Leftist Presidential Hopeful Gunned Down
Huey Long was one of the more controversial figures in American political history. Champion of the working man? Socialist intent on radically changing America? Perhaps just a politician who saw the worldwide rise of fascism as a vehicle for his success.
We will never know what might have been in the political career of Huey Long. The Louisiana Senator and former Governor dubbed “The Kingfish” was gunned down on September 8, 1935. He was contemplating a run against fellow Democrat and incumbent President Franklin Roosevelt at the time of his death. (Roosevelt wasn’t far enough to the left for the Kingfish)
Long was, if nothing else, a skilled politician. He worked the angles, knew the players, and wielded power. Perhaps he went too far on September 8th. One of Long’s political enemies was Louisiana Judge Benjamin Henry Pavy. Long was at the Louisiana Capitol Building to pass a bill that would gerrymander Judge Pavy’s political career out of existence.
As Long was leaving the Capitol, Carl Weiss, a medical doctor, and son-in-law of Judge Pavy, stepped out from the shadows. Weiss brandished a FN Model 1910 pistol (ironically the same gun that killed Archduke Ferdinand and sparked WW1) and discharged one round at the political icon. Long’s security detail immediately opened fire and killed Weiss. Long fell to the ground with a bullet in his stomach (some think Weiss missed and his bodyguards accidently shot Long)
An ambulance rushed Huey Long to the hospital where he lingered until September the 10th before passing away. The remarkable political career was over. Long is a story of what might have been, likely in a radically left way. Only forty-two at the time of his death, the socialist leaning Senator was reaching national fame. With the country in the throes of the Great Depression, he could have radically changed the American political landscape.
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