Faux Pas

Short-Lived and Premature Celebration

Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes

Charles Evans Hughes went to bed on election night, 1916, thinking he had just won the presidency of the United States. During the night it became evident that California’s votes were going to go to President Woodrow Wilson, awarding him re-election, instead.

When a reporter tried to telephone Hughes the next morning to get his reaction to the surprise outcome, the person who answered the phone told the reporter that “the President is asleep.” The reporter responded, “When he wakes up, tell him he isn’t the President.”


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