Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 054 Ben BlackburnReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 054 Ben Blackburn

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 054 Ben Blackburn

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 054 Ben Blackburn
Creator Blackburn, Benjamin Bentley, 1927-
Dates 2008 October 29
Extent 1.0 interview
Repository Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
AbstractBen Blackburn was elected as a Republican to the US Congress from Georgia's fourth district and served from 1967 to 1975. While in Congress, Blackburn served on several committees, including Banking and Currency, the Housing Subcommittee, the Joint Economic Committee, the Subcommittee on International Trade of the Bank and Currency Committee, and the Housing and Domestic Finance Committee. Blackburn recalls his time in Congress, his committee assignments, the environment among the Georgia delegation, and his participation in the Republican Study Committee. He discusses his reelections, including being the only Republican congressman from Georgia in 1972. Blackburn mentions Watergate, the Republican Convention in 1972, and Gerald Ford's political outlook after pardoning Nixon.

Administrative Information

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 054, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.


Restrictions

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.


Biographical Note

Benjamin Bentley Blackburn was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 14, 1927. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1947 and from Emory University School of Law in 1954. During World War II, Blackburn served in the United States Navy, 1944 to 1946, and again during the Korean Conflict. He retired as a lieutenant commander in the United States Naval Reserve.

After returning to Georgia, Blackburn served in the state attorney general's office from 1955 to 1956. From 1956 until 1966, Blackburn had his own private law practice. He was elected as a Republican to the Ninetieth and to the three succeeding US Congresses (1967 to 1975) from Georgia's fourth district. While in Congress, Blackburn served on several committees, including Banking and Currency, the Housing Subcommittee, the Joint Economic Committee, the Subcommittee on International Trade of the Bank and Currency Committee, and the Housing and Domestic Finance Committee. In 1974, he was defeated in the general election.

Blackburn served as president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation from 1976 until 1985. In 1980, Blackburn served as Team Captain of the Reagan Presidential Transition Team. He later served as regional representative for the United States Department of Transportation from 1985 to 1989.

Blackburn has been a member of the American, Georgia, and Decatur-DeKalb Bar Associations, the Atlanta and Federal Bar Associations, and the Heritage Foundation. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Heritage Foundation from 1974 until 1982.

In 1952, Blackburn married Mary A. Pandora and they have four children, Michael, Robert, Kathryn and David.


Scope and Content

Blackburn discusses his childhood in Atlanta, his service in the Navy, and his time studying law at Emory. Blackburn also discusses the rising prominence of the Republican Party of Georgia. He recalls his campaign for Congress in 1966 and the importance of Bo Calloway's campaign for governor to the Republican Party.

Blackburn talks about his time in Congress, including relocating his family to Washington, D.C., his committee assignments, the Georgia delegation, and his participation in the Republican Study Committee. He discusses his reelections, including being the only Republican congressman from Georgia in 1972. Blackburn mentions Watergate, the Republican Convention in 1972, and Gerald Ford's political outlook after pardoning Nixon. He also recalls his failed race for Governor in 1982.

Blackburn discusses his role in the founding of the Heritage Foundation and the Southeast Legal Foundation. He also recalls working with Tip O'Neill, Jack Flint, Bo Callaway, Lester Maddox, Phil Landrum, Andrew Young, Susan Landrum, and Ronald Regan.


Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection

Ben Blackburn Congressional Papers


Access Points

Callaway, Howard H. (Howard Hollis), 1927-
Emory University.
Governors--Georgia--Election--History--20th century.
Republican Party (Ga.)
United States--Congress--Elections, 1972.
United States--Congress--House.
United States--Navy.
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 
ROGP 054 Ben Blackburn video ( 60.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
 
ROGP 054 Ben Blackburn transcript VIEW ONLINE