Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia

By Gilbert C. Fite | Go to book overview

5
Governor Russell

On October 5, 1930, only four days after Dick Russell's overwhelming election in the Democratic primary, the rotogravure section of the Atlanta Journal carried a large picture of the Russell family at home in Winder. It showed judge and Ina Russell surrounded by their six daughters and seven sons, with Dick standing in the center directly behind his parents. This picture in a way symbolized the central place that Dick had come to hold in the Russell clan. Despite the long career of his father, and the achievements of his brothers and sisters, Dick had become the number one Russell. He was also, at not quite thirty-three, Georgia's leading citizen.

It is not known just what Judge Russell was thinking or feeling as his family clustered around him on that Saturday. It is safe to assume, though, that he was at last content and at peace with himself. The goal that he had set for his oldest son and namesake some twenty years earlier had now been achieved. Whether he felt his own unrealized ambitions fulfilled in Dick, as he so often said would be the case, is not known, but there was no mistaking his pride and satisfaction. A Russell had been elected governor, and his name was Richard B., Jr.

Nearly nine months would elapse between Russell's election in the white Democratic primary and his inauguration (he had no opposition in the November 4 election). The Georgia constitution called for swearing in a new governor on the last Saturday in June following his election. This did not mean, however, that in the meantime Russell had nothing to do but rest and practice law.

Governor Hardman called a special session of the General Assembly for January 6, 1931, to deal with the state's worsening financial plight. By the end of 1930, the Great Depression was creating havoc in a state where hard times and poverty were already a way of life for many people. Tens of thousands of poor farmers were suffering from the boll weevil infestation and were trying to eke out an existence on six-cent

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Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - A Rich Heritage 1
  • 2 - In School, 1911-1918 16
  • 3 - Political Apprenticeship 37
  • 4 - The Campaign for Governor 60
  • 5 - Governor Russell 79
  • 6 - Election to the United States Senate 101
  • 7 - Russell Goes to Washington 122
  • 8 - The Later New Deal 149
  • 9 - Foreign Affairs and World War II 175
  • 10 - Russell and Postwar America 199
  • 11 - Russell, Truman, and Civil Rights 224
  • 12 - Dangers at Home and Abroad 243
  • 13 - A Bid for the Presidency, 1952 271
  • 14 - Russell in the Eisenhower Years 301
  • 15 - Civil Rights: The 1950s 329
  • 16 - Russell and the Cold War 349
  • 17 - Kennedy, Russell, and the New Frontier 371
  • 18 - Johnson and the Great Society 404
  • 19 - The Frustration of Vietnam 435
  • 20 - The End of a Long Career 465
  • 21 - Summing Up 494
  • Notes 503
  • Index 555
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