Alice Roosevelt Longworth, I

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, I

  By Ray Hill Alice Roosevelt Longworth remained the most famous presidential daughter in our country’s history; certainly she was the most enduring. An especially astute observer of politics and things political, Alice Roosevelt Longworth was also known for her elegance, entertaining, and most especially her acid tongue. No insipid child dependent upon a powerful […]

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, 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

Tennessee and the League of Nations

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 any-thing, his admiration grew as a […]

Murder On Gay Street

Murder On Gay Street

The Strickland Case By Ray Hill “I’m guilty,” were the only words spoken by William “Billy” Strickland, a fresh-faced twenty-eight year old when he revisited the Knox County Court House.  Strickland had been engaged in a bitter battle for custody of his four year-old son with his pretty twenty-three year-old wife, June.  Six months after […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IX

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IX

By Ray Hill The very idea that anything but a Democrat could represent Tennessee’s Hermitage District in Congress seemed not only outlandish, but utterly unthinkable. The Fifth Congressional district of Tennessee was known as “the Hermitage District” because it contained the home of the founder of the Democratic Party, General Andrew Jackson. Congressman Joseph W. […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VIII

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VIII

By Ray Hill Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. had first been elected in 1938 and as befitting Tennessee’s “Hermitage District,” so-called because it contained the home of General Andrew Jackson, was solidly Democratic.  Byrns was being challenged for the Democratic nomination in 1940 by his predecessor in Congress, Richard M. Atkinson and W. D. “Pete” […]

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