Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with John Ed Pearce, September 13, 1996

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Barkley and the Truman campaign

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Partial Transcript: Where'd we get to?

Segment Synopsis: Pearce talks about the Harry S. Truman campaign. Talks about his surprise to learn that Truman won the election. Talks about why he thought Truman won. Talks about Alben W. Barkley.

Keywords: Campaigns; Elections; John Moremen; Louisville (Ky.); Politics

Subjects: Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956; Pearce, John Ed.; Presidents--Election.Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.

00:09:25 - Effects of politics and wars on America

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Partial Transcript: But those were four good years. They--actually those were the years that I think were critical to the forward thrust of prosperity in this country.

Segment Synopsis: Pearce talks about the "golden years" of America. Talks about soldiers taking advantage of the GI Bill. Talks about liberalism in the country. Interviewer talks about a radio program.

Keywords: Bill Clinton; Colleges; Education; GI Bills; Liberalism; Liberals; Presidential elections; Radio programs; Soldiers; Veterans; Vietnam War

Subjects: Liberalism.; Pearce, John Ed.; United States. Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944

00:16:07 - Civil rights / Happy Chandler as baseball commissioner

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Partial Transcript: Thinking about, uh, this period in the, uh, late 40's and early 50's, uh. As you know at UK we have Fred Vinson's papers and we have Stanley Reed's papers.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer asks about Pearce's involvement in the civil rights movement. Pearce talks about Happy Chandler and how he felt about Chandler being Commissioner of Baseball. He talks about Happy Chandler's involvement in Jackie Robinson's playing Major League Baseball. The interviewer asks about the Bingham's interest in commercial sports in Louisville.

Keywords: Baseball; Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka; Fred Vinson; Louisville (Ky.); Richard Russell; Senators; Stanley Reed; Weldon James

Subjects: Baseball commissioners; Bingham, Barry, 1906-1988; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Civil rights movements--United States; Kentucky--Politics and government; Pearce, John Ed.; Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972.

00:24:55 - Candidates for Kentucky Governor

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Partial Transcript: Well let's move back into an area then where we sort of left off last time, I think we looked at that.

Segment Synopsis: Pearce talks about potential candidates to replace Bert T. Combs as Kentucky governor in 1963. Talks about his relationship with John B. Breckinridge. Talks about Happy Chandler's presence on television.

Keywords: Bert T. Combs; Edward T. Breathitt; John B. Breckinridge; Tom Easterly

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Pearce, John Ed.

00:40:01 - Governor Bert T. Combs

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Partial Transcript: What were--uh, what did Combs want to do after he left office? Did you all sit around and talk about the future at that point?

Segment Synopsis: Pearce talks about Bert Combs' affair with Helen Clark Rechtin and Combs' wife Mabel finding out. Talks about Combs' law partnership and keeping his relationship with Rechtin discreet. Talks about the differences between Combs and Governor Breathitt.

Keywords: Divorces; Edward T. Breathitt; Helen Clark Rechtin; Mabel Hall Combs

Subjects: Combs, Bert T., 1911-1991; Pearce, John Ed.

00:55:48 - Governor Edward T. Breathitt / strip mining

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Partial Transcript: Now, Breathitt as governor--following Combs would be tough, I think.

Segment Synopsis: Pearce talks about Breathitt's achievements as governor. Talks about strip mining in eastern Kentucky. Talks about a book he likes about farming in Kentucky. Interview is concluded.

Keywords: "Our Ravaged Land"; Campaigns; Edward T. Breathitt; Strip mining; Tobacco farms; William B. Sturgill

Subjects: Kentucky. Governor (1963-1967 : Breathitt); Pearce, John Ed.