107 Facts About Huey Long


Huey Long was a left-wing populist member of the Democratic Party and rose to national prominence during the Great Depression for his vocal criticism of President Franklin D Roosevelt and his New Deal, which Long deemed insufficiently radical.

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Huey Long was born in the impoverished north of Louisiana in 1893.

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Huey Long was impeached in 1929 for abuses of power, but the proceedings collapsed in the State Senate.

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Huey Long's opponents argued his policies and methods were unconstitutional and dictatorial.

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Huey Long was elected to the US Senate in 1930 but did not assume his seat until 1932.

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Huey Long established himself as an isolationist, arguing that Standard Oil and Wall Street orchestrated American foreign policy.

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Huey Long was instrumental in securing Roosevelt's 1932 nomination but split with him in 1933, becoming a prominent critic of his New Deal.

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Huey Long left behind a political dynasty that included his wife, Senator Rose McConnell Long; his son Senator Russell B Long; and his brother, Governor Earl Long, among others.

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Huey Long was born on August 30,1893, near Winnfield, a small town in north-central Louisiana, the seat of Winn Parish.

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Huey Long continued to rebel, writing and distributing a flyer that criticized his teachers and the necessity of a recently state-mandated fourth year of secondary education, for which he was expelled in 1910.

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Huey Long was unable to attend because he did not graduate from high school.

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In September 1911, Huey Long started attending seminary classes at Oklahoma Baptist University at the urging of his mother, a devout Baptist.

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Huey Long later confessed he learned little because there was "too much excitement, all those gambling houses and everything".

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Huey Long met Rose McConnell at a baking contest he had promoted to sell Cottolene shortening.

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Shortly after their marriage, Huey Long revealed to his wife his aspirations to run for a statewide office, the governorship, the Senate, and ultimately the presidency.

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Huey Long enrolled at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans in the fall of 1914.

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Huey Long represented poor plaintiffs, usually in workers' compensation cases.

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Huey Long was infuriated when Parker allowed oil companies, led by Standard Oil's legal team, to assist in writing severance tax laws.

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Huey Long stumped throughout the state, personally distributing circulars and posters.

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Huey Long denounced Governor Parker as a corporate stooge, vilified Standard Oil, and assailed local political bosses.

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Huey Long campaigned in rural areas disenfranchised by the state's political establishment, the "Old Regulars".

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Huey Long failed to attract Catholic voters, which limited his chances in the south of the state.

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Huey Long blamed heavy rain on election day for suppressing voter turnout among his base in the north, where voters could not reach the polls over dirt roads that had turned to mud.

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Huey Long spent the intervening four years building his reputation and political organization, particularly in the heavily Catholic urban south.

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Huey Long formally launched his second campaign for governor in 1927, using the slogan, "Every man a king, but no one wears a crown", a phrase adopted from Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.

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Huey Long developed novel campaign techniques, including the use of sound trucks and radio commercials.

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Huey Long's margin was the largest in state history, and no opponent chose to face him in a runoff.

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At age 35, Huey Long was the youngest person ever elected governor of Louisiana.

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Huey Long set up large tents, free drinks, and jazz bands on the capitol grounds, evoking Andrew Jackson's 1829 inaugural festivities.

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Huey Long's victory was seen as a public backlash against the urban establishment; journalist Hodding Carter described it as a "fantastic vengeance upon the Sodom and Gomorrah that was called New Orleans".

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Once in office on May 21,1928, Huey Long moved quickly to consolidate power, firing hundreds of opponents in the state bureaucracy at all ranks from cabinet-level heads of departments to state road workers.

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Once his control over the state's political apparatus was strengthened, Huey Long pushed several bills through the 1929 session of the Louisiana State Legislature to fulfill campaign promises.

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Huey Long's bills met opposition from legislators, wealthy citizens, and the media, but Long used aggressive tactics to ensure passage.

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Huey Long would appear unannounced on the floor of both the House and Senate or in House committees, corralling reluctant representatives and state senators and bullying opponents.

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One program Huey Long approved was a free textbook program for schoolchildren.

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Huey Long assured them that the books would be granted directly to all children, regardless of whether they attended public school.

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Irritated by "immoral" gambling dens and brothels in New Orleans, Huey Long sent the National Guard to raid these establishments with orders to "shoot without hesitation".

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In 1929, Huey Long called a special legislative session to enact a five-cent per barrel tax on refined oil production to fund his social programs.

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Huey Long declared in a radio address that any legislator who refused to support the tax had been "bought" by oil companies.

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Some ran for the speaker's chair to call for a new vote but met resistance from their pro-Huey Long colleagues, sparking a brawl later known as "Bloody Monday".

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Impeached on eight of the 19 charges, Huey Long was the first Louisiana governor charged in the state's history.

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Huey Long was frightened by the prospect of conviction, for it would force him from the governorship and permanently disqualify him from holding public office in Louisiana.

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Huey Long took his case to the people with a mass meeting in Baton Rouge, where he alleged that impeachment was a ploy by Standard Oil to thwart his programs.

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Huey Long produced a round robin statement signed by fifteen senators pledging to vote "not guilty" regardless of the evidence.

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Huey Long fired their relatives from state jobs and supported their challengers in elections.

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Now a resolute critic of the "lying" press, Huey Long established his own newspaper in March 1930: the Louisiana Progress.

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Shortly after the impeachment, Huey Long—now nicknamed "The Kingfish" after an Amos 'n' Andy character—announced his candidacy for the US Senate in the 1930 Democratic primary.

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Huey Long's opponent was incumbent Joseph E Ransdell, the Catholic senator whom Long endorsed in 1924.

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In October 1931, Cyr learned Huey Long was in Mississippi and declared himself the state's legitimate governor.

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Huey Long successfully argued that Cyr had vacated the office of lieutenant-governor when trying to assume the governorship and had the court eject Cyr.

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Now governor and senator-elect, Huey Long returned to completing his legislative agenda with renewed strength.

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Huey Long organized and concentrated his power into a political machine: "a one-man" operation, according to Williams.

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Huey Long placed his brother Earl in charge of allotting patronage appointments to local politicians and signing state contracts with businessmen in exchange for loyalty.

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Concerned by these tactics, Huey Long's opponents charged he had become the virtual dictator of the state.

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Huey Long further proposed that the holiday be imposed internationally, which some nations, such as Egypt, supported.

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In 1931, Huey Long convened the New Orleans Cotton Conference, attended by delegates from every major cotton-producing state.

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Senator Carter Glass, although a fervid critic of Huey Long, credited him with first suggesting artificial scarcity as a solution to the depression.

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Huey Long was unusual among southern populists in that he achieved tangible progress.

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Huey Long created a public works program that was unprecedented in the South, constructing roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, and state buildings.

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Huey Long built 111 bridges and started construction on the first bridge over the Mississippi entirely in Louisiana, the Huey P Long Bridge.

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Huey Long built a State Capitol, which at 450 feet tall remains the tallest capitol, state or federal, in the United States.

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Huey Long was an ardent supporter of the state's flagship public university, Louisiana State University.

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Huey Long increased LSU's funding and intervened in the university's affairs, expelling seven students who criticized him in the school newspaper.

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Huey Long constructed new buildings, including a fieldhouse that reportedly contained the longest pool in the United States.

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Huey Long's contributions resulted in LSU gaining a class A accreditation from the Association of American Universities.

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Huey Long modernized public health facilities and ensured adequate conditions for the mentally ill.

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Huey Long established Louisiana's first rehabilitation program for penitentiary inmates.

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When Huey Long arrived in the Senate, America was in the throes of the Great Depression.

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Huey Long criticized the leaders of both parties for failing to address the crisis adequately, notably attacking conservative Senate Democratic Leader Joseph Robinson of Arkansas for his apparent closeness with President Herbert Hoover and big business.

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At that year's Democratic National Convention, Huey Long kept the delegations of several wavering Southern states in the Roosevelt camp.

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Huey Long endorsed Senator Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, a widow and the underdog candidate in a crowded field and conducted a whirlwind, seven-day tour of that state.

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Aware that Roosevelt had no intention of radically redistributing the country's wealth, Huey Long became one of the few national politicians to oppose Roosevelt's New Deal policies from the left.

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Huey Long opposed the National Recovery Act, claiming it favored industrialists.

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The Huey Long machine was accused of election fraud and voter intimidation, but the inquiry came up empty, and Overton was seated.

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On May 30,1934, Huey Long took to the Senate floor to debate the abrogation of the Platt amendment.

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Huey Long maintained that US President Rutherford B Hayes had awarded the oil-rich Chaco region to Paraguay in 1878.

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Huey Long attested Standard Oil had corrupted the Bolivian government and organized the war and that Wall Street orchestrated American foreign policy in Latin America.

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Huey Long further argued that American involvement in the Spanish–American War and the First World War had been deadly mistakes conducted on behalf of Wall Street.

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Consequently, Huey Long demanded the immediate independence of the Philippines, which the United States had occupied since 1898.

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In March 1933, Huey Long revealed a series of bills collectively known as "the Huey Long plan" to redistribute wealth.

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Huey Long continued to maintain effective control of Louisiana while he was a senator, blurring the boundary between federal and state politics.

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When Huey Long visited Louisiana, Allen would relinquish his office for the Senator, working instead at his receptionist's desk.

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One of the laws passed was what Huey Long called "a tax on lying"—a 2 percent tax on newspaper advertising revenue.

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Huey Long made a profit on the bonuses and the resale of those state leases and used the funds primarily for political purposes.

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In spring 1935, Huey Long undertook a national speaking tour and regular radio appearances, attracting large crowds and increasing his stature.

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Many, including Hair, Williams, and Roosevelt, speculated that Huey Long expected to lose in 1936, allowing the Republicans to take the White House.

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Standard Oil threatened to leave the state when Huey Long finally passed the five-cent per barrel oil tax for which he had been impeached in 1929.

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Huey Long had Governor Allen execute emergency measures in Baton Rouge: he called in the National Guard, declared martial law, banned public gatherings of two or more persons, and forbade the publication of criticism of state officials.

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In summer 1935, Huey Long called two special legislative sessions in Louisiana; bills were passed in rapid-fire succession without being read or discussed.

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Huey Long boasted he had "taken over every board and commission in New Orleans except the Community Chest and the Red Cross".

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On September 8,1935, Huey Long traveled to the State Capitol to pass a bill that would gerrymander the district of an opponent, Judge Benjamin Pavy, who had held his position for 28 years.

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Huey Long's bodyguards, nicknamed the "Cossacks" or "skullcrushers", then fired at Weiss with their pistols, killing him.

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Huey Long ran down a flight of stairs and across the capitol grounds, hailing a car to take him to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.

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Huey Long was rushed to the operating room where surgery closed perforations in his intestines but failed to stop internal bleeding.

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Huey Long's remains were buried on the grounds of the Capitol; a statue depicting Long was constructed on his grave.

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Huey Long's death brought relief to the Roosevelt Administration, which would win in a landslide in the 1936 election.

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Proponents of this theory assert Huey Long was caught in the crossfire as his bodyguards shot Weiss, and a bullet that ricocheted off the marble walls hit him.

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Huey Long's assassination turned him into a legendary figure in parts of Louisiana.

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Huey Long's widow, Rose Huey Long, replaced him in the Senate, and his son, Russell, was a US senator from 1948 to 1987.

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Huey Long's platform has been compared to ideologies ranging from McCarthyism to European Fascism and Stalinism.

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One of the few biographers to praise Long was T Harry Williams, who classified Long's ideas as neo-populist.

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Huey Long labeled Long a democratic "mass leader", rather than a demagogue.

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Besides Williams, intellectual Gore Vidal expressed admiration for Huey Long, even naming him as his favorite contemporary US politician.

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Huey Long biographer Thomas O Harris espoused a more nuanced view of Huey Long: "neither saint nor devil, he was a complex and heterogenous mixture of good and bad, genius and craft, hypocrisy and candor, buffoonery and seriousness".

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In popular culture, Huey Long has served as a template for multiple dictatorial politicians in novels.

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Huey Long has been the subject of dozens of biographies and academic texts.

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Huey Long collaborated with composer Castro Carazo on the following songs:.

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