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Thomas B. Stanley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Stanley
Thomas Bahnson Stanley.jpg
57th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 20, 1954 – January 11, 1958
LieutenantAllie Edward Stakes Stephens
Preceded byJohn S. Battle
Succeeded byLindsay Almond
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
June 24, 1956 – June 23, 1957
Preceded byArthur B. Langlie
Succeeded byWilliam Stratton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th district
In office
November 5, 1946 – February 3, 1953
Preceded byThomas G. Burch
Succeeded byWilliam M. Tuck
47th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
January 14, 1942 – November 5, 1946
Preceded byAshton Dovell
Succeeded byG. Alvin Massenburg
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from Henry and Martinsville
In office
January 13, 1932 – November 5, 1946
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byWilley R. Broaddus
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from Henry
In office
January 8, 1930 – January 13, 1932
Preceded bySallie C. Booker
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Thomas Bahnson Stanley

(1890-07-16)July 16, 1890
Spencer, Virginia, U.S.
DiedJuly 10, 1970(1970-07-10) (aged 79)
Stanleytown, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Anne Bassett
EducationEastman Business College (BA)

Thomas Bahnson Stanley (July 16, 1890 – July 10, 1970) was an American politician, furniture manufacturer and Holstein cattle breeder.[1] A Democrat and member of the Byrd Organization, Stanley served in a number of different political offices in Virginia, including as the 47th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and as the Commonwealth's 57th Governor. He became known for his support of Massive Resistance to school desegregation mandated by the United States Supreme Court's decisions in Brown v. Board of Education, and Virginia's attempt to circumvent those decisions (ultimately overturned by both the Virginia Supreme Court and by federal courts) was known as the Stanley plan.

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  • ✪ How did Dracula become the world's most famous vampire? - Stanley Stepanic
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How did Dracula become the world's most famous vampire? More than 100 years after his creator was laid to rest, Dracula lives on as the most famous vampire in history. But this Transylvanian noble, neither the first fictional vampire nor the most popular of his time, may have remained buried in obscurity if not for a twist of fate. Dracula's first appearance was in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel of the same name. But that was far from the beginning of vampire myths. Blood-sucking monsters had already been part of folklore for at least 800 years. It was Slavic folklore that gave us the word vampire, or "upir" in Old Russian. The term's first known written mention comes from the 11th century. Vampire lore in the region predated Christianity's arrival and persisted despite the church's efforts to eliminate pagan beliefs. Stories of vampires originated from misinterpretations of diseases, such as rabies, and pellagra, and decomposition. In the case of the latter, gasses swelling the body and blood oozing from the mouth could make a corpse look like it had recently been alive and feeding. Vampires were describe as bloated with overgrown teeth and nails. This gave rise to many rituals intended to prevent the dead from rising, such as burying bodies with garlic or poppyseeds, as well as having them staked, burned, or mutilated. Vampire lore remained a local phenomenon until the 18th century when Serbia was caught in the struggle between two great powers, the Habsburg Monarchy and Ottoman Empire. Austrian soldiers and government officials observed and documented the strange local burial rituals, and their reports became widely publicized. The resulting vampire hysteria got so out of hand that in 1755, the Austrian Empress was forced to dispatch her personal physician. He investigated and put an end to the rumors by publishing a thorough, scientific refutation. The panic subsided, but the vampire had already taken root in Western Europe's imagination, spawning works like "The Vampyre" in 1819, and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla" in 1872. This book would greatly influence a young Irish drama critic named Bram Stoker. Stoker, who was born in Dublin in 1847, was famously bedridden with an unknown illness until the age of seven. During that time, his mother told him folktales and true tales of horror, including her experiences during an outbreak of cholera in 1832. There, she described victims buried alive in mass graves. Later in his life, Stoker went on to write fantasy, romance, adventure stories, and, in 1897, "Dracula." Although the book's main villain and namesake is thought to be based on the historical figure of Vlad III Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, the association is mostly just that they share a name. Other elements and characters were inspired directly and indirectly by various works in the Victorian Era, such as "The Mysterious Stranger." The novel, upon release, was only a moderate success in its day, nor was it even Stoker's most well-known work, mentioned only briefly in a 1912 obituary. But a critical copyright battle would completely change Dracula's fate, and catapult the character into literary renown. In 1922, a German studio adapted the novel into the now classic silent film "Nosferatu" without paying royalties. Despite changes in character names and minor plot points, the parallels were obvious, and the studio was sued into bankruptcy. To prevent more plagiarism attempts, Stoker's widow decided to establish copyright over the stage version of "Dracula" by approving a production by family-friend Hamilton Deane. Although Deane's adaptation made drastic cuts to the story, it became a classic, thanks largely to Bela Lugosi's performance on Broadway. Lugosi would go on to star in the 1931 film version by Universal, lending the character many of his signature characteristics. And since then, Dracula has risen again in countless adaptations, finding eternal life far beyond the humble pages of his birth.


Early life

He was born to Crockett Stanley (January 8, 1838 – March 12, 1915) and Susan Matilda Walker (August 17, 1845 – April 9, 1922) on a farm near Spencer, Henry County, Virginia, youngest of seven children. He married Anne Pocahontas Bassett (November 28, 1898 – October 20, 1979) on October 24, 1918 in Bassett, Virginia. Anne was the daughter of John David Bassett (July 14, 1866 – February 26, 1965), a founder of Bassett Furniture, and Nancy Pocahontas Hundley (November 21, 1862 – January 11, 1953). Stanley graduated from Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1912.


Stanley worked for his father-in-law's company, Bassett Furniture, as an executive until 1924, when he left and founded Stanley Furniture,[2] a leading Virginia furniture maker, in what would become Stanleytown, Virginia. His sons Thomas Bahnson Stanley, Jr. and John David Stanley joined him at Stanley Furniture.


As the Great Depression began, Henry County voters elected Stanley to represent them (part time) in the Virginia House of Delegates. Re-elected multiple times, he served from 1930 to 1946, and fellow delegates elected him their Speaker from 1942 to 1946. After the end of World War II, voters elected Stanley to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented Virginia's 5th district from November 5, 1946 until February 3, 1953 when Stanley resigned on to run for Virginia's governor. Fellow Byrd Organization loyalist and former Virginia Governor William M. Tuck succeeded to the seat.

The Byrd Organization selected Stanley to be the Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia in 1953, and he won the Democratic primary. In the general election, Stanley handily defeated Republican Ted Dalton and Independent Howard Carwile. He served as the Governor of Virginia from 1954 to 1958. As governor Stanley improved the administration of state hospitals and increased funding to mental hospitals and public schools.

While governor, Stanley became embroiled in conflict. The budget fight between the Old Guard of the Byrd Organization and the Young Turks (many returning military veterans) over budget surpluses and historic underfunding of education (especially egregious with respect to non-white Virginians) in the 1954 legislative session colored relations in the state's Democratic Party for a generation. Stanley supported segregation, and the United States Supreme Court declared such illegal twice in Brown v. Board of Education (which included a companion case from Prince Edward County, Virginia). After the 1954 Brown decision, Governor Stanley appointed a committee of mainly politicians from Southside Virginia (historically over-represented in the Virginia General Assembly and which depended politically on various methods of disenfranchising non-white Virginians) to study ways to preserve segregation through legislative means, including a school voucher program. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Harry Byrd, Sr. declared Massive Resistance and Richmond News Leader publisher James J. Kilpatrick advocated a more drastic strategy, which passed a special legislative session in 1956 and became known as the Stanley plan. Most parts were declared illegal by Virginia and federal courts within three years, long after Governor Stanley's term ended. In fact, although Governor Stanley had vowed to close schools to prevent their desegregation, that aspect of the plan was first tested under the next Governor, Lindsay Almond after a federal panel ordered desegregation of Charlottesville schools in 1958.[3]

Electoral history

  • 1946; Stanley was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and concurrently won a general election to the seat with 75.4% and 73.52% respectively in both races, defeating Republican William Creasy in both races.
  • 1948; Stanley was re-elected with 99.53% of the vote, defeating Independent Gene Graybeal.
  • 1950; Stanley was re-elected unopposed.
  • 1952; Stanley was re-elected unopposed.
  • 1953; Stanley was elected Governor of Virginia with 54.76% of the vote, defeating Republican Theodore R. Dalton and Independent Howard Hearness Carwile.

Later years

After his gubernatorial term ended, Stanley resumed his oversight of the furniture business, as well as became vice president and director of the First National Bank, and chairman of the Commission on State and Local Revenues and Expenditures.[4] However, the Byrd Organization imploded in the 1960s, after U.S. Supreme Court decisions upholding the one-man, one-vote principle, including Davis v. Mann.


Stanley died in Martinsville, Virginia on July 10, 1970 and is buried in Roselawn Burial Park. His home Stoneleigh was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[5]


  1. ^ Eskridge, Sarah K. "Thomas B. Stanley (1890–1970)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Company History for Stanley Furniture Company, Inc". Retrieved 12 November 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas G. Burch
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
William M. Tuck
Party political offices
Preceded by
John S. Battle
Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Lindsay Almond
Political offices
Preceded by
John S. Battle
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Lindsay Almond
Preceded by
Arthur B. Langlie
Chair of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by
William Stratton
This page was last edited on 25 January 2019, at 18:54
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