This week on From the Vault we welcome actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and Turner Classic Movies host Illeana Douglas, who introduces us to a 1973 interview with her grandmother, Helen Gahagan Douglas, and shares some touching personal stories.
Helen Gahagan Douglas was was born November 25th, 1900 and died on June 28, 1980; during the 1920's and '30's, Douglas worked as a stage and screen actress, and had one starring role, in the 1935 film She. In 1944, Douglas was elected to the United States Congress, as a Democratic representative from California's 14th Congressional District, where she would go on to serve three terms; in 1950, she ran for Senate, losing out to Richard M. Nixon - who she nicknamed "Tricky Dick" for his unsavory campaign tactics. The name stuck.
At the time of this 1973 interview, the Watergate scandal was in full swing, and Douglas discussed at length Nixon's "dirty tricks," Nixon's 1950 smear tactics, and the necessity of election reform.
This recording was preserved and made available for broadcast thanks to a grant from the NHPRC at the National Archives, and is part of the collection,American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.