Keywords: Bert Combs; Campaigns; Garrett Withers; Happy Chandler; Heart attack; Kentucky State Senate; Lyndon Johnson; Majority Leader; U.S. Senate

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:31:07 - Clements' relationships with colleagues

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Partial Transcript: Were there any other senators or--that were particularly close to Senator Clements that you recall?

Segment Synopsis: Hampson recalls Clements' relationship with his colleagues, his opponents, and those he respected.

Keywords: Factions; Majority Leader; Publicity; Rivals; U.S. Senate; William Knowland

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:38:41 - Campaigning

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever go on any campaign trips with the Senator?

Segment Synopsis: Hampson discusses Clements' time campaigning, describing his style, influence, and strengths with the public and with his colleagues. She also confirms the familiar notion that Clements had an extraordinary memory, often pleasing people by remembering faces, dates, and names.

Keywords: Campaign; Faces; Lyndon Johnson; Memory; Staff; Strategy; Strengths

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:46:06 - Clements' return to Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well, of course, then in, in '59, and '60 Senator Clements returned to Kentucky and I suppose that's when you--

Segment Synopsis: Hampson remembers Clements' return to Kentucky, and his personal and local relationships.

Keywords: 1959; 1960; Bess Abell; Kentucky; Lyndon Johnson; Restaurants; Sara Blue; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985

00:51:04 - Leisure activities / conclusion

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Partial Transcript: You know, speaking of the work thing again about Senator Johnson and Senator Clements working so hard. Uh, I read an article once that said, uh, uh, you know, Senator Clements just worked, worked, worked, and him--and working in politics was his--what he did for leisure.

Segment Synopsis: After a brief reflection of Clements' leisure activities and work ethic, the interview is concluded with some final statements.

Keywords: Kentucky Derby; Leisure; Work

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985