20

WEDNESDAY

Despite the riveting theatrics of the summer’s GOP leadership squabble, the legacy of a weaker speaker cannot be claimed by Newt Gingrich alone. Back in 1910, a coup stripped much of the power from Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney “Uncle Joe” Cannon, a conservative Republican whose political creed included the assertion that “the country don’t need no damn legislation.” Insurgents fed up with Cannon’s dictatorial grip on the House passed a resolution stipulating that members, rather than the speaker, appoint the powerful Committee on Rules. Revisit the authoritarian speakerships of Cannon and his predecessor Thomas Brackett “Czar” Reed over an hourlong lecture, “The Development of the Speakership,” by House Legislative Resource Center director John Kornacki. At noon at the Cannon House Office Building, Room B106, 1st & Independence Ave. SE. FREE. For reservations call (202) 543-8919. (Sue Fox)