Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The American Presidents: William Howard Taft

The following is from a work-in-progress called "The American Presidents: a Coloring Book."

William Howard Taft (1857 – 1930) was the 27th President of the United States. (1909–1913)  At Yale, he was a member of Skull and Bones, the secret society co-founded by his father, Alphonso Taft.  He was given the nickname "Big Lub" because of his size.   From 1901 to 1904, Taft served as the first civilian Governor-General of the Phillippines.  He was also Provisional Governor of Cuba for a time.  On April 22, 1912, Taft created the United States Chamber of Commerce as a counterbalance to the rise of the labor movement at the time.  In July 1909, while Taft was president, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution passed, which allowed the federal government to tax incomes.  During the Taft administration, two states were admitted to the Union: New Mexico and Arizona.  Taft is often remembered as being the most obese president, weighing around 340 lbs.  The truth of the often-told story of Taft getting stuck in a White House bathtub is unclear.  He also suffered from somnolence, which caused him to fall asleep during conversations, and at the dinner table, and even while standing.  Taft is the last President to have sported facial hair while in office.

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