A Tale of Tennessee and the FBI: Senator K. D. McKellar and J. Edgar Hoover

A Tale of Tennessee and the FBI:  Senator K. D. McKellar and J. Edgar Hoover

By Ray Hill Francis Biddle, was Attorney General of the United States under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and noted Tennessee’s Senator Kenneth D. McKellar could be “obstinate” and “vindictive”, but was careful to note McKellar was “shrewd”. Biddle also added that McKellar “never forgot”. It was McKellar’s long memory that caused the Tennessean to bedevil […]

Governor Prentice Cooper Chapter IV

Governor Prentice Cooper Chapter IV

By Ray Hill Governor Prentice Cooper was seeking a third two-year term in 1942 and found himself hard pressed by his opponent, J. Ridley Mitchell. Mitchell was a wily politician and had served as the Congressman from Tennessee’s Fourth District from 1931-39, leaving office to make a quixotic bid for the United States Senate in […]

Governor Prentice Cooper, Chapter III

Governor Prentice Cooper, Chapter III

By Ray Hill The administration of Governor Prentice Cooper, unlike that of his predecessor Gordon Browning, had been relatively quiet. Cooper and Browning were as different in temperament as they were in appearance. Gordon Browning was a big, bluff man with a shock of hair swept back from his forehead with a tendency to being […]

Governor Prentice Cooper, Chapter II

Governor Prentice Cooper, Chapter II

By Ray Hill By the fall of 1937, E. H. Crump, leader of the Shelby County political machine, was openly fighting Governor Gordon Browning. After having supported Browning for governor in 1936, Senator Kenneth D. McKellar’s prediction that Crump could not trust Browning had proved to be true. Following a meeting in the Memphis Boss’s […]

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee, V

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee, V

By Ray Hill A  bare-knuckle political battle had rolled across Tennessee for the Democratic nomination fort the United States Senate in 1938.  The contest was a three way fight between incumbent U. S. Senator George L. Berry, Congressman J. Ridley Mitchell, and A. T. “Tom” Stewart. There was actually a fourth candidate on the ballot […]

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee,IV

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee,IV

By Ray Hill Following the demise of Governor Gordon Browning’s plan to emasculate the Shelby County political machine headed by E. H. Crump, Tennessee Democrats were deeply divided.  Governor Browning watched with dismay as his appointee to the United States Senate, George L. Berry, continued his feud with the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Berry wanted significant […]

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee,III

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee,III

  By Ray Hill The political pot in Tennessee ceased to boil when Governor Gordon Browning appointed George L. Berry, President of the International Printing and Pressmen’s Union, to the United States Senate on May 7, 1937.  Still, the pot certainly continued to simmer with a host of prospective candidates talking about running in the […]

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee,II

The 1938 Senate Primary in Tennessee,II

By Ray Hill The unexpected death of Senator Nathan L. Bachman had plunged Tennessee politics into turmoil. The responsibility for filling the vacancy caused by Senator Bachman’s death fell to Governor Gordon Browning. The pressure on Browning very quickly became intense and the governor found himself besieged by prospective candidates and their supporters. Browning was […]

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