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William H. Taft

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and 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, Ohio in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. Taft attended Yale and, like his father, was a member of Skull and Bones. After becoming a lawyer, Taft 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 in that November's election. 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 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 and 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 and under him there were advances in individual rights. In poor health, he resigned in February 1930, and died the following 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.

Birth and Death Data: Born September 15th, 1857 (Cincinnati), Died March 8th, 1930 (Washington, D.C.)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1908 - 1912

Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker, author

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-6327 12-in. 8/5/1908 The Republican Party stands by Mr. Roosevelt William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6328 10-in. 8/5/1908 Our Army and Navy William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6329 10-in. 8/5/1908 Postal savings banks versus enforced insurance of deposits William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6330 10-in. 8/5/1908 Rights and progress of the Negro William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6331 10-in. 8/5/1908 Democratic policy prevents restoration of prosperity William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6332 10-in. 8/5/1908 Labor and its rights William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6333 10-in. 8/5/1908 The farmer and the Republican Party William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6334 10-in. 8/5/1908 Irish humor William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6335 10-in. 8/5/1908 The effect of proposed jury trial in contempt cases (as proposed by the Democratic platform) William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6336 10-in. 8/5/1908 Our foreign dependencies : Porto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor B-6337 10-in. 8/5/1908 Foreign missions William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor C-6338 12-in. 8/5/1908 What constitutes an unlawful trust William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor C-6339 12-in. 8/5/1908 Functions of the next administration William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor C-12444 12-in. 10/1/1912 President Taft on prosperity William H. Taft Political address author, speaker  
Victor C-12445 12-in. 10/1/1912 Peace William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor C-12446 12-in. 10/1/1912 President Taft on a protective tariff William H. Taft Political address author, speaker  
Victor C-12447 12-in. 10/1/1912 Who are the people? William H. Taft Political address author, speaker  
Victor C-12448 12-in. 10/1/1912 The anti-trust law William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Victor C-12449 12-in. 10/1/1912 Labor and capital William H. Taft Political address author, speaker  
Victor C-12450 12-in. 10/1/1912 Popular unrest William Howard Taft Political address speaker, author  
Columbia 14509 10-in. Irish humor William H. Taft Monologue speaker, author  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Taft, William H.," accessed December 3, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102307.

Taft, William H.. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 3, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102307.

"Taft, William H.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 3 December 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102307

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