Jerry P. Shinley Archive:
Maurice Gatlin for Congress



Subject: Maurice Gatlin for Congress
Date: 6/7/99 7:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Message-id: <7jgbnh$llu$>

       In 1954, it was Maurice Gatlin's turn to serve as the token far-right opposition to veteran Second District Congressman T. Hale Boggs in the Democratic primary.(1) Gatlin's campaign included a couple of TV programs on station WDSU. On the July 6 program, he displayed an affidavit in which he swore that he was not a member of the Communist party or any Communist front.(2) The next week, "Gatlin's program ... began with a picture of a hangman's noose which he described as the menace of communism. The next scene showed the American flag." Gatlin promised "to do all in my power ... to see that no American goes to fight in Indochina [Viet Nam], Korea, or any other foreign country." (3)
       Unsurprisingly, Gatlin lost on July 27 by a considerable margin, 51,875 to 4577. (4) Gatlin responded graciously by vowing to challenge the results in court if Boggs did not execute a "simple oath that he is not and never has been a Communist." (5) Boggs' response? "I'm not the slightest concerned. What Maurice Gatlin does is no concern of mine. He can sue or do whatever he wants to." (6)
       Gatlin's action in court proved ultimately unsuccessful. (7) But, on August 3, Boggs succumbed to Gatlin's hectoring and took a loyalty oath in Washington before Congressional leaders. (8)
Citations from the New Orleans Times-Picayune
1. May 22, 1954 p1
       Hebert Unopposed; Boggs Has Opponent
             Gatlin in Primary Election for Congress Seat
2. July 7, 1954 p3
       Candidate Labels Communists Foes
3. July 14, 1954 p22
       Gatlin Pledges to War on Reds
4. July 28, 1954 p1
       Ellender Renominated; Lead May Top 100,000
       Carries Outside But Loses Orleans to Ellis
5. July 29, 1954 P3
       Gatlin Demands Boggs Sign Oath
       Threatens to Contest Primary
6. July 30, 1954 P18
       Rep. Boggs Cites Oath in Attack
       Says Charges by Gatlin Unworthy of Reply
7. Aug 3, 1954 P12
       Gatlin Motion is Turned Down
       Judge Herget Refuses to Sign Restraining Order
       [The judge threw the case out because a similar suit filed when Boggs ran for Louisiana Governor had failed. The suit had been filed by a rival candidate, Lucille Mae Grace, with the backing of Leander Perez.]
8. Aug 4, 1954 P11
       Boggs Affidavit Denies Red Link
       Makes Oath Before Leaders in Congress

Jerry Shinley

Sent via
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.


Back to the top

Back to Jerry Shinley Archive menu

Back to Jim Garrison menu


Search this site
    powered by FreeFind

Back to JFK menu

Dave Reitzes home page


Dave Reitzes home page