Papers, 1875-1952 and n.d.

Bankhead, William Brockman, 1874-1940


33 cubic ft (41 archives containers, 2 records center containers, 4 oversized containers, and 27 oversized scrapbooks).
Organized in eleven series: A. Biographical and genealogical records, 1920-1940 and n.d.; B. Personal records, 1891-1952 and n.d.; C. Campaign records, 1900-1930; D. Records as U.S. Representative, 1917-1940; E. Photographs, 1875-1940; F. Speeches, 1917-1940; G. Clippings, 1910-1951 and n.d.; H. Invitations and calling cards, 1919-1940; I. Funeral, 1940; J. Printed materials, 1909-1941; and K. Scrapbooks, 1892-1940.
Papers, 1875-1952 and n.d., consisting of genealogical materials, correspondence, letters, telegrams, cards, invitations, clippings, reports, speeches, campaign records, bills and resolutions proposed by the U.S. Congress, subject files, pamphlets, diagrams, scrapbooks, and other materials.
This collection documents the life of Bankhead, particularly his career as a U.S. Representative, with extensive coverage of his tenure as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Included in his records as a U.S. Representative is a great amount of information on U.S. and Ala. politics, agriculture, military conscription, unemployment, roads and highways, prohibition, drainage and reclamation, vocational education, and Tallulah Bankhead.
Clippings and scrapbooks also contain information on the lives and careers of John H. Bankhead, Sr., John H. Bankhead, Jr., and Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968).
Photographs include numerous members of Congress, officials in the administrations of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and foreign heads of state.
Of significant interest is correspondence between Bankhead and Democratic party and Congressional leaders concerning political campaigns, Democratic organization of the House of Representatives, and New Deal legislation.
Bankhead was born 1874 April 12 to John H. and Tallulah James Brockman Bankhead near Moscow, Lamar Co., Ala. Bankhead attended the University of Ala. and Georgetown University. Upon receiving his law degree in 1895, he began practicing law in Huntsville, Ala., in 1895. Bankhead served as City Attorney for Huntsville (Ala.), solicitor of the fourteenth judicial circuit, and as a member of the Ala. Legislature prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1917.
Bankhead was elected Democratic Majority Leader in 1934 and Speaker of the House in 1936, a position he occupied until his death in 1940. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 1940.
Bankhead married Adelaide (Ada) Eugene Sledge in 1900 and they had two daughters: Evelyn Eugenia and Tallulah Brockman. Adelaide died in 1902 and 1915 he married Florence McGuire. Bankhead died 1940 Sept. 15. Following memorial services in the U.S. Capitol, he was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Jasper Ala.
William B. Bankhead papers, LPR66, Alabama Dept. of Archives and History.
Related materials in Alabama Dept. of Archives and History: Museum Division.
Series descriptions and a container listing are available in repository.
Used as a source in: Johnson, Evans C. "John H. Bankhead 2d: Advocate of Cotton" Alabama Review 41 (Jan. 1988): 30-58.
Used as a source in: Israel Lee. Miss Tallulah Bankhead. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1972.
Used as a source in: Heacock, Walter Judson, "William Brockman Bankhead: A Biography," Ph.d. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1952.

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