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Interview with William M. Bates, March 17, 1971

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:47 - The 1952 controversy over Taft-Hartley

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Partial Transcript: Bill, would you tell me about your earliest association with Senator Russell?

Keywords: Charnet; Democratic National Convention; candidacy; correspondent; press

00:07:16 - Russell's prospects for the presidency in 1952

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Partial Transcript: As a reporter in 1952, looking at Senator Russell, do you feel like that he knew his chances as being good or futile in winning the nomination of the Democrats?

Keywords: 1952; Democratic National Convention; Jane Russell; John Sparkman; Kefauver; Southern bloc; candidacy; family; nomination; support

00:17:10 - Becoming Russell's press secretary / Russell's hesitance to give staff-written speeches / Constituent relations

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Partial Transcript: I guess little did you realize at that time that six years later you would be working for Senator Russell as his press secretary.

Keywords: Bobby Russell; Congressional Record; Robert L. Russell, Jr.; interview; memory; personality; speechwriting

00:28:50 - Russell's motivation for hiring a press secretary / The Civil Rights Bill of 1960

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Partial Transcript: Bill, would you mind describing a typical day as a press secretary at the beginning...

Keywords: Burson; Civil Rights Act of 1964; Southern bloc; Talmadge; filibuster; race; segregation

00:38:54 - Aerospace interests / Campaigning against Carl Sanders in 1966

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Partial Transcript: Can you recall other newsworthy happenings during this period other than the civil rights bill of 1960 and the filibuster?

Keywords: Cold War; Earl Leonard; Martin Company; Russia; Sputnik; challengers; defense; military; opposition; security; space race; speeches; technology

00:52:40 - Russell's reluctance to focus on campaigns

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Partial Transcript: ...during the time that you were press secretary for the second time, January 1964 through September 1966, what were some of the
major news events that you recall as they affected Senator Russell?

Keywords: dedication; statesmanship

01:00:21 - Prioritizing Senate work over campaigns / Unflattering reports of a 1960 Senate speech

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Partial Transcript: What I am trying to say to you about Russell, the
eminently successful political leader, the very popular, popular political leader...

Keywords: Congressional Record; Russell organization; Shining White Armor Speech; filibuster; politcking; political machine

01:13:46 - Russell's emphysema and maintaining public relations

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any comments or observations about this illness of his in 1965?

Keywords: Walter Reed; health; hospital; hospitalization; tracheotomy

01:26:37 - The impact of Bobby Russell, Jr.'s death on Senator Russell / Russell's overwhelming responsibilities in 1964

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Partial Transcript: Were you on the staff when his brother Bob Russell died and/or his nephew Bobby Russell, Jr.?

Keywords: Johnson; Kennedy; Vietnam; Warren Commission; civil rights

01:35:50 - Reflections on Russell's staff / Bates's return to Georgia and continued friendship with Russell

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Partial Transcript: ...there was a member of the staff that was added specifically for the purpose of her assisting Senator Russell on the Warren Commission.

Keywords: Warren Commission; colleagues; seniority