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Interview with Charles Campbell, May 5, 2009

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Good morning.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Sally Russell Warrington introduces interviewee Charles Campbell.

Keywords: Russell Foundation; chairman

00:00:35 - Work for Senator Russell

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Partial Transcript: I would like to ask you to start with telling us when you came to work for Senator Russell and maybe a little bit why you were a very young man.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about how he got the opportunity to work for Senator Richard B Russell so soon after obtaining his Master's Degree from the University of Georgia.

Keywords: Butts County; Jackson, Ga; National Honor Society; University of Georgia; blue key; homecoming award; law school; political science

00:02:34 - Washington, D.C. / Law school

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Partial Transcript: So how did you feel giving up your idea of going to law school-- you've told me a little story which we'll get into in just a minute.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the struggle of working in Senator Russell's office and attending law school at night. Campbell shares how he was thinking about dropping out of law school until Russell encouraged him to finish his degree.

Keywords: Georgetown University; Jack Flynt; advice; law school; reserved

00:07:37 - Relationship with Senator Russell

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Partial Transcript: Well, yesterday you told me a little bit about the difference in Washington Russell and the Russell that you got to know when you were traveling some with him.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the difference between the Russell when he was in Washington and when he was back at home. Campbell also talks about Russell's relationship with his staff.

Keywords: Babs Raesly; Herman Talmadge; Proctor Jones; Warren Commission; Washington DC; Winder, Ga; legislative assistant

00:14:08 - Russell's relationship with other Senators

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Partial Transcript: Well, you spoke to me about the difference in the fact that he was respected but not necessarily liked by the other senators.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about how Russell did not have many personal relationships with other Senators, but he had good professional relationships with his fellow Senators.

Keywords: Armed Services Committee; Edward Kennedy; Herman Talmadge; John Stennis; Leverett Saltonstall; Lyndon Johnson; emphysema; prison reform

00:19:23 - Russell's defense of Georgia / Civil Rights

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Partial Transcript: Well, that's one of the things that I've been impressed with in my work is how much he loved Georgia and the South but the nation, too.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Russell's love for the South and Georgia. Russell was very sensitive about any criticism directed towards Georgia. He goes on to talk about Russell's views on Civil Rights, and he talks about Russell's cooperation once Civil Rights legislation was passed.

Keywords: Berry College; Civil Rights Act; Civil War; Martin Luther King Jr; Rome, Ga; Southern Caucus; Strom Thurman; United Nations; filibuster; sit-ins

00:27:44 - Russell's Senate career

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Partial Transcript: You've spoken about all the things that he did.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks a little bit about Russell's early Senate career, and he shares the story of how Russell was appointed to the Appropriations Committee his first year.
Campbell later goes on to talk about all of Russell's accomplishments in his Senate career.

Keywords: Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Court Packing Plan; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Lyndon Johnson; New Deal; Senate Space Committee; food stamp program; majority leader

00:35:47 - Russell's views on race relations

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Partial Transcript: Tell us about Senator Edward Brooke and what you saw in his relationship with Russell.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Senator Russell's segregationist views, and he makes sure to state that Russell was not anti-black. Campbell goes on to speculate that if Russell had been exposed to powerful Blacks like President Obama, Andrew Young, or Martin Luther King, his opinions on segregation would have been different.

Keywords: Armed Services Committee; Brown v Board of Education; Civil Rights; Edward Brooke; Marietta, Ga; Plessy V Ferguson; segregationist

00:46:22 - Russell's leadership

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Partial Transcript: Maybe you could speak to that a little bit in the fact that he did have a perception of himself as a leader.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Senator Russell's leadership style of leading by example. He also talks about Russell's strengths and weaknesses as a Senator.

Keywords: Atlanta Braves; Civil Rights; Meet the Press; Red China; Vietnam War; congressional directory; leadership; school lunch program

00:56:04 - The Russell Foundation

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Partial Transcript: I'd like to talk a little bit about the Russell Foundation.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the creation of the Russell Foundation. He later talks about how he became the chairman and why the job was so satisfying.

Keywords: Dr. Aderhold; Herman Talmadge; Judge William Norton; Russell Foundation; Russell Library; Russell Senate Office Building; Russell Symposium; University of Georgia; Woodruff Foundation; foot soldier project

01:10:10 - Russell's legacy / Legacy in national security

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Partial Transcript: I was looking through your talk you made when you resigned from the -- not resigned, but stepped down from the chairman --

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Senator Russell's legacy in the Senate and in national security.

Keywords: Armed Services Committee; CIA oversight committee; Cold War; Douglas McArthur; Naval Affairs Committee; World War II; agriculture; atomic energy program; career; memorial stamp; space program

01:17:12 - Russell's legacy in research

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Partial Transcript: The other part of his legacy that I think is maybe not as well known that the area he promoted so much research -- scientific and agricultural, the nuclear, could you speak about that?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Russell's efforts to gain research funding and facilities for Georgia. Russell found researching very important.

Keywords: Appropriations Committee; agricultural research; earmarks; funding; research; scientific research

01:22:00 - Russell's simplistic lifestyle

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Partial Transcript: One thing that you spoke about, which I think is worth knowing is that Russell led a very simple life, that he didn't try to enrich himself by his public office.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell and Warrington talk about Senator Russell's simplistic and frugal lifestyle. He owned a small one bedroom apartment in DC and a small estate in Winder, Ga.

Keywords: Abraham Ribicoff; Foggy Bottom; Lyndon B Johnson; Winder, Ga; bachelor; estate; frugal

01:27:49 - Work Horses and Show Horses / Constituent letters

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Partial Transcript: We have talked about this a little bit, but maybe we could emphasize a little bit more or discuss a little bit more how he was a workhorse as opposed to a show horse in the Senate.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Senator Russel's work ethic and how he was considered a work horse rather than a show horse. He was very devoted to his job. Campbell goes on to talk about the special attention Senator Russell's office gave to responding to constituent letters.

Keywords: Douglas McArthur; Herman Talmadge; constituents; letter writing; nut pile; show horse; work horse

01:35:11 - Russell's influence on Campbell

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Partial Transcript: I hate to close this down but I know people have got to go.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the qualities that he admired in Senator Russell and how his qualities were an influence on Campbell's law career.

Keywords: Civil Rights; Vietnam War; integrity; national security; trial lawyer