Kingfish

One of our faithful readers, darrelplant, pointed out that we were so busy posting about Angelina yesterday that we missed the 75th Anniversary of the assassination ofHuey P. Long. Mea culpa. Actually, I’m not sure whether we’re late-Long was shot on 9/8/1935-or early-Long died of his wounds on 9/10/1935. I guess I’m merelystuck in the middle with you. Holy Stealer’s Wheel, Batman or is that Holy Tarantino?

In the last few days, the Picayune has run several articles about what happened that September day at the state capitol building.The details remain murky and in dispute. I’m one of those people who believe that Dr. Carl Weiss was a patsy as his family have always maintained. I think that it was gunspray from one of the Kingfish’s goons that killed the de facto ruler of the Gret Stet. The looming question for me is this: were the bodyguards paid to kill Long by his erstwhile allies? Huey’s endless fight with FDR had become bad for business: federal patronage was being directed to anti-Long Dems. This theory is, of course, unprovable but it’s fun to kick around.

Anyway, here’s Randy Newman’s ode to the Kingfish:

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7 thoughts on “Kingfish

  1. MichaelF says:

    I also think it was a bodyguard that fired the fatal shot, despite John Fournet saying he saw Weiss pull/point his gun.
    Yesterday I took a route home that passed by the 500 block of Lakeland Drive here, and I noticed a crowd of folks gathered at what was roughly the location of the Weiss residence. Unfortunately it and all the other homes on that side of the street were razed in the 1960s or 70s for a parking ramp and Insurance Commission Building that was imploded a few years ago, leaving a foundation/eyesore.

  2. Adrastos says:

    The unclear thing is whether or not it was an accidental shooting by the bodyguards, which is a definite possibility.

  3. MichaelF says:

    My guess would be accidental — yes, Huey had his enemies, but I don’t think they could have pulled off infiltrating his inner circle. Or, if they had, I think he would’ve been shot at the BR airport confrontation (earlier that year, I think.)
    Thanks for the post. I’m gonna run to the library here on my lunch break and see if the Zinman book is on the shelves. They say one copy’s out, but another one is in the stacks.
    The display at the Old State Capitol isn’t awful, by the way: the .32 caliber gun is the focus, and it’s very small. There are also contemporary newspaper accounts, and I want to say maybe Huey’s coat or shirt. Unfortunately they’ve also got some sort of electronic/animatronic Huey with audio provided by, I think, the execrable John McConnell.

  4. MichaelF says:

    Hmmm…sorry for all the “I think” ‘s in my comment. I forgot to self-edit.

  5. Adrastos says:

    Thinking is okay, at least I think it is…

  6. darrelplant says:

    Although we’re from Oregon, my father — a machinist and union organizer in his working life — wrote about Huey Long while he was working on his unfinished master’s degree in history many years ago, and the copy of T. Harry Williams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography I read to first encounter Long was Dad’s. For a long time, the online review I posted of the book was on the front page of any Google search for Huey Long; I just checked and it’s still the first link on the second search page.
    I think Weiss did it. Then again, I think Oswald shot Kennedy. No need for a conspiracy or trigger-happy goons. Suicidal attacker? I think I’ve seen that.

  7. Adrastos says:

    I think Oswald killed JFK too BUT Weiss just doesn’t fit the profile of a suicidal assasin.

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