Congressman Wirt Courtney

By Ray Hill William Wirt Courtney is barely remembered today and is likely an unfamiliar name to many residents of Tennessee, but for a decade, Courtney served in Congress, serving parts of Middle Tennessee. The future congressman was named for his father, who was in turn named for the famous lawyer, William Wirt, who was […]

Congressman Carroll Reece Goes Back To Congress

By Ray Hill For decades Tennessee was a one-party state, dominated by the Democrats. The exceptions were the First and Second Congressional districts in East Tennessee. Despite being the minority party, Republicans were perfectly capable of fighting amongst themselves and the Tennessee GOP was frequently highly factionalized. Fights in both the First and Second Congressional […]

Key Pittman of Nevada

By Ray Hill Colorful characters are as much a part of the old West as tumbleweeds.  Key Pittman was certainly a colorful character.  Pittman caused a stir by using his silver handled revolver to shoot out streetlights while on a drinking spree.  In fact, Key Pittman’s death would spawn a rumor, which persists to this […]

Senator Joseph T. Robinson of Arkansas

By Ray Hill   Joseph Taylor Robinson was Majority Leader of the United States Senate during the first one hundred days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Few politicians have enjoyed the breadth and length of the career Joe T. Robinson had in Arkansas. A forceful leader, dynamic and plainspoken, Joe Robinson was a man […]

A. B. Chandler of Kentucky, Part III

By Ray Hill Governor Albert B. “Happy” Chandler had badly lost his bid to defeat Senator Alben W. Barkley for the United States Senate in 1938. The death of Kentucky’s other senator, Marvel M. Logan, gave Chandler the opportunity to go to the Senate. Chandler resigned as governor and a day later his successor appointed […]

The Irrepressible “Happy” Chandler: A. B. Chandler of Kentucky, Part 2

By Ray Hill With his reform package having passed the state legislature and having eliminated Kentucky’s budget deficit, Albert Benjamin “Happy” Chandler was highly popular in his home state. Elected governor in 1935, Happy was beginning to think of bigger things for himself.  Kentucky’s junior United States senator was Marvel M. Logan.  Senator Logan had […]

The Irrepressible “Happy” Chandler: A. B. Chandler of Kentucky

By Ray Hill Few subjects excite as much commentary as politics and sports and Albert B. Chandler played a big role in both for decades.  Serving as governor, United States senator and Commissioner of Baseball, “Happy” Chandler was an institution.  Like most who stayed around long enough, Chandler became controversial in some aspects, but he […]

Louisiana’s Kingfish: Huey Long’s Rise to Power

By Ray Hill Huey Long’s rise to power began with his election to the Louisiana Public Service Commission.  He ran a surprisingly strong race for the gubernatorial nomination in 1924 when only thirty years old, but lost to Henry Fuqua.  Governor Fuqua died two years into his four-year term, leaving O. H. Simpson as Louisiana’s […]

1 3 4 5 6 7 19