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Interview with Betty Sanders, September 3, 2008

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:32 - Early life and family

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Partial Transcript: Ms. Sanders, where did it all begin?

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls her early life growing up on the farm, family vacations, and family lineage. Sanders also mentions attending Statesboro High School.

Keywords: Stateseboro, Georgia; early education; family vacations; farming

00:09:32 - Growing independence / Starting college

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Partial Transcript: Now, at 42, my father's health started to fail.

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls her father's death, its effects on her in her life, attending Georgia Teachers College (today, Georgia Southern University) and later the University of Georgia.

Keywords: Georgia Teachers College; Tri Delta Sorority; University of Georgia; art education

00:15:43 - Marriage to Carl Sanders / Health scare

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Partial Transcript: Now, my junior, I had something happened to me...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders remembers the start of her relationship with Carl Sanders, his saving of money to buy her a ring, and their marriage. Sanders also reflects on the sudden illness that threatened her life short after their honeymoon, her recovery, and building their first home.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; family life; honeymoon; illness; marriage

00:25:09 - Supporting husband's political career

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Partial Transcript: Well, Carl came home one afternoon...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls her reaction to her husband entering politics, supporting her husband in his campaign for governor, and her reaction to his successful election.

Keywords: campaigning; conventions; governor election; networking; travelling

00:31:17 - Moving into the Governor's Mansion

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Partial Transcript: So anyway, it got to be close to November...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls the process of renovating, organizing, and entertaining large groups of people after moving into the Governor's mansion. She talks about the relationship with her house staff, and working with her husband to compensate the Georgia artist, Wilbur Kurtz, for his painting.

Keywords: Governor's Mansion; Wilbur Kurtz; adjustment; lifestyle change; receptions; staff relationship

00:41:58 - Entertaining prominent people

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Partial Transcript: Tell us about some of the celebrities, some of the prominent people that you entertained at the mansion.

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls visits from prominent people like Robert Kennedy, Robert Goulet, and Lady Bird Johnson. She remembers the reaction of the household to the news of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and her and her husband's close relationship the the Johnson family.

Keywords: JFK assassination

00:50:46 - Developing plans for new Governor's Mansion

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Partial Transcript: But before I left, Channel 5 called...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders talks about her involvement in the relocation of the Governor's Mansion, searching for the new location, overseeing the redesign.

Keywords: Governor's mansion; redesign; relocation

01:01:46 - Sanders children's reaction to living in Governor's Mansion

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Partial Transcript: Before we get too far into your art career...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders talks about her children's adjustment to living in the Governor's Mansion and their security staff. She talks about her children and grandchildren today.

Keywords: Governor's mansion social life; adjustment; children

01:06:28 - Pursuing art education

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Partial Transcript: When did you first realize you have become an artist?

Segment Synopsis: Sanders talks about choosing to study art in college, and taking classes from Lamar Dodd. She recalls her first exhibitions and taking lessons from an artist named Ouida Canaday, who became her friend.

Keywords: Lamar Dodd; Ouida Canaday; art exhibition; art school

01:11:31 - Promoting local art

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Partial Transcript: You've promoted art for a long time.

Segment Synopsis: Sanders discusses creating the Georgia Council of the Arts, promoting art education and exhibitions across the state, and being honored with an art school being named after her. Sanders also talks about her daughter's artistic work and its role in dealing with loss.

Keywords: Georgia Council of the Arts; art education; art promotion

01:19:20 - Interest in fashion and style

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Partial Transcript: You're also well-known for your love of hats.

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls organizing a fashion event at a governor's conference, her fondness of hats, and the changing relationship between fashion and formality.

Keywords: entertainment; fashion; hats; social expectation

01:22:53 - Accomplishments as First Lady of Georgia

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to mention...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders reflects on her firsts as a governor's wife, her activities after retiring from the political scene, and the events she has hosted at her house since.

Keywords: achievements; entertaining; governor's wife

01:29:13 - Significance of new Sanders' house

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Partial Transcript: You know, I'd appreciate it if you'd just take a minute to tell us about your house...

Segment Synopsis: Sanders recalls the search for a family home after moving out of the Governor's Mansion. Sanders closes the interview by reciting a poem.

Keywords: Augusta, Georgia; family home