Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Charles McCurdy Mathias, July 13, 1993

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:09 - Cooper-Church Amendment

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Partial Transcript: --to vote the way you think you should just because it's gonna break a pattern.

Segment Synopsis: Mathias details Cooper's role in getting the Cooper-Church Amendment passed in 1970.

Keywords: Amendments; Conferences; Controversy; Cooper-Church Amendment; Debates; Expansion; Foreign Aid bill; Frank Church; House of Representatives; John Sherman Cooper; McGovern-Hatfield Amendment; Provisions; Richard Nixon; Senate; Senate floor; Senators; Troops; Votes

Subjects: Cambodia; Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970; Politicians; Southeast Asia; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.)

00:05:58 - Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

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Partial Transcript: At one time, I introduced the--measure to repeal the Tonkin Gulf.

Segment Synopsis: Mathias discusses a repeal to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that he proposed. Mathias also details Cooper's position on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Keywords: Bob Dole; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; John Sherman Cooper; Lyndon Johnson; Preemptive strikes; Repeal; Senate; Senators; Votes

Subjects: Baltimore (Md.); Politicians; Social security; Travel; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.)

00:08:57 - War Powers Act

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Partial Transcript: One of the--uh--things Cooper is also known for is the--um--he was involved in a lot of the debate of what became known as the War Powers Act, I believe.

Segment Synopsis: Mathias describes Cooper's role in the debates over the War Powers Act during the Vietnam War. Mathias also talks of recent issues with the War Powers Act, including the debates leading up to what eventually became the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" U.S. military policy.

Keywords: Anti-war; Armed Services; Bill Clinton; Clifford Case; Congress; Constitutionality; Debates; Declaring war; Don't ask, don't tell (Military personnel policy); Gay people; George H. W. Bush; Governance; Homosexuality in the military; House of Representatives; Jacob Javits; John Sherman Cooper; John Tower; LGBTQ+ community; Land and naval forces; Legislation; Presidents; Regulation; Republicans; Senate; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senators; Troops; U.S. Constitution; War Powers Act

Subjects: Asia; Careers; Conservative; Europe; Kuwait; Military; New Jersey; New York; Northern Hemisphere; Pentagon (Va.); Politicians; Presidents; Retirement; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War; Washington (D.C.)

00:13:50 - Cooper and the anti-ballistic missile system debate

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk just a little bit about the ABM controversy.

Segment Synopsis: Mathias considers Cooper's important role in the anti-ballistic missile debate of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Keywords: Amendments; Anti-ballistic missile system; Congress; Congressional appropriations; Cooper-Hart Amendment; Funding; Gerard C. Smith; John Sherman Cooper; Johnson administration; Lyndon Johnson; Margaret Chase Smith; Melvin Laird; Military deployment; Negotiations; Philip Hart; Richard Nixon; SALT I treaty; Secretary of defense; Sentinel Program; Spiro Agnew; Troops; Votes

Subjects: Arms race; Missiles; Nuclear weapons; Politicians; Vienna (Austria); Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.); Weapons of mass destruction

00:18:19 - Cooper's later years / Cooper's legacy and popularity

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Partial Transcript: As he was leaving there was a great day of tributes for him. . .

Segment Synopsis: Mathias recalls his interactions with Cooper after his retirement from the Senate in 1972. Mathias also considers Cooper's legacy and popularity with constituents.

Keywords: Allies; Attitudes; Bipartisanship; Border states; Constituents; East Germany; Elections; Friends; Gerard C. Smith; Howard Baker Jr.; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Mitch McConnell; Political climate; Political parties; Politics; Relatives; Republicans; Robert Taft; Rogers Morton; Senate; Senators; Thruston Morton; U.S. Ambassador to India; World War II

Subjects: Berlin (Germany); Conservative; Covington & Burling; Death; Diplomacy; Germany; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Leadership; Legacy; Partisanship; Politicians; Popularity; Retirement; Somerset (Ky.); United Nations; Voting; Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945

00:26:00 - Jacob Javits and Cooper / Cooper's reputation

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Partial Transcript: John was very--uh--affable.

Segment Synopsis: Mathias describes the dynamics between Cooper and Jacob Javits. Mathias details Cooper's good reputation.

Keywords: Debates; Howard Baker Jr.; Jacob Javits; John Sherman Cooper; National recreation areas; Political appointments; Political opponents; Senate; Senate floor; Senators

Subjects: Kentucky; New York (N.Y.); Personality; Politicians; Reputation; Tennessee; Washington (D.C.)