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William B. Bankhead
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U.S. Congressman
    (April 12, 1874-September 15, 1940)
    Born in Lamar County, Alabama
    Representative from Alabama (1917-40)
    Speaker of the House (1936-40)
    Father of actress Tallulah Bankhead
    When he checked into a hotel, the clerk saw his signature and asked, 'Are you the Mr. Bankhead?' He replied, 'Yes, I am Speaker Bankhead.' The disappointed clerk said, 'Oh. I thought you might be Tallulah's father.'
    He supported FDR's plan to pack the Supreme Court with additional judges.
    He lobbied to be Roosevelt's running mate in 1940, but the President told him he was too old and too infirm for the job.
    He proved FDR's assessment right by collapsing before he was to give the keynote address at the Democratic convention and dying five days later.
    His powers of persuasion clearly extended past the House floor: He met his first wife, Adelaide, while she was shopping for a gown for her wedding to another man. He convinced her to break the engagement, and after a whirlwind courtship the two were wed.
    Within a month, his wife died of complications after giving birth to Tallulah and his one-year-old daughter Ada died of food poisoning (February, 1902).
    He helped shepherd key New Deal legislation through the House, notably the Fair Labor Standards Act that created a federal minimum wage, established the 40 hour work week, and eliminated child labor.
    He opposed isolationists during the years before WWII.

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2018, as of last week, Out of 1 Votes: 0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 6 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 3 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 32 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
 
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