March 5th, 2017

book cover - tpbol

Cabinet: James Wilson

Many Cabinet Secretaries took and left office on March 5th, which until 1936 was the day after Inauguration Day (thus, incoming Presidents would name Cabinet appointments the day or day after taking office, and the Senate would rapidly confirm them). Among those leaving office on March 5th was James Wilson, the 4th Secretary of Agriculture. William McKinley appointed Scottish-born Wilson when he took office in 1897. Theodore Roosevelt kept Wilson on following McKinley's assassination. And when Roosevelt left office, his hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft, kept Wilson in his post. He only left the Cabinet when the Presidency changed parties following the election of 1912, and Woodrow Wilson took over. James Wilson served 15 years 364 days as Secretary of Agriculture, by far the longest tenure of any Cabinet Secretary.