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Men and Women of Distinction: John Paul Hammerschmidt

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Former U.S. Senator and Arkansas Governor David Pryor sits down with John Paul Hammerschmidt to discuss his years as a congressman during the administrations of six presidents – from 1967 to 1993. Hammerschmidt was born in 1922 in Harrison Arkansas and stated his professional career working as the third generation in the Hammerschmidt Lumber Company. In 1942 Hammerschmidt enlisted in the Army Air Corps and became a highly decorated World War II combat pilot before returning home in 1945. Hammerschmidt was the original sponsor of congressional authorization for a national Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be located in Washington, D.C. He was also the author and initiating sponsor of the legislation which preserved the Buffalo River as a free-flowing stream, designating it as America’s first national river.

TRANSCRIPT

MANY OF YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH THE NAME JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT AS CONGRESSMAN JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT. BUT YOU MAY NOT KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY, WHICH BRINGSES US HERE TO THE ARKANSAS AIR MUSEUM IN FAYETVILLE, WHERE YOU CAN FIND JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT THROUGH THE AVIATION HALL OF FAME, AND RIGHTFULLY SO.

YOU SEE, BEFORE ENTERING POLITICS JOHN PAUL WAS SECOND LIEUTENANT HAMMERSCHMIDT WHO WAS A HIGHLY DECORATED COMBAT PILOT IN THE ARMY AIR CORPS DURING WORLD WAR II. HE FLEW 217 MISSIONS WITH THE THIRD COMBAT CARGO GROUP OVER TREACHEROUS TERRITORY KNOWN AS THE "HUMP," IN THE CHINA-BURMA-. EARNING SECOND LIEUTENANT JOHN PAUL THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS AND MANY OTHER HIGHEST MILITARY HONORS. LATER ENTER HIS POLITICAL CAREER. IN 1967, HAMMERSCHMIDT BECAME THE FIRST REPUBLICAN FROM ARKANSAS TO SERVE IN CONGRESS SINCE THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. A NATIVE OF HARRISON, CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT REPRESENTED THIRD DISTRICT IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAVING BEEN ELECTED TO 13 TERMS AND SERVING 26 YEARS DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF SIX PRESIDENTS. HE WAS THE ORIGINAL SPONSOR OF CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION FOR A NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERAN MEMORIAL. HE INITIATED LEGISLATION TO PRESERVE THE BUFFALO RIVER AS A FREE-FLOWING STREAM DESIGNATING IT AS AMERICA'S FIRST NATIONAL RIVER. FORMER U.S. SENATOR AND ARKANSAS GOVERNOR DAVID PRYOR VISITED WITH CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT IN HIS HOMETOWN AND BRINGS US THE MOST INFORMATIVE AND INSPIRING CONVERSATION WITH ONE OF ARKANSAS'S MEN OF DISTINCTION, THE HONORABLE JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT.

WELL, CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT, HERE WE ARE, HERE WE ARE IN YOUR HOMETOWN, WHERE I BELIEVE IN 1922 YOU WERE BORN. LET'S TALK A BIT ABOUT YOUR EARLY LIFE AND YOUR GRANDPARENTS COMING HERE AND YOUR BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS AND YOUR FAMILY HERE. WE'D LOVE TO HEAR SOME OF THAT EARLY HISTORY FROM YOU.

THANK YOU, DAVID. BEFORE I GET INTO TALKING ABOUT MY FAMILY AND MY EARLY LIFE LET ME SAY WHAT A PLEASURE IT IS TO HAVE SUCH A DISTINGUISHED INTERVIEWER.

I'M NOT A REAL GOOD INTERVIEWER, BUT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VISIT. THANK YOU.

IT IS REALLY GREAT TO BE WITH AN OLD FRIEND.

THANK YOU, A PLEASURE.

I WAS BORN AND RAISE INDEED HARRISON, WENT TO SCHOOL HERE. MY GRANDPARENTS CAME HERE, ON MY MOTHER'S SIDE, THEY CAME IN WAGON TRAINS FROM TENNESSEE, SETTLED IN BOONE COUNTY. MY FATHER'S SIDE CAME AROUND THROUGH ILLINOIS DOWN HERE AROUND 1911. THEY WERE GERMAN DECENT. MY GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER WERE SECOND-GENERATION GERMAN. HE ESTABLISHED A LUMBER BUSINESS HERE IN 1911. HIS BUSINESS WAS RIGHT DOWN OFF HARRISON SQUARE. AND THAT PARTICULAR LUMBER YARD IS GONE NOW BUT HE HAD BUSINESS UP AND DOWN THE RAILROAD WHERE WE HAD TIMBER AND SAWMILLS AND MANUFACTURING AS WELL AS A RETILL LUMBER BUSINESS. SO THOSE ARE KIND OF MY ROOTS IN BUSINESS.

WELL, DURING THIS TIME WERE YOUR GRANDPARENTS AND THEN ULTIMATELY IN THE NEXT GENERATION, YOUR PARENTS, WERE THEY INVOLVED IN POLITICS ITSELF? OR MOSTLY IN BUSINESS?

NO. THEY WERE IN BUSINESS LET ME GO BACK TO SAY ABOUT MY PARENTS THAT MY FATHER AFTER MY MOTHER AND DAD WERE MARRIED, THEY FOUND 10 ACRES RIGHT NEXT TO THE CITY LIMITS ACROSS CROOKED CREEK WHERE WE FIVE KIDS GREW UP. AND IT WAS WONDERFUL BECAUSE WE HAD THE FARM LIFE OF HAVING COWS WHICH WE HAD TO MILK, A PONY. WE HAD A WONDERFUL GARDEN, FLOWER GARDEN AND VEGETABLE GARDEN. MY MOTHER HELPED. IT WAS A WONDERFUL LIFE GROWING UP THERE BUT STILL BEING IN TOWN, SO TO SPEAK. WE WERE JUST ACROSS THE CREEK FROM BEING IN THE TOWN OF HARRISON.

I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF SEEING THIS PARTICULAR HOME IN WHICH YOU LIVED UNTIL YOU WERE 15, LITERALLY RIGHT ON THE BANKS OF CROOKED CREEK. ONE OF THE MORE PRESTINE, BEAUTIFUL CREEKS IN ARKANSAS. SO YOU MILKED THE COWS AND IT WAS ALMOST ADJACENT TO TOWN, BUT YET IN THE COUNTRY. SUCH A REMARK ANNUAL PLACE TO SEE YOUR HOME PLACE WHERE YOU GREW UP.

RIGHT. THERE WERE FIVE OF US KIDS. I HAD OLDER SISTER, JUNE, TWIN SISTERS HELENA AND ELIZABETH. I WAS NEXT AND MY YOUNGER BROTHER BOB, HAMMERSCHMIDT, ALL DECEASED EXCEPT ME.

YOU ARE THE REMAINING HAMMERSCHMIDT OF THE SO-CALLED TRIBE; WITH THE OF YOUR FINE SON JOHN ARTHUR HAMMERSCHMIDT. WE WILL TALK ABOUT JOHN ARTHUR HERE IN A BIT WHEN WE GET FURTHER DOWN THE LINE. BUT JOHN PAUL, WERE YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, ON YOUR GRANDFATHER AND FATHER'S SIDE, WERE THESE POLITICAL PEOPLE? WERE THEY ACTIVISTS IN THE COMMUNITY? DID THEY TAKE PART IN DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN POLITICS?

NO, ACTIVE IN THE ROTARY CLUB AND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, BUT CERTAINLY NOT IN POLITICS.

SO THEY DIDN'T SAY, NOW JOHN PAUL YOU HAVE TO BE A REPUBLICAN BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THE FUTURE OR, NOR DID THEY SAY, WE WANT YOU TO TOW THE LINE AND BE LIKE THE REST OF THE COUNTY AND THE REST OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AND THE STATE AND ALIGN YOURSELF WITH THE DEMOCRATS? THERE WAS NO FAMILY PRESSURE IN THAT REGARD?

MY FATHER WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZED IF HE KNEW I RAN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.

JOHN PAUL, WORLD WAR II.

I GUESS IT WAS SORT OF A MILESTONE, BUT CERTAINLY A DEFINING MOMENT PERIOD IN THE LIFE OF JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THAT.

WELL, BEFORE THAT I WENT TO CITADEL, I GRADUATED WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD, SO I WENT QUITE YOUNG. I WAS 16.

WHEN YOU ATTENDED CITADEL IN CHARLSTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.

YES N. THOSE DAYS THAT WAS A LONG WAY FROM HOME. THREE US OF FROM HARRISON WENT TO THE CITADEL.  THEY HAVE A REG MINE JUST LIKE MILITARY ACADEMIES DO. YOU GO THROUGH AND YOU HAVE A LOT OF TRAINING. SO I HAD THAT EXPERIENCE BEFORE I GOT INTO THE ANNAPOLIS APPOINTMENT OPPORTUNITY. SO AS YOU JUST MENTIONED, I DID GO TO CONGRESSMAN CLYDE, MY FATHER TOOK ME THERE, WHERE HIS OFFICE WAS IN BENTONVILLE. HE INTERVIEWED ME AND GAVE ME AN APPOINTMENT TO ANNAPOLIS. AND AT THE SAME TIME MY ROOMMAT DAVID FITTON, FROM HARRIS, HAD BEEN OFFERED WEST POINT APPOINTMENT ONE YEAR AFTER MY ANNAPOLIS ONE WOULD HAVE BEEN. SO MY FOLKS AND HIS FOLKS THOUGHT IT WOULD BE NICE IF THEY WENT TO THE ACADEMY AT THE SAME TIME. I DEFERRED MY FIRST APPOINTMENT AND ACCEPTED ANOTHER APPOINTMENT, WHICH CLYDE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO GRANT. AND THEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS WHILE I WAS WAITING FOR THAT TO TRANSPIRE. AND ON DECEMBER OF THAT YEAR I WENT OUT TO CALIFORNIA TO SEE MY COUSIN WITHOUT ANY PERMISSION FROM MY FOLKS OR ANYONE. PEARL HARBOR HAD JUST HAPPENED ON DECEMBER SEVENTH, SO I WENT OUT THERE AND I FOUND IT FASCINATING, AND A DIFFERENT WORLD, THAT I STAYED AND WENT TO WORK IN MARYLAND NAVY YARD.

WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE NAVY GUARD?

I BECAME A HELPER FOR THE PIPE COVER INSULATION PEOPLE. I WORKED ON MANY SHIPS, ONE HAD BEEN TO PEARL HARBOR, THE USS RALEIGH, CHACRUISER. I WORKED ON THAT SHIP AND I WORKED ON THE SUBMARINE BASE, ACTUALLY, I WORKED ON A LOT OF SHIPS. AND BECAME VERY AWARE THE WAR WAS GOING ON. WE HAD BARRAGE BALLOONS UP ON MARE ISLAND, IT WAS A WAR ATMOSPHERE. HERE I WAS NOT READY FOR THE DRAFT, BUT REALIZING THAT I HAD TO DO SOMETHING. SO INSTEAD OF ACCEPTING THAT ANNAPOLIS APPOINTMENT I JOINED THE ARMY AIR CORPS AND WENT THROUGH PILOT TRAINING, WHICH WAS A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT TO MY FOLKS. THEY WERE GLAD THAT I GOT THROUGH PILOT TRAINING. SO ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN THE AIR FORCE. AND DID YOU HAVE ANY CHOICE ABOUT YOUR CHOICES THERE? WERE THEY LIMITED AT THAT TIME OR WERE YOU ASSIGNED?

WHEN WE GOT OUT AND GOT OUR WINGS, SECOND LIEUTENANT BARS, WELL, THEY JUST YOU DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT WHERE YOU WENT OR WHAT KIND OF PLANE YOU WERE GOING TO FLY. FOR A WHILE I FLEW NAVIGATORS THEY WERE TRAINING OUT OF SAN MARCOS, TEXAS. YOU WOULD FLY TO CALIFORNIA AND YOU HAD NAVIGATOR STUDENTS AND A NAVIGATOR INSTRUCTOR, WE WERE FLYING AT-7S AT THAT TIME. AND THAT WAS QUITE AN EXPERIENCE. SO WHILE I WAS DOING THAT, I THOUGHT, HOW CAN YOU GET IN THE WAR AND GET SOME ACTION? WE SAW ON THE BULLETIN BOARD SEVERAL OF US SAW THEY WERE LOOKING FOR PILOTS TO GO OVERSEAS AND SO WE IMMEDIATELY VOLUNTEERED FOR THAT. WE WERE SENT TO WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA AND BEGAN TO FLY AN AIRPLANE WE HAD NEVER FLOWN BEFORE, RC-47. 104 OF US LEFT WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, AND WENT THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA TO BRAZIL AND THROUGH CENTRAL AFRICA AND EVENTUALLY TO THE TIBET BORDER.

FOR HIS ACHIEVE TREMENDOUS COURAGE, JOHN PAUL WAS INDUCTED INTO THE ARKANSAS AVIATION HALL OF FAME. BUT THAT WAS ONLY FOR STARTERS.

YOU ULTIMATELY WERE THE RECIPIENT OF IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, FOUR FLYING -- WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS.

FOUR OF THESE, I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE CAN CLAIM THAT. AM I CORRECT THERE?

WELL, I DON'T KNOW.

YEAH.

THERE YOU GO, YOU DON'T LIKE TO BRAG ABOUT YOURSELF, BUT I THINK IT IS TRUE THAT VERY FEW TIMES HAVE MANY AMERICANS BEEN AWARDED.

IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO RECEIVE ONE.

JOHN PAUL, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR MILITARY CAREER, YOU WERE THE RECIPIENT OF MANY AWARDS, MANY MEDALS, MANY HONORS, VERY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO OUR MILITARY IN WORLD WAR II AND THEREFORE. WHAT DO YOU -- WHAT LESSONS DO YOU COME AWAY FROM WITH THAT LESSON OF SERVICE?

WELL, OBVIOUS OTHER THAN THE MAJOR GOALS WHICH WERE ACCOMPLISHED, IN THE DEFEAT OF THE AXIS POWERS IN EUROPE AND JAPANESE POWERS THE MAIN THING IS EVERYBODY DISCOVERED THE WORLD IN THAT ERA. I BEING ONE OF THEM. AND I BEING ONE OF MILLIONS WHO DID THEIR DUTY, JUST WENT TO WAR.

YOU WERE A MEMBER OF THE TOM BROKAW GREAT GENERATION, YOU WERE ONE OF THOSE.

WELL, THERE WERE MILLIONS OF US AND I'M PROUD TO BE OF THAT AGE, OF COURSE. BUT I HAVE TO BE A PILOT TO GET IN MY SERVICE, I HAPPENED TO BE A PILOT IN WORLD WAR II. ON MY OVER THERETO SEAS DUTIES I WAS IN CHINA, BURMA AND INDIA AND I FLEW THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS AND THAT HAD A TERM CALLED THE "HUMP," BUT ACTUALLY INTRODUCED TO FLYING THE HUMP FROM INDIA OR TO CHINA ACROSS THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS. WE DID A MAJOR AMOUNT OF DROPPING TO JUNGLE WARFARE PEOPLE LIKE THE MAR TASK FORCE AND THE MERRILL'S MARAUDERS, VERY INTERESTING BIT OF SERVICE OVER THERE. OTHER THAN JUST JAPANESE HEROS, BUT THE MAJOR FACTOR WAS THE WEATHER. OVER THE MOUNTAINS THAT WAS ALL UNSURVEYED AND IT WAS ALL MOSTLY ON INSTRUMENTS. SO YOU DIDN'T KNOW FOR SURE IF YOU WOULD RUN INTO A MOUNTAIN OR NOT BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T SEE. A LOT OF PEOPLE DID RUN INTO MOUNTAINS OVER THERE. SO WE LOST PLANES TO WEATHER AND TERRAIN AND ENEMY FIRE. INTERESTING BIT OF HISTORY.

YOU WERE ACTUALLY A PILOT FOR HOW LONG?

WELL, I FLEW 217 COMBAT MISSIONS. BUT I WAS A PILOT ALL THE TIME DURING WORLD WAR II. AND I WAS IN THE ARMY AIR FORCE RESERVE FOR 20 YEARS.

WAS THERE A TIME IN WORLD WAR II WHEN YOU WERE FLYING THE HUMP AND DOING THE THINGS YOU WERE DOING WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU MIGHT NOT GET BACK?

OH, YOU THOUGHT THAT NEARLY EVERYDAY. YOU ARE YOUNG AND YOU DON'T WORRY ABOUT THINGS LIKE THAT WHEN YOU ARE 20 YEARS OLD. YOU KNOW THAT IS THE RIGHT TIME TO BE FLYING COMBAT. MANY PEOPLE HAVE DONE IT. MANY, MANY PEOPLE HAVE DONE IT. AND THESE NEW PILOTS AND NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT WE HAVE ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING TO ME, BACK WHEN WE WERE THERE OUR INSTRUMENTS WERE NOTHING BUT RADIO, COMPASS AND TEMPERATURE. NOW THEY HAVE MORE TO GO ON, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE A LOT HARDER --

SURE.

-- MACHINES TO MANEUVER. THE MAIN THING, EVERYBODY WENT AND DID DUTY. IF YOU GOT BACK IN ONE PIECE YOU COULD BE THANKFUL, THAT IS THE WHOLE STORY.

I'LL BET YOU WERE GLAD TO GET BACK TO HARRISON, ARKANSAS.

I WAS GLAD TO GET BACK TO THE UNITED STATES.

I'LL BET THEY WERE GLAD TO GET YOU BACK. ALONG THAT LINE, WHEN I DID COME BACK WE ASSUMED WE WOULD GO ON TO JAPAN. AND I WENT OUT TO CALIFORNIA AFTER WHEN I FIRST GOT BACK, WENT TO CALIFORNIA. AND EVERYBODY JUST ASSUMED WE WERE GETTING READY TO MAKE A MAJOR INVASION OF JAPAN. THAT WAS IN JULY OF '45 AND THEN YOU DROPPED BOMB AUGUST OF '45, THAT ENDED THAT REAL WORRY AND PROBABLY SAVED TEN MILLION LIVES.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE DAY THE BOMB WAS DROPPED? DO YOU REMEMBER THE DAY IT WAS DROPPED? DO YOU REMEMBER HEARING IT ON THE RADIO?

I DO.

I REMEMBER HEARING IT.

VERY WELL. JUST ANOTHER SIDE STORY, 40 YEARS LATER I WAS IN HIRO SHEEMA WITH JIM WRIGHT AND WAS THERE ON THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIME THAT THE BOMB WAS DROPPED. WE WERE THERE WITH THE JAPANESE AND THEY MADE THEIR SPEECH AND JIM WRIGHT MADE A SPEECH AND HE WAS VERY GOOD WITH WORDS BUT HE ALSO KIND OF LET THEM KNOW, WELL, YOU ALL STARTED IT.

IT WAS QUITE A MOMENTOUS OCCASION.

I'LL BET IT WAS.

THEY WERE VERY POLITE. JAPANESE ARE POLITE PEOPLE.

RIGHT.

WE WERE THERE 40 YEARS LATER. YOU ULTIMATELY RECEIVED ABOUT ANY AWARD ANY VETERANS ORGANIZATION, WHATEVER THEY MIGHT BE, WHETHER BE AMERICAN LEGION OR WHAT HAVE YOU, MANY, MANY HIGH AWARDS.

THOSE CAME MAINLY BECAUSE I WAS ON THE VETERANS AFFAIR COMMITTEE IN CONGRESS.

AND YOU WERE VERY ACTIVE IN ALL OF THESE ENDEAVORS DURING ALL THAT TIME. WE MENTIONED ONE SON, JOHN ARTHUR HAMMERSCHMIDT. AND JOHN ARTHUR HIMSELF HAS HAD VERY INTERESTING AND DISTINGUISHED CAREER. I WONDER IF YOU WOULD COMMENT ON THAT.

WELL, JOHN ARTHUR OF COURSE GREW UP IN HARRISON, AS WELL. BUT HE WENT OFF TO PREP SCHOOL IN ORANGE, VIRGINIA, BEFORE I EVER CONSIDERED RUNNING FOR CONGRESS. SO ACTUALLY WE JOINED HIM WHEN WE MOVED. HE WENT OFF LATER TO DARTMOUTH COLLEGE AND GRADUATED FROM THERE AND WENT TO VANDERBILT AND TO HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL. AND THEN AFTER THAT HE CAME BACK AND RAN OUR FAMILY BUSINESS FOR SEVERAL YEARS UNTIL HE FINALLY SOLD THAT TO SOME OLD FAMILY FRIENDS OF OURS IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, THE MEEKS. AND THEN HE WENT BACK TO WASHINGTON AND BECAME A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD WHERE HE SERVED FOR 18 YEARS, ACTUALLY QUIT AS ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THAT ORGANIZATION. THEN NOW HE SERVES IN HOMELAND SECURITY IN THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, BUT HE LIVES BASICALLY IN WASHINGTON.

LIVE NECESSARY -- LIVES IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

AND JOHN ARTHUR'S MOTHER AND YOUR PARTNER OF 57 YEARS, VIRGINIA, AND I BELIEVE ABOUT 1947 YOU BECAME MARRIED. SHE WAS A BOONE COUNTY PRODUCT, ALSO, IS THAT CORRECT?

RIGHT, SHE WAS BORN IN BELLFONT AND VIRGINIA IS THE GUIDING FORCE IN OUR FAMILY AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN.

ON JANUARY 2, 2006, AFTER BATTLING WITH CANCER AND PNEUMONIA, VIRGINIA HAMMERSCHMIDT, KNOWN AS GINNY, DIED AT THE AGE OF 77.

COME BACK FROM THE WAR AND YOU COME BACK TO HARRISON, ARKANSAS. AND YOU SAID, OKAY, I THINK I'M GOING TO COMMIT MYSELF TO THE FAMILY BUSINESS. AND LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE.

YES, I DID THE LOGICAL THING. MY FATHER RAN THE BUSINESS SO I WENT INTO THE BUSINESS ALSO, OF COURSE.

WELL, DID PEOPLE SAY, NOW JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT, HERE YOU ARE, YOU HAVE COME BACK, A YOUNG BUSINESSMAN, MARRIED AND WHATEVER, AND YOU SHOULDN'T BE FOOLING AROUND WITH THESE REPUBLICANS BECAUSE THERE IS NO REPUBLICANS, NO FUTURE. WERE YOU HEARING SOME OF THAT AT THAT TIME?

NO. I DIDN'T. AS I MENTIONED ABOUT MY FATHER, HE WAS ALWAYS SAY DON'T DISCUSS RELIGION OR POLITICS. HE WAS STILL LIVING WHEN I WAS ACTIVE IN POLITICS BUT HE WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT ME RUNNING MYSELF FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. HE DIED BEFORE THAT.

HE DIED IN '63.

BUT, I ALWAYS THOUGHT ABOUT DOES IT AFFECT OUR BUSINESS, BUT I DIDN'T LET IT DETER ME IN ANY WAY. I WENT RIGHT AHEAD WITH WHAT I BELIEVED IN.

SO JOHN PAUL, HERE WE ARE IN THE SPRING, 1966, WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER IN THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR. THEY'RE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO RUN IN THE THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT WHERE I THINK YOU SAID THAT THERE WAS POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY SEEMED TO BE AT THAT TIME MORE EVIDENT. BUT THEY COULDN'T QUITE COME UP WITH SOMEONE, HENSHAW, JERRY HENSHAW, SAID NO, I DON'T WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? HOW DO THEY DECIDE TO FIELD A CANDIDATE BY JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT FROM HARRISON TO TAKE ON THE VENERABLE, I MIGHT SAY, JIM TREMBLE OF ARKANSAS.

AS YOU MENTIONED I WAS STATE CHAIRMAN, WORKING ON THE ROCKEFELLER CAMPAIGN ON A REGULAR BASIS, MEETING WITH ALL HIS BRAIN-TRUST. AND WE WERE SITTING THERE AND THINKING WELL, WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMEBODY IN THE THIRD DISTRICT. I DISCUSS WIDE JERRY HENSHAW AND HE DECLINED TO RUN. SO GETTING CLOSE TO FINALLY TIME AND HE SAID, WHY DON'T YOU RUN, TO ME. I SAID, WELL, I DON'T MIND SUPPORTING PRIMA DONNAS, I JUST DON'T WANT TO BE ONE. SO I DECLINED FOR THE TIME BEING BUT I THOUGHT, WELL, IT IS GETTING PRETTY SERIOUS, CLOSE TO FILING TIME. THE NEXT DAY OR THE DAY FOLLOWING THAT I DECIDED TO GO AHEAD AND RUN. SO I FILED. AND THEN I REALIZED THAT IT WAS GETTING VERY, IT WAS A SERIOUS DECISION. I HAD TO RETHINK THROUGH WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO WITH OUR BUSINESS AND WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO WITH MY TIME AND HOW I WAS GOING TO STRUCTURE MY CAMPAIGN AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. SO I GOT VERY INVOLVED IN THAT AND DECIDED THE TYPE CAMPAIGN I WAS GOING TO RUN. I WAS STILL AT THE SAME TIME INVOLVED IN THE ROCKEFELLER CAMPAIGN. I WOULD MEET WITH THEM EVERY SATURDAY MORNING DOWN IN THE BUILDING AND GO OVER WIN'S CAMPAIGN AND I WAS ON THE SIDE STRUCTURING MY CAMPAIGN.

DID THEY SAY, JOHN PAUL, WE'RE GOING TO GIVE YOU HELP FROM THE STATE PARTY UP IN YOUR DISTRICT? DID THEY FEEL ENCOURAGED THAT -- OR DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MIGHT BE JUST A SORT OF A YOU KNOW A THROW AWAY CANDIDATE THEY WERE USING AT THAT TIME? DID YOU EVER SENSE THAT?

SINCE IT WAS REALLY MY DECISION AND THEIR DECISION I DIDN'T FEEL THAT WAY AT ALL. ONCE I FILED I THOUGHT THIS IS SERIOUS AND I REALLY NEED TO TRY TO WIN. I TRY TO DEVELOP A STRATEGY OF HOW I MIGHT WIN. I DECIDED TO RUN A SEPARATE CAMPAIGN FROM THE ROCKEFELLER, THE ROCKEFELLER MOMENTUM WAS VERY MUCH A PART OF THE ATMOSPHERE. BUT I RAN MY CAMPAIGN ENTIRELY SEPARATELY, I RAN A DIFFERENT TYPE CAMPAIGN. I RAN DIFFERENT TYPE OF ADS, I WOULD BE IN THE TOWER BUILDING AND HUGH OR AL POLLARD, WAS AN ADVERTISING PERSON AND THEY WOULD HAVE ME A SLICK CAMPAIGN POSTER ALL DEVISE IT LOOKED LIKE A SLICK AD. I WOULD TAKE IT INTO AL POLLARD AND WRITE IT LIKE A GROCERY STORE AD, TOTALLY REDO IT. I THOUGHT IT LOOKED LIKE A ROCKEFELLER ACTIVITY. SO I WANTED TO DIVORCE MYSELF FROM THAT, NOT THAT I DIDN'T SUPPORT HIM, BUT WE WERE TWO THINKERS, I WANTED TO MAKE IT LOOK THAT WAY. I WAS CAREFUL TO SEPARATE ALL MY ADS AWAY FROM WIN. WE ONLY IN THAT CAMPAIGN I RAN 100-DAY CAMPAIGN. AND WE ONLY APPEARED TOGETHER ABOUT THREE OR FOUR TIMES.

WERE -- THIS WAS SOME YEARS BACK, WHAT ABOUT POLLING AT THAT TIME? WERE THERE POLLS OUT THERE?

THERE WERE POLLS. I GOT AHOLD OF THE OLD POSTER I CONSIDER TO BE THE BELVE POLLSTER IN ARKANSAS. HE USED REAL LIVE PEOPLE POSTED ACROSS THE STATE. SO WE MADE A DEAL HE WOULD DO POLLS FOR ME. HE DID FIVE ALL TOGETHER. HIS NAME?

GENE NEWSOME.

GENE NEWSOME.

WHEN WE FIRST STARTED BY THAT TIME I HAD 16 PERCENT NAME RECOGNITION, WHICH WAS HE SAID RATHER HIGH AT THAT TIME FOR SOMEBODY WHO HAD NEVER BEEN IN OFFICE. HE STARTED DOING THE POLLS AND I USED TO HAVE THE CHARTS. BUT AS I WOULD GET ADS, THOSE POLLS WENT FROM 16 TO LIKE 23 TO 25 TO 28. THE LAST ONE I MAY NOT BE TELLING IT EXACTLY RIGHT, BUT THE LAST ONE ON THE TUESDAY BEFORE THE ELECTION WAS 45, 45 WITH 10 PERCENT UNDECIDED. AND SO HE SAID, YOU ARE GOING TO PEAK AND PROBABLY GET 53 TO 54 OF THE VOTE. I HAD NO IDEA WHETHER THAT WAS CORRECT OR NOT. I KNEW HE WAS GOOD. SO I GOT 53.4 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. SO I WASN'T SURPRISED WHEN I GOT ELECTED.

JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT BECAME THE FIRST REPUBLICAN FROM ARKANSAS TO COME TO WASHINGTON IN 100 YEARS, THE FIRST TO BE ELECTED TO CONGRESS SINCE THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD.

WELL, I REMEMBER JOHN PAUL, THIS IS A PERSONAL MATTER BETWEEN YOU AND ME. I REMEMBER SEEING YOU IN THE HALLS A FEW DAYS AFTER THE ELECTION WE WERE UP THERE LOOKING AND TRYING TO FIND OFFICE SPACE AND A PLACE TO LIVE AND WHAT HAVE YOU. AND I SAID, WELL, JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT, MY GOSH, I SAID, I DIDN'T THINK YOU WERE GOING TO GET HERE. HE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, I DIDN'T THINK YOU WERE, EITHER. WE STARTED OFF ON THE SAME FOOTING, BUT OUR RELATIONSHIP AND MEMBERSHIP IN THE HOUSE WAS VERY, VERY INTERESTING. AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MORE. I'VE ENJOYED HIM.

YOU COME TO WASHINGTON IN JANUARY OF 1967. DID YOU HAVE AN AGENDA? DID YOU HAVE THINGS YOU WANTED TO TO AS A CONGRESSMAN?

NO, NOT SPECIFICALLY. FIRST WE WENT TO BRIEFINGS, YOU KNOW, BRIEFINGS I FORGOTTEN THE NAME OF THAT PLACE DOWN THERE, SOME THINK TANK HOUSE. MEL LAIRD AND FORD AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT, GAVE US BRIEFINGS ABOUT WHAT CONGRESS WAS ALL ABOUT. I GOT A BOOK THAT EXPLAINED WHAT CONGRESS WAS ALL ABOUT AND WHAT THE DUTIES AND ENUMERATIONS WERE OF THE JOB.

RIGHT.

OUR CLASS ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE THAT YEAR AS I RECALL HAD 14 MEMBERS IN THE CLASS, THEY WERE 14 OF US, I THINK MORE REPUBLICANS, I'M NOT SURE, BUT THERE WAS ONE REPUBLICAN ON THE CONGRESSMAN FROM HOUSTON FROM THE HOUSTON AREA, WHO YOU BECAME VERY, VERY CLOSELY ALIGNED WITH AND PERSONALLY IDENTIFIED WITH AS A FRIEND. PROBABLY HIS BEST FRIEND IN YOUR CLASS AND MAYBE EVEN IN THE WHOLE CONGRESS WAS CONGRESSMAN GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH. TALK ABOUT THAT RELATIONSHIP A LITTLE BIT.

WELL, WE DEVELOPED A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP AND WE DID A LOT OF THINGS TOGETHER AND WE KIND OF THOUGHT ALIKE. HAD A LOT OF PRIVATE DISCUSSIONS AND WE RAN AROUND TOGETHER AND GEORGE HAD A BOAT DOWN ON THE RIVER AND HE ALWAYS LOVED FAST BOATS. SO WE WERE FRESHMEN, WE HAD TIME TO GO DOWN THE RIVER ON THAT BOAT AND TIE UP OUTSIDE OF MOUNT VERNON AND HAVE BEER AND CHEESE AND CRACKERS AND COME BACK. WE HAD A LOT OF GREAT EXPERIENCES TOGETHER.

JOHN PAUL, WHAT ABOUT YOUR -- YOU SERVED THE SIX PRESIDENTS. LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THOSE PRESIDENTS. YOU SERVED WITH LBJ, THAT WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT YOU SERVED WITH. YOU SERVED WITH NIXON, WITH FORD, WITH JIMMY CARTER, WITH GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH.

REAGAN.

SIX PRESIDENTS. SORT OF WALK THROUGH THOSE, IF YOU WOULD JUST A MOMENT AND GIVE ME YOUR FLASH-BACK MEMORIES IN CONDENSED FORM.

THAT WOULD BE KIND OF HARD TO CONDENSE.

YES, IT WOULD.

LET ME SAY WHEN THEY WERE A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT IN OFFICE THERE, MANY TIMES I WAS THE ONLY REPUBLICAN FROM ARKANSAS, SO AS SUCH I WOULD HAVE PEOPLE COME BY TO SEE ME FROM BLYTHEVILLE AND FROM ELDORADA BECAUSE I HAD THAT WHITE HOUSE CONTACT. THAT GAVE ME SORT OF A STATEWIDE RECOGNITION, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE PEOPLE WOULD BRING THEIR VIEWS TO ME JUST LIKE THEY WOULD TO YOU.

DO YOU REMEMBER MEETING LBJ?

YES, I REMEMBER MEETING HIM VERY WELL. I TELL YA A STORY ABOUT THAT, IT MAY BE TOO LONG, I WILL TELL YOU REAL QUICK WE FIRST WENT THERE WARD GOODMAN WHO WAS THEN DIRECTOR OF THE HIGHWAY CALLED ME AND I GUESS HE CALLED OUR DELEGATION, BUT HE CALLED OUR OFFICE AND I TALKED WITH HIM PERSONALLY. HE SAID, CONGRESSMAN, OUR ROAD BEDS ARE DETERIORATING, WE HAVE 50 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF ROAD BEDS DETERIORATING BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT HAS THE HIGHWAY FUNDS POSTED. AND IT IS JUST BAD ECONOMICS. SO I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH SENSE TO PUT THE CALL THE WHITE HOUSE AND MADE AN APPOINTMENT. NOW AFTER I GOT MORE SENIOR I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE THAT THAT WAY AT ALL. FOUR OF US HAD THE SAME PROBLEM IN OUR DISTRICTS, I FORGOTTEN THE OTHER THREE ACTUALLY. FOUR OF US WENT DOWN THERE AND MADE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE AND HE WAS GOING TO GIVE US 15 MINUTES. WE WENT DOWN TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND HE SAID, ALL RIGHT, I KNOW. OF COURSE HE WAS BRIEFED ABOUT WHY WE WERE GOING TO BE THERE. HE SAID, LET ME TELL YOU, WE GOT A WAR ON AND I'VE GOT FUNDS FROZEN EVERYWHERE. I GOT FUNDS FROZEN FOR THE MILITARY HOUSING, FOR THE POOR FOLKS HOUSING, I GOT ROAD FUNDS FROZEN, HE SAID NOW, YOU KNOW I GOT A LOT OF TOUGH DECISIONS TO MAKE. LET ME TAKE A POLL AMONG YOU FOUR HERE. HE SAID, WHICH ONES OF YOU THINK I OUGHT TO UNFREEZE THE POOR FOLKS HOUSING? HOLD UP YOUR HAND. WE DIDN'T. HE SAID HOW ABOUT MILITARY HOUSING? HUD HOUSING? NONE OF US HELD UP OUR HAND. HOW ABOUT ROADS, WE HELD UP OUR HAND. HE SAID, ALL RIGHT, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I'M GOING TO DO, YOU GOT PRESS SECRETARIES. WE ALL SAID YES. I DIDN'T HAVE, I HAD STAFF. ANYWAY, HE SAID, YOU GO BACK AND TELL YOUR PRESS SECRETARY TO SAY YOU WERE DOWN AND SAW THE PRESIDENT AND HE GOING TO RELEASE WHATEVER THE FIGURE WAS, 600 MILLION NATIONALLY OF FEDERAL HIGHWAY FUNDS NEXT FRIDAY OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. OF COURSE HE ALREADY HAD IT ALL PLANNED, WE DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT, BUT WE HAPPENED TO BE THERE AT AN OPPORTUNE TIME. I CALLED WARREN GOODMAN AND TOLD HIM THE PRESIDENT SAID HE WAS GOING TO RELEASE THE FUNDS. SO LBJ KIND OF WON ME OVER. I WENT UP THERE DISLIKING HIM AND HE WON ME OVER THE FIRST MONTH I WAS THERE. HE WAS GOOD.

HE WAS A MASTER, WASN'T HE.

HE WAS SOMETHING.

OH, BOY, I HAVE A FEW GOOD MEMORIES OF HIM.

YOU KNOW, ONE MORE LBJ STORY, YOU KNOW HOW WE CALL THE WHITE HOUSE WHEN WE WERE FRESHMEN AND WHATEVER ROOM THAT IS WHERE THEY HAVE ALL THAT, SO VIRGINIA WAS PICKING UP FINGER SANDWICHES AND BIG OLD HAND CAME AROUND AND REACHED AROUND AND SAID, CAN I HELP YOU, HONEY. IT WAS LBJ. IT SCARED VIRGINIA TO DEATH. CAN I HELP YOU, HONEY. HE WAS GOING AROUND THE TABLE KIND OF HUGGING WOMEN.

UNCONTROLLABLE, REALLY, HE WAS UNCONTROLLABLE.

YEAH.

HE WAS AMAZING GUY.

AMAZING. I'VE LISTENED TO HIS TAPES, SO FUNNY.

TWO SETS OF TAPES DOWN THERE, JUST WONDERFUL.

THEY ARE VERY GOOD PARTS OF OUR HISTORY.

THEY ARE.

NIXON. TELL US ABOUT RICHARD NIXON, WHAT WAS YOUR WORKING RELATIONSHIP?

I HAD A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH RICHARD NIXON, IN THE '66 RACE.

YOU CAME IN '69 TO THE ARKANSAS-TEXAS GAME WITH HIM.

YEAH, BUT BEFORE THAT IN 1966, RICHARD NIXON CAME IN A MEETING WITH WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER AND MYSELF TO FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS ON FRIDAY BEFORE THE, I THINK IT WAS. THEN JERRY FORD CAME THE VERY NEXT DAY AND WENT TO HUNTSVILLE. JERRY FORD, BY THAT TIME OUR POLLS HAD KIND OF LEAKED OUT THEY MAYBE HAD A CHANCE. JERRY FORD CAME DOWN AND DOWN TO HUNTSVILLE FROM SPRINGDALE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOOTBALL FIELD. JERRY FORD SAID, WHERE ARE WE? I SAID, YOU ARE IN HOMETOWN. SO --

WAS IT A FOOTBALL GAME?

NO. BUT NIXON CAME DOWN TO THAT TO HELP ME SO, YOU KNOW, WE WERE CLOSE.

JIMMY CARTER, WHAT ABOUT JIMMY CARTER. DO YOU REMEMBER HIM?

OF COURSE, YEAH. YOU KNOW I WAS ON THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGING. I WAS RANKING MEMBER WITH CLAUDE PEPPER. WE CHAIRED A CONGRESSIONAL AGING COMMITTEE, I'M TRYING TO THINK OF THE NAME OF IT. LIKE A WHITE HOUSE COMMITTEE WE DECIDED TO DO A CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE. AND ROSLYN CHAIRED THAT. PRESIDENT CARTER NEVER GOT HIS ACT TOTALLY TOGETHER. BUT JIMMY CARTER I THINK WAS A MAN OF REAL PRINCIPLE AND MEANT VERY WELL. AND MAYBE TOO MUCH SO. HE WAS ALWAYS WANTING TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK TOO MUCH.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN.

OF COURSE HE WAS GREAT. I THOUGHT HE WAS TERRIFIC IN WAYS HE COMMUNICATED WITH PEOPLE. HE KNEW WHERE HE WANTED THE COUNTRY TO GO AND APPOINTED PEOPLE THAT TOOK HIM IN THAT DIRECTION AND HE STAYED BEHIND THE SCENES AND PUBLIC APPEARANCES, YOU COULDN'T BEAT HIM AND APPEARANCE. HE STAYED FOCUSED. I WAS AT CAMP DAVID WITH HIM, I HAVE A PICTURE OF US AT CAMP DAVID, WE ENJOYED THAT.

PRESIDENT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT BUSH 1 AND I KNOW YOUR FRIENDSHIP IN THE HOUSE AND HE IS ELECTED TO PRESIDENCY AND YOU STILL REMAINED VERY CLOSE DURING THOSE YEARS AS YOU DO NOW.

YEAH, WE WERE VERY CLOSE.

AND HE HAD YOU ON MANY OCCASIONS, I THINK, TO SEEK YOUR COUNCIL.

WE DID SEVERAL THINGS. HE APPOINTED ME ON A COMMISSION AFTER LOCKERBIE PAN AM 103 TRAGIC ACCIDENT ON THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF SECURITY TERRORISM, THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I DID WHILE HE WAS THERE. AND WE WROTE A REPORT AND JIM OVERSHARPE SAYS IF THEY WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED OUR REPORT THEY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD 9-11, THAT MIGHT BE TRUE, BUT WE DID INTERESTING REPORT TO READ.

THAT REPORT, WHICH CAME OUT IN 1990, 11 YEARS BEFORE 9-11, CONTAINED MORE THAN 60 RECOMMENDATIONS DESIGNED TO IMPROVE CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY TO DETER AND PREVENT TERRORIST ATTACKS. THE MAJORITY WHICH WERE NEVER IMPLEMENTED UNTIL AFTER 9-11.

LET ME, IF I COULD, GO BACK TO AN EVENTUAL CAMPAIGN THAT WE'VE NOT TALKED ABOUT AND THAT WOULD BE YOUR POLITICAL CAMPAIGN FOR REELECTION IN THE YEAR 1974. THERE WAS A YOUNG LAW PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS NAMED WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, HE DECIDED HE WANTED TO BE A CONGRESSMAN. HE WANTED YOUR SEAT. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT CAMPAIGN A MOMENT.

I REMEMBER HIM WELL.

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT CAMPAIGN, JOHN PAUL?

I REMEMBER I WAS TIED UP IN CONGRESS. AND I KNEW HERE WAS THIS VERY BRIGHT PERSONABLE YOUNG MAN AND I KNEW A LITTLE BIT OF HIS REPUTATION ABOUT HOW GOOD HE WAS AT SPEAKING AND COMMUNICATING WITH PEOPLE. AND SO I KNEW THAT WAS A THREATENING OPPONENT, BUT I COULDN'T DO MUCH ABOUT IT. I CAME BACK IN MY DISTRICT OFFICE AND SAID I ONLY SAW PEOPLE IN A BUSINESS SENSE. I DIDN'T REALLY CAMPAIGN UNTIL WE CONVENED OR ADJOURNED THE CONGRESS. AND WE ONLY HAD 17 DAYS IN '74 FOR THAT TO HAPPEN. SO I KNEW THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE VERY CLOSE. I DID HAVE ACCESS TO HIS POLLS. I HAD A MOLE IN HIS OPERATION. I DID SEE HIS POLLS AT THE SAME TIME I SAW MY POLLS. HIS POLLSTER, I STILL SEE HIM ON TELEVISION, THEY HAD A FALLING OUT. BUT THAT CAMPAIGN WAS A TOUGH ONE. BUT I DIDN'T HAVE LONG TO RUN IT. I DID A LOT OF TELEVISION AND RADIO AND TRYING TO -- I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO TELL HOW IT WAS. HE HAD A REAL KNACK WITH WORDS AND THAT ALWAYS IRRITATED ME BECAUSE I THOUGHT HE WAS LEAVING THE WRONG IMPRESSION ABOUT MY VOTING RECORD AND ABOUT OTHER THINGS ABOUT ME. BUT NEVERTHELESS --

CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT WAS AUTHOR AND INITIATING SPONSOR OF LEGISLATION WHICH PRESERVED BUFFALO RIVER AS A FREE-FLOWING STREAM. AFTER IT WAS ADDED TO NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM IN 1972, THE BUFFALO RIVER BECAME AMERICA'S FIRST NATIONAL RIVER.

JOHN PAUL, THE LATE JUSTICE WILLIAM DOUGLAS OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, WOULD COME TO THE BUFFALO RIVER, FLOAT THE RIVER, AND DECLARE IT AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENIC RIVER IN AMERICA, MAYBE NORTH AMERICA. THIS PROBABLY WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED THE SCENIC RIVER WITHOUT LEGISLATION YOU TOOK ON AND YOU PROPOSED TO CREATE THE BUFFALO RIVER AS A SCENIC RIVER. TALK ABOUT THAT.

WELL, THAT IS PROBABLY TRUE. I WAS VERY AWARE OF DOUGLAS' TRIPS DOWN HERE AND OTHER CELEBRITIES. I HAD TO TRY, AFTER I DECIDED I WANTED TO LEAVE THE BUFFALO A FREE-FLOWING STREAM, I HAD TO DEVELOP A POLITICAL BASE FOR THAT THAT WAS STRONGER THAN THE OPPONENTS OF THE IDEA. IN THE CONGRESS AS WELL AS IN THE CONSTITUENCY. SO I HAD TO THINK ABOUT HOW TO DO THAT. BY THE TIME I WAS THERE LET'S SAY TWO OR THREE TERMS I BEGAN TO DEVELOP THAT STRATEGY AND CONGRESSMAN ASPENNALL, THE HEAD OF THE COMMITTEE, WAYNE WAS NEVER PARTICULARLY FRIENDLY WITH ME BECAUSE I THINK A LOT OF OLDER MEMBERS HAD ABOUT KNOW CLOSE TO JUDGE TREMBLE. THEY THOUGHT HERE HE IS TAKING JUDGE TREMBLE'S PLACE AND THEY DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO EVALUATE ME. BUT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME I WAS ABLE TO DEVELOP THEIR FRIENDSHIP AND CONFIDENCE, AT LEAST, I TALKED WITH WAYNE ABOUT THE BUFFALO RIVER AND HIS COUNTER PART ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE WAS JOHN SADER,. JOHN SADER HAD BEEN DOWN THE BUFFALO HIMSELF. I DON'T THINK WAYNE EVER CAME DOWN HERE. BUT ANYWAY, FINALLY I SAID I'M GOING TO INTRODUCE THIS BILL AND HAD IT DRAFTED. AND SO I REALLY GOT HIS BLESSING BEHIND THE SCENES TO GO AHEAD WITH IT. WHEN I DRAFT THAD BUFFALO RIVER BILL I THINK I GOT ALL OF OUR DELEGATION TO SIGN ON TO IT FROM THE HOUSE SIDE BECAUSE I THOUGHT THAT IT NEEDED THAT STRENGTH. SO HERE I HAD PROBABLY DAVID WAS SIGNED ON TO IT AND BILL ALEXANDER AND WILBURR, AND SO ON. ANYWAY, IT TOOK QUITE A BIT OF DOING TO GET THAT BILL THROUGH. BUT THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR WAS STRONGER FOR IT, CORPS OF ENGINEER WERE NOT FOR IT. BUT THAT ALL DEVELOPED INTO THE BUFFALO RIVER NATIONAL PARK.

HOW CLOSE DID WE COME AS A STATE AND PEOPLE TO PUTTING A DAM ON THE BUFFALO RIVER?

WE CAME FAIRLY CLOSE, BUT ONE OF THE GOVERNORS PUT AN ACTUAL STOP TO IT, I THINK, WHICH PUT A SAY ON IT. SO IT WAS DEVELOPED JUST LIKE THE REST OF OUR OTHER STREAMS, BUT IT WAS NECESSARY THAT WE PASS LEGISLATION TO ENSURE THAT IT WOULD BE A FREE-FLOWING. WHEN WE DID THAT, THEN OF COURSE WE SET THE GROUND WORK AND IT BECAME THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER.

BUT ALL THE CARDS WERE LINED UP ESPECIALLY AT ONE TIME THAT THIS DAM WAS ON ITS WAY TO BEING CONSTRUCTED.

OH, YEAH, ORIGINALLY THERE WERE TWO DAMS AND THEY WANTED THE CORPS CHANGED IT. THEN THEY CHANGED IT TO ONE DAM, AND THEY WERE GETTING CLOSE TO WANTING TO START ON IT. BUT THEY NEVER GOT A TOTAL ENDORSEMENT OF THE CONGRESS. AND THEN YOU HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THE LITTLE ROCK AREA, BUT PEOPLE LIKE DR. NEIL COMPTON, HE WAS A ONE-MAN RUSADE.

OTHERS, OZARK SOCIETY ESTABLISHED BY THEM. THE HEDGES HAD MOVED DOWN HERE, HAROLD AND MARGARET HEDGES. THOSE TYPE PEOPLE WERE VERY STRONG SUPPORTERS OF THE RIVER ISSUE. SO IT ALL CAME OUT GOOD. I THINK IT'S BEEN A GREAT THING. EVEN TODAY PEOPLE WERE STRONGLY OPPOSED HAVE BEEN RELOCATE REESTABLISHED THEIR LIVES, I THINK THEY, TOO, THINK IT IS PROBABLY A GOOD THING.

A KNOWN FACT IS THAT CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT WAS THE ORIGINAL SPONSOR OF A BILL FOR A NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL TO BE LOCATED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. SOMETHING HE CREDITS HIS FORMER SPEECH WRITER JIM WEBB WHO LATER BECAME SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

THE REASON I HAPPEN TO DO THAT WAS BECAUSE OF JIM WEBB. HE DRAFTED LEGISLATION AND I INTRODUCED IT. WHEN I INTRODUCED IT, THERE WAS DIVISION AMONG YOUNG VIETNAM VETERANS IN THE WAR. A YOUNG GUY, WHO WAS A REAL PROMOTER, SELF-PROMOTER, DAN SCRUGGS, WHO BECAME SONONE MUSFOR THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL. THEY WERE VERY, VERY UPSET I INTRODUCED THAT BILL. THEY WANTED TO SAVE IT FOR MORE PRESTIGIOUS INTRODUCTION. SO JACK WARNER AND -- WHO IS THE MARYLAND CONGRESSMAN? MACK MATTHIAS. THREE OR FOUR WEEKS LATER THEY DRAFTED THE SAME BILL, BUT HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE. SO I WENT OVER THERE, BUT I DIDN'T SAY A WORD ANYBODY THAT I INTRODUCED THE BILL AND LET THEM TAKE ALL THE GLORY BECAUSE IT WAS THEIR DISTRICT, VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND. BUT IF YOU GO BACK TO THE RECORD YOU WILL SEE I INTRODUCED THE ORIGINAL BILL. SO YOU KNOW THERE WAS A CONFERENCE TO PASS THE SAME BILL.

IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN VIETNAM MEMORIAL IS THE MOST LIELY VISITED MEMORIAL IN WASHINGTON.

PROBABLY IS, MAYBE WORLD WAR II MIGHT OUTDO THAT NOW.

ANOTHER STORY IS THAT THE 1969 ARKANSAS-TEXAS GAME THAT PRESIDENT NIXON CAME TO ARKANSAS. AND YOU CAME WITH WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER WAS THE GOVERNOR AT THAT TIME. AND ONE OF THE CLASSIC PICTURES OF ALL TIMES WE SEE PLASTERED EVERYWHERE IS THAT PICTURE IN THE STADIUM OF YOU AND NIXON AND ROCKEFELLER AND BILL FULLRIGHT AND JOHN MCCLELLAN WERE ALL THERE THAT DAY.

I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT OUR TRIP. WE LEFT WASHINGTON AND JAKE PICKLE AND PRICE ALL HAD ORANGE STUFF, TEXAS GARB. I DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING RED AT THAT TIME. JIM FULLBRIGHT HAD A RED TIE AND THAT WAS ABOUT IT. WE ALL BOARDED THE PLANE AT ANDREWS FIELD. PLUS HENRY KISSINGER PLUS NIXON. I WILL THINK OF HIS NAME. WE WERE ON THE PLANE AND GOT DOWN TO FORT SMITH TO MEET WIN, GOVERNOR ROCKEFELLER AT THAT TIME. IT WAS LOW SEATING, THEY COULDN'T GET THE BIG AIR FORCE PLANE INTO FAYETVILLE, SO WE GOT IN, THEY HAD THREE MARINE HELICOPTERS, MARINE ONE, TWO AND THREE. THEY PUT ALL OF US VIP'S IN THE FIRST HELICOPTER, MARINE ONE. WE GOT IN THERE AND BUSH AND I WERE SITTING ON A BENCH SEAT ACROSS FROM NIXON, WHO WAS FACING GOVERNOR ROCKEFELLER. THEY WERE FACING EACH OTHER. WE WERE SITTING HERE, WE COULD BE PART OF THEIR CONVERSATION IF THEY SO CHOSE. BEHIND THEM MCCLELLAN AND FULLBRIGHT AND PRICE AND PICKLE AND KISSINGER. WE TOOK OFF AND GOT UP TO ABOUT WINSLOW AND THE CITY WAS ABOUT 200 FEET HIGH INTO THE HILLS. WE STARTED CIRCLING REAL LOW AND WE LOOKED DOWN AND CATTLE WERE RUNNING AROUND IN CIRCLES. WE WERE SPOOKING THE CATTLE. I TOLD BUSH, I HOPE THAT CONSTITUENT DOESN'T KNOW WHO IS UP THERE WE ARE RUNNING A LOT OF POUNDS OFF HIS FEET. HE SAID, HOW DO THEY LET A PRESIDENT GET IN A HAIRY SITUATION LIKE THIS. WE ARE BOTH OLD PILOTS. SO ANYWAY, YOU KNOW I SAID, PROBABLY JUST GOOD PLANNING. WE WERE LAUGHING ABOUT THAT. HE SAID, YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY GIVE THE EULOGIES ON THE HOUSE FLOOR NEXT MONDAY, HE SAID THERE IS SO MUCH RANK ON THIS HELICOPTER WE WON'T GET OUR NAME IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. THE REASON WE WERE CIRCLING, THEY HAD ASKED FOR A DIFFERENT LANDING PATTERN. THEY WERE GOING TO LAND AT DRAKE FIELD. NIXON WAS VERY IRRITABLE ABOUT BEING LATE SO HE WANTED TO GET CLOSER. LAND ON THE PRACTICE FIELD. THEY GOT CLEARANCE FROM THE FAA TO LAND ON THE PRACTICE FIELD. THEY GOT THAT CLEARANCE AND WE TOOK OFF AND LANDED ON THE PRACTICE FIELD IN A HELICOPTER. THE GAME HAD ALREADY STARTED. THEY LET DOWN THE DOOR AND AS BUSH AND I WERE COMING DOWN THE HELICOPTER RIGHT BEHIND SENATOR, THE GOVERNOR AND PRESIDENT, THIS BIG ROAR CAME UP FROM THE STADIUM. THEY SCORED, I THOUGHT. THEY ARE ALREADY AHEAD. WE GOT UP THERE AND ACTUALLY WE HADN'T SCORED WE RECOVERED THE FUMBLE, THAT WAS THAT ROAR. THAT GAME WAS SOMETHING AND IT LASTED UP TO THE LAST THREE MINUTES. WE WERE WAY AHEAD IN THE THIRD QUARTER.

THAT IS RIGHT.

THIS WAS WITH THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

YES. SHOOT-OUT. ANYWAY THAT WAS QUITE AN EVENT.

JOHN PAUL I'M JUST ABSOLUTELY FLABBERGASTED AND AMAZED AND VERY IMPRESSED TO BE HERE IN THE JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT CONFERENCE CENTER IN NORTH ARKANSAS COLLEGE IN HARRISON, IN YOUR HOMETOWN AND DEVELOPED WITH YOUR PICTURES AND MEMOR BILLIA AND WONDERFUL MEMORIES OF YOUR PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CAREER IN AND OUT OF OFFICE. AND IT HAS JUST BEEN AN HONOR TO BE HERE. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THIS PLACE.

DAVID, I'M HERE SORT OF ACCIDENTALLY IN A WAY. I LANGUAGE CONGRESS. ELDON SHIPLEY OVER AT THE LIBRARY IN THE UNIVERSITY WANTED ME TO SEND HER TO THE LIBRARY, THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS, MY RECORDS, WHICH I DID. I COMPLIED WITH THAT, SENT THEM A TRAILER TRUCK LOAD, 1400 BOXES OVER THERE OF MY WRITTEN MATERIAL. BUT I DID HAVE A LOT OF PICTURES AND PLAQUES AND ALL THIS STUFF AROUND STORED AWAY SEPARATELY AND WHEN I BROUGHT IT DOWN HERE IT WAS STORED IN A ROOM FOR FIVE YEARS IN DR. BILL BAKER THEN PRESIDENT OF THIS COLLEGE, SAID, WELL, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. BUT PREVIOUS TO THAT, LET ME BACK UP A LITTLE BIT, WHEN I WAS STILL IN CONGRESS VICE PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH CAME DOWN HERE AND DEDICATED A PLAZA OUT HERE AND A FOUNTAIN AND SO THEY HAD THAT NAMING PROCESS BACK THERE WHEN I WAS IN CONGRESS. THEN AFTER I GOT BACK DR. BAKER SAID THEY NEEDED TO BUILD AN ADDITION HERE AND COULD I HELP THEM WITH THAT. SO I WROTE THEM LETTERS TO MANY, MANY FRIENDS AND CONSTITUENTS AND THEY WERE VERY FORTHCOMING IN ALL THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS. WE BUILT THE JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT CONFERENCE CENTER, WHICH IS A BIG PART OF THE FUNDING FOR THE PEOPLE THAT RESPONDED IN THAT LETTER. I CONTRIBUTED MYSELF TO THAT. BUT THE MOST REWARDING PART OF THIS JOB OF ALL OF IT IS SERVING OTHER PEOPLE, THAT IS KIND OF WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT ANYWAY. AND SO THAT WAS A REWARD ENOUGH FOR THIS JOB, BETTER THAN THE MONEY OR BETTER THAN ANY OTHER PART OF BEING ABLE TO TOUCH PEOPLE'S LIVES. IT'S BEEN A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.

IT HAS BEEN A GREAT HONOR FOR ME TO HAVE BEEN HERE TODAY WITH MY FRIEND AND ALWAYS COLLEAGUE, JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT, WHO I'VE KNOWN FOR MANY YEARS AND WORKED WITH ON MANY OCCASIONS, HOPEFULLY FOR THE GOOD OF OUR STATE AND FOR ME TO BE ASKED TO COME BY AETN, TO COME AND VISIT WITH CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT DURING THIS TIME ABOUT HIS LIFE BEFORE POLITICS AND IN POLITICS AND AFTER POLITICS AND THE AFTERLIFE OF POLITICS IS SOMETHING I WILL ALWAYS TREASURE AND REMEMBER. CONGRESSMAN HAMMERSCHMIDT AND MYSELF ARE VERY, VERY ENDEBTED TO AETN FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF PROGRAMS LIKE THIS. WE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS. WE APPRECIATE BEING ALLOWED TO COME INTO YOUR HOMES SO YOU COULD BE A PART OF SOME OF THIS ARKANSAS AND AMERICAN HISTORY AND ALSO TO THE CENTER FOR ORAL AND VISUAL HISTORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS IN FAYETVILLE. WE HOPE IT IS GOING TO EXPAND AND SERVE ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN ALL CORNERS OF OUR STATE IN THE YEARS AND IN THE GENERATIONS TO COME. WE ARE VERY ENDEBTED TO THE LISTENERS AND TO THOSE WHO VIEWED OUR PROGRAM TONIGHT AND WE HOPE THAT WE'LL BE ABLE TO BRING YOU MORE IN THE FUTURE. CONGRESSMAN JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT, THANK YOU, FRIEND.

THANK YOU.

APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU.

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