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Cordell Hull Timeline

The following is a timeline of important events in the life of Cordell Hull and is based on information at the Cordell Hull's Birthplace & Museum State Park near Byrdstown, Tennessee. 

Cordell Hull1871 - On October 2, Cordell Hull was born in Overton County (Now Pickett County) Tennessee to William "Billy" (18401923) and Elizabeth Riley Hull (18411903). Cordell was the 3rd of 5 sons that include: Orestes (1868), Senadius (1870), Wyoming (1875), and Roy (1881).

1886 - Attended Montvale Institute in Celina.

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 courthouse. 

1892 - Elected to Tennessee House of Representatives one month after turning 21, representing Clay, Fentress, Overton, and Pickett counties.

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, Tennessee

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 buggy.

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 of Representatives

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), Washington D.C.

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.  



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