The 1948 Governor’s Race in Tennessee

The 1948 Governor’s Race in Tennessee

By Ray Hill The 1948 election in Tennessee was a watershed political event. For two decades, the political partnership of senior United States senator Kenneth D. McKellar and Edward Hull Crump, leader of the Shelby County machine, had dominated Volunteer State elections. There had been numerous challenges to the McKellar – Crump alliance, but none […]

The Other “Boss” Hilary Howse of Nashville

The Other “Boss” Hilary Howse of Nashville

By Ray Hill When one thinks of bossism in Tennessee politics, Edward Hull Crump of Memphis leaps to mind.  Much has been written about the Crump machine, but Hilary Howse of Nashville headed an equally potent and thriving political machine in Davidson County. There are numerous similarities between the two urban political machines. Like Crump, […]

The New Deal’s Curmudgeon: Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, Part 2

The New Deal’s Curmudgeon: Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, Part 2

By Ray Hill In 1943, while still a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Cabinet, Harold L. Ickes wrote his autobiography.  Aptly entitled “Autobiography of a Curmudgeon,” Ickes immediately said, “If, in these pages, I have hurled an insult at anyone, be it known that such was my deliberate intent, and I may as well […]

The 1936 Campaign For Governor

The 1936 Campaign For Governor

By Ray Hill Hill McAlister had finally achieved his dream of serving as governor of Tennessee after two hard fought failed campaigns.  The descendant of two governors, McAlister had run a strong race against incumbent Austin Peay when the latter was seeking a third two-year term in 1926.  Peay had died suddenly in 1927 and […]

Washington Widow: Mary Borah

Washington Widow: Mary Borah

By Ray Hill If there is anything sadder than a defeated and forgotten politician, it may well be a forgotten politician’s widow. Once powerful politicians who wielded enormous influence, attended by staff and an abundance of friends, oftentimes find themselves bereft when out of office and without favors to dispense.  Many former friends disappear with […]

‘The Man’ —Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi

‘The Man’ —Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi

By Ray Hill The art of politics has changed dramatically over the years. The age of truly gifted speakers who could move the emotions of audiences, bringing them alternately to laughter or tears is long gone.  Courthouse rallies and barbecues are already becoming things of the past, replaced by slick television advertisements, polling and focus […]

1 2 3 21