Nan Britton relocated to Chicago in 1933, where she operated an
employment office under an assumed name and resided with her
companion and business partner Miss Gertrude Davis in what was
described as "a comfortable apartment" near Lake Michigan. She died
in California in 1995. She was 96.
Elizabeth Ann Britton, President Harding's illegitimate daughter, married
in September 1938, keeping her identity secret until 1964, when she
revealed she was Mrs. Henry E. Blaessing, a Glendale, California
housewife and mother of three sons, the first of whom was named
Heywood Broun ran for Congress on the Socialist Party ticket in 1930.
In April 1933, facing expulsion after gracing a Communist Party rally, he
resigned party membership. That same year he helped found the
American Newspaper Guild and was elected its first president. In 1939,
haunted by a premonition of impending death, Broun, with the assistance
of Monsignor (later Bishop) Fulton J. Sheen, converted to Catholicism.
He died of pneumonia at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital
on December 18, 1939. Broun was 51. "He was a hard fighter," wrote
Franklin Roosevelt, "but always a fair fighter . . ."
William Jennings Bryan locked horns with Clarence Darrow in 1925's
successful prosecution of evolutionist John T. Scopes at Dayton,
Tennessee's famed "Monkey Trial." Bryan proclaimed Scopes' guilty
verdict a triumph over "the forces of darkness." He left Dayton by train,
addressing huge crowds from his locomotive platform—an estimated
50,000 persons in 200 miles—before apoplexy claimed him two days
later, on July 26, 1925. The Great Commoner was 65.
Carrie Chapman Catt opposed the Equal Rights Amendment the
Nation Women's Party proposed in 1923. She also opposed repealing
Prohibition, but soon warmed to Franklin Roosevelt's administration.
Mrs. Catt died at her New Rochelle home on March 9, 1947. She was
Professor William Estabrook Chancellor, Harding's racist nemesis,
returned to the States after Hardingâ€™s death, teaching at Cincinnati's
Xavier University from 1927 through 1940 and serving on the
Norwood, Ohio city council from 1933 through 1940. Chancellor died
on May 4, 1963. He was 96.
The Chicago Coliseum, home of the 1920 Republican National
Convention, eventually became home to roller derby, the Chicago
Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls. The venue's unlikely last hurrah was
Abbie Hoffman's August 1968 Yippie "L.B.J.'s un-birthday" party.
Demolished in 1982, it survives as "Coliseum Park," a children's
playground and dog run.
Parley Parker Christensen, 1920 Farmer-Labor Party presidential
candidate, spent two years in Moscow in the early 1920s, twice meeting
with Lenin. In 1926 he unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate
from Illinois, before moving to California and serving ten years on the
Los Angeles city council. Christensen died in Los Angeles on February
10, 1954. He was 84.
Edward Young Clarke, the KKK's publicity man, was convicted in
1924 for violating the Mann Act, i.e., transporting women across state
lines for immoral purposes. In 1932 Clarke devised a prosperity scheme
called Esskaye, based on the magical properties of the numeral seven.
Locked up as insane, Clarke convinced doctors he wasn't. In 1934,
however, authorities convicted Clarke of mail fraud regarding Esskaye.
In March 1949, en route to Atlanta Penitentiary, the 73-year old Clarke
escaped from his federal parole supervisor.
Bainbridge Colby, Wilson's final Secretary of State, returned to New
York and to private practice, with Wilson as his official partner. The firm
soon dissolved. A vigorous opponent of prohibition, Colby campaigned
for FDR in 1932, but quickly accused FDR of having fallen "hook, line,
and sinker to the Communists and Socialists by whom he is
surrounded." In 1936 he supported Alf Landon for president and, in
1940, opposed Roosevelt's bid for a third term. Colby died at Bemus
Point, New York on April 11, 1950. He was 80.
Grace Goodhue Coolidge remained in Northampton, did defense work
in Work War II, and distinguished herself as one of New England's
premier Red Sox fans. She died in her sleep at Northampton on July 8,
1957. She was 78.
James Middleton Cox remained in the newspaper business and, to a
lesser extent, in politics. In 1933 Franklin Roosevelt appointed Cox
Vice Chairman of the United States Delegation to the World Economic
Conference at London (FDR wanted to appoint him ambassador to
Berlin). In 1946 Cox declined appointment to the United States Senate.
He died in Dayton, Ohio on July 15, 1957. He was 87. In 2003, the
company he founded, Cox Enterprises employed 77,000 persons,
operated 300 separate businesses, and reported revenues of $10.7
Margaretta Blair Cox, Cox's wife, died of asphyxiation at her Dayton
home after smoking in bed. Firemen could not understand why she
remained in a smoke-filled bathroom when both stairwells remained
clear. She was 70.
Josephus Daniels served for eight years as ambassador to Mexico
under FDR, who still called him "Chief." Mexicans, recalling Daniels'
shelling of Vera Cruz while Navy Secretary, were not initially overjoyed
by the appointment, but Daniels soon won them over despite an
abstemious lifestyle, that saw him do little entertaining (and enabled him
to annually bank $10,000 of his $17,500 salary). In early January 1948
Daniels, suffering from bronchitis, insisted on attending Methodist
services. He contracted pneumonia and died in Raleigh that January 15.
Daniels, last surviving member of Woodrow Wilson's cabinet, was 85.
Harry Micajah Daugherty beat the rap. Indicted for conspiracy to
defraud the government, he went free after two juries deadlocked.
Daugherty pled the Fifth Amendment, some said, to protect Warren
Harding more than himself. "I never talk about dead men or living
women," he later said. In 1932, with Thomas Dixon (of The Birth of a
Nation fame) he wrote a defense of his—and Harding's—career, The
Inside Story of the Harding Tragedy. Daugherty died of congestive
heart failure in his Columbus apartment on October 12, 1941. He was
Eugene Victor Debs suffered a nervous breakdown in October 1926
and entered Elmhurst, Illinois' Lindlahr Sanitarium. A kidney ailment
weakened him further and as he lay ill, he could not speak. Motioning
for paper and pencil, he scrawled out the words to William Ernest
Henley's poem Invictus: "It matters not how strait the gate, How
charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the
captain of my soul." Gene Debs died that October 20. He was 70.
W. W. Durbin, racist Ohio Democratic Chairman, was an early FDR
supporter in 1932 and FDR returned the favor by appointing him
Register of the United States Treasury. Durbin died of a cerebral
hemorrhage at his Kenton, Ohio home on February 4, 1937. He was 71.
Albert Bacon Fall, Harding's Secretary of the Interior, was convicted in
October 1929 of receiving a $100,000 bribe from oilman Edward
Doheny. Ironically, Doheny was acquitted of tendering the bribe. Fall
and Doheny contended the $100,000 was a loan, a mortgage on Fall's
one million acre Tres Ritos ranch—not a bribe. It eventually did turn out
to be a mortgage. Doheny foreclosed on the property, intending to
return it to Fall, but he died shortly thereafter. Doheny's estate kept all
but five acres of Tres Ritos.
Fall spent ten months in New Mexico State Prison, the first cabinet
officer to serve time. He died on November 30, 1944 at El Paso's Hotel
Dieu Hospital, where he had been a patient since 1942. Albert B. Fall
James E. "Pa" Ferguson, 1920 American Party presidential candidate,
was barred in 1924 from holding Texas public office, which didn't
prevent his wife, Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson, from being elected
governor that year and again in 1932 (she did, however, lose three other
times). Pa Ferguson died on September 21, 1944. He was 73.
Colonel Charles R. Forbes, Harding's crooked Veteran's Administration
chief, was released from prison in 1927 and made his living selling
restaurant kitchenware. He died at Walter Reed Army Hospital on April
11, 1952. He was 74.
Henry Ford, facing a $1 million libel suit, closed the Dearborn
Independent in July 1927 and retracted his previous anti-Semitic
statements. Many questioned his sincerity, particularly after Ford
accepted the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle from
Hitler's government in December 1938. Ford died at his Dearborn
estate on April 7, 1945. He was 83.
Marcus Garvey's popularity quickly faded. The NAACP denounced
him as a "robber of innocent Negroes," ridiculed his back-to-Africa
plan, and, not surprisingly, found itself outraged by Garvey's cooperation
with the Ku Klux Klan. In 1922 federal authorities indicted Garvey on
rather flimsy evidence for mail fraud regarding his Black Star Steamship
Company. He conducted a spiritedly if unsuccessfully defense and
entered Atlanta Penitentiary in February 1925. Calvin Coolidge
commuted his sentence in November 1927, and Garvey was deported
to his native Jamaica where he died on June 10, 1940. "Fortunately for
himself and for others," editorialized the New York Times, "he was not
able to translate his dream into widespread slaughter. It came down at
last to some fairly successful retail stealing, for which he did penance.
Now he is dead." He was 60.
Rear Adm. Cary T. Grayson assumed leadership of the American Red
Cross in 1935. He died of anemia in Washington on February 15, 1938.
He was 59 .
Jake Hamon's son Jake L. Hamon continued in the family business,
making a fortune in the Texas oil fields. When he died in Amsterdam in
1985, he left an estate valued at $200 million.
Col. George B. Harvey remained editor of the North American Review
and briefly edited the Washington Post. Plagued by asthma, he died at
his Dublin, New Hampshire summer home on August 20, 1928. He was
Will H. Hays, Republican National Chairman in 1920, left the Harding
cabinet in March 1922 to assume the new position of president of
Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, in effect, the
"czar" of the film industry. Serving until 1945, he established
Hollywood's code of morals for film content. Hays, 74, died of heart
disease at his Indiana home, on March 7, 1954.
Herbert C. Hoover spent the 1930s vainly arguing against Franklin
Roosevelt's New Deal. In 1946 President Truman appointed Hoover to
head the Famine Emergency Commission, to alleviate hunger in a war-
town world, and later to reorganize the federal executive branch—a
mission popularly known as the Hoover Commission. His energy belied
his years (in 1960, when he was 86, he wrote 55,952 letters). His
reputation soiled by the Great Depression seemed, at least, partially
restored. "He had the last laugh," wrote James Reston, "he convinced
most of his critics in the end and outlived the rest of them." Hoover died
in his 31st floor Waldorf-Astoria apartment on October 20, 1964. He
J. Edgar Hoover not only survived the passing of Franklin Roosevelt in
1945, he survived everybody, remaining as FBI chief until his death on
May 2, 1972. He was 77.
Col. Edward Mandell House served as a confidential advisor to Franklin
Roosevelt in his 1932 presidential campaign and was later occasionally
called upon by FDR for advice. In January 1933 he wrote a magazine
article musing that the country might be ready for dictatorship. In June
1937 he retracted that view and predicted that FDR ("my friend") would
not seek a third term. He also predicted world peace. House, 79, died
at his Manhattan townhouse on March 28, 1938.
Dr. Erastus Mead Hudson, Franklin Roosevelt's homosexual-hunting
navy lieutenant, became an internationally recognized expert on
fingerprinting and testified for defendant Bruno Richard Hauptman in the
Lindbergh kidnapping case. Appointed to the Medical Advisory Board
of the United States Trade Commission in 1942, Hudson died at
Washington on September 12, 1943. He was 55.
Senator Hiram W. Johnson helped lead the resistance to FDR's 1937
court-packing schemes. Johnson, still in the Senate, died at Bethesda
Naval Hospital on August 6, 1945. One of his last votes was against
ratification of the United Nations Charter—one of only two votes in
opposition. He was 78.
Rev. Samuel Neal Kent left the active ministry, working instead for the
Chautauqua Association of Philadelphia and the English Speaking Union
of the United States, although occasionally he served as a cruise ship
chaplain. He died on November 1, 1943 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He
John T. King, TR and Leonard Wood's key political advisor, found
himself indicted (along with Harry Daugherty) in early 1926 on charges
of defrauding the government and later on income tax charges. He died
of pneumonia in Bridgeport that May 14. He was 51.
Robert Lansing returned to private practice, specializing in international
law. A diabetic for 30 years, Lansing died of myocarditis at his
Washington home on October 30, 1928. He was 64. In 1953, his
nephew, John Foster Dulles, became Dwight Eisenhower's Secretary of
State. Foster Dulles' son, Avery, converted to Catholicism and became
Albert D. Lasker, Harding's campaign advertising guru, served as
Chairman of the War Shipping Board. He supported Charles Dawes in
1924 and Wendell Willkie in 1940. In 1942 Lasker sold his advertising
agency, Lord & Taylor, and devoted his life to philanthropy. He died of
cancer in New York City on May 30, 1952. He was 72.
The League of Nations failed to prevent World War II and transferred
all its assets to the United Nations on April 18, 1946. It was 26.
Missy LeHand became, in Elliott Roosevelt's words, "the true hostess of
the White House." not too surprising considering she lived on the third
floor. Missy, who suffered a stroke in 1941 and retired as FDR's
secretary, died of a cerebral thrombosis in Boston's Chelsea Naval
Hospital on July 31, 1944. She was 46. FDR's will earmarked up to half
of his estate for her medical care.
Senator Irvine L. Lenroot narrowly won re-election in November 1920
but failed to win re-nomination in 1926. Two years later, Coolidge
appointed him to the United States Court of Custom and Patent
Appeals, a post he held until 1944. He died in Washington on January
26, 1949. He was 79.
The Literary Digest continued presidential polling, picking winners in
1924, 1928, and 1932 (coming within 0.71% of 1932's actual result). In
1936, basing its forecast on 2.3 million ballots returned, it forecast
Kansas Governor Alf Landon would defeat FDR 57%-43% and garner
370 electoral votes. Landon received 38% and 8 electoral votes. The
fiasco shattered the magazine's credibility. In June 1937 the Literary
Digest merged with The Review of Reviews and finally folded the
following spring. It was 47.
Henry Cabot Lodge's grandson, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. followed him
into the Senate but lost his seat in 1952 to John F. Kennedy. In
February 1953, Dwight Eisenhower appointed Lodge Jr. as United
States Ambassador to the United Nations, successor organization to the
League of Nations. Another grandson, John Davis Lodge, acted in the
films as Katherine Hepburn's Little Women (1933) and Shirley
Temple's The Little Colonel (1935), later served as governor of
Connecticut and United States ambassador, and returned to screen to
portray a Russian agent in In Like Flint (1967). John Davis Lodge died
while addressing the National Women's Republican Club.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth, TR's sharp-tongued daughter, remained in
Washington after her husband Nick's death in 1931, continuing her
acerbic ways, viewing the world, as she put it, with "malevolent
"I'm the old fire horse, she explained toward the end, "I just perform. I
give a good show—just one of the Roosevelt show-offs." She died at
her Dupont Circle mansion on February 20, 1980. She was 96.
Frank Orren Lowden's wife Florence Pullman Lowden died in 1937,
leaving her husband $4.5 million. Frank Lowden died of cancer in
Tucson on March 20, 1943. He was 82.
Helen Harding Cox Mahoney, daughter of James M. Cox, died after a
fall at her suburban Dayton home on May 16, 1921. She was 25.
Dudley Field Malone, Wilson's Collector of the Port of New York who
resigned over the suffragette issue and abandoned his wife to marry
suffragette Doris Stevens, divorced Stevens in 1929. He assisted
Clarence Darrow in the 1925 Scopes evolution trial, and spent much of
the '20s protesting Prohibition—often by drinking heavily. In 1932, he
helped secure Franklin Roosevelt's nomination—but then endorsed
Herbert Hoover. Malone later moved to California, became counsel to
Twentieth Century-Fox, and portrayed Winston Churchill in Warner
Brothers' 1943 paen to Stalin, Mission to Moscow. Malone died of a
heart attack in Culver City on October 5, 1950. He was 68.
William Gibbs McAdoo divorced his wife Eleanor in July 1934. In
September 1935, McAdoo, 71, married 26-year old San Diego public
health nurse Doris Cross. Despite FDR's support, he was denied re-
nomination in 1938. McAdoo died of a heart attack while visiting
Washington on February 1, 1941. He was 77.
Kate Richards O'Hare, former Socialist Party activist jailed for anti-war
activities, became California's Assistant State Director of Penology in
1939. She died in January 1948.
Thomas Mott Osborne, FDR's warden at Monmouth Naval Prison,
never held another responsible government position. Complicating
matters was a $25,000 alienation of affection suit launched against him
by a young woman aggrieved in the matter of her ex-convict fiance,
Osborne's aide and occasional bodyguard.
On the evening of October 20, 1926 a body was found outside a
theater in Auburn, New York. It was Osborne, who had suffered a
heart attack at age 67. Newspapers refrained from revealing that the
deceased carried no identification, save for his old "Tom Brown" prison
badge, wore a false beard and teeth and had disguised his nostrils, in the
manner of movie master of disguise Lon Cheney. It is best not to
consider what he was up to.
A. Mitchell Palmer suffered a heart attack in 1922 and abandoned his
political ambitions. He did, however, maintain close relations with former
neighbor Franklin Roosevelt, and FDR entrusted Palmer to write the
1932 Democratic platform—a document Roosevelt took care to keep
under glass on his Oval Office desk but never to implement. Palmer died
in Washington on May 11, 1936 of heart disease following an
appendicitis operation. He was 64.
Alice Stokes Paul earned three law degrees in the 1920s, drafted the ill-
fated Equal Rights Amendment to the federal constitution in 1923, and,
in 1938, helped organize the World Woman's Party. She died in
Moorestown, New Jersey on July 9, 1977. She was 92.
Mary Allen Hulbert Peck, Woodrow Wilson's mysterious
correspondent and friend, died in Norwalk, Connecticut on December
17, 1939. She was 76.
Andrew J. Peters, mayor during Boston's police strike, returned to the
private practice of law and to other sundry private matters, most notably
those concerning a beautiful, young girl with a beautiful name, Starr
Faithfull. The affair—actually, a series of rapes—started in 1917 when
she was 12. Peters paid somewhere between $20,000 and $80,000 to
silence her outraged, but, nonetheless, quite practical, family. Starr
moved to New York, became a showgirl, and was found drowned, but
fully dressed, on a Long Island beach on June 8, 1931. Some suspected
Peters, but as he still retained some influence (he seconded Al Smith's
nomination at the 1928 Democrat convention), nothing was done to him.
Peters died of pneumonia on June 26, 1938. He was 66. The case has
never been solved.
Alexandra Carlisle Pfeiffer continued her stage career against her
second husband's wishes. In 1923 Dr. Albert Pfeiffer sued for divorce,
charging desertion. In 1934 her estranged third husband, J. Elliot
Jenkins, shot and killed himself in Chicago. She was in her apartment,
eleven floors above. Jenkins left two suicide notes. One read: "To the
hotel bellboys: I'm sorry I wasn't able to tip you while I was here. Thank
you for your good service." Atop the note was seventeen dollars.
Alexandra Carlisle Pfeiffer died alone at her room in Times Square's
Hotel Astor on April 22, 1936. She was 50.
Carrie Fulton Phillips, Warren Harding's mistress, died in 1960 in what
the New York Times described as "an institution for the aged maintained
by public welfare." She left behind a cardboard box containing 98 letters
from Harding that confirmed their relationship, often in graphic detail.
She was 84.
Eleanor Roosevelt served as an American delegate to the United
Nations under Presidents Truman and Kennedy, wrote a newspaper
column, "My Day," and actively encouraged the liberal wing of the
Democratic Party. She died of tuberculosis in New York City on
November 7, 1962. She was 78.
Franklin D. Roosevelt never seemed to lack for confidence as he won
four terms as president, defeated the Axis powers, and created the
United Nations, the successor to Woodrow Wilson's League of
Nations. But he had second thoughts about his 1920 performance. "I,
too," he confided in 1939 to Col. Frank Knox (1936's Republican vice-
presidential candidate), "was inexperienced in national campaigns in
1920 and later regretted many of the things I said at that time!" He died
at Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945.
Lucy Mercer Rutherford, Franklin Roosevelt's wartime mistress,
married wealthy New Yorker Winthrop Rutherford in February 1920.
She, nonetheless, maintained contact with FDR and was with FDR in
April 1945 when he died at Warm Springs, Georgia. Her husband had
died in 1944. Jonathan Daniels, FDR's former press secretary and
Josephus Daniels' son, hinted at the relationship in a 1954 memoir, aptly
titled The End of Innocence, and fully revealed it in his 1966 effort, The
Time Between the Wars. Lucy Mercer Rutherford died in New York
City on July 31, 1948—four years to the day after Missy Le Hand died.
She was 57.
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, accused, convicted of, and
executed for the April 1920 South Braintree robbery and murder,
remained cultural icons, symbols of American judicial injustice. On
August 23, 1977 Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis officially
pardoned the two men. Yet, doubts—and evidence—have mounted
against a presumption of their innocence. In 1943 anarchist leader and
key Sacco and Vanzetti supporter Carlo Tresca, who had first began
hearing rumors of Sacco and Vanzetti's guilt as early as 1922, admitted
to leftist intellectual Max Eastman, "Sacco was guilty but Vanzetti was
innocent." He had earlier made the same accusation to socialists
Norman Thomas and John P. Roche.
In October 1961 ballistics tests revealed that some of the bullets found
in factory guard Alessandro Berardelli's body came from Sacco's Colt
In 1982 Ideale Gambera, son of one of Sacco and Vanzetti's four-man
defense committee wrote author Francis Russell: "Everyone [among the
anarchist leadership] knew that Sacco was guilty and that Vanzetti was
innocent as far as the actual participation in killing."
The San Francisco Civic Auditorium, site of the 1920 Democratic
National Convention, functions to this day, but being that it functions in
San Francisco, it is now the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, in honor of
the famed concert promoter of the city's Haght-Ashbury era.
Thomas D. Schall, Hiram Johnson's seconder at the 1920 convention,
evolved from progressive Congressman to the Senate's most vitriolic
opponent of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. On the morning of
December 22, 1935, the blind Schall was run over in Washington traffic.
His death coincided with a national conference of traffic safety experts.
Schall was 58.
Colonel William J. Simmons, founder of the Ku Klux Klan, after a
series of legal battles, surrendered Klan leadership in 1924, bought off
for somewhere between $90,000 and $145,500. He pondered founding
a rival Klan—the Hidden Hosts, Knights of the Flaming Sword—but
nothing came of the idea. In 1936 the Klan's former national
headquarters in Atlanta became a Catholic school. In April 1944, the
Invisible Empire, facing a $685,000 on IRS tax, formally dissolved.
Simmons died in Atlanta on May 18, 1945. He was 64.
Al Smith broke with Franklin Roosevelt, declaring the New Deal
anathema. "Don't let anyone tell you that President Roosevelt is a
Communist," said Al Smith in his last speech of the 1936 campaign
against FDR, "That is not so. Or don't let anyone tell you he is a
Socialist. That is not so. He is neither a Communist nor a Socialist—any
more than I am—but something has taken place in this country—there is
a certain kind of foreign "ism" crawling over this country. What it is I
don't know. What its first name will be when it's christened I haven't the
slightest idea. But I know it is here, and the sin about it is that
[Roosevelt] doesn't seem to know it." He died of lung and heart disease
on October 4, 1944. He was 70.
Seymour Stedman, Eugene Debs' 1920 running mate, became vice
president of the City State Bank of Chicago. In 1929 it failed and in
1933 authorities indicted him for receiving deposits during its insolvency
but dropped charges two years later. Stedman died at his Chicago home
on July 9, 1948. He was 78.
Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color, continued
writing racist books, including 1922's proto-Nazi The Revolt against
Civilization: The Menace of the Underman. In 1921, with Margaret
Sanger, he helped found the American Birth Control League and served
on its Board of Directors. In 1940, Stoddard interviewed Hitler,
Himmler, and Goebbels for the North American Newspaper Alliance
and conferred with prominent German eugenicists. He died in
Washington, D.C. on May 1, 1950. He was 66.
William Howard Taft resigned as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in
February 1930 and died that March 8. "To me he was a friend," said
Calvin Coolidge, "kindly, genial, and helpful. He often came to my office
when I was in Washington and always brought mature thought and good
cheer." Taft was 72.
Joseph K. Taussig, critic of FDR's naval prison policies, rose to the rank
of admiral, retiring just prior to Pearl Harbor. Recalled to active duty in
1943, he served as senior member on the Navy's clemency and prison
inspection board—for which he received the Legion of Merit. Taussig
died of a heart attack at Bethesda Naval Hospital on October 29, 1947.
Judge Webster Thayer, presiding judge in the Sacco and Vanzetti case,
had his Worcester, Massachusetts home destroyed by a bomb on the
night of September 27, 1932. After the incident, he remained under
police guard. Thayer died in Boston the following April 18th of a stroke.
He was 75.
Carlo Tresca, early organizer of Sacco and Vanzetti's defense, was
convicted of sending obscene material (an ad for a book on birth
control) through the mails in 1924, but after serving four months was
freed by President Coolidge. On the evening of January 11, 1943,
Tresca and an associate strolled through Greenwich Village. At 9:40
PM, they reached Fifth Avenue and 15th Street, when a dark sedan
pulled alongside. A man jumped out and fired three shots, one hitting
Tresca in the temple. He died instantly. Fascists, Communists, and
mobsters were suspected. No one was ever convicted.
Joseph P. Tumulty entered Washington private practice. He refused,
however, to engage in lobbying. Tumulty died at his Maryland home on
April 8, 1954. He was 74.
Wayne Bidwell Wheeler, boss of the Anti-Saloon League, suffered
horrendous personal tragedy. In August 1927 a gasoline stove exploded
at Wheeler's Little Point Sable, Michigan summer cottage. His wife's
apron caught fire, enveloping in flames, burning her entire body and even
the inside of her mouth (she had inhaled some of the flames). Her 81-
year old father, who had just suffered a heart attack, witnessed the
scene, suffered a second heart attack, and died on the spot. Wheeler
wrapped his wife in a carpet, treated her with baking soda, and rushed
her to a hospital. She died the next morning. Wheeler soon followed.
Beset by kidney disease, he died at the Battle Creek Sanitarium on
September 5, 1927. When Wheeler died, Will Rogers remarked, "The
best fight a man can put up is to have his enemies say, if he passes out in
the middle of the fight, is: "Well, I am glad he is out of the way." Wayne
B. Wheeler was 57.
William Allen White, tireless progressive chronicler of Republican (and
sometimes Democratic) politics, remained an "unreconstructed liberal,"
ran for governor of Kansas as an independent anti-Klan candidate in
1924, and vigorously urged support for Britain prior to Pearl Harbor.
Less notably, in 1928 he attacked Al Smith for allegedly supporting
gambling and prostitution while in the state legislature. He later withdrew
those charges. White died at Emporia, Kansas on January 29, 1944. He
was 85. His Autobiography, published posthumously in 1946, won the
Pulitzer Prize for biography.
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson personally answered each piece of mail she
received—but only if it contained a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
In 1939, she published her autobiography, My Memoir. Mrs. Wilson
died at her Washington home on December 29, 1961. She was 89.
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