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Cecil Morgan; led group that impeached Huey Long

Cecil Morgan, 100, the leader of a group of Louisiana legislators that impeached Gov. Huey P. Long in 1929. Morgan outlived all of his colleagues from the tumultuous special legislative session--when the attempt to impeach Long touched off fistfights on the floor of the house. Morgan and other legislators began talking about impeachment after Long tried to impose a 5-cents-a-barrel tax on oil refined in the state. The group, known as “the dynamite squad,” drew up a bill of charges accusing Long of trying to arrange the murder of a political opponent, bribing lawmakers, carrying concealed weapons and tearing down the governor’s mansion without authorization. Morgan was assigned to read the charges in the Legislature, but before he could, the speaker of the House, a Long ally, tried to adjourn the session. Fights broke out with some members reportedly wielding brass knuckles. While the House finally voted to impeach Long, the state Senate passed a measure saying they would never vote for impeachment. Morgan later told an interviewer that he thought that some of Long’s policies, such as providing free textbooks for schools, were good, but on the whole his programs were too costly. Morgan left the Legislature in 1934 to accept a judgeship. He later worked for Standard Oil as general counsel before becoming deal of the Tulane law school. On Monday at his home in New Orleans.


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