The Kingfish in the Sunday Edition: Senator Huey P. Long’s Media Presence, 1932-1935

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Fredette, Michael David
This paper was created for Dr. Leslie's HST420, a research intensive history class. Huey P. Long was the Democratic governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 before his final political engagement, a 1932 to 1935 stint in the United States’ Senate. Although brief, Long’s unfinished term in the Senate left a tremendous amount of cultural detritus behind for the historian to examine. In this paper we study newspaper coverage of Long, comparing contemporary depictions of his tenure in local Louisiana media and in the national media. This is supplemented by mentions of Senator Long in scholarly periodicals with loftier aims. Long’s almost daily presence in the country’s media revealed unwritten rules of decorum in national publications, while demonstrating the lack thereof in smaller circulation local papers. Long was also notorious enough to appear in scholarly journals despite his short tenure in the Senate. In these journal articles one can see the confusion which his radical policies created among political scientists and economists, and the eerily familiar manner in which politically differing authors ascribed extreme titles from the other side to Long.
This is one of the two third place winners for 2020.