A couple years back, I asked What was the first public trauma – as opposed to a personal trauma, such as a death or divorce in the family – that you recall? And while not my first event, the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, when I was ten years old and didn’t understand what happened next – I was not yet seeped in Presidential succession law – was terrifying. The death itself was already scary enough.
It certainly didn’t help that Miss Oberlik, our fifth grade teacher, told us the news, LEFT THE ROOM, for some reason Continue reading JiFKa: the 50th anniversary of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
CHRIS: Ooo, what does the infinity symbol symbolize?
Gee, I thought it was a sidewards eight.
Good on your with the presidents thing. The three presidents in one year has happened twice and three in two years but more than one year happened once (by my count using http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States), none of which I knew before the discussion came up.
Three in one year was 1841 and 1881, that’s correct. Hadn’t thought about three in two years, but that would be 1849-1850, with Polk, Taylor and Fillmore.
Which brings me to my next question: how do you learn so many random things? Did you, for example, set out to memorize all the presidents and the years? Or does your brain do that “naturally”?
After minutes of self-psychoanalysis, this is what I’ve concluded Continue reading ARA: The way my mind works
JEOPARDY! Show #6451 – Monday, October 8, 2012
THE 1912 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
*With his opponents dividing the vote, this Democratic challenger was elected
*This incumbent president accepted the Republican nomination & did no campaigning; electoral votes: 8
*Theodore Roosevelt used this metaphor when announcing his run, hence the button seen here
*Eugene V. Debs garnered almost 1 million votes representing this left-leaning party
*Everyone wanted change even back then; the opposing campaign slogans were The ____ Freedom & The ____ Nationalism (same word)
2012 was a big year for Abraham Lincoln. He was featured in two movies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and that other one. But he did NOT Continue reading Presidents Day 2013: books, 1912, and longevity out of office
I went out with this woman in the late 1970s who was old enough to have voted for John Kennedy the first time she had the opportunity to vote for President. I can only imagine how devastated she was, along with the rest of the country, when he was killed. Every Thanksgiving I spent with her, when she or someone else said grace, she always added, “And bless the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”
That thought ran through my mind when I realized that Thanksgiving and the assassination of JFK coincided this year Continue reading JFK and Thanksgiving Day
I had never read a Stephen King novel, but due to boredom, I ended up taking out from the library 11/22/63, an 800+ page tome. OK, it wasn’t JUST boredom, but also a near-obsession I have long had with the tragic events of that day, crystallized in my mind; my own long-running curiosity about the various conspiracy theories surrounding John F. Kennedy’s assassination; and what would happen if, somehow, the President had survived the attack. (I’m sure I’ll write more about that next year.)
When I checked out the book – allowed for only 14 days, instead of the usual 28, because it’s a recent purchase – the library clerk, who had read it, assured me that it wasn’t one of those King horror books.
Well, no and yes. This is a pretty straightforward narrative about a man and a portal to a very specific time and place in 1958. What I always disliked somewhat in some going-back-in-time stories is Continue reading Book Review: 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King
Like a lot of Americans, I was most fascinated by the lives of the children and some of the grandchildren of Joseph Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first President I REALLY remember, though I was born shortly after Dwight Eisenhower was inaugurated. Naturally, I recall the assassination all too well.
I’ve expressed my ambivalence about Bobby Kennedy.
And I was terrified when Teddy Kennedy decided to challenge Jimmy Carter for the 1980 Democratic nomination for President Continue reading K is for Kennedys
It’s Presidents Day, so I post oddball factoids about the guys that have held the office that I’ve come across in the past a couple months.
But first, a recent Final JEOPARDY! answer: Of the 20 presidents elected to a second term, 2 of the 3 who failed to complete that term. (Question at the end.)
#1- George Washington
During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington was riding on his horse one day when he passed by a group of soldiers who were busily engaged in raising a beam to the top of some military works. It was a difficult task, and the voice of the corporal in charge of the men could often be heard shouting, “Now you have it!”
“All ready! Pull!”
Unrecognized by the corporal and the other soldiers, Washington asked the corporal why he didn’t help his men.
“Sir,” replied the angered officer “do you not realize that I AM the CORPORAL?!?”
Washington politely raised his hat, saying, “I did not realize it. Beg your pardon… Mr. Corporal.”
Washington dismounted his horse and went to work helping the men until the beam was raised.
Before leaving, he turned to the corporal, and, wiping the perspiration from his face, said, “If ever you need assistance like this again, call upon Washington, your commander-in-chief, and I will come!” * Continue reading Presidents Day