Some TN political reading suggestions, 11/20/2016

On John Henry Eaton and Cordell Hull

Politico has a regular feature on historical political happenings on each date of the year and two posting in the past week are focused on Tennesseans. The first Tennessee history posting is about an Andrew Jackson political ally and begins:

On this day (Nov. 16) in 1818, the Senate’s presiding officer administered the oath of office to John Henry Eaton of Tennessee, who was 28 years old at the time.

The U.S. Constitution sets the minimum age of Senate service at 30 years. The framers reasoned that adding five years to the 25-year minimum they had established for members of the House would enhance the deliberative nature of that body which, they felt, required a greater “stability of character.”

Apparently, nobody asked Eaton how old he was.

The full article is HERE.

–The second:

On Nov. 18, 1943, Secretary of State Cordell Hull became the first presidential cabinet officer to address a joint meeting of Congress. The article includes a fair amount of background on the Tennessean who served 11 terms in the U.S. House and then 11 years and nine months as Secretary of State, which still stands as the longest term ever in that office. And he won the Nobel Peace prize in 1945. The article is HERE.

On Lois Riggins-Ezell

The Tennesean has a well-done profile piece on Lois Riggins-Ezzell that gives only passing mention to some recent controversy over her long reign as executive director of the Tennessee State Museum and pending retirement while providing considerable information on her interesting personal and political background.

For example, her dad got a job as a security guard at the state Capitol building after meeting the dad of the late Gov. Frank Clement in a tuberculosis treatment clinic that, indirectly, sorta led to her getting a job in 1973 as a tour guide at the Capitol. But that was after she spent some time digging for Jesse James artifacts in a Kentucky cave.

On John Lewis’ arrest record

John Lewis, veteran civil rights leader and congressman from Georgia, was in Nashville last week for a speech and promotion of his new book when he got a surprise historical presentation – copies of his arrest record on three charges during Nashville civil rights protests of the 1960s with photos… provided by the local police department.

Excerpt from The Tennessean’s report:

“I was surprised and almost cried,” Lewis said later. “I held back tears, because I was so young … I had all of my hair and a few pounds lighter and look at me now.”

Oklahoma-to-Memphis pipeline draws few protests

While pipeline plans are prompting protests in other states, the Commercial Appeal observes that a $900 million oil pipeline being built from Oklahoma to Memphis has generated relatively little opposition, even though it crosses a part of Presidents Island on the Mississippi River that’s apparently devoid of any protective clay layer covering the vital Memphis Sand aquifer. When it’s finished next year, the 20-inch-diameter Diamond Pipeline will deliver up to 200,000 barrels of domestic sweet crude oil a day from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Valero Memphis Refinery.

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