Interview with Lawrence W. Wetherby, July 26, 1984
Project: John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project
Interview SummaryFormer Governor of Kentucky Lawrence Wetherby begins the interview by discussing his earliest memories of Cooper. Wetherby talks of Happy Chandler and his status as a major player in Kentucky politics. Wetherby details his work with Earle Clements in 1956 when they were both campaigning for the Senate. Kentucky Democratic Party factions of the 1950s are explored. Wetherby recalls the circumstances behind becoming the Democratic nominee for Alben Barkley's Senate seat in 1956. Wetherby talks of Happy Chandler's tendency of not supporting Democrats in national elections. Wetherby discusses Cooper, who was his opponent in the 1956 Senate race. Wetherby shares his overall views of Cooper. Wetherby provides an explanation as to why he did not run against Cooper for the Senate in 1954. Additionally, Wetherby discusses how Kentucky Democrats obtained funding sources for campaigns in the 1950s. Wetherby also lists some of the most important people in the Kentucky tobacco industry in the 1940s and 1950s. Cooper's role in obtaining tobacco price supports is considered. The primary issues in the 1956 Senate race between Cooper and Wetherby are examined. Cooper's campaign style is discussed. Wetherby provides his opinion of Cooper as a politician. Wetherby evaluates which Kentucky newspapers were the most supportive of Democrats. Wetherby talks of his strong support base in rural counties. Wetherby describes his relationship with the Bingham family of Louisville. Kentucky politics in the 1950s is illustrated. Wetherby remembers Cooper's 1960 Senatorial campaign against Keen Johnson. Wetherby discusses the friendship between Cooper and John F. Kennedy. Wetherby highlights his participation in the 1962 Senatorial campaign of Wilson Wyatt. Wetherby offers a comparison of the political philosophies of Cooper and Thruston Morton. Wetherby articulates the differences in the structures of the Kentucky Democratic Party and the Kentucky Republican Party. Wetherby assesses the most important factions in the Kentucky Republican Party in the 1960s. Wetherby's recent political career is explored. Wetherby emphasizes the rarity of factions in the Kentucky Democratic Party in the 1980s. Wetherby generalizes about trends in Kentucky politics during the 1980s. Wetherby considers Cooper's contributions to Kentucky, focusing on infrastructure. To conclude the interview, Wetherby explains how he helped to establish the Interstate Highway System in Kentucky through toll roads.
Interview KeywordJohn Sherman Cooper Albert "Happy" Chandler Earle Clements Democrats Republicans 1956 Senatorial camapaign Campaign finance 1954 Senatorial campaign 1960 Senatorial campaign John F. Kennedy 1962 Senatorial campaign Wilson Wyatt Thruston Morton 1966 Senatorial campaign Kentucky Democratic Party Kentucky Republican Party Political factions Dwight Eisenhower
Interview LC SubjectCooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991 Politicians Politicians--United States Politics and government United States--Politics and government Wetherby, Lawrence W. (Lawrence Winchester), 1908- Wetherby, Lawrence W. (Lawrence Winchester), 1908- --Interviews Washington (D.C.) Kentucky Kentuckians Tobacco Farmers Newspapers Bingham family Louisville (Ky.) Popularity Infrastructure Interstate Highway System Toll roads Governors
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.
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Wetherby, Lawrence W. Interview by Richard C. Smoot. 26 Jul. 1984. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Wetherby, L.W. (1984, July 26). Interview by R. C. Smoot. John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Wetherby, Lawrence W., interview by Richard C. Smoot. July 26, 1984, John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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