1871 - On
October 2, Cordell Hull was born in Overton County
(Now Pickett County) Tennessee to William "Billy"
and Elizabeth Riley Hull (1841–1903). Cordell was the 3rd of 5
sons that include: Orestes (1868), Senadius (1870), Wyoming
1886 - Attended Montvale Institute in
1886 - 1887 - Attended National
Normal School in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
1889 - 1890 - Attended National Normal
University Lebanon, Ohio, for one term
1890 - Elected Chairman of Clay County
Democratic Executive Committee at the age of 18.
1891 - Obtained law degree after 10 month
course in the senior year of Cumberland Law School,
Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee (Now
part of Samford University Birmingham, Alabama).
Admitted to Tennessee bar in 1891 at the age of 19.
Practiced law with Pitts & Meeks law firm in
Nashville and latter with M.C. Sidwell for one year
in Celina. The Sidwell and Hull law office building
still stands in Celina across from the Clay County
1892 - Elected to Tennessee House of
Representatives one month after turning 21,
representing Clay, Fentress, Overton, and Pickett
1898 - 1899 - Volunteered to serve in the
U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War. Captain
of Company H of the 4th Regiment, Tennessee
Volunteers in Cuba.
1900 - 1901 - Practiced law in Celina,
1901 - 1903 - Practiced law in Gainesboro,
Tennessee with John J. Gore as Partner.
1903 - 1907 - Appointed Judge of the
Fifth Judicial Circuit comprised of Clay,
Cumberland, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton,
Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Trousdale and White
counties. Mr. Hull traveled the circuit by horse and
1906 - Elected to U.S. House of
Representatives from the 4th District residence in
Carthage, where his father had founded the gas works
for home illumination.
A Southern supporter of Woodrow Wilson during the
progressive Era, concentrating on tax, tariff, and
financial issues. Drafted income tax section of
Underwood Tariff Act of 1913, the basis of the first
durable federal income tax, and guided it to
passage. Supported the League of Nations. His
economic policies were rooted in the belief that
economic nationalism is the major cause of war.
1917 - On November 24 Cordell Hull married
Rose Francis Witz Whitney of Staunton, Virginia a
banking and textile heiress. Cordell Hull never had
children. Collateral descendants are the daughters
of Senadius: Elizabeth, Katherine, and Ruth. None of
Cordell's other brother had children.
1921 - 1922 - Defeated in the election of
1920 by Warren G. Harding landslide following the
retirement of Woodrow Wilson. Chairman of Democratic
National Committee. Practiced law in Carthage, TN.
1922 - 1931 - Returned to the U.S. House
1930 - Elected to the U.S. Senate from
Tennessee. Supported low tariffs and free trade.
Disturbed by course of national policies under
President Hoover, contemplated leaving public life.
1933 - March 4, Appointed Secretary of
State by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Executed FDR's Good Neighbor Policy to strengthen
relations in the Americas. Had primary
responsibility for relations with Japan, the
Americas, Russia, and China after war with Germany
began and until Japan entered the war. Turned his
efforts to structuring the United Nations to form
the basis for world peace after World War II.
1944 - November 27, resigned as Secretary
of State because of ill health, which had affected
him for several years.
1945 - Awarded Nobel Peace Prize as
"Father of United Nations," for his work in the
Western Hemisphere for peace and fostering commerce
and for his international trade agreements.
1945 - 1955 - Lived in an apartment in the
Wardman Hotel in Washington D.C. in retirement until
his death July 23, 1955 in Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Interred in the National Cathedral (Episcopal),
Provided in his will for the donation of many of
his effects to the Cordell Hull Birthplace Museum,
with Sgt. York as the first President of the museum
association. Now the Friends of Cordell Hull.