Interview with James F. Hopkins, November 3, 1975
Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project
Interview SummaryJames F. Hopkins is a retired Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. He came to UK as a graduate student in 1937, and received his M. A. in History in 1938. Hopkins recalls he and Clark were from the same county in Mississippi, but met as roommates their first year at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Thomas D. Clark encouraged him to pursue graduate work at UK, and like Clark, Hopkins received his Ph.D. from Duke University, where he studied under Charles Sackett Sydnor. Hopkins discusses the department and the faculty in place at UK when he returned in 1940 to teach. Hopkins married and was drafted shortly thereafter. He talks about the effect World War II had on campus activities. By the time Hopkins returned after the war, Clark was the department head. Hopkins remembers he met Lyman Johnson, the first African American to attend graduate school at UK under court order in 1948. He recalls John Hope Franklin was a consultant on this case. He remembers the History faculty was sympathetic towards the situation, although some students and faculty still favored segregation.
Hopkins remembers McCarthyism during the 1950's and that, in general, UK's faculty perceived Senator Joseph McCarthy as "a menace." He talks about membership in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Hopkins shares his recollections of UK presidents he worked under including Dr. Frank McVey, Dr. Herman L. Donovan, Dr. Frank G. Dickey, and Dr. John W. Oswald. He discusses the criteria for tenure. He talks about the process of studying history and judging the objectivity and originality of the research material. Hopkins discusses his writings and the challenges of research. He talks funding the project to arrange and describe the Henry Clay papers through several channels, including the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Hopkins explains the importance of small presses such as the University Press for providing scholarly publishing opportunities. He recalls traveling to professional meetings. He talks about his work with the UK Senate and various committees. Hopkins also discusses changes in student attitudes towards education over the years.
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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Hopkins, James F. Interview by Charles C. Hay. 03 Nov. 1975. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Hopkins, J.F. (1975, November 03). Interview by C. C. Hay. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Hopkins, James F., interview by Charles C. Hay. November 03, 1975, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt73tx353v96