Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Howard H. Baker, Jr., June 25, 1984

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Impact of John Sherman Cooper on his life

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Howard H. Baker, Jr., United States Senator from Tennessee and Senate Majority Leader.

Segment Synopsis: Baker considers the impact that Cooper has had upon his life and political career.

Keywords: Democrats; East Tennessee; Elections; Everett Dirksen; Fathers; Freshman Senators; Influence; Jennings Randolph; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Politics; Republican politics; Republicans; Senate; Senate Public Works Committee; Senators; Senior Republicans; Southeastern Kentucky; The South; Two-party system; Wife

Subjects: Careers; Childhood; Civil War; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; Retirement; Tennessee; Washington (D.C.)

00:04:21 - Cooper in the Senate / Anti-ballistic missile system

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Partial Transcript: Do you know very much about the relationship between Cooper and Lyndon Johnson?

Segment Synopsis: Baker describes what Cooper was like as a Senator. Baker also recalls Cooper's position on the anti-ballistic missile debate. Baker then explains his own stance on the anti-ballistic missile system.

Keywords: Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; Anti-ballistic missile system; Defense; Defensive weapon system; Everett Dirksen; John Sherman Cooper; Lobbying; Lyndon Johnson; Minority Leaders; Morality; Mutually assured destruction; Negotiations; Offensive weapons; Relationships; Republicans; Richard Nixon; Senate; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senators; Senior Republicans; Son-in-law; Vietnam policies; Votes

Subjects: Arms race; Criticism; Critics; Missiles; Nuclear weapons; Politicians; Russians; Science; Senate Foreign Relations Committee,; Soviet Union; Technology; United States; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.); Weapons of mass destruction

00:08:25 - Cooper and the Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: Could you give some general impressions of the role Cooper played in that--that debate?

Segment Synopsis: Baker details Cooper's role in the debate over ending the Vietnam War. Baker explains why he disagreed with Cooper on ending the war.

Keywords: Attitudes; Congressional initiative; Cooper-Church Amendment; Debates; Decisions; John Sherman Cooper; Regrets; Resolutions; Senate; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senate floor; Senators; Votes; William Fulbright

Subjects: Politicians; Speech; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War; Washington (D.C.)

00:11:28 - Cooper's contributions to the Senate / Stories of Cooper

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Partial Transcript: What do you think Cooper's greatest contributions were in the Senate?

Segment Synopsis: Baker evaluates what Cooper's greatest contributions to the Senate were. Baker shares some stories of Cooper, including their common heritage in the South.

Keywords: Appalachia; Attitudes; Controversy; Democratic South; Fathers; Grandfathers; Great-grandfathers; John Sherman Cooper; Political heritage; Republicans; Senate; Senators; The South; Union Army

Subjects: Civil War; Economic development; Friendships; Politicians; Somerset (Ky.); Tennessee; Washington (D.C.)