Capus M. Waynick Oral History Interview

August 1, 1979; September 19, 1979; January 30, 1980; July 29, 1980
Oral History #OH0058
Lennon, Donald R.; Waynick, Capus M.
Physical description
0.02 Cubic Feet, 4 audiocassettes, 5 hours, 62 pages
Preferred Citation
Capus M. Waynick Oral History Interview (#OH0058), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Biographical/historical information

Capus Miller Waynick (December 23, 1889 - September 7, 1986) was a noted newspaper editor, N.C. highway commissioner, N.C. state legislator, U.S. ambassador to Colombia and Nicaragua, N.C. adjutant general, first director of the Point IV program, and director of the Venereal Disease Education Institute.

Scope and arrangement

Waynick begins his narrative by describing his early childhood years; the beginning of his journalistic career with his job as city editor (1911) for the Greensboro Record (pp.4-6); his experiences with the N.C. National Guard before World War I (pp. 5-7); and his brief military service at the end of World War I (p. 7).

He then discusses his career as a representative (1931) and then a senator (1933) in the N.C. General Assembly (pp. 8-10) including his relationship with N.C. Governor O. Max Gardner (pp. 9, 11); his vote switching concerning the passage of a state sales tax (pp. 9, 11); and his relationship with May Thompson Evans in her role as secretary to the Constitution Committee he chaired in the state senate (pp. 48-49).

Waynick also describes his efforts, while editor of the High Point Enterprise (1923-1935), to settle labor strikes (1932) at the Monarch Mill owned by the Cannon family in Thomasville, at the Thomasville Chair Co., and at the High Point Hosiery Mills (pp. 10-15). In 1934 GovernorJ. C. B. Ehringhaus appointed Waynick to be N.C. highway commissioner and he discusses his appointment, the problems he encountered (pp. 15-19), and his dismissal as commissioner by Governor Clyde R. Hoey over disagreements about contractors (pp. 17-19). Other North Carolina-related topics noted here include his experiences as chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee (1948) and as manager of W. Kerr Scott's 1948 gubernatorial campaign (pp. 19-23); the anti-Truman feeling in the N.C. Democratic Party during the 1948 presidential campaign (pp. 21-22, 49-50); attempts by Scott to get Waynick to run for N.C. governor in 1952 (p. 23) and by Hoey to get Waynick to not run against him for N.C. Senate in 1950 (p. 24); and Scott deciding to appoint Frank Graham instead of Waynick to serve the remainder of the deceased Broughton's U.S. Senate term in 1949 (pp. 41-42). Waynick also discusses his appointment (1957) as the adjutant general of North Carolina by Gov. Luther H. Hodges and the friendship he and Gov. Hodges shared (pp. 44, 59-60).

Waynick's discourse next covers his tenure as ambassador to Nicaragua (1949-1951) and his close working relationship with Anastasio Somoza (pp. 25-34, 52-53). While serving as ambassador to Nicaragua, the Truman administration asked Waynick to return to Washington (1950) as acting director of the Point IV program (Technical Cooperation Administration) which he discusses here (pp. 24-25, 33-37, 50-52). He also recalls his selection of Nelson Rockefeller as chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Point IV program (pp. 51-52). Waynick then discusses problems in Colombia where he served as ambassador (1951-1953) after leaving the Point IV program (pp. 30-31, 37-44), touching also on CIA activities in Colombia during this time (pp. 30-31).

As concerns his career in the private sector, Waynick discusses his involvement with the Venereal Disease Education Institute (1942-1949) which was partially subsidized by Richard Reynolds (pp. 20, 54-56) who persuaded him to direct it.

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of Capus M. Waynick

Processing information

Processed by J. Layne, April 1988

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

General note


Related material

Capus Miller Waynick Papers

Key terms
Personal Names
Evans, May Thompson, 1901-
Gardner, Oliver Max, 1882-1947
Hodges, Luther Hartwell, 1898-1974
Scott, William Kerr, 1896-1958
Somoza, Anastasio, 1896-1956
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
Waynick, Capus M.
Corporate Names
Democratic Party (N.C.)--History--20th century
Democratic Party (N.C.). State Executive Committee
North Carolina. National Guard
Point Four Program (U.S.)
Venereal Disease Education Institute
Adjutants--North Carolina
Ambassadors--United States
Labor disputes--North Carolina
Newspaper editors--North Carolina--Greensboro
Political campaigns--North Carolina--History--20th century
Public health--North Carolina
World War, 1939-1945
Colombia--Politics and government--1946-1974
Nicaragua--Politics and government--1937-1979
North Carolina--Politics and government--1865-1950