Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 160 Charles GravesReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 160 Charles Graves

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 160 Charles Graves

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 160 Charles Graves
Creator: Graves, Charles
Dates: 2015 May 6
Extent: 1.0 interview
Collection Number: RBRL/220/ROGP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Charles Graves worked in the news industry, as a local reporter and then as the press secretary for U.S. Congressman George Davis. He also served as a Georgia State Representative and then Executive Director of the Georgia Democratic Party. In this interview he discusses his childhood, early news career, his coverage of the Bertha Hill trial, his entry into state politics, and his role as Executive Director of the state Democratic Party. He also comments on issues relating to other politicians and administrations, and reflects on the decline of the Democratic Party in Georgia.

Collection Description

Biographical note

Charles Graves was born in Rome, Georgia, and began working on the city newspaper during high school, where he eventually became a reporter and then editor. He worked as Congressman George Davis’s press aid in Washington, and covered the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination on Capitol Hill. He served as a legislator on the Georgia State House of Representatives, and later, as Executive Director of the Georgia Democratic Party. During President Carter’s 1980 reelection campaign, Graves worked as the campaign director in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky.

Scope and Content

Charles Graves recalls his childhood in East Rome and his involvement in the Distributive Education program at his high school that introduced him to working at the local newspaper. He discusses working his way up to being a reporter and covering the retrial of Bertha Hill, a local woman accused of fatally poisoning her husband and parents. Graves talks about his introduction to politics as press secretary to Congressman George Davis in Washington, D.C. He recalls meeting John F. Kennedy during his presidential campaign in Warm Springs, Georgia, and later covering the news of Kennedy’s assassination in Washington, D.C. Graves discusses his election to the Georgia House of Representatives, the committees he served on, and the legislation he advocated, including decentralization of the mental health system of Georgia into regional facilities. He talks about being selected by then-Governor George Busbee to serve as Executive Director of Georgia Democratic Party in 1974, and describes his duties and notable achievements in that role, including the rewriting of the Democratic Party Charter. Graves talks about President Carter’s relationship to Congress, and his role as Carter’s reelection campaign director in Georgia and parts of Texas and Kentucky. Graves also reflects on the circumstances that contributed to the decline of the Democratic Party in Georgia.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Custodial History note

Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.

Preferred citation

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 160, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2015.


Related Materials

Access Points

Audiovisual.
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Democratic party (Georgia) state executive committee.
Journalism.
Journalists--Georgia.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Assassination.
Newspapers
Oral histories.

Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

ROGP 160 Charles Graves video and interview index in OHMS Access Online
ROGP 160 Charles Graves video, 2015 May 6 Access Online