CATES: This is Hugh Cates, April 14, 1971. I am in Winder, Georgia, in thehome of Dr. Harold Herrin. He is a retired druggist; he was in business for 43 years with a drugstore here in Winder, Georgia. He's a longtime friend of the former--of the late Senator Richard Brevard Russell and, Dr. Herrin, would you mind relating to me about your earliest association with the Senator?
HERRIN: Well, I have known Dick all my life. We were neighbors. In fact, welived right across the street from where Dick was born. We came up together and after several years his father moved down to Russell, Georgia, or Russelltown. That's about a mile out from Winder and we still retained friendship as boys. In fact, I've known him all his life, all his political life and all his life 00:01:00through high school and through college and everything.
CATES: Did you happen to go to elementary school or high school together?
HERRIN: Yeah, we went to elementary school together.
CATES: Were you in the same grade?
HERRIN: No, we weren't in the same grade. I was a little ahead of him in grade.I'm about two years older than he is.
CATES: Do you recall anything specifically from the school years that might beof interest?
HERRIN: Well, I know that Dick's family moved about a mile, as I said, out fromWinder and Dick walked to school every morning and he never wore any shoes. In the winter time he came barefooted and, of course, we just recognized that fact, but it was quite evident that he didn't wear any shoes or anything.
CATES: Why didn't he wear these shoes, do you have any idea?
HERRIN: Well, his mother sometimes, he told me, made him put on shoes, but hewould stop somewhere along the line and put them in a sewer pipe or something and come barefooted. 00:02:00
CATES: Hm. And he didn't seem to mind the cold?
HERRIN: No, he didn't mind the cold. I've seen him come to school when the snowwas on the ground.
CATES: Hm. Now, did you say that you were actually in some of the classes with him?
HERRIN: No, I wasn't in any of the classes with him. I was ahead of him in school.
CATES: Oh, that's right.
HERRIN: But I knew him real well through his high school and he went to, hedidn't finish high school here in Winder. He went to--his father sent him to Gordon--I think he finished at Gordon Military Academy. That's at Barnesville.
CATES: What was the name of the school that he attended here when he was attending?
HERRIN: Winder High school.
CATES: Winder High school.
HERRIN: And elementary school.
CATES: Did he show any leadership qualities of traits when he was in high or doyou remember?
HERRIN: Well, I remember just as a boy, I mean, he had his gang and I had mygang and sometimes we'd meet halfway between here and his house and we'd have a maypop battle or something. He was always the leader of the whole gang down there. 00:03:00
CATES: Uh huh. So he was the leader of his group--
HERRIN: He was the leader of the group--no doubt about that.
CATES: At that age. Do you recall anything specifically of interest in his teenyears that you might recount or recall at this time?
HERRIN: I don't remember too much about it. The only thing I know that the timethat we got into the higher grades in school, he was sent to Barnesville to Gordon Military Academy and we kind of lost touch there for two or three years.
CATES: And then I believe you said you were at the university about the sametime he was over there, but of course you were still two years ahead of him.
HERRIN: Well, we were at the university at the time, but I joined the army outof the University of Georgia and was in the army about three years and I lost contact there. I was overseas for fourteen months.
CATES: And I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, Senator Russell was in00:04:00the reserves, but he never did have any active service.
HERRIN: Well, I think so, I think you're right. I think he was in the reservethe naval reserve.
CATES: So would you have graduated about the same time?
HERRIN: I would have graduated ahead of him.
CATES: I mean taking into consideration--oh, you went into the service when you graduated.
HERRIN: No, I went to the university. I went there in 1915 and 19.16 and then Ijoined the army as soon as the United States declared war on Germany. I was in the National Guard and we were in service a year before we were sent overseas.
CATES: Did you talk to him when he was running for the legislature, you know?
HERRIN: Oh, I talked to him when he was running for the legislature andespecially when he was running for governor against George H. Carswell? I think so.
CATES: Yes, George Carswell.
HERRIN: He had a little two-seated Oldsmobile and I think it was a second-hand00:05:00car and he would come by the drugstore every Sunday afternoon on his way somewhere in the state of Georgia to stay for several days. And he'd want me to cash a check for him. And I remember one time he gave me a check for $50 and I said, "Dick, I tell you. I'm kind of uneasy about this thing. You're just throwing away all this money." I said, "Reckon you're going to be elected?" He said, "Yeah, I know I'm going to be elected." I said, "Is this check any good?" He said, "Yeah, it's all right." So all his checks were good.
CATES: This was a personal check--
CATES: Or one someone had given him--
HERRIN: It was a personal check. And when he was running for the legislature hewas--we belonged to the same church and he--we belonged to the same Sunday school class and our teacher resigned so I was appointed on a committee to see 00:06:00Dick and see if he wouldn't teach the Sunday school class. And he did. And he made an excellent teacher; there's no doubt about it. He really prepared the lesson every Sunday morning and when he ran for governor he resigned from his--as teacher of the Sunday school class. We begged him to keep it, but he said, no, he wouldn't keep it. But we had a wonderful Sunday school class and at one time I know we had over one hundred men in our class when he was teaching.
CATES: How long did he teach?
HERRIN: I think it was--I'd say several months.
CATES: Would you say he was a deeply spiritual man?
HERRIN: No, I wouldn't say he was a deeply spiritual man, but he was a goodBible student and in that respect he got up the lessons real good and everybody liked him very much.
CATES: How about when he first ran for the legislature? Do you recall00:07:00specifically any incident that might have happened considering that he was twenty-one years of age when he was elected and, of course, this was the first time he had run. I don't believe he was ever defeated in any race that.
HERRIN: No, he wasn't.
CATES: --he waged. Did he ask for your help? Did you help him out?
HERRIN: Well, he knew how I stood with him. We always have been the very best offriends. Now, when he ran for the legislature, he ran against a very prominent man here in Winder and Dick was a good customer of mine and this fellow was a good customer of mine and I couldn't get out and just tear my shirt for Dick but everybody knew how I stood. I was for Dick Russell. And he won the race by a big majority.
CATES: What do you attribute this win to, his dynamic personality?
HERRIN: His personality and just the ambition to get what he wanted.
CATES: Would you say that this was pretty true of anything that he set out to do?00:08:00
HERRIN: Anything he'd set out for. We talked about it a lot and he told me thathe wanted to be governor. He said, "I want to be governor of the state of Georgia.
CATES: Was this when he was twenty-one?
HERRIN: It was right after he was twenty-one. (laughs) Of course, you know, henever did marry. He had a lot of ambition and when he set his goal for a certain thing he really went after it, no doubt about that.
CATES: There have been several stories, allusions to his engagement ornear-engagement. Would you have any knowledge about any near-engagements or engagements that he might have had with young ladies for marriage?
HERRIN: No, I know he went with several young ladies here in town. I know he hada date with my wife before we were married. And he went with several of the 00:09:00teachers here but I don't think he--he never did get serious. Along that time his whole ambition was politically, and to get ahead politically.
CATES: And when he ran for governor, he had been in the legislature I thinkabout ten years. Did you play an active part in that campaign?
HERRIN: Well, I didn't--when he ran for governor?
CATES: Uh huh.
HERRIN: Oh yeah, I really did. When he ran for governor, he came down to thestore and I said, "Now, what do you want me to do?" And he said, "I want you to go to Covington, Georgia, the day of the election and stay in Covington, Georgia, at the courthouse all day long." And I was in Covington all day long.
CATES: Why did he want you to do this?
HERRIN: Well, I had some friends there, some druggist friends, and then again, Iwrote all the druggist friends in the state and I served on the Georgia State 00:10:00Board of Pharmacy and when he was governor, he signed my commission on the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy.
CATES: Uh huh.
HERRIN: And so I guess the reason he wanted me to go down there was because--Idon't know--Newton County, I think was--Carswell had made a drive for it--anyway, Dick carried the county.
CATES: He did carry the county.
HERRIN: He carried Newton County.
CATES: Well, now after he became governor, did you see him quite frequently?
HERRIN: Yeah, we saw him all the time. I'd say once every two or three weeks.
CATES: He'd come down to Winder?
HERRIN: Yeah, he'd come down. He'd always come in the drugstore and pick up theprescription file and look at it and say, "Now what's he taking that for?" (laughs) He'd actually--that prescription--go through every one of them. And I remember one time he was in the drugstore while he was governor. There's a friend of mine and he had been in Elberton, Georgia, and he had had an appendix 00:11:00operation. And he came back and he stopped at the drugstore and he came in and this fellow's name was George Washington and I said, "Senator Russell, meet George Washington." And George Washington thought it was all a joke, you know. We had a lot of laughs about that. He didn't know Dick. He thought I was just pulling that on him.
CATES: Well, now did Senator Russell know George Washington? (laughs)
HERRIN: He didn't know him.
CATES: He didn't think that was a joke?
HERRIN: He thought the same thing. He thought I was trying to pull one oh him. (laughter)
HERRIN: But that was the boy's name, George Washington.
CATES: I know you said that he kind of made your drugstore the headquarters.
HERRIN: Oh, yeah.
CATES: And I'm sure that he told you a lot of interesting stories while he wasthere in his headquarters. 00:12:00
HERRIN: Yes, he'd stay there with me until we closed up every night nearly. Whenhe was here, he'd come in and stay.
CATES: Even in the later years?
HERRIN: Yeah, in the later years he'd stay in the drugstore. He was veryinterested in everything. I guess he thought I could tell him something about the different people and who has been sick and so forth.
CATES: Do you recall any of the interesting conversations you might have hadwith him? I might just say at this point that about the--Dr. Herrin, that if you feel like there is any confidential information, we can put a time seal on the tape meaning that the people at the University of Georgia will not divulge this information until you so state--
HERRIN: Well, I don't know of any conversation. You know--you'd know and otherpeople all know that Dick was very much interested in sports. He was a great football fan and a great baseball fan and basketball fan. And he'd do anything 00:13:00for Georgia. And I know while he was Senator that I called him up one day and I said, "Now let's go down to Athens and watch Georgia practice." He said (he called me Dick), "Dick, I'd like to go, but if I get down there, there will be a hundred people right around me and I can't enjoy it." And I said, "No there won't either. You come on and go with me." So we went down there and we hardly got in the gate before the whole faculty was there right on top of him, see, and we never could get him to go with us anymore. We tried to get him to go to football games in Knoxville, or Auburn or Jacksonville, but he never would do it.
CATES: Did he ever participate in sports to your knowledge?
HERRIN: Yes sir, he did. He played football, I think, at Gordon, and we had anindependent team here. And he played right end on the independent team here in 00:14:00Winder. We played GMC [Georgia Military College] and GMA [Georgia Military Academy] and a lot of prep teams.
CATES: Did you play on the team?
HERRIN: No, I didn't play on the team, but Dick played right end.
CATES: Was he pretty good?
HERRIN: Pretty good.
CATES: What about the record of the team? Did it have a pretty good record or doyou recall?
HERRIN: Well, the reason, I guess, that we had that team there was a man hereand he was a football coach and he just got up this bunch of boys, you know, and Dick went out for the team and Dick made the team and he made a good player.
CATES: Do you remember much about the depression years when he was governor?
HERRIN: Well, he was governor in 19--
CATES: 1930 to about 1932.
HERRIN: 1930 to 1932. No, I don't remember so much the depression yearspertaining to Dick. I know he made a good governor at that time and--but I don't remember--I know we all had kind of a hard time during those depression years, 00:15:00especially the people that were in business.
CATES: I was just wondering if he talked to you about his concern over theplight of the economy and maybe what he could do.
HERRIN: Well, he did talk. He did talk about that. We had a lot of round tablediscussions especially at night at the drugstore and he told us a lot of things especially when the presidential campaign was on. He would always tell me who he thought was going to win and so forth and so on. And it was very interesting to get his point of view on all this stuff.
GATES: What did he think about FDR [Franklin D. Roosevelt]?
HERRIN: Well, I've heard him express himself a lot about FDR. I remember hesaid, "You know, Dick, that's a rich man." Said, "He's worth--" I forgot how many millions of dollars. And he thought a lot of him; he really did.
CATES: Did he get to know him much as governor when Governor Roosevelt would00:16:00come to Warm Springs?
HERRIN: I couldn't say about that, whether he did or not. I think Ellis Amallwas probably the governor at that time. I'm not sure about Ellis Amall, but I know--but I don't think Dick knew too much about him at that time. I mean he didn't have too many contacts with him.
CATES: He supported FDR in most of his New Deal legislation. Did he ever discussthis with you?
HERRIN: No, I heard him discuss it a lot of times in general with several peopleand I think he stood right along with FDR on most all of his legislative ambitions, especially about the Supreme Court and everything. I don't think Dick exactly stood with him on everything, but I think, generally speaking, he was 00:17:00with him on most things because the economy got so much better right after that and everybody was for Roosevelt and I guess that was the reason.
CATES: Now, you have said that he had confided in you and told you that hewanted to be governor and this was when he was about twenty-one. How about for the Senate? Did he ever tell you about his aspirations, that is after he became governor, I meant he wanted to be maybe senator?
HERRIN: No, I didn't hear too much about it. He did talk to me about it whenSenator [William J.] Harris died. I think he went in right after Senator Harris died and I don't remember all the conversation about that but fee talked to me about that.
CATES: Some person I was talking to said that, and this was a person that knewhim very well and even went over to the governor's mansion after Senator Harris had died to suggest that Governor Russell might want to appoint his father [Richard B. Russell, Sr.] to the interim seat and, of course,--not to the 00:18:00interim seat but to the seat, so that he could keep it, and, of course, Governor Russell didn't go along with that. Had you heard or did you think that Russell might appoint someone other than Major [John Sanford] Cohen, who was publisher of the Atlanta Journal?
HERRIN: No, I didn't hear him discuss any other person that he thought he wouldappoint. First thing that I knew was when he appointed Major Cohen; I think he was with the Journal, the Atlanta Journal.
CATES: Right. Do you recall much about the election of 1932 when Russell did runfor the Senate Seat and he successfully beat Congressman [Charles R.] Crisp from Americus, Georgia?
HERRIN: Yeah, that was some campaign. We stayed on the road with Dick all thetime in his speeches and I thought maybe that would be kind of a hard campaign 00:19:00for Dick, especially in south Georgia or middle Georgia. I think Crisp was from around Americus, Georgia.
CATES: Americus, I believe.
HERRIN: Dick got the swing some way. He'd go around with that jute in his handand throw it around there and tell them he wanted to put a tax on this and tax on that and Crisp got out of it some way.
CATES: Was that a very bitter contest, or do you recall?
HERRIN: It was a pretty bitter contest.
CATES: And you would actually go around with him on--
HERRIN: I went around with him lots of times and especially the people in Winderwould. We'd form motorcades and go in motorcades and things like that. And the people helped him in Winder financially as much as they could.
CATES: Do you know if he ever went into debt in any of his campaigns? Did he00:20:00ever confide in you to that degree?
HERRIN: I don't think so. The only thing that I know is when he ran forpresident. Now what year was that?
CATES: That was 1952.
HERRIN: In 1952, I know he got up some money at that time and I think Dick cameout all right on that campaign financially. He had a lot of support especially in some of the southern states.
CATES: Did he talk to you about that campaign? Did he consider himself a seriouscandidate or just a regional--?
HERRIN: If I remember correctly, at the start of that thing it seemed like hewasn't too serious about it but before the thing was over, I think he thought he had a chance, a good chance, to carry several states and he was serious in it. He really was.
CATES: So, as the campaign went on for the nomination him kind of heated up toit and thought that he might have a serious chance. 00:21:00
HERRIN: That's right. He got some good support from some very influential menover the country and he did get heated up for it.
CATES: Much has been written about the possibly of his bitterness since he didnot get the nomination and the reason supposedly is the fact that he was a southerner. Did he ever tell you or express to you any bitterness because of the results of this campaign?
HERRIN: No, but I did hear him express himself two or three times about it washard for a southerner to be elected president of the United States. In other words, he had two or three strikes against him when he went in there.
CATES: Do you recall anything about the 1936 campaign between Russell and Eugene Talmadge?
HERRIN: Well, that was a campaign that was more--it was a campaign that-- Ithink it surpassed the Carswell campaign and, of course, Eugene Talmadge had a 00:22:00lot of friends, especially friends out in the country. And Dick had a pretty hard time and I thought it would be a closer race than what it was. I don't remember exactly what the final election returns were, but I know that Dick won it by a good majority.
CATES: Did he have any unusual tactics at that time in defeating somebody likeEugene Talmadge who was very colorful, and I believe, he was governor at that time. He was really closer to the political scene than Russell was.
HERRIN: He sure was. Well, I don't know about Talmadge. Do you recall the yearthat Dick and Talmadge ran for governor--I mean for the Senate?
HERRIN: 1936. The only thing I can remember about it, we, the whole town was forDick and, of course, he had some opposition out in the country like for Talmadge, but it was a heated campaign from start to finish. 00:23:00
CATES: Do you recall anything about the time that FDR came and endorsed LawrenceCamp over Senator George. Did Russell talk to you about that at the drugstore?
HERRIN: No, Dick didn't say too much about that. I remember when FDR was on atrain going from Atlanta to Athens to make a speech. I think that was the speech he made in Athens in the morning and Barnesville that afternoon. And we rode right along the Seaboard's right-of-way there for several miles between Statham and Bogart, and we saw Dick in there talking to FDR, see, and he and FDR waved at us. We went right on with him, see.
CATES: You mean you were on another train or what?
HERRIN: No, we were in an automobile on the dirt road. We were running alongwith the train. 00:24:00
CATES: Oh, I see. And you were tooting your horn and he didn't see you at first.
HERRIN: We were tooting the horn trying to get his attention but finally he saw us.
CATES: Wonder what they were discussing?
HERRIN: I don't know, but they were sitting in the coach together. Dick wassitting by him.
CATES: So you really don't know how he felt in that race. Of course, LawrenceCamp had worked for him at one time.
HERRIN: Yeah, I knew Lawrence Camp real well. I knew him real well.
CATES: He was Russell's campaign manager, I believe, in one campaign.
HERRIN: That's right. He certainly was, because I remember he used to come downto the store and he used to call me up two or three times about different things and they were pretty close
CATES: Well, this put Russell in a pretty embarrassing position.
HERRIN: It certainly did.
CATES: He never did discuss with you--
HERRIN: I never heard him discuss that at all.
CATES: How about during World War II? Did you have any conversations at your00:25:00drugstore about his feelings about the military? I believe at that time he was, not chairman, but he was on the Armed Services Committee.
HERRIN: He was on that committee I know.
CATES: Did he talk to you about any of his trips abroad, or any aspects of the war?
HERRIN: He talked to me several times about trips he made. I remember one timehe was talking about when he went overseas and they stopped in Greenland and they spent the night. The plane was forced down in Greenland and he went in and registered at this place and says, R. B. Russell, Winder, Georgia. And this fellow behind the desk said, "Why don't you register from your hometown?" Dick said, "That is my hometown," said, "What do you think my hometown is?" The 00:26:00fellow said, "Russell, Georgia." Dick said, "Where are you from?" He said, "I'm from Bogart, Georgia." (laughs) That's right below Russell, see. That was quite a coincidence, but I've heard him tell that a lot of times.
CATES: Was this a military person that asked him that?
HERRIN: Yes--no, it was just--yeah, he was in the army in Greenville-- Greenland.
CATES: My goodness. (Herrin laughs) Well, now this Russelltown, that was namedafter the senior Russell, or was it some other Russell?
CATES: What is his father?
HERRIN: When his father moved out of Winder, his father got mad with Winderbecause when we went after a new county, I think it was in 1912, and we were in the corner of three counties, Winder was--Gwinnett and Walton and Jackson and we 00:27:00decided we wanted a new county. And Russell was against it. I don't know why, but Dick's father was against it, and the whole town turned against him on that. Of course, all that wore off after years.
CATES: Someone was telling me that at one time the Russell's were all Methodistsand then they switched to the Presbyterian Church because Judge Russell got peeved with the Methodist church. Would you elaborate on that?
HERRIN: Well, I remember very well because my father was chairman of the boardof stewards of the Methodist church and Dick Russell was on the board with him.
CATES: The senior Dick Russell?
HERRIN: The senior Dick Russell. They all belonged to the Methodist church andsenior Dick Russell ran for governor. He ran on a wet platform and they wouldn't endorse him--the church wouldn't endorse him. So he came out of the Methodist 00:28:00church. That's exactly the reason for that. Now Dick never did come out. He had two sisters that never did come out; they still belong to the Methodist church.
CATES: That would be Mrs. [S. Gordon] Green and Mrs. [Jean Killough] Stacy? And,so whenever he, Senator Russell, did attend church down here in Winder he went to your church, the Methodist church?
HERRIN: Yes, he did. I wrote to him several times when we were building a newchurch and he made some nice donations to the church.
CATES: That's this church down the street here? This beautiful church?
CATES: How did Senator Russell feel about the church in his later years? Did heattend church in Washington or do you have any knowledge?
HERRIN: I don't know whether he attended church in Washington or no, but he didattend here on several occasions here when he would come home. He and Ina, or 00:29:00Mrs. Stacy, would come to church together.
CATES: How about the question of filibusters in the segregation and integrationissue. I'm sure you must have had numerous conversations with him in the drugstore on this. Would you--
HERRIN: That was a topic of conversation.
CATES: Right. Would you relate some of these-- he was brought up and the way hereally believed at the start he thought he was right about it and he stood up for what he thought he was right about
CATES: Did he try to justify or rationalize or did he comment about this otherthan what you have just said?
HERRIN: Not too much.
CATES: How about during the MacArthur-Truman hearings? Did he ever talk to youabout this?
HERRIN: Well, I've heard him discuss that two or three times, especially aboutDouglas A. MacArthur, but I can't remember just exactly what the conversation 00:30:00was then. I do know that Dick did a wonderful job on that hearing
CATES: Did he seem to, maybe privately, favor one or the other?
HERRIN: Well, I couldn't say--
CATES: I meant the record would show that he was strictly impartial, but I wasjust wondering if he confided in you as to the merits of--
HERRIN: No, he never did. I would think, though, that MacArthur--I mean, hekindly favored MacArthur's side of it. But I wouldn't say that for sure.
CATES: Uh huh. How about during the Cuban Crisis, or the U2 incident? These aresome of the things that come to mind involving the military and possible military action. Did he ever talk to you about the Communist threat?
HERRIN: Well, I have heard him talk about the Communist threat pertaining to00:31:00Cuba and so forth, but I don't remember exactly what the conversation led to or what brought it on or so forth.
CATES: Did he ever tell you what he thought ought to be done as far as Cuba was concerned?
HERRIN: I've heard him say that--I couldn't absolutely say this as true, but Ithink that in his heart he believed that we ought to have done something about that. Our foreign policy was wrong and we ought to have done something about Cuba.
CATES: Did you ever visit him in Washington?
HERRIN: Yeah, yeah. Me and my wife went up there when this--let's see, they werehaving that trial of the senator from Wisconsin--what was his name?
CATES: McCarthy. Eugene McCarthy.
HERRIN: McCarthy. We tried to get in there.
CATES: No, I don't think it was Eugene McCarthy--anyway, McCarthy.
HERRIN: [Joseph R.] McCarthy.00:32:00
CATES: Senator McCarthy. Right.
HERRIN: I wanted to go in there and Mrs. Herrin said she wanted to hear some ofthat trial. We just went around and asked Dick about it and he just carried us in there and put us right on the front seat, sees. (laughs) Yeah, I've visited him several times in Washington.
CATES: Did he introduce you to any famous personalities when you were there?
HERRIN: No, he didn't. He did introduce us to Senator John Sherman Cooper fromKentucky, I believe. He liked Senator Cooper.
CATES: Did he ever talk to you about his Senate colleagues, about their merits?I know you mentioned the fact that he said that Roosevelt was a very wealthy person.
CATES: Did he talk to you about--either up there or down here in Winder in yourdrugstore, about the merits or the talents of any of his colleagues, shortcomings?
HERRIN: Well, I've heard him express something on one or two of the senators. I00:33:00don't know whether I should say anything about that or not, but I did--
CATES: Well, here again, you can put it on a time seal which--actually, 40 or 50years from now somebody might be writing a history.
HERRIN: Well, I've heard him discuss about [Hubert H.] Humphrey several times.
CATES: Well, shall we just put this on a time seal until the death of Humphrey?
HERRIN: Yeah. I said, "Dick, I want you to tell me one thing." I said, "What doyou think of Senator Humphrey?" And I never will forget what Dick told me. He said, "Well, the only thing I can say, he's a stinker." (laughs)
CATES: And he didn't elaborate?
HERRIN: He didn't elaborate. I said, "What do you mean by he's a stinker?" Hesaid, "Well, one thing about it, we do know that when we have any bill or anything, we know that he is going to be against it." So--I tell you who he really liked in the Senate, was Senator [Robert] Taft. I've heard him elaborate 00:34:00on that a lot of times, and I think he went to the--he was at the funeral of Senator Taft. I'm not sure.
CATES: What were some of the things that he said about the senator?
HERRIN: One time he told me--he says that when they would go to Senator Taftabout this and that or some bill or something, Senator Taft would express his views and said, "Now when he expressed his views, we knew that that was it." He never did change his mind on anything. I think that he was really high on Senator Taft.
CATES: Did he and Senator Taft usually think alike or did he indicate that?
HERRIN: Well, they voted alike a lot in the Senate. I take the CongressionalRecord, I still do and I read it all the time, and they voted alike a whole lot 00:35:00of times on different bills. Now, some bills they were against each other.
CATES: Did Russell ever talk about the Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, or Robert or[Edward M.] Ted Kennedy?
HERRIN: I don't remember too much about that, I mean his thinking of thosepeople, whether he talked too much about that or not. I guess he did, but I don't remember what he said.
CATES: Did he ever talk to you at the drugstore about the assassination of JohnF. Kennedy and the probability of it being a Communist conspiracy?
HERRIN: No, he never did.
CATES: Did he talk to you about serving on the Warren Commission?
HERRIN: Well, I've heard him express--talk some about the Warren Commission, butright offhand I can't say what he said about it.
CATES: What did he tell you about his association with Lyndon Baines Johnson?
HERRIN: Well, I've heard him express himself a lot of times about Lyndon Johnson00:36:00and I think they were pretty close in every way and I know he--I did hear him tell two or three times about getting Lyndon Johnson to come down to Atlanta to see some heart specialist. You knew about that, I guess.
CATES: No, I didn't know about that.
HERRIN: Well, when he had that slight heart attack in Washington he came toAtlanta and I forgot who it was or which doctor it was but he--
CATES: Dr. Willis Hurst, probably.
HERRIN: I believe that's who it was. Anyway, he came back several times to seehim. He put him in the hospital, and he stayed about a week or two.
CATES: That was not general knowledge, was it that the president came down to Atlanta?
HERRIN: He wasn't the president then. He was a senator.
CATES: He was a senator.
HERRIN: He was a senator.
HERRIN: But he did come to see him, I think, once while he was president. Or thepresident went over there to see him; I think that was it--in Austin, Texas, see. 00:37:00
CATES: Do you think that their relationship was strained over the years be causeof their differing political views?
HERRIN: Well, I always felt like it would be--should be--knowing the differenceand everything, but seemed like they just accepted each other's viewpoints, the way I figured it. They were such good friends until they accepted each other's viewpoints. Dick never did criticize him too much about that--about his views.
CATES: He never said anything--
HERRIN: I'm talking about Senator Johnson, I mean President Johnson.
CATES: I mean, he never said anything to you derogatory about--
HERRIN: No, he never did say anything--
CATES: --about President Johnson. Did you ever kid him or did he ever sayanything about not participating in some of the national elections?
HERRIN: No. I remember when Harry S. Truman ran, he was in the store. He neverdid leave Winder when Truman was elected. He was up there and we were drinking a 00:38:00cup of coffee and we were talking about the election and everything and, of course, Dick came down there to vote, of course. He'd always come to vote, you know that. And I said, "Now, how do you think this election is going with Truman?" And he said, "Did you vote for Truman?" And I said, "Yes sir. I voted for Truman." And I said, "Did you vote for Truman?" And I forgot what he said and I said, "Who's going to be elected, Truman or"--let's see, who ran against him?
CATES: Was it Thomas Dewey in 1948?
HERRIN: Thomas Dewey, Dewey. He said, "Well, I don't know." He said, "He hasn'tgot any more chance of being president of the United States than I have."
CATES: Who was he talking about?
HERRIN: He was talking about Truman.
CATES: Didn't have a chance?
HERRIN: Didn't have a chance! That's what Dick said.
HERRIN: He just said he didn't have a chance. Course, I don't want to start no00:39:00controversy on this thing because--but Dick just believed that way, I think, and, you know, it was mighty close.
CATES: Well, actually, yes, because I believe it was one of the Chicago papersthat came out with an early edition saying Dewey was elected.
HERRIN: "DEWEY WINS"
CATES: Yeah, right. So Russell thought, like most of the country did--
HERRIN: What impressed me about Dick was that he didn't get out and work forTruman. Now he worked for Johnson. He went to Texas and he'd tell me about making these speeches in Dallas and Fort Worth and San Antonio or wherever it was. But he never did go out and work for Truman.
CATES: But he never did indicate whether or not he abstained from voting orwhether or not he voted for him.
HERRIN: No. I guess he voted for him. I really think he voted for Truman. He00:40:00just didn't take any real part in that election.
CATES Did he ever relate to you any stories about his campaigning for Johnson inTexas? One day and he was talking about that he had just gotten back from Texas and telling about some of his experiences out in Texas and everything. I think Dick did a good job for Johnson out there though. There were a lot of people against him out there--Johnson.
CATES: What do you think prompted him going out there, because I believe thiswas at: the tail end of the election, probably in 1964, and I believe he had been in Spain on a military inspection trip or something. So what--why do you think--what prompted him to go out there?
HERRIN: I don't know on that. We have a friend here that was connected with big00:41:00gas and oil company out there. He was one of the vice presidents and he talked to me a lot about Dick going out there and how much good Dick did Johnson out there, and I believe that Johnson asked him to go out there.
CATES: So he probably went out there at the pleading of Johnson.
HERRIN: I think so. I believe yes.
CATES: How about in the summer of 1964 when it looked like Russell was going tohave opposition? Did he discuss this with you at the drug store?
HERRIN: No, I never heard him discuss that at all. I did talk to his brotherabout it and some of his sisters and relatives about it, but I never did talk to Dick about it. I never did think he'd have opposition. 00:42:00
HERRIN: Yeah, I know Carl Sanders--the paper said that he was thinking veryseriously of running. Some of the people that were supporting him thought that.
CATES: Did you ever go to any of the celebrations that were given to honorSenator Russell?
HERRIN: Yeah, I went to several of them.
CATES: Would you describe some of them?
HERRIN: Well, the one that impressed me most was the one they had at theBiltmore Hotel. I forgot which year that was. Do you remember that?
CATES: I'm not sure if I remember exactly. It was probably the Great AmericanAward presented by Atlanta Federal and WSB.
HERRIN: That's the one.
CATES: Why did that impress you the most?
HERRIN: Well, I don't know. It seems like there were more people from Winder00:43:00that took part in that and I expect it looked like half the town was there and they took more interest in that and so forth.
CATES: How did Senator Russell feel about such honors?
HERRIN: Oh, he was thrilled to death about that meeting and that tickled me and,I know, and I guess he was on all the others honors and meetings that he had.
CATES: Did he ever try to help the county or the little town of Winder in hisposition as senator.
HERRIN: Well, let's see. Well, I think he helped a whole lot from--I think someof the large business in Winder was attributed to some of his efforts like the Rohr Corporation. I think probably he had something to do with Rohr coming here. 00:44:00See, Dick owns a lot of land down there and I sold Dick a farm one time. (laughs) It adjoined his, it adjoined Dick's and he kept calling me up and said, "Hal," Dick says, "I want that farm." He said, "You don't need it." And I said, "Well, you don't need it either." And he said, "Well, how much will you take for it?" He called me up from Washington. I said, "Dick, I don't want to sell it." It was right in town nearly. And finally, he called me up one time and said, "I'll give you $5500 for that farm. You didn't pay but $3500 for it." So finally, after he called me two or three times, I said, "Well I'll just sell it to you." And he said, "Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to send you $250 a month and," said, "when we get it paid for, I'll get Bob [Robert L. Russell, Jr.] and we'll draw up all the deeds and everything." And the funny 00:45:00thing about that thing was that he went on for several years and I checked up one time and he'd overpaid me four or five payments.
CATES: He had?
HERRIN: So I made the deed out to him and gave him his money back.
CATES: Well, now is this the farm that he sold to Rohr?
HERRIN: No, that's not the one. That's the one on this side of town.
CATES: But he did sell the land to the Rohr Company.
HERRIN: I think probably he sold some of the land. Now, he didn't sell themajority of the land. I don't think--maybe he didn't sell any of the land, but I think his land kindly surrounds or adjoins the Rohr property.
CATES: Did he ever discuss with you any other thing that might have helped thetown as far as he was concerned. I'm thinking now maybe of things now like the 00:46:00new federal building. I'm sure he had something to do with that.
HERRIN: Yeah, that's right. He did. I think he had a great deal to do with that.And I think he had a lot to do with the real estate that they put the building on. He kindly favored that. He told me that he favored that place right there in town. And you know how it is in a small town. Everybody's trying to sell the government some land and so forth.
CATES: Who owned that property?
HERRIN: It was owned by two people: the J. P. Strange estate and the W. HowardPerry estate. It's two big lots in there.
CATES: Were you there when they unveiled the painting of Senator Russell? Ibelieve it was in his office. DO you think that's a pretty good likeness of the senator? 00:47:00
HERRIN: Well, I think it's fairly good. I don't think it is extra good.
CATES: I think Mr. W. B. Thompson and Harry Dwoskin had something to do withthat. Do you know these gentlemen, from Atlanta?
HERRIN: No, I don't. I don't know them.
CATES: In later life, the senator's health was not too good. Did you ever talkto him about his health, his failing health?
HERRIN: Well, I talked to him several times about it and it was a mighty badsituation, He talked about his respiratory trouble, more about that than anything else.
CATES: Did you try maybe to advise him? I know you're not a medical doctor, butyou know a lot about medicine and so forth. Did you ever talk to him about his cigarette smoking before he gave it up?
HERRIN: I talked to him about that a lot of times.00:48:00
CATES: Before he gave it up? Why do you think he finally gave it up?
HERRIN: Well, I think he gave it up in the latter part of his life, you mightsay, and three or four years before he died. He used to smoke a lot of cigarettes. He smoked Old Gold cigarettes and he smoked a lot of them and I don't know--he talked about it a lot of times that he wished he had quit smoking a long time before he did and he always mentioned something about his brother, you know Bob [Robert Lee Russell, Sr.], he was a judge, you know he died with cancer. And then his nephew died also. And they were heavy cigarette smokers. And I always--when people say that cigarettes don't bother you, I refer them to those three cases right there and I know I used to smoke two packs a day and I quit. I quit before Dick did. 00:49:00
CATES: Was it hard for him to quit?
HERRIN: It was. He told me that it was hard for him to quit.
CATES: Did you ever see him irritable or where he lost his temper?
HERRIN: Well, I can't say that I ever have seen him when he'd completely blowhis stack or anything. I've seen him when he kindly didn't like what was going on, but I think he held his temper pretty good on all occasions.
CATES: What things would irritate him the most?
HERRIN: I can't--right offhand, I can't say. We had a lot--taught me a lot aboutsports. I told you, he was a great believer in sports in his early campaigns. 00:50:00But I don't know of any one thing that irritated him more than another.
CATES: Did he have any business interests here in Winder other than the land?
HERRIN: No, he practiced law here for several years. He was my attorney. Ibought a television set, I mean a radio set when they first came on the market. That's been a long time ago. A fellow came around. It was in a beautiful cabinet, and he said, "If you'll give me a hundred dollars down and sign notes for $50 a month, then I'll sell it to you for $350." So I said, "All right." So, he set the radio in there and it would never play. We never did get any sound on 00:51:00it. So they threatened to sue me. I told them they could come get it or I would send it to them, but I wasn't going to pay anything else but I wanted my $100 back. So I told Dick about it and Dick said, "Don't you pay them anything else. Let me handle all the correspondence." So I gave the correspondence to him and they had transferred my notes to a holding company. And Dick noticed the holding company; the letter "k" in their letters was the same as the parent company's letter "k" in that letter. So he went over and we went to court about it and, of course, we won the case and Dick came back by the store. I said, "Dick, I want to pay you now. You saved me $250." He said, "Oh, I won't charge you anything. You ought to get your $100 back." I said, "Well, how much do I owe you?" Dick 00:52:00said, "Well, give me $10." (laughs)
CATES: Ten dollars.
HERRIN: Ten dollars. I'll never forget that.
CATES: Whatever happened to the radio?
HERRIN: I can't remember and Dick said that they sold those things all over thestate of Georgia and every one of them was the same way. They wouldn't play and all. They wrote for his file on it, all the lawyers around. They filed by it, see. They knew he won his, see.
CATES: Did he have any other business interests? Someone said that they thoughthe had an interest in the motel here.
HERRIN: Well, his nephew did. He might have had some interest. I remember whenhe was a representative, this telephone company went bust [sic] He came to the store and asked me would I put $1000 in it, said he was going to bid on it and 00:53:00it was sold in the courthouse, the franchise. I said, "Dick, how much are you going to pay for it." He said, "I'm going to pay $16,000 for it." I said, "You're not going to pay over $16,000." He said, "No." I said, "I'll take a $1000 stock." So they ran it up to $16,500 and that's the people that have it now and I guess it's worth several million dollars now. They didn't pay that much for it.
CATES: So he would have been willing to have bought it for $16,000--
HERRIN: $16,000--He said, "Now that's all I'm going is 16." I said, "Don't yougo over 16. It's not worth over 16." He said, "Well, I won't." So he never had any active business dealings, I don't think besides practicing law. He had a lot of land and he did some farming and so forth.
CATES: Someone else was telling me that they believe that he had told the00:54:00sheriff or some official of the county or the city here that whenever any land came up for bids to buy it for him if it was a reasonable price. Do you know anything about that?
HERRIN: No, I never did hear that, but he did own a lot of land around here. Iremember one time we were going to Athens and we went around the back way and there was a little lake out there and he said, "You know, that belongs to me. I got it through a fee--a fellow couldn't pay me for a fee." And that's been a long time ago.
CATES: He never did sell land, did he?
HERRIN: He never did sell anything. He wouldn't sell anything. If he had a houseon it, it used to rot down. He never would spend any money on it; he'd just let it go.
CATES: Just let it rot down.
HERRIN: He's got the land though, planted it in pines. He was a wonderful boy.He was a good friend and I enjoyed him so much. We had so many nice visits, 00:55:00especially before he got to be governor. We'd go to football games and everything and then he'd come down to the house when Georgia was playing basketball. He'd come down here and I'd see him get down on his knees, you know, a tight game, you know. And he'd get down on his knees and go to praying. (laughs)
CATES: He was that much of a fan?
HERRIN: He was the most terrific basketball-football fan I ever saw, but hewasn't that way in the latter part of his life. He really was a big football fan.
CATES: What would you say was his most outstanding personality trait, Dr. Herrin?
HERRIN: Well, it's like I told you, I think that he's--when he got to be00:56:00twenty-one years old or twenty-two, or three or four, up in his maturity, he knew what he wanted to do and he had ambition to do it and he did it. And I think that's the reason that he never got married. He just didn't have time.
CATES: Singleness of purpose.
HERRIN: That's right. I used to beg him and beg him and beg him to get married.I said, "Dick, you'd just be better off." And he'd agree with me, you know, "Yeah, that's right." (laughs) But he said his girl in Atlanta fooled him one time, see. So he--
CATES: Did he elaborate about the girl in Atlanta?
HERRIN: No, he just said that she fooled him, said he loved that girl and shefooled him. I don't know how she fooled him. It's been so long, so I don't know.
CATES: Someone had told me that they thought that he was very much in love with00:57:00a girl when he was at the University and that she died of pneumonia. Did you ever hear him tell about her?
CATES: I don't know if that's a true story or not. The reason I asked you aboutgirlfriends is that it was pretty well documented that he was married to the Senate and to his work as a politician and an office holder. But I'm sure that over the years he must have had some involvement there and affection for certain, you know, girls along the way and I have heard that there were one or two times when he was either engaged or almost engaged and that's why I ask this question to try to find out if anybody has any knowledge of this.
HERRIN: I don't know. The only thing he ever talked to me about was that onethat did him wrong or something. 00:58:00
CATES: And how old was he would you say was he when he told you that. Was he inhis thirties or--
HERRIN: I guess so.
CATES: --Or forties?
HERRIN: Between thirty and forty.
CATES: Was he a Senator then?
HERRIN: Well, that was after--yeah, I guess he was. I guess he was. That wasafter he was governor.
CATES: Well, before we close, I'd like to ask you this question. Do you have anywords that you might like to pass on, in addition to what you might have already said about the senator, to future researchers and historians that want to know as much as they can about Senator Russell as a man?
HERRIN: Well, I don't--it's like I told you, he had a wonderful personality. Andeverybody liked him and I think, as a general rule, he knew how to get along 00:59:00with people. And like he was a politician, we know that, but I know after he'd beat you in politics, he would put his arm around you and you'd think there'd never been anything wrong anywhere in the world I know this man that he ran against here, they were always good friends.
CATES: The man he beat the first time?
HERRIN: Yeah, always, he was that way. And he never did openly--he neverwould--Dick never did talk about anybody much in a way that was degrading in any way--he never did do that. He took the standpoint that a little praise would help him more than the otherwise.
CATES: How about when Richard Russell III ran against Mark Dunahoo, who used to01:00:00be his aide? Did he talk to you about that race?
HERRIN: No, he never did. I never did say anything to him about it and I knowRichard is a mighty good friend of mine, and my wife taught him in the first grade. I thought that Richard would win the race hands-down but after analyzing the situation afterwards I found out that my own belief is that Richard is just not a politician---he's just not a politician. He never did come in the store and shake hands. I worked about ten people; and he never did, all the time he was running, he never did come in and shake hands with anybody or ask them to vote for him or anything like that. And this Dunahoo boy was in there every other day.
CATES: How do you thing Senator Russell felt about the defeat of his nephew? Did01:01:00he ever--?
HERRIN: I never did--I know it must have hurt him in some ways but I never didbring it up to him or say anything about it because I just didn't know how to say anything about it' cause I knew that he and Mark used to be pretty close together.
CATES: Were they in later life?
HERRIN: No, I don't think so.
CATES: Do you think there was any animosity there?
HERRIN: I don't know--I wouldn't want to comment on that because I don't know. Ithink knowing both people, I know the Dunahoos and I know Richard and Dick, and I wouldn't want to comment on that.
CATES: Dr. Herrin, I want to thank you for this interview. Like I told you whenwe had the tape recorder off changing the tape, I wish we could have had a tape recorder in your drugstore when you were talking to Senator Russell over the 01:02:00years because I'm sure that that really would've given an insight into his personality--to kind of eavesdrop and see what you talked about and how he felt about things and questions he asked you about the town while he was away and things like that.
HERRIN: Well, you know how it used to be around drugstores--just likebarbershops--that's a bureau of information. I know Dick myself and I've had several programs. I've had him speak to the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and he has always been real close to me and it kind of hurt me how he had to suffer before he died and everything.
CATES: Do you think if he had given up smoking earlier he probably--
HERRIN: I'm pretty sure.
CATES: --he would have probably survived.
HERRIN: --cause his two relatives both died with it. I think he told me that.I'm not sure, but I think he told me that 01:03:00
CATES: Did he ever talk to you about the tracheotomy that he had in 1965?
CATES: Somebody told me, I believe it was a member of his staff, that he wasreally not--didn't have all of his faculties--I don't want to say out of his head, but I mean he was really at the point of death. He had told one of them later that if he had really known what he was doing he would have never agreed to the tracheotomy. But indeed it did save his life because he was that close to death. This was in 1965. I just didn't know if he ever discussed that with you or any aspect of his health situation.
CATES: Okay, Dr. Herrin, I want to thank you again for this interview. Iappreciate the time. 01:04:00