Monday, February 20, 2006

Probably more about Presidents than you ever wanted to know...

I have removed the long list of presidential facts until next President's Day. In it's place is the remarkable Gettysburg Address.

The Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


David Amulet said...

A great compilation--thanks for making all of us smarter.

One of the best presidential trivia items I have come across was a list of similarities between the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. It was full of things like both had VPs named Johnson ... both assassins has 13 letters in their full names ... Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and hid in a warehouse while Oswald shot Kennedy in a warehouse and hid in a theater ... Lincoln had a personal adviser/secretary named Kennedy while Kennedy had one named Lincoln ... and so on.I wish I could find it now!

And I'm adding a link to you on my site, sorry about the delay in that. Thanks for continuing to stop by.

-- david
Kennedy was riding in a Lincoln, that's the only one that I remember.

Here is just an odd off-topic fact: Joe Kennedy had an affair with Gloria Swanson, he was also her personal financial advisor (he still owned RKO or had just sold it to RCA). During the affair he gave her many pieces of expensive jewelry. Years later is was discovered that, as her financial advisor, he had charged he had charged her accounts for all the jewelry.

The Phoenix said...

Great facts there. Very cool stuff. I like these kinds of things.

Funny how Taft was the largest prez, and he's the one that started the presidential pitch ceremony.

I think he went to the ballpark for the hot dogs.
he was likely in fairly good physical shape -- back then men were portly on purpose as it was considered a sign of success -- he might have been a fat athlete like Teddy Roosevelt or Baba Ruth -- don't know, just a possibility -- just something that I was thinking about, since rich guys are now thin (personal trainers, dietitians, health clubs, incessant golfing) and we poor guys are fat (super-sized junk food) -- "I think he went to the ballpark for the hot dogs." is a really funny line!!!

Ben Heller said...

You sure know your stuff on Presidents Jim, well done.

I have a deep interest in all the post war presidents, particularly FDR (not exactly post war), JFK, Nixon
FDR is the only president to ever ask the Supreme Court to suspend the Constitution, which it did twice. The first was to stop the foreclosures of family farms during the Depression (1/4 of all farms were foreclosed in Mississippi on a single day, parts of the country were in actual revolution). The "No Alienation of Contracts" clause of the Constitution prohibited federal interference, the Court suspended the clause because of the emergency. The second was the interment of the Japanese Americans, for which there was no legal justification. The military said it was necessary for the war effort and the Court allowed it.

FDR put together what was the "modern" Democratic Party by combining three unlikely groups: Southerners (the "Solid South" since Reconstruction), Catholics in big cities (who were very much second-class citizens and hated by Southerners, "No Irish Need Apply"), and Midwest farmers hard hit by the Dust Bowl. This held until the "Southern Strategy" was used to elect Nixon -- convert Dixiecrats and Wallacites (i.e., racists) into Republicans, this is how the "Solid South" became Republican overnight (Watergate Hearing: "What did all you bright young men do all day at the White House?" "We sat around trying to think up ways to stop integration'). Except for those who hold the traditional views of the Republican Party, scratch a Christian Conservation and you'll find a racist. They still needed the Catholic vote and they got that using the abortion issue. The Church was willing to abondon the Democratic Party to get what it always wanted, an exchange of ambassadors between the president and the pope.

Ben Heller said...

And FDR is the reason I'm here talking to you Jim
'cuz he invented then Internet???

MH_Middlechild said...

There has only been one president who was not married. Can you name him?
James Buchanan -- today we would think of him as gay but the concept of homosexuality per se was unknown until the 1800's -- before that they just assumed that all men were attracted to women, some were just shy and lived with other men (as Buchanan did) -- in Texas, it's pronounced BUCK-canon

Ben Heller said...

No, because without his intervention my country would have eventually capitualted to the Axis.
oh, that war thing!

it's odd how some people can see things like that coming -- not only FDR but industrialists like Ford and Henry Kaiser -- your parents must remember those days vividly -- true or not, I think most believe believe (at least emotionally) that the British would have been able to fight back an invasion even if America did not exist

Ben Heller said...

Hi Jim,

We'd held out for a year, and bear in mind at that time the Russians were "loosely" part of the Axis too.

But by the turn of 1940 we were on our knees, our Air Force was totally outnumbered, our army were still re-assembling following the miracle of Dunkirk. Only our Navy remained competitive, but that was tied up providing secure support for the merchant vessels FDR was sending over the Atlantic with food and munitions.

I would say another 6 months and we would have been done.

Then Pearl Harbour, Hitler declares war on America, and invades Russia. History..