UGA Libraries Logo

Interview with Hugh Gillis, July 25, 2008

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:46 - Gillis family legacy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Senator, before we get on that long road down your career as a public servant, let’s talk about the Gillises and the impact you and your family have had on the State of Georgia, beginning with your grandfather, who I understand helped create Treutlen County.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about his family legacy in Georgia. His father and grandfather had served in the Georgia General Assembly. Gillis also talks about the creation of Treutlen County.

Keywords: General Assembly; Joe Underwood; Montgomery County; State House of Representatives; State Senate; Treutlen County

00:05:16 - State House of Representatives

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You were elected to the House of Representatives in 1940.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about his election to the State House. He was encouraged by his family to run for the seat.

Keywords: Democratic Party; Ed Rivers; Gene Talmadge; Henry Grady Hotel; Herman Talmadge; House of Representatives; Jim Fowler; Roy Harris; election; opponent

00:12:47 - Three Governors Controversy (1946)

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Then came 1946.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis and Short discuss the Three Governors Controversy between Governor Arnall, Melvin Thompson, and Herman Talmadge. Gillis was in the legislature at the time.

Keywords: Ellis Arnall; Eugene Talmadge; Gene Talmadge; Herman Talmadge; Melvin Thompson; Supreme Court; capitol; decision; legislation

00:16:50 - Herman Talmadge / Melvin Thompson

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And he was governor for six years.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis reflects on the events and legislation of Governor Talmadge and Governor Thompson's terms.

Keywords: Herman Talmadge; Melivn Thompson; Southern Manifesto; integration; progressive state government; sales tax

00:19:27 - Marvin Griffin / Highway commission

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And Griffin won, and served six years.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about Marvin Griffin's Governorship. He shares a little bit about Governor Griffin's personality.

Keywords: George Jackson; highway department; purchasing department

00:25:07 - Earnest Vandiver / County unit system

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Then Vandiver runs for Governor and succeeds Griffin.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis reflects on Earnest Vandiver and his days as Governor. He also talks about the end of the county unit system in Georgia.

Keywords: Bill Bodenheimer; Supreme Court; Ty Ty, Georgia; county unit system; integration; populationl

00:31:31 - The Senate of '63 / Past Governors of Georgia

Play segment

Partial Transcript: The Senate of ’63.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis speaks about the State Senate of 1963 when Carl Sanders was the Governor. Gillis and Short discuss the 14 Governors Gillis served under.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; Ellis Arnall; Eugene Talmadge; Jekyll Island; Jimmy Carter; Lester Maddox; Melvin Thompson; Peter Zach Geer; Zell Miller; governors

00:41:18 - Committees / Political career

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now, you served on a number of committees in the Senate: Natural Resources, Appropriations, and all of the key big committees, which one was your favorite?

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about the different committees he was a part of when he served in the legislature. Gillis also reflects on his career as a legislator.

Keywords: appropriations; committees; environment; environmental quality; forestry; natural resources

00:47:07 - Lieutenant Governors

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well we talked about the Governors you've served with.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about the different Lieutenant Governors he served under during his years of service. Short and Gillis talk at length about Zell Miller and his career leading up to Lieutenant Governor.

Keywords: Garland Byrd; Joe Frank Harris; Mark Taylor; Peter Zach; Zell Miller

01:08:22 - Early life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, we’ve talked about politics for a long time.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about his childhood and early life in Soperton, Ga.

Keywords: GMC; Soperton, Ga; Treutlen High School; University of Georgia; farm; hardware; mules

01:11:24 - Education / Family business

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So you went over to the University of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about his education at Georgia Military College and the University of Georgia. He then talks about the evolution and history of his family business, Gillis Ag and Timber.

Keywords: GMC; Gillis Ag and Timber; John Deere; Pontiac; Treutlen High School; Treutlen county; University of Georgia; agriculture; family business; pulpwood

01:16:32 - Family / Closing reflections

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So you have a son, Hugh, Jr.

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about his children and their careers. Gillis goes into reflections and talks about what he would do differently, his greatest accomplishments, his disappointments, and how he would like to be remembered. Gillis offers advice to aspiring politicians.

Keywords: Atlanta; Gillis Girl; accomplishments; advice; campaigning; children; family; marriage; regrets; state office; success; vol tech

01:24:52 - Rise of the Republican Party in Georgia

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Would you talk a little bit about political parties?

Segment Synopsis: Gillis talks about political parties and the shift in Georgia towards the Republican party. Gillis also talks about if there is a need for voters to register for a certain political party.

Keywords: Democratic party; Georgia; Republican party; candidates; independents; national election; party registration; registration