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Mr. E’s Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009 Louisiana History Class “The Kingfish” Huey Pierce Long 1893-1935

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Presentation on theme: "Mr. E’s Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009 Louisiana History Class “The Kingfish” Huey Pierce Long 1893-1935"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mr. E’s Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009 Louisiana History Class “The Kingfish” Huey Pierce Long 1893-1935

2 March 24, 1840 ~ Calcasieu Parish created as largest in the state at the time, it also had smallest population at time. 72. Describe leaders who were influential in Louisiana’s development. H-1D-M1 Today’s objective: Students will take begin a ride through the late 1920s and early 30s with the "Kingfish" Huey P. Long.

3 Practice S.S. LEAP Question The House the Bank Built In his largest case, Huey represented an employee of the Commercial National Bank, whom the bank had slandered and sued for endorsing a loan that went bad. When no one in town would take the case, He won the case, saving his client $200,000 and earning himself a $40,000 fee paid by the bank. He used the windfall to build a home for his family in Shreveport. Why, in your own opinion, would Huey Long take this case?

4 Fact # 1 Who is Huey Long – and why do I need to know anything about him? Consider that you can’t go to Baton Rouge without seeing his effect on the state, you can not go to school, have lunch, open a text book, work a job, elect a politician, without his impact. All that’s Huey!

5 One of a kind : If you lived during Huey’s lifetime, opinions of him were seldom mild. You either loved him or hated him. Some poor considered him a saint and prayed to him right along with St. Anthony and St. Jude. His picture hung on the wall next to that of religious figures. Fact # 2

6 Fact # 3 Beginning– Winnfield, the parishseat, in Winn parish is in the middle of North Louisiana. The parish is the birthplace of the Populist movement. In 1912 a Socialist candidate got 36% of the parish votes. The movement believed that ‘wealth’ was being divided unfairly. Most people in the area were farmers.

7 Fact # 4 End of one century – Huey’s life began August 30, 1893, born to a middle class family. He was seventh of nine children born to Huey Pierce Long Sr. and Caladonia (Callie) Tison Long. His brothers and sisters resented the fact that Huey claimed that his family was poor.

8 Education from ‘Hu’ – Dinner at the Long household was a review of the days ‘learning’ – oldest to youngest. Of their four sons and five daughters, two became Louisiana governors (one also a U.S. Senator), one U.S. congressman, one district attorney, and five school teachers (including a university professor). Fact # 5

9 Fact # 6 Childhood – As a child Huey was lively and restless. The rule of the day said “children should be seen and not heard”, but Huey ignored this. He gave “his opinion” whenever he pleased. As a teenager he went to Baton Rouge to compete in a debate. He did not win and told the director that he was cheated by the professors. He said then that one day he would become governor.

10 Fact # 7 Brilliant – Huey was described as a brilliant child even by his enemies. Even though he had a great memory he was never a good student. The year he was supposed to enter 7 th grade just showed up and enrolled himself in eighth grade. Later we will quit Winnfield High School over an argument with the principal.

11 Fact # 8 Jobs – Huey began work as a ”traveling salesman” selling books door-to-door. Here he learned the art of selling himself to the public. He was able to sell books to people who could not read but wanted better for their children.

12 Fact # 9 Why books? – What Huey loved about selling books was the fact that he ‘had’ to read them in order to better sell them. With his photographic memory he would remember everything thing he read, everyone he met, and everything he did. As he sold books he used the money to buy more books.

13 Fact # 10 Cooking up success – Cottolene is a ‘oil-like’ substance used to cook with. To sell the product Huey had to first learn how to cook so that he could demonstrate the product. He then went back door-to-door baking for folks. He even sponsored a baking contests to “sell” the superior use of his product.

14 Fact # 11 Rose McConnell – It was during one contest in Shreveport that he met his future wife – “who just happened to win along with her mother”! He married Rose in 1913, and they had three children: a daughter named Rose and two sons, Russell and Palmer.

15 Fact # 12 Tulane – After marriage, Huey looked towards his next career. He got his bother Julius to help him get into law school - Tulane. Understand that ‘he never graduated from high school’.

16 Fact # 13 The Test – Huey arranged for a private ‘bar exam’ (a test to become a lawyer) while at Tulane. Due to his boldness he got it…no one had ever received such special arrangements before. Never attending class, he still passed the exam and returned to Shreveport to practice law.

17 Fact # 14 Pro bono – The problem that Julius Long had with Huey was that he worked for free and Julius had to still pay the bills. Huey was willing to take cases on need and the needs of the poor people. Julius finally ‘kicked’ him out of the ‘office’.

18 Fact # 15 My future – Huey told his wife that we wanted to become governor, a senator, and then president, but because of his age – 24 – the only statewide office he could hold was Railroad Commissioner. He ran for the 3 rd District and won this little known and even less publicized office.

19 Fact # 16 Railroad Commissioner – Huey again traveled door-to-door meeting people to campaign. Since he never forgot a name or face he won the election easily. He worked to lower utility rates and began his life-long battle with the huge Standard Oil Company.

20 Fact # 17 Supreme Court – As RR Commissioner he oversaw what the oil companies were changing ‘poor folks’ and he took SOL to court. Huey in his $6 suits went up against New York lawyers and their $600 suits in the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately Huey lost but everyone in Louisiana knew his name now from the newspaper stories.

21 Fact # 18 1924 – Huey was now ready to run for governor in 1924 – He didn’t win but he surprised many politicians with the large number of votes he received. When asked about what he learned from the election he said “I learned how not to lose!” From that day on he began campaigning for the 1928 election.

22 Fact # 19 1928 – In his second run for governor he used free radio airtime, sound trucks, travel to every part of the state, and mail-out flyers. He gave over 600 campaign speeches. It is said that he acted like “Santa Claus to Louisiana in a state that was used to Scrooge.” Even though he came in second the forerunner dropped out fearing a loss to Huey.

23 Fact # 20 Roads – When many of the automobiles in Louisiana were still traveling on dirt and muddy roads Autos required better roads and Huey began to fix them. State law had to be changed to get enough money to replace gravel with paved roads.

24 Fact # 21 Textbooks – In the 1920s free textbooks are the norm in other states. Huey made this a crusade. Because the law said he could not give books to Catholic school children he made sure the books were given to the children individually – not the schools.

25 Fact # 22 Poll Tax abolished – The poor had supported Huey in 1924 and 1928 and he wanted to make sure they could continue to vote for him.

26 Fact # 23 Bridges – Since the only way across the Mississippi river in 1928 was by ferry, Huey wanted a faster, more efficient way to cross and he began a bridge building program. The New Orleans bridge was the first of several.

27 Fact # 24 Public Works – A building program included a new high rise state capitol, a new governor’s mansion to replace to old one he was living in, and new charity hospitals.

28 Fact # 25 Healthcare - Huey improved healthcare in Louisiana by expanding the Charity Hospital System, creating the Louisiana State University Medical School, reforming institutions to care for the disabled and mentally challenged statewide.

29 Fact # 26 Economic Reform – Long transformed the economic reality in Louisiana from a system stacked against its rural poor citizens to a system that offered opportunity and tools for advancement, especially for the poor.

30 Fact # 27 Growing Opposition – Huey’s style offended more and more people. Many thought his personal crudeness was inappropriate for a governor – he even seemed to make it a point of not being a gentleman.

31 Fact # 28 Impeachment – Opponents in the legislature moved to impeach Huey on charges ranging from misuse of state funds to using “abusive language.” Huey produced a document signed by over 1/3 of the senators, stating they would vote against impeachment because the trial was illegal.

32 Fact # 29 Earl steps in – Even though Earl and Huey fought with each other over the years and Huey bypassed Earl for state jobs, Earl came to Huey’s rescue during the impeachment hearings. Earl had visited with each senator one-by-one to obtain their agreement not to remove Huey from office.

33 Fact # 30 Senator Long – Elected senator just two years after he had became governor, Huey was now well on his path to greatness.

34 Fact # 31 Lt. Gov. Paul Cyr – When Huey was elected senator, Lt. Gov. Cyr saw this as his chance to become governor. He moved into Huey’s old office and thought he was “in charge”. No one EVERY thought Huey was not in charge. Within days Huey was back and kicking Cyr out of the office and out of politics. O.K. Allen was appointed as new Lt. Governor and later moved up to take Huey’s place.

35 Fact # 32 O.K. Allen – Allen had been president of the senate and was known as Long’s puppet that he was even accused of signing anything put in front of him. Earl once said that “if a leaf blew in the window, Allen would sign it thinking Huey sent over another bill…”

36 Fact # 33 Huey and LSU – The relationship Huey had with LSU was complicated. He felt he was entitled to lead the band, coach the football team, and hire and fire anyone. When the LSU student newspaper published an anti- Huey story he had the staff expelled.

37 Fact # 34 The National Stage – By 1932 Huey was tired of Congress and set his sites on an even greater goal. He continued his ‘showy behavior’ & informed the senators that the “Kingfish” had arrived. His slogan was “Every man a king” and his new program was “Share our Wealth”. He believed no man should have an income of more than $1 million a year.

38 Fact # 35 Long and Roosevelt – Huey arrived in Washington just as the nation was battling the Great Depression that had begun in 1929. Sen. Long and President Roosevelt clashed almost immediately. Long made no secret that he “was going to be president”. Long’s program was in competition with Roosevelt’s New Deal.

39 Fact # 36 My First Days in the White House – Huey was so bold and certain that he would become president that he wrote his own story about what it would be like when he became president. Some analysts believed this was to pressure Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

40 Fact # 37 Share Our Wealth Program – Among other things - Guarantee every family an annual income of $2,000 –enough for a home, car, and a radio; Free college education; Old-age pensions; A 30 hour work week; and a four week vacation for every worker

41 Fact # 38 The Fall of ‘35 – Despite the excitement of Washing, Huey refused to let Louisiana function without him. He and Gov. Allen pushed through 435 new bills. He also wanted legislation to gerrymander Judge Benjamin Pavy off of office.

42 Fact # 39 September – on that hot September 8th night in 1935 Huey Long strode the halls of his ne capitol demanding action of various bills up for vote – one to get Judge Pavy out of office. All was well until he returned down the back hallway – then shots rang out…

43 Fact # 40 Carl Austin Weiss – Judge Pavy’s son-in-law, a small serious-looking, baby doctor, stood in the back hall in a white linen suit. In an encounter that lasted mere seconds, Sen. Long was shot in the stomach and Weiss laid dead from 63 bullets. Long was able to make it down the hall and was rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital where surgery was preformed.

44 Fact # 401 Dr. Arthur Vidrine – Dr. Vidrine looked at Huey’s wound and sewed up the kidney puncture and pronounced that the Senator would be fine. The problem was that he did not notice the exit wound in the rear of the kidney. Two days later Huey was dead of leakage from the kidney into the chest cavity.

45 Fact # 42 Carl Austin Weiss – Nearly 200,000 people attended Sen. Long’s funeral at the state capital. He was buried on the grounds in front of the capitol. For nearly 50 years theories about the assassination have continued to circulate.

46 Fact # 43 A Legacy of Scandals – Huey’s death left his supporters without a leader. He had always made sure that no one became strong enough to challenge his power.

47 Fact # 44 Gov. Richard Leche – Elected in ’36, Leche continued Huey’s programs. However rumors of theft and corruption spread across the state. Even the LSU president was accused of taking kickbacks. Leche was forced to resigned from office.

48 Fact # 45 Huey Long’s Legacy – High rise STATE CAPITOL New GOVERNOR’S MANSION Mississippi River BRIDGE His STATUE on the capitol lawn and his autobiography MY FIRST DAYS IN THE WHITE HOUSE

49 Upcoming Tue (24): Ch. 13, Huey Long Wed (25): Ch. 13, Huey Long Thurs (26): Ch. 13, Huey Long Fri (27): Ch. 13, Huey Long Mon (30): Huey Long video Tue (31): Last Minute Test Tips Wed (1): LEAP test begins Thurs (2): LEAP test begins

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