Wilson gets a Secretary of War

Today, given Wilson’s reputation as a progressive, it is hard to imagine the difficulties he had with finding Secretaries of War that actually could stomach going to war. Baker, a lifelong pacifist, did a remarkable job.

The Strawfoot

Newton Baker and General Hugh Scott, circa 1916 Newton Baker and General Hugh Scott, circa 1916

The other day I posted about Major General Hugh Scott’s month as Woodrow Wilson’s interim Secretary of War. One hundred years ago today Newton Baker was sworn in as the full-time secretary. Baker was an excellent choice and he served President Wilson well for the next five years. I uploaded this to the Strawfoot Facebook page this morning, but over at Roads to the Great Warthey uploaded my article about Secretary Baker. I have always found it odd that Baker is not better known today than he is. I think it may have to do with his break with Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s over the New Deal. The Democrats seem to have written Baker off. Also, Baker died in 1937 when Europe was getting ready for Round Two. By this time the world was focused on the rise of Hitler, Mussolini’s taking…

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