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Joseph G. CANNON
Joseph Gurney Cannon (May 7, 1836 –
November 12, 1926) was a United States
politician from Illinois and leader of the
Republican Party. Cannon served as Speaker of
the United States House of Representatives
from 1903 to 1911, and historians generally
consider him to be the most dominant Speaker
in United States history, with such control over
the House that he could often control debate.
Cannon is the second-longest continuously
serving Republican Speaker in history, having
been surpassed by fellow Illinoisan Dennis
Hastert, who passed him on June 1, 2006. He
was also the ﬁrst Congressman to surpass 40
years of service (non-consecutive), ending his
career with 48 years of cumulative
congressional service, a record that held until
1958. He was the subject of the ﬁrst Time cover.
The Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909 (ch. 6, 36
Stat. 11), named for Representative Sereno E. Payne
(R-NY) and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich (R-RI),
began in the United States House of Representatives
as a bill lowering certain tariffs on goods entering
the United States. It was the ﬁrst change in tariff
laws since the Dingley Act of 1897. President
William Howard Taft called Congress into a special
session in 1909 shortly after his inauguration to
discuss the issue. Thus, the House of
Representatives immediately passed a tariff bill
sponsored by Payne, calling for reduced tariffs.
However, the United States Senate speedily
substituted a bill written by Aldrich, calling for
fewer reductions and more increases in tariffs.
Richard Achilles Ballinger (July 9, 1858 – June 6, 1922) was mayor of Seattle, Washington, from
1904–1906 and U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 1909–1911.
Ballinger was born in Boonesboro, Iowa. He graduated in 1884 from Williams College, where he
was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity, and passed the bar exam in 1886.
He served 1904–1906 as mayor of Seattle, following the scandal-prone Yukon Gold Rush era
administration of Thomas D. Humes. Elected with the support of the downtown business elite, he
cracked down somewhat (but not heavily) on vice, opposed labor unions, and was a roadblock to
the city's strong municipal ownership movement.
After serving as mayor of Seattle, Ballinger was commissioner of the General Land Ofﬁce from
1907–1908. In 1909, President William Howard Taft appointed him Secretary of the Interior. While
Secretary, he was accused of having interfered with investigation into the legality of certain private
coal-land claims in Alaska. After a series of articles in Collier's Weekly that roused the
conservationists an investigation was demanded. A congressional committee exonerated Ballinger,
but the questioning of committee counsel Louis D. Brandeis made Ballinger's anti-conservationism
clear. He resigned in March, 1911. The incident split the Republican Party and helped turn the
election of 1912 against Taft.
Ballinger died on June 6, 1922, in Seattle, Washington.