Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today -100: March 20, 1910: Of House coups and death by suicide


The House votes 181-164 to remove Speaker of the House Uncle Joe Cannon from the Rules Committee, largely de-fanging him, 35 “insurgent” Republicans voting with Democrats. Then he is re-affirmed as speaker, with a 38-vote majority. Until this moment, Cannon, who had exercised a “czarist” control over Congress since 1903, was arguably more powerful than President Taft, and frequently thwarted Roosevelt as well.


The NYT notes in an editorial that when Roosevelt expressed an interest in currency reform, Cannon said, “There ain’t going to be no currency reform,” and that was that. “This was a typical manifestation of Cannonism. There has come an end to all that. The House is once more a deliberative body, not a meeting in vassalage to the Speaker.”

Since the revolt against Cannon began, Taft has consistently refused to say anything about it.

In Marion, Arkansas, a mob took two negroes from the jail and lynched them, hanging them in the Court House square. The coroner’s verdict: “death by suicide.”

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