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Useful Notes / Huey Long

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"Every man a king, but no one wears a crown."
— a slogan often used by Long

Huey Pierce Long Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), known as "The Kingfish", was the 40th governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932, and then a United States Senator from Louisiana from 1932 to 1935. He was considered a hero and a champion of the common man by his supporters, and a power-hungry, autocratic bumpkin by detractors. Long was known for creating the "Share Our Wealth" movement, a series of reforms that heavily taxed the rich, gave a monthly allowance to the poor, and established other government programs. It has been frequently argued that Long's politics can be best described as having been social democratic in nature, but very light on the "democrat" part, although Long himself would probably have rejected that description.

Long intended to challenge President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Democratic Party nomination in 1936, but was assassinated by physician Carl Weiss note  a year before the election (though the exact circumstances regarding how Long died are contentious to say the least, with quite a few alternate theories surrounding the event, some being more plausible and others being of a more conspiratorial nature). Many of his economic policies and ideas were subsequently implemented into the New Deal, albeit in a very watered-down form. These ideas also served as an major influence to a young congressional aide named Lyndon Johnson, who was reportedly "entranced" by the man.

His younger brother, Earl Long, would later serve three nonconsecutive terms as governor of Louisiana, and would by and large continue to enact policies similar to those of his brother. His son, Russell B. Long, would serve as US Senator between 1948 and 1987.

Long's life has been the subject of two Biopics: The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish (1977), starring Edward Asner, and Kingfish (1995), starring John Goodman.

Huey Long in fiction:

  • Long himself wrote My First Days in the White House, a fictionalized Author Tract explaining in detail how he would go about implementing his Share Our Wealth platform were he to win the 1936 Presidential election. It was published posthumously.
  • The novel All the King's Men is generally said to be based on his life, although author Robert Penn Warren denied it.
  • The Simpsons episode "The Mansion Family" begins at an awards ceremony where it is revealed that the oldest man in Springfield (not Mr. Burns, though he does claim the award as such due to the minor technicality of the original honoree dying on-stage as he accepts his award) belatedly took a bullet for Long.
  • Appears in Reds!: A Revolutionary Timeline as a populist, left-leaning Democratic presidential nominee. He is killed off, together with most of the Louisiana State Government, after protesting MacArthur and Longworth suspending the Constitution to prevent the communists from taking office.
  • Appears in Timeline-191 as a Louisiana politician who is assassinated by Featherston's government for being too much of an independent threat to the Freedom Party.
  • Long is the subject of two songs on Randy Newman's Good Old Boys album, "Every Man a King" (a Cover Version of a 1935 composition that Long co-wrote) and "Kingfish" .
  • In Sinclair Lewis' 1935 novel It Can't Happen Here, Buzz Windrip, an obvious No Historical Figures Were Harmed version of Huey Long, becomes President in 1936 and establishes a fascist dictatorship in America. Lewis wrote the novel partially to harm Long's chances at the 1936 elections, but Long was killed before the book was published.
  • In Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, a mod for multiple entries in the Hearts of Iron series, Long is the leader of the American Union State, one of four breakaway factions at the start of the Second American Civil War. While in our timeline Long was economically leftist and socially moderate, the Kaiserreich version of Long has him resort to allying with far-right factions despite his distaste for them as he sees the further left syndicalists threatening his chances at power. Should Long win the new civil war, he'll be able to recreate America in his image with populistic reforms if he isn't overthrown and assassinated by his erstwhile "allies".
    • Long appears in several other Hearts of Iron mods:
  • Our Dumb Century has an article about his assassination, stating that he was murdered "Cajun style" by being run over by a parade float. His death triggers a huge party, complete with spicy foods and numerous women baring their breasts.
  • In The Ruins of an American Party System, he founds the populist Commonwealth Party in the 1930s following the collapse of the Democrats, which grows to become the dominant party of the South. Using the influence he has as this party's leader and the guise of friendship, he's able to get President Floyd Olsen to make him Attorney General, a position from which he effectively acts as The Man Behind the Man for the administration and sets up a personal empire with his political and criminal contacts. Eventually, his crimes are exposed, and he commits suicide rather than face imprisonment.
  • In The Fire Never Dies, Long is arrested at the start of the Second American Revolution in 1917 as a suspected socialist sympathizer (on account of him being an attorney who specializes in worker's compensation cases). He and his fellow detainees are soon broken out of jail and join a Red partisan group. After the war, Long becomes the Reds' prosecutor in the postwar trials.
  • His Catchphrase is referenced in A Streetcar Named Desire, and not in an especially positive manner, either:
    Stanley: "Remember what Huey Long said – 'Every Man is a King!' And I am the king around here, so don’t forget it!"
  • In The Falcon Cannot Hear, he is the leader of the fascist Whites, one of the five main factions in the Second American Civil War.