We´ve Got History
Our school is named in honor of the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft, 1857-1930.
Taft also served our country as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the position that the respected lawyer considered his highest honor. Under the Republican president Taft, America got the Income Tax system with passage of the 16th Amendment to the Consitution.
Historians call Taft a distinguished jurist and an effective administrator but a poor politician. He was an intellectual who was unwilling to play political games.
Taft was the biggest man ever elected president, weighing more than 300 pounds. He once got stuck in the White House bathtub, and had to have an extra-large one installed.
He grew up near Cincinnati, Ohio. His father was a distinguished judge and his mother a college graduate in an era when few women even finished high school. Like his father, he graduated from Yale and then law school. He rose in politics through Republican appointments to important jobs that gave him a high profile. But Taft much preferred law to politics. He was appointed to serve as a federal judge at age 34.
Then President McKinley sent him to the Philippines in 1900 as chief civil administrator, basically running the islands for America. Sympathetic toward the Filipinos, he improved the economy, built roads and schools, and gave the people some participation in government. His fellow Republican President Roosevelt made him Secretary of War, and by 1907 started grooming Taft to succeed him as president. Taft ran against famous orator William Jennings Bryan and won easily.
But as president, Taft angered businesses by trying to stop the strangelhold on the economy by a small elite group of businesses holding all the power through business trusts. And he angered progressives for not upholding land conservation policies.
After losing the next election to Woodrow Wilson, Taft returned to the law as a professor at Yale until he was appointed as Chief Justice.
William Howard Taft was the first president to own a car at the White House (he had the White House stables converted into a 4-car garage). He was the first to throw out the first ball to begin the professional baseball season. And though the Republican did not serve in the military, he became the first president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. President John Kennedy, who fought in World War II, is the only military veteran president to be buried there.
Another fun fact about this important man was that Taft liked milk so much that he brought his own cow to the White House. The cows name was Mooly Wolly. Mooly was replaced by another cow called Paulin. Paulin was the last cow to graze on the White House lawn.