Today in 1933, John “Cactus Jack” Nance Garner of Uvalde, Texas became Vice President of the United States as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s running mate.
Garner served in public office for many years. As a Texas state representative from 1898 – 1902 and then a U.S. Representative from 1903 – 1933. He was also the 44th Speaker of the House in 1931–1933. He did run for President, but ended up serving as 32nd Vice President of the United States from 1933 – 1941.
It was while he was in the Texas Legislature that he earned the nickname “Cactus Jack.” As state legislators selected a state flower for Texas, Garner fervently supported the prickly pear cactus. I’m happy the Bluebonnet was chosen. 🙂
As VP, Garner opposed strikes by labor unions and the New Deals’s deficit spending, even though his influence helped get it enacted. In 1937, he broke from FDR over excessive government spending and our drifting towards a welfare state. Garner also fought against FDR’s enlarging the Supreme Court and helped defeat it as it “centralized too much power in the President’s hands” in their appointments.
Said to be well-liked by both political parties, it was his growing opposition to FDR and his liberal political machine that led to Garner’s retirement from public office in 1942. Cactus Jack spent the rest of his years in Uvalde. He died in 1967, a few days before his 99th birthday. What a full life indeed!
Do you think Cactus Jack was really a conservative?”
“The vice-presidency isn’t worth a pitcher of warm piss.” ~ John Nance Garner