Longworth, Nicholas & Alice Roosevelt

2 matching cards signed by Washington’s #1 “power couple” of the early 20th century

Price: $50.00

Description:
NICHOLAS LONGWORTH (1869-1931) Ohio GOP US Rep 1903-13 & 1915-31, House He was House Majority Leader 1923-25 and House Speaker 1925-31. Married Theodore Roosevelt's daughter Alice in the White House in 1906. Already well known for his social success, Longworth first came to political prominence in 1910, when he led a successful Republican revolt against the autocratic rule of House Speaker Cannon. Throughout his political career, he was a workhorse, especially on issues regarding foreign affairs and the protective tariff. When "Progressive" Republicans pulled away from the conservatives in 1910–12, Longworth sided with the conservatives. Longworth's father-in-law led the Progressives and bolted the 1912 Republican convention to set up a 3rd party. However, Longworth supported conservative standard-bearer President Taft. Longworth's decision caused a permanent chill in his marriage to Roosevelt's daughter, Alice. For Longworth bolting the party ticket was simply too radical. Also, he agreed more with Taft than TR on critical issues like an independent judiciary and support for business. After an effective term as Majority Leader, Longworth became Speaker in 1925 after Frederick Gillett took a seat in the Senate. Ironically, his first act as Speaker was to restore much of the power to the office that was stripped away in the revolt against Joe Cannon that he helped lead. Longworth began by punishing 13 Progressives who supported Robert LaFollette instead of Calvin Coolidge in 1924. He expelled them from the GOP caucus, and stripped the committee chairmen among them of all seniority. He took control of the Steering Committee and Committee on Committees and placed his own men on the Rules Committee, guaranteeing he controlled the work of the House. Ignoring the GOP left wing, he passed legislation that aimed for balanced budgets and major tax reductions, resisting expanding the role of government. Longworth defied President Hoover in 1931 by supporting the long-stalled veterans bonus bill; it passed but Hoover vetoed it, setting up the Bonus March of 1932. Longworth forged a productive relationship with House minority leader Texas Democrat John Nance Garner, who relied upon informal methods to strengthen his party's influence. Together they hosted a daily gathering of Democratic and Republican congressmen in a secluded room in the Capitol, which became known as the "Bureau of Education," an unofficial club for politicians to relax with a drink and get to know and work with one another across party lines. The Longworth House Office Building was named for him in 1962. (ALICE ROOSEVELT LONGWORTH 1884-1980) Oldest child of Theodore Roosevelt, only child of Roosevelt and 1st wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, who died 2 days after her birth. Alice led an unconventional, controversial life, and was noted for her high sense of humor. Her 1906 marriage to US Rep Nicholas Longworth (R-Ohio, later 43rd Speaker of the House), the highlight of the Washington social season, was shaky, their only child (Paulina Longworth, 1925–1957) a result of her affair with Idaho Senator William Borah. After her father’s 1886 marriage to Edith Kermit Carow, she was raised by her stepmother who bore 5 children of her own. Alice was a great beauty, like her mother, and when TR took office following President McKinley’s assassination, she became an instant celebrity, fashion icon, and a rule-breaker in an era when women were under great pressure to conform. She smoked cigarettes in public, rode in cars with men, stayed out late partying, kept a pet snake named Emily Spinach in the White House, and was seen placing bets with a bookie. In 1905, Longworth, along with Secretary of War Taft and her future husband, Nicholas Longworth, led the so-called "Imperial Cruise" to Japan, Hawaii, China, the Philippines and Korea, then the largest diplomatic mission in US history. A White House visitor once commented on her frequent interruptions in the Oval Office, often because of her political advice. The President commented to his friend, author Owen Wister: "I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both." Alice married Longworth in 1906, their wedding the social event of the season. He was 14 years older and had a reputation as a playboy. While they made a handsome couple to the ever-interested public, their political differences and loyalties caused private dissension. When it came time for the Roosevelt family to move out of the White House, Alice buried a voodoo doll of new First Lady Nellie Taft in the front yard. Later, the Taft White House banned her from her former residence, and in 1916, the Wilson administration banned her for a bawdy joke at Wilson's expense. Her Washington society dinners and reception lobbying are credited with helping to derail US membership in the League of Nations. During the Depression, her fortunes reversed, she appeared in tobacco advertisements to raise money. She also published an autobiography, “Crowded Hours.” She maintained her stature, socially and politically, garnering the nickname, "the other Washington Monument". She took a hard-line view of the Democrats and in her youth sympathized with the conservative wing of the Republican Party. She supported half-brother Ted Roosevelt when he ran for governor of New York in 1924. When cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for president in 1932, Longworth publicly opposed his candidacy. She demolished Thomas Dewey, 1944 opponent of cousin Franklin, by comparing the pencil-mustached Republican to “the little man on the wedding cake.” The image stuck and helped Dewey lose 2 consecutive elections. She developed a friendship with Richard Nixon when he was VP, encouraged him to reenter politics after his 1960 election loss to JFK, and continuted to invite him to her famous dinners. Their friendship ended at the conclusion of the Watergate Scandal when Nixon quoted her father's diary at his resignation, saying, "Only if you've been to the lowest valley can you know how great it is to be on the highest mountain top." An infuriated Longworth spat curse words at her TV as she watched him compare his early departure from the White House to her father's loss of his wife and mother on the same day due to illness. “Alice blue”, a pale tint of azure favored by her, sparked a fashion sensation in the US. The hit song "Alice Blue Gown", inspired by Longworth's signature gown, premiered in Harry Tierney's 1919 Broadway musical “Irene”, made into a 1940 film with Anna Neagle and Ray Milland. The color is specified by the US Navy for use in insignia and trim on vessels named for Theodore Roosevelt. 2 identical undated 2 ¼ x 3 ¾ collector cards bearing the printed heading “Autograph Collection of Arthur P. Proulx” at top, one signed by Nicholas Longworth, the other by Alice Longworth.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed Cards






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