Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books.
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Monday, September 8, 2014
Senator Huey Long was Shot (September 8, 1935)
This week (September 8-14) in crime history – Senator Huey
Long was shot (September 8, 1935); Boston police department went on strike
(September 9, 1919); Serial killing couple Gerald Gallego and Charlene Williams
met for the first time (September 10, 1977); Silent film actor Fatty Arbuckle
was arrested for murder (September 11, 1921); Tyco International executives
were indicted for embezzlement (September 12, 2002); Attica Prison riots ended
(September 13, 1971); President William McKinley died from gunshot wounds
(September 14, 1901).
Highlighted crime of the week -
On September 8, 1935, U.S. Senator Huey Long was shot in
the Louisiana state capitol building. He died about 30 hours later. Called a
demagogue by critics, the populist leader was a larger-than-life figure who
boasted that he bought legislators "like sacks of potatoes, shuffled them like
a deck of cards." He gave himself the nickname "Kingfish,"
saying "I'm a small fish here in Washington. But I'm the Kingfish to the
folks down in Louisiana."
In 1928 Long became the youngest governor of Louisiana at
age 34. His brash style alienated many people, including the heads of the
biggest corporation in the state, Standard Oil. Long preached the
redistribution of wealth, which he believed could be done by heavily taxing the
rich. One of his early propositions, which met with much opposition, was an
"occupational" tax on oil refineries. Later, Long would develop these
theories into the Share Our Wealth society, which promised a $2,500 minimum income
per family. Long also abolished the state's poll tax on voting and gained free
textbooks for every student. His motto was "Every Man a King." His
populism led to an impeachment attempt, but he successfully foiled the charges.
In 1930, he won the election for Louisiana senator but declined to serve until
his handpicked successor was able to win the governor's seat in 1932.
Soon after vigorously campaigning for Franklin Roosevelt
in 1932, Long, with his own designs on the office, began loudly denouncing the
new president. In response, many of his allies in the Louisiana legislature
turned against him and would no longer vote for his candidates. In an effort to
regain power in the state, Long managed to pass a series of laws giving him
control over the appointment of every public position in the state, including
every policeman and schoolteacher. Long, who was planning to take on Franklin
Roosevelt in the next election, was shot by Dr. Carl Weiss at point-blank range
outside the main hall of the capitol building. Weiss was corned by Long’s bodyguards
and shot to death. Weiss' motives continue to be debated, but some believe he
was angry about rumors Long had spread about the doctor's in-laws, who had
opposed Long politically.
Michael Thomas Barry is a columnist for www.crimemagazine.com and is the author
of numerous books that includes the award winning Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes
that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949. For more information visit Michael’s
The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link.