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Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, August 20 and 21, 1976. Interview A-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Terry Sanford served as the governor of North Carolina from 1961 to 1965 and also as a Democratic United States senator from 1986 to 1993. This interview is the second of two, covering his political activities since 1960. It starts with his description of how he assembled a campaign team and raised funds to run for governor in 1960. He also explains how he made decisions as governor regarding the food tax, the tobacco tax, and civil rights. He continued to play a role in state politics after the end of his term, though he says he never wanted to be a career politician. Sanford participated in national Democratic politics before 1960, and he tells the story of his contributions to the National Democratic Convention in 1960, including his eventual support for John F. Kennedy's presidential nomination. Sanford decided to run for president in 1972 and 1976, but was unsuccessful. Instead, he accepted the presidency at Duke University. While discussing that position, he describes changes in higher education in North Carolina since 1964. He also mentions how the role of media in politics has changed campaigns. He ends the interview by explaining why he believes that progress in North Carolina has failed since 1964.
    Excerpts
  • Organizing 1960 gubernatorial campaign and quota system for fundraising
  • Role of corporations in North Carolina politics
  • Refusal to condemn labor union movement limits political support
  • Sanford takes office ready to serve as governor
  • Increasing state food tax to help fund public schools
  • Balancing opposition to racism with disapproval of civil rights protestors' tactics
  • Chapel Hill enlightened in spite of the local civil rights protests in the 1960s
  • Difficult policy decisions as govenor
  • Getting people involved in state politics without becoming a political machine
  • Endorsement of Kennedy's presidential bid controversial in the South
  • Endorsement of Kennedy's presidential bid criticized by fellow Methodists
  • Advising Kennedy on race issues to win southern support in 1960
  • Past experience aids Sanford's response to Duke student protests
  • Reforming public education in North Carolina
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.