Lincoln’s Dog Followed Him Even in Death

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) knew the value of a faithful friend. Maybe that's why he acquired a yellow mixed-breed dog in 1855 when he lived in Springfield, Illinois. The future President named the dog Fido, and they quickly became inseparable. Their connection would unite them in life -- and in death.  Fido accompanied Lincoln everywhere in... Continue Reading →

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Being President Doesn’t Make You Master of the House

If there was ever a man who was unchanged by the power of the Presidency, it was Gerald Ford. Thrust unexpectedly into the Oval Office upon the resignation of Richard Nixon, Ford always seemed to be just a regular guy. Nothing illustrated this better than his relationship with his dog. Shortly after moving into the... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday to the Chief

Birthdays are always a time of celebration, whether you live in a small shack or the White House. How much do you know about Presidential birthdays? February may be the month in which President's Day is celebrated, and most people remember the February birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, but two other Presidents were... Continue Reading →

When Someone Tells You, “You Can’t Do That”

If anyone knew what it meant to overcome adversity and achieve greatness despite obstacles, it was the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. When he was paralyzed by polio at the age of 39, most experts concluded that his promising political career had come to a screeching halt. Undeterred, Roosevelt defied the... Continue Reading →

A Grave Omission

How do you briefly describe a life when the life is that of Thomas Jefferson? In his 83 years Jefferson succeeded in leaving an indelible impression on the nation he helped create. To begin to list his accomplishments is to invite omission. Fortunately, Thomas Jefferson left explicit instructions regarding the monument to be erected over his... Continue Reading →

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

President Andrew Jackson's relationship with Congress was not always cordial. In fact, it was often outright combative, and he disliked being reminded of that every time he glanced in the direction of the US Capitol Building. Despite the fact that Pierre L'Enfant designed the city of Washington to provide an unobstructed view down Pennsylvania Avenue between the... Continue Reading →

Translator Wanted — Knowledge of the Language Preferred

When a fake sign language interpreter managed to get the job of interpreting during the funeral for Nelson Mandela, President Jimmy Carter must have had flashbacks to a time that his life was complicated by an interpreter who was not up to the task. The occasion was the 1977 visit of President Carter to Poland. Steven... Continue Reading →

So Much for the Era of Good Feelings

The eight years of the administration of President James Monroe (1817-1825) are known as "The Era of Good Feelings." Not everyone got the memo, however. Hard feelings existed between President Monroe and his Treasury Secretary, William H. Crawford. Crawford had been appointed as Secretary of the Treasury in 1816 by President James Madison, and he... Continue Reading →

When POTUS Cleans Up After His Pooch

President Gerald Ford was known for being just a regular guy, unchanged by the power of the Presidency. This was never better demonstrated than on the occasion when his Golden Retriever, Liberty, do-dooed on a carpet in the White House. As a servant rushed to take care of it, the President stopped him, saying, "No... Continue Reading →

A Dozen Facts about the 20th President

While President James Garfield tends to be little more than a footnote in the history of the US presidency because of the short time that he served, he was a truly remarkable man and deserves to be better remembered. Following are a few facts about the 20th President of the United States: Garfield's administration was... Continue Reading →

You Can Tell Him to Go, But You Can’t Make Him

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 →

Accepting Responsibility

At a White House press conference ABC reporter Sam Donaldson directed a question to President Ronald Reagan: "Mr. President, in talking about the continuing recession tonight, you have blamed Congress and mistakes in the past. Does any of the blame belong to you?" The President's response: "Yes, because for many years I was a Democrat."... Continue Reading →

Is There a Third Option?

Illinois Representative William McKendree Springer quoted Henry Clay during a debate in the US House of Representatives, saying, “As for me, I would rather be right than be president.” Speaker Thomas Reed immediately responded, “The gentleman need not trouble himself. He’ll never be either.” The Life of Thomas Brackett Reed, chapter 21, page 246 (1914)

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