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Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials

Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials
Creator: Williford, Robert L.
Inclusive Dates: 1978-1985
Language: English
Extent: 7 item(s)
Collection Number: RBRL/178/RLW_VIII
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials includes five audiocassettes and one VHS videocassette documenting the construction of the dam, and one betacam videocassette preservation copy of the VHS video.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Robert L. Williford first became involved with the Trotters-Shoals Dam project through work as publisher and editor of The Elberton Star in Elbert County, Georgia. Williford purchased the newspaper in 1963 and began reporting on efforts to have a hydro-electric dam built in Elbert County on the Savannah River along the Georgia/South Carolina border. Soon thereafter, Mr. Williford became secretary of the Trotters-Shoals Dam and Lake Steering Committee and began to apply his efforts to the realization of the dam project.

As an editor, Mr. Williford was able to promote support for the dam in Elbert County through his paper's editorials and news columns. Mr. Williford also contacted many other newspapers in Georgia and South Carolina to enlist their support. Early support for the dam in the U.S. Congress was provided by Georgia Senators Richard B. Russell and Herman E. Talmadge, and Representative Phil Landrum. Through these combined efforts the dam was authorized by Congress in 1966. This approval was achieved in spite of initial opposition by South Carolina members of Congress, but in the years to come, much support was provided by South Carolina Representative William Jennings Bryan Dorn.

Though the dam was approved in 1966, little funding was provided. The steering committee coordinated efforts with politicians, the Rural Electrification Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and local communities to push forward with the dam. Many details had to be worked out and much preliminary work performed before construction could begin. As secretary of the committee, Mr. Williford corresponded with a large number individuals to these ends. He documented the progress of the project through this period and into the 1970s through extensive clippings of news articles from his and other papers.

As construction plans were held up by planning delays and low funding, opposition to the dam began to build. Presidents Nixon and Ford both attempted to cut funding for the dam due to budgetary concerns. President Carter, who as Georgia governor supported the dam project, called for the cancellation of it and 18 other dams around the country. Environmentalists began to complain about the dam's impact on the river and surrounding land and wildlife. Safety concerns over the possibilities of earthquakes at the dam site arose in 1976. And, many began to question the economic impact of the dam, citing it as a pork barrel project. Coverage of this opposition reached a national level in late 1977 during President Carter's efforts to halt federal government construction of dams, and to many the Russell Dam became a symbol of wasteful government spending.

Strong public relations efforts on the part of those in favor of the dam overcame much of this opposition. In 1973, the steering committee spearheaded a successful effort to have the project renamed in honor of popular Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell, who had died in 1971. Mr. Williford continued encouraging government support for the project through extensive letter writing and endorsement in his paper of politicians who favored the dam. One of whom, Georgia Representative Doug Barnard, provided great support in Congress. In addition, the energy crunch of the early and mid 1970s provided dam proponents with a strong reason for the construction of a hydro-electric facility.

When Mr. Williford retired from the publishing trade in 1979, construction of the Richard B. Russell Dam was well under way. He continued as secretary of the Russell Steering Committee, but as completion of the project neared, little effort was needed on the part of the committee. Plans for the dam's dedication in 1985 did require extensive preparations though, and Mr. Williford coordinated this event as chairman for the Dedication Committee.

Robert Williford died in 1991, several years after the completion of the Russell Dam and Lake. At the time of his death, many noted the importance of his dedication to and work on the dam, and his files provide an excellent source of information on the project from its beginnings to its completion and operation.

Scope and Content

Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials includes five audiocassettes and one VHS videocassette documenting the construction of the dam, and one betacam videocassette preservation copy of the VHS video.

Organization and Arrangement

Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials is arranged by format.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Though the collection is open for research, reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.

Preferred Citation

Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission to reproduce material for publication. Persons wishing to reproduce materials in the Russell Library collections should consult the Director. Reproduction or quotation of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2011.


Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Audiovisual.
Barnard, Druie Douglas, 1922-2018
Burson, William H. (Bill), 1928-1997.
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Dams -- Georgia
Dorn, William Jennings Bryan, 1916-
Elbert County (Ga.)
Hydroelectric power plants -- Georgia.
Lakes -- Georgia.
Landrum, Philip M.
Photographs.
Richard B. Russell Dam (Ga. and S.C.)
Richard B. Russell Lake (Ga. and S.C.)
Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-2002
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers.
Water resources development -- Georgia.

Related Collections in this Repository

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Herman E. Talmadge Collection

Maston O'Neal Papers

John W. Davis Papers

Doug Barnard, Jr. Papers

Robert G. Stephens, Jr. Papers

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Strom Thurmond Papers, Clemson University

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Records, National Archive and Records Administration

William Jennings Bryan Dorn Papers, Modern Political Collections, University of South Carolina


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

VIII. Audiovisual Materials

7 item(s)
Robert L. Williford Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project Files, Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials includes five audiocassettes and one VHS videocassette documenting the construction of the dam, and one betacam videocassette preservation copy of the VHS video.
boxitem
CS 0137RLW CS 0001AVA 94-84 RBR Dam & Lake (Master), George Berry Speech, undated
Sound recording.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
boxitem
CS 0064RLW CS 0002AVA 94-84 RBR Dam & Lake, George Berry Speech, undated
Sound recording.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
boxitem
CS 0137RLW CS 0003AVA 93-27, Fritz Hollings, [illegible], 1978, 1978
Sound recording.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
CS 0137RLW CS 0004AVA 93-28, Side A, Dr. Stocks at Russell Dam, undated
Sound recording.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
CS 0137RLW CS 0005AVA 93-29, Dam Rally, Hollings at WJB Dorn's home, Oct. '78, 1978 October
Sound recording.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
boxitem
VHS 0265RLW VHS 00011. Channel 7 Newscast - Russell Dam during construction, between 1981 and 1985. 2. Russell Dam Committee Dinner and Program. Elberton Country Club 11/26/85., 1981; 1985
Moving image.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
boxitem
Bcam 0046RLW Bcam 00011. Channel 7 Newscast - Russell Dam during construction, between 1981 and 1985. 2. Russell Dam Committee Dinner and Program. Elberton Country Club 11/26/85., 1981; 1985
Moving image.
Resource may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.