Presidents #21 – #30 (1881-1929)
21. CHESTER A. ARTHUR
22. GROVER CLEVELAND
23. BENJAMIN HARRISON
24. GROVER CLEVELAND
25. WILLIAM MCKINLEY
26. THEODORE ROOSEVELT
27. WILLIAM H. TAFT
28. WOODROW WILSON
29. WARREN G. HARDING
30. CALVIN COOLIDGE
10/5/1829 – 11/18/1886
Arthur spent his early career as an attorney and in politics. During the Civil War, he served as Engineer-in-Chief (1861-1863), Inspector General (1862) and Quartermaster General (1862-1863) in the New York Militia. After the war he devoted more time to politics, holding positions such as Collector of the Port of New York (1871-1878), Chairman of the New York State Republican Executive Committee (1879-1881), and Vice President (1881).
- Following Garfield’s death, Arthur becomes the 21st President of the United States at the age of 51.
- Trial for Garfield’s assassin, Guiteau begins
- Congress passes bill mandating the use of the census to determine representation. The move increases the number of reps to 325
- The Star-Route Scandal trial begins where nine men are to be indicted for defrauding the government in a postal scam
- Senate ratifies the Geneva Convention of 1864
- Congress passes Edmund’s Act which excludes bigamists and polygamists from voting or holding office.
- Chinese Exclusion Act vetoed, then revised
- Arthur appoints a tariff commission to recommend tariff reductions
- Steamboat Safety Bill vetoed
- River and Harbor Act vetoed
- Star-Route scandal concludes with 2 of the 9 found guilty. A retrial for December is set when the jury foreman says a government agent tried to bribe him.
- Congress passes the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act
- Mongrel Tariff Act passes
- Arthur signs bill appropriating funds for the Navy’s first steel vessels.
- Brooklyn Bridge opens; the construction project took 13 years and $15 million to complete. It is estimated that over 20 men died in this project
- Second Star-Route case concludes, all nine men are found not guilty
- U.S.-Luxembourg Treaty is concluded
- U.S. participates in an international conference establishing standard time
- Congress passes bill repealing the 1862 test oath, which required office holders to swear they never displayed any illegal or disloyal conduct.
- Bureau of Labor established
- Arthur issues a proclamation warning people not to settle on Oklahoma lands
- France presents the United States with the Statue of Liberty at a ceremony in Paris
STATUE OF LIBERTY BEING BUILT IN PARIS
- Washington Monument is dedicated in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON MONUMENT UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Congress passes act prohibiting the fencing of public lands in the west
- Former President Grant is laid to rest in New York City, NY
- Contract Labor Law passes which is meant to ban companies from importing immigrant workers to break strikes and drive down wages.
Arthur was unknown before being elected, but surprised people by being honest and responsible. He helped create the Civil Service and as a lawyer, he defended a black woman who had been abused on a streetcar. He won the case, which led the streetcar companies to integrate.
Arthur was asked to run for Senate after his Presidency but refused, retiring to his home in New York to work on his law firm but his health started to deteriorate and he died a year later.
3/18/1837 – 6/24/1908
Cleveland distinguished himself as one of the few truly honest and principled politicians of the gilded age. His father passed in 1853 forcing him to abandon school to help take care of his mother and sisters. Clerking in a law firm helped him get admitted to the bar in 1859 and follow politics. During the Civil War, he was drafted but opted to hire a substitute so that he could care for his mother. In his time, he held titles of Sheriff of Erie County in New York (1871-1873), mayor of Buffalo (1882), and governor of New York (1883-1885)
- Cleveland becomes the 22nd President of the United States at the age of 47. Thomas Hendricks was his Vice President.
- VP Hendricks dies later that year, leaving a vacancy at V.P.
- Cleveland signs the Presidential Succession Act specifying the chain of command should President and Vice President both be absent.
- Former President Arthur is laid to rest in Menands, NY
CHESTER ARTHUR’S GRAVE
- Cleveland sends message to Congress asserting that labor is a vital element of national prosperity and should be a concern of the federal government. He recommends a committee to resolve disputes between labor and capital
- Cleveland vetoes bill granting military pensions to Civil War Union vets who had appealed to Congress after their claims were rejected by the Pensions Bureau. A lot of the claims were found to be bogus.
- Cleveland recommends to Congress that the nation accepts France’s gift of the Statue of Liberty. The statue was to be placed on Liberty Island, adjacent to Ellis Island which served as a welcome center for immigrants in New York City.
LIBERTY ISLAND, NEW YORK
ELLIS ISLAND, NEW YORK
- The American Federation of Labor (AFL) is formed
- The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) is created to ensure fairness in the management of interstate railroads after complaints of railroad rates and policies
- Cleveland signs the Dawes General Allotment Act which shortened or expanded Indian Reservations and weakened some Native American culture while trying to get them to renounce their tribes and become citizens.
- Monument to James Garfield is created
JAMES GARFIELD MONUMENT
- Cleveland vetoes Dependent Pension Bill arguing that the bill will only encourage fraudulent assertions. The bill would have given military pension to anyone serving a minimum of 90 days in any war.
- Cleveland vetoes Texas Seed Bill, believing it overstepped the powers of government. The bill was designed to provide relief to drought-stricken farmers
- Tenure of Office Act is repealed
- Cleveland sends message to Congress against protective tariffs creating an excessive surplus. Some that were adopted as a temporary measures during the Civil War were still in place.
- Civil Service Commission announces amended rules, prompting Cleveland to respond with detailed objections, being a proponent of civil service reform
- Department of Labor is established
- Washington Monument opens
- Cleveland renews and signs the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibiting Chinese immigrants who return to China, from coming back to U.S.
- Cleveland signs bill creating the Department of Agriculture
- Cleveland signs bill that turns the territories of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington into states
Cleveland lost his re-election bid. Even though he won a lot more popular votes than Harrison, his stance on opposing the high tariff cost him electoral votes which swayed the decision. His wife told the White House staff before leaving that she and Grover would be seeing them in 4 years.
“Though the people support the government; the government should not support the people.”
“I have tried so hard to do right.”
8/20/1833 – 3/13/1901
Harrison was the grandson of the 9th President, William Henry Harrison and he was known as a man of moral courage. Early on he studied law and followed his political ambitions. When the Civil war broke out he joined the Union Army as an officer, serving from 1862-1865, eventually reaching the rank of brevet brigadier general. After the war he resumed his law practice and political ambitions, failing to win the Governship of Indiana in 1876 but winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1881 and holding it until 1887.
BENJAMIN HARRISON, 1865
- Harrison becomes the 23rd President at the age of 55, Levi P. Morton was his Vice President
- Berlin Conference on Samoan Affairs begins, trying to establish Independence of Samoa and protection rights.
- Harrison tours New England and works on Navy expansion
- Pan-American Conference begins, trying to improve relations with Latin America countries in economic and political relations.
- North and South Dakota join the Union as the 39th and 40th states
- Montana becomes the 41st state
- Washington becomes the 42nd state
- Harrison sends first message to Congress recommending civil rights and civil service reform, naval legislation, improved conditions for railroad workers and pensions for veterans.
- Dependent Pension Bill is passed
- Sherman Anti-Trust Act is enacted
- Idaho becomes the 43rd state
- Wyoming becomes the 44th state
- Harrison signs into law the Sherman Silver Purchase Act
- Congress passes Anti-lottery Bill
- Congress passes the McKinley Tariff
- Harrison signs measure creating nine Circuit Courts of Appeals to relieve the demands of the Supreme Court
- New Orleans mob lynches 11 Italian immigrants that were part of a group that allegedly murdered police chief David C. Hennessey as well as bribing and threatening jurors during trial. The lynching prompts Italy to sever diplomatic ties and threaten war with the U.S.
- U,S. seizes a Chilean rebel ship; Itata, at the Balmaceda government of Chile’s request, as it is delivering arms to Chilean rebels. Rebels win the Chilean civil war leading to tense relations between the U.S. and Chile from the Itata Incident
CHILEAN REBEL SHIP; ITATA
- Tensions with Chile rise after American sailors and Chilean Nationals brawl in Valparaiso, Chile, resulting in deaths of two Americans and many arrests.
- Harrison sends message to Congress denouncing the Valparaiso attack, known as the Baltimore Incident, as savage, brutal and unprovoked and nominates Stephen B. Elkins the new Secretary of War
- Harrison states all members of his cabinet are in favor of war with Chile and U.S. sends an ultimatum to Chile regarding this.
- Harrison sends message to Congress asking that lawmakers take appropriate action regarding Chile.
- Chile backs down in the conflict and pays as indemnity of $75K
- Steelworkers in Homestead, Pennsylvania are locked out over contract disputes and start fighting with men from the Pinkerton Detective Agency that were brought in to bust the strike up. 7 Pinkertons and 9 workers died. A week later 8,000 militiamen accompany and protect Pinkerton men.
- Harrison sends federal troops in to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to restore order and stop silver miners on a violent strike that had already resulted in 30 deaths.
- Harrison privately supports mediation in the Homestead strike, sending Whitelaw Reid to Homestead as an emissary to Henry Clay Frick who is left in charge by Carnegie. It did no good though and the strike went on for months, breaking the union and dealing a major blow to organized labor.
- The Kingdom of Hawaii is overthrown and Queen Liliuokalani is removed from office with a provisional government established under Sanford B. Dole. Harrison deploys 150 marines to Hawaii to protect the new government.
After losing re-election to Cleveland, Harrison retired to his law practice in Indiana, emerging briefly to serve as leading counsel for Venezuela in the arbitration of the boundary dispute with great Britain (1898-1899) as well as serve as a public speaker for institutes such as Stanford University, where his lectures became published on 1901 as Views of an Ex-President. He died that very year from pneumonia. He was the last Civil War general to serve as President.
Harrison was caught between reformers who were fighting the spoils system and those who wanted to continue it, and was defeated after one term.
Harrison’s grandfather was President William Henry Harrison.
3/18/1837 – 6/24/1908
Cleveland spent the four years of the Harrison presidency in New York City, working for a prominent law firm. After the Harrison administration and his Republican party enacted the very high McKinley Tariff in 1890 and made the surplus in the treasury vanish in a spending spree, the path to a Democratic victory in 1892 seemed clear.
- Cleveland becomes the 25th President of the United States at the age of 55 and becomes the only President ever to serve two non-consecutive terms. Adlai Stevenson was his Vice president.
- Former President Hayes is laid to rest in Fremont, OH
RUTHERFORD HAYES’S TOMB
- Cleveland withdraws the Hawaiian annexation treaty and advocates the restoration of the queen but the provisional government rejects the idea.
- Gold value drops, Cleveland vows to defend the gold standard
- Panic of 1893 starts after the National Cordage Company and the Philadelphia and Reading railroads go bankrupt, causing the New York stock market to take a sharp decline, dubbed the “Industrial Black Friday”
- A growth is detected on the roof of Cleveland’s mouth prompting a secret operation to remove the cancerous growth and a portion of his jaw
- Cleveland calls for a special session with Congress to address the economic crisis through tariff reform and the repeal of silver purchase law.
- Congress begins debate on the silver issue and tariffs
- Congress repeals the Sherman Silver Purchase Act
- The House passes a tariff revisions bill
- The Army of the Commonwealth of Christ march to Washington to demand that the government take action to alleviate economic depression by providing the unemployed with worthwhile jobs. The event proves anti-climatic as the leader, Coxey and a few others were arrested for trespassing.
- Pullman railway car company employees go on strike due to the owner; George Pullman lowering wages in light of the 1893 depression, as well as requiring them to work longer days since he did not lower rates of living in his company town of Pullman, Illinois. Cleveland sent federal troops to stop the strike
- The Wilson-Gorman Tariff Bill becomes law without Cleveland’s signature since he refused to veto or sign it since the law included an income tax of 2% on all personal income greater than $4K as well as all corporate income above operating expenses
- The U.S. intervenes in a boundary dispute between Venezuela and Britain, invoking the Monroe Doctrine to assert its rights. Britain agrees to arbitration rather than going to war with the United States
- Treasury bond sale to a syndicate headed by J.P. Morgan restores gold reserves and validates the credit of the government
- Revolution begins in Cuba over Spanish rule. Although American sympathy lies with the rebels, the U.S. adopts a policy of neutrality.
- Supreme Court nullifies the income tax in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. as well as justifies the arrest of the leader of the Pullman Strike, Eugene Debs
- Utah becomes the 45th state
- Treasury bond sale of $100 million is announced, restoring gold reserves to a safe level of $124 million. Bond sales from 1894 to 1896 create $262 million in federal debt
- United States and Britain sign a treaty of arbitration ending the Venezuelan dispute
- Cleveland vetoes bill that would ban illiterate immigrants
Early in Cleveland’s second term, the United States sank into the most severe economic recession the country had yet experienced. Cleveland believed that the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 had eroded confidence in the stability of the currency and was at the root of the nation’s economic troubles. He forced the repeal of the act but the depression only worsened, and Cleveland’s negative view of government began to diminish his popularity. Apart from assuring gold-backed currency, he insisted the government could do nothing to alleviate the suffering of the many thousands of people who had lost jobs, homes, and farms. His popularity sank even lower when the treasury gold quantity diminished leading him to negotiate with John Pierpont Morgan to sell government bonds abroad for more gold. The deal succeeded in replenishing the government’s gold supply, but the alliance between the president and one of the era’s leading “robber barons” intensified the feeling that Cleveland had lost touch with ordinary Americans. He also lost a lot of fans from the labor field when he sided with the interests of big business over ordinary Americans in the Pullman Strike.
Cleveland retired to Princeton, New Jersey, where he became active in the affairs of Princeton University as a lecturer in public affairs and as a trustee from 1901–1908, when he died.
1/29/1843 – 9/14/1901
McKinley was the last President to serve in the Civil War (1861-1865), enlisting as a private and finishing as a brevet major. After the war he practiced law and studied politics. He eventually won a seat in Congress as a representative for Ohio (1876-1891) and then became governor (1892-1896)
- McKinley becomes the twenty-fifth President of the United States at the age of 54. Garret Hobart was his Vice President.
- McKinley becomes first President to ride in an automobile
- President McKinley calls Congress into a special session for the purpose of revising the tariff laws.
- John J. McDermott wins the first Boston Marathon. The 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Copley Square will become one of the world’s most prestigious marathons.
FIRST BOSTON MARATHON WINNER; JOHN J. MCDERMOTT
- Congress appropriates $50,000 for the relief of Americans in Cuba.
- The first shipment of gold discovered in Alaska, totaling $750,000, arrives in San Francisco.
- President McKinley signs the Dingley Tariff Law, which raises custom duties by an average of 57 percent.
- More than twenty workers are killed in Lattimer, Pennsylvania, after deputy sheriffs open fire on striking coal miners. In sympathy and remembrance of the Lattimer Massacre, coal miners in the Ohio, West Virginia, and the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania walk off their jobs
- McKinley sends his first annual message to Congress indicating that while the government of Spain should be given time to reform its behavior in Cuba, America would continue to devote significant diplomatic attention to the island.
- Pro-Spanish groups riot in Havana, Cuba, in opposition to Cuban autonomy
- The U.S. Battleship Maine arrives in Havana on a “friendly visit” but Its true mission is to protect American life and property.
- The De Lome letter written by the Spanish minister to the United States, containing insults directed at President McKinley, is published in William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.
- The battleship Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor, killing 266 Americans. Subsequent press coverage of the event points to Spanish sabotage as the cause of the disaster. “Remember the Maine!” becomes a rally cry for Americans ready to go to war with Spain.
- At McKinley’s command, Congress votes a $50 million appropriation for national defense.
- The U.S. Navy reports that the Maine explosion was the result of external factors while the Spanish Navy releases its own report on the Maine disaster, concluding that an internal explosion destroyed the battleship.
- McKinley asks Congress for authority to “use armed force” in Cuba to end the civil war. Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Sagasta makes a last-minute peace concession by offering the Cubans limited autonomy.
- Congress adopts a joint resolution authorizing President McKinley to intervene in Cuba. The resolution also states that the United States has no plans to annex Cuba. Spain counters by severing diplomatic relations with the United States.
- McKinley orders a blockade of northern Cuban ports.
- Congress passes the Volunteer Army Act, which authorizes the organization of the First Volunteer Cavalry, or Rough Riders as the U.S. captures its first spoils of war, the Spanish ship Buena Ventura.
- McKinley calls for 125,000 volunteers to fight the war with Spain.
- Spain and the United States declare war on each other
- Commodore George Dewey, commanding an American squadron of six ships, soundly defeats a larger but outgunned Spanish fleet at Manila Bay.
- McKinley issues a new call for volunteers, asking for an additional 75,000. A U.S. troop expedition of 2,500 men also sets sail for Manila, Philippines.
- Congress passes the Erdman Arbitration Act, but the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional.
- Congress passes the War Revenue Act, which generated about $150 million of tax revenue a year from taxes levied on beer, tobacco, amusements, and some business transactions.
- A Spanish commander of Guam surrenders to advancing western Pacific fleets. Oblivious to the outbreak of war, the Spanish apologized thinking they were under attack for not saluting back.
- The United States defeats Spanish troops at the Battle of Las Guasimas, the first major land battle of the Spanish-American War.
BATTLE OF LAS GUAISMAS
- After heavy fighting, American forces in Cuba take the Spanish garrisons at El Caney and San Juan Hill.
BATTLE OF EL CANEY
BATTLE OF SAN JUAN HILL
- American naval forces destroy the Spanish fleet off Santiago de Cuba.
- McKinley signs a joint congressional resolution providing for the annexation of Hawaii.
- Santiago de Cuba surrenders, along with 24,000 Spanish troops, to American General William Shafter.
- American forces invade Puerto Rico, encountering little resistance.
- Spain and the United States sign an armistice in which Spain agrees to grant Cuba its independence and cede Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States. The fate of the Philippines is left to be determined at a postwar conference.
- Spanish forces in the Philippines surrender to the United States.
- A strikers’ riot in Virden, Illinois, leads to thirteen deaths and twenty-five injuries.
- American peace commissioners in Paris receive instructions to demand from Spain the cession of the Philippine Islands.
- McKinley’s sends his second annual message to both Houses of Congress. He declares his intention to build an inter-oceanic canal through Nicaragua and discusses the merits of fighting the Spanish-American war
- The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris.
- The United States takes official control of Cuba.
- Philippine guerrillas attack U.S. forces in Manila, beginning the Philippine Insurrection.
- The Senate ratifies the peace treaty between the United States and Spain, The United States acquires Puerto Rico and Guam, and assumes the temporary administration of Cuba. While Spain receives $20 million for certain Filipino holdings, some looked at it as an outright purchase of the Philippines.
- Congress authorizes voting machines for federal elections, subject to the request of individual states.
- McKinley sends his third annual message to Congress, focusing primarily on foreign affairs and beefing up the U.S. Navy to benefit overseas commerce
- Britain and the United States sign the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty to provide for an isthmian canal in Central America.
- McKinley signs the Gold Standard Act, which fixes the standard of value for all money issued or coined by the United States.
- Congress passes an act establishing the Territory of Hawaii.
- The Senate ratifies a modified version of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, in which the British government agrees to an American canal with the conditions that it be neutral and unfortified. This treaty abrogates the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850.
- The first great oil strike in Texas occurs near Beaumont.
- Congress adopts the Platt Amendment, as part of the Army Appropriation Act of 1901
- Former President Benjamin Harrison is laid to rest in Indianapolis, IN
BENJAMIN HARRISON’S TOMB
- McKinley is re-elected President of the United States, with Spanish-American War Hero and New York governor Theodore Roosevelt as his new vice president.
- The British government informs the United States that it will not accept the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty as amended by the Senate.
- Filipino resistance leader Emilio Aguinaldo is captured by Frederick Funston, crippling the Philippine insurrection.
- The rebellion in the Philippines ends by proclamation. Sporadic fighting still continues until American military forces fully secure the island.
- Leon Czolgosz shoots McKinley in the stomach while the President shakes hands at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
- Mckinley dies from his wounds a week later due to gangrene and is laid to rest in Canton, OH.
- Czolgosz, who admitted to the shooting of McKinley and expressed no remorse for his actions, was sent to the electric chair a month later. Rumor has it that McKinley was assassinated moments after handing a girl his lucky red carnation.
“In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.”
“That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime – to set an example – and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.”
“War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.“
10/27/1858 – 1/6/1919
Roosevelt made a name for himself from his service in the New York National Guard (1882-1886) where he also served on the New York Assembly and authored his first book “The Naval War of 1812“. He was assistant to the secretary of the Navy (1897-1898) before joining the U.S. Army (1898) for the Spanish-American War, where he was much involved in the Battle of Las Guasimas, and the Battle of San Juan Hill. After the war he became Governor of New York (1899-1900) and then Vice President (1901) to President McKinley.
- Roosevelt becomes the 26th President of the United States at the age of 42.
- U.S. and Great Britain sign the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty where Britain grants control of an isthmian canal to the U.S.
- Congress extends the Chinese Exclusion Act
- Coal miner’s strike of Pennsylvania starts where 140K people leave their jobs, dubbed Anthracite Coal Strike.
ANTHRACITE COAL STRIKE
- Roosevelt establishes Crater Lake National Park in Oregon
- Roosevelt signs the Newlands Reclamation Act, authorizing Federal irrigation projects
- Congress passes Isthmian Canal Act which called for the funding of building the canal across Panama
- Congress passes the Philippine Government Act establishing the islands as an unorganized territory and dubbing the inhabitants as territorial citizens
- Roosevelt puts a stop to the Anthracite Coal Strike by developing a reform program known as the Square Deal
- Roosevelt signs bill creating the Department of Commerce and Labor.
- Congress approves the Elkins Anti-Rebate Act, making it illegal for railroads to give rebates on their published freight rates.
- Department of Justice announces that the federal government will prosecute the Northern Securities Company for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.
- Supreme Court makes decision on Champion v. Ames, making federal police power superior to the states
- Roosevelt proclaims Pelican Island, Florida as the first federal bird reservation
- The report of the Anthracite Coal strike Commission declares that workers cannot be discriminated against because they belong to a union
- A revolt breaks out in Panama against Colombian rule. Presence of the U.S. Navy prevents Columbia from crushing the revolt as U.S. recognizes the Republic of Panama
- The U.S. negotiates the Hay-Buneau-Varilla Treaty with Panama to build the Panama Canal.
PANAMA CANAL CONSTRUCTION
- Supreme Court rules that citizens of Puerto Rico are not illegal aliens and cannot be denied entry to the U.S. but the court also states they are not citizens either.
- Roosevelt appoints a commission to oversee the Panama Canal construction.
- Supreme Court rules in Northern Securities Company v. United States and orders the dissipation of the Company due to their breaking the Sherman Anti-trust Act.
- A merger between the Consolidated and The American & Continental tobacco companies produces the American Tobacco Company.
- Roosevelt sends his annual message to Congress issuing the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
- The United States signs a protocol with the Dominican Republic, thereby giving it control of the latter’s customs and international in and mollifying European creditors.
- Roosevelt establishes the National Forest Service.
- Supreme Court recognizes the legality of compulsory vaccination laws in Jacobson v. Massachusetts.
- Roosevelt wins his second term, and first full term with Charles W. Fairbanks as his V.P.
- Supreme Court rules that state laws limiting working hours are illegal in Lochner v. New York
- The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) forms in Chicago, Illinois, to counteract the conservative American Federation of Labor
- A group of black intellectuals, including W.E.B. DuBois, meets near Niagara Falls to demand racial equality. This begins the Niagara Movement
- Roosevelt mediates and urges an end to the Russo-Japanese War, bringing Russia and Japan to compromise and sign the Portsmouth Treaty.
- The Algeciras Conference opens, Roosevelt plays mediator on the disagreement of France and Germany over Morocco.
- Clashes erupt in Brownsville Texas after white civilians taunt black soldiers. 3 whites are killed
- A devastating earthquake strikes San Francisco, California, killing 452 and leveling 490 blocks
EARTHQUAKE IN SAN FRANCISCO, 1906
- Roosevelt signs the National Monuments Act, establishing the first 18 national monuments, including Devils Tower, Muir Woods and Mount Olympus
- Roosevelt signs the Hepburn Act which gives the interstate Commerce Commission increased power to relegate railroad rates.
- Roosevelt signs the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
- Roosevelt sends troops to Cuba at President Palma’s request to quell rebellion from a disputed election.
- Race riot breaks out in Atlanta, Georgia, leaving 18 blacks and 3 whites dead.
- The Platt Amendment is invoked, authorizing U.S. military control of Cuba.
- Roosevelt becomes first President to travel abroad as he and his wife go inspect the building of the Panama Canal
ROOSEVELT VISITING PANAMA CANAL
- Roosevelt is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Russo-Japanese War during the Portsmouth Conference in 1905
- Congress passes a law prohibiting campaign contributions to candidates for national office.
- Cleveland is laid to rest in Princeton, New Jersey
GROVER CLEVELAND BURIAL
- The Dominican Republic and the United States sign a treaty empowering American agents to collect Dominican customs taxes for the purpose of satisfying the nation’s creditors.
- Roosevelt signs the Immigration Act of 1907, which includes a provision allowing the President to restrict Japanese immigration.
- Roosevelt issues proclamations establishing forest reserves in affected states before the law goes into effect
- An executive Inland Waterways Commission is appointed to study the relationship between forest preservation and commercial waterways.
- The Second International Peace Conference opens at The Hague, The Netherlands. The United States argues, unsuccessfully, for the establishment of a World Court.
- The Panic of 1907 begins when shares of the United Copper Company begin to fluctuate wildly.
- Okalahoma becomes the 46th state
- Roosevelt orders the Great White Fleet to embark on a voyage around the world to emphasize America’s growing naval strength.
GREAT WHITE FLEET
- Grand Canyon becomes a National Monument
GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
- Supreme Court rules that antitrust laws apply to labor unions in Loewe v. Lawlor
- The United States and Japan reach an agreement on the restriction of Japanese immigration.
- First Conference of Governors takes place in the White House to discuss the problems of conservation.
- Congress passes a child labor law for the District of Columbia.
- Roosevelt establishes the National Commission for the Conservation of Natural Resources
- The General Motors Company files incorporation papers in Hudson County, New Jersey
- Ford introduces the “Model T” automobile, which costs $850, making Henry Ford’s mass-produced cars available to the average wage earner.
FORD MODEL T
- Black intellectuals, including W.E.B. DuBois, and white progressives, led by Oswald Garrison Villard, form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
- The North American Conservation Conference convenes at the White House
Roosevelt was one of the most activist Presidents. His many accomplishments included the building of the Panama Canal, cracking down on business monopolies, and creating many national parks. After his terms he went on a yearlong African safari in order to avoid charges that he was attempting to run the White House from the shadows. Upon his return he got back into politics and even attempted another run but failed. He went on to write and journey more, even planning another run at the White House but passed away beforehand. He is one of the four faces of Mount Rushmore
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.“
9/15/1857 – 3/8/1930
Taft served as a Solicitor general of the U.S. (1890-1892), Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (1892-1900), Governor of the Phillipines (1901-1903), Secretary of War (1904-1908) and Governor of Cuba (1906).
- Taft becomes the 27th President of the U.S. at the age of 51. James Sherman was his V.P.
- Taft calls for the use of diplomatic and military action to further foreign business interests in what is known as the Dollar Diplomacy.
- Taft’s administration continues Roosevelt’s Antitrust policy, designed to keep markets open and competitive.
- Crazy Snake Rebellion kicks off between the Creek Indians and settlers in Oklahoma
- Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act is signed, lowering tariffs on certain goods entering the U.S.
- The Ballinger-Pinchot scandal takes place, in which Richard Ballinger is accused of conspiring to defraud the public domain in the Alaskan Coal field while the Taft administration was complicit in his actions.
- Postal Savings System is established after the Postal Savings Depository Act of 1910
- Angel Island Immigration station is opened in the San Francisco Bay, California
ANGEL ISLAND IMMIGRATION STATION
- Mexican Revolution starts with an uprising led by Francisco Madero against Porfirio Diaz
- The Battle of Kelley Creek occurs where a small group of Bannock and Shoshone killed four men in an incident known as the Last Massacre
- Taft starts to back away from his efforts to tame the trusts
- Titanic is almost complete, April of 2012 is set as the maiden voyage
- New Mexico becomes the 47th state of the U.S.
- Arizona becomes the 48th state of the U.S.
- Titanic sinks off the coast of Newfoundland, on its first voyage
- Sixteenth Amendment is ratified, authorizing Congress to collect income taxes
- Seventeenth Amendment is ratified stating that people will now elect Senators, whereas, before it was done by legislators.
Unhappy with Taft, Roosevelt ran against him in the Republican primary, Taft barely won but the damage done from the party split, cleared the way for Democrat victory. Taft went on to teach at Harvard, followed by serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930) before resigning due to health concerns. He passed a month later and became the first President and first Supreme Court Justice to be laid to rest in Arlington national Cemetery.
“Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment.”
“Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood.”
“We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the results of their enforcement.“
12/29/1856 – 2/3/1924
Wilson served as a professor and scholar for many institutes before being chosen for President of Princeton University (1902-1910). After that he ran for, and won, position of Governor of New Jersey (1911-1913).
- Wilson becomes the 28th President of the United States at the age of 56. Thomas R. Marshall was his V.P.
- The Federal Reserve Act is established, allowing for a Federal Reserve System, also known as the Currency Bill or Owen-Glass Act
- John D. Rockefeller donates $100 million to begin the Rockefeller Foundation
- Veracruz incident takes place with Mexico
- World War I is triggered after the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, by a Serbian terrorist group called the Black Hand. 2 Alliances are formed; The Allies and the Central Powers. U.S. takes a neutral stance
ASSASSINATION OF FRANZ FERDINAND
- Germany invades Belgium kicking off World War I officially
- Panama Canal is officially opened
FIRST BOAT THROUGH GATON LOCKS, PANAMA
- Rocky Mountain National Park is established in Colorado
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- Congress authorizes Mounted Inspectors along the US-Mexico border
- A German U-boat sinks the British passenger ocean liner; Lusitania as it was heading towards Liverpool, from New York.
- Kaiser Wilheim suspends unrestricted submarine warfare in an attempt to keep U.S. out of the war.
- Saboteurs explode an ammunition depot and destroys docks at Toms River Island near Jersey City, followed by the destruction of a munitions plant in Kingsland, New jersey.
- National Defense Act is passed in response to threats at home and deteriorating relations between Germany and United States.
- Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare in the European waterways.
- British Intelligence gives Wilson the Zimmermann Telegram where German foreign secretary Zimmermann proposes that Mexico sides with Germany in case of war with the U.S., Mexico declines offer but this was the last straw for the American people.
- Wilson outlines his case for war to Congress
- U.S. declares war on Germany and officially enters WWI
- The Espionage and Sedition Acts make it a crime to interfere with the operations of the military to promote success of its enemies as well as prohibits many forms of speech perceived as disloyal to the US
- Battle of Cantigny takes place, marking the first major American offensive in the war.
BATTLE OF CANTIGNY
- Americans attack Germans at Chateau-Thierry but the battle morphs into the larger Battle of the Belleau Wood
BATTLE OF BELLEAU WOOD
- Battle of St. Mihiel takes place where 300K troops under command of General Pershing march towards German lines.
BATTLE OF ST. MIHIEL
- Wilson gives his Fourteen Points speech to Congress
- Selective Service Act is passed, requiring all men between 21 and 30 to register with locally administered draft boards for a federal draft conscription lottery.
- Armistice is signed in Redonthes, France, ending WWI and becoming what is known as Armistice Day
- The devastating world-wide influenza epidemic reaches its height in the US
- The Treaty of Versailles was signed
- Former President Roosevelt is laid to rest in Oyster Bay, NY
THEODORE ROOSEVELT GRAVE
- Eighteenth Amendment is passed, prohibiting the sale, production, importation and transportation of alcohol. Starting the Prohibition era.
1920; Nineteenth Amendment is passed, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
After initially opposing World War I, Wilson led the U.S. into the war and eventually, drafted the peace plan that ended it. Wilson then fought to create the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations.
“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.”
“The seed of revolution is repression.”
“America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.”
“I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.“
11/2/1865 – 8/2/1923
Harding was a newspaper editor that bought the Marion Star and built it up into a successful newspaper. He was then elected to the Ohio Senate (1899-1903), followed by a successful run at Lieutenant Governor (1904-1906). He was defeated in his run for Governor (1910) but was elected to the Senate eventually (1915-1921).
- Harding becomes the 29th President of the U.S. at the age of 55. Calvin Coolidge becomes the VP
- World War I is formally ended by joint resolution
- The Emergency Quota Act is passed after a massive migration of European immigrants into the US at the end of WWI
- The Teapot Dome Scandal erupts surrounding the secret leasing of federal oil reserves by the secretary of the interior, Albert Bacon Fall
- Harding opposes entry into the League of Nations
- Budget and Accounting Act is passed, creating the Bureau of the Budget and housing it within the Department of Treasury.
- Washington Armament Conference, an International conference is called by the U.S. to limit the naval arms race and devise security agreements in the Pacific Area
- Shepperd-Towner Act passes, funding maternity and infant health care
- War protester and union leader Eugene V. Debs is pardoned
- Tomb of the unknown soldier is dedicated as a memorial to all American soldiers and sailors that lost their lives. An unknown serviceman is buried.
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER DEDICATION
- The Capper-Volstead Act passes due to the depression of agricultural prices following World War I
- Lincoln Memorial is dedicated
LINCOLN MEMORIAL DEDICATION
1923; Harding dies of a heart attack in San Francisco, California, while he was on a speaking tour.
7/4/1872 – 1/5/1933
Coolidge was a lawyer from Vermont that eventually worked his way up the ladder in Massachusetts’s state politics starting as a member of the House of Representative’s (1907-1908), then becoming Mayor of Northampton (1910-1911), to being named a member of the Senate (1912-1915) even becoming President of that Senate (1914-1915). After that he moved up to lieutenant governor (1916-1919) and eventually winning governor (1919-1921) where he got put in the national spotlight for his response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919. Soon after his term he became Vice President under Harding (1921-1923)
- As Harding passes, Coolidge becomes the 30th President of the U.S. at the age of 51.
- President Harding is laid to rest in Marion, OH
WARREN HARDING TOMB
- Revenue Acts of 1924 and 1926 are established to reduce inheritance and personal income taxes after years of very high wartime tax rates
- Former President Wilson is laid to rest in Washington, DC
- Monument to Ulysses Grant is unveiled
MONUMENT TO GRANT
- The Immigration Act of 1924 is passed, ending further immigration from Japan and restricting the number of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. Also known as the Johnson-Reid Act
- Coolidge wins his first full term. Charles G. Dawes is his V.P
- The first Diesel locomotive begins operating in New York City
- Air Commerce Act is passed giving the Commerce department regulatory powers over sectors of the aviation industry, such as the licensing of pilots and airplanes.
- Harding Tomb is dedicated
- Charles Lindbergh makes the first non-stop transatlantic flight across the Atlantic, from New York City
- A radio telephone system connected New York City and London
- Coolidge surprises the nation by stating he did not want to run for President
- The US recognizes Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist government of China and signs a tariff treaty with the Chinese.
Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of the Harding Administration. He was known to the media as “Silent Cal.” Once a reporter said to him, “I bet my editor I could get more than two words out of you.” Coolidge replied: “You lose.” He went into a short retirement afterwards, passing in 1933.
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”
“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”
“Patriotism is easy to understand in America – it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.“