Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Walter D. Huddleston, March 4, 2002

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Hyundai plant in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Okay Senator, I think we're on here.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston discusses the possibility of a Hyundai plant opening in Kentucky and what it will do for the economy. Huddleston talks about the economic developments which have occurred in Kentucky over the past 50 years, particularly in terms of industrial growth.

Keywords: Economy--Kentucky; Industry--Kentucky; Kentucky economics

Subjects: Automobile factories; Economics.; Elizabethtown (Ky.); Factories; Kentucky; United States--Economic conditions--1981-2001.

00:04:33 - Life as a U.S. Senator

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Partial Transcript: And I think people don't realize how difficult a Senator--a Senator's life is--

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston talks about the difficulties of being a U.S. Senator, salary conditions, and balancing family life.

Keywords: Families of senators; Kentucky senators; Legislators--United States--Kentucky; Salaries, U.S. Senators; Senators (United States)

Subjects: Families; Legislators--United States.; Legislators.; Politicians--Kentucky; Politicians.; Salaries

00:15:30 - Bob Dole

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Partial Transcript: So is that how you got to know Bob Dole, through the Ag programs?

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston talks about his interactions with Bob Dole, as well as his overall impression of Dole as a senator.

Keywords: Legislators--United States--Kentucky; Majority floor leaders; United States Senate; Vice presidential candidates

Subjects: Dole, Bob; Huddleston, Walter D. (Walter Darlington), 1926-2018; Legislators--United States; Political candidates; Politicians--Kentucky; Politicians.; Politics, Practical; Presidential candidates

00:25:34 - Working as a U.S. Senator / Kentuckians in Washington, D.C.

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Partial Transcript: Trying to--it's interesting how you mentioned about how you--how you viewed that, uh, development with Milton.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston talks about how he was able to inform himself about a variety of issues within the Senate due to his staff members who were able to provide him with information. He also discusses the connections between Kentucky and Washington, D.C. that he noticed during his time as a senator.

Keywords: Kentucky politicians; Kentucky senators; Senator staffs; Smithsonian Museums; U.S. Senators

Subjects: Economics; Huddleston, Walter D. (Walter Darlington), 1926-2018; Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Legislators.; National Museum of American History (U.S.); Politicians--Kentucky; Staff

00:36:38 - Reaction to Watergate Affair, 1972-1974

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, you're quoted in the paper.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston discusses his reaction to the Watergate Scandal and the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

Keywords: Government scandals; Governmental crises; Impeachment of Richard Nixon; U.S. Senators

Subjects: Impeachments; Legislators; Legislators--United States; Nixon, Richard; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics, Practical; Resignation from office; Watergate Affair, 1972-1974.

00:40:27 - Economic envoy to Britain, 1973

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Partial Transcript: Uh, that summer, early summer of [19]73, uh, uh, you spent part of June in England.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston discusses spending a summer in England with other senators, discussing economic issues with members of Parliament.

Keywords: British Parliament; Great Britain--Economic issues; U. S. Senators; U.S. Senators--International work; United States--Economic issues

Subjects: Economic history; Economics; Great Britain. Parliament; Kentucky; Legislators; Legislators--United States; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics; Politics, Practical

00:51:14 - Senate salary, 1970s

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Partial Transcript: As we talked about earlier and we've mentioned before, probably one of the most serious, uh, fin--money things in your mind was how're you gonna make--how you're going to make this work on your salary.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston talks about the difficulty on living on a United States senator's salary during the 1970s as national inflation rose. He discusses the particulars of how he managed to support his family financially. Huddleston discusses the other young senators who had difficulty supporting themselves, compared to wealthier senators.

Keywords: Honorariums; Inflation; Inflation--1970-1980; Public speeches; Salaries--Senators; United States Senators; United States. Senate

Subjects: Huddleston, Walter D. (Walter Darlington), 1926-2018; Kentucky--Politics and government; Legislators--United States; Quality of life; Salaries; United States--Politics and government.

01:06:54 - Daily senatorial work

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Partial Transcript: And you're still--your pride in being a United States senator, but day in and day out it, it can be a grind--

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston discusses the work he did day-to-day as a senator.

Keywords: Careers in politics; Constituents; Kentucky senators; Legislators--United States--Kentucky; Political careers; Senators (United States); United States. Senate

Subjects: Legislative bodies--Committees; Legislators--United States; Politicians; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics, Practical; United States--Politics and government

01:15:57 - Democratic Party, 1970s

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Partial Transcript: In August of [19]73, there's talk that William Sullivan is gonna be--take over J. R. Miller's role as head of the Democratic Party.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston discusses changes which occurred in the Democratic Party during his time as a senator, though he details his commitment to a bipartisan position while a senator.

Keywords: Bipartisanship; Kentucky Democrats; Kentucky senators; Legislators--Democratic Party; United States--Senators--Kentucky

Subjects: Democratic Party (Ky.); Democratic Party (U.S.); Ford, Wendell H., 1924-2015; Huddleston, Walter D. (Walter Darlington), 1926-2018; Kentucky--Politics and government; Legislators--United States; Partisanship

01:21:52 - Kentucky legislative sessions / 1970s energy crisis

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Partial Transcript: That summer of [19]73, you and Marlow Cook endorsed the constitutional amendment for annual legislative sessions here in Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Huddleston talks about implementing yearly legislative sessions for the Kentucky legislature. He discusses the details of the constitutional amendment which allowed the legislature to be more active, both during their sessions and between sessions.

Keywords: 1970s energy crisis; Alternative fuels; Inflation--1970-1980; Kentucky. Legislature; Legislative leadership; Legislators--United States--Kentucky

Subjects: Cook, Marlow W. (Marlow Webster), 1926-2016; Democratic Party (Ky.); Energy; Kentucky; Kentucky. General Assembly; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics, Practical; United States--Politics and government