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00:00:02 - Personal background

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Mr. David Parish for the Earle C. Clements Oral History Project of the University of Kentucky Library.

Segment Synopsis: Former mayor of Madisonville, Kentucky David Parish is introduced. He talks about his career as a pharmacist and the drugstore he owns. He talks about his 28 year career as mayor of Madisonville.

Keywords: 1946; Drugstores; Governors; Naval Academy; Pharmacies; Pharmacists

Subjects: Kentucky--Politics and government; Madisonville (Ky.); Mayors--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky

00:03:39 - First meeting Earle Clements when he was a football coach

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Partial Transcript: Well, one of those governors that you mentioned, uh, was Earle Clements.

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about first meeting Earle Clements when Clements was coaching the Morganfield High School football team. He talks about Clements' reputation as a coach and his relationship with the players. He talks about Clements' reputation as the sheriff of Union County.

Keywords: African Americans; Attitudes; Children; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Earle Clements Day; Elected officials; Elections; Fathers; Football coaches; Football players; Football teams; Hikes; Impressions; Introductions; Kids; Madisonville (Ky.); Morganfield High School; Mothers; Personality; Political campaigns; Reputations; Sheriffs; Students; Union County (Ky.)

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Kentucky--Politics and government; Politicians--Kentucky

00:09:31 - 1935 Gubernatorial campaign

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Partial Transcript: Were you involved in the 1935 gubernatorial campaign between Tom Rhea and, and Chandler?

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about Clements' role as Tom Rhea's campaign chairman in the 1935 gubernatorial primary against Happy Chandler.

Keywords: Campaign chairman; Charlie Franklin; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Franklin, Charlie; Gubernatorial campaigns; Happy Chandler; Learning; Organizing; Ruby Laffoon; Tom Rhea

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (Ky.); Democratic Party (U.S.); Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Laffoon, Ruby, 1869-1941; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Rhea, Thomas Stockdale, 1871-1946

00:13:16 - Earle Clements in the state Senate / Gubernatorial campaigns

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Partial Transcript: Uh, did you have much contact with Clements during the time that he served in the state Senate?

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about his contact with Clements during Clements' time as a state senator. He talks about several gubernatorial campaigns, including the 1943 campaign as well as the 1959 campaign during which Clements was being accused of tax fraud.

Keywords: 1959; Accusations; Advisors; Armories; Attitudes; Bert Combs; Bills; Campaign funds; Contact; Credit; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Funding; Garrett Withers; Gubernatorial campaigns; Hospitals; Legislation; Madisonville (Ky.); Money; Morganfield (Ky.); Political realists; Primaries; Primary campaigns; State Senate; Tax fraud; Tax scandals; Withers, Garrett; nominations

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Combs, Bert T., 1911-1991; Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky. General Assembly. Senate; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Political corruption--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky

00:21:54 - 1944 Congressional campaign / Endorsement of candidates

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Partial Transcript: And I want to go back for a moment to, uh, an interesting campaign that Clements ran...

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about the 1944 election in which Clements won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He tells stories about 'old-timey politicians' and the harum-scarum atmosphere of politics at that time. He talks about his endorsement of various candidates.

Keywords: 1944; Adams, Ben; Attitudes; Awareness; Beauchamp, Emerson "Doc"; Ben Adams; Beverly M. Vincent; Bob Martin; Christian County (Ky.); Connections; Contacts; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Eastern Kentucky University (EKU); Emerson "Doc" Beauchamp; Endorsements; Happy Chandler; Incumbents; Martin, Bob; Organizing; Personality; Political candidates; Qualities; Senatorial districts; State senators; Support; Tom Rhea; U.S. House of Representatives; Vincent, Beverly M.

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky. General Assembly. Senate; Politicians--Kentucky; Rhea, Thomas Stockdale, 1871-1946; United States. Congress. House

00:31:31 - Clements and unions

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Partial Transcript: I wanna go back for a minute to the '44 race w--again, just for a few minutes.

Segment Synopsis: Parish discusses how Clements' elections were affected by local unions and coal companies.

Keywords: 'Hatchetmen'; 1944; Coal companies; Coal industry; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; John L. Lewis; Lewis, John L.; Madisonville (Ky.); Political campaigns; United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Coal miners; Coal miners--Labor unions--Kentucky; Coal mines and mining; Kentucky--Politics and government; Labor unions--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky

00:34:39 - Clements as a Congressman

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you, did you, uh, consider Clements an effective Congressman?

Segment Synopsis: Parish discusses Clements' effectiveness as a Congressman and compares him to other Congressmen he had contact with.

Keywords: 1946; Bill Natcher; Busy; Constituents; Contact; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Effectiveness; Help; Madisonville (Ky.); Washington, D.C.; William Natcher

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Kentucky--Politics and government; Mayors--Kentucky; Natcher, William Huston, 1909-1994; Politicians--Kentucky; United States. Congress. House; Washington (D.C.)

00:37:45 - More on gubernatorial campaigns

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Partial Transcript: Well during the period that Clements wa, was in Congress, I think most people were, were aware that he was going to run for governor in '47.

Segment Synopsis: Parish continues his discussion of various gubernatorial campaigns, including the 1947 campaign. He talks about his own involvement in campaigns and tells stories about the activities at various conventions and meetings.

Keywords: 'Country politicians'; 1947; Attitudes; Awareness; Bert Combs; Campaign chairman; Candidacy; Charlie Franklin; Conventions; Counties; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Franklin, Charlie; Hopkins County (Ky.); Meetings; Political candidates; Research; Seelbach Hotel; Speeches

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Combs, Bert T., 1911-1991; Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky

00:46:42 - 1947 Gubernatorial Democratic primary

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Partial Transcript: I wanna ask you a little bit about the '47 primary between Waterfield and Clements. What that was like around here.

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about the 1947 Democratic primary between Clements and Waterfield. He talks about Clements' strategy during this campaign.

Keywords: Coalitions; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Educators; General elections; Happy Chandler; Harry Lee Waterfield; Madisonville (Ky.); Opponents; Party unity; Political parties; Primaries; Primary elections; Split; Strategies; Strengths; Support; Votes; Voting; Weaknesses

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (Ky.); Democratic Party (U.S.); Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Waterfield, Harry Lee, 1911-1988

00:51:03 - 1947 Gubernatorial general election

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Partial Transcript: Of course Clements won that primary.

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about Clements' strategy during the 1947 general election after winning the primary. He talks about the effort to secure the votes of African Americans and discusses the leadership in the black community at that time.

Keywords: African American voters; Black voters; Connections; Constituents; Control; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; General elections; Harry Lee Waterfield; Jobs; Madisonville (Ky.); Power; Primaries; Primary elections; Replacements; Scoop Sherwood; Sherwood, William Sigsbee “Scoop”; Staff; Support; William Sigsbee “Scoop” Sherwood

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (Ky.); Democratic Party (U.S.); Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Waterfield, Harry Lee, 1911-1988

00:55:59 - Clements' achievements as governor

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Partial Transcript: Of course Clements became governor and there were, uh, quite a few things that he did during that period and a couple of them I want to ask you about.

Segment Synopsis: Parish discusses some of Clements' achievements during his time as governor, including improving rural roads via a tax increase on gasoline, and creating the state police.

Keywords: Airports; Attitudes; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Funding; Gasoline tax; Happy Chandler; Highway commissioners; Improvements; Reactions; Resentment; State police; Strikes; Support; Tax increases

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Labor unions--Kentucky; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Roads--Design and construction; Roads--Kentucky; Rural roads

01:01:57 - Garrett Withers as placeholder in the Senate for Clements

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Partial Transcript: During the time that Clements was governor, in '48, of course Alben Barkley became vice president and his Senate seat was open.

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about the arrangement made in which Garrett Withers would take Alben Barkley's vacated Senate seat only until the next election when Clements would then run for that position. He talks about his own contact with Withers during his political career.

Keywords: 1948; Alben Barkley; Attitudes; Coal companies; Company stores; Credit; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Garrett Withers; Highways; Money; Nominations; Political appointments; Pressure; Reactions; Resignations; Senators; Set up; Vacancies; Vice presidents; Withers, Garrett

Subjects: Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Coal miners; Coal mines and mining; Kentucky--Politics and government; Politicians--Kentucky; United States. Congress. Senate.

01:08:07 - Weakening of the Clements faction

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Partial Transcript: Of course Clements won the primary and he won the general election.

Segment Synopsis: Parish talks about why Clements' power began to weaken in Kentucky when he went to the Senate. He talks about Clements' defeat in 1956. He talks about why Clements may have wanted the position of Highway Commissioner in 1959 when Combs became governor and the problems that resulted from that position. He talks about Clements' role in the 1963 Democratic primary.

Keywords: 1959; 1963; Bert Combs; Defeat; Democratic primary; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Effects; Endorsements; Happy Chandler; Highway commissioners; Influence; Jobs; Lawrence Wetherby; Losses; Madisonville (Ky.); Ned Breathitt; Political factions; Primaries; Primary elections; Problems; Re-election; Relationships; Scandals; Senators; Support; Trouble; Truck scandal

Subjects: Breathitt, Edward T., 1924-; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Combs, Bert T., 1911-1991; Democratic Party (Ky.); Democratic Party (U.S.); Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Politicians--Kentucky; United States. Congress. Senate.; Wetherby, Lawrence W. (Lawrence Winchester), 1908-; Wetherby, Lawrence Winchester, 1908-

01:19:46 - Clements' political philosophy and personality

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Partial Transcript: Well then, looking back over Clements' career, how would you describe his political philosophy?

Segment Synopsis: Parish describes Clements' political philosophy and whether he was a secretive person. He talks about how he would rank the various governors he worked with during his career as mayor of Madisonville. The interview is concluded.

[The final ~3 minutes of this interview are difficult to hear due to poor audio quality of the recording.]

Keywords: Attitudes; Credit; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Madisonville (Ky.); Personality; Political philosophies; Politically-minded; Projects; Public; Public offices; Rank; Secretive

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (Ky.); Democratic Party (U.S.); Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Mayors--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky