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1920's Political Scandals

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Angelica Laurin

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of 1920's Political Scandals

THE POLITICAL SCANDALS OF The Roaring 20's We all know that the 1920's was a revolutionary time in America. Women finding themselves and letting loose. African Americans creating most of what contributed to today's modern music, dance and entertainment. It was the age of excess and living fast, but there were also scandals that shocked the nation during this time. PRESIDENT HARDING Warren G. Harding was the 29th president of the United States. He held his position from 1920 till his death in 1923. He reduced income tax and federal spending, as well as lowering the unemployment rate 10% and created peace with Germany, Japan and Central America. He was not personally involved in scandals and it is unknown if he was aware of those happening very close to him, but the men he appointed were the causes of many of the political scandals of the 1920's. THE TEAPOT DOME The Teapot Dome was the biggest political scandal of the 1920's. The Teapot Dome was an oil field that belonged to the U.S. Navy. Many wanted to use this valuable oil source. The two companies allowed to use it had not put in a substantial bid to use the fields, therefor the Senate started an investigation. It turned out to be Alber B. Fall, Harding`s Secretary of Interior, who took bribes from both companies in exchange for the rights to cultivate the oil. During the investigation they discovered bootlegged liquor in the offices of many of Harding`s associates. Harding Scandals It is unsure if President Harding was aware of the Teapot Dome Scandal, but he was aware of his own personal scandals. Harding had affairs with 4 different women, Susie Hodder and Carrie Fulton Philips(with whom he shared over 100 intimate letters) were two of these women who were also his wife`s close friends. He also had one with his senatorial aide, Grace Cross and Nan Britton who was obsessed with Harding since she was in high school. Harding was also accused of attending drunken orgies, and being a member of the Klu Klux Klan. 1919 WORLD SERIES In 1919, 8 "White Sox" team members, including "Shoeless" Joe Jaclson, Eddie Cicotte, Claude "Lefty" Williams and others, were bribed to throw the game against the Cincinnati Reds. They were later nicknamed "The Black Sox" once the truth had surfaced. All the players salaries were under 8,000$, therefor they were always looking for extra sources of income. The men were not jailed but were banned from playing professional baseball for the remainder of their lives. Leopold and Loeb Leopold, 19 and Loeb, 18, were two young men convicted of the murder and kidnapping of a 14 year old boy in 1924. They bludgeoned the boy then dumped his body in a distant place. They planned to rent a car, find a wealthy victim and dump the body. They were convicted to life imprisonment for the murder and 99 years for kidnapping. Other Scandals Harry Houdini died after taking a surprise attack of multiple blows to the abdomen. Houdini had previously claimed he could withstand any hit, but only when properly prepared. "Fatty" Arbuckle was accused of raping actress Virgina Rappe, and proceeding to kill her with his enormous weight. Effect on Society The grand effect of the political scandals in the U.S. was that the people realized the government was corrupt and that those Harding appointed did not have the country`s best interest in mind, only personal gain. The scandals also made Americans realize that many people that are believed to be upstanding citizens and heroes can make grave mistakes and commit devilish crimes. Tie Back to "The Great Gatsby" In the novel, there was not much discussion of political scandals but they did speak of the fixing of the World Series, which was a grand scandal of the 1920`s. Bootlegging was also illegal but was not truly a scandal because many participated in it, including those in presidential office and those close to it as well. Scandals in the Harding Administration Warren Harding had men follow him into his presidential administration from Ohio, they were know as the Ohio Gang. It included Albert B. Fall Secretary of Interior, who took bribes for access to the Teapot Dome, as well as Edwin C. Denby, Secretary of the Navy, who also took part in the Teapot Dome Scandal. Many of Harding`s aides were also corrupt. The Attorney General, Harry M. Daugherty, was investigated for bootlegging with his assistant, Jess Smith, who committed suicide after destroying incriminating documents.The director of the Bureau of Veterans Affairs, Charles R. Forbes, was convicted of bribery and corruption. The Head of Office of Alien Property,Thomas W. Miller, was convicted of fraud and selling German creations taken after WW1, as well as bribery. Newport Sex Scandal Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, conducted an investigation on "immoral conduct" or homosexuality going on in the Naval base.
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