Tennessee and American Neutrality, Part V

Tennessee and American Neutrality, Part V

By Ray Hill Neither President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull intended to retreat from their demands that Congress renew the cash and carry provision of the neutrality law, while also removing the arms embargo on belligerent nations. The noninterventionists and isolationists in Congress, having won the fight in the House of Representative through […]

Tennessee and American Neutrality, IV

Tennessee and American Neutrality, IV

By Ray Hill Secretary of State Cordell Hull had finally made clear the position of the Roosevelt administration on revision of America’s neutrality laws. Before writing letters outlining the position of the administration to key committee chairmen, Hull had consulted with influential members of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations […]

Tennessee and American Neutrality, III

Tennessee and American Neutrality, III

By Ray Hill Attempting to purge senators from his own party proved to be President Franklin Roosevelt’s folly. It was certainly true FDR remained the most popular Democrat in the country and he believed the voters would heed his call to eject those Democratic senators whom he targeted as obstructionists. Among those marked for defeat […]

Tennessee and American Neutrality, II

Tennessee and American Neutrality, II

By Ray Hill As President Franklin Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull prepared to approach Congress to revise the Neutrality Act, the opposition in Congress was formidable.  Of course the Roosevelt administration was aided by some equally imposing Congressional allies.  Key Pittman, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was not exactly one of […]

Tennessee and American Neutrality

Tennessee and American Neutrality

By 1939 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was fast approaching perhaps the biggest crisis of his presidency, aside from the Great Depression, with war looming in Europe.  Roosevelt turned to his Secretary of State, Cordell Hull of Tennessee.  Tall, stately, dignified and reserved, if not actually austere, Cordell Hull looked like a statesman, but Hull shared some […]

Senator McKellar: Politics and Death

Senator McKellar: Politics and Death

By Ray Hill When author Mark Twain was informed a newspaper had printed his obituary, he tartly replied, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”  Tennessee’s Senator Kenneth D. McKellar was seventy-seven years old in 1946 when he sought reelection for a sixth term.  McKellar had been ailing, although he seemed busier than ever, […]

Cordell Hull & the Election of 1920

Cordell Hull & the Election of 1920

By Ray Hill Cordell Hull had been in Congress since 1907 when he had only narrowly won the Democratic nomination, which inside Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional district was tantamount to election. Hull, only thirty-seven years old at the time, had been nominated by less than twenty votes. There were rumblings about a recount, but Hull went […]

Cordell Hull & the 1922 Election

Cordell Hull & the 1922 Election

By Ray Hill Cordell Hull, for fourteen years the congressman from Tennessee’s Fourth District, had lost his reelection bid in the 1920 Republican landslide. Tennessee had lost three longtime incumbents during the 1920 elections: besides Cordell Hull, Thetus W. Sims of Tennessee’s Eighth District and John A. Moon of the Third District had been beaten. […]

Cordell Hull & the Income Tax

Cordell Hull & the Income Tax

By Ray Hill Congressman Cordell Hull of Tennessee is frequently credited with being the “Father of the Income Tax.”  Today, that is likely a dubious distinction.  When the income tax was first approved in 1913, the tax code was fifteen pages long.  Today, the tax code is more than 74,000 pages.  Hull first came to […]