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 →

The President’s Finger on the Button: Disaster, Dessert, or POTUS Pranks?

Hollywood has immortalized the image of the fate of the world resting on a shiny red button on the desk of the President of the United States. With a single press of that button, life as we know it would come to a brutal, inglorious end. It makes for good fiction, but that just isn't... Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Rental House Fixer-Upper

As President Harry Truman's daughter, Margaret, played the piano one day, she was startled as one leg of the piano suddenly dropped through the floor of the White House residential level. Engineers were called in to see what was going on, and the report was nothing short of alarming. The 150-year-old mansion was in desperate... Continue Reading →

The Torch Has Been Passed … And Possibly Caused a Fire

The world watched the peaceful transfer of power on January 20, 1961, as the oldest President to that point, Dwight D. Eisenhower, handed the reins of power to the youngest elected President, John F. Kennedy. As the two men stood side-by-side on the inaugural platform, listening as Cardinal Richard Cushing prayed the invocation, they noticed... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

Presidential (Autograph) Price Controls

President John F. Kennedy was one of the best known humorists to occupy the White House, and he rarely missed a chance to employ humor. In 1961 New York Post columnist Leonard Lyons wrote to the President and informed that a JFK signature was then selling for $75, while George Washington’s was priced at $175. Lyons received the... Continue Reading →

Promising Start for Princeton

In terms of first impressions, Princeton University could have done a lot worse than its first graduate student, James Madison. Madison enrolled at Princeton (then known as the College of New Jersey) in 1769 at the age of 18 and graduated three years later. He then remained at Princeton as its first graduate student to study... Continue Reading →

He Gave Away His Lucky Flower — and Ran Out of Luck

President William McKinley was known for wearing a red carnation. He referred to it as his "lucky flower," and he began the practice of placing a fresh carnation in his lapel after winning his first Congressional campaign in 1876. His opponent in that race was Levi Lamborn, an amateur horticulturist, who gave McKinley a carnation... Continue Reading →

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