|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 124 Bill Jordan|
|Creator||Jordan, William H., 1929-|
|Dates||2010 December 8|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||William H. Jordan, Jr., served as executive secretary on the staff of Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. from 1955 to 1968. In April 1968, he resigned to work for the Senate Appropriations Committee and was a member of the committee staff until circa 1982. While on the committee, Jordan served on the subcommittee overseeing the District of Columbia and as chief counsel of the Subcommittee on Foreign Aid. Jordan recalls his relationship with Richard B. Russell, his time working for the appropriations committee, and comments on party politics in 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 124, 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.
William H. Jordan, Jr., graduated from the University of Georgia in 1952 with an LL.B. At the university, Jordan was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, Interfraternity Council, and Gridiron Secret Society.
Jordan served as executive secretary on the staff of Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. from 1955 to 1968. In April 1968, he resigned to work for the Senate Appropriations Committee and was a member of the committee staff until circa 1982. While on the committee, Jordan served on the subcommittee overseeing the District of Columbia and as chief counsel of the Subcommittee on Foreign Aid.
During his tenure in Senator Russell’s office, Jordan helped plan the Senator’s patronage program. The program, initiated in 1960 in collaboration with Georgia’s 4-H clubs, was called the Russell 4-H Patronage Program, and through an application process, brought Georgia students to work in the Senate and in Russell’s office for a summer or semester term. Jordan also met his future wife, Gwen Weant, in Russell’s office, and they married on November 15, 1957, in College Park, Georgia.
Jordan is one of the original members of the Richard B. Russell Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the memory of Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. Among his contributions through the foundation to Senator Russell’s legacy, Jordan organized an oral history project that commenced in 1971 after Senator Russell’s death and documented the Senator's association with family, friends, and colleagues.
Originally from Monticello, Georgia, Jordan now resides with his wife in Dunwoody, Georgia.
Bill Jordan recalls his early life in Monticello, Georgia, before attending the University of Georgia. He recalls being called for active duty in Korea before serving in the FBI in Chicago.
Jordan discusses meeting Richard B. Russell in 1951 and being hired to work on Russell's staff. He recalls Senator Russell's personal life and his friendship with President Johnson and President Eisenhower. Jordon reflects on Senator Russell's political opinions and character traits. He discusses Russell's participation in the Kennedy-Eisenhower 1960 campaign, particularly discusses an incident at the Adolphus Hotel with Lady Bird Johnson.
Jordan comments on Russell's foresight in the water war and trade with China. He recalls Russell's dedication to keeping the media out of Senate chambers and Russell's opinion of foreign entanglements. Jordan reflects on learning to work within the appropriations process. He discusses the process of drafting balanced budgets.
Jordan discusses corruptive influences, the Georgia Supreme Court, and infrastructure. He discusses his personal life after retirement and working in the Rusk Institute in New York City. Jordan further discusses his personal political opinions and his experiences traveling around the world. He comments on his longtime friendship with Max Cleland.