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Earle C. Clements papers, 1940-1960

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Earle C. Clements papers




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Organized into the following series: Congressional, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Post Senatorial, Highway Commissioner, Financial, Political (subdivided into: Congressional, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Post Senatorial subseries), Newspaper clippings, Speech, Office copy, Newspaper clippings file, Leary Speech file, Photographs and Memorabilia, Clements Tapes. The Speech, Clippings, Office Copy, Photos & Tapes are arranged chronologically. All others series are arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Earle C. Clements papers, 1940-1960, 1M76M2, 1M82M6, AAL7185LM, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


134.4 cubic ft.


Governor, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator. Clements was born in Morganfield, Ky. to farm parents. He attended the University of Kentucky from 1915-1916. In 1934 he became a judge in Union County. In November 1944, Clements was elected U.S. Representative from the Second Congressional District of Ky. He resigned this seat in 1947, when he was elected governor over Republican Eldon S. Dummit.

In 1950 he successfully campaigned for the U.S. Senate against Judge Charles I. Dawson, resigning his governorship. He served in the U.S. Senate until 1957 after being defeated by Thruston B. Morton. During his tenure he served as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Committee (1952- 1954), liaison between the Democratic National Comm. and the Senate Democrats (1953-1955) and Acting Majority Leader (1955). He served on the Senate Agriculture and Appropriations Committees, supporting tobacco interests. In 1960 he returned to Kentucky as Highway Commissioner under Governor Bert T. Combs.

Scope and Content

These are the personal and political papers of Earle C. Clements. Most series contain a mix of personal, political, and legal papers on topics from agriculture (particularly tobacco) through watersheds. The Congressional series (1942-1948) focuses on post war economic readjustment and agricultural matters. There is a congratulatory letter from General Eisenhower. The Gubernatorial series contains correspondence with President Truman with regard to the Federal Aid to Education Bill in 1949 and an offer of assistance from Happy Chandler. The Senatorial series contain material relating to Clements' service as Acting Senate Majority leader in 1955. Letters from John Kennedy deal with dispersal of Democratic Party campaign funds. The Post Senatorial series document Clements' service as head of the Dem. Senatorial Campaign Committee including a letter from John Watts urging him to take the position.

The Political series includes campaign files with folders on friends such as Tom Underwood. Subjects in added accessions are: Part II (82M6)-Constitutional Revision Assembly & Part III (84M2)-Amer. Tobacco Institute. The papers also contain memorabilia, cartoons, photographs, phototapes, and oral history interviews on Clements' life.


  • Chandler, Happy, 1898-
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
  • Truman, Harry S, 1884-1972.
  • Underwood, Tom R. (Tom Rust), 1898-1956.
  • Vinson, Fred M, 1890-1953.
  • Watts, John C. (John Clarence), 1902-1971.
  • Democratic Party (Ky.)
  • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (U.S.)
  • United States.--Congress.
  • Kentucky.--Bureau of Highways.
  • Tobacco--Law and legislation.
  • Governors--Correspondence.
  • Legislators--Correspondence.
  • Politicians--Correspondence.
  • Kentucky--Politics and government.
  • United States--Politics and government.
  • Memorabilia.
  • *Oral histories
  • Phonotapes.
  • Photoprints.
  • Speeches

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.