John Julian McKeithen
May 28, 1918 - June 4, 1999
—Governor of Louisiana 1964-1972 —
"I wasn't born to material wealth, nor do I have claim to an aristocratic name. But if I am elected governor, it will prove any mother's son can aspire to the highest political office of the state. I've come this far because you the people have given me your support, with all the professional politicians, power brokers and big money people fighting me every step of the way. Because I owe you so much, you can be assured when I raise my hand to take the oath of office as Governor of Louisiana there will be a prayer in my heart that God will always guide me to do what is best for the state, and all the people in it. We'll win this race but I need your help. Won't you help me?"
McKeithen on the Campaign Trail in 1964.
Louisiana Public Service Commissioner
John J. McKeithen married Marjorie Howell Funderburk and had six children: Jesse Jay, Walter Fox, Rebecca Ann, Melissa Sue, Pamela Clare and Jenneva Maude. McKeithen employed a folksy plea - "Won't you he'p me?" - with a promise to "clean up the mess in Baton Rouge" to win election as Governor in 1964. McKeithen's stance as a reformer combined with his Longite roots in northern Louisiana attracted followers of both the Long and anti-Long factions. His first term promoted reform with a
Mainly, McKeithen concentrated on selling Louisiana to the nation during his first four years. His effort to attract business and industry became a personal crusade. McKeithen fought for the passage of two constitutional amendments, one which changed the economic landscape of Louisiana, the other affecting the political life of the state: voters approved the construction of the "Superdome" in New Orleans and approved a measure allowing governors to serve two consecutive terms.
His second term featured reform of the Department of Corrections, increased highway construction and the establishment of a uniform insurance program for state employees.
Following his second term, Governor McKeithen retired to his farm in Caldwell Parish, where he continued practicing law and managing an oil and gas exploration company. He later established a law practice in Baton Rouge, as well. A devout supporter of Louisiana State University, he was appointed to that University's Board of Supervisors in 1983. In 1989, Governor McKeithen put his full support behind Patrick F. Taylor's efforts to pass the first merit based college tuition program,
McKeithen died on June 4, 1999 at the age of 81 in his hometown of Columbia and is buried there.
- Enlisted 1942 in the U.S. Army
- Served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S.Army 77th Infantry Division
- World War II, Pacific Theater
- Combat Veteran in Campaigns of Guam, Leyte, Okinawa, & IE Shima
- Awarded two Bronze Stars
- Honorable Discharge 1946
Erected by Patrick F. Taylor.
Location. 29° 57.147′ N, 90° 4.886′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker is on Sugar Bowl Drive near Poydras Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans LA 70112, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Superdome Vietnam Memorial (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Superdome Vietnam Wall (about 600 feet away); Rebirth (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saint Joseph Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Pythian Temple (approx. 0.4 miles away); Louisiana Spanish-American War Monument The Clarinet (approx. 0.4 miles away); Jazz (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
More about this marker. Located on the second level of Superdome grounds, Poydras Street entrance.
Categories. • Politics • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 22, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 22, 2017.