Difference between revisions of "Mahon, George H 1980-02-25,26"

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 381: Line 381:
[[Category: Needs Review ]]
[[Category: Needs Review ]]  [[Category: SWC Interviews]] [[Category: 1980s]] [[Category: Politics]] [[Category: Lubbock, Texas]] [[Category: JFK Assassination]] [[Category: Family Life and Background]] [[Category: Hardin-Simmons University]] [[Category: Law Practices]] [[Category: Court Cases and Trials]]

Latest revision as of 21:05, 12 July 2019

Retired Congressman George Mahon discusses views, the Washington political scene during the period 1944-1980, as well as his relationship with individuals during that period.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: George H. Mahon

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: February 25 and 26, 1980

Location: Washington, D. C.

Interviewer: David Murrah

Length: 7 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Former Congressman George Mahon, Accomplishments, Speeches, American Legion Award (1972), Personal writing (1917-1826), Poem about Tennessee (1918), Poem—Carnegie Library, Poem read on tape (December 3, 1918), Devoted himself to learning, Family history, Father’s characteristics, Strict disciplinarian, Parents both born in Louisiana, Parents married (1892), Both religious, Father had no schooling, Parents had eight children, Mother, Education, High School, College, George Mahon’s birth, September 22, 1900, Mahon, Louisiana, Named after family, Moved to Haynesville, Louisiana, Age 3, Reasons for moving, Father’s health problems, Moved to West Texas by train, Loraine, Texas (1908), Education, Simmons College in Abilene, Texas, Judge Ely, Characteristics of Mahon’s success, Motivation, Ambition, School accomplishments, Financial problems of family, Judge Ely’s financial support, Simmons College, University of Texas Law School, Married (December 21, 1923), Paid off debt to Judge Ely, Philosophy, Be flexible with dreams, People who influenced his philosophy, University of Texas Law School, Felt this would open doors.

Tape 1, Side 2: University of Texas (continued), Debate team, Be somebody to help humanity, Went three full years, Received law degree, Importance of friends for success, Business, Politics, No bar exam required, Mother died (1961), Teaching experiences, Influential people during his college years, Jay Williford Hunt—Preacher, Charlie Thompson—law partner, Professors and Debate teachers, Dr. Richardson, Dr. Curry, Dr. Chitwood, Political career, County Attorney, District Attorney (1927), Judge Ely’s influence, How position opened doors, Sweetwater murder case, Drowning in lake, Routine work, 1 death conviction, Capital punishment, Murder cases, Robbery cases, Assault cases, Forgery cases, Lived in Colorado City, Texas, Depression times (1930s), No pay, Scrip or warrants from state for pay, Built 2-room house with borrowed money, No persuasion on political ambitions, New Congressional District created (c. 1933), No need to run against incumbent, Judge Mauzey—District Judge, Influenced him to run for Congress, Worked day and night to run, Was still District Attorney, Resigned as DA after elected to Congress.

Tape 2, Side 1: Congressional race (continued), Influential people on Congressional career, Ewing and Abby Thomason, Fritz Llanem, Marlin Jones, Sam Rayburn, World War II, Served on five committees in Congress, Civil Service, Not important committees, Appropriations Committee (1939), Assigned subcommittees, Edward Taylor, Army Subcommittees, Buying planes, No prior military service, Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), Congressional career, Agricultural acts.

Tape 2, Side 2: Congressional career (continued), Marvin Jones, Relationship, Characteristics, Passing bills, Manhattan Project, CIA spy arm, Appropriations, Mr. Cannon—chairman, Literary quotes, Byron, CIA (continued), Grew out of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Bill Donavan—head, Defense Intelligence, Rivalry, FBI, Kennedy assassination, Rivalry between CIA and FBI, Manhattan Project (again), Military subcommittees, Army Air Corps, Snider—head, Ingle (1940s), Project funding squabble, Secret project, Atomic Bomb project, Was taken to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to see project, Dropping the Bomb, Costs, Benefits.

Tape 3, Side 1: Manhattan Project (continued), Justification for bomb, Basis for German boundary drawn, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Relationship with Mahon, Lyndon B. Johnson, "Court Packing" period, Marshall Plan (1947), Cost U.S. over $200 billion, Mahon appointed to Marshall Plan, Went to Europe with 19 assigned members to study plan, Around the World trip at the end of World War II (1945).

Tape 3, Side 2: World trip (continued), Encounters at various countries, Shah of Iran, Harry Truman in office (1945), Relationship with Mahon, MacArthur –characteristics, Winston Churchill, Campaign (1946), Only time to go home to campaign, Korea, Prevent the spread of Communism, Joseph McCarthy, Domino Theory, Anti-Communism.

Tape 4, Side 1: Korean War (continued) McCarthy Restricted warfare Reasons Drought years (1950s) Reese Air Force Base Pork Barrel Legislation Agriculture and Defense promoter Long range water program Webb Air Force Base (Rest of tape is blank).

Tape 4, Side 2: Blank

Tape 5, Side 1: Presidential campaign (1944), Replacement of Henry A. Wallace with Truman, Factors, Wallace too leftist, FDR’s health, Limitation of Presidential terms, Single 6-year term, Substitution of Truman for Wallace (again), Motives of Democratic Party, Truman Doctrine, Post-World War II developments, Vietnam Era, Gradualism, Popular support, Mahon’s association with Eisenhower prior to his Presidency, John F. Kennedy—member of the House of Representatives, Campaign in Lubbock (1960), John F. Kennedy as President, Comparison to Lyndon B. Johnson, Mahon’s stand in 1960 election, Relationship with Richard Nixon, Kennedy’s political philosophy, Kennedy assassination.

Tape 5, Side 2: Kennedy assassination (continued), Political setting, Texas stops prior to Dallas, Dallas, Texas, Motorcade, Gunfire, Scenes at Parkland Hospital, Return to Washington, Mahon’s thoughts on lone gunman theory, Presidential campaign (1964), Johnson’s feelings relative to execution of Kennedy’s plan, Johnson’s effectiveness as President, The "Great Society", Space Program, Mahon’s relationship with Johnson, House Appropriations Committee, Mahon’s service.

Tape 6, Side 1: Early association with Lyndon Johnson (again), The "Little Congress", Senate race (1946), Presidential election (1968), Reasons for decision not to run, Mahon’s feelings about Johnson’s decision, John Kennedy (again), Cuban Missile Crisis, Richard Nixon, Mahon’s friendship with Nixon, Nixon’s effectiveness as President, China, Unscrupulous advisors, Friendship with Nixon (again), Watergate, Mahon’s reaction, Recorded telephone conversations, Anecdote: dinner at the White House, White House meeting, Announcement of resignation, Mahon’s association with Gerald Ford, Appointment of Ford to Vice Presidency, Mahon’s testimony at confirmation hearing, Shared opinions relative to defense matters, Worked with Ford on oil matters, Comparing Mahon’s relationship with Ford and LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Compared to Harry Truman, Relationship with Congress.

Tape 6, Side 2: Blank

Tape 7, Side 1: Jimmy Carter (continued), Relations with Mahon, Carter as President, Religious leanings, Idealism, Relations with Mahon (again), Saying "No" to the President, Lyndon Johnson, Mahon’s decision to retire, Reasons, Timing of announcement, Non-support of potential successors, Relationship with Kent Hance, Representative duty changes, Quality of political candidates today, Expense of running for office, Loss of prestige of office, Lobbyists.

Tape 7, Side 2: Lady Bird Johnson’s diary, Bill Natcher’s diary, Colleagues who have left an impression on Mahon, Sam Rayburn’s "Board of Education", Ralph Yarborough, Texas Senators with whom Mahon served, Morris Shepherd, Tom Connally, W. Lee O’Daniel, People in the District most respected by Mahon, Newspapers relied upon for news of District, Charlie Guy, Mahon’s first Congressional race, Relationship with Mahon, Significance of Press to a politician.

Tape 8, Side 1: A. B. Davis, Interest in promotion of Lubbock, Roy V. Davis with Plains Cooperative Oil Mill, Relationship to Mahon, Lloyd Croslin, Outstanding staff members over the years, (Sound is cut 7 minutes into this side.).

Tape 8, Side 2: Blank

Tape 9, Side 1: How to pronounce Mahon, Mahon’s personal interests and hobbies, Poetry, Prose and Public speaking, Helen Stevenson Mahon, Early relationship, Dedication to family, Daphne Mahon, Education, Family, Judge Eldon Books Mahon, Gordon Mahon, Lubbock, Texas, Mahon’s siblings, Golf, Political benefits of golfing.

Tape 9, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1892-1980

Bulk Dates: 1930s-1980

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.