Tuesday, September 8, 2015


JFK+50:  Volume 5, No. 1707


Baton Rouge, Louisiana (JFK+50) Eighty years ago today, September 8, 1935, Senator Huey Pierce Long* of Louisiana was shot as he walked down a corridor in the State Capitol building here in Baton Rouge.  

According to the Huey P. Long official website, the Louisiana politician was "revered by the masses as a champion of the common man and demonized by the powerful as a dangerous demagogue."

Senator Long was at the Capitol overseeing the ouster of a long-time adversary, Judge Henry Pavey.  The Judge's son-in-law, Dr. Carl Weiss, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, approached Long firing a pistol from a distance of about four feet.  One of the bullets struck the Senator in the abdomen.

Dr. Weiss is described as "a thin, bespectacled young man in a white linen suit."  He had been standing beside a marble pillar in the Capitol hallway across from the governor's office.  After being hit, Long stumbled down the hall with a wound in his abdomen.

According to witnesses, the Senator's bodyguards opened fire hitting Weiss 62 times.  Senator Long was rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital where he died two days later. The Senator was 42 years old.

In the days before his death, Huey said..."God, don't let me die.  I have so much to do."   200,000 mourners came to view the body lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda.  HPL was buried on the grounds of the Louisiana  State Capitol.

*Huey Pierce Long (1893-1935) was born in Winnfield, LA & attended the University of Oklahoma Law School & Tulane University School of Law but passed the bar exam before earning a degree.

HPL was elected Governor of Louisiana by the largest margin in the state's history & was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930.  The Governor did not take the Senate seat until 1932. 

Senator Long  proposed a "Share Our Wealth" program to offer each American family $5000, and was planning a run against FDR in 1936.


"Huey Long, the Man, His Mission & Legacy," The Official Huey P. Long Website,

"Killing the Kingfish," True Crime: Assassination, by The Editors of Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1994.

Senator Huey Pierce Long

Statue of Huey Long
Louisiana State Capitol*
Baton Rouge
Kodak Photo by Billy Hathorn (1972)

*The steel and stone structure had been completed in 1932 at a cost of $5 million.  After his death, a statue of Huey P. Long was erected facing the building.