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One Minute of Historical Audio: Alben W. Barkley

Below is the audio recording of Vice President Alben William Barkley speaking his last words, on 30 April 1956. Barkley had a heart attack in the middle of a speech at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He was 78 years old at the time, serving as a U.S. senator from Kentucky.

Vice President Barkley had been a U.S. Senator before, from his first term in 1927 until he took the job of vice president in 1949. For a decade he was the Senate Majority Leader, during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

By the time he took office as “Veep” — Barkley was the first vice president to be called that — he was 71 years old.

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