|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 013 Betty Vandiver and Jane Kidd on Ernest Vandiver|
|Creator||Kidd, Jane Brevard Vandiver, 1953-|
|Creator||Vandiver, Betty Russell, 1925-|
|Dates||2007 February 9|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Betty Vandiver and Jane Kidd are the wife and daughter, respectively, of the late Ernest Vandiver, governor of Georgia from 1959 to 1963. In this interview they recall memories of the former governor, focusing on topics such as the efforts to improve conditions at Central State Hospital, integration at the University of Georgia, Governor Vandiver’s military career, and the state of political parties in Georgia in the mid-twentieth century and in 2007.|
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.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 013, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
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Sybil Elizabeth "Betty" Russell Vandiver was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1925. The niece of Richard B. Russell, she grew up in Winder, Georgia. In 1947, she graduated from the University of Georgia and married Samuel Ernest Vandiver of Lavonia, Georgia, with whom she had three children. She helped him campaign successfully for lieutenant governor, a post Vandiver was elected to in 1954. In 1958, Vandiver was elected governor of Georgia. As first lady, Betty Vandiver was instrumental in improving the quality of care at Milledgeville's Central State Hospital, Georgia's first mental institution. Ernest Vandiver’s subsequent campaigns for governor (1966) and U.S. Senate (1972) proved unsuccessful, and the Vandivers retired from politics. They remained active in the business and community affairs of Lavonia.
Jane Brevard Vandiver Kidd was born February 12, 1953. As the daughter of Georgia Governor S. Ernest Vandiver (1959-1963) and grand-niece of Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr., Kidd was involved in politics early, serving as chair of Youth for Herman Talmadge in Talmadge’s 1968 Senate campaign, and campaigning for her father during his 1972 US Senate campaign. She graduated from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism in 1975, and in 1980 she won a seat on the Lavonia City Council, which she kept for three terms. In 1992 she was Don Johnson’s campaign manager in his successful run for Congress, and served as Johnson’s district director. In 2004 Kidd was elected to the state house, serving for one term before mounting an unsuccessful bid for a state senate seat. In 2007 she was elected chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.
Ernest Vandiver’s wife Betty and his daughter Jane recall memories of the former Georgia governor. They discuss the efforts to improve conditions at Central State Hospital, integration at the University of Georgia, Governor Vandiver’s military career, and the role of political parties in Georgia in the mid-twentieth century and in 2007.