Tennessee and the League of Nations

Tennessee and the League of Nations

By Ray Hill Tennessee had been staunchly for Woodrow Wilson, both in his 1912 campaign for the presidency and his 1916 reelection campaign. Tennessee’s junior United States senator, Kenneth D. McKellar, had been a fervent admirer of President Wilson as a member of the House of Representatives and if any-thing, his admiration grew as a […]

Murder On Gay Street

Murder On Gay Street

The Strickland Case By Ray Hill “I’m guilty,” were the only words spoken by William “Billy” Strickland, a fresh-faced twenty-eight year old when he revisited the Knox County Court House.  Strickland had been engaged in a bitter battle for custody of his four year-old son with his pretty twenty-three year-old wife, June.  Six months after […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IX

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IX

By Ray Hill The very idea that anything but a Democrat could represent Tennessee’s Hermitage District in Congress seemed not only outlandish, but utterly unthinkable. The Fifth Congressional district of Tennessee was known as “the Hermitage District” because it contained the home of the founder of the Democratic Party, General Andrew Jackson. Congressman Joseph W. […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VIII

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VIII

By Ray Hill Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. had first been elected in 1938 and as befitting Tennessee’s “Hermitage District,” so-called because it contained the home of General Andrew Jackson, was solidly Democratic.  Byrns was being challenged for the Democratic nomination in 1940 by his predecessor in Congress, Richard M. Atkinson and W. D. “Pete” […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VII

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VII

By Ray Hill Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. had first been elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1938, toppling incumbent Richard M. Atkinson in a hard fought campaign inside the Democratic Primary. Tennessee’s “Hermitage District,” so named because the Fifth Congressional district contained the home of General Andrew Jackson, founder of the […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VI

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, VI

By Ray Hill All things considered, thirty-six year-old Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. seemed to be a sure bet for reelection in 1940.  Representing Tennessee’s famed “Hermitage District,” so named because it contained the home of General Andrew Jackson.  As befitting the Hero of the Battle of New Orleans and the founder of the Democratic […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, V

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, V

By Ray Hill It was hardly surprising Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. had been elected to Congress from Tennessee’s “Hermitage District”, site of General Andrew Jackson’s plantation home.  The district had been represented for twenty-eight years by Joseph W. Byrns, father of the current congressman in 1939.  The elder Byrns had come up through the ranks […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IV

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, IV

By Ray Hill Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. seemed to have everything going for him; the only child and namesake of long-time congressman and late Speaker of the House Joseph W. Byrns, had defeated a reasonably popular incumbent inside the Democratic primary in 1938.  Young Joe Byrns seemed a favorite of the House leadership, all […]

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, III

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, III

By Ray Hill Joseph W. Byrns, Jr. had successfully managed to defeat freshman Congressman Richard Atkinson in a hard fought race.  The Democratic nominee – – – and the general election in the Hermitage District was a mere formality, as it was as Democratic as had been the owner of the Hermitage, General Andrew Jackson.  […]

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