Sunday, November 27, 2011

This Day in History November 27, 1911

President Taft
Ready for something a little lighter from this day in history?  Read on!

Elizabeth Jaffray
This woman was President Taft's housekeeper, and she evidently kept quite a diary about the happenings in the presidential household.  And it was on this date in 1911 that she wrote about a conversation she had with the president and his wife about the president's "expanding waistline."

President Taft had a serious weight problem and would, by today's standards, been obese.  He was 5'11", and throughout his lifetime he wavered between 270 and 340 pounds.  He realized he had a weight problem, but he did not often do anything about it.  He often ate two oranges, a twelve-ounce beefsteak, several pieces of toast with butter, and a large quantity of coffee with cream and sugar for breakfast alone.  He reportedly had to have a valet tie his shoes and often got stuck in the White House bathtub.  He even split his pants while getting out of a carriage according to the czar of Russia.

I found it interesting to note that even back during these times weight and overeating was an issue.  We sometimes tend to think that people were always much healthier in the "olden days."  I also find it interesting that a housekeeper was not fired for expressing this concern to the president of the United States.  I actually wonder if this happened today, would the housekeeper have lost her job?  We have to be so careful about what is said in this day and age.

Here are some links to more information in case you are interested:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/white-house-housekeeper-frets-over-presidential-waistline
http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha_exhibits/working_whitehouse/b3_early-20th-century_b.html
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1107/7043.html

1 comment:

  1. That is funny!



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