|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 045 Dawson Mathis|
|Creator||Mathis, Marvin Dawson, 1940-|
|Dates||2008 August 20|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Marvin Dawson Mathis served as the news director of WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia, before running a successful campaign for Congress in 1971. He served on several committees, including Agriculture, House Administration, and Steering and Policy. Mathis discusses how being a news anchor became an asset when running for Congress, his experience campaignin, his service on committes in Wahsington, and issues that polarized the American people while he was in Congress such as Watergate and the Vietnam War.|
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 045, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
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.
Marvin Dawson Mathis was born in Nashville, Georgia, on November 30, 1940. He attended South Georgia College. He began a career in broadcasting, working with at WRPB in Warner Robins. He went to WCEH radio for a short period, and from 1964 to 1970 he served as the news director of WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia. Mathis campaigned successfully for Congress in 1971. He served on several committees, including Agriculture, House Administration, and Steering and Policy. During the Watergate Scandal, he served on the Elections Subcommittee, and was involved with election and candidate donation reform. In 1980, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate, retiring from the house in 1981. After his political career, he worked as a private advocate in Washington, D.C., and retired to Nashville, Georgia.
Mathis talks about his early life, recalling working in his father's store as a child, working for Flowers Baking Company as a young adult, and how he became the news director at WALB-TV in Albany. He comments on events of the Civil Rights Movement that occurred in Albany.
Mathis discusses memories of Maston O'Neal, Harry Wingate, Jr., Fred Hand, Jr., James Harrison Gray, Bunny Pritchett, Tom Ragsdale, Guy Maddox, Richard Russell, Phil Landrum, Ed Jenkins, Wilbur Mills, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Hamilton Jordan, and Zell Miller.
Mathis discusses how being a news anchor became an asset when running for Congress, including how his position helped him befriend many sheriffs in the district. Mathis speaks about his experience campaigning, including advertising, funding, and logistics. Mathis also discusses his career after being elected to Congress, including his time on the Ways and Means Committee, the House Administration Committee, the Elections Subcommittee, and the Steering and Policy Committee. Mathis talks about issues that polarized the American people while he was in Congress, including the Vietnam War, Watergate, Nixon's resignation, the Abscam scandal, and the Iran hostage crisis. Mathis also talks about running for U.S. Senate in 1980 and party politics in Georgia.