This week’s Vice-President is: Charles Curtis!
Born:January 25, 1860
Died: February 8, 1936
Vice-President #: 31
Under: Herbert Hoover
Dates: March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
Fun Facts: Curtis is at least one-eighth American Indian! He is the great-great grandson of Kaw Indian Chief White Plume, who gave assistance to Lewis and Clark. He grew up on the Kaw reservation and even became a tribal hero when he ran sixty miles to Topeka for help when the Cheyenne raided the community (can that be true?).
Curtis’ legacy in Congress (he was the first Republican to have the title Senate Majority Leader) was The Curtis Act, which President McKinley signed into law in 1898. Although it’s stated mission was for the “Protection of People of the Indian Territory and for Other Purposes” it actually ended tribal sovereignty in Indian territory by abolishing the enforcement of tribal law, subjecting all persons in the territory to federal law, and abolishing tribal courts. In 1902, an act of Congress disbanded the Kaw tribe as a legal entity (while 1625 acres of Kaw land went to Curtis and his children).
But most importantly, Curtis was the last Vice-President (or President) to wear facial hair, in Curtis’ case, a handsome mustache.