Interview with Oscar Fendler
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QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

OK. Can you tell me about FDR coming to Arkansas, why he came?

OSCAR FENDLER:

Yes. I, I was trying to think about when the president came to this state and it seems to me in my recollection that he came to Little Rock in 1936. If he came to Arkansas before or afterwards I don't know, recollect. But he came in '36 only for one reason and one reason only. Joe T. Robinson of course, by spending all of his time practically in Washington and not being able to get out and see his constituents needed some help. I've forgotten who opposed him, but he considered that his opposition was sizable and he prevailed upon the President to come down here and say a good word for old Joe T., buddy buddy and what, how much you think of him. And that's what he did. He came down there and made that speech at Little Rock. Norman Thomas had tried his best to persuade him to espouse the cause of the sharecropper and attending union out there. He ignored that altogether,
** of course, the president did, and he devoted most of his time on how lucky Arkansas was to have such a great leader in the, in the Congress. And he paid him any number of, I haven't seen a copy of it in years. As I remember, flowering tributes to Joe T. And Joe T. won that election by a pretty good margin. Went back, I think he, seems to me like he died in '36, somewhere down in there.