One early morning last week, a white-bearded old gentleman in a high-crowned derby thumped briskly along Massachusetts Avenue. Most of his Washington neighbors were still asleep, so he was surprised when he met eleven-year-old Helen Chapin, who curtsied, held out a bouquet, said: "Happy birthday." The old gentleman beamed as he took the flowers. It was indeed Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes's birthday: his 78th.

Full of Jovian calm, even after ten years that have been as thorny as any in the Supreme Court's history, the Chief Justice looked hale & hearty. At week's end he broke his rule against...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!