Supreme Court Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education school desegregation decision.
East Arkansas politicians introduced four pro-segregation bills. One piece of legislation in particular was cause for concern, proposing to create a State Sovereignty Commission that would have far-reaching investigative powers into the activities of all organizations operating in the state.
In untypically strident language, Rockefeller condemned the bill as "dangerous" and warned that it would create "what you might call an Arkansas gestapo. It is far reaching in what it could do. No organization would be safe from embarrassment of an investigation, and behind closed doors, too. The pro-segregation bills passed and foreshadowed the conflict over school desegregation in the state that culminated in the Little Rock school crisis in September As far as industrial progress was concerned, the school crisis was an unmitigated disaster.
Rockefeller had sought to reason with Faubus not to call out the National Guard, without success. A Time magazine report claimed that "Rockefeller rushed to the executive Mansion, [and] pleaded against the move for more than two hours, arguing that it would give the state a bad name with industry.
I'm going to run for a third term [as governor], and if I don't do this, Jim Johnson [an arch segregationist and head of the Arkansas White Citizens' Council] and Bruce Bennett [segregationist Arkansas attorney general] Rockefeller continued to speak out against Faubus' actions, driving a wedge between the two men. When, in , Rockefeller met the residency requirements to run for office, he announced that he was thinking of running for governor as either a Republican or as an independent.
Eventually, bowing to popular opinion, he begrudgingly did so. But the political threat of Rockefeller only grew. Writing about the November election results, Arkansas Democrat reporter George Douthit noted, "Rockefeller, as leader of the Republicans in Arkansas, organized a good fight against the Democrats this last general election. While the voting results didn't seem to indicate this strength, it was offset because the Democrats really had to work and spend some money for the first time.
In fact, a lot of them were worried. Paul Van Dalsem of Perry County was chief among the worriers. The oldest member of the House and a close Faubus ally, in for the first time the Republicans had the temerity to run an opponent against him in the general election. Rockefeller think he is that he can get you opposition and take credit for everything?
Outsiders were incredulous at Rockefeller's treatment. Imagine a Republican holding office in Arkansas!
On his way to Okinawa in April , a Japanese kamikaze pilot attacked his ship the USS Henrico, resulting in a significant number of deaths and injuries, leaving Winthrop as the only surviving officer on board. Winthrop was initially happy to work along nonpartisan lines, but there were some things he was not willing to tolerate. Other third party and independent candidates. In untypically strident language, Rockefeller condemned the bill as "dangerous" and warned that it would create "what you might call an Arkansas gestapo. A History of Clarence 13X and - download pdf or read online. While in his hospital bed, Japan surrendered, bringing an end to hostilities. In two successive terms in office he advanced a reform agenda that, among other things, promoted African Americans in state government and looked to improve race relations, tackled the state's archaic prisons system and effectively suspended the death penalty, and continued to push economic development and two-party politics.
Rockefeller, come right on over. And if you want to bring along any of those industries, don't feel a bit shy about asking permission. Maybe the Arkansas Democrats will succeed, and Mr. Rockefeller will be out of a job. He might then be open to an offer from West Virginia. Many in Arkansas were also sympathetic.
The Harrison Daily Times said, "Some Arkansas legislators are wanting to shoot the state's Santa Claus," but "Rockefeller's efforts and money have been the best assets Arkansas ever had. Rockefeller should delight every intelligent citizen of our state.
The Arkansas Gazette concluded, "Across Arkansas a groundswell of public support for the embattled Winthrop Rockefeller shows how sadly his enemies misjudged the popular appreciation for Mr. Rockefeller's investments in and his services to the state. Once again, Faubus and his allies in the Arkansas General Assembly were forced to back down. But the writing was on the wall: Faubus continued to put pressure on Rockefeller to resign.
He packed the AIDC with his own cronies and tightened the fiscal reins, making Rockefeller's position untenable. Rockefeller summarized his achievements in his eight years with the AIDC: General state revenues have increased by better than 50 percent. In the year over the increase was at a rate of 8 percent and led the nation. In excess of new plants have moved to the State, and on all sides existing industry is expanding.
Rockefeller ran as a Republican against Faubus in the November gubernatorial election but lost against a firmly entrenched Democratic machine. Two years later, after Faubus bowed out, Rockefeller ran against and beat Democratic candidate Jim Johnson. Rockefeller became the first Arkansas Republican governor in 92 years. In two successive terms in office he advanced a reform agenda that, among other things, promoted African Americans in state government and looked to improve race relations, tackled the state's archaic prisons system and effectively suspended the death penalty, and continued to push economic development and two-party politics.
Over a period of 16 years between becoming AIDC chair in and leaving office as governor in , Rockefeller played a transformational role in the Arkansas economy and in its social and cultural infrastructure.
His lasting impact on Arkansas politics was evident in the sea change in the Democratic Party that dumped the ideologue segregationist candidates of the past in favor of new and more progressive leadership, many of whom continued Rockefeller's reform legacy. At a time when Arkansas was mired in economic problems, racial strife and entrenched one-party politics, and the social and cultural backwardness that came with them, Rockefeller's brand of moderate Republicanism provided a much-needed tonic for the state. As historian James C. Cobb explains, economic progress cannot guarantee progress in other areas "unless those who seek a developed economy are equally committed to a developed society as well.
He sought out and partnered with many other like-minded and sympathetic groups that shared his vision for a more democratic and forward-looking Arkansas. It was this coalition of interests that was influential in pushing a broad-based agenda for reform in the s on a number of fronts that opened up, if only tentatively and temporarily, the promise of making Arkansas one of the most innovative and dynamic of the Southern states.
Kirk is the George W. He is currently working on the first full-length biography of Winthrop Rockefeller. Although Winthrop enjoyed Lincoln, his parents felt that it was not equipping him adequately in his academic studies. He transferred to Loomis School in Windsor, Connecticut, a more traditional scholarly boarding school, in the eleventh grade. In his first semester, Winthrop flunked all his classes and faced an uphill struggle to get into university. He did eventually get accepted to Yale in the fall of , but still struggling academically he quit in the spring semester of to pursue a career in the oil industry.
Winthrop entered the oil industry on the ground floor, working the oil fields of Texas and Louisiana as a roustabout and roughneck from to For the next few years he pursued various interests, briefly working as a management trainee at Chase Bank in New York in ; playing a major role in the Greater New York Fund charitable campaign in the first six months of ; and becoming a founding member of Air Youth Corps, Inc. In early , he went back into the oil industry, working in Socony-Vacuum's now part of Exxonmobil foreign trade department.
World events intervened in the next phase of Winthrop's life. Plattsburg, as it had done in World War I, provided volunteer pre-enlistment training for private citizens. Army, becoming the only one of his siblings to see active service on the front lines. It was the beginning of a peripatetic six-year tour of duty that initially took him from postings coast-to-coast in the United States before traveling overseas to Honolulu, Hawaii, in April , having risen to the rank of major.
Winthrop was involved in three campaigns in the Pacific, in Guam and Leyte in , and in Okinawa in On his way to Okinawa in April , a Japanese kamikaze pilot attacked his ship the USS Henrico, resulting in a significant number of deaths and injuries, leaving Winthrop as the only surviving officer on board.
He suffered flash burns on his face and hands, and was sent back to Guam for a short period of treatment and recuperation, returning to Okinawa in May A few months later he was back in the hospital again with his second attack of infectious hepatitis of the war. While in his hospital bed, Japan surrendered, bringing an end to hostilities. Since it was clear that Winthrop would need an extended period of recovery, he was shipped back to the United States for convalescence.
Even before getting out of the hospital, Winthrop was planning his next project. Since it was clear that on his doctor's advice he would not be fit for a return to active duty anytime soon, Winthrop suggested to the War Department that he work on a study to make policy recommendations about the resettlement of returning veterans. After being released from the hospital, he travelled extensively to complete his "Report on Veterans Adjustment" in July Soon after delivering the report, he was discharged from the army as a lieutenant colonel and started work again at Socony-Vacuum where he travelled overseas in Europe and the Middle East.
Earning the title "the most eligible bachelor in America" in the national press all his brothers were married by then , Winthrop was featured in the society pages on a regular basis and romantically linked with a long string of starlets. One of these was Barbara Sears, better known through her nickname of "Bobo. She caught a break in by being named "Miss Lithuania" at the Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago, and then launched a modeling and minor acting career. The couple were estranged and headed for divorce when Bobo met Winthrop in New York in As the clock struck midnight on Valentine's Day, Feb.
The press hailed it a "Cinderella wedding" and the couple received a good deal of attention, capturing the public imagination.
The Arkansas Rockefeller (Southern Biography Series) [John L. Ward] on domaine-solitude.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This biography by John Ward . Editorial Reviews. About the Author. John L. Ward was Director of Public Relations for Winthrop Rockefeller from to and served as campaign.
Seven months later, on Sept. Win Paul would later also find his home in Arkansas, and follow his father into political office there as lieutenant governor from to Winthrop and Bobo's marriage was short-lived. Barely a year after the birth of Win Paul the couple separated.
A contentious and protracted divorce followed. Much of it was covered in painful detail by the popular press. The divorce caused a great deal of trauma and disruption in Winthrop's life. He spent extended stays in Venezuela working for Socony-Vacuum to escape unwelcome publicity. In , he left the oil industry to join the International Basic Economy Corporation IBEC , a company set up by his brother Nelson to focus on private investment in economies in developing countries. Winthrop served as chair of IBEC's Housing Corporation, which developed a mechanized, poured-in-place concrete building process that by had created 9, new housing units in Puerto Rico.
With a continuing focus on his private life in the press, in June Winthrop decided to move from New York and relocate to a new life in Arkansas. Army friend and Little Rock insurance man Frank Newell had boasted about the beauty of his native state to Winthrop for many years. Winthrop visited Newell and became enthralled, too. The press claimed that it would only be a temporary stay and that Winthrop was moving simply to take advantage of Arkansas's more liberal divorce laws. Yet Winthrop spent the remaining twenty years of his life based in the state, founding a homestead that he named Winrock Farm atop Petit Jean Mountain, 60 miles northwest of Little Rock.
He and Bobo were divorced in Reno, Nevada in August Winthrop remarried in June to Jeannette Edris, daughter of a prominent Seattle family, who lived with him at Winrock along with her son Bruce and daughter Anne, both from a previous marriage. Winthrop's unlikely move to Arkansas paired one of the richest men in the country with one of its poorest states.
He looked to put his wealth and experience gained from his New York years to good effect in his newly adopted home. Winthrop engaged extensively in philanthropic endeavors and launched a number of social experiments. One of the first was an effort to create a model school system in Morrilton. This was hindered by the local population's insistence on maintaining segregated schools and an aversion to paying higher taxes for better education.
Winthrop helped to establish a clinic in Perry County, a pioneering effort in providing rural healthcare. He championed the arts through the building of the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, and taking art to the people through the creation of an Artmobile, a "gallery on wheels.
Not long after relocating to Arkansas, Winthrop was called into service by Gov. In , Faubus declared a state of emergency. Arkansas was hemorrhaging population at an alarming rate. Still wedded to its dwindling cotton economy, people were leaving for expanding industrial jobs elsewhere.
He knew that Winthrop, with national connections and business acumen, was exactly the person to lead the campaign. Winthrop was happy to help. He ran a tremendously successful operation that increased his popularity and profile in the state, bringing new plants and more than 90, new jobs to Arkansas.
However, Faubus soon discovered he had unwittingly created a political rival. From a staunch Republican Party family, Winthrop found himself in what political scientist V. Key labeled in the "purest one-party" Democratic Party stronghold in the South. Winthrop was initially happy to work along nonpartisan lines, but there were some things he was not willing to tolerate.