Walsh, Thomas James

Walsh, Thomas James

(wôlsh), 1859–1933, American political leader, b. Two Rivers, Wis. A lawyer, he was Democratic Senator from Montana from 1913 until his death. Walsh helped write the Eighteenth and Nineteenth amendments and worked for the abolition of child labor. Noted for his debating ability, he fought for the League of Nations and the World Court and advocated arms limitations. He became a popular figure when the Senate Investigating Committee, which he headed (1922–23), exposed the fraudulent practices of the Harding administration in the leasing of naval oil reserves at Teapot DomeTeapot Dome,
in U.S. history, oil reserve scandal that began during the administration of President Harding. In 1921, by executive order of the President, control of naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyo., and at Elk Hills, Calif., was transferred from the Navy Dept.
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. In 1924 he refused the vice presidential nomination of the Democratic party. Walsh supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 and was appointed U.S. Attorney General, but he died suddenly before he was able to take office.

Bibliography

See biography by J. O'Keane (1955); J. L. Bates, ed., Tom Walsh in Dakota Territory (1966).

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