Speaker of the House

William B. Bankhead

The Speaker of the House is second in line to succeed the President. William B. Bankhead held this esteemed position from 1936 to 1940, during which time he helped FDR pass the New Deal legislation. William’s father, was also a congressman and his son, John, was a senator.

Not all the Bankheads were politically correct though. Williams daughter Tallulah, was quite a controversial figure in her day – or any day, for that matter. At 15 she moved to New York and became a hard-partying girl who was best known for sex, drugs and great quotes.

One of my favorite quotes:

Tallulah, despite her hard-partying ways, was a devout Catholic. One year on Good Friday she went to Saint Patrick’s in New York City for The Stations of the Cross. Prior to church, she had been enjoying a few cocktails with her drinking buddy, Truman Capote, and she had convinced him to come to church with her.

Anyway, a somewhat sauced Tallulah and Mr. Capote are sitting in the back of the church giggling and being bad, and as the priest comes down in the aisle of the great cathedral in full vestments and swinging his bejeweled incense burner which is hanging from a small chain, Tallulah yells out,

“Darling, I love the dress, but your purse is on fire!”

Tallulah on Person to Person: