Former President Appointed to Supreme Court!!

Today in History, June 30, 1921:

President Warren G. Harding nominated former President William Howard Taft as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States after the death of the previous Chief Justice, Edward Douglass White…who Taft had nominated when he was President.

The irony is that Taft never wanted to be President…he became such as the result of the efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt…one of his closest friends.

TR then turned on him vociferously when Taft didn’t carry out TR’s policies to his liking. Taft was crushed by the attacks by his friend…but in the end, he obtained the job he had wanted since he was a child…Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States…years after being President.

Taft’s history in the law and government made him very well qualified for the job.

Cherry Blossoms

Today in History, March 27, 1912:

First Lady Helen Taft and the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, Viscountess Chinda, plant two Cherry Blossom trees along the Potomac near the Jefferson Memorial.

They were part of 3,020 Cherry Blossom trees given to the US by the Japanese to be planted in DC. The city of Tokyo had actually given 2,000 trees in 1910, but they were diseased by the time they reached the US and could not be used.

A private Japanese citizen then paid to have the 3,020 trees sent in their place. The beautiful trees bloom each Spring, and are the subject of festivals.

The trees came from a famous collection in Tokyo, which was mostly destroyed during bombing in WWII. After the war, the US sent cuttings from DC’s trees to replenish the Tokyo collection from whence they came.

Connections Bring History Home

 

Today in History, July 17: 1763 – John Jacob Astor is born in Germany in modest circumstances.  He would immigrate to America…selling flutes.  Convinced to sell the musical instruments in New York and invest in the fur trade, he became America’s first Millionaire with his American Fur Company.  On April 12, 1912 his grandson and namesake, the world’s richest man, John Jacob Astor IV would die in the Titanic Disaster.

July 17: 1918 – Crossing paths in history.  The RMS Carpathia is sunk by U-Boat U-55 during WWI.  All but 5 of her crew managed to escape to lifeboats. They were in turn saved by the Sloop HMS Snowdrop, which arrived and drove off the German sub before it could machine gun the crew in their boats.

As previously stated, on April 12, 1912, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank within 4 hours. The nearest ship to receive her distress signal was the RMS Carpathia, which sped at full speed for two hours to the disaster scene. Upon her arrival, she rescued 705 survivors from the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. The Carpathia’s crew became heroes, being awarded medals. Her Captain, Arthur Henry Rostron, was knighted and was a guest of President William Taft in the White House. During WWI the Carpathia served as a troop ship, transporting thousands of American soldiers across the Atlantic to the war in Europe.

Among them was Frank Buckles, who would become the last surviving American Soldier from WWI before his death in 2011. He was a prisoner of war in the Philippines during WWII (as a civilian) and a strong advocate for a WWI Memorial, which…led him to be a guest of President George W. Bush in the White House. 

Everything is connected in history…you just have to find it.

President & Chief Justice


Today in History, June 30: 1921 – President Warren G. Harding nominated former President William Howard Taft as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States after the death of the previous Chief Justice, Edward Douglass White…who Taft had nominated when he was President. The irony is that Taft never wanted to be President…he became such as the result of the efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt…one of his closest friends. TR then turned on him vociferously when Taft didn’t carry out TR’s policies to his liking. Taft was crushed by the attacks by his friend…but in the end, he obtained the job he had wanted since he was a child…Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States…years after being President.