Choosing the appropriate Valentine’s Day card appears to have been a perennial problem, as observed by cartoonist Clifford Berryman 101 years ago:
“The Issue-Love or Laughter”, 02/13/1912
This political cartoon by Clifford K. Berryman depicts William Howard Taft being enticed to run for the Presidency. While serving as Secretary of War, Taft had told President Theodore Roosevelt that his highest ambition was to serve as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, but Roosevelt wanted him to run in the 1908 election as his successor. With Roosevelt’s encouragement, Taft began to consider running. In this cartoon Taft blocks the buzz of a potential Supreme Court nomination to better hear the enticing buzz of the Presidential bee. Berryman speculates that Taft may be succumbing to Roosevelt’s wishes and is “not afraid” of running for President.
Not Afraid by Clifford K. Berryman, 8/9/1905, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 1693338)
Ugh! It looks like we are in for six more weeks of winter! Old Punxsutawney Phil crawled out of his borrow this morning and saw his shadow. Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman had the right idea in 1918. After a brutal winter in DC, Berryman made sure to take special precautions in his cartoon so that the groundhog would not see his shadow. Why didn’t the Groundhog Club think of that?!
Safety First by Clifford K. Berryman, 2/2/1918, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6011342)
As the New Year approaches, we want to share with you this Clifford Berryman cartoon from New Year’s Eve in 1913 called A Packing Problem. In it Berryman depicts Father Time having a hard time fitting into the suitcase labeled 1913 all of the year’s major issues, including the debates over the Parcel Post, Currency Law, Tariff Revision, various constitutional amendments,the Mexican revolution, and events such as the first ascent of Mount McKinley, the Democratic take-over of Congress and the presidency, the floods in the Ohio Valley, the sinking of the SS Volturno in the North Atlantic, and the defeat of Tammany Hall.
A Packing Problem by Clifford K. Berryman, 12/31/1913, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6011022)
What events would be scattered on the table if someone were to draw a cartoon like this for 2011?
Clifford Berryman and the Teddy Bear
Political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman is credited with introducing the teddy bear into American vernacular after President Theodor Roosevelt famously refused to shoot an old, haggard bear during a hunting trip. Berryman changed the old bear into a cute, cuddly “teddy bear” — named for the President — and it became a common symbol in Berryman’s cartoon. The cartoon featured today shows a self-portrait of Berryman drawing his famous teddy bear in 1904.
The Center for Legislative Archives maintains over 2,400 original pen-and-ink Berryman cartoon. Learn more about Berryman and his drawings by visiting our online exhibit, Running for Office.
Self-Portrait of Clifford Berryman, 1904, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 2979338)
Ambitious Home Run Hitters, 08/03/1920
On September 30, 1927 New York Yankee Babe Ruth became the first baseball player in the major leagues to hit 60 home runs in a season. Years earlier in 1920, Clifford Berryman’s political cartoon featured Presidential candidates Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox pondering Ruth’s secret of success. Harding hit a “home run” in the November elections and beat Cox by a landslide.
From our Senate Collection of Clifford Berryman political cartoons!
Ambitious Home Run Hitters, 8/3/1920, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 1691371)