Teapot Dome Scandal

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Teapot Dome Scandal

The presidential administration of warren g. harding, from 1921 to 1923, was characterized by scandal and corruption, the most controversial of which was the Teapot Dome oil scandal.

Conservation was a popular cause throughout the first quarter of the twentieth century and was encouraged by various presidents. As a result, several oil reserves for the exclusive use of the U.S. Navy were established in Wyoming and California. The oil was kept in storage places called domes, one of which, located near Casper, Wyoming, was christened Teapot Dome due to a rock formation in the area that resembled a teapot.

Although many politicians favored the establishment of the oil reserves, others believed they were superfluous. One opponent of the oil policy was Senator Albert B. Fall of New Mexico, who sought to make the reserves accessible to private industry.

In 1921, Senator Fall was selected as secretary of the interior in the Harding cabinet. Authority over the oil fields was transferred from the Department of the Navy to the Interior Department, with the consent of Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy. Fall was in a position to lease the oil reserves, without public bidding, to private parties. In 1922, Harry F. Sinclair, president of the Mammoth Oil Company, received rights to Teapot Dome, and Edward L. Doheny, a friend of Fall and prominent in the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, leased the Elk Hills fields in California. Fall received approximately four hundred thousand dollars in exchange for his favoritism.

Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana initiated a Senate investigation of the oil reserve lands at the recommendation of Senator robert m. lafollette of Wisconsin. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the leases inoperative, and the oil fields at Teapot Dome and Elk Hills were returned to the U.S. government. Sinclair served nine months in prison for Contempt of court, but both he and Doheny were found not guilty of Bribery. Fall, who had left the cabinet in 1923, was found guilty in 1929 of accepting bribes; his punishment was one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. President Harding died in office in 1923, never aware of the notoriety of his administration.

Further readings

Stratton, David H. 1998. Tempest over Teapot Dome: The Story of Albert B. Fall. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He wrote his wife, "I am now trying to look upon the bright side and see the compensations which may offer themselves in that position." While it is doubtful that Fall meant the acceptance of bribes as among those "compensations," he eventually did lease the Teapot Dome reserves to two oil men and received "loans" of about $100,000.
We must conclude that Vafaei [24] proposed a multilayer perceptron model for simulation of steam distillation process and used these sets of data for modeling this process but he chose White Castle, Toborg, and Teapot Dome oil fields data as test data and the remaining sets of data as training data and their model obtained ARE of 7.47% and 11.19% for training data and test data, respectively, but in this study we could achieve the less ARE by changing the conditions of each system and also choosing different sets of data for training and testing.
One lesson from history: Appointment of special counsel in the investigation of the Teapot Dome scandal, A Summary of the Teapot Dome Scandal from the Brookings Institution [Online].
The project will be managed by DOE's Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC), which operates the Teapot Dome oil field.
From the belching smokestacks on the East Coast to the freshly cut healthy forests on the West Coast to the ruined grasslands in the methane gas fields of Wyoming, President Bush's appointments and policies make President Harding's Teapot Dome scandal look like a tempest in a teapot.
Have students go online and view pictures and map locations of the Benewah Milk Bottle, Big Duck, Dinosaur Park, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Teapot Dome Service Station, Shell Service Station and Wigwam Village No.
Harding, whose administration had been rocked by the Teapot Dome and other scandals involving improper contracts with private businessmen.
Unger acknowledges the pivotal part that La Follette played in exposing the Teapot Dome scandal, and she wraps up the biography with a look at La Follette's failed Presidential effort in 1924.
For seventy years, lingering recollections of Teapot Dome remained strong enough to stymie attempted raids on the military's largest strategic fuel reserve.
Elsewhere in the world, 1923 was the year Sarah Bernhardt and Pancho Villa died, the year of the Teapot Dome hearings, the year the Nazis held their first, fevered rally.
The independent counsel law--the legislation that has allowed Starr to carry on his partisan crusade using taxpayer dollars--was passed by Congress in 1978, in the aftermath of Watergate, to prevent abuses of power by the presidency In the two centuries of the republic before the statute, which binds the attorney general to seek the appointment of an independent counsel whenever "specific" and "credible" evidence of wrongdoing by certain federal officials arises, federal special prosecutors had been employed exactly three times: during the Harding administration's Teapot Dome scandal in 1923; the Truman administration's tax scandal involving the IRS and the Justice Department in 1951; and the Watergate scandal.
But Warren Harding had the misfortune to die at the wrong moment - immediately prior to the exposure of the Teapot Dome scandal - and thus was unable to defend himself against a mob of debunkers.