Huey Long, the Kingfish of Louisiana, Governor and Senator, was a populist politician in 1920s and 1930s. As Governor in the late '20s, and as Senator afterwards, Long's charisma and accomplishments made him a presidential candidate for the 1936 elections. FDR called Huey Long one of the two most dangerous men in America. Senator Long's was gunned down in 1935. His last words were: “God, don't let me die. I have so much to do.”
As governor, Long: built roads across the state; built bridges; built hospitals; expanded the LSU from a minor provincial college to a major national university; promoted adult illiteracy; abolished the poll tax; provided free textbooks to the children of Louisiana; greeted a German admiral in his pajamas; continuously fought Standard Oil; defeated an impeachment attempt by the Lousiana oligarchy; built the tallest state Capitol building in the South; pissed off the Louisiana aristocratic and moneyed elite something awful; and more.
As a Senator, Long promoted his 'Share the Wealth' program - which proposed the radical decrease of income inequality in the United States.
Many have called Long a dictator. Long ruled by guile and acumen, but mostly Huey ruled because the people liked him. The people voted for Huey again and again.
Regarding violence: Long avoided serice in WW1; he famously said he'd rather not rule than rule by murder.
In 1935 a plot of the Louisiana oligarchy led to Long's death.
(Also check T. Harry William's "Huey Long".)
(From Randy Newman's song about Huey Long:)
Who built the highway to Baton Rouge?
Who put up the hospital and built you schools?
Who looks after shit-kickers like you?
The Kingfish do
Who gave a party at the Roosevelt Hotel?
And invited the whole north half of the state down there for free
The people in the city
Had their eyes bugging out
Cause everyone of you
Looked just like me
Every man a king
Who took on the Standard Oil men
And whipped their ass
Just like he promised he'd do?
Ain't no Standard Oil men gonna run this state
Gonna be run by little folks like me and you
Friend of the working man
The Kingfish gonna save this land
Prices shown in USD.
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