Dirt and Depression

By Sarah Baker It has been a very dreary winter here in Knoxville.  With the yucky, wet weather and the constant talk of fiscal cliffs and local court fiascos, it has been hard not to feel weighted down by this winter.  Lots of folks I know are in the thick of the winter blues.    Yet […]

Remembering Coach Barnhill

Remembering Coach Barnhill

By Tasha Mahurin mahurint@knoxfocus.com The history of the University of Tennessee football program is steeped in tradition and rich with legend. Sports casters utter names such as Neyland, Majors and Fulmer with a sense of reverence. Yet, in the annals of Vol history, one finds a name not often mentioned, or at least not mentioned […]

William E. Borah: The Lion of Idaho

William E. Borah: The Lion of Idaho

By Ray Hill William Edgar Borah was one of the most celebrated members of the United States Senate during his time.  Enormously popular in his state of Idaho, Borah was an impressive orator, regularly filling the Senate galleries when he spoke and his speeches were unusual in that his oratory could move colleagues to actually […]

Burton K. Wheeler of Montana

Burton K. Wheeler of Montana

By Ray Hill Few members of the United States Senate had as colorful or stormy a career as Burton Kendall Wheeler of Montana.  The fact Wheeler came to represent Montana in the Senate in the first place was an accident of fate, as Wheeler had been born in Hudson, Massachusetts on February 27, 1882.  Wheeler […]

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 […]