Artifact Spotlight: Supreme Court Justice

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Congress still hasn’t confirmed a new Supreme Court justice to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacancy. It’s a shame Charles Evans Hughes isn’t still around to help sort this mess out.

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AP photo from the museum’s collection. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, 1934.

When Charles Evans Hughes joined the Supreme Court in 1910, he had already been a successful lawyer and New York governor. He resigned from the bench to run for president on the Republican ticket in 1916 against Woodrow Wilson. Hughes nearly won, too. A narrow margin of just 4000 votes would have given him California’s electoral votes and the presidency. It was his reputation as a no nonsense, incorruptible man that perhaps gave him an incorrect public image of austerity and aloofness.

Undeterred, he went on to be the secretary of state for Presidents Harding and Coolidge, and a World Court judge. He was confirmed as the Supreme Court Chief Justice by the United States Senate on February 13, 1930. He replaced former President William Howard Taft who oddly appointed Hughes to his first tenure on the Supreme Court (side note: Taft remains the only person to have held both offices of President and Chief Justice).

In his tenure as Chief Justice, Hughes had the distinction of swearing in President Franklin D Roosevelt for all three of his terms in 1933, 1937 and 1941. Other career highlights included assisting the court’s transition from property rights to individual rights and for striking down Roosevelt’s attempt to “pack the court” in 1937. He is remembered as one of the finest justices to sit on the bench.

This image is part of the museum’s permanent collection. Come see this photo and many others in the Archives.

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Press Play: History has a Soundtrack

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The museum’s temp exhibit is ready for viewing in the lower gallery. “Press Play: history has a soundtrack” features a brief history and science of sound and music. Learn about how hearing and radios work. Find out which President released a record album and more.

The exhibit will be up through June 2016.

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Boy Scouts Badge Day

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Open enrollment for the museum’s Boy Scout Badge Day on October 12 is going on now.¬†Individual scouts or entire troops are welcome to register. Sign up to fulfill the Forestry and Archaeology badge requirements. The instructor is a certified merit badge counselor. Badges are not included. bs badge oct 12 copy

History on Tap: Beer and Crime Stories

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Join us for History on Tap on Friday, May 1 at 7:30 PM for a night featuring beer tasting, true crime stories, and no kids. The evening kicks off with an assortment of Tighthead Brewing Company and Only Child Brewing Company beers and snacks. Then Waukegan History Museum’s Ty Rohrer will talk about Lake County’s grizzly first hanging.

This event is 21+ only.¬† We’d appreciate if tickets are purchased in advance via phone 847.459.2318 or online here but tickets can be purchased at the door. It going to be a great night.

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