William Randolph Hearst—newspaper magnate and congressman—born 150 years ago today. Cartoonist Clifford Berryman depicts the multimillionaire as trying to pass himself as a man of the people during a possible presidential run.
Newspaper publisher and multi-millionaire William Randolph Hearst was viewed as a strong candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 1908. This illustration entitled, “Hearst’s New Make-up”, by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, appeared in the Washington Evening Star on June 5, 1907 and shows Hearst attempting to convince the common man that he is their friend. Hearst was born on April 29, 1863.
Hearst’s New Make-up by Clifford Berryman, 6/5/1907, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6010707)
George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedication
Today the National Archives and Records Administration will dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The facility will open to the public on May 1.
The Bush Library is the 13th of NARA’s federally owned Presidential libraries, whose holdings span eight decades of American history. It also increases our presence in Texas, where we already operate the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, George H.W. Bush’s library in College Station, and our regional archives and records center in Fort Worth.
We look forward to developing partnerships with the George W. Bush Presidential Center and with SMU to present joint programming, share our expertise, draw on our holdings, and bring together SMU’s academic departments and the library. These kinds of partnerships at the 12 other Presidential libraries have enriched the learning experience for students and scholars.
The new Bush Library holds 70 million pages of textual records, 40,000 artifacts (mainly gifts to the Bushes), four million photographs, and 80 terabytes of electronic information – including 200 million emails of about five pages each, or one billion pages.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
FDR at The First Presidential Library Dedication
The first Presidential Library and Museum was conceived and built under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s direction from 1939 to 1940 in Hyde Park, NY. The official FDR Library dedication was a small, quiet affair, with close friends and family attending the ceremony.
-History of the FDR Library
April 11, 1965. LBJ signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, at the Junction School in Johnson City, TX. Among the guests at the bill signing are Kate Deadrich Loney (LBJ’s first school teacher), Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and Adm. William Raborn, along with Lady Bird and Lynda.
“As a son of a tenant farmer, I know that education is the only valid passport from poverty.
“As a former teacher—and, I hope, a future one—I have great expectations of what this law will mean for all of our young people.
“As President of the United States, I believe deeply no law I have signed or will ever sign means more to the future of America.”
Today the schoolhouse is part of the LBJ National Historic Park.
Joint Resolution Proposing the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 05/13/1912
Passed by Congress May 13, 1912, and ratified April 8, 1913, the 17th amendment modified Article I, section 3, of the Constitution by allowing voters to cast direct votes for U.S. Senators. Prior to its passage, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.
via Our Documents
The 16th Amendment, ratified 100 years ago, February 25, 1913:
“Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among the several states and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
The 16th Amendment and the first Internal Revenue Bureau Form 1040, will be on display from April 1 to April 30 at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
The Civil War prompted the first American income tax, a flat 3 percent on all annual incomes over $800, in 1861. Congress enacted a 2-percent tax on annual income over $4,000 in 1894, but it was quickly struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
By the early 20th century, members of both the Democratic and Republican parties advocated a constitutional amendment allowing a Federal income tax. On July 12, 1909, Congress passed a joint congressional resolution proposing such an amendment.
The resolution was then sent to the states for consideration. By February 3, 1913, three-quarters of the states—the number required by the Constitution for ratification—had approved it. Certified by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox on February 25, 1913, it then became the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1913, due to exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes. Tax rates began at 1 percent and rose to 6 percent on income over $500,000.
The first Internal Revenue Bureau Form 1040, as provided by Public Law 63-16, was approved October 3, 1913.
Don’t forget — only 12 days until Tax Day!
Cartoonist Clifford Berryman’s familiar character, Miss Democracy, voices the hopes of many people that former President Theodore Roosevelt might run again in 1916. Senator William Edwin Chilton of West Virginia had stated to the press his belief that Roosevelt would run for President in 1916. Miss Democracy comments “Oh, I do hope Chilton knows what he’s talking about.” Roosevelt’s 1912 run split the Republican Party, thus making it an easy victory for the Democrats. (Ultimately this would not be the case, disappointing one Bull Moose in particular).
The Beer-Wine Revenue Act - March 22, 1933
80 years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Beer–Wine Revenue Act into law on March 22, 1933. This law amended the Volstead Act and permitted the sale of beer and wine with an alcohol content of less than 3.2% by volume. The act represented the first relaxation of the prohibition laws since 1918 and was followed up at the end of the year with the passage of the 21st Amendment repealing prohibition. Repeal of prohibition laws was a key plank in the Democratic platform during the 1932 Presidential election as reflected in Clifford Berryman’s cartoon.
On March 20, 1965, Mrs. Bertram Jeffrey sent this letter to Representative Emanuel Cellar, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, advocating for the passage of the Voting Rights Act for the continuance of a true democratic system.
Letter from Mrs. Bertram Jeffert in Favor of the Voting Rights Act, 3/20/1965, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 593573)
Let Congress Take Warning, 03/06/1909
The Inauguration Day of William Howard Taft was one of the worst Inauguration days ever due to rain, snow, sleet, slush, and chilling winds. In the cartoon, telegraph lines are shown falling over because of the strong winds and snow. Uncle Sam is bundled in winter gear while holding a resolution to change the date of Inauguration Day and telling Congress that they shouldn’t let the same thing happen again. Because of the bad weather, there was much support in changing Inauguration Day to April 30, which is when George Washington was inaugurated. The resolution was not successful until 1933 though, when Inauguration Day was changed to January 20.
Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet member
80 years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt notified the U.S. Senate on March 4, 1933, that he had nominated Frances Perkins of New York to be Secretary of Labor. A lifelong labor reformer, she rose to prominence following the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. She was confirmed as Secretary of Labor and became the first woman appointed to a Cabinet position. She was the longest serving Labor secretary, serving for 12 years between 1933 and 1945. She was also the first woman to enter the Presidential Line of Succession.
Keep reading at Prologue: A Factory Fire and Frances Perkins
Statement on Reduction of Compensation to Members of Congress, 2/25/1843
Records of the U.S. Senate
This ledger was used to clarify a proposed reduction in compensation for Congress in 1843, thus reducing the Congressional budget. Congress sets the budget for its operations, including pay for Members of Congress.
A Twenty-Second-of-February Dream; Things that the Father of His Country would discover in 1903, 02/22/1903