Skip to main content

Cheerleader Huey

June 2024
1min read

“FDR and the Kingfish” (October/November 1985) reminded me of seeing Huej Long myself nearly fifty-two years ago A friend and I went down to Nashville’ Murphy Road, which was near the olc North Carolina and St. Louis Railway tracks, to watch five special passen ger trains bringing the Louisiana Statt University football team and Huey Lonç to Nashville to meet the Vanderbilt Commodores in a football game at Dudley Stadium. It was a sight to behold as the trains, each with from twelve to fifteen coaches, roared up Dutchman’s Grade. The speed of the locomotives, the cinders and smoke, the waving and cheering of the students, and the knowledge that Huey Long would have only the best for LSU made this one of the most exciting exhibitions of power that I had ever witnessed.

As soon as the trains had passed, we went to the station, where a large crowd had gathered. Everyone wanted a glimpse of Huey. We didn’t have long to wait. Huey Long, ever the showman, suddenly appeared on the front steps of Union Station with his right arm around the shoulders of Abe Mickal, the AilAmerican quarterback of the LSU team. Huey, waving to the crowd and bouncing around like a Ping-Pong ball, was soon surrounded by a throng of students who were waving pennants and tossing confetti.

Police officers cleared Broadway for the LSU band to form, and who should appear but Senator Long with a baton, which he used to lead the band for a block or two down Broadway. He stopped somewhere near the spot where I had seen a world-renowned strong man pull a streetcar with his teeth a few years earlier. I thought to myself that here was a short, dumpy little man, who, in his way, was far stronger than the performing Hercules.

LSU won the game that day. Abe Mickal remained the best quarterback in the nation, and Huey Long proved to be one of the best cheerleaders on the field.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.