Saturday, September 08, 2007

Carolyn Bason Long

A while back the following was posted to the CCHA Message Board:

Huey Long (1893-1935)

Huey Long was, among many things, Governor of Louisiana and United States Senator from that state. His self-adopted nickname was "The Kingfish." To some he was outrageous, to all he was colorful. To see more about him click on the heading above.

What connection could this Louisiana politician, who was assassinated in 1935, possibly have to Caswell County?

A son of Huey Long and Rose McConnell Long, Russell Billu Long, was a United States Senator from Louisiana for many years (1948-1987). He also married Carolyn Elizabeth Bason in 1969. Carolyn Bason Long, born in Caswell County, is the daughter of long-time Yanceyville residents Samuel Murphy Bason (1894-1896) and Martha Eliza (Marnie) Hatchett Bason (1896-1993). Sam Bason was President of The Bank of Yanceyville, and Marnie Bason was a much-loved member of the community.

For more on the Long and Bason families visit the Caswell County Family Tree.

Here are selected Huey Long quotes:

"If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag."

"Of course we will have fascism in America but we will call it democracy!"

"Every man a king, but no one wears a crown."

"People say I steal. Well, all politicians steal. I steal. But a lot of what I stole has spilled over in no-toll bridges, hospitals . . . and to build this university." -- speech at Louisiana State University

"The only difference I ever found between the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership is that one of them is skinning you from the ankle up and the other, from the ear down."

"I can frighten or buy ninety-nine out of every one hundred men."

"Sure I carry a gun. Sometimes I carry four. Can't tell when somebody's going to shoot the King."

"I would describe a demagogue as a politician who don't keep his promises. On that basis, I'm the first man to have power in Louisiana who ain't a demagogue. I kept every promise I ever made to the people of Louisiana. None of these exes and belly-achers that have been fighting me down there ever kept his promises when he was in office. It was an unheard of thing in Louisiana until Huey P. Long got in."

" I am for the poor man, all poor men, black and white, they all gotta have a chance."

"There is no dictatorship in Louisiana. There is a perfect democracy there, and when you have a perfect democracy it is pretty hard to tell it from a dictatorship."

After rejecting a naval appropriations bill in the Senate: "I would prefer to vote this billion dollars to feed the starving rather than for more battleships to kill somebody."

Criticizing the limitations of the Roosevelt New Deal: "Not a single thin dime of concentrated, bloated, pompous wealth, massed in the hands of a few people, has been raked down to relieve the masses."
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The purpose of the above article was to connect Caswell County to famous people and thereby draw attention (and possibly interest) to the area.

Carolyn Bason Long did one better. The following is from The Caswell Messenger, 22 August 2007 at 5:

Caswell Native Makes $1 Million Gift to UNCG

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro had received a $1 million gift from 1943 graduate Carolyn Bason Long of Washington, D.C., which is creating a new scholarship that allows undergraduates to pursue studies in any of UNCG's academic departments.

"Carolyn's gift represents a dramatic step forward in our ability to provide scholarships for deserving students," said UNCG Chancellor Patricia A. Sullivan. "It will help UNCG to compete in recruiting the best students in the state and nation, and to provide wonderful opportunities for study. Her generosity will have a huge impact on the lives and academic careers of students for years to come."

The newly created Carolyn Bason Long Merit Scholarship Program divides her gift, with 95 percent being used to provide scholarships and the rest funding program support efforts. Her gift comes through The Students First Campaign, UNCG's $100 million capital fund drive, which is seeking to raise more than $61 million for undergraduate and graduate scholarships. As of July 31, more than $81 million had been raised toward the campaign's $100 million goal.

"Ive' always had it on my mind to do something like this if I was ever able to financially," said Long. "I have no children of my own and I thought it would be a good way to help my alma mater and students who might need some help with their educations. I didn't have any scholarships when I was in college. I'm so proud of what's going on at the college now and what they've done and I'm happy that I can help it move ahead."

The first Long Scholarship is being awarded this year as part of the University's Merit Awards Program. Full-time students can major in any subject at UNCG, and the scholarship can be renewed for up to three years. Long Scholarships will be awarded initially to first-year students, although the Financial Aid Office can award scholarships to upper-classmen in special situations.

Long, who lives in Washington, D.C., is a native of Yanceyville. She graduated from Woman's College in 1943 with a degree in secretarial administration. During college, she was on the Dean's List and active in campus organizations -- and she remembers those days well.

"The fellowship of my classmates meant an awful lot to me - we had some great times," said Long. "The College opened a lot of doors, I think, to all of us. And it was a big jump from my rural high school to UNCG, but it was a wonderful experience. Of course we called it WC, but it has come such a long way since then. I'm proud to say I am an alumna."

Long had a fulfilling career following her WC days. After graduation, she joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Clyde Hoey of North Carolina and later worked on the staff of Sen. Sam Ervin. In 1968, she married U.S. Sen. Russell B. Long of Louisiana, who died in 2003. Her younger sister, Dorothy Bason Burke, also graduated from Woman's College in 1947, and she is devoted to her large extended family.
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Samuel Murphy Bason (1894-1986) married Martha Eliza (Marnie) Hatchett (1869-1993) on October 18, 1921. They had three children: Carolyn Elizabeth Bason; William Hatchett Bason; and Dorothy Helen Bason.

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