Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with John Young Brown, March 9, 1976

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Meeting Vinson / Centre College

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Partial Transcript: You play golf?

Segment Synopsis: Brown remembers his initial encounters with Vinson in the Kentucky political scene. Brown also discusses his time at Centre College, and the reputation that his fellow alumnus Vinson had among students.

Keywords: Alabama; Alben Barkley; Ben Johnson; Centre College; Congress; Congressional race; Conventions; Fred M. Vinson; Grades; Happy Chandler; Henry T. Rainey; Jack Howard; John McDuffie; Law schools; Outsiders; Professional baseball; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Athletes; Baseball; Basketball; Football; Lawyers; Leadership; Legacy; Reputation; Work

00:05:37 - 1928 presidential election / Vinson's loyalty to the Democratic Party

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Partial Transcript: I just wanted to ask you about 1928. Perhaps you recall Vinson's role as state campaign chairman for Al Smith.

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks of his own and Vinson's respective roles in the presidential campaign of Democrat Al Smith in 1928. Additionally, Brown assesses Vinson's loyalty to the Democratic Party.

Keywords: Against; Al Smith; Campaign chairman; Centre College; Contributions; Democratic Party; Differences; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Fred M. Vinson; Kentucky delegation; Leaders; Louisville Courier-Journal; Outsiders; Precincts; Prejudice; Presidential elections; Statements; The Economy Act of 1933

Subjects: American Legion; Catholic; Loyalty; Veterans

00:11:40 - 1931 State Democratic Convention

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Partial Transcript: Well, Mr. Brown I want to go back if we can to the 1931 convention, again.

Segment Synopsis: Brown describes his involvement, as well as Vinson's role, in the 1931 Democratic Convention of Kentucky.

Keywords: Candidates; Chairman; Congressional districts; Conventions; Democratic Party; Effective; Fred M. Vinson; Happy Chandler; Jack Howard; Kentucky; Keynote address; Nominations; Opposition; Sheldon Glenn; Speakers; Standing; Unfair

Subjects: Committees; Politicians; Work

00:16:10 - 1932 Congressional race

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Partial Transcript: Well in the 1932 race that we talked about a little--few minutes ago, uh, there was a redis, redistricting and there was a slate of Democratic candidates.

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks of the 1932 Congressional race, in which he was elected to the House of Representatives during that election.

Keywords: Candidates; Conventions; Democratic Party; Floyd County (Ky.); Fred M. Vinson; Redistricting; Russellville (Ky.); United States House of Representatives; Virgil Chapman; Votes

Subjects: Counties; Politicians; Sales tax

00:20:30 - Vinson and Brown in Congress

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Partial Transcript: Well what then was your first, uh, encounter with Mr. Vinson after your election?

Segment Synopsis: Brown highlights the dynamics and important measures passed during his time in the House of Representatives alongside Vinson in the 1930s, including the establishment of the Daniel Boone National Forest (which was achieved by Brown).

Keywords: Amendments; Banker's trusts; Brain trusts; Coal companies; Congress; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Fred M. Vinson; Gag rule; Law partners; North Carolina; Rexford Tugwell; State bankers; United States House of Representatives

Subjects: Bill; Daniel Boone National Forest (Ky.); Line; Memorial Day addresses; Speech; Youthfulness

00:29:57 - Vinson's reaction to Brown / Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Partial Transcript: Well, what was Mr. Vinson's reaction to you having this type of success...

Segment Synopsis: Brown recalls what Vinson's reaction was to his Congressional success. Brown also shares his observations of President Franklin Roosevelt's declining health in 1944.

Keywords: Conferences; Differences; East Germany; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Fred M. Vinson; Illnesses; Presidents; Secretary of the Treasury; Wolfe County (Ky.); Yalta Conference (1945)

Subjects: Article; Cabinet; Health

00:33:50 - Vinson's abilities

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Partial Transcript: Well, uh, going back for a minute to the--to your days in the House with Mr. Vinson, Fred Vinson was on the Ways and Means Committee--

Segment Synopsis: Brown explains how Vinson was so successful throughout his political career, especially during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Keywords: Alabama; Bill Bankhead; Campaign funds; Capacity; Conference committee; Fred M. Vinson; Friends; Intelligent; John Rankin; Lyndon B. Johnson; Measures; Norris-Rankin Bill; Skilled; Support; Supreme Court; Thomas Rhea; U.S. House of Representatives; Virgil Chapman; Ways and Means Committee

Subjects: Bill; Finance; Politicians; Work

00:40:57 - 1935 Kentucky gubernatorial campaign / Vinson's appointment to Court of Appeals / Vinson's possible presidential run

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Partial Transcript: What about in the '35 gubernatorial campaign?

Segment Synopsis: Brown articulates Vinson's role and support in the 1935 Kentucky gubernatorial race. Subsequently, Brown considers why Vinson was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as the reasoning behind Vinson's refusal of a chance to run for president in 1952 (despite the encouragement of friend President Harry Truman).

Keywords: Attorney General; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Fred M. Vinson; Governors; Happy Chandler; Harry S. Truman; Henry Clay; Intelligent; Lexington (Ky.); Marvel M. Logan; Presidents; Senate; Thomas Rhea; U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; Votes; Washington, D.C.; White House; Wife; Winnings

Subjects: Ability; Administration; Committees; Legislation; Money; Poker; Politicians; Secretaries; Speeches