Alice Roosevelt Longworth, I

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, I

  By Ray Hill Alice Roosevelt Longworth remained the most famous presidential daughter in our country’s history; certainly she was the most enduring. An especially astute observer of politics and things political, Alice Roosevelt Longworth was also known for her elegance, entertaining, and most especially her acid tongue. No insipid child dependent upon a powerful […]

Tennessee and the League of Nations, II

Tennessee and the League of Nations, II

By Ray Hill Colonel Luke Lea, away in Europe during the First World War, had never gotten along with John Knight Shields when they were colleagues in the United States Senate.  Lea’s newspaper, the Nashville Tennessean sided with Shields’ opponent, Governor Tom Rye in the Democratic primary.  According to Lea’s newspaper, Shields had made several […]

Murder On Gay Street

Murder On Gay Street

The Strickland Case By Ray Hill “I’m guilty,” were the only words spoken by William “Billy” Strickland, a fresh-faced twenty-eight year old when he revisited the Knox County Court House.  Strickland had been engaged in a bitter battle for custody of his four year-old son with his pretty twenty-three year-old wife, June.  Six months after […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IX

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IX

By Ray Hill The very idea that anything but a Democrat could represent Tennessee’s Hermitage District in Congress seemed not only outlandish, but utterly unthinkable. The Fifth Congressional district of Tennessee was known as “the Hermitage District” because it contained the home of the founder of the Democratic Party, General Andrew Jackson. Congressman Joseph W. […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VII

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VII

By Ray Hill Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. had first been elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1938, toppling incumbent Richard M. Atkinson in a hard fought campaign inside the Democratic Primary. Tennessee’s “Hermitage District,” so named because the Fifth Congressional district contained the home of General Andrew Jackson, founder of the […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, I

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, I

By Ray Hill Joseph Wellington Byrns was almost surely the most popular political figure inside Tennessee’s “Hermitage District.”  That was the Congressional district in Tennessee which encompassed Nashville and the “Hermitage”, home of General Andrew Jackson.  For nearly twenty-eight years, that same district had been represented by Jo Byrns.  Tall and lean with white hair […]

The 1928 U.S. Senate Race in Tennessee, II

The 1928 U.S. Senate Race in Tennessee, II

 By Ray Hill   Kenneth D. McKellar, Tennessee’s senior United States senator, had won a thumping renomination inside the Democratic primary, beating Congressman Finis Garrett, the Minority Leader of the U. S. House of Representatives.  Tennessee Republicans had nominated James A. Fowler, the mayor of Knoxville, to run in the general election.  One of the […]

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