Congressman Joseph G. Cannon of Illinois is considered by many as the most powerful Speaker of the House in American history. From 1903 to 1911 he was a congressman from Illinois, presiding over the United States House of Representatives.
“It’s impossible to keep a member of Congress in Washington during the holidays.” This is the opinion of “Uncle Joe” Cannon, former Speaker of the House, who has been paying a visit to Washington for the last several days. The former Speaker has been heartily welcomed by both Republicans and Democrats. On March 5 next he will begin his twentieth term in the House.
“Congress may vote to recess for only a few days at a time during the Christmas holidays, but that will not keep the members here,” said Mr. Cannon, at the Willard. “In the 38 years I served in the House I can recall only once when Congress failed to adjourn over the holidays. That was in the Forty-seventh Congress, I think. Grover Cleveland was about to come in as President, and the Republicans wanted to get through a lot of important legislation. They refused to recess, but that didn’t make any difference, the members imply wouldn’t stay here. It is impossible to keep a member in Washington when he doesn’t want to stay.”
The former Speaker is enjoying the best health. His cheeks glow with animation, and this step is as light as a boy’s. He walked into the Willard yesterday, and announced that he had just completed a tramp of 3 miles.
“This is fine weather,” he said. “It’s the kind we have out in central Illinois. We have had pretty good weather out that way recently, though it was a bit dry for a few weeks.”
It’s pretty tough to keep members in D.C. after Thursday these days. I’m pretty sure that at least half of them loath living in and around the District … especially the Tea Partiers. Let me go out on a limb here and say that none of them are reading this blog.
Eventually, they named a big building on Capitol Hill after him. Many of you are either familiar with it, or reading this blog while not working in it (quick, someone’s coming … open Excel, or just click here).
- In Hotel Lobbies: Buffalo Bill at the Willard Hotel (ghostsofdc.org)
- HISTORIANS: This Is The Worst Congress Since The Civil War (businessinsider.com)