|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 070 Harold G. Clarke|
|Creator||Clarke, Harold G., 1927-|
|Dates||2009 February 2|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Harold G. Clarke was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1960. In the legislature, he authored several bills and plans, including Abolish Atlanta and the Clarke Plan. In 1966, he participated in the legislative initiative to elect Governor Lester Maddox over Bo Callaway. He left the legislature to practice law in Forsyth. In 1979, he was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court, where he handled several important cases and issues. Clarke discusses his childhood, his time in the Georgia House of Representatives, and his experience as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.|
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 070, 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.
Harold G. Clarke was born September 28, 1927, in Forsyth, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia before being drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He was the managing editor of the Stars and Stripes while stationed in Japan. He returned to the University of Georgia, and earned his law degree in 1950. In 1960, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat. In the legislature, he authored several bills and plans, including "Abolish Atlanta" bill that abolished all municipalities within Fulton County, creating one government for the entire county, and the Clarke Plan. In 1966, he participated in the legislative initiative to elect Governor Lester Maddox over Bo Callaway. He left the legislature to practice law in Forsyth. In 1979, he was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court, where he handled several important cases and issues. He then joined Troutman Sanders LLP, and chaired the joint commission on alternative dispute resolution.
Harold Clarke discusses growing up in Forsyth, Georgia. He mentions the swimming holes, family pets, and the developmental changes of the area.
Clarke recalls enlisting in the Army after attending the University of Georgia. He explains how work on his father's newspaper led him to be assigned to work on the Stars and Stripes, an Army newspaper. He eventually became the editor. Upon returning to the U.S., Clarke recalls attending the University of Georgia law school.
Clarke discusses successfully running for the House of Representatives in 1960. He recalls the integration of schools, the abolition of the county unit system, and his friendships with Zell Miller and Tom Murphy. Clarke recalls writing a bill that came to be known as "Abolish Atlantam" that abolished all municipalities within Fulton County, creating one government for the entire county. He also discusses his "Clarke plan" for reapportionment.
Clarke discusses Governor Carl Sanders' administration, the 1966 legislative election of the Governor, and the Julian Bond case. He explains that he decided to leave the legislature to practice law until he became a Justice in the Georgia Supreme Court in 1979.
Clarke discusses several of the cases the Supreme Court tried and also talks about his associate justices. He explains at length how the Supreme Court of Georgia operates. Clarke also weighs in on the death penalty and recalls his work relationship and friendship with Charles Weltner.