Wyoming’s Teapot Dome Scandal Happened 100 Years Ago This Week
100 years ago, in August 1922, U.S. Marines “invaded” the Teapot Dome oilfield to eject drillers the government claimed had no right to be there. (Wyoming State Historical Society.)
WAIT- U.S. Marines invaded WYOMING?
It was the biggest scandal in American history at that time. It almost caused the impeachment of a president. That would be President Warren G. Harding. He died of a heart attack before any investigation took hold.
"The Teapot Dome Scandal" written by Phil Roberts shares the rest of the story. Mr. Roberts was interviewed 8 years ago on C-SPAN about his book.
The Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s involved national security, big oil companies and bribery and corruption at the highest levels of the government of the United States. It was the most serious scandal in the country’s history prior to the Watergate affair of the Nixon administration in the 1970s. (Wyoming State Historical Society.)
If you drive north of Casper, Wyoming, and up toward the town of Midwest on highway 259 you will see a rock formation that looks like a teapot on the right side of the road. It currently sits just above a ranch house.
That area was one of the biggest oil finds in U.S. history, at the time. Leave it to greedy politicians to find a way to game the system and get rich.
This video does a wonderful job of explaining the scandal:
This oil was supposed to be the U.S. Navy's oil reserve. That is why the Marines, who were part of the Navy at the time, invaded Wyoming.
But let's not just blame the politicians. Two oil companies at the time, including Sinclair Oil owned by the original Mr. Sinclair at the time, had bribed some key members of the president's administration for exclusive drilling rights.