Monday, November 17, 2014

A Tribute: Carl Sanders (1921-2014)

The staff of the Russell Library would like to pay respects to former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders who passed away on Sunday in Atlanta. Below is a short biography of Sanders, highlighting his political career, followed by a few clips drawn from the Russell Library audiovisual and oral history collections. For more information on the Carl Sanders Papers, visit the Russell Library website.

Sanders and his supporters celebrating his election
as governor of Georgia, 1962.
Carl Sanders was born in Augusta, Georgia on May 15, 1921. He accepted a football scholarship to the University of Georgia, but in 1943 enlisted in the Air Force and trained as a B-17 pilot. After serving during World War II, he returned to UGA where he completed law school in 1947. In that same year he married Betty Foy of Statesboro, Georgia.

Sanders entered private practice in Augusta and eventually started the law firm of Sanders, Thurmond, Hester and Jolles. In 1954, he made a successful bid for the Georgia House of Representatives. Two years later, in 1956, he won a seat in the Georgia Senate. At the time, the seat rotated between Richmond, Glascock and Jefferson counties. Sanders was subsequently elected to the same seat by both Jefferson and Glascock counties due to his overwhelming popularity, becoming the only man to serve three consecutive terms in a multi-county district. In 1959, Governor Ernest Vandiver named Sanders as Senate Floor Leader. He went on to serve as president pro tempore of the Senate from 1960 to 1962.

Clifford H. Baldowski cartoon commenting
on the campaign strategies of Sanders and
Griffin in the 1962 gubernatorial election.
Sanders took the next step in his political career by running for governor in 1962 against Marvin Griffin. Shortly after his announcement, federal courts ruled that Georgia's county unit system was unconstitutional. The state would elect its officials by popular vote, giving the urban candidate, Sanders, a greater change at victory.

As a moderate on racial issues, he faced an outspoken opponent of integration in former Governor Marvin Griffin. While agreeing that Georgia should keep its tradition of segregation, Sanders believed it was imperative that the state avoid violence and obey the laws of the country. Unlike Griffin, his campaign issues were not built around race. Instead, Sanders focused on the elimination of corruption in state government and pushed for overall progress for the state. He also wanted to improve education and bring industry to Georgia. With his positive message, Sanders emerged victorious, becoming the youngest governor in the country at the time. He was 37.

Upon his election, Sanders set about following through on his campaign promises. In order to revitalize Georgia's educational system, the new governor created the Governor's Commission to Improve Education in 1963. Based on the commission's findings and with the approval of the General Assembly, the state raised teach salaries, added more teaching positions, and reorganized the Department of Education. The program also built new school buildings, established more junior colleges and vocational schools, and created the Governor's Honors Program. Sanders also appointed the Governor's Commission for Efficiency and Improvement which helped to reform many government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and the Highway Department, as well as the prison and state merit systems.

In May 1963, Sanders sought to draft a new state constitution. With the appointment of the Constitutional Revision Commission, he hoped to condense and clarify Georgia's Constitution. While the General Assembly approved the new constitution, it was never put on the general ballot. The momentum was lost when federal courts declared that the General Assembly was incorrectly apportioned and the constitution was, therefore, invalid. Sanders would later play an integral part in the passage of the reapportionment of congressional districts, but would never succeed in revising the constitution.

Unable to succeed himself as governor, Sanders returned to private life in 1967. Instead of returning to Augusta, he and his family remained in Atlanta where he started a new law firm. On April 25, 1970, Sanders announced his campaign for governor. He ultimately lost this final campaign to Jimmy Carter. Though this was his last attempt at public office, he continued to work for other Democratic candidates such as Zell Miller, Andrew Young, and Sam Nunn. He also went on to serve as Finance Chairman for the Democratic Party of Georgia during George Busbee's term as governor.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Recap: 2014 Scholars & Policymakers Symposium

The two-day Scholars & Policymakers Symposium here at the Richard B. Russell Library came to an end last Tuesday, and it was a success! We were so lucky to have remarkable speakers, panelists, and moderators here to join us for this occasion celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Library. Thank you to all who participated!

Each of the four panel sessions covered one of our established collecting areas: politics of public good, social relations, economy, and environment. By having three panelists and a moderator for each, attendees heard a variety of viewpoints from individuals with different research specialties and life experiences. While opinions of those on a given panel may have differed, each discussion as a whole shed light on the topics at hand.

Throughout the symposium there was praise for the library’s namesake, Richard B. Russell. The event kicked off with opening remarks from Norman Underwood, current chairman of the Russell Library Foundation, who thanked the the Library's director Sheryl Vogt, for giving, “40 years and most of her heart to furthering Senator Russell's legacy and preserving his papers."

Without the strong foundation provided by the Richard B. Russell Collection, the Library could not have expanded in scope and collecting to the wide array of political papers it now holds. And truly, the core of this programming initiative was to recognize the scholarship that has grown from these archival holdings. From discussion of  early transportation efforts, labor unions, and the National School Lunch Program, to the history of race relations in the South, Georgia’s agricultural economy and poultry industry, and national security and foreign relations during the 1950s and 60s -- scholars reported clearly that their explorations through the collections of the Richard B. Russell Library provided great help in producing rich, new insights into modern American history.

Chris Lopez, oral history and audiovisual archivist, was able to record all of the panel sessions. The full video should be up on the YouTube channel soon. In the meantime, our staff has created an audio playlist on SoundCloud. We hope you enjoy the re-listening to the program, or enjoying it for the first time!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Powell Moore Lecture at UGA Today!

Longtime federal government official Powell A. Moore will deliver a lecture on politics titled "Washington Insights Over Half a Century: Midterm Elections in the Sixth Year of a Two-Term Presidency" today (Nov. 3) at 3:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

The lecture will consider whether the Democrats will maintain control of the U.S. Senate or if control will shift to the Republican Party. Co-sponsored by the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served in the lobby immediately following the lecture.

Moore, a UGA alumnus, most recently served as representative of the U.S. secretary of defense to the Organization for Security and Cooperation (2006-2009). Active in public policy affairs in Washington, D.C., for more than 40 years, Moore has also served as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs under President Ronald Reagan; on the White House staff under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan; and as chief of staff for Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee. He began his Washington, D.C., career in 1966 as press secretary to Sen. Richard B. Russell of Georgia, for whom one of three U.S. Senate office buildings is named, as well as the library on UGA's main campus.

"UGA alumnus Powell Moore has enjoyed a remarkable career in service to five presidents in domestic roles in legislative affairs and in the foreign policy arena," said Stefanie Lindquist, dean of UGA's School of Public and International Affairs. "His interview with Bob Short for the Russell Library oral history series is a must-see: a fascinating walk through the Georgia and national political scenes from Richard Russell to Watergate to the Cold War and beyond. These experiences provide Powell Moore with a unique vantage point on today's politics. Come and be fascinated."

This summer, the Russell Library announced the opening of the Powell A. Moore Papers. The papers capture Moore's career involved in legislative affairs, public policy and international relations in the federal government and in the private sector. The papers include reports, news clippings, invitations, program materials, artifacts and audiovisual materials related to his work and to numerous presidential campaigns, conventions and inaugurations from 1972 to 2009.

Moore is a graduate of Georgia Military College and received a bachelor's degree in journalism from UGA. He serves as a board of visitors member for both the School of Public and International Affairs and the Cox International Center.