From July 31, 1910
HOW LONG SHOULD A MAN’S VACATION BE? President Taft Says Every One Should Have Three Months — What Big Employers of Labor and Men of Affairs Think on the Subject. (PDF)
President Taft said that Americans should get take two or three months vacation in the summer:
“The American People,” said he, “have found out that there is such a thing as exhausting the capital of one’s health and constitution, and that two or three months’ vacation after the hard and nervous strain to which one is subjected during the Autumn and Spring are necessary in order to enable one to continue his work the next year with that energy and effectiveness which it ought to have.”
So the New York Times Magazine asked several prominent businessmen what they thought of the proposal. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t like it.
William Ellis Corey, President of US Steel: “I am of the opinion that two or three months, as suggested by the President, is entirely too long under ordinary circumstances.”
John Dustin Archibold, VP of Standard Oil: “For people who conserve their powers carefully in their current work, reasonably short periods ought to suffice.”
John Wanamaker, former Postmaster General: “I cannot see the President’s two or three months idea at all, except to repeat that it should not be taken too seriously.”
And so on. I’m not sure how many vacation days Taft himself took during his Presidency, but these days the media keeps track of Presidential vacations pretty closely.
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