William Howard Taft (1857–1930) was the 27th President of the United
States (1909–1913) and the 10th Chief Justice of the United States
(1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft initially
served as a state and federal judge, and as governor of the Philippines
beginning in 1900. In 1904 Theodore Roosevelt made him Secretary of War.
Taft declined repeated offers to become a Supreme Court justice. He was
Roosevelt's hand-picked successor in 1908, and easily defeated William
Jennings Bryan for the presidency. In the White House, he focused on the
Far East more than Europe, and repeatedly intervened in Latin America.
Taft was allied with the conservative wing of the Republican Party,
while Roosevelt became more liberal after 1909. Roosevelt unsuccessfully
challenged Taft for renomination in 1912, then bolted the party and ran
as a third-party candidate. The split in the Republican vote left Taft
with little chance of re-election, and he lost to Woodrow Wilson,
winning only Utah and Vermont. In 1921 Taft was appointed Chief Justice,
and served until a month before his death. He posted a conservative
record, and reformed the court's administration.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Howard_Taft>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The coup of 18 Brumaire led by Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès and
Napoleon deposed the French government, replacing the Directory with the
USS Alligator engaged three piratical schooners off the coast
of Cuba in one of the West Indies anti-piracy operations of the United
Kristallnacht began as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed
and ransacked Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues in Germany and
Austria, resulting in at least 90 deaths and the deportation of over
25,000 others to concentration camps.
With the passing of the Human Rights Act, the European
Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into United Kingdom law.
The European Space Agency launched the Venus Express mission,
the first long-term observation of the Venusian atmosphere.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Power, might or potency.
2. (equestrianism) Often Puissance: The high-jump component of the sport of
Wikiquote quote of the day:
We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads — but to
find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both. We will not be
afraid to speculate — but we will be careful to distinguish
speculation from fact. The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant
truths, of exquisite interrelationships, of the awesome machinery of
nature. The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On
this shore we've learned most of what we know. Recently we've waded a
little way out, maybe ankle deep, and the water seems inviting. Some
part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return.
And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-
stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
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