Senator McKellar & The TVA

Senator McKellar & The TVA

By Ray Hill Senator Kenneth D. McKellar’s reputation has suffered through the years largely due to his feud with David E. Lilienthal. Lilienthal was one of the original Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Like all of Kenneth McKellar’s feuds, it was a no holds barred affair and his hatred of Lilienthal became something of […]

‘Alfalfa Bill’ Governor William H. Murray of Oklahoma

‘Alfalfa Bill’ Governor William H. Murray of Oklahoma

By Ray Hill “A college boy cannot successfully go through life by graduating in football, baseball or highballs, for the responsibilities of life are not ball-bearing.” – William H. Murray William H. Murray is almost invariably described as Oklahoma’s most colorful political figure.  Considering he went out of office in 1935, that is saying something.  […]

The 1952 Senate Race in Tennessee, Part II

The 1952 Senate Race in Tennessee, Part II

By Ray Hill Congressman Albert Gore, forty-four years old in 1952, was poised to challenge Tennessee’s most formidable vote getter, Senator Kenneth D. McKellar, in the Democratic primary. McKellar, eighty-three years old and ailing, remained an imposing candidate despite his infirmities. The longest serving senator in Tennessee’s history, McKellar was well liked by his people […]

The 1952 Senate Race in Tennessee, I

The 1952 Senate Race in Tennessee, I

By Ray Hill The 1952 Senate race in Tennessee had its roots in the 1948 election, which was a turning point in Volunteer State history.  For decades, Tennessee’s politics had been dominated by Senator Kenneth D. McKellar and E. H. Crump, leader of the Shelby County machine.  The two had parted company only occasionally, usually […]

The 1948 Governor’s Race in Tennessee, Part 2

The 1948 Governor’s Race in Tennessee, Part 2

By Ray Hill As Tennessee entered the summer months of 1948, Governor Jim Nance McCord and Gordon Browning battled for the Democratic nomination to be chief executive of the state. Any campaign waged by Gordon Browning quickly became hard fought and the genteel McCord found himself hard pressed. Governor McCord had the support of Tennessee’s […]

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 […]

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