March 14th, 2017

book cover - tpbol

Cabinet: W. Willard Wirtz

On this date in 1912, W. Willard Wirtz was born in DeKalb, Illinois. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1937, he was a professor of law in Iowa and then at Northwestern. During World War II, he served with the War Labor Board, and chaired the National Wage Stabilization Board. He returned to teaching after the war. He was appointed Under Secretary of Labor in 1961, and then became the 10th Secretary of Labor (September 1962-January 1969). He was the last surviving member of John Kennedy’s Cabinet when he died on April 24, 2010, aged 98 years 41 days. Wirtz is number 2 on the list of longest-lived Cabinet Secretaries.
book cover - rtfl

First Lady Lucretia Garfield

On this date in 1918, Lucretia Rudolph Garfield died a month before her 86th birthday. In 1858, at the age of 26, Lucretia married James Abram Garfield. Lucretia was the wife of Congressman Garfield for 18 years, and in 1881, they moved into the White House. Their tenure on Pennsylvania Avenue, however, was brief. In July, he was shot, and died in September, serving the second shortest Presidential term (199 days). Garfield had been waiting for a train, in order to visit Lucretia (who was recovering from malaria in New Jersey) when he was shot. Instead, she returned to Washington. Following his death, she returned to their home in Ohio, where she lived a private life for another 36 years. She was entombed in the presidential crypt at Lake View Cemetery, in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband.
book cover - rtvp

Vice President Thomas Marshall

On this date in 1854, Thomas Riley Marshall was born in North Manchester, Indiana. A graduate of Wabash College, he was admitted to the bar in 1875, and in October 1895, he married Lois Irene Kimsey, who was 19 years younger than him. Marshall served as governor of Indiana from 1909 to 1913, and in 1912, he was elected the 28th Vice President on Woodrow Wilson's ticket. He served two terms, but did not seek the Presidential nomination in 1920 (James Cox was nominated, with Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the #2 spot on the Democratic ticket; Republican Warren Harding won the election). After his Vice Presidency, Marshall returned to the practice of law, and chaired the Federal Coal Commission from 1922 to 1923. He died in 1925, 33 years before his wife.