On Wednesday, May 12, an impressive array of Georgia political veterans came to the Georgia Center on the UGA campus to celebrate the opening of Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, a collaborative project of the Richard B. Russell Library and Young Harris College. Before lunch the lobby was packed with folks catching up – there were lot of warm smiles, handshakes, and hugs. As former State Representative Milton Jones put it, “it was great to see so many old good friends, exchange war stories and lies, and a good time seemed to be had by all.”
For streaming video of the event, click HERE
Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Bob Short, who Young Harris College President (and former Georgia Secretary of State) Cathy Cox called “the most effective politician I’ve ever known who was never elected to office.” In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century: desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement, the impact of Baker v. Carr, and Georgia’s evolution as a two-party state. Former governors, constitutional officers, congressmen and senators, state legislators, political organizers, and journalists have strengthened the broad net cast by Reflections on Georgia Politics. At 119 programs and counting, and almost five days of video footage, Reflections on Georgia Politics represents a tremendous historical resource. The Russell Library serves as the repository for the series, making decades of political history, strategy, and stories of back-room politics accessible to the public.
In remarking on the series and the event, Cathy Cox said, “Today we celebrate this great partnership between UGA and Young Harris, to preserve a very unusual and very valuable recording of Georgia history. But most of all we want to jointly recognize and thank Bob Short for his understanding of the historical value of these interviews, for his persistence in nailing down and arranging all of the interviews, and for his incredible journalistic style, which made all the interviewees feel very comfortable in telling the stories of Georgia from their personal perspectives.”
Senator Zell Miller, a lifelong friend of Short’s, added, “Reflections on Georgia Politics is a monumentous achievement, it is a magnificent accomplishment. No one -- no one -- could have done this except Bob Short. He had the contacts around the state, he had the encyclopedic knowledge of Georgia politics, and the desire and the patience and the stamina and the will to criss-cross this state time and time again to interview, as you have been told, well over 100 men and women who have made significant contributions to Georgia politics.”
To see pictures from the event, click HERE.
The video interviews and transcripts (when available) for Reflections on Georgia Politics may be accessed in the following locations online:
The Reflections on Georgia Politics webpage:
iTunesU at UGA Page:
For further information on the project, or to make a donation to help support the program, contact Craig Breaden, Head of Media and Oral History at the Richard B. Russell Library, at 706-542-5782, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.