Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for February 27th:
Untitled Cartoon. [Anti-Third Term Principle], 10/01/1912


Anti-Third Term Principle by Clifford K. Berryman

Untitled. [Anti-Third Term Principle], 10/01/1912 (National Archives Identifier: 306175); Series: Berryman Political Cartoon Collection, 1896 - 1949; Records of the U.S. Senate, 1789 - 2005; Record Group 46; National Archives.

On February 27, 1951, the Twenty-Second Amendment was ratified, officially limiting Presidents to two terms. This cartoon satirizes Theodore Roosevelt's reversal of his anti-third term promise during the election of 1912. After his victory in the 1904 election, President Theodore Roosevelt promised that although his first term had lasted only three years (beginning after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901), he would adhere to the two-term precedent established by George Washington. Yet by 1912, convinced that only his progressive leadership would save the Repbulican party, Roosevelt announced his candidacy. Roosevelt contended that he had only promised to refuse a third consecutive term. Berryman shows Roosevelt attempting to dodge the anti-third term principle as he crouches before Washington's ghost. Not until 1951, after Franklin Roosevelt's four terms in office, did Congress enact the XXII Amendment to the Constitution, officially limiting Presidents to two terms.
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Visit the online exhibit "Running for Office: Candidates, Campaigns, and the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman.

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Yesterday's document: February 26th
Eleanor Roosevelt Resigns from the DAR

Tomorrow's document: February 28th
Telegram from Ho Chi Minh to Harry S. Truman

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