Keen Johnson was governor of Kentucky from 1939 to 1943 -- years that spanned the end of the Depression and the initial involvement of this country in the Second World War. The account of Johnson's administration is chronicled here through a collection of his public papers. The material, organized by subject and arranged chronologically within each area, presents a rather clear picture of Governor Johnson's plans and concerns for Kentucky and of the actions he took as chief executive on behalf of the state.
In contrast to contemporary procedures concerning the preservation of governors' papers in university and state archives, many of the Johnson papers were difficult to locate and, apart from a few complete speech manuscripts, were reconstructed in large part from cards containing outlines and notes for speeches, along with many state and local newspaper accounts of speeches he made and of events in which he participated. Many speeches have been extensively footnoted by the editor to provide the reader with supplementary information.
Also included in this volume is a perceptive evaluation of the Johnson administration by H. Clyde Reeves, who served in it as a commissioner of revenue. The appendix offers as complete a listing as was possible to reconstruct of the speeches delivered by Governor Johnson during his term of office.
"A model for historical researchers faced with the problem of reconstructing the past from incomplete and unorganized source materials." -- The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society