Written by Dr. Jim Williams, Director of the Albert Gore Research Center
Whenever I am in a group of Democrats I have grown to expect them to share with me stories about Albert Gore, Sr., and Al Gore. Such was the case last Sunday night in Washington, where I attended a reception and introduced myself to Maine’s new senator Angus King. Though I intended our contact to be just long enough for the photo you see here to be taken, Senator King upon hearing my introduction told me his story about Albert Gore, Sr. He said that Gore’s was the first campaign to which he’d ever donated, he thought in 1970 and recalled the amount was $100, which he commented was a lot of money for him then. Just one example of what I hear in the course of my job, and the long-established and wide-ranging web of contacts and influence the Gores have had in American history.
The other photo is from my vantage point on the Capitol grounds during the inaugural ceremony. If one has the stamina, patience, and warm clothes, one should attend at least one inauguration. There’s nothing quite like them in American history. This was my third, but first with a ticket. My first was in 1997, shortly after I joined the faculty at MTSU. I ran into Jim Neal, the Gore Research Center’s founding director, and remember having a long discussion over lunch with him about the Gores and the center. Perhaps it was this encounter that sealed my fate to become the center’s third director nearly eleven years later.