CABINET: Black Tassels

On May 31, 1934, a lank, long-nosed Southern politician, weak from fever, stood on the deck of the cruiser Indianapolis just outside New York Harbor and proudly saluted 81 steel-gray warships in the mightiest display of naval strength ever to pass before a President. By then everybody but pacifists agreed that Claude Augustus Swanson, who had got his job for reasons of political expediency, was one of the best Secretaries of the Navy the U. S. ever had.

Claude Swanson was chairman of the Senate Naval Committee in 1918 (when Franklin Roosevelt...

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