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Title: Oral History Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976. Interview G-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Bates, Daisy, interviewee
Interview conducted by Jacoway, Elizabeth
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 212 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-04-28, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976. Interview G-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0009)
Author: Elizabeth Jacoway
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976. Interview G-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0009)
Author: Daisy Bates
Description: 212 Mb
Description: 64 p.
Note: Interview conducted on October 11, 1976, by Elizabeth Jacoway; recorded in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Note: Transcribed by Jean Houston.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series G. Southern Women, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976.
Interview G-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Bates, Daisy, interviewee


Interview Participants

    DAISY BATES, interviewee
    ELIZABETH JACOWAY, interviewer
    UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[unknown] The first thing I wanted to ask you was if you could just say—I don't know if you can pull it all together in your mind, but if you could just say—what were the factors [unknown] that prepared you to step forward in a role of leadership at the time of the Little Rock crisis? What do you think in your background prepared you to play a leadership role in that crisis?
DAISY BATES:
Well, I think I've been angry all my life about what has happened to my people. [unknown] [Tape repaired] [Mrs. Bates refers here to the rape and murder of her mother by a group of white men] [unknown] finding that out, and nobody did anything about it. I think it started back then.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[unknown] In your book you entitled that chapter "Rebirth."1
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And the heritage from your father was a rebirth of your attitudes, wasn't it?
DAISY BATES:
It was, because before that time I don't remember ever—after my childhood friend and I broke up—-I don't think I ever spoke to a white person. There was a white sheriff who used to come and visit my father. I liked him. [unknown] Well, if he'd come by [unknown] he'd say, "Is your Daddy here?" I'd just turn and say, "Daddy, that man is out there." I couldn't even speak to any of them, because I couldn't.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
‘Cause you were so . . .
DAISY BATES:
I was so tight inside. There was so much hate. And I think it started then without my knowing it. It prepared me, it gave me

Page 2
the strength to carry this out.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But when your father lay dying, he encouraged you to channel all that anger into . . .
DAISY BATES:
Into something creative. I did that for some time. I think I'm still doing it now in a very small way. And I will always remember what he told me [unknown] But really I don't think anything prepared me more than my anger.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So you had grown up in southern Arkansas in Huttig?
DAISY BATES:
Yes, that's right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And had stayed there all through your teen years until you met Mr. Bates.
DAISY BATES:
Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And then as soon as you married, the two of you came to Little Rock and started the State Press.
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And then you went back to school, Shorter Business College.
DAISY BATES:
Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Had you graduated from high school in Huttig?
DAISY BATES:
Uh-huh.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And then took some business courses and took some flying lessons . . .
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . at Philander-Smith. [Laughter] Did you ever take any other courses? Did you ever go to Philander-Smith?
DAISY BATES:
No, I never did go to Philander-Smith, other than take the

Page 3
flying course. While I was in New York, when [unknown] preparing to write the book, I took an uncredited course from NYU [unknown] in creative writing.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now you had some research assistance, didn't you, in writing the book?
DAISY BATES:
Yes, right, right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Because when I was going through your papers this summer, I would find notes from somebody . . .
Bates; [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . up in there that wrote to you, and I could tell they got so fascinated doing the research that they really . . .
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm, the notes are there.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . enjoyed the work, yes.
DAISY BATES:
We all enjoyed it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Okay, so you came to Little Rock. [unknown] You married Mr. Bates and started the State Press. And almost immediately, then—is this right?—you got involved with the NAACP?
DAISY BATES:
Well, yes, ‘cause immediately I joined the local branch and got involved.

Page 4
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now had your father. . . . I think I read somewhere in your papers . . .
DAISY BATES:
Yes, ‘cause he was a member for years back. And it was a time when it was not popular to be a member of the . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Right.
DAISY BATES:
And my Daddy, nobody really knew but the family that he was a member. And then he paid our dues; he paid my dues and my mother's dues.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, he did.
DAISY BATES:
Uh-huh. So he would tell me. . . . Well, I asked him one day, "Why do you join this organization?" And he told me the meaning why and what they hoped to do, their dreams; then all my dreams were tied with this organization. [unknown] Then he would give me their literature to read, when he'd go to New York and bring it back.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Okay, so you had a background, then, of involvement in the NAACP.
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And it was just natural for you to join when you came to Little Rock. And you became very active.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, well, I was very active in the local branch. And then I was elected to the State Conference. I never was President of the local branch, but I belonged to the local branch.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh.

Page 5
DAISY BATES:
And then I was elected [unknown] President of the state organization.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Right. When you were very young.
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I was just so impressed to realize that during all this time you were my age. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You were about thirty-four or thirty-five.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, something like that.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And that's great. You set a high standard for the rest of us to follow. Were you in any other organizations at this time?
DAISY BATES:
Oh, yes. The National Council of Negro Women, the YWCA and the Urban League and other organizations.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Were you active in all these organizations?
DAISY BATES:
All active. See, I was a newspaper person, and I went to all of these meetings I belonged to. What's that white group's name? It may come to me, the name. [Laughter] Well, I can't think of the other one.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But you were a member.
DAISY BATES:
I was a member. It's coming to me. It's something like the Moral Re-Armament; not that, though. [Bahais]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Something before that, yeah.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. This is a old, old organization. What's the name of that darned thing? These people, they don't have a church as such.

Page 6
Oh my, it's not coming back to me. Mr. Holmes; I can remember everything but the [unknown] name of the organization. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
Dr. Holmes is head of it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
The Ministerial Alliance?
DAISY BATES:
No.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Something before that.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. It'll come back to me.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Did you ever go over to the Highlander Folk School at Monteagle, Tennessee?
DAISY BATES:
No, I never did.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I just wondered. There were so many people who were involved in the civil rights movement who went there, and I just wondered if maybe you had ever done that. Well, did you receive any kind of special training by the national NAACP?
DAISY BATES:
No, no special training, because they sent us all of their literature: Constitutions, and I read that, and their guidelines that they went by. But they gave no special training to us.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Was there very much direction, close association with the state branch and the national branch? Did they oversee your activities pretty closely, or was it a fairly loose . . .
DAISY BATES:
It's a fairly loose organization. L.C.?
DAISY BATES:
L. C. Yes.
DAISY BATES:
Just a moment. What's the name of Mr. Holmes's organization?

Page 7
DAISY BATES:
Mr. Bahai.
DAISY BATES:
Bahai's. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Okay. Hello, Mr. Bates.
DAISY BATES:
Mr. Hi.
DAISY BATES:
They're still here.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
They're still here?
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. And old man Holmes called me. I believe they have a church here. They have a big, beautiful . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That's an Indian faith, isn't it?
DAISY BATES:
I don't know where that thing came from. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
But the Bahai's. [unknown] That was it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That was one of the things that you were involved in.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, and they told me "I was [unknown] speaking. Her name is Mrs. Sunshine."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
And she was beautiful; I mean she had a beautiful personality. And that night that they were meeting at the YWCA, and I was the only person in the audience; she spoke to me a whole hour.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, you're kidding.
DAISY BATES:
And it was fascinating. So she told me, she said, "You have a beautiful soul." [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]

Page 8
DAISY BATES:
I didn't think anybody knew that. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter] Well, it was good to hear, wasn't it?
DAISY BATES:
Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Good to think somebody thought so. Okay, what kinds of issues was the state branch of the NAACP involved in before the Little Rock crisis? What kinds of things were you active in trying to change?
DAISY BATES:
The whole darned system.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
It seems like there was so much that needed to be done; how did you know . . .
DAISY BATES:
Oh, everything needed change then. See, the Negroes were segregated all over.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Completely.
DAISY BATES:
And even the kids. Some of the downtown stores had a black fountain and a white fountain.
I had no children. But I worked with the children, because I had the paper. And the mothers that would [unknown] be going to town, and they were walking to town, they would stop at the State Press to use the bathroom, because there was no place downtown that they could use the bathroom. What do you do when a child wants to go to the bathroom? See, you never faced. . . . You never had to face that.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
No, mnm-mm.
DAISY BATES:
Well, you know, this was just. . . . I got angry.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, yeah.
DAISY BATES:
About this kind of thing.

Page 9
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, how did you decide what to concentrate your energies on?
DAISY BATES:
We concentrated, I think, on everything. This was across the board. Wherever we could, we hit it. It was no special thing, but everything, the whole system.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But then when the Brown decision was handed down, all of your energies began to be focused, really, on education.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. See, after the Brown decision, then the kids who were Negro. . . . They sent around forms to the schools. Mr. Blossom2 and the teachers passed the ballot. And they found that they had too many kids.

Page 10
And meanwhile, Mr. Blossom sent these papers out to the schools, the last day of school, to get a determination of how many children planned to go to Central that following year, the following September.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
This was in 1956?
DAISY BATES:
This was in 1957.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
In the spring of '57.
DAISY BATES:
In the spring. So [unknown] the first day they got a hundred applications back.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
From black students, mm-hm.
DAISY BATES:
Well, a hundred students the first day, and then another hundred the following week.
Then they called those students in and told them they would have to come in and bring their parents and talk to him
So some of the parents went, but that meant that the husband had to get off from work, lose a whole day, to go to the school. He didn't see why that was necessary. I didn't see why it was necessary. So nevertheless, a lot of the parents went with their children to the schools and they talked to the Superintendent. Meanwhile they started coming

Page 11
back. That was the whole idea, that they eliminate as many as they possibly could. I have pictures of some of the kids I had. So finally it got down to nine. And the kids, after they'd go to the Superintendent's Office, they would come back and tell me what was going on, what he said. So it got down to nine, and I got the names of kids that he had not interviewed, and I talked to them before. When they went down there, they knew what to say and what not to say. They were going to go to that school; they weren't going to let anything change them. So about nine came out. He was going to admit one of the nine.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, my word.
DAISY BATES:
And she was as light as you are.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, no.
DAISY BATES:
That was Carlotta Walls. And so if Carlotta got in, nobody would know if she was white or black.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yes.
DAISY BATES:
And so one of the girls lived very close to Central. [unknown] She was dark. Well, she was a pretty little dark girl. She was "too pretty."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Too pretty?!
DAISY BATES:
She was "too pretty" to be admitted. I mean, he couldn't find anything in her background. She had excellent grades; she'd never had a fight [unknown] in school. Her teachers all gave her an excellent record. [unknown] So therefore, the only thing that he could give, reason, was that she was "too pretty."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Is that what he said?

Page 12
DAISY BATES:
They'd actually told her that, and that the boys would be looking at her, and that they [unknown] would be attracted.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, no. Now this was in the summer before school started.
DAISY BATES:
Before school started.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, how did they finally settle on the nine?
DAISY BATES:
They didn't settle on the nine; the nine settled themselves [unknown] After they got down that far, and we had a whole bunch of women go over to school to talk. [unknown] After the reporters were there, and there was so much to do, and I told the other kids, I said, "Let's go back over there to school." [Laughter] [unknown] . I said, "So go on back there and let me work with these." But they didn't want the nine. Harry Ashmore told me, he said (we had talked over the thing), he said, "Daisy, you keep fighting for the nine. If you get one or two in there this year, one or two." I said, "Harry, what the hell is going to happen to the rest of the kids?"
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You and Harry Ashmore were always friends?
DAISY BATES:
Yes. So in the meanwhile, he called the nine, and he admitted the nine in. And the day before they were starting to school, he told them that he—it was Mr. Blossom, the Superintendent at that time—that they were to go in the front door. [unknown] But meantime, we had a lot of litigation going on; Judge Davies had come down3 [unknown] . And we went to the school the first time. And

Page 13
Faubus had the National guard around. Well, Faubus had to tell us. . . . The National guard had to tell us, say to us that they couldn't admit them because of the Governor's orders.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You made them say that.
DAISY BATES:
That's right. But I had Thurgood's advice to get them to tell us that. [unknown] And we all heard that [unknown] , so . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You walked up to the National Guards.
DAISY BATES:
We walked up to them.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And you were in the group that walked up to the National Guards.
DAISY BATES:
Walked to the guards. And they said that was the reason why they couldn't admit them, because the Governor had. . . . [unknown] And the night the Governor surrounded the school with the troops, I called Thurgood Marshall, and I said, "Thurgood," I told him what had happened, [unknown] that the Governor had surrounded the school. He said, "What are they there for?" That first time I said, "I don't know."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Nobody knew.
DAISY BATES:
"I don't know whether they're there to protect us or to deny us." He said, "I can't go into Court with ‘I don't know’, Daisy." [unknown] He said, "The man has to say that ‘I am here to deny you, based on what the Governor told me.' "
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So that's what you got the guards to say.
DAISY BATES:
That's what we had the guards say.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, now, had you had a close association with Thurgood Marshall

Page 14
before that time?
DAISY BATES:
Oh, yes, we'd been in court together . They were fighting in court every day. And he was saying he had. . . . We had a battery of lawyers, some in Washington, New York, and Pine Bluff—Wiley Branton.4
We had a battery of lawyers.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, you know, some people have suggested that the national NAACP chose Little Rock as a battleground. Is that true?
DAISY BATES:
That is not true.
When the decision came down, [unknown] Mr. Blossom said, "I'm sure that we would obey the law." [unknown] We've always done so. We'll open the schools on an integrated basis." So we took it for granted.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yeah. Okay. So you just started getting . . .
DAISY BATES:
And then Mr. Blossom proceeded to make speeches all over town, with the plans. He made a speech at the YWCA; I was there. He made a speech in Pleasant Valley; I was there. And this [Laughter] burned him up.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I bet.
DAISY BATES:
And it tickled me to death. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter] If he knew you were keeping an eye on him. . . .
DAISY BATES:
He knew I was there [unknown] , see, [unknown] because he had been saying one thing to whites . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, had he?
DAISY BATES:
. . . and one to Negroes.

Page 15
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You were going to keep him honest. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
I was keeping him honest. So if he'd walk in, I'd be sitting there. He'd look. "Oh," he'd turn to me, "D-d-d-d. . ."; all the speech would go out of him.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
And I would sit there laughing. And I'd ask him, "But Mr. Blossom, last time you spoke, didn't you say this?" You know.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, golly.
DAISY BATES:
"Oh, (makes blustering noise)." And then the question-and-answer period, and I'd say, "When you spoke for the group at the YWCA," or wherever it was—he spoke all over town—I said, "Did you say that this was this way," whatever he said. "I didn't say that."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, when you were going to hear all these speeches and everything, and kind of being a watchdog on Virgil Blossom, were you keeping in touch with Thurgood Marshall and . . .
DAISY BATES:
Not necessarily.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . and kind of letting him know what was happening around here?
DAISY BATES:
Not necessarily. When I found out that he was, you know, saying one thing one place and one another, I didn't quite trust him after that. So I told Thurgood, I said, "I don't quite trust Mr. Blossom."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But up until that point, it had looked like he was going to follow right along.

Page 16
DAISY BATES:
Yes, yes, it did. So he said, "Why don't you?" Then I told him about these speeches, and I said, "The school board is going to court. He said, "We'll be there." So when the school board went to court, Thurgood was there. And when we were done we filed lawsuits, filed lawsuits. [Laughter] I really couldn't keep track of it, because I was too busy keeping up with the children; and they wanted them to do something, anything wrong.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I remember one time you had seventeen lawsuits all at the same time.
I was sitting here one day—and I opened the door—and (knocks), so I opened the door. And this reporter says, "I'm looking for the house of Mrs. Daisy Bates." I said, "This is her home. . . ."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
"This is her home. Come in." So he came on in. Then I went back in my room and the other reporters could talk to him. He was from Mississippi. So I came back out to talk to the reporters. "And be careful what you say about that," I said. "He's from Mississippi." But he still didn't know that I was Daisy Bates. So I went on back in the back and he followed me. And he said, "May I have a drink of water?" He said, "When [unknown]

Page 17
will Mrs. Bates be home?" I said, "I am Mrs. Bates." "Are you?" he said. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
(Claps hands) And the reporters just hollered. They were just. . . . They had a lot of fun with that. And so he was quite a young kid. [unknown] He must have been about twenty-one or -two. But we had fun. [unknown] It was . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, it sounds like there was a lot of camaraderie among the reporters who stayed here and used this as their home base.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, did you feel like most of the northern reporters were sympathetic?
DAISY BATES:
I think most of the reporters, period, north and south . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Even the local reporters?
DAISY BATES:
. . . were sympathetic. The only thing I knew about this one was what the reporters told me—that he was [unknown] from Jackson, Mississippi, the kind of paper he worked for, and be careful what you say to him, ‘cause he'll twist it. But most of the reporters were sympathetic to the point that they wanted to do a very good story, an objective story, on the kids.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, do you think the Arkansas Gazette did a good job of reporting?
DAISY BATES:
I think an excellent job.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Do you think that's because of Harry Ashmore or . . .

Page 18
DAISY BATES:
Well, it may have been at that time.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Did you and he keep in touch during all that time?
DAISY BATES:
Yes, or else he'd call. So it could have been, because at that time I think Harry was about the most liberal, and he was certainly one of the smartest in town.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Were there any other people in the white community that you kept in contact with?
DAISY BATES:
Oh, yes, Mrs. D. D. Terry, Dr. Dunbar Ogden, Mrs. Reid.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Mrs. Reid.
DAISY BATES:
Uh-huh.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I don't know her. Oh, Eleanor Reid.
DAISY BATES:
Eleanor Reid.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Edwin Dunaway?
DAISY BATES:
Oh, Edwin Dunaway. Mrs. Brewer . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, yes.
DAISY BATES:
. . . at Scott.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Mrs. Brewer, yes.
DAISY BATES:
And, oh, several others that. . . . [unknown] Like Gertrude Samuel.5
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yes.
DAISY BATES:
[unknown] Of course, all of my friends stopped coming, because they were afraid.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
All your friends stopped coming over here?

Page 19
DAISY BATES:
They were afraid.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Sure. Heck, yeah it sounded like your house was an armed fortress.
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter] In fact, when that glass had been broken, they had to tape it up. We had holes that big from the [unknown] rocks; they taped it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, heavens.
DAISY BATES:
And we taped it. And I had the glass put in, and they broke it out that night. Then we had those guards, window guards, made; they were a hundred dollars apiece. [unknown] But I was determined. [unknown] Well, at one time I talked to my husband. We were determined that they were not [unknown] going to chase us out of town. This was the big thing they wanted to do. Had they chased us out of town, [unknown] the movement would have died.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, that's what I wondered. If they had chased you all out of town . . .
DAISY BATES:
The movement would have died.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, was it because there was not black support?
DAISY BATES:
Not necessarily. We had quite a bit of black support, but not having the knowhow to do all these things. I guess because we were [unknown] in the newspaper business, and we were accustomed to fast action and meeting deadlines and this kind of thing, [unknown] fighting police brutality was our first fight. And working with a lot of people had prepared me, too, some. And I would

Page 20
cover all the stories out the courts. And many, many, many days I was the only black in the whole courtroom.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So you had probably had more contact with the white community than most black people in Little Rock.
DAISY BATES:
Right, right. So therefore . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, did you feel like. . . . I just am really curious to know about how the black people in Little Rock responded to all this. I mean, I'm sure they were frightened, as the white people were, but did you feel like they were supporting you? Did you feel like they thought you were pushing too hard or going too fast, or can you generalize about that?
DAISY BATES:
I can't remember. . . . I think really they supported us. There was not much they could do, because they didn't know how. But anytime I would call a meeting, they would come; they would be there. They'd have larger numbers.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And the parents of the Nine were completely behind you.
DAISY BATES:
Oh, they were completely behind us, because then I told them that we were taking a great chance, and the kids knew they were taking a great chance, because white people had gotten to where they were killing negroes, you see. This was something entirely new. And they had said they'd kill negroes; a child meant nothing. So I told them that one [unknown] of us might die in this fight. And I said to them, "If they kill me, [unknown] you would have to go on. If I die, don't you stop. If Jeff6 died. . . ." [unknown] He said, "I ain't going to die [Laughter] ."

Page 21
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
And can you imagine, I took Jeff downtown shopping one afternoon. And I said to Jeff, "I'm tired. [unknown] Can't you find some shoes? Don't you like any of those shoes?" [unknown] He said, "Do you know what would happen to you if you started running down that hall and slipped and fell?"
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
He probably wouldn't get up. He was looking for shoes . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Running shoes.
DAISY BATES:
. . . with non-skid soles, that he wouldn't slip when he started running.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Boy, that put things in a different place, didn't it?
DAISY BATES:
[unknown] And he was wearing his [unknown] collar like this—sort of tight.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So they couldn't catch him.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. So they couldn't put cigarettes [unknown] down. "You roll your collar open," he said; they come up, they'll drop cigarettes in." [unknown] And I mean, they learned those things, how to protect themselves.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But that harassment continued all the time.
DAISY BATES:
All during this period, all during this period.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Just every day there was something, wasn't there?
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm, something. They would pick on the vulnerable ones, like Minnie [Minnijean Brown, one of the Nine]. They knew Minnie had a temper. [unknown] They were trying to get them, one by one.

Page 22
So Minnie came in that afternoon, and she [unknown] and the kids all came in.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That day she had been expelled?
DAISY BATES:
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Uh-huh.
DAISY BATES:
And I said, "And so what's the matter now? What happened? What happened?" "You tell her." "No, you tell her."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
So Jeff said that [unknown] "Minnie hit a boy on the head today with some chili." [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
We were practicing non-violence, and we'd meet here every day [unknown] I said, "Well, Minnie, what happened?" She said she got up, and she went between the tables as she went to the counter to get the chili; and she was going up between the tables when the boy pushed his chair back to block her. And when she came back [unknown] boy, and he pushed his chair back. So she was standing there. She said [unknown] "Will you please move your chair in so I can pass?" So he went, "Oh!" you know, pretending he didn't know she was there. So he got on down to about the fifth boy that did this, and Minnie was mad. [Laughter] So she had this chili. And when he pushed his chair back, [unknown] that came down on his head. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, boy.
DAISY BATES:
The chili went all over the boy [Laughter] , and of course they

Page 23
expelled Minnie.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yeah, and not the boy.
DAISY BATES:
Not the boy. So Thurgood was here that day [unknown] I said, "What are they going to try? [unknown] I said, "They're going to try to get them out one by one." So I knew a person in New York. So I called, and I said, "Will you take Minnie?" [unknown] I said, "Can you get Minnie in The New School there at New York?"
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now who did you call? What's his name, Dr. Kenneth Clark?
DAISY BATES:
Clark. Yeah, Kenneth Clark. So I asked, "Can you take Minnie in the New School?" He said, "Yes." This was about this time of day. So then Thurgood said, "She's got to have some clothes. There's cold days up there in New York." So he gave me some money for me to buy the clothes. All the money he had in his pocket he gave me, all of it. [unknown] . So a lady that lived out in the Heights had a store. And I don't know that lady's name, [unknown] but anyway she had a store, and she was going out of business. She had a daughter about Minnie's age, and she was about third year of college, I believe.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Was it Mrs. Kress?
DAISY BATES:
Probably so. I couldn't say it was and I couldn't say it wasn't, 'cause I can't remember her name. But anyway, she called us, and she told Minnie if she was going to New York that she would bring some luggage

Page 24
out here and bring some clothing. Each year her daughter [unknown] would take a new wardrobe back; she'd leave the old one home. She gave her a coat and some new [unknown] sweaters and skirts.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now did that surprise you?
DAISY BATES:
That surely did.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yeah. You just didn't realize there were people up there in the Heights who . . .
DAISY BATES:
Right. So meanwhile, [unknown] then I called Roy and told him Kenneth Clark had agreed to take Minnie and put her in the New School.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And she was going to live in his home, wasn't she?
DAISY BATES:
Yes. She was going to stay with him. So in the meantime Roy said, "Well, are you not coming?" I said, "No, I can't leave my other kids." So I sent her mother with her. I said, "We'll [unknown] need the money." He said, "I'll wire it." Because her mother didn't have any money. So he wired their fare.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Roy Wilkins. [executive director, NAACP]
DAISY BATES:
Roy Wilkins. And the next afternoon we put them on the plane. The next day we had all these clothes; this lady gave them shoes, socks, and everything.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Minnie probably thought that was the greatest thing that ever happened.
DAISY BATES:
Ohh. [Laughter]

Page 25
DAISY BATES:
She deserved it; we were happy. And her mother went with her. So Kenneth Clark met them at the airport and a [unknown] delegation he'd brought with him. And they took her on out to Hastings-on-Hudson, and Mamie—that's Kenneth's wife—and so they had two teenage children so Minnie became a part of their family. [unknown] And so she went to school in New York. [unknown] Then she came down to Southern Illinois University.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now, let's see, was Minnie a senior? No, she wasn't a senior; she was a junior that year, I think.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Did she stay up there more than one year?
DAISY BATES:
I think she did.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, yeah, the schools were closed the next year.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, she finished high school there.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Isn't that great? It's great that it turned out that . . .
DAISY BATES:
Then after she finished there—yeah, she stayed more than one year, [unknown] then she came back to Southern Illinois. [unknown] And she's now in Canada, northern Canada, she and her husband, and they have three lovely kids. Lovely. He's one of these people that Ford's talking about. And he said he'll never come back to this country.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, he left during the Vietnam War?
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, now, you said a minute ago that you all were practicing non-violence. Had you had any contact with Martin Luther King, or had

Page 26
you been . . .
DAISY BATES:
Oh, we knew Martin. I had spoken in his church, and I heard him and I knew him.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Had he inspired you with the non-violent philosophy?
DAISY BATES:
Well, I think he did. And inspired the kids, for the simple reason that [unknown] they couldn't start a fight out there, so they had to use the backs of their shoes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, I think one of the greatest things is that you all got together over here every afternoon.
DAISY BATES:
Every afternoon.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Where did you get that idea? That is the greatest. . . .
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I mean, that sounds like a professional psychologist came up with that idea, and I think you just thought it up all on your own.
DAISY BATES:
[unknown] Well, they would come in every afternoon, and they were told not to say a word to the reporters.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Until after. . .
DAISY BATES:
After, when we were downstairs. I have a rumpus room. And we would close that door, and we would talk.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And they'd just get it all out of their systems.
DAISY BATES:
Yes. And Carlotta was tall and lanky, and she'd say: [unknown] "That bitch; I'm going to hit her; [unknown] I'm going to hit him; I don't care what you say!" [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]

Page 27
DAISY BATES:
After that we'd start laughing.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yeah.
DAISY BATES:
And finally she'd calm down and make her go back the next day. Because they drew strength, my strength from me and each other.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Right. You probably drew strength from them.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah, we did. So in the meantime, we were very close-knit.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I bet.
DAISY BATES:
And next day it would probably be Jefferson. He was always very quiet. He'd come in; "I'm going to hit him." I told him, "Don't hit anybody." I said, "Old Mrs. Huckaby. . . ." Have they seen Mrs. Huckaby?7
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I've met her, but I haven't talked to her yet.
DAISY BATES:
Well, she's writing a book.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Is she?
DAISY BATES:
She's written a book.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Has it been published? No?
DAISY BATES:
She hasn't. The last time I talked with her, she hadn't been able— [unknown] . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Okay.
DAISY BATES:
. . . hadn't been able to find a publisher.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, I would think she must be really . . .
DAISY BATES:
And the publishers told her that [unknown] "The book is dated."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Uh-huh. Hope they don't tell me the same thing. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]

Page 28
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:
[Irrelevant discussion]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I wanted to ask you what your relationship was with Roy Wilkins. I found some transcripts in your papers up in Madison of telephone conversations that you all have had, it seems like just about every day, during the fall of 1957.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah, well, we're close friends.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You kept in real close touch with him all during that time.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, because we had used their law firm, and we became very close with him [unknown] .
E.J.; And Little Rock was just one of the major concerns of the national NAACP during that time.
DAISY BATES:
Well, it wasn't the major concern. Little Rock developed before they really knew it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That's the way it was for everybody.
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
DAISY BATES:
Uh-huh, he was working for. . . . He was in the civil rights [unknown] . [Clarence Laws, NAACP field secretary]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
HUD, yeah, I think. And he came . . .
DAISY BATES:
[unknown], but in education.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
HEW?

Page 29
DAISY BATES:
HEW. I'm sorry.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Did he live in your house?
DAISY BATES:
In the front room.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
He just moved in
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
For the fall of 1957.
DAISY BATES:
And they sent him down to work with me, because I didn't have anyone who knew. [unknown] So he came down. But he said, [unknown] he said I was doing everything myself. "This is a one woman show."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
I read his reports at the National [Laughter] after it was over. And he would say. . . . Because I'd ask him to do something, [unknown] then I'd do it myself. So he said, "Why did you ask me to do something if you were going to do it yourself?" [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
But at that time [unknown] I think I knew more about what [unknown] was going on [unknown], and I never had time, actually—things were happening so fast—that I didn't have time to sit down and go over . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I know.
DAISY BATES:
. . . what was happening.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That was true in the Governor's office, in the Superintendent's office, and in the Gazette office; everybody just. . . . It was all happening so fast.

Page 30
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm. So therefore they probably didn't understand because I never had time. And like Thurgood Marshall, I could have said two words to Thurgood, he'd understand about the problem. But this came from the experience of being a lawyer, and he could size up a. . . . He'd been in this a long time, in the [unknown]. So I'd start getting agitated. [unknown] He'd say, "That's all right. . . ." [unknown] Then he'd tell me. And I'd get all emotionally involved with the kids; I loved them. And the parents, some of them white, some of them egro, would get to reading about it in the papers, that ten thousand dollars was offered to any person, organization or individual who got the kids out of school.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That was an ad in the newspaper?
DAISY BATES:
No, it wasn't in the newspaper, but it was this ad from mouth to mouth. So I believe it's somewhere in the State Press, our paper—I'll have to ask Mr. Bates; I'll have to look for it—because I remember writing a small article, and he put it on the front page about it. It didn't say, because we didn't have any proof of it. We couldn't say who told me; I couldn't say that. So who started to try to collect the ten thousand dollars; that's what we were watching. I. S. McClinton [black political leader] went to see Mrs. Mothershed [mother of Thelma Mothershed, one of the Nine]; she lives right across the street.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Did she live there then?
DAISY BATES:
No, she lived over across from where we lived. So she said

Page 31
he went and talked to her and told her, "I would not risk my child's life."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I. S. McClinton did that?
DAISY BATES:
Mm. "To send her over to Central." In other words, it sounded like the CIA to me (laughs) and my husband now. (Laughs) "You've been with Mrs. Bates, and she's using you." I am using the kids. So he said, "I would take my child back to the other school." She called me; as soon as he left the house, she called and told me. Then a minister, who is the pastor of Mount Pleasant Church, Rev. Hays—I had a lot of respect for him—he went to some of the parents with the same story, that we were just tearing up the town; the town would never be the same again; he tried and tried to get the parent to send the child back.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
This was in 1957?
DAISY BATES:
This was the fall of 1957. All right. Mrs. Mothershed called me; Mrs. Green [mother of Ernest Green, one of the Nine] [unknown] called me, Ernest Green's mother. So I sat down and wrote about it in that article. Mr. Bates puts it on the front page. And we talked about we'd heard about the ten thousand dollars, and some people, they had tried to collect. And the next time we were going to call names. [Laughter] We were going to print names.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, and that stopped it.
DAISY BATES:
That stopped it.

Page 32
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, now, both I. S. McClinton and Rev. Hays were pretty influential people, weren't they?
DAISY BATES:
No, [unknown] not influential. They thought they were. Rev. Hays was just another preacher in the church. He could influence the people that went to his church, maybe. And I. S. McClinton had about ten people. He was head of the so-called—he still is, I guess-head of the so-called Black Democratic committee, organization. And he would get elected every year, but someone would have to be mighty nervous, [unknown] [Laughter] to elect him. I'd go to their meetings [unknown] and see how they maneuver, in getting him [unknown] re-elected.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So you never really were interested in getting into politics.
DAISY BATES:
No, no. Although I worked for Johnson and Kennedy, it was simply because we had to eat. We couldn't get a job in Little Rock. We had to pay payments on our house. See, we moved out in here in 1955.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Moved in here?
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm. We built the house in 1955. This is the first house that ever was built on this lot. So we bought the land, and in '55 we moved in. And all of this was bought in '55, except that serving table; practically everything in here was bought at that time. And so in '57 we were not quite finished paying for it. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yeah. [Laughter] Well, now, the State Press must have been doing pretty well.

Page 33
DAISY BATES:
Yes, it was.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
After you got over that first battery of lawsuits about the police brutality business . . .
DAISY BATES:
Yes, yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . then the State Press really prospered . . .
DAISY BATES:
Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . until the Little Rock crisis.
DAISY BATES:
‘Cause we were doing nicely at the paper. [unknown] I mean, we bought the plant and we paid for that. It was a tossup—get the house first or the plant—for my husband and I. So I suggested the plant first.
DAISY BATES:
So we've got to pay for the plant [unknown] first, then we'd build the house. So we paid for the [unknown] land, bought the land, and we kept that for about a year or so. Then we were able to build. Well, first, we had to pay for every damn thing we got. [unknown] FHA, you couldn't borrow if you were black; you couldn't borrow over eight thousand dollars from FHA.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Is that right?
DAISY BATES:
This is right. Those little old. . . . I imagine that you have seen the little old houses, what they call GI houses, little square things. There's some down at the end of 33rd, 32nd,

Page 34
on by there, a whole bunch of them. Well, you could hardly buy if you were black; they couldn't believe that you had anything. So I found out that Negroes couldn't borrow money. So what we did that year, we saved everything. But we paid our bills, and I put that money in the bank. And I figured up my net worth. I had ten thousand dollars saved for the house. That was our building fund, to start. So we had the savings and the insurance. I had a five-thousand dollar policy and we had a ten-thousand dollar professional policy on Mr. Bates. So with all of our insurance together and savings we still needed fourteen or fifteen thousand dollars.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Were you able to borrow the money?
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. Got a bid. Had to have a bid first. Got a bid on the house. That man died; he was doing the plans. We had to start all over again.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, no.
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter] Then we started all over again and went to

Page 35
a man who owned a lumber yard on Woodland. And I said,
"I can't get a builder to build [unknown] a house that I can afford." I said, "I can't afford thirty-five or forty-five thousand, but [unknown] I want it nice." So he said, "Okay. I tell you what. I have some. Buy your stuff from me. I'll get you some men." I said, "OK. [unknown] Get ‘em tomorrow." So he got the builders, two guys. "I'll get you two good builders.
Forget about all these fancy people that want [unknown] to make a name for themselves, and I'll supply you and see that everything that goes in your house is right," he said. "and you'll get you a good house, and a pretty house." Well, fine. Okay. Then we drew the plans, Mr. Bates and I. We never could get this room right
DAISY BATES:
So we got the man to draw up the blueprints. We got these people to give us a bid on it. We got our bid. Then we took all these blueprints and went down to the man [unknown] knew we had ten thousand in the bank. So went down, and the FHA gave us a firm commitment. Then we had to start and get somebody to buy our papers. So finally, after about a month or two months went by,
I said, "We got a firm commitment."
So I went back to FHA, and I told him.

Page 36
[unknown] And he picked up the telephone and called the person that we were doing business with. He said, "That is the reason why we get such a bad name." He was a nice man.
He said, "Now we gave you a firm commitment, and I want to know why you have not sold those papers for Mrs. Bates." And he said, "Come right on over," so I went on over. And he gave me all the papers and everything else, and then we all signed. And you're not supposed to start building until they sell the paper, but I did. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
After we signed the papers that afternoon, I had the builders put the stakes up the next day. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
My husband said, "Daisy, didn't you know you could get in trouble like that?" I said, "We're going to get the money; don't worry about it." [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
So then [unknown] he sold the papers, and we got the money. But this was the first house that had been built for over, I think, fourteen or fifteen thousand dollars, and with the ten thousand we had we almost had enough.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And this was your dream house.
DAISY BATES:
This was the dream house; [unknown] we worked on it together, and the builders made it a kind of [unknown]

Page 37
community thing; they built that fireplace and he didn't charge me anything.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, my word. That's a beautiful fireplace.
DAISY BATES:
And he built that.
I sat there [unknown] and designed the fireplace.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, you did a beautiful job.
DAISY BATES:
And so he built them for me. He didn't charge me anything.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You've just had to fight all the way.
DAISY BATES:
All the way through. And if we had turned to be an Uncle Tom or something like that and then got it, we'd have lost respect for us. I didn't think I had to. And Negroes who are Uncle Toms, they don't have to do that. They think that, but you don't have to be that. If I've got to live like some people, I don't want to live. So a lot of people, I think, want to live too much, so bad until they will do [unknown] anything, but to survive. A lot of people were worried [unknown] because they thought that we couldn't dig in, you know; we would have to move. I said, "We won't have to move." Why should we move? For two years we had guards with guns.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
During '57-'58 and '58-'59 you had to have the house protected,

Page 38
but they never did run you out.
DAISY BATES:
I spent every night right here.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But they broke the State Press.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, oh, yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And then after that, how did you make your livelihood?
DAISY BATES:
Well, Mr. Bates, the NAACP hired him.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
He took over Clarence Laws' position, didn't he? He became Field Secretary?
DAISY BATES:
Yes, that's right. And he was Field Secretary for Arkansas and [unknown] Region Six, and I would speak.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
There were so many speeches in your papers up there . . .
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . I know you had a lot of speaking engagements.
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You said a minute ago that you had worked for Johnson and Kennedy.
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
What position?
DAISY BATES:
Well, I was working for Kennedy first. One of our lawyers, [unknown] , got the job for me, Frank Reeves. I was one of the organizers, the same thing we're supposed to go to tonight. Organizers and tea parties and get-out-the-vote. And motivate, that kind of . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And voter registration?
DAISY BATES:
And voter registration. And then we'd organize voter

Page 39
registration.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Did you work for Wiley Branton [NAACP lawyer during Crisis]?
DAISY BATES:
No.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, that was in Mississippi, I think.
DAISY BATES:
That's right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You worked in Arkansas.
DAISY BATES:
No, I didn't work in Arkansas. I worked in Indianapolis, Indiana, Chicago, Cleveland, Youngstown, in that area in general. Never came down in the South. I don't think that the Democrats [unknown] liked me very well in Arkansas. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
And they said they didn't want any part of me at that time. And the Republicans didn't like me very well, either. So I was not very popular among that group.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But Arkansas was still home for you.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, Arkansas was home. [unknown] It [unknown] always is home.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Then did you do the same kind of work for President Johnson?
DAISY BATES:
Yes. I came home. I was at home. I would work three weeks, and then I would come home and spend a week. So I was home. I came to Chicago, and I spoke for a minister there in church. And I left there that Monday and came on home. Well, I was on my way to the Council on Human Relations office, and I kept my radio on, when the news came through that Kennedy had been shot. And I was just home on leave. And oh, I had worked at a little district office, and so when

Page 40
I came on home I just couldn't believe it, to see what was happening afterwards. [unknown] But anyway, L. C. asked me, "So what are you going to do?" I said, "I'm [unknown] going back." [unknown] But I didn't go back. They sent me my check. I had one more [unknown] check coming. And when Johnson came down and talked to Reeves—this is Frank Reeves—he said, "Where's Daisy Bates? They said she used to be around here." And they said, "She is at home." "Where's home?" "In Little Rock. She's staying in Little Rock." [unknown] . He said, "Why isn't she working?" [unknown] "You know she can't get a job in Arkansas." He said, "Well, suppose you get her here Thursday, a meeting." He said, "I'll call her." He said, "Then [unknown] make a reservation for her at the Mayflower, and call her." So he called me, and he said, "The President commands your presence on Thursday morning. I'm going to take you to his office at nine o'clock." And I thought he was kidding. [unknown] He said, "No, I'm not kidding." I said, "You're not kidding?" He said, "No, President Johnson wants to see you." Mr. Bates was crazy about President Johnson. So sure enough, the man at the ticket office called and said, "We have a ticket for you." American Airlines. And so I said, "Okay, [unknown] . They called; I went on down and picked up the ticket, and that must have been on Monday or Tuesday, and packed. And on Wednesday

Page 41
evening, [unknown] I got there about nine-something, and went to see Johnson the next morning. And he was one of the nicest persons to work for. And he gave me a raise in salary. I think I was making under Kennedy about ten thousand dollars. [unknown] And he raised it two thousand. He said, "Well, what were you making?" So he upped it to twelve thousand.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And you were doing the same work, voter registration?
DAISY BATES:
Voter registration and getting the vote out, show them how to get the vote out. [unknown] And we used the Governor's private plane. I didn't like that, but we did it—because you see, the insurance didn't pay off a private plane. And in Indianapolis, Indiana— [unknown] that's [unknown] been a Republican stronghold for years—they had told me, "You can't go in here and expect them to vote Republican. They've [unknown] got all the Democrats together." And we talked about what could we do there. Could I be of any use [unknown] to them. Let's see. I think I said, "This is a Republican town. And we want their votes. Work harder." [Laughter] And I was working awful hard.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
Oh, that's great. Well, now, you came back to Arkansas, and in the last few years you've been doing something down in Mitchellville. What have you been doing down there?
DAISY BATES:
Well. . . . I'll show you some of these pictures. [unknown] This is [unknown] my grandson. He was here this summer, and as cute as a bug.

Page 42
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, what a little doll:
DAISY BATES:
And as bright as he can. . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter] Your grandson.
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm. My greatgrandson. [unknown] .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Isn't he darling? I didn't realize you had any children.
DAISY BATES:
We have one daughter.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
How [unknown] old is your daughter?
DAISY BATES:
Forty-seven. She was Mr. Bates's daughter by his first marriage.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, yes. [unknown] So she was already grown at the time of the crisis. And this is her child?
DAISY BATES:
Her grandchild. She has five children, three girls and two boys.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I read this. I read this.
DAISY BATES:
Oh, did you? Uh-huh. And this is part of Mitchellville.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now this was just a little town that needed help. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter] I think they needed help; they knew they needed something, but I don't think they knew what they needed. Because the people that made up the town were people who had been put off the farm

Page 43
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Right.
DAISY BATES:
[unknown] And the big farmers thought it was cheaper to use machines. They put them out. And here's the funny thing: they lived in a little tiny house— [Laughter] well, I call it "tiny"—they gave them the houses to move, [unknown] because it was cheaper for them to give it to them than to try to tear it down and move it away. And so they could get somebody to haul it off for two or three hundred dollars. [Laughter] So most of the town was made up of those kind of people, but no water, gas, sewer, or anything. And this is the community center that we built in 1972.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, my word. This is?
DAISY BATES:
Yes, that's a picture of it. And this, of course, is Bob
Riley: he was Lieutenant Governor at that time. And he worked very closely with me in this town. And these were his students who came down and helped. And this is the fire truck that I got from New York. We paid a dollar for it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, you're kidding.
DAISY BATES:
No. You see, they can't give you anything—you must buy it—but they didn't say what they had to charge.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Had to pay. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
So Lindsay was mayor [unknown] at that time. And I contacted all my friends, all the governors, mayors, [unknown] and all the private groups I had worked with. Lots of people got burned up in Mitchellville because they had no protection in case of fire.

Page 44
I had to do all this in a hurry, because they were way behind. So I wrote everybody. I got a letter from one of the organizations stating that Mayor Lindsay told them to find Daisy Bates one truck by five o'clock. So they found one.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Isn't that great? They didn't drive it all the way down here, did they?
DAISY BATES:
No way to. They sent it on a flatcar. And I brought [unknown] some of my staff up here. One was an old man about seventy, and the rest of them just about that age. [unknown] And we thought, [unknown] "How do we get it off?" So I said, "Well, I'll call." [unknown] I called Chief Davis, that's the fire chief. He sent the finest men over there to take the truck off of the flatcar. And then it was brought on to the fire station there at Markham and Broadway, and they checked it over. And Chief Davis said to me, [unknown] "Mrs. Bates," [Laughter] he said, [unknown] "If they take this truck to Mitchellville and you turn the water on that thing," he said, "there won't be any more Mitchellville." [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That'd blow it down. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
It would just blow it away. [Laughter] And wash it away.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, it'll really work, huh?
DAISY BATES:
Yes. See, it was for [unknown] New York, with these tall big apartment buildings. So what we did . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, heavens.
DAISY BATES:
. . . he exchanged a 1953 Ford for that one, and then

Page 45
they equipped it, gave me fire hose and everything, a completely equipped truck.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
How marvelous.
DAISY BATES:
And then they drove it down to Mitchellville
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Is Mitchellville right outside of Dumas?
DAISY BATES:
One mile.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Is it an all-black community?
DAISY BATES:
All-black community.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And you really got them on their feet.
DAISY BATES:
They're doing wonderful, I think. What did we tell them? We motivated; we used motivation instead of. . . . "I'll furnish the money for you, but I won't do it for you. We'll do it together." So in using that, they never tried to build this house over here where it would look better than this one and make this one appear bad. This we had in our town meetings. We talked about this, what would make the town better, [unknown] and why would this person appear superior to that person. Because this person could afford a little more and buy a little bit better house. [unknown] This person, he probably is the younger, and we should be happy and not envious. So we had town meetings, and we'd talk. And sometimes [unknown] I'd bless them out, so they'd bless me out. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter] Well, all your training with the Kennedy and

Page 46
Johnson administrations had really prepared you to work with people that way.
DAISY BATES:
I guess so. So anyway it was a lot of fun working with them, because we got our water; we got our sewer. We've got two new programs. See, I got the complete dental clinic through the regional medical program. They gave me eight thousand dollars to buy all that equipment. So we have everything with the exception of a doctor.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
My goodness.

Page 47
DAISY BATES:
And now Dr. Roosevelt Brown from the Medical Center works there. He goes down there once a week, and he visits once a week. Dr. Jerry D. Jewell goes down sometimes. And Dr. E.L. Molette from Pine Bluff. And we use Dr. Robert Smith as the physician.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And do those men just donate their time?
DAISY BATES:
No.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You pay them.
DAISY BATES:
We pay them very small pensions. Dr. Jewell donated all of his time. But Dr. Brown—because, see, they have to get off from work, so we pay him a day's work. And Dr. Smith, he donated his time (and he's from Pine Bluff); Dr. Molette donated his time.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And you located all these men.
DAISY BATES:
Oh, I knew them. All I had to do was call. They knew me, and they knew what I was doing down there. I kept feeding the news for them. See, this is what any kind of community action is all about, that people know what you're going to have to use, keep them informed what you're doing, so when you call on them that they can't tell you no. They'll understand. So Dr. Jewell helped me select, because

Page 48
I didn't know. All I knew was what to use to pull teeth with. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
So he went over here, and we bought all our equipment here in Little Rock. And he selected all the equipment for me, and the man took it down and put it in. The only thing I bought was a tank, a compressor. I knew what a compressor was.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
[unknown] So the last thing we had to buy was the compressor, and had that put in. And Dr. Jewell did the selection for most of the office equipment for the dental office. And they have everything else there but a doctor.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That's great. You're a consultant for them down there.
DAISY BATES:
Yes. I'm there once or twice a month.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And now you're involved with all kinds of things here in Little Rock, like this Poets' Roundtable?
DAISY BATES:
Well, actually, I'm not doing too much in Little Rock. But Lucille Babcock (I like her) and this child is a friend of mine.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
How do you say her name?
DAISY BATES:
Maya Angelou. So I was helping this year, because I mean she was actually desperate. She expected some money to do something with the Roundtable, and she thought this girl was it. And she met her out here. But in the meanwhile, when the money didn't come

Page 49
through, she said, "Daisy, I don't know what I'm going to do in Little Rock." I said, "What do you mean?" [unknown] So I just got on the telephone and called a group of friends, and I guess I've raised about five hundred dollars for her.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That's just incredible.
DAISY BATES:
And I told her, I said, "Listen, I can sell tickets." [unknown] [Laughter] [unknown] I called Wilbur Mills's office and talked to the secretary. I asked, "When will Mr. Mills be here?" She said, "I don't know, but [unknown] I think next week sometime." [unknown] So she says, "Do you want to see him?" [unknown] I said, "I sure do." [unknown] So it must have been Friday that she called me, and she said, "You wish to see Mr. Mills? I understand that you expressly desired to see Mr. Mills." I said, "Yes." She said, "Can you be in the office at eleven o'clock on Tuesday morning?" I said, "I certainly can."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Certainly can. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
So I'm going to ask him when I go [unknown] to underwrite what we haven't raised.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, I hope he will.
DAISY BATES:
See, now, [unknown] if we could raise about twelve hundred dollars, I believe he would be willing to give us the rest.

Page 50
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
He might. Well, I'll keep my fingers crossed. [Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter] Well, he's always been very kind to me, and anything he'd ask me to do, I would do it. So I just hope that he will, but I'm going to ask him.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
He wasn't in Congress at the time of the Little Rock crisis. No?
DAISY BATES:
I think he was.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You know, Wilbur Mills might have been in Congress, but you weren't in touch with the congressmen during that period.
DAISY BATES:
No, only Brooks Hays.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
You were in touch with him.
DAISY BATES:
Very lightly. Brooks Hays. . . . You see, Brooks Hays was from the old school. He was [unknown] in sympathy with what we were doing, I don't think, after the. . . . You see, we were just tearing the town up, so to speak. So then he didn't want the town torn up, [unknown] so consequently Brooks Hays was acting with the group, and Faubus and Eisenhower and Ashmore, but he'd never say anything to me. So I think, actually, that Brooks Hays was from the old school, and what the white people said, what Harry Ashmore said, was what got around. That was it, you see. And so that's what's been happening

Page 51
all along until 1957 changed it, and the foreign correspondence. Anything in the paper would happen in our town or in our country, the white man spoke, the're ashamed. But then. . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But you think 1957 changed that.
DAISY BATES:
In 1957, they came to us, the victims, and got their story. And they didn't believe it; they found a discrepancy with the white story opposite theirs. We had a policeman that got killed. But these people are told somewhat a different story.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Than maybe the downtown businessmen or what have you.
DAISY BATES:
Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Do you think that race relations have improved in Little Rock since 1957?
DAISY BATES:
I think so. Oh, yes, I think so.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I'm not going to keep you much longer. I just have a couple [unknown] more questions I want to ask you.

Page 52
[Interruption.]
Okay, we were just talking a little bit about the condition of race relations in Little Rock today. You know, everybody says, and you said in your book, that before 1957 race relations were pretty good in Little Rock, comparatively speaking, relatively speaking, compared to Deep South communities. That there had been a lot of police brutality and there had been very rigid lines of segregation, but that there hadn't been a great deal of violence or hostility between the races, at least that it wasn't expressed. Perhaps that's because the lines of segregation were so strong that the blacks didn't have a chance to speak out.
But I wonder just to what extent you think things have changed in Little Rock.
DAISY BATES:
Things have changed now. You can ride downtown with my husband, and you are not disturbed by the police. We've changed the law; we have the laws on our side. And if you want to be friends with a Negro person, you can, without being afraid. Lucille was just telling me [unknown] they had a little group here, a black singing group, Up With the People. I think that's

Page 53
the name of it. So it was the high school kids that they were working with, that joined their group. And Lucille said she had them out to her house. And every time she had them out there, the police would come. So the third time, she knew the policeman. She said, "Every time I have these kids out here, every time they come out and sing [unknown] they're not disturbing anybody—we're not disturbing the peace—so why is it the police come by every time?" [unknown] See, because they were integrated and had the rigid segregation laws, [unknown] the police had a right to come in and arrest you and me and say we're disturbing the peace. We're co-habitating, anything, any kind of contact. [unknown] So they can't do this now, so there's a difference. I've known the time that a white woman and a Negro man couldn't ride in a car together.
They were afraid, not of what the people would say, but what the police would do to them. So we don't have that anymore.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Do you have friends in the white community now . . .
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . more than you did . . .
DAISY BATES:
I don't know. I can't say more; I don't think they were real friends in the first place. [Laughter] Those that fade away. . . . You always have, I think, some that fade away, including the black [unknown] community, also. But I still have friends that I talk to and respect, and they respect me. But I think what's mostly wrong with the [unknown] Negro community in Little Rock is that I did something that they couldn't

Page 54
do, and I was not a native of Little Rock, you see?
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Mm-hm.
DAISY BATES:
And [unknown] this 1957 activity, and I could show them up. They thought I did something. I would have been glad to have given it to them, [Laughter] for anyone to take it. But this was kind of. . . . I felt this.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That they felt [unknown] you were an outsider?
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. Outsider. Stirring up trouble, you know.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Stirring up trouble, and that they might have preferred to leave things the way they were . . .
DAISY BATES:
Right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . rather than stir up trouble.
DAISY BATES:
Right, right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, did blacks lose their jobs in Little Rock as a result of . . .
DAISY BATES:
Yes, a lot of them did. Mr. Thomas lost his job; [unknown] that was Jefferson Thomas's father.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, I know that many of the Nine.
DAISY BATES:
Yes, the Nine. And Carlotta's father, they moved away. He just couldn't get a job.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, since then, have there been expressions of support from the black community? Have Nagroes come around to realizing, "Wow," you know. "That needed to be done."
DAISY BATES:
Yes.

Page 55
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
"And we're glad it was done."
DAISY BATES:
Yes, uh-huh.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
I mean, do they say that to you?
DAISY BATES:
Yes. I don't know whether they've said it like that, but in little ways they showed it. Like in the organizations. We've got downstairs plaques, plaques all over the place, and awards.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But from the black community in Little Rock, too?
DAISY BATES:
Yeah, mm-hm. From all the Greek letter organizations, the churches, and what-have-you. So in this way they've said, "We're glad."
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Are you a member of any of the Greek letter organizations?
DAISY BATES:
One: [unknown] the Delta Theta Beta sorority. That's all colored, no white in it. I'm an honorary member, because I didn't finish college.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But those are very active clubs in Little Rock, aren't they?
DAISY BATES:
Yes. They have one on each campus, one over at LRU, one out at Philander-Smith, and we have an adult chapter, a graduate chapter, very active.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Are they service organizations? I mean, do they have charities or anything like that?
DAISY BATES:
Yes, we call ourselves a service organization. Scholarships, and everything we do, we raise money for a particular purpose, something that's real important.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Has any newspaper come along to fill the place of the State

Page 56
Press?
DAISY BATES:
I haven't seen it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Is there a black newspaper in Little Rock?
DAISY BATES:
Two.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, yeah, the Southern Mediator Journal. Sure. Yeah. Well, now, this is one thing that has really bothered me about race relations in Little Rock, is that, even though feeling has seemed to have improved—I mean, I know twenty years ago I could never have come to your home, I don't think . . .
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm, no.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So that feeling has improved and attitudes have improved. Still, there's a very sharp division within the community. And at the Gazette they are very open about the fact that they don't cover the black community.
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And that's just a gap in reporting. So if all you read is

Page 57
the Arkansas Gazette, you don't know anything about the black community.
DAISY BATES:
Mnm-mm. That's right.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, are these two papers mostly. . . . They report social kinds of news?
DAISY BATES:
Social kinds of news and . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And they don't discuss issues the way the State Press did.
DAISY BATES:
No. They don't have an editorial policy.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[unknown] I wanted to ask you, too—this is out of sequence, but I wanted to ask you—about Orval Faubus, just what your assessment of the man is. Did you feel like he was completely politically motivated, or did you think there was more to it than that?
DAISY BATES:
Harry Ashmore was saying something the other day that was very interesting. [unknown] That group of young men, Sid McMath and [unknown] Edwin Dunaway and all that group. . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
They used to come out here?
DAISY BATES:
Yeah, and [unknown] Fred Darragh. We'd go out to his house, and he used to come over here, and we had a nice little group together. So I said to them one night, I said, "I saw your Governor today."
I said, "His pants are up to here, You just have to help the man dress." [unknown] And Harry said someone told him, that had known Faubus, that he couldn't stand for anyone to look down on him. [unknown] So I told them

Page 58
[unknown] I said, "You know what" [Laughter] [unknown] "You deserve Faubus, but I don't." I really think we were caught in the middle, that he wanted to do something to get back at this bunch, because Edwin Dunaway, Sid McMath, and Fred Darragh, they were considered [unknown] liberals.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And you think Faubus wanted to do something to get out of their control?
DAISY BATES:
I think he wanted to do something. He knew that they would object to [unknown] what he was doing. [unknown] And while they were doing that Faubus was making headway with his [unknown] He was building himself a position. So actually [unknown] I never did think that Faubus was -at that time; I think his feeling is real now [unknown] —at that time I didn't think Faubus was a racist. He came across to me as an opportunist, and that's the worst kind. [unknown] So actually [Laughter] , well, we got caught in it.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
But you saw him as the enemy.
DAISY BATES:
Yes. Well, of course.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, I heard somewhere, and I wondered if it was true, that several years later—well, I think toward the end of Faubus's sixth term, so I guess that was ten or twelve years later—that a group of black citizens from Little Rock, including Mr. Bates, went to Faubus

Page 59
and asked him to run again for a seventh term. And that sounded kind of strange to me . . .
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
. . . and I wondered if it was true.
DAISY BATES:
No. Oh, no. Mr. Bates has had a conference when he was with the NAACP, with Faubus, but they were talking about jobs for Negroes, jobs in the highway department and jobs for Negroes, period. He and Bill Pierce and some people around here wrote him a letter—I saw the letter; we still have the letter, [unknown] a copy of it—but he's never asked Faubus to run for anything, any kind of term.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, I wondered about that.
DAISY BATES:
[Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
That was a claim, I think, that Faubus made. He was trying to say Daisy Bates even came around to the point that she supported me; why, her husband came and asked me to run again for . . .
DAISY BATES:
Unh-uh.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
And I wondered if that was true.
DAISY BATES:
No, indeed.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
It didn't seem to ring true. Okay, one last question, which is asking a lot. I wondered if you could tell me what you thought was your most important contribution in the Little Rock crisis. What was the most important contribution you think you made during that time?
DAISY BATES:
I think the very fact that the kids went in Central; they

Page 60
got in, that Faubus had thought they'd never do. And they remained there for the full year. And that opened a lot of doors that had been closed to Negroes, because this was the first time that this kind of revolution had succeeded without a doubt. And none of the children were really hurt physically. And I think that's one of the biggest contributions, [unknown] Because in New York, you couldn't stay in a hotel. When they opened the hotels in New York, they put Negroes on a separate floor. All the Negroes were assigned to a certain floor. And I went in and I asked one of the bellboys, I said, "What floor are we assigned to?" He said, "How do you know you're assigned to one floor?" [Laughter]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
[Laughter]
DAISY BATES:
I said, "Well, every time I've been here, we've been assigned to this floor."
So that's what was happening in New York.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So you set the precedent. You feel like you showed that it could be done.
DAISY BATES:
Yeah, well, that opened a lot of doors for a lot of people, because the kids came through. If one child had died . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Oh, yeah.
DAISY BATES:
The white community wouldn't have had to, the black community would have chased me out of town. I knew that.

Page 61
[Interruption]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Now, had you been involved in the Arkansas Council on Human Relations?
DAISY BATES:
Yes.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
So you knew Mrs. Powell and . . . [Velma Powell]
DAISY BATES:
Yes. Mr. Griswold. I gave him his first twenty-five dollars, and that was a lot of money then. [Laughter] [Nat Griswold]
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Yeah, I'll say. A lot of money now.
DAISY BATES:
To help him get started.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Were you in it when Harry Ashmore was in it?
DAISY BATES:
Mm-hm.
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Well, now, that's probably how you got to know people like Fred Darragh and . . .
DAISY BATES:
Yeah. Well . . .
ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
Edwin Dunaway?
DAISY BATES:
. . . we were on the board. Fred Darragh was on the board.
END OF INTERVIEW

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ELIZABETH JACOWAY:
This is a postscript to my interview with Daisy Bates. After I turned off the tape recorder and told Mrs. Bates that I planned to have an interview with Vivion Brewer later on in the week, she reflected that Mrs. Brewer was a fine woman in her estimation, dedicated and hard-working, but that, like many other whites in the community, Mrs. Brewer had wanted to take over the direction of race relations in Little Rock, that she had wanted Daisy Bates and the black community to turn over control of the movement to the white community, to these liberal members of the white community. And Mrs. Bates felt that this clearly would be impossible, because Mrs. Brewer and other white people had never experienced the kinds of traumas and difficulties; they had not had the black experience, so that they couldn't know what black people wanted and needed, and they couldn't have been effective leaders of the movement. Mrs. Bates also pointed out, after the tape recorder had been turned off, that at one point—I believe it was in early 1958—Mr. Herbert Thomas, who is a prominent businessman in Little Rock—he's the founder and president or chairman of the board of the Pyramid Life Insurance Company—had tried to devise a compromise solution to the Little Rock crisis, and it was a solution which never came to fruition, was never fully developed, largely because, as Herbert Thomas would tell you, Daisy Bates refused to support the plan. But according to Mrs. Bates' telling of the tale, early one evening she got a call from Rev. Walker, [unknown] pastor, saying, "Mrs. Bates, did you know that there's going to be a large meeting tonight

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down at the YWCA, that Mr. Herbert Thomas has called a meeting of the black leadership?" And Mrs. Bates had not heard about the meeting, had not been invited and not been included, and the meeting was to start in about twenty minutes. So she threw on some clothes and dashed down to the Y and walked in just as the meeting began. And as a result, the meeting kind of fell apart. And Mrs. Bates claims that the Gazette later reported that Herbert Thomas claimed that the blacks in Little Rock were afraid of Mrs. Bates, that she was an outsider who came in and stirred up trouble and had an enormous amount of control, power, influence over their lives, and they feared her, and her presence at that meeting inhibited any meaningful discussion and prevented the further development of the Thomas plan.
Daisy Bates was born November 11, 1914.

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The state president of the Arkansas NAACP, Mrs. Daisy Bates—Mrs. L.C. Bates—was a major participant in the Little Rock crisis of 1957. Today's interview with Mrs. Bates is being held at her home in Little Rock at 1207 West 28th Street on October 11, 1976. The interviewer is Elizabeth Jacoway.
The Long Shadow of Little Rock
2. Virgil Blossom, Superintendent of Schools.
3. Judge Ronald Davies was a federal court judge from South Dakota who temporarily filled a vacancy in Arkansas during the fall of 1957.
4. Wiley Branton was a black lawyer from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who handled most of the litigation for the state NAACP.
New York Times.
6. Jefferson Thomas - one of the Nine.
7. Mrs. Elizabeth Huckaby was vice principal.