Transcripts

Interview 1 – April 27, 2005

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted by phone, with the interviewee and interviewer in Green Valley, Arizona, and Washington, D.C., respectively.

JOHNSON:
This is Kathleen Johnson interviewing Glenn Rupp, a House Page from 1932 through 1936. This is the first interview with Mr. Rupp, and it is April 27, 2005. Mr. Rupp, I’d like to start off today by asking you some biographical questions, and, first off, if you could tell me when and where were you born.
RUPP:
I was born in Williams County, Ohio. That’s five miles from Archbold, Ohio, a small town of 2,500 people. And, my mother died when I was six weeks old, so I had gone from the farm to live with my grandparents in town.
JOHNSON:
And when were you born? What year?
RUPP:
I was born October 30, 1912.
JOHNSON:
What was your mother’s name?
RUPP:
Elma. E-L-M-A. Neidhardt. N-E-I-D-H-A-R-D-T.
JOHNSON:
And, what did your mother do for a living?
RUPP:
Well, she taught school in a one-room country school. And she also taught music—violin and piano.
JOHNSON:
Did you have any brothers and sisters?
RUPP:
Yes, I had an older brother. He was a year and a half older than I, and he stayed with an uncle and an aunt until my father remarried five years later.
JOHNSON:
What schools did you attend?
RUPP:
I attended the country school where I lived, about two miles away. A one-room country school, and I attended Archbold High School, in Archbold, Ohio.
JOHNSON:
When did you decide that you were going to become a Page for the U.S. House? How did that come about?
RUPP:
I received a letter in the mail from Congressman Frank C. Kniffin, K-N-I-F-F-I-N, asking me if I would like to be a Page; he could get me an appointment. And, I wrote and told him I’d be very pleased to take the job.
JOHNSON:
And why did he ask you? Was this a person that you knew?
RUPP:
Yes, he was a friend of the family’s. And, actually, he had attended my high school graduation. I think that I may have given him the idea to appoint me as a Page. I know of no other reason.
JOHNSON:
Why did you want to become a Page? What made you so interested in this position?
RUPP:
I was through high school, and jobs were hard to get. I knew it’d be difficult to get anything nice. Nobody had any money to go to college, so I jumped at the opportunity to go to Washington, and to become a Page.
JOHNSON:
This was during the Depression?
RUPP:
Yeah, it was right in the beginning of the Depression. The Depression started in 1929, with the stock market crash, and it just got progressively worse [4:00] from year to year.
JOHNSON:
What did your father do for a living?
RUPP:
My father was a farmer. He owned a couple of farms, and he raised grain—corn, wheat, barley, rye—and clover seed.
JOHNSON:
Did you help him with farm work?
RUPP:
Yes, I did. My brother and I helped him, what little we could do in the beginning.
JOHNSON:
And, with becoming a Page, would you be able to describe your recollections of your first day?
RUPP:
Well, the first day was January 1, 1932, and I arrived on the floor of the House with the Congressman [Kniffin]. We took the Members’ elevator up to the House Floor, and we went on the floor, and he looked at me, and I think I must have had a look of horror on my face, or fright, because I didn’t feel comfortable where I was. And, anyway, he said to me, “Glenn, don’t worry about this job. I wouldn’t have picked you if I didn’t think you could handle it.” And that cleared everything; I just went on from there.
JOHNSON:
So that gave you the confidence that you needed?
RUPP:
I had 100 percent confidence. Just by hearing those good words.
JOHNSON:
What else happened on your first day?
RUPP:
Well, that was really all. We came back the next day as the Congress convened, and the Speaker struck the gavel and said, “The House will come to order, the Chaplain will offer prayer,” and we took it from there. I was in the back of the room, on a Page bench, ready to do anything that was asked of me.
JOHNSON:
When you came to Washington, did you know anyone besides Congressman Kniffin?
RUPP:
No, I met his brother, his younger brother. And I met his two secretaries. I rode to Washington, actually, with his secretary, Dan Batt. I got to know him quite well. But everybody else was new to me.
JOHNSON:
When did you get to meet the other House Pages?
RUPP:
I met them on January 2nd, of ’32.
JOHNSON:
How many Pages were there, about how many House Pages? Do you remember?
RUPP:
Well, we always understood that there were 40 Pages in the United States House of Representatives. Forty or 42, I think it was. And 26 in the Senate. And four in the Supreme Court. About 20 of us worked on the House Floor. We either worked on the Democratic side or the Republican side. And the Doorkeeper assigned us to the side where we would work, and he selected me to be on the Democratic side.
JOHNSON:
Who was the Doorkeeper at the time? [8:00]
RUPP:
Joe Sinnott. S-I-N-N-O-T-T.1
JOHNSON:
He selected you to go to the Democratic side. Was this random or did you have a choice on which side you wanted to work on?
RUPP:
No, no. We didn’t. He just said, “Here’s where you go.” And that’s where we went.
JOHNSON:
What was the average age of the Pages at the time?
RUPP:
Oh, we had some, a few, that were quite young, maybe 14 to 16, 17, and quite a number of us were graduates of high school at that time.
JOHNSON:
And, just to backtrack a little bit, after you graduated high school, did you go straight to Washington, D.C., or did you have some time in between in Ohio?
RUPP:
I had time in between, when I worked with my father, on the farm. Nothing in between the farm and a Page in the House of Representatives.
JOHNSON:
Would you be able to describe an average day as a House Page?
RUPP:
I believe so. We arrived on the floor around 9:00 and we always had, as our first assignment, to place the Congressional Records in the binder that was underneath the seats. And we did that. And then we proceeded to the back of the room, to the Page bench, to be there as the Congressmen came in, as they wanted to have us do things. Of course, we were available. The overseer of the Pages would assign us to go to the number of the seat that was calling the Page, if he was on the floor. Otherwise, he would come right to the Page bench, and ask us to do whatever he wanted us to do for him.
JOHNSON:
You mentioned an overseer? Could you describe that position?
RUPP:
Yeah. We had two Page benches, one on either side of the overseer’s seat in back of the tracking device that was like a three-foot-square jewel box with lights, and if a Member wanted a Page, he pressed the button on the seat, where he was sitting, and it would reflect back in this tracking device, and we had a card on the device on the bench and the first Page off would take the first call. We’d look at the number that was called, like, it might be 17, or 29, or whatever. And we’d know exactly what row to go to, and what seat the Member would be sitting in.
JOHNSON:
And, there was a particular Page who was an overseer? Is that correct?
RUPP:
Yes. It was really one of the senior Pages who was appointed overseer. There was also a chief Page, and this was, of course, on both the Democratic side and the [12:00] Republican side.
JOHNSON:
Could you give a little more detail? What did the overseer do? What were his responsibilities?
RUPP:
Well, he would sit back in his chair, behind this tracking device, and record all the numbers, or tell the first Page on the bench to his left, to get number so-and-so, or whatever it was, wherever we had to go, and then, if a Member came up, he would ask us to do something, and it was usually the overseer that assigned us to the task at hand.
JOHNSON:
Did he have any responsibilities off the floor of the House?
RUPP:
That was his sole responsibility.
JOHNSON:
You mentioned also that there were chief Pages. What did they do?
RUPP:
Well, they were in charge of the overseer. And, generally speaking, in charge of everybody back in the Page bench area. He saw that everything went well and the way it should.
JOHNSON:
Who was your chief Page while you were on the Hill?
RUPP:
James Roher. R-O-H-E-R. His brother-in-law was Congressman Charles West of Granville, Ohio.
JOHNSON:
And so, he was the chief Page for the four years that you were there?
RUPP:
For the Democratic side.
JOHNSON:
Was he a lot older than you were?
RUPP:
Yes, he was—probably been 20 or 30, 20 or 25 years older.
JOHNSON:
I think it was John McCabe on the Republican side?
RUPP:
That is correct! How did you know that?
JOHNSON:
I did a little bit of research.
RUPP:
You sure did! He was from Indiana.
JOHNSON:
So, that leads me to another question. Was there any sort of interaction between the Democratic Pages and the Republican Pages?
RUPP:
Actually, there was not any communication whatsoever. We were busy on our respective sides, and did whatever the job called for, and we paid no attention to the opposite side of the room. And vice versa.
JOHNSON:
And did that go for when you weren’t working as well, or did you socialize with one another?
RUPP:
Well, we didn’t. When the House adjourned, we left the chamber. That was the end of it. We left when the Congressmen left.
JOHNSON:
Were most of your friends at the time Republican Pages, or did you mingle when you would go out and you wouldn’t be working? If you went to the movies or did something?
RUPP:
Well, I really don’t know, at that time I was always under the impression that the majority party had all the patronage, and I happened to be Republican, as was my family, and all my relatives. But the Congressman was a Democrat. So, he appointed me as a friend, not as a political friend.
JOHNSON:
But what kind of friends did you have while you were a Page? Were they mostly [16:00] people that you worked with? Were they mostly your fellow Pages?
RUPP:
Yes, that’s correct.
JOHNSON:
And, what kinds of things did you do when you weren’t working?
RUPP:
Oh, we went to the theater. And went around Washington, did sightseeing. Different things like that. Getting acquainted with each other. And with our environment, I suppose you might say. I spent time in the Congressman’s office, also. When I wasn’t on duty.
JOHNSON:
With Congressman Kniffin?
RUPP:
Yes. That’s correct.
JOHNSON:
While you were a Page, where did you live?
RUPP:
I lived right across the street from the Old House Office Building [now the Cannon House Office Building].2 It was either 1st or 2nd and C Streets Southeast. And the buildings are probably torn down now. They were row houses, and the Congressman took me and his younger brother, who was a messenger in the post office, over to a boarding house and got our meals and stayed there, and went to work from there, and went back and forth.
JOHNSON:
It was the two of you? Were there any other Pages that lived in that boarding house?
RUPP:
No, not in our boarding house. Just the two of us. One Page, and one messenger in the post office.
JOHNSON:
Do you know where the other Pages lived? Just in various boarding houses?
RUPP:
Just like we were, yes. Some of them were sons of a Congressman, and, of course, they lived at home. And then some of them were nephews, and they may have lived with a Congressman. I don’t know.
JOHNSON:
Okay. So, you were on the older range of the Pages that were working in the House at the time.
RUPP:
That’s correct.
JOHNSON:
Do you think you had any special responsibilities or different assignments since you were older than some of the other Pages?
RUPP:
I don’t think so. Not particularly the first year. After the first year, yes. I did everything that everybody else did.
JOHNSON:
So, the first year, you were primarily on the floor?
RUPP:
That’s correct.
JOHNSON:
And then where did you go from there?
RUPP:
I was selected by the Doorkeeper to work on the Speaker’s Lobby door. That’s the main entrance to the House Floor [used] by Congressmen when they come over from the House Office Building to the floor, or when they come in for a roll call, [special] order, whatever it might be. And the newspaper reporters all came in there, too. So, it was the most busy place of all of them, and you had to really know every Congressman by sight, by name, by party, and his various idiosyncrasies—what committee he was on, and all that sort of thing. And then we would page the Congressmen off the floor for up to 500 different reporters [20:00] in the House Press Gallery that were registered and up there. They would come down in droves to ask for Congressmen. And we had two doorkeepers, and two Pages worked on the door. And, they were the ones that really knew everybody. I made it a point to—and I just happened to do this—I’d never used a pencil, I never wrote down a name or anything, of anyone; I just heard it once, and I seemed to remember it. And, that’s the reason I was out there.
JOHNSON:
Because you had such a great memory?
RUPP:
Well, I think so.
JOHNSON:
It sounds like you had a very good memory.
RUPP:
Well, I did.
JOHNSON:
And still do.
RUPP:
Well, I do pretty well.
JOHNSON:
And so, this was during your second year, that you rose to this position?
RUPP:
Yes, I stayed on that door four more years. Four years altogether. And I stayed around there because I was hoping—I liked working so well, in the House of Representatives, that I was very hopeful of getting some kind of promotion all the way to Doorkeeper. The Doorkeeper, Joe Sinnott, was an older man, and he stayed on the job—incidentally, he once was a Page himself, from Virginia. Many years before I was. So, nothing new turned up or became available. That’s the reason I stayed in the House as long as I did.
JOHNSON:
What was your salary when you were a House Page?
RUPP:
Our salary was $120 a month. Or $4 a day, for the number of days in the month, and that had to take care of our lodging, our eating, our dry cleaning, our laundry, spending money, and everything else. That was it. And it was a lot of money at that time. We got by, because we lived in a boarding house. Most of us.
JOHNSON:
Did your salary increase while you were working there?
RUPP:
Not one iota. And, later in the year, of the first year, when [Herbert] Hoover was President, they passed the National Economy Act, where all salaries were reduced for federal government employees by 15 percent. Senators and Congressmen got $8,500 a year. And we got $3.60. But that only lasted a short time. They realized it wasn’t too good for them, so they changed it.
JOHNSON:
What did you do when Congress wasn’t in session?
RUPP:
I would go home and work on the farm. To help my dad. [24:00]
JOHNSON:
Were you homesick when you first came to Washington?
RUPP:
Not really. No, it was just fun and a lot of excitement, and a great job. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Never had time to get homesick and I was glad to get away from all the farm work.
JOHNSON:
And, you obviously have enthusiasm when you’re talking about your job. What were some of the specific parts that you enjoyed so much?
RUPP:
Well, I enjoyed everything, whether it was the first year, whether it was going to the document rooms, and getting bills for the Congressmen, or going to [the] Congressional Library, or going on whatever the chore was he wanted done, but we would get assignments like taking Judge [Joseph] Mansfield, who was always in a wheelchair—he was a Congressman from Texas—and we would push him; if he was on the floor, he’d ask us to take him to his office. We’d go through the tunnel and take him there, up and down the elevators. And then sometimes we’d get a call to go pick him up, and he was kind of generous; every once in a while, he slipped us a dime. He was grateful.
JOHNSON:
He must have appreciated the help.
RUPP:
He did. And we were glad to do it, whether he tipped us or not. And then, we’d get calls to…They’d ask us to go places, like, I was asked by Speaker [John] Garner, to go to the White House for him, to see Hoover’s private secretary.3 So he counted out 30¢ in change. The car tokens were four for 30¢ at that time, and he said, “You’ll use two tokens to go down there. And Mrs. Garner and I will use the other two tokens to go down to the Washington Hotel,” where they lived after Congress adjourned. He refused a limousine and chauffeur when he was Speaker.4 But he did take the limousine and chauffeur when he was Vice President. Because I was with him, and saw him do it, ride in it a number of times.
JOHNSON:
Was that a common occurrence, where you would have to go to the White House?
RUPP:
That happened periodically. It wasn’t a common, everyday thing, but it happened. We went anywhere they wanted us to go, really. Usually it was to go back to their office and get something, or to go to the Senate and see someone for them, and give them a message or whatever.
JOHNSON:
Could you provide a couple of examples of some of the things that you did, that they [Members] would ask you to go retrieve or common things that you did as a Page.
RUPP:
Well…something unusual and exciting?
JOHNSON:
Whatever you like. Something that was usual and then maybe something that was [28:00] not so common.
RUPP:
Well, Bill Bray used to be in charge of the phones on the Democratic side, and then when [Franklin D.] Roosevelt was elected President, why he went to the Postmaster General’s office, where he worked, and we’d go down there and deliver different things for him, occasionally. That was one. One time, Dr. [William Irving] Sirovich, who was a Congressman from New York…he was an M.D., and he took me in on the floor, and he had me look up at the Visitors’ Gallery, and there was a man sitting there by himself. And he asked me if I knew who he was, and I said, “Yes, I do, it’s Eddie Cantor,” of the movies and, and radio, and so forth. So, he said, “Go up, and sit with him, and explain to him what is happening on the floor, and then take him through Statuary Hall (the Old House Chamber), show him everything there, the statues and everything, and then take him to the Supreme Court,” which was in the Old Senate Chamber, and I did. And then he said, “Take him over to the Senate, up in the gallery, and explain everything that’s going on there,” and I did. And then he said, “Go over to the dining room, Senate Dining Room.” He hoped to get away from whatever he was tied up with at the moment. And he was able to do so. And we met there, and then he took over, and I came back to the House Floor. Another time, why, Will Rogers was there at the door, and asked me to page a few Congressmen for him, from Oklahoma, which I did. And the head man, Gutzon Borglum, of Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, where the sculptures are, of the Presidents and all, and I’d been paging for him whenever he came to Washington.5 And he asked to see the Congressmen that he wanted to talk to, relative to getting their appropriation through for the monument work and so forth.
JOHNSON:
Well, those sound like very interesting assignments for you.
RUPP:
That’s right. And then, Julian Friant, the Undersecretary of Agriculture, I got to know him, and he would come to the lobby door, and asked me to page Congressmen for him. And then, of course, one day—I don’t know whether you [32:00] want me to tell you this or not.
JOHNSON:
Go ahead.
RUPP:
The Doorkeeper [Joe Sinnott] came to me and said, “We’re having a new doorkeeper that’s going to work on the door here. I want you to introduce him to everyone, and he’ll be working for you.” And I said, “Fine.” And he said, “Will you do it?” And I said, “Sure, I’ll do it. Love to do it.” I said, “Who is he? What’s his name?” He said, “Lyndon Johnson.” I said, “Lyndon Johnson?” I said, “I’ve known him since he arrived in Washington.” So he came and worked the rest of the session on the door with me. And I took him on the floor, and introduced him to Congressmen, and went up and down each aisle, seat, told him who they were, introduced him to the reporters, and a lot of things like that.
JOHNSON:
So, you took him under your wing then.
RUPP:
That’s right. But he was still secretary to Dick Kleberg of King’s Ranch in Texas. And the doorkeeper that he succeeded was L. E. Jones. I don’t even know his first name. He never told us. And he went to Texas to law school, and I think his salary followed him, and Johnson worked for nothing as a congressional secretary doing other duties. That’s just between you and everybody else. Because he was just…you know how those things happen.
JOHNSON:
And you said that you already knew Johnson.
RUPP:
Oh, yeah! We belonged to the Little Congress [Club], which was an organization started in, many years ago, and, I think…1929 or something.6 Way back. And they were mostly congressional secretaries, but there were Pages, and there were doorkeepers, and there were elevator operators, messengers in the post office, anybody on the government payroll, legislative payroll, could join for $2. And we would debate bills before they arrived in the House and Senate. We’d get them from the Government Printing Office, or the document room, and debate them in the old Cannon Building.
JOHNSON:
This was called the Little Congress Club?
RUPP:
Little Congress of the United States, yes.
JOHNSON:
How often did you meet?
RUPP:
We initially met once a month, and then there was change. Johnson wanted it to be more active, so he had us come in once a week. And we would debate, and we’d have visiting guests come in and speak to us, like Senators or committee chairmen in the House, and so forth. Or prominent Congressmen, or Senators, and we had—one day we had Senator Huey Long come over to speak to us, and [36:00] Johnson and I happened to be sitting together when he came in with his bodyguard, and he was sitting there, met with us, and introduced him, and he started talking when Arthur DeTitta of the Fox Movietone News was taking pictures for newsreels in theaters and whatever. And one of the bulbs made a noise like a gunshot. And Johnson and I looked at each other with a sigh of relief when we knew that’s what it was—and he [Huey Long] wasn’t being shot at. He was assassinated a couple of months later [September 1935], back in Louisiana.
JOHNSON:
Right.
RUPP:
I might say this. A Senate Page and I were quite friendly, and he was a Page under Senator Joe Robinson, who was the Senate Majority Leader. And we’d go to the ball games together, see the Washington Senators play, and Jack Garner, who was Vice President, usually spent all of his time in the Senate Chamber, and Senator Robinson and the other Page boy and I would go out there. We went out several times to see that.
JOHNSON:
That must have been fun.
RUPP:
It really was. And then I think I sent you a notice, a little brochure about the ball game that the House Republicans and the House Democrats played out at Griffith Stadium.
JOHNSON:
Could you talk about that a little bit?
RUPP:
Yes. Members of the House on each side played against each other. And Gene Tunney was there. And I don’t know whether Jack Dempsey was there or not. But the champion wrestler of the world was there. And Fred Vinson was someone that we all knew quite well. He later got an appointment under Franklin D. Roosevelt. He became Secretary of the Treasury. And then he was [a] Supreme Court Justice, and he played second base. Jim Mead of New York, who was a Senator, after he left the House, played on the team, I think as an outfielder or something.
JOHNSON:
Was this an annual event, the baseball game?
RUPP:
Yes, it was an annual event.37
JOHNSON:
As a Page, did you help out or organize in any way, or did you just go to watch the game?
RUPP:
We just witnessed the game. President Hoover was there. Signed an autographed ball, and threw it out, and that sort of thing.
JOHNSON:
Since we’re talking sports right now, and baseball, some of the newspaper accounts that have stories about Pages in the past—House Pages and Senate Pages—mention that there were baseball and basketball games and different sporting events that were played by House Pages versus Senate Pages. Was [40:00] there anything like that when…
RUPP:
Not when I was there, no.
JOHNSON:
No? Nothing like that?
RUPP:
Oh, incidentally, Buddy Rogers used to come occasionally, I don’t know, maybe you’re not old enough to know who he was. I think he was married to Mary Pickford, one of the early actresses in Hollywood. He had been a former Page, and he would come down most every year.
JOHNSON:
To go to the baseball game?
RUPP:
No, to see the Pages.
JOHNSON:
Oh, okay. And he would…
RUPP:
Buddy Rogers.
JOHNSON:
So, was that something that was, that would happen from time to time. Former Pages would come talk to you?
RUPP:
Well, he was the only one, really. That’s the reason I think we ought to reinstitute the National Fraternity of Pages.8 So we could all keep track of who’s a Page, and when and why and where they are. And get in touch with each other and have some rapport between us. Otherwise, the way it was when I was there, we all left eventually, and we never heard from one another after that. And Jim Kolbe was the only Page that I ever met, and we just met by chance in Tucson, before he was elected to Congress. He mentioned Pages sitting in a booth next to my wife and me, and my ears were very much alert at that moment. And, we introduced ourselves and talked to him. And later on, he ran for the House and has been there 20 years, and I think on the, on the Page Board, and so on.
JOHNSON:
So, you didn’t keep in touch, then. There’s no way for you to keep in touch with any of the Pages.
RUPP:
No! Because you have no idea where they are. Oh, incidentally, the girl I married was from Missouri…
JOHNSON:
And what was her name, please?
RUPP:
Her name was Verda Mae—two words—McCullough. M-C-C-U-L-L-O-U-G-H.
JOHNSON:
Okay.
RUPP:
And her father was a secretary to Democratic Congressmen only. He told me one day that he was such a good Democrat that he thought Eleanor Roosevelt was pretty. So, he worked for quite a number of Congressmen. He was sort of a topnotch secretary with two or three or four different Congressmen when I met him. He would assign the work, and tell people what to do, and so on and so forth. And then my wife—the girl I married—used to go with a Senate Page. His name was Walter Reed, same as the hospital. And his patronage was Senator Henrik Shipstead. He was a Farm Laborite. The only one we had by that party. His [44:00] nephew went to Annapolis and came out as an ensign, and that’s when I took over, when he was out of town. And we met afterwards at Mrs. Reed’s—she was the boy’s mother—and we met at her home after the war, and he was a four-striper, a captain in the Navy, and I’d been just a little j. g. in the Coast Guard. He was in uniform; I wasn’t.
JOHNSON:
You mentioned a couple of minutes ago about the National Fraternity of Pages. And you had a pin from the National Fraternity of Pages.
RUPP:
I enclosed that, didn’t I?
JOHNSON:
Right. So, I have the image [of the pin], but I was hoping that you could describe the pin and what you know about the fraternity.
RUPP:
Okay, that’s fine. I got the pin from a former Page, and he worked on the floor of the House, and he was a person probably 20 or 30 years older than I. I don’t really know what his assignment was, but as I say, money was quite scarce at the time, and on that pin, foolishly, I didn’t ask him much about it. I should have, but I noticed on the pin, the National Fraternity of Pages pin, that it had the date 1912, and his name was Meyer. Same initials as mine—G. N.—Meyer, M-E-Y-E-R. And that was on the pin, so apparently, that may have been the last year that it was in existence. And I was hoping that you, or your office, or Kolbe or somebody, could contact the Patent Office, under the Department of Commerce in Virginia, the Patent and Trademark Office. There’s a notation on the back of the pin, “patent pending,” and maybe you could inquire, if you ever wanted to reinstate the House and the Senate fraternity, and now sorority, too. Could [you] find out from them, just tell them that you’d like to know who applied for the patent, if they could give you the information, so you could check and find out whether the company is still in existence or not, and/or could you get some drawings of the pin? If you wanted to follow the same design of the pin that was in use.

Footnotes

  1. Doorkeeper of the House from the 62nd Congress through the 65th Congress (1911–1919) and from the 72nd Congress (1931–1933) until his death on January 27, 1943, during the 78th Congress (1943–1945). For more information on his career, see “Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives Joe Sinnott,” Weekly Historical Highlights, Office of History and Preservation, Office of the Clerk, http://clerk.house.gov/art_history/highlights.html?action=view&intID=322.
  2. For more information on the history of the Cannon House Office Building, see “Cannon House Office Building: A Congressional First,” Office of History and Preservation, Office of the Clerk, http://clerk.house.gov/art_history/art_artifacts/Cannon_Centennial/index.html.
  3. Originally, Mr. Rupp stated that he met with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s private secretary Margaret “Missy” LeHand, when he ran the errand for Speaker Garner. He later recalled that he spoke with President Herbert Hoover’s secretary.
  4. Bascom N. Timmons’ biography, Garner of Texas: A Personal History (New York: Harper, 1948): 138, states that Speaker Garner refused the car service (a perk granted to the most powerful person in the House) because he believed it an unnecessary governmental expense, especially in light of the ongoing economic downturn in the country. At a press conference, he defended his decision, commenting, “It doesn’t take an automobile to make the office dignified. I’ll lend the dignity.”
  5. The acclaimed sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the presidential monument at Mount Rushmore and also carved a bust of Abraham Lincoln currently displayed in the Crypt of the Capitol.
  6. Scant scholarship has been devoted to the organization, “Little Congress.” The most comprehensive secondary source that includes information on the “Little Congress” is Robert A. Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power (New York: Vintage, 1990): 261–265.
  7. First organized in 1909 by Representative John Tener of Pennsylvania, the Congressional Baseball Game was held sporadically until 1962 when it became an annual event. For a detailed history, see “Congressional Baseball Game,” Office of History and Preservation, Office of the Clerk, http://clerk.house.gov/art_history/art_artifacts/baseball/index.html.
  8. Little is known about the National Fraternity of Pages, but it was most likely founded in 1912 by Captain John Chancey, a longtime House employee. A few newspaper articles refer to the organization; for an example, see “Tribute to Capt. Chancey,” 26 January 1914, Washington Post: 2.