CATES: February 17, 1971. I'm in the office of Abe Goldstein in Atlanta.Mr. Goldstein is a longtime friend of the late Senator Richard Russell. Mr. Goldstein, would you mind telling me how you first met the Senator?
GOLDSTEIN: My first meeting with Senator Russell was in the presence of alongtime friend of mine, Mr. Wiley Moore, together with Ambassador (Abba) Eban, and Senator Walter George. I found Senator Russell to be a plain man back in 1948 when I had a dinner meeting with the--with Senator Russell. From that time 00:01:00he has been a personal friend and confidant. For more than twenty-five years he has been a man of integrity, respected and loved, not only by his native Georgians, but by people throughout the nation who knew of his outstanding contributions. Senator Russell was a friend to all people as he will be sorely missed. His more than fifty years of dedicated public service to this state and to this nation and, as a matter of fact, through the world--throughout the world will long be remembered. We join the nation in extending our heartfelt 00:02:00sympathies to the Russell family. One of the last communications that I received from Senator Russell was a letter dated September 22, that was of great significance. He was a man that realized the tension that existed in the Middle East and was always ready and willing to help the little democracy of the state of Israel and had made many trips to the state to personally become knowledgeable. He wrote me on September 22, 1970, and I will quote a last 00:03:00paragraph of his letter, quote: "You will be interested to know, that I attended a most informative meeting Friday with Prime Minister (Golda) Meir and Ambassador (Yitzhak) Rabin. I particularly enjoyed talking with Mrs. Meir and she was a very impressive leader." (Long pause)
CATES: Mr. Goldstein, did you ever accompany the Senator on any of his trips to Israel?
GOLDSTEIN: No. You--that's going in, you didn't put that in there, did you? If Idid you mean?
CATES: Oh yes, the tape is going now, right.
GOLDSTEIN: No, I never attended--never visited Israel at the time that theSenator was there, but only recently--but recently, but a short time before his 00:04:00death I visited with him in the office of Appropriations Committee together with several Georgians, and he displayed full knowledge of the problems existing at that time in the Middle East. I have--on many other occasions visited with Senator Russell and have always found him to be, not only knowledgeable as stated above, of the state of Israel, but he was most knowledgeable about all matters in the--in the Senate.
CATES: Specifically, Mr. Goldstein, did he tell you anything about his trips to00:05:00Israel? Did he report back to you as a close friend what he found and his impressions? And also, specifically when was his last trip to Israel?
GOLDSTEIN: His last trip to Israel was about a year ago, and at that time (tapestops and starts) he was so impressed that he phoned me to tell me that he had just returned, and not like the United States, the little nation where the majority of the population are Jewish, he found Jews on the telephone poles repairing telephone lines and electric lines; he found them sweeping the 00:06:00streets; he found them working on garbage trucks; and he found them in the army. And he found them digging ditches and laying brick and mortar and he was very much impressed not to think that the only people there were the people of the books. He found them in all fields of endeavor and he found that the housing in Israel was well and the refugees who were coming in were immediately sent to apartments that were laid out for them. At one time he saw more than one thousand refugees come in from--at at Haifa where they were sick, blind, but 00:07:00they were moved into their residence with their families. And the social worker would call back at a later date after supplying them with food and lodging to find out what type of work they had ever done so that they could get them placed in employment. And found that the employment--unemployed people in this nation were very, very few, if any.
CATES: What most impressed him about his trip or trips to Israel?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, what most impressed him, of course, was the fact that thenation was such a d--democratic nation and that they--and that they--how well 00:08:00they respected all of the people in the West and his association and knowledge of the Israelis was clearly understood and respected at all times.
CATES: Did he comment about the spirit of the nation to you?
GOLDSTEIN: The spirit of the nation was one of peace and they wanted to followpeace and that found them to be a very peaceful nation, but they were a fighting group to see to it that the boundaries were not infringed upon. He admired them for the fact that they wanted to complete use--the wanted use of the Suez Canal 00:09:00along with all nations. And he fought for that privilege, that the Suez Canal should remain closed until it is opened up for all nations alike. And that is the position that it is in even at this time.
CATES: What were his views concerning the territory that was taken by Israelduring and after the Six Day War in 1967?
GOLDSTEIN: His feeling about the territory was taken--that had been taken, wassimilar to that of other nations that had gained territory due to a--due to battle. Even the United States has territory that they took and still have and still nourishes it. And he felt like that, yes, part of this territory should be moved, but he was--he felt like the, the Golan Heights is something that should 00:10:00never be relinquished back to any nation and he felt like the city of Jerusalem should be a--a city for all nations and all people--the Jew alike, and not be held only by one nation.
CATES: Going back in time a little bit, I believe you indicated that you met theSenator in 1948, is that correct?
GOLDSTEIN: Correct, yes.
CATES: And Wiley Moore was a mutual friend, if my memory serves me correctlythis was the year of the creation of Israel, is that not true?
GOLDSTEIN: This was in 1948, shortly after President Truman had declared thestate of Israel a nation, and it was at a time when the people there needed a 00:11:00grant and aid from the United States and he agreed and did support this grant and aid. He commented at a later date, however, that no nation has ever met their obligation to the United States or to the World Bank as Senator Russell stated that they were--their credit was good, and they are managing to keep it good, and of course, that is the situation as it rests today. No obligation has ever gone in default, and the World Bank has been paid every obligation upon the date it is due and he always felt that they would always take care of their obligations.
GOLDSTEIN: One of my latest experiences with the Senator was when theSenator--when I talked to the Senator by phone when the petition was being signed by seventy-two senators, at that time, to the State Department asking the State Department to give Israel additional Phantom jets that they needed very badly at that time. And he supported that and told me that this is the first time in the history of his service as a senator that he ever signed a petition. And this is the only petition that he has ever signed and he felt like that he could do even more good if he didn't sign it; however, that if I wanted him to 00:13:00sign it, he would and he did. And I think that is something deep to his credit of his feeling towards this nation by signing a petition that seventy-two other senators had signed and after it got into the State Department and he felt like that it was going to mean a great deal. And I'm sure the results of this petition that was signed and sent to the State Department the state of Israel has been granted a five hundred million dollar credit in order to obtain additional Phantoms, Mirages, and other sophisticated army material. And they 00:14:00have--and this is being done and being taken care of now, even after his passing that it might take about two more years or three in order for the state of Israel to get the final count of what has been--that they have agreed to supply in this five hundred million dollar credit.
CATES: Was Senator Russell among the first senators to sign this petition, or doyou know?
GOLDSTEIN: No, Senator Russell was the last man to sign this petition, the verylast, because he felt like he could do more good by not signing it because he felt that the State Department would come down and ask him of his advice and 00:15:00what he thought they ought to do. However, if we wanted signed, he would sign it. And I might add, that I said to him, that your name on this petition as a senator, in my opinion, is worth more than twenty-five other names that are on there--that were part of that was on there at the time. And--and of course, the petition was signed. It was quite a story appeared in the Atlanta newspapers concerning his signing of the petition and this was released to the, what do you call it, the UPI (United Press International)--
CATES: UPI or AP (Associated Press).
GOLDSTEIN: This was released to the UPI and this message of his was carried allover the United States, and, no doubt, in certain parts of Europe. 00:16:00
CATES: To your knowledge, when was the--what was the first time or circumstancein which the Senator visited Israel? What was the year?
GOLDSTEIN: He visited the state of Israel in 1961, again in 1963, and again in1966. And he went there to personally observe what was taking place in this small country and what they needed in order to--carry--in order not to be annihilated. It was the feeling of the Arab nations that they could drive the Jews into the Mediterranean and forget about them entirely, but they were not 00:17:00about to do that. And he told me at the time, in his last visit, he has never in his life came across such brave people. He also stated that--over and over again, that the leaders of this nation had stated that they never want to see a citizen of the United States ever fight in their battle. They do not want any manpower, all they want is equipment that they can defend themselves, and they can do that without soldiers or army of the United States for any help, and they will never need any help from that source.
CATES: What were his comments to you about the apparent singleness of purpose inIsrael from its first days of conception up to the present time? 00:18:00
GOLDSTEIN: Well, as you well know, there is--since the conception of Israel,they refer to different wars. One in 1956, and another one, of course, in 1969. And--and as it now stands, the Six Day War we, not a six-day war, because the fighting kept going on and has gone on until now. So it's not six days, but it's more like three years plus six days that the war has been going on even though Israel was able to overpower the country-- overpower the Arab countries. He took 00:19:00note of the fact, on many occasions, of the Arab boycotts against Israel--talked about that over and over again. And he was impressed with the fact that, even though they had boycotts, they never yielded and went on about their business without that kind of help. As a matter of fact, we talked about the boycott of the Arab countries, composing of about a hundred million people. They boycotted Coca-Cola in the state of Israel and finally Coca-Cola--it would not yield to the boycott any further and established Coca-Cola in this small nation of three 00:20:00million and passed up the business of a hundred million elsewhere. They are to be commended, of course, for their stand but he was very proud of the fact that when the boycott was lifted that the boycott was lifted on the state of Israel, that the Arab countries then boycotted Coca-Cola. You cannot today buy a Coca-Cola in any of the Arab countries. All of the plants have been shut down, the bottling plants, but Israel has now started off with one plant in Tel Aviv and today they have three plants in the state of Israel and flourishing.
CATES: Did he contrast the singleness of purpose in Israel with the apparent00:21:00lack of singleness of purpose in the United States?
GOLDSTEIN: No, specifically, I don't believe there's been any discussion alongthat line, not directly affecting the state of Israel. But, to his mind, it was the most unusual thing that a nation as large as the Arab nations are that they could have been whipped so badly in the Six Day War, or so called Six Day War that has continued on since then, as far as the Israelis are concerned.
CATES: How did he view the Communist influence in the Middle East?
GOLDSTEIN: Of course, the--he realized only after the CIA advised him definitely00:22:00that the Russians were manning equipment and teaching Arabs how to fly the planes and the sophisticated weapons that Russia was supplying this country--this country of Israel. At the same time, he realized that no at--no United States men were ever sent to Israel. However, at one time, the United States government invited some large group--not a--probably small group, I should say, of Israelis to learn how to operate the Phantom jets and be able to 00:23:00get back to the state and show them--show their men and teach their men how to properly operate the Phantoms. As you know, the Phantom jets were first released to the state of Israel by Senator--I meant, President (John Fitzgerald) Kennedy.
CATES: You mentioned this petition that Senator Russell and seventy one othersenators signed, would you view this as the greatest contribution that the senator made towards Israel and Jewish people?
GOLDSTEIN: I wouldn't say that because he made so many. And he was so fond ofthe Israelis that I think he--everyone of his moves were courageous moves and moves that he felt like needed to be had in order that this little nation could take care of the democracy in that part of the world, and fight for a democracy. 00:24:00He's had so many things that he has intervened on, that it would be impossible to pick out one that was most meaningful.
CATES: Ah, now you've stated that you knew the Senator beginning in 1948, didyou visit him often in Washington or Winder?
GOLDSTEIN: I've oft visited him in Winder on many occasions. I've visitedhim--visited him in--in Washington and have--have discussed a good deal of the problems existing with one of his top aides, Mr. Bill Jordan, who heads up now the appropriations department for the Senator and who was a very close friend of the Senator's and a man who the Senator talked to every day for a few hours. 00:25:00
CATES: I spoke to Bill Jordan just before coming over here and he told me to besure and tell you hello for him.
GOLDSTEIN: Fine. Glad to hear it--he's a wonderful person.
CATES: Fine. I'm looking forward to meeting him.
GOLDSTEIN: Yes, he's a wonderful person, he's a man that the Senator had put ina tremendous amount of faith and confidence in him and Bill is a remarkable individual doing a most remarkable job. I sincerely hope and trust that he will remain in the appropriations department or in the Armed Services Division or one of the important positions in the--in the Capitol.
CATES: Being a close friend to the Senator, I'm sure that you had knowledge ifthe Senator had any special hobbies or things that he really liked to do in his 00:26:00leisure hours.
GOLDSTEIN: You know, the Senator was a man--was a plain man, as stated before.He was not a socializer. He didn't care for social life. He worked hard at what he was doing. He was a man that probably got into his office long before other senators had come in an--each morning. And he was a man that spent his leisure time in reading and becoming conversed in matters pertaining to the United States Senate so that when he voted, he knew what he was voting for and why.
CATES: You'd say his hobby then was reading and becoming--
GOLDSTEIN: His hobby was reading and working.
CATES: --working and reading and becoming well versed in the business at hand.
GOLDSTEIN: That's correct.
CATES: Right. Who were some of his favorite authors, would you have anyknowledge of this? 00:27:00
GOLDSTEIN: No, I haven't. I don't know who his favoriteauthors were. Of course he was a man that could quote everything that ever appeared in a newspaper and had a good recollection of them.
CATES: Would you say that he had total recall when he came to reading somethingand then pretty much remembering everything that he had read?
GOLDSTEIN: He certainly had a magnetic memory and a--and at all times was ableto picture and realize when he read a book or when he read a bill exactly what it means and to what direction it'll go and which way it would be--it could be made favorable and favorable to the United States. He was a dedicated Senator. He was a senator's senator, and he had the respect and the love of all 00:28:00departments in the Pentagon, as well as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and other divisions of government.
CATES: What would you say was his temperament?
GOLDSTEIN: His temperament was one that I have never seen him angry. He maydisagree with you on a matter but not in anger. Only in words of the--and why--and was willing to explain his way through as the reasons why he might disagree, but never in anger. He was a quiet man and a man that took his position in the Senate seriously and that's the reason why he was so well loved by Georgians that he seldom had any opposition and when he did it was only token 00:29:00opposition; the type of opposition that he didn't have to come to Georgia and make a single speech; the type of opposition that he never ran a newspaper ad asking people to vote for him; and he went strictly on the merits of what he's done and what good he can be to the nation. He was a senator that represented the nation, not just Georgia.
CATES: Did you ever see him, at any time, under any particular stress or strain?
GOLDSTEIN: No, I couldn't say that I have. I have seen him concerned aboutmatters pertaining to the affairs of the United States and the government, of course, but never--never to have to get under a strain. He was so well respected 00:30:00by other senators, that when they found out that Senator Russell was for something, they were too. He had--he was a tremendous leader in that fight.
CATES: I guess, you know other members of his family, do you not?
GOLDSTEIN: Vaguely. I have met his sisters and I have met a brother and soforth, but I never had the association with all of his family as I did with him.
CATES: Did he talk about his family? If so, how did he regard his brothers andsisters and nieces and nephews?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, he had a love for his family and for all of his--all of hisnieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and family alike. That was most paramount with him as far as love and respect is concerned. If there was ever a 00:31:00man that at any time that didn't feel close and ready to serve, not only his family, but also his friends, and he had a vast number of friends. And I don't believe that any friends would ever take care--would ever take advantage of Senator Russell because they know that--that he would be
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--that that he would be able to realize that somebody's trying to take advantageof him. He was so intellectual and so-- had such a clear understanding of the purpose that nobody would ever attempt to take any kind of an advantage over him.
CATES: Uh--I started to say much, but that's not the correct word. Some mentionhas been made in the press about his frugality--
GOLDSTEIN: His what?
CATES: --his frugality. He was a very frugal man; would you like to commentabout that? 00:32:00
GOLDSTEIN: Well, as many times as I have talked to Senator Russell, he has nevertalked about his personal views or per--or rather of his wealth or his position or his finances. I know the last time I was with the Senator and there was a telegram crusade going on to send telegrams to your senator. And I told him what was about to happen and I said I think this is a good time to buy some Western Union stock. And he said then, Genuine Parts is much better. And since he made that statement I've had an occasion to watch Genuine Parts and over a period of about seven or eight months ago, when he made that statement, it has just about doubled in price and I still didn't buy any. (laughs) 00:33:00
CATES: My goodness. Do you know of any other holdings that he might have had inthe stock market?
GOLDSTEIN: No. I know nothing about his personal wealth--
CATES: I see.
GOLDSTEIN: --or any of his holdings. And we frankly never discussed things ofthat kind, and I don't suppose he discussed things of that kind with many people other than his auditor.
GOLDSTEIN: He wouldn't need a lawyer. He was a good lawyer himself.
CATES: Well, for that matter, you don't even really know that he had GenuineParts stock--
GOLDSTEIN: No sir, I do not--
CATES: --he was just saying it was a good stock as opposed to Western Union.
GOLDSTEIN: --I don't know that he had any at all--
GOLDSTEIN: --but he said Genuine Parts would be better than Western Union, andyou couldn't help but agree with him if you watched the trend of the two.
CATES: How would you describe the Senator? Was he a meticulous man?
GOLDSTEIN: No, he--he wasn't a meticulous man because he would sit down and talkthings over with you and discuss them at length and you could-- you could--and if 00:34:00he felt like that he was wrong, he would admit, "probably, I'm wrong about that." And change his viewpoint while in discussion about a matter that he may not have been completely adverse [sic] on.
CATES: How do you think the Senator regarded the world situation at the time ofhis death? I know this might be a--
GOLDSTEIN: Well, yes--
CATES: --tremendous question.
GOLDSTEIN: --I--I feel that the Senator's wishes were carried on just as hewould like for them to have been. I think that the--his body lying in state in the Capitol was one of his wishes. To some of his dedicated friends and 00:35:00associates that--that he felt like that after spending more than fifty years of his life in public service that he owed it to the public to view his body as their last memory of Senator Russell. And it showed up by the numbers of people that attended the funeral, and the way, and the fact that it was nationally televised, I presume. And that the--and that the number of senators and President of the United States and others came down to pay their last tribute to him as a senator, as a gentleman, and as a man. 00:36:00
CATES: I believe President (Richard Milhous) Nixon had stated that his lastwords to him were over the--his concern of the defense of this country. How do you feel, or did he ever say to you how he felt about the defense of this country--our ability to defend ourselves in the event of a world war or any kind of confrontation?
GOLDSTEIN: Senator Russell was always an advocate of seeing that the UnitedStates was militarily strong and that he didn't mind any amount of appropriations necessary to keep the United States strong and viable and--and put in a position that they--that at all times be able to defend themselves. He 00:37:00was for all kinds of sophisticated weapons. He was a man who felt that if we were properly--we were in a good position to defend our nation that we will not have to defend it, because we would be in such a position that our enemies would know that the--that the Pentagon and that the--and that the defense department was strong and in financial ways so that they could buy any kind of equipment and be prepared for anything that might arise against the United States. He did not like appropriations of many things that went on in the United States, but never opposed one that for--that would help the defense of this nation and help 00:38:00us--and be able to defend ourselves at all times.
CATES: Since you met the Senator some twenty--twenty five years ago, thiscountry has been faced with several crises, did the Senator ever confide in you or seek out your advice concerning such things as, well--I call to mind the (Harry) Truman--(Douglas) MacArthur hearing, the Korean War, the Cuban Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy and the Warren Commission, just to name a few. Did he discuss matters of this nature with his close friends such as yourself?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, I think everyone knew his position when he served on the WarrenCommission; that he was not completely satisfied in his own mind that the report 00:39:00was a complete report. He never felt that all of the factors had come to light. I remember after having a conference at one time with President Kennedy and his top aide Meyer Feldman in the White House and when the President then stated that they were prepared to see to it that the Phantom jets were supplied to Israel along with--they were arranging along with that the Mirages and the Bloodhounds and other types of weapons and equipment that he felt like that the 00:40:00President--he endorsed what the President of the United States was doing at that time. And he felt like that if Israel was militarily strong that there may not be a war there. And if the--he felt even now that after the--the cease-fire that if Israel could be put in a good position militarily that that would keep the United--keep the state of Israel from having to fight another war; and whether or not they are getting this done now while there's a cease-fire, I don't know.
CATES: Changing the subject just a little bit, did you ever actively help him inany way be elected to any office? Did you serve as any--in any official capacity? 00:41:00
GOLDSTEIN: Well, when he was supposed to--well, not supposed to when he wasseeking the nomination as Vice President [sic] of the United States--
CATES: 1952, I believe.
GOLDSTEIN: --1952, we talked quite a great deal. He was traveling all over thenation. And, naturally, a campaign of that kind was costly. And his friends came to him with--even feeling that he was not going to be able to get the vice presidency on account of the fact that he lived in the South; that they were still willing to help him to finance a campaign that he was putting on, on 00:42:00the basis of the fact that he has led them--his efforts for the betterment of the United States by entering into the field of the possibility of being a vice president. And I also firmly believe that if Senator Russell lived elsewhere other than in the South he would have been one of our presidents before now.
CATES: Do you think the Senator considered that there was a remote possibilitythat he might get the Democratic nomination in 1952?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, it's difficult to say that any man that seeks an office seeksit without any idea in mind of obtaining it. So I'm sure that he felt like that if he went out and could--and could get the certain parts of the country to go 00:43:00along with him he would have--he would have had a good chance.
CATES: Were you with him at the convention?
GOLDSTEIN: Yes 'sir. I kept in pretty, very close touch with him. I did notattend the convention itself, no. But he was in and out of Washington and on several occasions we talked--talked things over. But he was a--he was not a man who would by any means mislead people into believing that he--he would be the next President of the United States. He didn't--he wouldn't--he wouldn't make a statement of that kind unless he was absolutely sure and no one could be sure of anything in those days.
CATES: Did he ever talk to you about his relationship with other world leaders?00:44:00Let's look at Lyndon B. Johnson, for example. They were very close friends. You were a very close friend of his. Did he ever talk to you about his relationship with President Johnson?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, everyone that knew President Johnson and knew Dick Russell knewthe friendship existed there way back. And the--and the--we all know that the Johnson children always referred to him as Uncle Dick. And they always called him Uncle. He was very close to the Johnsons and he was very close to the children. And Johnson always respected him and many times he couldn't go along with President Johnson, but the respect was there, and anytime the President 00:45:00felt like he needed some advice, that's where he went to first to get it.
CATES: Would you say that Senator Russell was a religious man?
GOLDSTEIN: Yes, I do. I think he was a very religious man. And I happen to beone that feels that a person doesn't have to go to church everyday and every Sunday in order to be a religious man. I think that the deeds that they do indicates whether they are a religious man or not. A person may not ever go to a church or a synagogue and don't attend the services, but in life what they practice and what they preach is--makes them a religious man more so than going to church end doing otherwise when you leave there. 00:46:00
CATES: I've been told that the Senator would often times refer to a Biblicalquotation in his speeches on the Senate floor. I understand also that his mother was very religious--
GOLDSTEIN: That's right.
CATES: --would you like to comment if you have any personal knowledge as to theinfluence that the Senator's parents had upon him?
GOLDSTEIN: You know, Senator Russell was not an opinionated individual. (Coughs)He had a love as I've said before for his family and brothers and sisters, and close love to his mother, but the--(coughs) but the amount of--of--of knowledge that he might have had about the Bible he only talked about it as he saw it in the state of Israel and Jerusalem and how impressed he was with the country and 00:47:00Bethlehem; and the religious objects that is--is there. So, I couldn't--I would not say that I know anything about his religious affiliations or to what extent he supported the church. And he was not always for separation of church and state. He felt like that the church and state was something that should be held together as individual items. So, not always did he take the kind of stand that a lot of his friends would like for him to take. But whenever he took a stand, 00:48:00he did it in the most conscientious way and everyone knew that when he took a stand that it was after study and exactly how he felt about them.
CATES: Of course, he was the leader of the filibuster on--in a number ofinstances in the Senate, especially concerning Civil Rights legislation. How would you view his opinions and his regard of the black man?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, when civil rights first started in existence, naturally, aGeorgian representing his constituents at home, and knowing that the--the tension that existed in that respect; he was a--he was at that time, I would say, a segregationist--not a member of the White Citizens Council, not a member 00:49:00of the Ku Klux Klan, not a member of offensive organizations. It was a sincere feeling on his part. And as times went on, I think he began to review in his own mind that civil rights were here to stay, and it was on the books of the nation, and it would remain on the books of the nation, and he was a man whether he--if he did not support it, but it became law, he backed up his position of the law. He followed in the--in that respect of the law.
CATES: How did he regard the colored people, would you say?
GOLDSTEIN: At the end of his years, Dick Russell had warmed up considerablytowards black people. He began to realize that they have--that they have been a 00:50:00people that have been deprived of rights and privileges more than a hundred years and that he felt like that they had a perfect right to exist and that he led his best efforts for supporting the civil rights movements in the latter years of his life.
CATES: Getting back to the times that you visited socially with the Senator.Were you ever an overnight guest in Winder?
GOLDSTEIN: --no, I have never been an overnight guest in Winder. Winder beingonly less than an hour from here from Atlanta and you--we could go there and sit on the porch. We'd slip through his office, and where he had his roll top desk 00:51:00and his straw chairs and visit and then leave and have plenty of time to get back in time for dinner.
CATES: What I was leading up to is--I thought it might be helpful to thesefuture historians and researchers if someone who had personal knowledge could maybe describe a typical get-together with the Senator in a social type environment. As you've stated, he didn't like to go to social functions as such--parties, cocktail parties, but perhaps you could describe what he enjoyed in the way of, say, social intercourse with his friends, you know.
GOLDSTEIN: Well, it certainly could be said that a sociable drink was always in00:52:00order for Senator Russell. He would not inhibit (?) a great deal, but a sociable drink was always in order and I've had them with him. But the--he never took one that he would make--that it would disagree with him in any way. And as I've said before, he was a real man and a sincere individual and a plain individual. I think we've got to think about this over and over again, that he was a plain man and did not let his position in government sway him in a direction of being independent or not wanting to talk to people properly.
CATES: Were you and his other friends, his close friends, concerned about his00:53:00emphysema and his condition and what it was doing to him?
GOLDSTEIN: Yes, but never talked about it to him, never talked to him about it.He would bring it up occasionally. I know that six months before his passing he said to me, he says, "I've never felt better in my life than I'm feeling now." And he said, "Abe, I'm going to run for office again in 1972. I don't believe that I'll have opposition. If I do I think it'll be some token opposition. And I--the way I feel now, I'm going to run for office again in 1972." That was just about six or seven months ago, that that statement was made.
CATES: Would you say that he made this statement to anyone else? This is thefirst time I've heard this statement. 00:54:00
GOLDSTEIN: Well, he might--I'm sure he made it to other people--
CATES: Uh huh.
GOLDSTEIN: --because I said to him, "Senator, I see that you-- I see in thepaper that you are contemplating running for Senate again." He said, "Well," he said, "some reporter pushed me up against the wall and the first thing you know, I made that statement, and it appeared in the paper. However, I feel that way now more so than the day I told him that. That I'm feeling well enough now. I think I've got my problem licked and that I will enter the race in 1972." And he, as I stated before, he felt like that he would not have any real opposition.
CATES: Did you have any advice to him at this time about running or not running?00:55:00
GOLDSTEIN: No. You know, at that time we were talking about maybe two and ahalf, three years later and the only thing that you could say to him at that point was," I agree with you."
CATES: Uh huh.
GOLDSTEIN: "--I don't think you'll have any opposition. If it would be, it wouldbe like the man that ran against you last time from Marietta, Georgia. You didn't have to come to Atlanta to be seen. You paid your entrance fee and you carried every county in the state at that time, all hundred and fifty nine counties. I think if you run you'll count then again--we got--carry them again regardless of who runs against you."
CATES: Did Senator Russell have any favorite stories or--that he liked to tell?Was he a man that would tell a joke, did he like humor? 00:56:00
GOLDSTEIN: He liked humor because he liked to joke. But he was not a joketeller, in my opinion. But he always liked to hear a good joke and a good story and, I know many that I told him.
CATES: Do you happen to know or remember a favorite one of his?
GOLDSTEIN: A favorite story?
CATES: Favorite story or joke that either you told him or maybe that he had told you?
GOLDSTEIN: I'll probably remember a lot of them on my way home tonight but rightnow, they just--they don't come to my mind.
CATES: You may have mentioned this. What would you say was his most outstandingpersonality trait? Looking at him as a friend now?
GOLDSTEIN: The most outstanding trait of Senator Russell was that of hisseriousness towards any problem and his--and his time that he would give you if 00:57:00you came in to see him. Regardless of how many people were outside waiting in the waiting room to see him, he never rushed you through an interview, and always thanked you for coming and asked you to come back again. He made you feel absolutely at home at all times.
CATES: Did he ever discuss with you or did you ever ask him why he did not marry?
GOLDSTEIN: No, you just don't ask people like that personal problems of thatkind. I--at least I never have been able to do it--delve into somebody unless it was a joking matter. But on a serious note we--you just don't ask people that 00:58:00kind of a question because that's their personal life and they have to live it their way, and not the way of others.
CATES: Can you recall any favorite foods that the Senator had? I'm sure you musthave eaten with him on numerous occasions. Did he have any special dishes that he liked better than others?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, if he was like me, he was a steak lover. (chuckles) But, I'venever seen him where he was in any way touchy about the food, or what it was going to consist of or anything of that kind. I think he was just a man of--of courage and of dedication and only had good will for people.
CATES: Mr. Goldstein, I certainly don't want to impose upon your time but at thesame time I don't want to look--overlook anything that you might be able to 00:59:00contribute to this taped interview. Can you think of anything else that might be of significance that should be mentioned for these historians and researchers about Senator Russell?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, I would say as final, that he was a man that if he felt likethe United States had made an error, he would let you know. He would not cover up for anybody. He wouldn't cover up for his friend Lyndon Johnson and I know he wouldn't cover up for anybody else, and he was always sincere and his--and his point of view and his statements and I--everybody commended him for it.
CATES: At one time you were reaching for your billfold there as if you were01:00:00going to pull out something to read, and I think I may have asked you a question at that time, did you have anything that you would--
GOLDSTEIN: No, I had some papers in here, but I sent him a copy. I wish that itwas possible that I could get through my letter file and find some of the letters that I have received from him over the years. I had one that I showed you about his--one of the last letters that I received. He was a--I--I felt like that I would have gone into some of these files and maybe had other things to talk about, but I believe we've pretty well covered my association with him.
CATES: Well, Mr. Goldstein, I want to thank you again for your time and yourinterest in this project and I want to assure you that if you think of anything in the future that you feel like ought to be added to this, I'll be glad to come over and record it.
GOLDSTEIN: Thank you very much--01:01:00
CATES: Thank you, sir.
GOLDSTEIN: --I enjoyed being with you. (Tape stops and starts again)
CATES: This is Hugh Cates; I'm back in my office. I do want to record one thingin connection with my interview with Abe Goldstein. He was kind enough to give to me and I in turn will give to Dr. Fred Davison a letter, which is dated January 13, 1971. It's from Richard Russell. The letter says,
Dear Abe, Thank you so much for the handsome tie. You may be sure that I shallwear it with a great deal of pleasure and pride, and I'm grateful to be one of those in your thoughts.
I hope that you and yours had a good holiday season and that 1971 will be abanner year for you.
With personal regards, I am, Sincerely,
Richard B. Russell
The thing that makes this letter of a large significance is the fact that it is01:02:00probably one of the last letters or any correspondence or paper that Richard Russell signed. Over the years Mr. Goldstein said that he had received a number of letters and correspondence from the Senator and that he is certain without a doubt that the Senator personally signed this letter that he mailed to him just eight days before he passed away. Another letter, which Mr. Goldstein was kind enough to give to me and I in turn will give to the University, is one dated December 22, 1970, and it too was signed by hand--by Richard Russell. I quote "Let me thank you for your thoughtful message. I am undergoing treatment for my respiratory problem and believe I am making some progress. I am grateful indeed 01:03:00for your kind concern.
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For the holiday season, I am, sincerely, Richard B. Russell."
Another letter which Mr. Goldstein wants the University to have is one datedSeptember 22, 1970, from Richard Russell and I quote: "Permit me to acknowledge and thank you for your letter which I have read with interest. The recent developments in the Middle East concern me greatly and I, of course, welcome your views and comments. Although as you know I have no direct control over the conduct of our foreign policy, I assure you this situation is receiving my close attention and I am contributing in every way open to me to a relaxation of tension in this troubled area of the world. You will be interested to know that I attended a most informative meeting Friday with Prime Minister Meir and 01:04:00Ambassador Rabin. I particularly enjoyed talking with Mrs. Meir; she is a very impressive leader. With best wishes and personal regards, I am, sincerely, Richard B. Russell." Unquote.