UGA Libraries Logo

Interview with Milton Jones, March 19, 2010

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:30 - Early life / Running for the Georgia House of Representatives

Play segment

Partial Transcript: With your permission, we'd like to divide our conversation into three parts.

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about growing up in Columbus, Georgia and then getting his education at Emory University before going to law school. He discusses running for the Georgia House of Representatives for the first time in 1962. He talks about how the county unit system, which functioned similarly to the electoral college system but at the state level, was declared unconstitutional. He also comments on the resulting reapportionment in the Georgia legislature.

Keywords: American History and Government; Baker vs. Carr; Carl Sanders; Ernest Vandiver; Garland Byrd; Homer More; Jimmy Carter; Lester Maddox; Marvin Griffin; Neil Primary Act; Peter Geer; Ty Cobb

00:12:00 - Civil Rights / Redistricting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: That was an interesting decade -- the 60s.

Segment Synopsis: Jones recalls some events that took place in the 1960s. He talks about the Civil Rights movement and the integration of schools. He discusses how Randall Bedgood drew up a plan for the congressional redistricting that ended up not being passed after the clock on the wall of the House was unplugged to "stop time" and prevent the passing of the Bedgood plan.

Keywords: Brown vs. Board of Education; Carl Sanders; Charlayne Hunter; Denny Groover; Dixiecrat; Elliot Levitas; Ernest Vandiver; George T. Smith; Hamilton Jones; Henry Truman; James Meredith; University of Georgia; University of Mississippi

00:19:13 - The new Georgia constitution that failed

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay, let's get back to the period we had the county-unit system that was declared unconstitutional.

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses a special session called by Governor Sanders to draw a new Georgia Constitution that was never adopted. The new constitution would have changed the way the Speaker of the Georgia House was elected. Instead of being hand picked by the Governor, the Speaker would be chosen by the representatives in a secret ballot. Jones recites a speech given by Bob Flournouy after the new constitution was rejected.

Keywords: 121 Club; Ernest Vandiver; George Brooks; George L. Smith; George T. Smith

00:39:43 - Reapportionment / Julian Bond

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's move ahead to 1966. A very, very strange election that started with Ellis Arnall and Ernest Vandiver as the two main candidates.

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses the reapportionment of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, and the stress they faced to find new members. Jones also talks about how he regrets voting to deny Julian Bond his seat after Bond had released a statement sympathizing with people who burned draft cards.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; George T. Smith; Quaker; Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

00:46:41 - Governor's race of 1966

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Alright, now let's go to the governor's race of '66.

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses the governor's race of 1966 between Jimmy Carter, Lester Maddox, Ellis Arnall, and Bo Callaway. He talks about his shock at Jimmy Carter losing the primary, because he thought Carter would win if he made it to the runoff.

Keywords: Ernest Vandiver; George T. Smith; Jimmy Gray; P.T. McCutcheon; Peter Zach; Robin Harris; Stone Mountain

01:01:26 - Lester Maddox

Play segment

Partial Transcript: We've got Maddox elected.

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses his support of Bo Callway for governor of Georgia before the Democratic legislature selected Lester Maddox. He talks about Maddox's time as governor, including Maddox's appointment of many African Americans to the Georgia legislature, and his veto of a bill that would require elderly drivers to get eye exams every five years.

Keywords: Barry Goldwater; Bob Elliott; Elliott Levitas; Ellis Arnall; George Busbee; George L. Smith; George T. Smith; Herman Talmadge; Lyndon Johnson; Peter Zack Geer; Reed Harris

01:14:15 - Leaving the House / Board of Regents

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, in 1970 you decided not to seek reelection. Why?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his decision to not seek reelection to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1970. He also discusses how Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Board of Regents in 1974. He explains that the Board of Regents runs the University System of Georgia.

Keywords: Georgia Southern; Georgia State; Georgia Tech; Medical College of Georgia; Richard Russel; University of Georgia

01:18:04 - Party politics in Georgia

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about party politics in Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses Georgia's transition from a Democratic state to a Republican state. He says that he was not surprised when Georgia elected a Republican governor in 2002, and that he thinks it will a long time before the Democratic party comes back into power in Georgia.

Keywords: Bo Callaway; Brown vs. Board of Education; Columbus, Georgia; Ed Smith; Lester Maddox; civil rights; cross-over voting; party registration

01:25:22 - Life after public service / 1970 Governor's race

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What's life been for Milton Jones after public service?

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses his life after public service and talks about his accomplishments and disappointments while he was a state legislator. He also talks about his support of Jimmy Carter during the 1970's governor's race between Carter and Carl Sanders.

Keywords: Bo Callaway; Elliott Levitas; Lester Maddox; Robin Harris; Sam Nunn; time-price