Governor Buford Ellington

Governor Buford Ellington

By Ray Hill Buford Ellington is perhaps best remembered today for being one of Tennessee’s “leap-frog” governors, alternating terms with Frank Clement.  For almost twenty years, Clement and Ellington ruled Tennessee from the governor’s office. Ellington was not a native Tennessean, being born in Holmes County, Mississippi June 27, 1907.  Buford Ellington attempted to go […]

Governor Thomas C. Rye

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. Thomas […]

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

By Ray Hill While it might be difficult for readers to believe, once upon a time, Massachusetts was largely a Republican state. The first political dynasty was not the Kennedys, but rather the Lodges. There is the old bit of doggerel, “And this is good old Boston, the home of the bean and the cod, […]

Governor Albert H. Roberts

Governor Albert H. Roberts

By Ray Hill There is likely no more fickle mistress than that of politics.  Political success for any person is always a combination of many things, not the least of which are timing and good fortune.  Momentary popularity can be washed away in a tide of ill fortune, bad timing, misreading the public mood or […]

‘The Terror of Tennessee’ Parson Brownlow

‘The Terror of Tennessee’ Parson Brownlow

By Ray Hill William Gannaway Brownlow was one of the most controversial figures in Tennessee history. “Parson” Brownlow was highly controversial during his own time and few figures ever relished the political battles he waged more than the man who was a pastor, editor, governor and United States senator. Brownlow was born in Virginia in […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Fourteen

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Fourteen

By Ray Hill Senator Estes Kefauver won a resounding reelection victory in 1960 after facing a bitter primary contest with Judge Andrew “Tip” Taylor.  It was to be his last campaign. Kefauver never relied on the usual gift of the Southern politician, oratory.  A terrible public speaker, Kefauver was one of those rare politicians who […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Thirteen

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Thirteen

By Ray Hill Estes Kefauver had been in the United States Senate for twelve years in 1960.  He had quickly risen to national prominence, making two serious bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956.  Kefauver had crushed a determined opposition to his 1954 reelection to the Senate from an ambitious Congressman who […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Twelve

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Twelve

By Ray Hill Tennessee’s Senator Estes Kefauver had once again bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1956.  Unlike 1952, Kefauver had encountered stiff competition from various other candidates.  Former Illinois governor and 1952 Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson had not been coy or hesitant as he had been four years earlier.  Stevenson wanted the […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Eleven

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Eleven

By Ray Hill Senator Estes Kefauver had demolished his opposition inside the 1954 Democratic primary and he had been reelected to a second term that fall easily. Almost immediately following his reelection, Senator Kefauver began considering another run for the presidential nomination of his party in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was quite likely the single […]

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