The Last Hurrah of Ross Bass, II

The Last Hurrah of Ross Bass, II

By Ray Hill Ross Bass, for ten years a congressman from Tennessee’s Sixth District and U. S. senator for two years, was seeking to return to Congress in 1976. Bass had earlier announced he was done with politics after a disappointing defeat in 1974 for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Perhaps no politician in Tennessee’s history […]

The Last Hurrah of Ross Bass

The Last Hurrah of Ross Bass

By Ray Hill The 1974 Tennessee gubernatorial campaign took a heavy toll on the finances of several aspirants.  Dortch Oldham, who had run in the Republican primary, acknowledged spending perhaps $300,000 of his own money to fund his campaign.  Oldham said, “I don’t believe anybody would do that if he ever sat down before the […]

The Last Vestige of the Crump Machine: Clifford Davis, Part II

The Last Vestige of the Crump Machine:  Clifford Davis, Part II

By Ray Hill Congressman Clifford Davis of Memphis had served in the House of Representatives since 1940 and in 1959 was the chairman of the House Public Works Committee.  A relatively obscure committee to most folks, it became of prime importance to Tennessee.  Davis was pushing a bill vital to the Tennessee Valley Authority, a […]

When Two Congressmen Collide, IV

When Two Congressmen Collide, IV

By Ray Hill Ridley Mitchell, the colorful congressman from Tennessee’s Fourth District, suddenly found himself embroiled in a debate with fellow Representative John J. Cochran of Missouri, an effective and acerbic speaker. The topic was the seemingly unimportant removal of Bedford County in Mitchell’s Congressional district to the jurisdiction of the federal court in Winchester, […]

When Two Congressmen Collide, III

When Two Congressmen Collide, III

By Ray Hill Tennessee Congressman Ewin L. Davis, a veteran of fourteen years, had lost his seat to freshman legislator J. Ridley Mitchell in the 1932 Democratic primary.  Mitchell’s district had been dismembered by the Tennessee General Assembly causing Mitchell to move from Crossville to Cookeville.  Mitchell, remaining the underdog for most of the campaign, […]

The Knoxville Focus for July 24, 2017

The Knoxville Focus for July 24, 2017

Remembering Jake Butcher By Ray Hill rayhill865@gmail.com For those wanting an opportunity to bask in the limelight, it would be well to remember the glare burns far more frequently than it shines.  That thought was rekindled yet again in my mind with the passing of Jake Butcher.  Media across Tennessee have recounted Butcher’s public career; […]

When Two Congressmen Collide, II

When Two Congressmen Collide, II

By Ray Hill When the Tennessee General Assembly reduced the number of Tennessee’s congressional seats from ten to nine, Congressman J. Ridley Mitchell had been displaced.  Mitchell’s home county of Cumberland had been placed in the heavily Republican Second District, which was represented by GOP Congressman J. Will Taylor.  “Hillbilly Bill” Taylor was considered unbeatable […]

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