UPON READING WE FIND TAFT A SKULL AND BONES MAN...WE SAW THOSE SKULL AND BONE HATS IN GERMANY. excerpts to follow...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) served as the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and as the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices.
Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death.
Taft was born in Cincinnati in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. William Taft attended Yale and was a member of Skull and Bones secret society like his father, and after becoming a lawyer was appointed a judge while still in his twenties. He continued a rapid rise, being named Solicitor General and as a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1901, President William McKinley appointed Taft civilian governor of the Philippines.
In 1904, Roosevelt made him Secretary of War, and he became Roosevelt's hand-picked successor. Despite his personal ambition to become chief justice, Taft declined repeated offers of appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, believing his political work to be more important.
With Roosevelt's help, Taft had little opposition for the Republican nomination for president in 1908, and easily defeated William Jennings Bryan for the presidency that November. In the White House, he focused on East Asia more than European affairs, and repeatedly intervened to prop up or remove Latin American governments. Taft sought reductions to trade tariffs, then a major source of governmental income, but the resulting bill was heavily influenced by special interests.
His administration was filled with conflict between the conservative wing of the Republican Party, with which Taft often sympathized, and the progressive wing, toward which Roosevelt moved more and more. Controversies over conservation and over antitrust cases filed by the Taft administration served to further separate the two men.
Roosevelt challenged Taft for renomination in 1912. Taft used his control of the party machinery to gain a bare majority of delegates, and Roosevelt bolted the party. The split left Taft with little chance of re-election; he took only Utah and Vermont in Wilson's victory.
After leaving office, Taft returned to Yale as a professor, continuing his political activity and working against war through the League to Enforce Peace. In 1921, President Harding appointed Taft as chief justice, an office he had long sought. Chief Justice Taft was a conservative on business issues, but under him, there were advances in individual rights. In poor health, he resigned in February 1930. After his death the next month, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the first president and first Supreme Court justice to be interred there. Taft is generally listed near the middle in historians' rankings of U.S. presidents.
Inauguration and appointments
Further information: Inauguration of William Howard Taft
Taft was sworn in as president on March 4, 1909. Due to a winter storm that coated Washington with ice, Taft was inaugurated within the Senate Chamber rather than outside the Capitol as is customary.
The new president stated in his inaugural address that he had been honored to have been "one of the advisers of my distinguished predecessor" and to have had a part "in the reforms he has initiated. I should be untrue to myself, to my promises, and to the declarations of the party platform on which I was elected if I did not make the maintenance and enforcement of those reforms a most important feature of my administration".
He pledged to make those reforms long-lasting, ensuring that honest businessmen did not suffer uncertainty through change of policy. He spoke of the need for reduction of the 1897 Dingley Tariff, for antitrust reform, and for continued advancement of the Philippines toward full self-government. Roosevelt left office with regret that his tenure in the position he enjoyed so much was over and, to keep out of Taft's way, arranged for a year-long hunting trip to Africa.
Soon after the Republican convention, Taft and Roosevelt had discussed which cabinet officers would stay on. Taft kept only Agriculture Secretary James Wilson and Postmaster General George von Lengerke Meyer (who was shifted to the Navy Department). Others appointed to the Taft cabinet included Philander Knox, who had served under McKinley and Roosevelt as Attorney General, as the new Secretary of State, and Franklin MacVeagh as Treasury Secretary.
Taft did not enjoy the easy relationship with the press that Roosevelt had, choosing not to offer himself for interviews or photo opportunities as often as his predecessor had.His administration marked a change in style from the charismatic leadership of Roosevelt to Taft's quieter passion for the rule of law.