The Last Years of Nancy Kefauver

The Last Years of Nancy Kefauver

By Ray Hill Senator Estes Kefauver died on August 10, 1963 when his aorta burst.  Kefauver had died at Bethesda Naval Hospital and according to his biographer, Charles Fontenay, the senator had put off urgent surgery to await the arrival of his wife, who was vacationing with two of their daughters in Colorado.  Nancy Kefauver  […]

Tennessee and the League of Nations V

Tennessee and the League of Nations V

By Ray Hill Despite intense pressure from constituents and his own political party, Senator John Knight Shields of Tennessee remained determined to vote his convictions as the United States Senate considered the Treaty of Versailles.  John Knight Shields had been the only Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to break ranks and support the […]

Tennessee and the League of Nations, IV

Tennessee and the League of Nations, IV

By Ray Hill Tennessee’s senior United States senator, John Knight Shields, had surprised tens of thousands of his constituents and infuriated many members of his own Democratic Party when he had voted to add reservations to the Treaty of Versailles in the Senate.  The treaty was the culmination of months of torturous negotiations between the […]

Tennessee and the League of Nations III

Tennessee and the League of Nations III

Governor Tom C. Rye had run for the United States Senate in the 1918 Democratic primary against Senator John Knight Shields as a supporter of President Woodrow Wilson and lost. Rye’s defeat did not necessarily mean the people of Tennessee had turned against Wilson; in fact, had the President written the public letter denouncing Shields […]

Tennessee and the League of Nations II

Tennessee and the League of Nations II

By Ray Hill Colonel Luke Lea, away in Europe during the First World War, had never gotten along with John Knight Shields when they were colleagues in the United States Senate.  Lea’s newspaper, the Nashville Tennessean sided with Shields’ opponent, Governor Tom Rye in the Democratic primary.  According to Lea’s newspaper, Shields had made several […]

Tennessee and the League of Nations I

Tennessee and the League of Nations I

By Ray Hill Tennessee had been staunchly for Woodrow Wilson, both in his 1912 campaign for the presidency and his 1916 reelection campaign. Tennessee’s junior United States senator, Kenneth D. McKellar, had been a fervent admirer of President Wilson as a member of the House of Representatives and if anything, his admiration grew as a […]

Congressman Finis J. Garrett

Congressman Finis J. Garrett

By Ray Hill For more than two decades, Finis James Garrett represented a West Tennessee district in Congress. Garrett was a talented politician and his rise was meteoric. Winning a seat in Congress when he was barely twenty-eight years old, he rose to become the Minority Leader of the U. S. House of Representatives. Finis […]

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 […]

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