Huey P. Long’s vision of social and economic change was encapsulated in a campaign speech he gave under the tree which inspired the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in St. Martinville, Louisiana — the Evangeline Oak — as noted in Long’s work EVERY MAN A KING: The Autobiography of Huey P. Long (Originally published in 1933; reissued edition 1996, De Capo Press, Page 99):
And it is here under this oak where Evangeline waited for her lover,
Gabriel, who never came. This oak is an immortal spot, made so by
Longfellow’s poem, but Evangeline is not the only one who has
waited here in disappointment. Where are the schools that you have
waited for your children to have, that have never came? Where are the
roads and the highways that you send your money to build, that are no
nearer now than ever before? Where are the institutions to care for the
sick and disabled? Evangeline wept bitter tears in her disappointment,
but it lasted through only one lifetime. Your tears in this country,
around this oak, have lasted for generations. Give me the chance to
dry the eyes of those who still weep here!
I cite Long in part to advise you that I am one of two plaintiffs in a petition filed June 2, 2014 by our legal counsel in Baton Rouge’s 19th Judicial Court (Parker et al v. Senate of Louisiana et al) regarding Senate Concurrent Resolution 48, passed during the 2014 Regular Louisiana Legislative Session, and its proposed closure of the Huey P. Long Medical Center; and that has already received news media attention by the Alexandria Town Talk.