Callaway Sr., Howard H. “Bo”


1973 TLS as new Secretary of the Army, lost controversial 1966 Georgia gubernatorial election to Lester Maddox


Autograph ID: 6820
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1927-2014) Georgia politician and businessman. USMA 1949, after Army service he returned to Georgia to help his father develop and operate Callaway Gardens, near Warm Springs, Ga. He left the Democratic Party frustrated with liberal policies regarding desegregation and in 1964 ran as a “Goldwater Republican” for Congress and won, becoming the 1st Republican elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction. He ran for Governor in 1966, 1st Republican to seek the governorship since 1876. As Republicans held no primary in Georgia, Callaway needed 87,000 signatures, 5% of registered voters, to guarantee ballot access; he secured 150,765 names. Former Democratic Governor Ellis Arnall relished a showdown with Callaway, and signed the petition to place him on the ballot. The media speculated that Callaway would wage a formidable campaign against either Arnall or segregationist businessman Lester Maddox. Both major party nominees opposed federal enforcement of desegregation guidelines. Callaway won a very narrow plurality over Maddox in the general election, but Arnall’s write-in effort denied Callaway a majority of votes. Under Georgia law then, the state legislature was required to select a governor from the 2 candidates with the most votes. The legislature, dominated overwhelmingly by Democrats, selected Maddox. After certification of election returns, a 3-judge federal court struck down the constitutional provision permitting the legislature to elect the governor but granted a 10-day suspension of the ruling to permit appeal to the US Supreme Court. In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court cleared the path for the legislature to elect Maddox who won 182-66. A week after Maddox’s inauguration, Callaway replaced former President Eisenhower as director of Freedoms Foundation and a few months later, he became Georgia GOP national committeeman and Nixon’s 1968 "southern coordinator," which secured Nixon's nomination. Callaway became Secretary of the Army 1973-76 under Presidents Nixon and Ford and was important in managing the post-Vietnam transition from the draft to the all-volunteer army. After managing the 1st phase of the Ford election campaign, he resigned in 1976, when NBC News alleged his involvement in a conflict-of-interest case relating to the US Forest Service in Colorado. A congressional investigation found "no positive evidence of impropriety." In 1976, Callaway and his family moved to Colorado’s Crested Butte Mountain Resort which he acquired. In 1980, he ran unsuccessfully for the GOP US Senate nomination in Colorado. He was Colorado state GOP chairman 1981-87 and headed the Republican GOPAC political action committee.

TLS on 8 x 7 official letterhead as Secretary of the Army, Defense Dept. blue seal at top left, Washington, May 31 1973, to “Dee”, Major General DeWitt C. Smith Jr., Asst. Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, The Pentagon. Callaway thanks Smith for his letter regarding Callaway’s appointment as Army Secretary, he considers it a great privilege to serve the Army and the country, promises he will work on his tennis and squash games.

DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. Joined the Army 1942, commissioned 2nd lieutenant with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. Wounded 3 times, he was awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged 1946, returned to active duty in Korea and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor, a battalion XO and commander in Germany, and served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. He led a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. He retired in 1980.”

Type: Letter

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