“December 1934. Huey Long speaks passionately about income inequality and the wealthy in the United States.” — You Tube
Ever since I was a child, I have had an intense fascination with Huey Long. If you actually watched this brilliant presentation of income inequality less than five minutes in length, then you have seen one of the greatest political speeches of all time.
“Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), nicknamed The Kingfish, was an American politician who served as the40th Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a member of the United States Senate from 1932 until his assassination in 1935. A Democrat, he was an outspoken populist who denounced the rich and the banks and called for “Share the Wealth.” As the political boss of the state he commanded wide networks of supporters and was willing to take forceful action. He established the political prominence of the Long political family.”
Wikipedia on the book and movie All The Kings Men
“[Willie Stark’s character [the central character in both book and movie] is often thought to be inspired by the life of Huey P. Long, former governor of Louisiana and that state’s U.S. senator in the mid-1930s. Huey Long was at the zenith of his career when he was assassinated in 1935; just a year earlier, Robert Penn Warren had begun teaching at Louisiana State University.[ Stark, like Long, is shot to death in the state capitol building by a physician. The title of the book possibly came from Long’s motto, [Every Man a King’.”
HUEY LONG ON SHARE OUR WEALTH
We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children’s children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own.”
— Huey Long, Share Our Wealth radio address, February 23, 1934
Share The Wealth was a movement begun in February 1934, during the Great Depression, by Huey Long, a governor and later United States Senator fromLouisiana. Huey Long first proposed the plan in a national radio address, which is now referred to as the “Share Our Wealth Speech”.
Long believed that the underlying cause of the Great Depression, (which he called “Mr. Roosevelt’s depression”) was the growing disparity between the rich and everyone else. For most of his political career, he was endeared to the “little man,” which refers to the rural poor. The Share Our Wealth program was going to become the capstone project for Long’s populist agenda.
The Share Our Wealth program was controversial. Many also suspected that Huey Long was planning on using the Share Our Wealth Society as a vehicle for mounting a third party challenge to Roosevelt during the 1936 Presidential election. Any Presidential ambitions which Long might have had were cut short when he was shot by an assassin on September 8, 1935, in Baton Rouge; he died two days later on September 10, 1935.
Biographers T. Harry Williams and William Ivy Hair speculated that the Senator had never intended to run for the presidency in 1936. Long planned to form a third party in 1936 that would run a candidate who would probably lose, but also split the Democratic vote.”
Wikipedia on Long biographer T. Harry Williams
Williams used oral history as part of his key source material in the preparation ofHuey Long, having interviewed scores of supporters and opponents of the “Louisiana Kingfish“. On November 2, 1959, Williams presented the presidential address “The Gentleman from Louisiana: Demagogue or Democrat” before the Southern Historical Association. Williams told his fellow historians and their guests that Huey Long’s governorship marked the end of the half-century of Louisiana history since the close of congressional Reconstruction. Before 1928, Louisiana had only 296 miles of concrete roads, 35 miles of asphalt, 5,728 miles of gravel, and three major bridges, none of which crossed the Mississippi River either at New Orleans or Baton Rouge. Trains had to uncouple and ferry across the river. By 1935, when Long wasassassinated, Williams observed that the state had 2,446 miles of concrete roads, 1,308 miles of asphalt, 9,629 miles of gravel, and more than 40 major bridges. He concluded that Long was “a powerful and sometimes ruthless political boss” but not one who fit the definition of a fascist, as often claimed by Long’s detractors.Williams frequently quoted the Long confidant, Harley Bozeman, wrote extensive local history in Winn Parish.“