Page 276. " You tell Cecil I'm about as radical as Cotton Tom Heflin. "
cotton tom
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCotton Tom - Credit: encyclopediaofalabama.org

James Thomas Heflin was born in April 1869 and died in April 1951. He was nicknamed "Cotton Tom" (probably due to his racist views) and was a leading proponent of white supremacy, most notably as a United States Senator from Alabama.

Heflin managed to exclude black Alabamans from voting, stating that "God Almighty intended the negro to be the servant of the white man." Heflin supported cases in which African-Americans were illegally convicted of crimes and then sold to farmers or industrialists. He also protested against New York State's permission of racial intermarriage.

 In 1904, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Four years later, while a member of the House, he shot and seriously wounded a black man who confronted him. Although indicted, Heflin had the charges dismissed, and bragged of the shooting as one of his major career accomplishments.

Page 277. " he said it was because the National Recovery Act was dead. "

The National Recovery Act (or National Industrial Recovery Act) was an American statute which authorized the President of the United States to regulate industry and permit monopolies in an attempt to stimulate economic recovery. The legislation was enacted in June 1933 during the Great Depression by the then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

The National Industrial Recovery Act was widely considered a failure, although the cause of its failure is still debated. Among the suggested causes are that the Act promoted economically harmful monopolies, that it lacked critical support from the business community, and that it was poorly administered.

Page 285. " the band playing Dixie woke me "

Dixie is a nickname for the 11 southern states that seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Alabama is often referred to as "the Heart of Dixie". Today, it is most often associated with those parts of the southern United States where traditions and legacies of the old South live most strongly.

The song Dixie, or I Wish I was in Dixie's Land, tells the story of a freed slave longing for his old plantation.  It is considered offensive by some, deeply traditional by others.

Listen on Spotify: Dixie

 

Page 298. " Mr Heck Tate sat looking intently at Boo through his horn-rimmed glasses. "
horn-rimmed glasses
Public Domainhorn-rimmed glasses - Credit: flickr.com
Horn-rimmed glasses are made of horn, tortoise shell, or plastic that simulates these materials. These glasses began to be popular in the United States in the 1910s and 1920s. Today, these glasses are typically dark, plastic eyeglasses with a frame that can be thick or thin.