Tennessee’s Reform Governor: Austin Peay

By Ray Hill Austin Peay was once one of Tennessee’s more famous governors, hailed as perhaps one of the most talented reformers in the state’s history.  The late governor’s legacy is hardly confined to the university named for him in his home city of Clarksville. Born on June 1, 1876 in Kentucky, Austin Peay was […]

Georgia’s Wild Man: Eugene Talmadge

  By Ray Hill For two decades, Eugene “Gene” Talmadge, was a fixture in Georgia politics.  Bold, brash and plain spoken, Gene Talmadge was almost always on the ballot for some office until his death. Born on September 23, 1884 in Forsyth, Georgia, Gene Talmadge was far better educated than one might have otherwise believed.  […]

Tennessee In Congress: 1939

By Ray Hill Tennessee has been quite fortunate in oftentimes having an excellent Congressional delegation.  The landscape and economic condition of Tennessee would be much different had it not been for the ability of some of our Congressional delegation to secure projects for our state and keep them flourishing. 1939 was a difficult year for […]

Tennessee’s First Election For the U. S. Senate: The Democratic Primary 1915

By Ray Hill 2015 marks the one-hundredth year since the people of Tennessee cast their ballots to select a candidate for the United States Senate. There had previously been non-binding preferential primaries, as senators were still elected by the state legislature. The 1915 primary was unusual in two respects; first it was no ordinary election […]

Bob Taylor of Tennessee

By Ray Hill Senator Kenneth D. McKellar once claimed that outside of the three men who served as President of the United States, Robert Love Taylor was “the best-known man to the Republic at large that Tennessee has ever produced”. It well may have been true. Robert L. Taylor certainly enjoyed almost unparalleled success as […]

In This Corner… Senator McKellar Slaps Publisher

By Ray Hill Tennessee’s senior United States senator, Kenneth D. McKellar, was well known for having a volatile temper and had won a well-deserved reputation as a feudist.  It was not uncommon for the peppery senator to become involved in a physical altercation, even as he approached his eightieth birthday. The winter of 1948 should […]

‘Mr. Speaker:’ John McCormack of Massachusetts

By Ray Hill   “I have no hesitancy in insisting that Government in an emergency do everything that can reasonably be done to relieve human suffering and distress.” That was the philosophy of John William McCormack throughout his long political career and he lived by it. John W. McCormack of Boston was an old-fashioned politico.  […]

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