Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Thomas D. Clark, June 15, 1994

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Meeting John Sherman Cooper

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Partial Transcript: I--it is, uh, June the 15th, 1994 and I'm talking with Dr. Thomas Clark, uh, distinguished Kentucky historian.

Segment Synopsis: Clark recalls when he met Cooper during the Great Depression. At the time, Cooper was a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees.

Keywords: Albert "Happy" Chandler; Arts & sciences; Circuit judges; Commissioner of baseball; Elections; Great Depression; John Sherman Cooper; Law practice; Professors; Psychology; Public Works Administration (PWA); Richard Cooper; Senate; Speech impediments; University Kentucky Board of Trustees; Works Progress Administration (WPA); World War II

Subjects: Depressions--1929; Kentuckians; Kentucky; New Deal, 1933-1939; Politicians; University of Kentucky; World War, 1939-1945

00:02:46 - Cooper's contributions to Kentucky / Chester Bowles

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Partial Transcript: . . .But--um--I think when you come to assess John Sherman Cooper in Kentucky. . .

Segment Synopsis: Clark considers Cooper's overall contributions to Kentucky. Clark also compares Cooper to fellow U.S. Ambassador to India Chester Bowles.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; Achievements; Chester Bowles; Communication; Contributions; Image; Impact; John Sherman Cooper; Judges; Lorraine Cooper; Senate; Senators; U.S. Ambassador to India; University of Kentucky Board of Trustees

Subjects: Democracy; Diplomacy; Diplomatic and consular service; India; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Kentucky. General Assembly; New Delhi (India); Personality; Political science; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Travel; University of Kentucky

00:10:34 - Experiences with Cooper

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Partial Transcript: I had two personal experiences with John Sherman Cooper. . .

Segment Synopsis: Clark recalls some personal encounters he had with Cooper in Kentucky.

Keywords: Alben Barkley; Courting; Debates; Decisions; Endorsement; Everett Dirksen; John Sherman Cooper; Keen Johnson; Kentucky Constitution; League of Women Voters; Lectures; Lorraine Cooper; Maxwell Place (Lexington, Ky.); Tates Creek Country Club (Lexington, Ky.)

Subjects: Georgetown College; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Politicians; Speeches; University of Kentucky

00:16:55 - Cooper's significance to Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: . . .What did he mean to Kentucky?

Segment Synopsis: Clark assesses Cooper's significance to Kentucky, especially in terms of his political legacy.

Keywords: 80th U.S. Congress; Communication; Contributions; Control; Dwight Eisenhower; Federal jobs; Grassroots politics; Henry Clay; John Sherman Cooper; Legislation; Minority party; Political background; Republicans; Senate; Senators; U.S. Ambassador to India; World War II

Subjects: Economics; Freedom; Geography; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Leadership; Legacy; Personality; Politicians; Reputation; Voting; Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945

00:22:06 - Somerset, Kentucky political history

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Partial Transcript: Pulaski County--Somerset were Republican, why?

Segment Synopsis: Clark provides an overview of the political history of Somerset, Kentucky, focusing on the Civil War years.

Keywords: 1860 U.S. presidential election; 1899 Kentucky gubernatorial election; Armed forces; Assassinations; Congressional districts; John Sherman Cooper; Mountain Echo (newspaper); Nationalists; Political coverage; Political figures; Republicans; Somerset Commonwealth; Somerset Journal; U.S. Army; Union soldiers; William Goebel

Subjects: Death; Education; History; Home; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Laurel County (Ky.); Leadership; Newspapers; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Somerset (Ky.); United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.; United States. Army--Southern unionists; Work

00:25:39 - Influences on Cooper

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Partial Transcript: --Uh--Cooper was a product of--of two things. . .

Segment Synopsis: Clark provides his opinion of some of the greatest influences on Cooper's life, including his family, political background, and his wives.

Keywords: Ambitions; Appalachia; Beliefs; Caldwell and Company; Cassius Clay; Circuit judges; Connections; Elections; Finances; Fiscal court; Grandfathers; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Nepotism; Patronage; Political background; Republicans; Roscoe Tartar; Schools; Senate; Senators; Skull and Bones (Yale); State railroad commission; Uncles; World War II

Subjects: Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Death; Education; Fathers; Harvard Law School; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Kentucky. State legislature; Mothers; New Haven (Conn.); Personality; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Rural conditions; Somerset (Ky.); University of Kentucky; Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945; Yale University

00:32:29 - Lorraine Cooper

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Partial Transcript: I've met her oh, two or three times.

Segment Synopsis: Clark discusses Lorraine Cooper and her influence upon her husband.

Keywords: Campaign jingles; Dating; Influences; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Politics; Senate; Senators

Subjects: Kentuckians; Kentucky; Marriage; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Washington (D.C.)

00:35:06 - Cooper's life and brother / Cooper's appeal to constituents

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Partial Transcript: You have--uh--you have such. . .important era of world history and national history of domestic--uh--politics. . .

Segment Synopsis: Clark discusses Cooper's life and his younger brother, Richard. Clark considers what made Cooper appealing to constituents.

Keywords: Brothers; Domestic politics; Dwight Eisenhower; Emergency legislation; Fathers; Illnesses; John Sherman Cooper; Law schools; Legal residence; Local politics; Lorraine Cooper; Mothers; National history; Partisan politics; Richard Cooper; Senate; Senators; Sisters; Tributes; World War II

Subjects: Business; Death; Frankfort (Ky.); Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); India; Judgment; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Personality; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Somerset (Ky.); Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945; World history

00:40:55 - Cooper as U.S. Ambassador to India

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Partial Transcript: And we sent them as near an Abraham Lincoln figure as we could have, out of this country.

Segment Synopsis: Clark details what Cooper was like as U.S. Ambassador to India and how the people of India perceived him.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; American experience; Chester Bowles; Colonial period; George Washington; Great emancipationist; Indian Army; Indian newspapers; Jawaharlal Nehru; Job recommendations; John Foster Dulles; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Republic; Saving the union; Thomas Howard Benton; U.S. Ambassador to India; University; William Benton

Subjects: Ambassadors; Americans; Cold War; Correspondence; Independence; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Letters; Personality; Politicians; Race; United States; Visas

00:45:57 - People from India visiting the U.S. / William Faulkner

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Partial Transcript: . . .The cultural affairs officer--uh--asked me if I would bring two Indians with me.

Segment Synopsis: Clark recalls his participation in a State Department program that brought people from India to visit the U.S. Clark describes some of the challenges that the visiting Indians faced in the U.S. Clark discusses his experiences with author William Faulkner at the University of Mississippi.

Keywords: Birla family; Bombay (India); Business managers; Cultural affairs offices; Fathers; Foreign service officers; Hindu; History departments; John Sherman Cooper; Legislation; Mothers; Photographers; Publishing; Sisters; Southerners; Speaking engagements; The Sound and the Fury (book); The South; U.S. Army; United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); William Faulkner; World War II

Subjects: Austria; Culture; Death; Diaries; Discrimination; Hawaii; India; Indians; Lexington (Ky.); Mississippi; New Delhi (India); Newspapers; Philippines; Politicians; United States; United States. Department of State; University of Kentucky; University of Mississippi; Uttar Pradesh (India)--Politics and government; Volunteers; Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945

00:58:54 - Clark's life in India

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Partial Transcript: How long were you in India?

Segment Synopsis: Clark describes his time spent in India during the 1950s as part of a State Department cultural exchange program.

Keywords: Academic year; Ambala (India); Baptist mission; Bombay (India); British Army; Calicut (India); Cambridge University; Change of administrations; Chester Bowles; Colonels; Cultural affairs officers; Cultural centers; Doctors; Dwight Eisenhower; Foreign service; Funerals; Indian Army; Indian food; Israeli stamp; Jawaharlal Nehru; John Foster Dulles; John Sherman Cooper; Journal of Southern History; Mahatma Gandhi; Oxford Debating Society; Oxford University; Pune (India); Raj; Rebellion; Revolutionary War; Rotary clubs; South India; Trans World Airlines (TWA); Universities; Vasco da Gama

Subjects: Andhra Pradesh (India)--History; Anglo-Indians; Black people; British; Coimbatore (India); Common sense; Communism; Communists; Democracy; India; Iraq; Kolkata (India); Leadership; New Delhi (India); New York (N.Y.); Paris (France); Politicians; Speeches; Training; Travel; United States; United States. Department of State; Washington (D.C.)

01:11:21 - More on Cooper's life in India / Clark's experiences in India during the Cold War

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Partial Transcript: But--uh--John Cooper, I'm sure, got all over India.

Segment Synopsis: Clark details Cooper's time spent as the U.S. Ambassador to India in the mid-1950s. Clark also relays his experiences of living in India during the Cold War.

Keywords: Adam Smith; American bicycle manufacturing; Bombay (India); Citrus fruit industry; Civic organizations; Common school system; Credit systems; Cultural affairs; Death announcements; Economy; English education system; Family; Fathers; Ford Foundation; Government; Grandfathers; Industry; Jawaharlal Nehru; Job offers; John Sherman Cooper; Leaders; Modern education system; Professors; Retirement homes; Rotary clubs; Salary; Students; U.S. Ambassador to India; United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS); Universities; Villages

Subjects: Ambassadors; Cattle; Cold War; Education; Health; India; Indians; Indus River Valley; Jute industry; Knowledge; Kolkata (India); Libraries; Muslims; New Delhi (India); New York times; Pakistan; Politicians; Sikhs; Speeches; Teaching; Tibet; Tibetans; Training; Travel; United States; University of Kentucky

01:19:43 - India now vs. then

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Partial Transcript: What, what I don't have a handle on, and I guess don't really need to have a handle on for the purposes of my project, is how India--how the India of today compares with how it was forty-some years ago.

Segment Synopsis: Clark compares what India was like in the 1950s to the conditions found in the country during the 1990s.

Keywords: American methods; American varieties; Calcutta (India); Chester Bowles; Crops; Darjeeling tea; Experiment stations; Farm implements; Fertilizer; John Sherman Cooper; Modernization; Nagpur oranges; Senate; Senators; Sugar cane; Tobacco; Transportation systems; U.S. Ambassador to India; West Bengal

Subjects: Agriculture; Ambassadors; Bangladesh; Droughts; Engineers; Family farms; Famines; Floods; Hepatitis; Hindus; Independence; India; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; Politicians; Poverty; Scott (Miss.); Tennessee Valley Authority; Thar Desert (India and Pakistan); Tibet; Timber; Travel; United States. Department of State; Villages; Water use