Interview with John Sherman Cooper, December 8, 1984
Project: John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project
Interview SummaryCooper begins the interview by detailing his stance on Medicare. Cooper discusses the various versions of Medicare created in 1962 and 1964, respectively. Cooper compares what Lyndon Johnson was like as a president to his behavior as a Senator. Cooper recalls his first term in the Senate, including the National Health Insurance bill. Cooper describes Medicare and its future in the 1980s. Cooper highlights tobacco legislation he supported in the Senate. Cooper provides his opinion on tobacco, in particular the conflict of interest between its adverse health effects and the economic dependency of Kentucky tobacco farmers on the cash crop. Cooper gives his perspective on the unsuccessful movement to change the Kentucky Constitution in 1964. Cooper describes his views on civil rights and why he supported the civil rights movement. Cooper's commencement speech at Howard University during this time is also mentioned. Cooper details the key players in the Senate debates over the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Cooper's role on the Warren Commission is examined. Cooper illustrates President Johnson's views on civil rights. Cooper tells some stories of Lyndon Johnson in the Senate. Everett Dirksen's role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is considered. Cooper's own role in getting the act passed is also detailed. Cooper shares his views on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Cooper remembers how his constituents reacted to his favorable stance on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Cooper discusses the 1964 presidential election, including campaigning for Goldwater and his experiences at the 1964 Republican National Convention. Cooper's working relationship with Senator Mark Hatfield is explored. Additionally, Cooper discusses the Bobby Baker investigation. Cooper explains why the Bobby Baker investigation prompted the creation of the Senate Ethics Committee in 1964. Cooper evaluates how the Bobby Baker investigation affected the Senate. Cooper explains why he was in favor of a 1964 amendment to a proposed expansion of the food stamp program that called for able-bodied program recipients to engage in public works projects. Cooper also discusses his stance on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Cooper shares his views on the Vietnam War as a whole. Additionally, Cooper considers his role in the Southern strategy of the Republican Party to get more votes in the South. Cooper talks of his friendship with Tennessee Senator Howard Baker. Thruston Morton's role in the Republican Southern strategy is discussed. To conclude the interview, Cooper details the influence of Democrats and the civil rights movement of the 1960s on the Southern strategy.
Interview KeywordLyndon Johnson John F. Kennedy County judges Healthcare Senate Senators John Bricker Civil Rights Act of 1964 Jim Eastland Richard Russell Warren Commission Everett Dirksen Constituents 1964 Republican National Convention Barry Goldwater 1964 presidential election Mark Hatfield Bobby Baker Bobby Baker investigation Senate Ethics Committee Gulf of Tonkin Resolution Stanley Karnow William Fulbright Southern strategy Republican Party Howard Baker Thruston Morton Democrats The South
Interview LC SubjectCooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991 Cooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991--Interviews Politicians Politicians--United States Politics and government United States--Politics and government Washington (D.C.) Medicare Health Pulaski County (Ky.) Kentucky Kentuckians Tobacco Tobacco farmers Warning labels Kentucky. Constitution (1891) Civil rights Civil rights movement African Americans Black people Howard University Oregon Food stamps Public works Vietnam War, 1961-1975
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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Cooper, John Sherman Interview by William Cooper. 08 Dec. 1984. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Cooper, J.S. (1984, December 08). Interview by W. Cooper. John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Cooper, John Sherman, interview by William Cooper. December 08, 1984, John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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