On this day in 1881, Tom Johnston, one of Scotland’s most well-known Secretaries of State, was born.
Born in Kirkintilloch, Johnston began as a journalist who impressed his contemporaries by organising Keir Hardie’s campaign for the rectorship of Glasgow University.
As Secretary of State, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was his most innovative achievement, and he handled rural Scotland’s resistance and hesitation towards the project intelligently. On leaving politics, he become the Hydro Board’s first head in 1945.
Tom Johnston died in 1965.