This Day (A Byrd in the Belly Edition)

Published:April 28, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1937, John Garland Pollard died. He was a former governor and one of the founders of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the first state art museum in the country. Handpicked by Harry F. Byrd Sr. to be his gubernatorial successor, Pollard had the misfortune of taking office on the eve of the Great Depression. And as independent-minded as he was, he still could never quite get out from under the thumb of Byrd. Pollard supposedly once remarked, while patting his belly, that he had become so rotund by “swallowing the Byrd machine.”

IMAGE: Detail from a portrait of John Garland Pollard by Edmund P. Archer