Louisiana was run by the New Orleans-based political establishment, called the “Old Regulars,” who exercised total control of state government through the legislature and a network of local sheriffs and “courthouse rings.” These “machine politicians” enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the wealthy planter class and large corporations and utilities, who were given free reign to profit off the state in return for their support. Huey Long is inaugurated as Governor Source: LSU Special Collection Upon his election to the Governor’s seat, he immediately began to reform the state’s bureaucracy installing his supporters in all major offices of the Louisiana state government. At his own expense, he printed and distributed thousands of circulars – flyers that laid out in detail his reform agenda. Huey frequently resorted to standing on the top of his car to personally nail campaign posters high on telephone polls, where they could not be easily torn down by his opponents. Upon his election, Huey transformed the state bureaucracy, installing supporters in every level of government and often placing a premium on competence over cronyism. Huey’s revolutionary campaign and victory toppled the corrupt political establishment that had ruled since the French. Comte, Natale M. (Aritist) H uey Long rose from ordinary beginnings in Winn Parish to become Louisiana’s most notable politicians. Long, known as "Uncle Earl", connected with voters through his folksy demeanor and colorful oratory. Born, Winnfield, La., August 30, 1893; son of Huey Pierce Long, Sr., and Caledonia Tison. Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934, which proposed new wealth redistribution … Earl Kemp Long was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Louisiana, serving three nonconsecutive terms. In 1928, Huey P. Long was elected governor, establishing himself as one of the state's most colorful characters. Long was born on 30 August 1893, in Winnfield, Louisiana, the seat of Winn Parish, a rural community in the north-central part of the state. Favorites included “Turkey Head” Walmsley, “Whistle Britches” Rightor, “Shinola” Phelps, and “Feather Duster” Ransdell. Huey Long first entered politics as the Governor of Louisiana in 1928. Huey Long, in full Huey Pierce Long, (born August 30, 1893, near Winnfield, Louisiana, U.S.—died September 10, 1935, Baton Rouge, Louisiana), flamboyant and demagogic governor of Louisiana and U.S. senator whose social reforms and radical welfare proposals were ultimately overshadowed by the unprecedented executive dictatorship that he perpetrated to ensure control of his home state. Long's ambitious road-building program was funded by bond measures that were voter-approved and backed by a gasoline tax. It was the perfect combination to foster self-confidence and compassion in a precocious boy. With greater access to transportation, education and healthcare, the quality of life in Louisiana was on the upswing while the rest of the nation declined. … At Huey’s inauguration, more than 15,000 supporters flocked to the capital to see one of their own take the oath as governor. Huey Long, the eighth child of a Louisiana farmer, stands out as one of the most colorful figures in the history of American politics. Long's brother, Earl K. Long, was elected as Governor of Louisiana in 1948. Huey P. Long's grave and statue can be seen today directly in front of the Louisiana State Capitol. Huey Long won the governorship in 1928 without any machine backing, winning the Democratic primary because of his visceral connection with white rural voters. Allen. In a state covering nearly 52,000 square miles, of which 16 percent is dominated by waterways, there existed only 300 miles of paved roads and three major bridges. While in … In 1928, Huey Long ran again for Louisiana governor, campaigning with the slogan, “Every man a king,” a phrase adopted from populist hero William Jennings Bryan. Huey Long shocked the political establishment by throwing the aristocracy out of power and building a mightier political machine than the one he toppled. Sixty percent of the state’s two million citizens lived in rural conditions with only the bare necessities. The president of the Senate, Alvin O. King,a supporter of Long, took the office of lieutenant governor as succession dictates. Louisiana had the third-lowest cost of government in the nation while providing unprecedented services to its people. He also launched a massive building program of roads, bridges, hospitals, and educational institutions. Most families could not afford to purchase the textbooks required for their children to attend school. Most white farmers had not completed the fourth grade, and nearly 240,000 adults could not read. Senator on a platform of social reform and justice, all the while employing graft and corruption to get what he wanted. Huey Long's brother; known for helping Huey during his impeachment by visiting senators one by one and obtaining their signed agreement to vote against removing Governor Long from office. He was the son of Huey Pierce Long, Sr. and was the seventh of nine children in a farm-owning middle-class family. After a failed attempt by his opponents to remove him from office, Huey consolidated his power in the state and became known as the “Kingfish.”. Huey Long grew up on a farm in the poorest part of Louisiana. He expanded the campus, tripled enrollment, and built LSU into one of the best schools in the South and the eleventh largest state university in the country. In the face of entrenched opposition from the old guard, he launched an unprecedented program to build the state’s infrastructure and provide education and economic opportunity to the masses. Huey Long was a high-school dropout from Louisiana who made it into law school, studied for only one year before passing the bar exam, and was eventually elected governor of Louisiana. O.K. In the face of entrenched opposition from the old guard, he launched an unprecedented program to build the state’s infrastructure and provide education and economic opportunity to the masses. Courtesy of LSU Libraries Special Collections, Baton Rouge. His campaign slogan in 1928 had been borrowed from a previous populist, William Jennings Bryan: ''Every man a king'~`. below). Read more quotes on Huey Long's political methods. This corporation was Huey Long's biggest enemy during his time in power: standard oil. Long's education programs were funded by increasing the severance tax on natural resources extracted from the state by various industries based on quantity, which increased state revenue particularly from the oil industry. A brilliant orator, Long made hundreds of campaign speeches among rural voters, expressing a vision for a new Louisiana in which government would be responsive to the needs of its people. Huey's son, Russell B. Huey immediately pushed a number of bills through the legislature to fulfill his campaign promises, including a free textbook program for schoolchildren, night courses for adult literacy, and piping natural gas to New Orleans. Huey’s revolutionary campaign methods transformed Louisiana politics. Huey became known as “the Kingfish” in Louisiana, after a character in the radio show “Amos ‘n’ Andy” who headed a fraternal order called the “Mystic Knights of the Sea.” After winning his Senate seat, Huey explained his nickname by saying, “I'm a small fish here in Washington, but I'm ‘the Kingfish’ to the folks down in Louisiana.”. The poll tax hindered the lower classes from voting, and the poor paid disproportionately high property taxes for state services they never received. How many times was Huey Long elected Governor of Louisiana: 2. Huey lowered tuition and instituted scholarship programs that enabled poor students to attend. Where are the institutions to care for the sick and disabled? In 1930, Huey Long was elected as: In 1928, Huey Long ran again for Louisiana governor, campaigning with the slogan, “Every man a king,” a phrase adopted from populist hero William Jennings Bryan. They knew they would lose their jobs if Long lost his. Unidentified. Huey Long shakes hands with constituents on the courthouse steps. “…It is here under this oak where Evangeline waited for her lover, Gabriel, who never came. Despite meager formal education, Long passed the state bar examination at age twenty-two and earned a laudable reputation with his … As gov… Huey stated to a reporter, "[Cyr] is no longer lieutenant governor, and he is now nothing." Courtesy of LSU Libraries Special Collections, Baton Rouge. Life was hard in 1920s Louisiana, with little hope of advancement for a poor majority isolated by geography. Huey was in a hurry to get things done and passed scores of laws that enabled him to enact his programs. In public, Huey P. Long boasted of his populist policy bona fides, hiding his well-to-do upbringing to convince Louisiana’s poor and working class … Senator and favorite son. Huey employed many of his predecessors’ tactics to get his programs passed; however, he never received the corporate and media support that the “Old Regular” politicians enjoyed. Governor Huey P. Long. Huey's bills met stiff opposition from many legislators and the state’s newspapers, which were financed by the state’s business interests, but Huey used wily and persuasive methods (see "Long's Political Methods") to win passage of his bills. Long, a left-wing populist, first proposed the plan in a national radio address, which is now referred to as the "Share Our Wealth Speech". In the 1930s, Long oversaw construction of a new state capitol building, four blocks from the Heidelberg Hotel. The official version of Long’s death is that it was an assassination carried out by a 29-year-old, well-respected Baton Rouge physician named Carl Weiss. * Some of Long's programs were completed by his successor, Gov. Huey’s revolutionary campaign and victory toppled the corrupt political establishment that had ruled since the French. It was there that his tyrannical characteristics and flamboyant lifestyle became evident to the public. Rural audiences loved Huey’s sense of humor and the memorable nicknames he invented to poke fun at his opponents. Courtesy of Louisiana State Museum. Where are the schools that you have waited for your children to have, that have never come? His home was a haven of security, faith, and education, which provided him with all the fundamentals to succeed. He promised Louisiana’s needy citizens good roads, bridges, free hospital care, free education, and lower property taxes. This oak is an immortal spot, made so by Longfellow's poem, but Evangeline is not the only one who has waited here in disappointment. Poised to run for president on his “ Share Our Wealth ” platform, Long was assassinated in 1935 at the age of 42. Weiss, the story goes, was angry that Huey P. Long had orchestrated the ouster of his father-in-law, Benjamin Pavy, from a … Courtesy of State Library of Louisiana. Former Democratic Governor of Louisiana Earl Long, portrayed by Paul Newman in this picture, was the uncle of Democratic U.S. Huey Long during a Washington DC radio broadcast. Comte, Natale M. (Aritist) O n the eve of the Great Depression, Louisiana politics increasingly came to be dominated by the powerful persona of Governor-turned-Senator Huey Long and his minions. If nothing else, Huey Long was a fascinating character and one of the most unique politicians in American history. Long's platform was summarized in a famous 1928 campaign speech delivered in St. Martinville, La., under the Evangeline Oak, the subject of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He refused to take the usual bribes offered by business in exchange for their support, and he was frequently in need of cash to print circulars and travel the state to advocate for his programs and combat negative press. He served for 39 years. Huey Long, "Share the Wealth," 1934 . Home > Life & Times > Campaign for Governor. Meanwhile, Louisiana was widely regarded as the most backward state in the nation. Louisiana employed 22,000 men just to build the roads — ten percent of the nation's highway workers. With each victory, he relished humiliating the "pie eating politicians" and reveled in his role as the people's champion. To finance these improvements, Huey restructured the tax system, shifting the burden from the poor to large businesses and the state’s wealthiest citizens (see "How Did Long Pay for His Programs?" Traditional figures of Southern authority despised him, but he quickly gained a following among small independent farmers. He came from a large, comfortable family in a small, close-knit community. After his commanding victory, Huey pursued his agenda with renewed strength and formed an uneasy alliance with the “Old Regulars” and their chief, New Olreans Mayor T. Semmes Walmsley (nicknamed “Turkey Head” Walmsley by Huey). Long won the election by the largest margin in the state’s history, and his closest opponent refused to face him in a run-off. Earl served as Governor from 1939-40; 1948-52; 1956-60. Long, was elected to the U.S. Senate the same year and went on to become one of the most powerful senators in American history. (known as the Round Robin) U. S. Senator Long After only 2 years as Louisiana's Governor, Huey … Politics in 1920s Louisiana was a dirty business dominated by influence peddling and cronyism. Give me the chance to dry the eyes of those who still weep here.”. A man of boundless energy, he pursued an exhaustive speaking schedule, often making five or more campaign stops a day. His support transcended the traditional Protestant-Catholic divide of Louisiana politics and replaced it with a new division between the “pro-Long” average citizens and the “anti-Longs” from the wealthy establishment that had been ousted from power. In a mockery to Cyr's action, countless Louisianians went before notary publics to take the oath as Louisiana governor. The public soon began to see the tangible results of a massive building program to modernize Louisiana. Where are the roads and the highways that you send your money to build, that are no nearer now than ever before? During Long's governorship, taxes rose 2.2% compared with a national average of 4.7%. Louisiana's total government operating costs (state and local) were $41.97 per capita - third-lowest among the 24 states that kept such records. active promoter of Louisiana State University. Conservatives called Long a ruthless, dictatorial and corrupt demagogue, and they relentlessly opposed all of his reforms. Always the music lover, Huey wrote a catchy campaign song, “Every Man a King”, that summarized his share-the-wealth philosophy: “Every man a king, for you can be a millionaire — but there's something belonging to others — there's enough for all people to share.”. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), known as "The Kingfish," was a Louisiana governor (1928 – 1932) and U.S. The alliance guaranteed support for Long’s programs and candidates in exchange for major structural improvements in New Orleans. See the reverse for Long’s 22-point platform. Huey did not personally enrich himself with these funds and had surprisingly little money to his name when he was killed. As the nation plunged into the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929, thousands of Louisianians were at work building the state’s new infrastructure. Huey Long's family on the road for his U.S. Senate campaign. Louisiana — and its politics — would never be the same. Courtesy of the Louisiana Political Museum & Hall of Fame. He fired and hired state employees at will, packed local governing boards with supporters, brow beat legislators to vote with him (or bribed them with jobs), passed scores of laws in rapid succession, reduced the powers of city governments that opposed him, and publicly ridiculed the old guard for their reactionary outrage. Education was a luxury few could afford. Governor Huey Long was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1928 by the largest margin in the state’s history. To fulfill his mandate, Long mastered the patronage system his opponents had created, and he out-politicked them at every turn. The funds for hospitals and other institutions came from taxing carbon black at one-half cent per pound. Look no further than Depression-Era Democratic governor Huey Long, a larger-than-life Louisianan who captured 96% of the vote and revolutionized his state. 'Our Next Governor' Huey P. Long campaign card. Click below to hear Huey Long Campaign Song . In his 1928 campaign for governor, he covered 15,000 miles on Louisiana's dirt roads and made 600 speeches. He frequently attended LSU football games, giving locker room pep talks to players and advice to coaches, and he even composed the LSU fight song, “Touchdown for LSU,” which is still played before every football game. "Everything I did, I've had to do with one hand because I've had to fight with the other hand," he said. Senator (1932 – 1935). When the state’s newspapers uniformly aligned against him and his reforms, Huey blanketed the state with his own position papers to explain his programs to the people. Your tears in this country, around this oak, have lasted for generations. Conversely, Huey slashed personal property taxes and fees, shifting the burden of government financing from the public to industry. Dirt roads and abundant water hazards made travel and commerce difficult. He emerged as a major figure in the populistmovement, defined both by the exceptional charisma of powerful leaders who don't like to share power and a deep passion for the plight of the working class. As governor, Huey labeled the press “the lyin’ newspapers” and started his own newspaper, The Louisiana Progress, to get his message out. Huey Long was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1928 by the largest margin in the state’s history. Public education was virtually non-existent among the masses, and one in four adults could not read. Governor Huey Long. Huey reached nationwide audiences through radio broadcasts and a newspaper called The American Progress. Huey served as governor from 1928-1932 and was US Senator from 1930 until 1932 when he was assassinated in the state capitol building. Having learned the value of showmanship during his salesman days, Huey dressed in his trademark white linen suits and presented himself as a country boy who never forgot his roots. Long was revered by the masses as a champion of the common man and demonized by the powerful as a dangerous demagogue. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), nicknamed The Kingfish, was an American politician from the state of Louisiana.A Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies.He served as Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935. (from the Dictionary of Louisiana Biography) LONG, Huey Pierce, governor, U. S. senator. He entertained crowds with a warm-up band, and then lobbed barbs at his “rascal” opponents to the delight of his fans. According to historian T. Harry Williams, Long collected between $50,000 to $75,000 each election cycle from state employees, contrary to exaggerated reports that he collected a million dollars per year. Poor voters felt privileged that a candidate would take the trouble to court them. Evangeline wept bitter tears in her disappointment, but it lasted only through one lifetime. Huey taxed oil operators to finance his free textbook program, provoking the wrath of Standard Oil, which launched an unsuccessful attempt to remove him from office. He attended local schools, where he was an excellent stu… The most lucrative one, the property tax, bore more heavily on the taxpayer of average or below-average means.". He captivated his audiences with his intellect and humor and could speak for hours without notes. The deduct box was never found and is believed to have been stolen by one of his associates. Huey Long speaking to a rural crowd on the courthouse steps. Father of two Louisiana Governors, Huey Pierce Long and Earl Kemp Long. Among its hallmarks was its rank as the tallest capitol building in the U.S. According to historian T. Harry Williams, "Louisiana was known as a state that levied remarkably few taxes ... not enough to support the kind of program Huey envisioned. Without a base of wealthy political contributors, Huey reasoned that this was an appropriate source of funds for his political activities. Governor Huey P. Long. Huey Long (1893-1935) was Louisiana's legendary populist Governor, U.S. One of Huey Long's major promises when he ran for Governor in 1928 was free: Textbooks for school children. Opponents accused Long's administration of graft and overspending, when in fact he ran a fiscally tight ship. Huey attracted huge crowds with his fiery speeches, and his appearances became the talk of the state. Louisiana's Huey Long rose to Governor and U.S. Traditionally, the governor marshaled support by giving out state jobs and lucrative contracts to supporters. In later campaigns, Huey used sound trucks to amplify his voice to the far reaches of the huge crowds he attracted, and he used radio speeches to reach a state-wide audience. As Governor, Huey became an active promoter of Louisiana State University. All I care is what the boys at the fork of the creek think of me.”. Senator Russell Long, and the brother of another Democratic Governor and U.S. He also established the LSU medical school to meet the state's desperate need for new doctors. Few employees complained about the deducts, because jobs were scarce. He departed from other southern politicians of his time by promoting a progressive agenda, expanding school-lunch programs, teacher pay, public-works projects, and minority voting … Share Our Wealth was a movement that began in February 1934, during the Great Depression, by Huey Long, a governor and later United States Senator from Louisiana. Unsalaried, part-time legislators received jobs and cash for doing the bidding of the corporations. He cultivated loyalty by giving people a chance to work in his administration, and it soon became common practice for average citizens to approach him for a job, college scholarship, or any other type of assistance. After being elected governor of Louisiana in 1928, Long ran a successful campaign for the Senate in 1930. Most state employees who received a job from Long were expected to contribute to his campaign fund, which was kept in a locked “deduct box” at his Roosevelt Hotel headquarters in New Orleans. Louisiana was stirring … The trappers and fishermen of the bayous, the Cajun farmers of the south and the redneck farmers of the hill parishes, the sharecroppers and tenants everywhere, and the laborers in the towns and the small businessmen in the villages … Now suddenly a champion had appeared to them, one who promised to lead them to a better life …”. Louisiana — and its politics — would never be the same. Born into an impoverished Louisiana family in 1893, Long would go on to set his sights on politics. Huey Long's plan to redistribute the wealth; Every person should be guaranteed at least a $2000 annual income and all income over $1 million would be taxed at 100% percent; advocated for old-age pensions, money for a college education, and veterans benefits Here are three things you should know about Huey Long: He served as first the governor and then a senator for Louisiana in the late 1920s and early 1930s. A legal genius, Huey used the law to his advantage without breaking it. When opponents blocked Huey’s bills in the 1930 legislative session, he responded by running for the U.S. Senate as a referendum on his progams.
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