If the category of Presidents came up in Jeopardy! and I didn’t know the answer, I would always guess “Who is Taft?” You’d be amazed at how often I was right. My theory was that Taft was famous enough to be known as a president, but didn’t do anything famous enough as president to be widely recognized. One trip to his childhood home in Cincinnati, Ohio disavowed me of that notion, and catapulted Taft into the top spot as my favorite President.

Trying to Get My Arms Around His Presidency

First of all, I’d like to state that a little respect at a National Historic Site is in order. An extremely rude Brit, who looked disinterested the whole tour, spit her gum out onto the front lawn of Taft’s house. I know this fact isn’t essential to the story, but I bring it up because Americans abroad are constantly being labelled as rude. No. This is rude. And disgusting. But I digress…

The William Howard Taft National Historic Site contains a treasure-trove of information about the 27th President of the United States. The house itself has been restored to its original appearance, with cooperation from the William Howard Taft Memorial Association, and does much justice to someone with such a rich and expansive CV as our man Taft. No wonder he is the answer to so many a Jeopardy! question!  In his time, Taft was President, U.S. Solicitor General, the 1st Civil Governor of the Philippines (seriously), U.S. Secretary of War, 1st Provisional Governor of Cuba, and, the one he was most proud of: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I get exhausted just writing one blog post. (Almost done. Nap time!)

Highlights of the tour include recordings of various campaign speeches Taft made, and, always a favorite with me, animatronics! Taft’s son, Charles Phelps Taft II is depicted in fishing gear, animatronically spinning yarns about his ol’ man and the rest of his family.

Show me a man’s life as depicted by some sort of robot, and I’ll listen. Fortunately, Taft is a worthy subject, and the Taft National Historic Site is a must see for everyone!