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Henry Bellmon created history when he was elected as Oklahoma’s first Republican Governor in 1962. A decorated World War II veteran, Bellmon was first elected to office as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, but only served one term (from 1946 till 1948). He remained active in Oklahoma politics, however, and rose to become chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. He served as Oklahoma’s 18th and 23rd Governors, and between these two terms served two terms in the United States Senate. He is remembered as one of the most principled political leaders ever to serve in public office in Oklahoma.


For more information, contact Prof. Rodger Randle at 918-660-3495 or by email at randle@ou.edu.
Joe M. Allbaugh
Chief of Staff to Gov. Henry Bellmon (and also Chief of Staff for Gov. George W. Bush)
George Nigh
Three times Governor of Oklahoma
(appearing via video)
Robert Henry
President of Oklahoma City University and former Oklahoma Attorney General

bellmon daughters

(in alphabetical order)

Joe M. Allbaugh
was in his staff during Bellmon's second term (also served as Chief of Staff for Gov. George Bush in Texas).

Ed Apple was a member of the House of Representatives during Bellmon's second term, Apple also served as Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner.

Bob Blackburn is the Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. (a sponsoring organization for the conference)

Leroy W. Bridges is Director of Outreach for the University of Oklahoma Center for Political Communication and the founder of the Center's Advisory Board. (a sponsoring organization for the conference)

Bob Burke is Oklahoma's most published author and preeminent historian of Oklahoma politics.

Bill Burkett was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives during Bellmon's first term and was selected by Gov. Bellmon to chair the Oklahoma Republican Party.

Larry Derryberry served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives during Bellmon's first term, and later served as Oklahoma Attorney General.

Don Ferrell is a former member of the Oklahoma State Senate and was named by Bellmon as Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard during Bellmon's second term.

Charles Ford served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives during Bellmon's first term and as State Senator during Bellmon's second term.

Sandy Garrett served as Secretary of Education during Bellmon's second term, as well as serving in the elected post of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Robert Henry is the President of Oklahoma City University and served as Oklahoma Attorney General during Bellmon's second term.

Gene Howard served in the Oklahoma House during Bellmon's first term and later served in the Oklahoma State Senate, where he rose to the position of President Pro Tem.

Jenk Jones, Jr. covered Oklahoma politics for many decades for the Tulsa Tribune and covered Bellmon's 1962 campaign for governor.

Tim Leonard served as Republican leader in the State Senate during Bellmon's second term. He is currently a U.S. Federal Judge in Oklahoma City.

Ken Neal covered the State Capitol and Oklahoma politics for the Tulsa World and later served as Editor of the Editorial Pages for the World.

Gov. George Nigh was sworn in four times as Oklahoma Governor, serving two full terms and two brief partial terms. He and Henry Bellmon had an especially close relationship and, at Nigh's request, Bellmon served as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services during Nigh's last term as governor.

Lee Paden began work for Bellmon in the security office of the Governor's Mansion during Bellmon's first term; later he worked for Sen. Bellmon in Washington.

Rodger Randle served as President Pro Tem of the Oklahoma State Senate during part of Bellmon's second term. He currently is a professor of graduate studies at The University of Oklahoma and is the Director of the OU Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture. (a sponsoring organization for the conference)

Ralph Thompson served in the Oklahoma House from 1966 to 1970. Now retired, he served 32 years as a federal judge in Oklahoma City.

Charlie Waters worked in the security office of the Governor's Mansion during Bellmon's first term and later went to Washington as legal counsel in Sen. Bellmon's office in Washington. He later returned to Oklahoma City to serve as Chief Legal Counsel during Bellmon's second gubernatorial term.

Penny Williams served in the Oklahoma State Senate during Bellmon's second term and served on the Senate's education committee, which she late chaired, and assisted in Bellmon's efforts to pass reform legislation to improve Oklahoma schools.

 

Although George Tomek cannot be with us at the conference, he was willing to share a letter about his memories of Henry Bellmon ...click here for the letter. Don McCorkle also has submitted an article about Henry Bellmon ...click here for Don McCorkle's article.

Thursday Evening, November 21

5:30-7:00pm
Reception (cash bar) and a Country Dinner hors d'oeuvres buffet

7:00-9:00pm
Video about Henry Bellmon, followed by a video from Gov. George Nigh; program:
"Remembering The Bellmon Era"
by journalists
Jenk Jones, Jr., and Ken Neal

Friday, November 22

8:00-8:45am
Coffee and Registration

8:45am – 9:00am
Welcome
Bob Blackburn, Leroy Bridges, Rodger Randle

9:00am – 9:45am
Opening Keynote "The Henry Bellmon I Knew"
Robert Henry

9:45am – 10:45am
Gov. Bellmon’s First Term
(panel):
Don Ferrell, Larry Derryberry, Charles Ford, Bill Burkett, Gene Howard

10:45am – 11:00am
Morning Break: Coffee and Refreshments

11:00am - 11:30am
“The Washington Years”
Joe M. Allbaugh interviewed by Bob Blackburn

11:30am - Noon
“Henry Bellmon: the Personal Side”
Charlie Waters

Noon - 1:15pm
Luncheon Program
Henry and Shirley's Daughters Remember Life in the Governor's Mansion: Ann, Pat, and Gail
(the daughters will be interviewed by Bob Blackburn)

1:15pm - 2:15pm
Gov. Bellmon’s Second Term
(panel): Ed Apple, Lee Paden, Penny Williams, Rodger Randle, Sandy Garrett

2:15pm - 3:00pm
Henry Bellmon’s Legacy
(panel): Tim Leonard, Ralph Thompson, Bob Burke

3:00pm - 3:15pm
Closing thanks from Bob Blackburn, Leroy Bridges, and Rodger Randle

line

For more information, please contact Prof. Rodger Randle at (918) 660-3495
or by email at randle@ou.edu









Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture
Prof. Rodger A. Randle, Director
The University of Oklahoma - Tulsa
4502 East 41st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135
Telephone: 1-918-660-3495 or 1-918-660-3494, Fax: 1-918-660-3490
Email: randle@ou.edu