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 15, 1857 (Cincinnati), Died March 8, 1930 (Washington, D.C.)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1908 - 1912
Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker, author
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
|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||speaker, author|
|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||speaker, author|
|Victor||C-12447||12-in.||10/1/1912||Who are the people?||William H. Taft||Political address||speaker, author|
|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||speaker, author|
|Victor||C-12450||12-in.||10/1/1912||Popular unrest||William Howard Taft||Political address||speaker, author|
|Columbia||14508||10-in.||8/27/1908||Foreign missions||William H. Taft||Political address||author, speaker|
|Columbia||14509||10-in.||8/27/1908||Irish humor||William H. Taft||Political address||speaker, author|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Taft, William H.," accessed July 6, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102307.
Taft, William H.. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102307.
"Taft, William H.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 6 July 2022.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license
Send the Editors a message about this record.