Never let it be said politics doesn't make the passions run hot as a Mississippi Governor beat a newspaper editor with his cane. The Jackson Daily News reported on May 3, 1940 that Governor Paul Johnson savagely hit JDN editor Major Frederick Sullens in the head with a "heavy hardwood walking cane" at the Walthall Hotel. The newspaper reported that the blow was not well-directed or else the editor would have suffered a "crushed skull" that probably would have killed him.
The Governor struck him from behind with the cane as he caught him by surprise. Sullens then knocked the cane out of this hand and threw the Governor. Blood from from the crown of Sullens as he "pummeled" the Governor until bystanders stopped the fight. Oddly enough, the accounting of the joust states that witnesses such as the Lieutenant Governor refused to intervene until "Major Sullens had the governor down and at a decided disadvantage." Mr. Sullens' wound required several stitches.
The newspaper also reported that the Governor normally does not carry a walking cane.
The rest of the story is told in rather colorful fashion although there are conflicting accounts as to what took place. The newspaper had been comparing Governor Johnson to Huey P. Long. Needless to say, the Governor did not like being compared to The Kingfish. The newspaper articles are posted below. Click on the images to enlarge for better reading.