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When did this abuse of power begin? The Teapot Dome Scandal

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SugarShack Donating Member (979 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:45 PM
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When did this abuse of power begin? The Teapot Dome Scandal
A Brief Summary of the Teapot Dome Scandal

The Teapot Dome Scandal is an event in history that lost its shine over time. While catastrophes such as World War II leave enough impact to remain with us for decades, the
Teapot Dome Scandal was one of those occurrences that gets pushed back more and more, until it is remembered in a solitary paragraph here or there in random history books.

The scandal itself had a huge impact at the time. The large amount of media attention that it generated "made it the first true symbol of government corruption in America." (Wiki)

The "Teapot Dome" referred to an area in Wyoming where oil fields were located. Oil fields in Elk Hills and Buena Vista Hills, in California, were also involved in the scandal. These oil fields were designated as reserves for the U.S. Navy, and were stored on public land. There had been turmoil regarding the oil in the first place, as many politicians and oil corporations "opposed the restrictions placed on the oil fields, claiming that the reserves were unnecessary and that American oil companies could provide for the Navy." (Wiki)

A particularly prominent opponent of the reserves was Senator Albert B. Fall. A Republican from New Mexico, he and his allies convinced President Harding to appoint him as Secretary of the Interior in 1921. It was then that the Teapot Dome Scandal started.

The oil reserves had been under the care of Edwin C. Denby, who was the Secretary of the Navy at the time. Once Senator Fall was named Secretary of the Interior, he persuaded Denby to hand the reserves over to his department. At that point, Fall leased the rights to the reserves to Harry Sinclair, the owner of Mammoth Oil. He did this completely legally, due to the General Leasing Act passed in 1920. He also leased the Elk Hills reserves to Edward L. Doheny, from Pan American Petroleum. He did this "in exchange for personal loans at no interest." (Wiki)

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