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Interview with Sam Griffin on Marvin Griffin, April 1, 2007

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:36 - Marvin Griffin's life and career

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Partial Transcript: I'm anxious to get right into a discussion of S. Marvin Griffin.

Segment Synopsis: Sam Griffin discusses the life and career of his father, Marvin Griffin. He says that his grandfather served in the Georgia House of Representatives for several terms, so his father was born into a world of politics. Griffin talks about his father's military career and time in the Georgia House of Representatives before he became governor in 1954.

Keywords: Bainbridge; Brad Hamm; Citadel; Ed Rivers; Ellis Arnall; Ernest Howard Pat Griffin; Gene Cox; Georgia National Guard; Georgia Tech; Henry Grady; Kimball House; M.E. Thompson; Musgrove; Navy; Randolf-Macon Military Academy

00:11:35 - Ben Wiggins' role as Governor Griffin's executive secretary

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Partial Transcript: Ben, let me turn to you now.

Segment Synopsis: Wiggins discusses his role as Governor Griffin's executive secretary and describes the relationship he had with him. Sam Griffin discusses Governor Griffin's attempt to increase appropriations to his rural roads program.

Keywords: Ernest Vandiver; Stone Mountain; Toccoa, Georgia

00:15:06 - George Bagby story / Partisanship

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember the George Bagby story?

Segment Synopsis: Sam Griffin recalls the time when Representative George Bagby openly opposed Marvin Griffin, even though he knew it might cost his brother his job as a license examiner. Marvin Griffin then got Bagby's brother fired. Sam Griffin then comments on the partisanship of today's politics.

Keywords: Pat Donnelly; State Patrol; license examiner; rural roads; telegram

00:19:09 - Griffin as Ed River's Executive Secretary / Griffin's relationship with the press

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Partial Transcript: I guess it's a good a time to explain how his greatest political liability was the enemies he chose early on.

Segment Synopsis: Sam Griffin discusses his father's role as the executive secretary to Ed Rivers. He says that Ed Rivers wanted to fire the highway chairman at the time, Clint Miller, but he was unable to do so because of an injunction. Ed Rivers sent Marvin Griffin to remove Miller from the office anyway, which caused Marvin Griffin to get charged with contempt of court and for violating the injunction. Ed River's later pardoned Marvin Griffin, which was the beginning of his bad relationship with the press.

Keywords: Black Hills; Cadenhead Commission; Jorees; Stone Mountain; Vance Custer; golf tournament; search warrant

00:28:02 - Marvin Griffin's life after governor

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Partial Transcript: Well, a good successful first administration. As I said, very progressive and did a lot of good things for the state. And then he decided to run again four years later.

Segment Synopsis: Sam Griffin discusses how his father lost the reelection for governor to Carl Sanders after the county unit system was abolished. He says that after he lost, Marvin Griffin stayed involved in politics and wrote for the family newspaper, The Post-Searchlight, which Sam later inherited.

Keywords: Atlanta Journal Constitution; Cracker Baron; Garland Byrd; George Wallace; Tom Gregory; Willie Highgrass

00:35:39 - Remembering Marvin Griffin

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Partial Transcript: What was the best thing you remember about your father?

Segment Synopsis: Sam Griffin discusses his relationship with his father and talks about his memories of him. He also talks about his sister who died in the Winecoff Hotel fire in 1946, one of the deadliest hotels fires in U.S. history.

Keywords: Grady Hospital; adjutant general; cancer