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Why Huey P Long Was Called The Kingfish

Updated on October 21, 2012
Huey Long "The Kingfish"
Huey Long "The Kingfish"

Who was Huey P. Long?

Here you will find all you need to know about the former Louisiana governor and United States senator. Who was Huey Long and what was he all about? Why was he called "The Kingfish"? Why was he assassinated? Huey P. Long was a very interesting man and worth a closer look.

Huey P Long History

Huey Pierce Long was born in Winfield, La. in 1893 to a middle class family. He liked to tell people he was from a poor background. This helped him relate to the poor people of Louisiana. He was expelled from high school for criticizing the faculty. He was a very intelligent man too. He was able to pass the bar exam after only one year at Tulane Law School.

Huey preferred to do battle with the powerful, large corporations and Standard Oil Company was his favorite target. Huey championed himself as a lawyer for the poor man and this strategy would benefit him politically. He had a definite plan for his rise to political power and was well on his way to becoming president before he was shot down in the new Louisiana State Capitol building that he had built by a young doctor named Carl Weis.

The Kingfish got much of his power in Louisiana by destroying his adversaries and rewarding his cronies. He also did much good for Louisiana by building roads and bridges and improving education his program came to be called "share our wealth." The poor people of Louisiana generally loved him and most people of means and wealth hated him.
Huey Long is without a doubt one of the most interesting and controversial politicians that the United States has ever produced.

Long took the nickname "The Kingfish," from the radio show Amos and Andy. He was a Democrat and noted for his radical populist policies. He served as Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935. Though a backer of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election, Long split with Roosevelt in June 1933 and allegedly planned to mount his own presidential bid.

Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934, with the motto "Every Man a King," in which a tax on the wealthy would be used to redistribute wealth to the very poor to curb the poverty and crime resulting from the Great Depression. He was an ardent critic of the Federal Reserve System.

Huey was a popular and driven politician that heavily promoted his ideas and willingness to take forceful action, Long was accused by his opponents of dictatorial tendencies for his near-total control of the state government. At the height of his popularity, the colorful and flamboyant Long was shot on September 8, 1935, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge; he died two days later at the age of 42. His last words were reportedly, "God, don't let me die. I have so much left to do." There is much controversy over whether Dr. Weis actually shot long or perhaps a secret conspiracy to kill him by some of his many enemies.

The gun that killed Huey?
The gun that killed Huey?

Was this really the murder weapon?

This is the gun on display in the old state capitol museum exhibit that I took a picture of. Itis thought that this gun may have been planted in Dr. Carl Weis's hands to pin the shooting on him. It's also believed that the the bullets found in Huey Long could have actually been ricochet bullets from Long's body guards.No one knows for certain at this point.

Me at the talking Huey exhibit
Me at the talking Huey exhibit

Huey Long Exhibit

The old state capitol has a Huey Long exhibit. Here is a picture of me in front of the animated statue. It moves and "talks" as if it were Huey talking about important issues of his day. It uses motion detectors to activate the statue when you walk in the room. It's really fun and informative. If you like Huey then you'll really enjoy this exhibit.

Huey at his best

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      thelouisianaexplorer 

      8 years ago

      This is very interesting and brings up some good points about Huey. A book has just been released that is based on secret political papers that just surfaced. These papers were the personal property of Huey's Law Partner, Harvey G. Fields. Not only was he a law partner of Longs but he was the person that put the initial pieces of the Louisiana Scandal together that led to the Justice Department dispatching their assistant Attorney General to Lousiana to launch the prosecution of Leche. Fields was federal prosecutor at the time. Read about this interesting part of history at www.thomastfieldsjr.com . Names such as Long, Roosevelt, Farley and Leche are found throughout the book.

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