Interview SummaryAlben W. Barkley begins this interview with an explanation of where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He describes the atmosphere when Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed both houses of Congress to ask for a declaration of war. He recalls the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died and meeting with Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt shortly afterward.
In the remainder of this interview, Barkley discusses his experiences in Congress and the people with whom he served. Barkley states that the House of Representatives is too large and it hinders the workflow of Congress. He mentions Congressman Carter Glass and Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. Barkley also remembers Miss Hebe Hamilton, a newspaper reporter and the first-short haired woman that Barkley ever saw.
Barkley explains how a member of the Secret Service was assigned to him after an attempt on Truman's life in Puerto Rico. He reflects upon meeting King Michael of Romania and King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece. Queen Frederika was kind enough to tell Barkley about her courtship by King Paul and he retells the story.
Barkley continues discussing his congressional colleagues. He mentions Claude Kitchen of North Carolina, James Mann, Senator Kenneth McKellar, James Farley, Henry T. Rainey, and Sam Rayburn. He describes Joseph Cannon in detail and tells of a feud between Cannon and Nicholas Longworth. Barkley recalls that older members of Congress were happy to share advice with new members. Barkley also reminisces about picnics in the Kentucky countryside, he mentions his interest in visiting historic sites, and he remembers practicing his oratory skills in the woods as a young man.
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s).
Barkley, Alben W. Interview by Sidney Shalett. 04 Aug. 1953. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Barkley, A.W. (1953, August 04). Interview by S. Shalett. Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Barkley, Alben W., interview by Sidney Shalett. August 04, 1953, Alben W. Barkley Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.
If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.
Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt705q4rk486