Senator Robert Dole, upon seeing a picture of former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon lined up at an official event, pointed them out and identified them, in turn, as "See no Evil. Hear no Evil. And Evil." source
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) had an impatience for bureaucracy and a wonderful sense of humor. Sometimes these two qualities came together with memorable results. When asked how many people work at the Vatican, the pontiff famously replied, "About half of them."
President Ronald Reagan devoted his presidency to combating an ever-growing and intrusive federal government. He recounted his days in the Army Air Force during World War II when he first faced the bureaucratic mindset: "I remember one of my first experiences with government was as an adjutant for an Army Air Corps base in World... Continue Reading →
"Our nation's capital is really getting into the holiday spirit. Yesterday I saw Tip O'Neil with a beard and red suit, shimmying down the Washington Monument." -- Bob Hope * Tip O'Neil, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, was Speaker of the U. S. House of Representarives from 1977 to 1987.
President Abraham Lincoln liked to joke about the well-to-do background of his wife's family. "The Todds spell their name with two d's, which is pretty impressive, considering one d is good enough for God."
They say laughter is the best medicine, but that did not prove to be true for Alex Mitchell. On March 24, 1975, Mitchell was enjoying the BBC comedy program The Goodies. While watching a skit entitled "The Battle of Eckythump", Mitchell burst out laughing and continued to laugh, non-stop for the next 25 minutes. He... Continue Reading →
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right." -- Mark Twain
It was during his governorship of Massachusetts that Calvin Coolidge honed much of his wit. On one occasion, he was sitting quietly in his office, strumming through a legal text, half-listening to two politicians arguing in front of him. Finally, one of the men told the other to go to hell, and the insulted man... Continue Reading →
Not a lot of people were laughing on September 22, 1862. The Civil War was about a year and a half old, and it was proving to be much more trying than either side had imagined. When President Abraham Lincoln called his War Cabinet into session that day, his advisors arrived in a grim and... Continue Reading →
Abraham Lincoln used to tell the story about a time he was splitting rails when a man carrying a rifle walked up to him and demanded that Lincoln look him directly in the eye. Lincoln stopped his work and obliged the man, who continued to silently stare at him for some minutes. Finally the man... Continue Reading →
Andy Kaufman (1949-1984) was an entertainer known for elaborate pranks and hoaxes. He was so well known for this that when he died in 1984, rumors immediately started that he staged his death as a prank. Today, more than 30 years after his death, the rumors persist, and people still anticipate he will suddenly show... Continue Reading →
When Crown Princess (later Queen) Louise of Sweden visited Uppsala Cathedral, the Archbishop conducted the tour in English. His use of the language was good, but he got tripped up at a very inconvenient time. As they approached a chest of drawers holding priceless items, the Archbishop said, "I will now open these trousers and... Continue Reading →
Whenever he had to listen to a long-winded speaker or read a letter that went on and on, Abraham Lincoln would observe, "It's like the lazy preacher who used to write long sermons; he'd get to writing and was too lazy to stop."