Senator Howard Baker, Part Nine

Senator Howard Baker, Part Nine

By Ray Hill For much of 1979, Howard Baker was preoccupied with the business of running for president.  Senator Baker arrived at the Lyons Township Republican annual steak fry and the temperature was still a broiling 90 degrees as the sun went down.  Worse still, the sound system failed and Howard Baker stood at the […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part Eight

Senator Howard Baker, Part Eight

By Ray Hill Fresh from his titanic reelection victory in 1972, Howard Baker returned to the United States Senate on the cusp of becoming a national figure. Richard Nixon had also won an historic reelection victory, but it quickly unraveled.  When the Senate appointed a bipartisan committee to investigate the Watergate break-in, Minority Leader Hugh […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part Seven

Senator Howard Baker, Part Seven

By Ray Hill There were those who believed Howard Baker’s election to the United States Senate was an aberration; some believed Tennessee would return to its Democratic roots in the next election cycle. Yet Richard Nixon carried the Volunteer State in the 1968 presidential election. The Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey, had run a poor third […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part Six

Senator Howard Baker, Part Six

By Ray Hill Although Howard Baker had not been selected as Richard Nixon’s running mate in 1968, his political star continued to rise. Even as Howard Baker’s political fortunes rose, 1969 was a difficult year for the Baker family. Everett McKinley Dirksen was the last of his kind. A golden throated orator of a time […]

Senator Howard Baker: Part Four

Senator Howard Baker: Part Four

By Ray Hill Howard Baker had accomplished what most observers had believed to be the impossible by defeating Governor Frank Clement for the United States Senate in the November election in 1966.  Baker became the first Republican ever to be popularly elected to the U. S. Senate since Tennesseans began electing senators in 1916.  It […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part Three

Senator Howard Baker, Part Three

By Ray Hill In the fall of 1966, Republican Howard Baker kicked off his general election campaign for the United States Senate. He faced Democrat Governor Frank Clement in November, one of the most popular and experienced campaigners in Tennessee for the last decade. Since 1953, Frank Clement had served as Tennessee’s governor for all […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part Two

Senator Howard Baker, Part Two

By Ray Hill After having lost a close race for the United States Senate in 1964, Howard H. Baker, Jr. resolved to run again in 1966.  Senator Ross Bass would have to defend his seat after only two years, as he was completing the term of the late Estes Kefauver.  The winner of the 1966 […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part One

Senator Howard Baker, Part One

By Ray Hill During the last decade, Tennessee has become more solidly Republican with the GOP occupying the governorship, both seats in the United States Senate, seven out of nine Congressional seats and a majority in the General Assembly.  Not so long ago, Tennessee was a reliably Democratic state.  The father of Tennessee’s modern Republican […]

Senator McKellar & The TVA, Part II

Senator McKellar & The TVA, Part II

By Ray Hill Tennessee’s senior United States senator, Kenneth D. McKellar, had finally abandoned his opposition to the construction of the Douglas Dam.  For those who thought it signified some kind of surrender in his battle of wills with Tennessee Valley Authority Director David E. Lilienthal, they were very much mistaken. Kenneth Douglas McKellar was […]

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 […]

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