Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with William Harold Greider, April 22, 1980

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - First impressions of John Sherman Cooper

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with William Greider for the John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project of the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Segment Synopsis: Greider shares his initial impressions of Cooper.

Keywords: Accomplishments; American politics; Courthouses; Elections; Governors; John Sherman Cooper; John Y. Brown; Political campaigning; Political campaigns; Political candidates; Senate; Voters

Subjects: Character; Civil rights; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; Retirement; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.)

00:05:19 - Cooper's relationships with other Senators

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Partial Transcript: Do you think he carried this over into his relationship with, say, the other Senators?

Segment Synopsis: Greider details the perception of other Senators in regards to Cooper.

Keywords: Colleagues; Congress; Constituents; John Sherman Cooper; Kentucky delegation; Kentucky interests; Reporters; Representative politicians; Senators

Subjects: Agriculture; Education; Great society; Harbors; Honesty; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; Public works; Respect; Rivers; Tobacco

00:08:50 - Red River Gorge / Cumberland River project

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Partial Transcript: Courier-Journal among others, I guess the Sierra Club was the leader.

Segment Synopsis: Greider discusses a plan to dam Red River Gorge in the 1960s that Cooper changed his position on to be against it once he faced opposition from environmentalists. Cooper's change in stance on a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Cumberland River during the 1960s is also mentioned.

Keywords: Alternative dam sites; Appropriations; Bailey Guard; Congressman; Cumberland project; Dams; Devil's Jump (Cumberland River); Environmental effects; Hydroelectric dams; John Ed Pierce; John Sherman Cooper; John Watts; Kentucky delegation; Louisville Courier-Journal; Public works projects; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Subjects: Cumberland River, Big South Fork (Tenn. and Ky.); Environmentalists; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Nature; Politicians; Public works; Red River Gorge (Ky.); Sierra Club

00:15:58 - Highway Trust Fund / Cooper's personality

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Partial Transcript: The other the, other thing that--about Cooper which...

Segment Synopsis: Greider briefly talks of Cooper's desired use of Highway Trust Fund money to fund mass transit programs in major metropolitan cities and how his Kentucky constituents reacted to this decision. Greider then describes Cooper's personality and how it was developed during his formative years in Kentucky.

Keywords: Competing interests; County judges; Environmental questions; Expressways; Fathers; George McGovern; Great Depression; Highway Trust Fund; Highways; House of Representatives; John Sherman Cooper; Kentucky interests; Mass transit; National views; Political campaigning; Political campaigns; Reporters; Senate; Votes

Subjects: Depressions--1929; Federal government; Great society; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Personality; Politicians; South Dakota; Washington (D.C.)

00:23:17 - Writing an article on Cooper / Kentucky politicians

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Partial Transcript: Um, an interesting article that you wrote in, in June of '68...

Segment Synopsis: Greider details an article that he wrote on Cooper's handling of visitors to his Washington, D.C. office from the Poor People's Campaign in 1968. Greider also talks of Kentucky politicians and their views compared to Cooper's outlook on political issues.

Keywords: Articles; Bert Combs; Carl Perkins; Eastern Kentucky; John Sherman Cooper; Kentucky politicians; Mannerisms; Payment

Subjects: Federal government; Food stamps; Great society; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Pike County (Ky.); Politicians; Poor People's Campaign; Washington (D.C.); Writing

00:26:48 - Cooper on Great Society programs

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Partial Transcript: Right. Well you wrote that--I was reading just, uh, the other day...

Segment Synopsis: Greider provides Cooper's views on the Great Society programs created by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. Cooper's views on the Great Society programs are compared to those of Kentucky Senator Carl Perkins.

Keywords: Carl Perkins; Chairman; Depressed Areas bill; Dwight Eisenhower; Ex-coal miners; House Committee on Education and Labor; Industrial jobs; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Kentucky delegation; Lyndon Johnson; Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Post offices; Relationships; Senate floor; Training programs

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Cincinnati (Ohio); Coal miners; Dams; Federal government; Great society; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; Washington (D.C.)

00:30:38 - Social programs in the 1960s

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Partial Transcript: Let's see, in December of '67 you wrote an article about, uh, trying to shift the ARC to the Department of Commerce and he opposed that at that time.

Segment Synopsis: Greider outlines the two main approaches to federal social programs in the 1960s. Greider explains some of the issues that both approaches caused in rural communities. Greider discusses which approach Cooper approved of the most.

Keywords: CAP programs; Community organizing; Courthouses; Industrial parks; John Sherman Cooper; Lyndon Johnson; Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Political leaders; Social programs

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Communities; Corruption; Economic development; Head Start Program (U.S.); Kentucky; Politicians; Poor; Poverty; Roads; Rural conditions; United States. Department of Commerce; United States. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Volunteers; War; Writing

00:33:37 - Cooper and civil rights / Cooper's staff

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Partial Transcript: What were your impressions of Senator Cooper and his stand on civil rights?

Segment Synopsis: Greider briefly discusses Cooper's forward-thinking stance in favor of civil rights as early as the 1940s. Greider talks of Cooper's Washington, D.C. staff and their accomplishments, many of whom went on to new positions in various branches of the federal government.

Keywords: Administrative assistants; Articles; Bailey Guard; Bill Miller; Democrats; Equal rights; Federal Power Commission (FPC); John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Joint Committee on Printing; Lee White; Newspapers; Press Secretary; Public Accommodations bill; Reporters; Southeastern Republicanism; William Haley

Subjects: African Americans; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights; Civil rights movement; Discrimination; Equal Rights Advocates; Federal government; Kentucky; Politicians; Press; Race discrimination.; Retirement; Slavery; Staff; United States--Race relations.; United States. Department of State; Washington (D.C.); Washington post

00:39:24 - Cooper and Thruston Morton

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Partial Transcript: What were your impressions of the relationship between Cooper and Morton?

Segment Synopsis: Greider describes Cooper's working relationship with fellow Kentucky Senator Thruston Morton, which was oftentimes a strained relationship.

Keywords: Banks; Family; John Sherman Cooper; Lee Nunn; Louie Nunn; Political campaigns; Political interests; Republican fundraisers; Senate Committee on Finance; Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce; Thruston Morton

Subjects: Coal; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Morton, Thruston Ballard, 1907-1982; Politicians; Railroads; Tobacco; Washington (D.C.); Whiskey

00:41:56 - 1967 Republican primary

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Partial Transcript: I guess what that all built up to was the '67 campaign--primary between Marlow Cook and Louie Nunn.

Segment Synopsis: Greider recalls the 1967 Republican primary in Kentucky in which Marlow Webster Cook took on Louie Nunn for the right to run for Senate in 1968.

Keywords: John Sherman Cooper; Lee Nunn; Louie Nunn; Marlow Webster Cook; Political calculation; Political campaigning; Political campaigns; Political candidates; Political endorsements; Religion; Rural-urban divide; Taxes; Thruston Morton

Subjects: Cook, Marlow W. (Marlow Webster), 1926-; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Nunn, Louie B., 1924-2004; Politicians; Rural

00:44:53 - Cooper and Marlow Cook / Cooper's foreign policy

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Partial Transcript: What were your impressions of, of the Cook-Cooper relationship?

Segment Synopsis: Greider characterizes the working relationship between Cooper and Marlow Webster Cook. Greider then discusses Cooper's foreign policy views in the 1960s, focusing on the Vietnam War in particular.

Keywords: Amendments; Bill Miller; Business interests; Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.); Ceasefires; Clement Haynsworth; Congressional appropriations; Electoral base; Ernest Gruening; Foreign Service officers; Foreign policy; Foreign policy network; Frank Church; Funding; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; John Sherman Cooper; Lyndon Johnson; Marlow Webster Cook; Peace conferences; Policy makers; Relationships; Representatives; Senate; Senate Foreign Relations Commission; Strategies; Thruston Morton; U.S. Ambassador to India; Wayne Morse; White House; William Fulbright

Subjects: Careers; Committees; Cook, Marlow W. (Marlow Webster), 1926-; Debates; Geneva (Switzerland); Judgment; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; Speeches; Staff; United Nations; United States. Department of State; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.)

00:52:09 - End of Cooper's political career

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Partial Transcript: The one other thing I wanted to mention, uh, which again, is characteristic of him...

Segment Synopsis: Greider recalls the end of Cooper's political career and what led him to confide that the 1966-1972 Senatorial term would be his last.

Keywords: Elections; John Sherman Cooper; Political appointments; Political campaigning; Political campaigns; Political candidates; Reporters; Republican Party; Senators

Subjects: Careers; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; Retirement