No end to learningPosted: October 31, 2013 Filed under: Clubs, history Leave a comment
Started out reading about the Hotel Nacional in Havana.
In 1933, after Fulgencio Batista’s coup against the transitional government, it was the residence of Sumner Welles, a special envoy sent by U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to mediate the crisis, and was the site of a bloody siege that pitted the officers of the Cuban army… against the non-commissioned officers and other ranks of the Cuban army, who supported Batista.
A New York Times profile described him at the time he joined the foreign service: “Tall, slender, blond, and always correctly tailored, he concealed a natural shyness under an appearance of dignified firmness. Although intolerant of inefficiency, he brought to bear unusual tact and a self-imposed patience.”
He lived in this mansion, which is now the Cosmos Club:
The Cosmos Club is a private social club, incorporated in Washington, D.C. in 1878 by men distinguished in science, literature and the arts. In June, 1988 the Club voted to welcome women as members.
Since its founding, the Club has elected as members individuals in virtually every profession that has anything to do with scholarship, creative genius or intellectual distinction.
Among its members, over the years, have been three Presidents, two Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, 32 Nobel Prize winners, 56 Pulitzer Prize winners and 45 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
(yes, Carl Sagan is a member of the Cosmos Club)
Let’s not get distracted though. Sumner Welles went on to be Under Secretary of State from 1937-1943.
And then what happened?
In September 1940, Welles accompanied Roosevelt to the funeral of former Speaker of the HouseWilliam B. Bankhead in Huntsville, Alabama. While returning to Washington by train, Welles solicited sex from two African-American Pullman car porters.
Hard to imagine when he had Mrs. Welles at home:
In 1956, Confidential, a scandal magazine, published a report of the 1940 Pullman incident and linked it to his resignation from the State Department, along with additional instances of inappropriate sexual behavior or drunkenness. Welles’ explained the 1940 incident to his family as nothing more than drunken conversation with the train staff
About that top headline
About Frank Sinatra as Tarzan of the boudoir I have no further info.