May 8, 1839
William Richardson (1839-1914) was born on May 8, 1839 and would go on to represent the 8th Congressional District of Alabama from 1900 to 1914. Born in Athens to parents who were Virginia natives, his father twice ran for governor before Richardson later won election to the U.S. House, succeeding Joseph Wheeler. Richardson became chairman of the Committee on Pensions, advocating for improved benefits for war veterans, widows and orphans. He was an early voice in Congress for harnessing the commercial potential of the Tennessee River for navigation and hydroelectric power. However, the Tennessee wasn’t dammed nor the TVA founded until after Richardson’s death on March 3, 1914.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.