Introduction - William H. TaftWilliam Howard Taft was the 27th U.S. President. He was a member of the Republican Party who only served one term as president. He is widely ranked in the middle of the list when it comes to presidential performance. Eight years after leaving the presidency he was appointed the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; making him the only person in history to have been both U.S. President and Chief Justice of the U.S. highest court. Below are lists of interesting facts about this great American who seemed to care about the right thing for the country with little regard to the political consequences of his decisions.
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President William Howard Taft Quick Facts
- He was born on September 15th of 1857 near Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Taft was the 27th President of the United States of America.
- William H. Taft's term as President of the United States was from March 4th of 1909 through March 4th of 1913.
- He died on March 8th of 1930, from cardiovascular disease.
Pre-President William Howard Taft Facts
- In 1878 he graduated Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. He ranked second out of a class of 121.
- He graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1880.
- After graduating from law school he practiced law in Ohio, went on to become Solicitor General of the United States, and then served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
- Taft married Helen Herron in 1886.
- William Howard Taft served as the civilian Governor-General of the Philippines from 1901 to 1904. The Philippines had been ceded to the U.S by Spain in 1898 after the Spanish–American War.
- In 1904 President Teddy Roosevelt appointed Taft as U.S. Secretary of War. In this position Taft focused on the Philippines and the Panama Canal.
- Taft turned down several nominations to be a justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, which had been his longtime goal. He declined the nominations due to his dedication to his work in the Philippines.
- In 1908 President Roosevelt declared he would not seek reelection in 1908. William Howard Taft, the most prominent member of Roosevelt's cabinet seemed the logical choice for the Republican Presidential nominee. Surprisingly Taft had to be persuade to run for the Republican nomination as he had his hopes set on a U.S. Supreme Court position which he regarded as more desirable than the U.S. presidency. He eventually ran for and won the Republican nomination.
President William Howard Taft President and Supreme Court Justice Facts
- Taft won an easy victory in the 1908 presidential election, largely due to the support of the popular outgoing president Teddy Roosevelt. In his bid for reelection in 1912 he was overwhelmingly defeated.
- During his presidency Taft drastically reorganize the State Department. He organized it into geographical divisions.
- As president Taft's so called "Southern Policy" involved not appointing African Americans to government offices where those appointments might cause racial friction. He actually removed many black office holders from their positions; especially in the southern U.S. states.
- During Taft's term as president he and former President Theodore Roosevelt, who had helped Taft become president, found themselves at odds with each other. Roosevelt decided to run against Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912. Roosevelt was unsuccessful and Taft won the Republican nomination.
- When Roosevelt lost the Republican presidential nomination he formed the Progressive Party thus splitting the 1912 Republican vote for president and opening the door for Woodrow Wilson to easily win the presidency. In fact Taft's loss to Wilson was the worst defeat in history of a standing U.S. president seeking reelection.
- In 1921 President Warren G. Harding appointed former President Taft Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was the 10th Chief Justice and served from 1921 through 1930.
- He is the only person in history to have been both the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and President of the United States.
- Taft was the first president and first Chief Justice to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.