Congressman Leonidas Campbell Houk

Congressman Leonidas Campbell Houk

By Ray Hill For more than a decade Leonidas Campbell Houk was the Congressman from Tennessee’s Second District.  A man with neatly combed hair and a mustache that would have done justice to a Victorian villain; Houk was a popular political figure who tightly maintained his control of his district for years. Houk was born […]

The Southern Gentleman: Winfield Dunn

The Southern Gentleman: Winfield Dunn

By Ray Hill Bryant Winfield Culberson Dunn was born July 1, 1927, the son of Aubert and Dorothy Dunn.  Anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing Winfield Dunn cannot help but hear the soft Southern lilt in his voice, which is a reminder of the fact Governor Dunn was born in Mississippi.  In fact, […]

FDR Comes to Tennessee

FDR Comes to Tennessee

By Ray Hill President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Tennessee several times during his presidency.  It gave local politicians the opportunity to bask in the glow of Roosevelt’s magnetic presence and the people of Tennessee to actually see the jaunty tilt of FDR’s large head, cigarette holder firmly clenched between his teeth.  The popular image […]

The Old Confederate: William Brimage Bate

The Old Confederate: William Brimage Bate

By Ray Hill Just a few years following America’s bloody Civil War, as states were readmitted to the Union, old Confederates began to arrive in Congress.  The United States Senate particularly came to be dominated by Southerners, who occupied most of the powerful committee chairmanships.  It has been frequently said the Senate was the South’s […]

Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island

Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island

By Ray Hill Before Strom Thurmond, Theodore Francis Green was well known for some years as being the oldest member of the United States Senate. First elected when he was sixty-nine years old, Theodore Francis Green frustrated several generations of aspiring politicians who figured a vacancy was imminent. Green served twenty-four years in the Senate […]

Peggy Eaton: The Woman Who Brought Down A Cabinet

Peggy Eaton: The Woman Who Brought Down A Cabinet

By Ray Hill Margaret “Peggy” Timberlake Eaton has been the subject of books and even one Hollywood film (The Gorgeous Hussy) and is oftentimes portrayed as the vixen who nearly caused the collapse of President Andrew Jackson’s administration.  The controversy over Peggy Eaton certainly did cause Jackson’s Cabinet to collapse.  At the heart of the […]

A Tale of Tennessee and the FBI: Senator K. D. McKellar and J. Edgar Hoover

A Tale of Tennessee and the FBI:  Senator K. D. McKellar and J. Edgar Hoover

By Ray Hill Francis Biddle, was Attorney General of the United States under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and noted Tennessee’s Senator Kenneth D. McKellar could be “obstinate” and “vindictive”, but was careful to note McKellar was “shrewd”. Biddle also added that McKellar “never forgot”. It was McKellar’s long memory that caused the Tennessean to bedevil […]

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