Governor Hill McAlister

By Ray Hill   Hill McAlister very much wanted to be governor of Tennessee and made repeated efforts before finally achieving his goal.  Once in office, McAlister found it bit tougher than he likely expected. McAlister was born in Nashville on July 15, 1875 and eventually graduated from Vanderbilt University’s school of law.  By the […]

Governor Thomas C. Rye

By Ray Hill   Just after the turn of the century, Tennessee’s Democratic Party became almost hopelessly fractured.  The candidacies of two men helped to heal the deep divisions inside the Democratic Party in Tennessee: that of Kenneth D. McKellar for the United States Senate in 1916 and Tom C. Rye for governor in 1914. […]

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 […]

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