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  • Long, Huey Pierce (1893-1935), American politician, governor of Louisiana (1928-1932), and United States senator (1932-1935), known for his autocratic methods and colorful speech.

    Long was born on August 30, 1893, in Winnfield, Louisiana, and educated at the University of Oklahoma and Tulane University. Admitted to the bar in 1915, he practiced law in Winnfield and Shreveport, and was elected Louisiana railroad commissioner (later called public service commissioner) in 1918; he remained on the commission until 1926, serving as chairman for five years. In 1928 he won the Democratic party nomination and was elected governor. As such, he instituted many social reforms and built roads, bridges, and schools, but every officeholder was under his influence, municipal government was reduced to subservience, and the courts were powerless. He was impeached in 1929 on charges of bribery and misappropriation of state funds, but the case was dropped.

    During the Great Depression millions of Americans cheered the colorful, grandiose oratory of the “Kingfish,” as Long was called. He ingratiated himself with a program to eliminate poverty that would give every family a minimum income of $5000 per year by limiting individual incomes to a maximum of $1 million per year and would provide old-age pensions of $30 per month to elderly people who had less than $10,000 in cash.

    Long succeeded in establishing himself as virtual dictator of Louisiana. In 1930 he was elected to the U.S. Senate; he stayed on as governor, however, and did not take his Senate seat until 1932, when a handpicked successor became governor and he was assured of control of the Louisiana legislature.

    Huey Long toilet Seat Medal. What actually happened is not known, but during a New York visit, Long was invited to a charity ball held at the Long Island Sands Point Bath and Country Club. The hard drinking senator sought the men's room but it was occupied by another man. Not willing to wait, Long tried to share the men's room with him. Long was somewhat in a shaky condition and drenched the unsuspecting man, who then turned and clobbered the Kingfish.

    This medal was made to reward the unknown man who punched Long. However he never came forth to claim his prize. It appears that others were made and distributed. But the medal is considered very rare.

    Huey Long Louisiana .999 Silver High Relief Medal. Hallmarked on edge, "MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y. .999+ PURE SILVER". This fantastic work of art is approx half dollar size and weighs about 25 grams. It has been struck in Super High Relief and was probably produced in the late 1960's or early 1970's. I see this medal on eBay at times.

    click here

    Hear part of this speech

    Admirers of Louisiana's Senator Huey Long called him the "Kingfish." He ruled his home state like a Czar and built a political dynasty whose remnants survive today. He became governor in 1928 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930. His ambition was boundless and he next set his sights on the White House. He had no love for Franklin Roosevelt or the New Deal, saying that the N.R.A. (National Recovery Program) stood for "Nuts Running America." In order to confront the crisis of the Depression he proposed a "Share The Wealth Program" that would guarantee an annual income for every American.

    His flamboyance and populist stand against big business attracted many followers. His demagoguery also attracted many enemies, requiring that he surround himself with a personal army of bodyguards. On the evening of September 8, 1935, Long and his heavily armed guards walked a corridor beneath the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Waiting in the corridor was Dr. Carl Weiss who bore a personal grudge against the Kingfish. As Long's entourage rounded a corner, Weiss confronted them igniting a fusillade of gunfire. Between 24 and 61 bullets ripped through Weiss's body killing him instantly. One bullet slammed into Huey Long who fell wounded to the floor. Long's bodyguards later claimed that Weiss shot the Senator and they returned fire. Modern analysis raises the possibility that the bodyguards overreacted to Weiss's approach and Long got caught in the hail of ricocheting bullets they let lose. Whatever the truth, thirty hours after the event the Kingfish was dead.

    References: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
    Martin, Thomas, Dynasty: The Longs of Louisiana (1960); William, T. Harry , Huey Long (1969).

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