Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Politics and Government
Series Number: OH160 (Session 4)
Interviewee: Clements, Earle C., 1896-1985
Interviewer: Hammack, James W.
Date interviewed: November 14, 1975
Processed by: Processed by Benjamin J. Drake from October of 2011 to February 16, 2012.
Date processed: February 17, 2012
Description: 2 sound disc (96 minutes)
Abstract: Earle C. Clements discusses the political landscape of Kentucky during the 1940s and 1950s as well as the ideological differences that divided the state's Democratic Party when he served as Governor. He recounts the specific qualities he sought when selecting individuals for governmental positions, his abolishment of the Kentucky Highway Patrol and the creation of the Kentucky State Police. He concludes with legislation enacted including road construction projects and the Taft-Hartley Act.
Biographical / Historical note: Earle Chester Clements was born in Morganfield, Kentucky on October 22, 1896. He briefly attended the University of Kentucky before serving in the United States Army during the First World War. After returning from the war, he worked in the oil fields of Texas for a few years before returning to Morganfield to farm and coach football at the local high school. He served as Union County sheriff from 1922 to 1926, county clerk from 1926 to 1934 and county judge from 1934 to 1942. Clements was elected to state Senate in 1941 and in 1944 became majority leader. He served two terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1945 to 1948 and was elected governor of Kentucky in 1947. He resigned in 1950 to run for the United States Senate. He won the election and served in the Senate from 1950 to 1957. From 1959 to 1960, he acted as state highway commissioner. Clements also worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and held several executive positions with the American Tobacco Institute. He retired at Morganfield in 1981 and died on March 12, 1985.
General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.