Senator Ellison DuRant Smith of South Carolina

Senator Ellison DuRant Smith of South Carolina

By Ray Hill Ellison DuRant Smith was one of the more colorful figures in South Carolina’s oftentimes turbulent political history.  It was frequent said, “His name is Ellison DuRant Smith and he sure do rant.”  More commonly, he was known simply as “Cotton Ed.” E. D. Smith was born while the War Between the States […]

Robert Rice Reynolds of North Carolina

Robert Rice Reynolds of North Carolina

By Ray Hill In a time when the South had some of the most flamboyant politicians in the country, few exceeded Robert Rice Reynolds of North Carolina for his flair.  Over time, Reynolds’s penchant for flair degenerated into buffoonery, a condition few politicians can successfully survive.  Bob Reynolds was from Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina […]

Senator Walter F. George: George of Georgia

Senator Walter F. George: George of Georgia

By Ray Hill Walter F. George was, during his time, one of the most respected and powerful members of the United States Senate. Senator George was a man of innate, if not somewhat exaggerated, dignity; even his wife, Miss Lucy, referred to him as “Senator George.” George, like many of his contemporaries, was born on […]

Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky

Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky

By Ray Hill During his time, Alben W. Barkley was one of the most famous public officials in the country. Barkley was renowned for his oratory and could be depended upon to give a rousing speech just about anywhere, at any time and on most any topic. Barkley was the son of tenant farmers, born […]

Tom Connally of Texas

Tom Connally of Texas

By Ray Hill When folks think in terms of Texas and Connally, the late Governor John Connally usually comes to mind, but there was another Connally who enjoyed a much longer political career: Thomas Terry Connally.  Tom Connally was no relation to John Connally and during his time, was far better known. Tom Connally was […]

David I. Walsh of Massachusetts

David I. Walsh of Massachusetts

By Ray Hill When folks think of successful Irish politicians from Massachusetts, they tend to think in terms of the Kennedys, John and Ted.  Yet the first and most enduring Irish-Catholic politician from Massachusetts was not a Kennedy; it was David Ignatius Walsh.  For over three decades, David I. Walsh defied the political tides and […]

A Feudin’ Son of Tennessee: Kenneth McKellar, Chapter 20

A Feudin’ Son of Tennessee: Kenneth McKellar, Chapter 20

  By Ray Hill Kenneth McKellar, Tennessee’s eighty-year-old senior U. S. Senator, had resumed his positions of power and influence inside the Senate. His relations with his new and younger colleague, Estes Kefauver, had not improved. The origin of the dispute had occurred when Kefauver, evidently anticipating the election of Republican Thomas E. Dewey instead […]