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Walter H. Judd Oral History Interview, January 26, 1976

Oral History Interview with
Walter H. Judd


Member of Congress from Minnesota, 1943 to 1963

Washington, D.C.
January 26, 1976
by Charles T. Morrissey

See Also Additional Walter H. Judd Oral History by Jerry N. Hess dated April 13, 1970

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, INC. as part of its project THE MODERN CONGRESS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

All uses of this transcript and the tapes from which it was made are covered by a legal agreement dated January 29, 1982 between Former Members of Congress (FMC) and Walter H. Judd (Narrator). The transcript is hereby made available for research purposes. All literary rights in the transcript, including the right to publish all or any part thereof, except under the "fair use doctrine," are reserved to FMC, or its assigns. No part of any transcript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of FMC, or its assigns, except under the "fair use doctrine."

The tapes for this interview have been returned to the narrator at the narrator's request.

Requests for permission to quote from the transcript for publication should be addressed to U. S. Association of Former Members of Congress, 1755 Massachusetts Avenue, N. W., Suite 422, Washington, D. C. 20036, and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, the anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. Upon receipt of such request, it shall be the policy of FMC to notify the narrator and allow him or her thirty days in which to respond. If there shall be no response after that time, it shall be the policy of FMC in most cases to allow such publication.

Opened 1980
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

Oral History Interview with
Walter H. Judd


Washington, D.C.
January 26, 1976
by Charles T. Morrissey


This oral history memoir is one in a series intended to document the experiences and reflections of the men and women who served in the United States Senate and House of Representatives in the mid-twentieth century (1922-1977).

Under the leadership of Brooks Hays of Arkansas and Walter H. Judd of Minnesota, Former Members of Congress (FMC) was organized in 1970 to help those who had served in Congress to stay in touch with each other and, more importantly, to utilize the experience of former members of the House and Senate in promoting a better understanding of the American federal system of government and especially of the Congress as an institution. Today FMC is a non-profit, non-partisan, educational membership corporation of some 560 members.

As early as 1970 Warren Cikins, first executive director of FMC, and Brooks Hays began recording interviews with Mr. Hays' former congressional colleagues. Oral history began as a program in 1973 with Basil Whitener of North Carolina as chairman of the Oral History Committee. Varying arrangements were made for recording interviews--in some instances a local history or political science professor served as interviewer, or one FMC member interviewed another. This became known as phase 1 of the present oral history project.

In 1976 Charles T. Morrissey became FMC's oral history consultant and in 1977, when a record number of members had left Congress, Jed Johnson, Jr., present executive director of Former Members of Congress, launched a more systematic, comprehensive set of interviews with regional professional oral historians as interviewers. In addition to Charles Morrissey (who conducted two-thirds of this set of interviews) and Fern Ingersoll (who interviewed as well as coordinated the project) the regional interviewers included Michaelyn Chou, resource librarian at the University of Hawaii; Enid Douglass, director of the Oral History Program at Claremont Graduate School in California; Ronald Grele, research director at the New Jersey Historical Commission; G. Wesley Johnson, director of the Phoenix (Arizona) History Project; John A. Neuenschwander, professor in the History Department of Carthage


College (Wisconsin); Shirley Tanzer, director of the Oregon Jewish Oral History and Archive Project; Morton Tenzer, director of the Institute of Urban Research at the University of Connecticut; and Nancy Whistler, director of oral history at the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library. Forrest Pogue, Dan Fenn, and Alton Frye served as academic advisors. This became known as phase 2, and the entire project was entitled "The Modern Congress in American History."

A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities--part given outright and part given to match grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Finance Factors Foundation, the Auxiliary of Former Members of Congress and individual contributions--made possible the processing of the first-phase interviews and the research, interviewing, and processing of the second-phase interviews. The grant from the Rockefeller Foundation financed interviews with fourteen former congresswomen.

In all, over one hundred former members of Congress were interviewed. For phase 2 those congressmen and congresswomen were selected who:

had the vantage point of long years of service (although some short-termers were also interviewed to get their viewpoints);

had served in party or committee leadership positions; and

were recognized by their colleagues as being particularly knowledgeable and perceptive.

Phase 1 interviewees, though self-selected, met one or more of these criteria. In phase 2 an effort was made to interview a representative number of members from House and Senate, from each of the principal parties, and from most states. Both members and non-members of FMC were interviewed.

A year's research in the Library of Congress and regional libraries preceded phase 2 interviewing. Among those working on research were Gregory Sanford (University of Vermont) and interns from the American Studies Program


at American University--William McCann, Thomas Ficarra, David Jaffe, and Deborah Carlson. To the extent that funds allowed, interviewers did additional research in the papers of the congressmen and congresswomen. The use of the facilities of the Congressional Research Service and the advice of its specialists greatly facilitated research.

After transcription, sufficient editing was done to ensure clarity but not to alter the spoken quality of the interview. Interviewees reviewed their transcripts, sometimes adding and occasionally subtracting material. Diane Douglas, Mary Jo Deering, Carolyn Hoffman, and Jean Tucker did much of the editing. Dorothy Bageant, Sue Urbanski, Carol McKee, and Betty. Giles did most of the transcribing and final typing.

A copy of each edited transcript will be in the Library of Congress and in a regional library of the interviewee's choice. Unless an interviewee has restricted his interview transcript for a period of time it will also be in the microfiche collection of the Microfilming Corporation of America which will list all interviews in the series in its catalogue. Most of the tapes from which the transcripts were made will be in the Library of Congress although interviewees were given the choice of having the tapes of their interviews returned to them.

Charles Morrissey served as director of oral history from 1977 through 1979, but continued into 1980 to advise the coordinator on questions of editorial format, legal releases, and the like. Robert L. Peabody, who became project director in 1980, reviewed many of the transcripts. Henry P. Smith III, as counselor,


assisted with legal and financial questions. Fern Ingersoll coordinated the project, directing research and moving the transcripts through the varied states to completion. She directed the Rockefeller-funded part of the project focused on former congresswomen. Ann Brownson contributed many hours of proofreading.

Washington, D. C.
May 12, 1980


JUDD, Walter Henry, a Representative from Minnesota; born in Rising City, Butler County-, Nebr., on September 25, 1898; attended the public schools; was graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1920 and from the medical department of the same university in 1923; during the First World War enlisted in the United States Army in 1918 as a private and was discharged as a second lieutenant, Field Artillery, in 1919; second lieutenant, Field Artillery, Officers Reserve Corps, 1919-1924; instructor of zoology, University of Omaha, 1920-1924; traveling secretary, Student Volunteer Movement in Colleges and Universities in 1924 and 1925; fellowship in surgery, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., 1932-1934; medical missionary and hospital superintendent in China, under auspices of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1925-1931 and 1934-1938; returned from China in 1938, speaking throughout the United States in an attempt to arouse Americans to menace of Japan's military expansion and to get embargo on sale and shipment of war materials to Japan in 1939 and 1940; engaged in private medical practice in Minneapolis, Minn., in 1941 and 1942; elected as a Republican to the Seventy-eighth and to the nine succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1943-January 3, 1963) unsuccessful candidate in 1962 for election to the Eighty-e