Harry Truman Goes To The Senate, Part III

By Ray Hill Harry Truman’s miraculous campaign for president in 1948 has become part of American political lore.  Just about every American who can see has seen the famous picture of a beaming Truman holding up a copy of the Chicago Tribune with the headline blaring “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Yet 1948 was not the most […]

Judy, Prisoner of War and Hero

By Ray Hill I tried hard to think of a special story for readers for Christmas.  For this most special time of the year it finally occurred to me that I would share a very interesting story of Judy, an English Pointer.  For those of you who enjoy history and love dogs, this is a […]

Harry Truman Goes To The Senate, Part II

By Ray Hill When 1934 began, Harry S. Truman had been a deeply disappointed man. He faced political oblivion. By all accounts, Truman had been one of the very few honest public servants in Jackson County, Missouri. On occasion, he had been able to buck Boss Tom Pendergast who ruled Kansas City like a potentate. […]

Harry Truman Goes To The Senate I

By Ray Hill There was a time when members of the United States Senate were not only considered some of the most talented and extraordinary people in their respective states, but the entire country.  Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun all occupied seats in the U. S. Senate at the same time and […]

Claude Pepper of Florida

By Ray Hill There is likely no other career that affords fewer opportunities for revival than politics.  Even more rare in a political career is redemption.  Claude Pepper’s political career spanned a remarkable sixty years, from 1928 until his death in 1989.  By the time he died, Pepper was something of an iconic figure, especially […]

Senator McKellar & the Fracas on the Senate Floor

By Ray Hill There are several stories told about Tennessee’s Senator Kenneth D. McKellar, some of which have become legend.  Perhaps the most frequently told story is that of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asking McKellar if the Tennessean could hide $2 billion in the budget, which was the origin of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  […]

Thetus W. Sims of Tennessee

By Ray Hill For twenty-four years, Thetus W. Sims served West Tennessee as a member of Congress. Now almost entirely forgotten, he is a figure from a distant past. In fact, before his career was over, Sims was already becoming an antiquated figure, which helped to usher him out of office. Sims had been superintendent […]

Tennessee And FDR’s Court Packing Plan, I I

By Ray Hill President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, coming off his greatest reelection campaign, had announced he was submitting legislation to Congress to expand the United State Supreme Court.  Roosevelt’s proposal was widely and bitterly attacked in much of the press and despite huge Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, many Democrats were openly opposed to […]

Tennessee And FDR’s Court Packing Plan, I

By Ray Hill   February 5, 1937 was a Friday and President Franklin D. Roosevelt publicly announced his intention to ask Congress to enlarge the United States Supreme Court.  Roosevelt was fresh from a smashing reelection campaign in 1936, which saw the president carry every state in the union, save for Maine and Vermont.  The […]

Senator McKellar’s Homecoming, 1946

By Ray Hill Senator Kenneth D. McKellar turned seventy-seven years old in January of 1946.  He had been in Congress since 1911 and in the Senate since 1917.  It was clear McKellar was aging and there had been some thought the old Tennessean would retire.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt had summoned E. H. Crump, leader […]

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