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March 4th, 2017 Comments off

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Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy Share a Sad Footnote in History

February 19th, 2017 Comments off

  • On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Thus, the sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated.

  • The twentieth President James A. Garfield. On 2 July 1881 he was shot by Charles Guiteau who was upset on being passed over as the US consul. President Garfield died on 19 Sept due to the infection caused by the shot wound.

  • The 25th President William McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz on 6 Sep 1901 and died from his wounds on 14 Sept 1901.

  • The 35th President John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald on 22 Nov 1963 and died from his wound the same day. 
  • Let us pray that this list is never increased, but that our presidents will remain safe and protected  – to serve as elected by the people of this sovereign nation. Let us pray that people can disagree without resorting to violence against any man or woman who seeks to serve or is in the service of his or her country.

Vice Presidents Who Became President to Fill a Vacancy

February 19th, 2017 Comments off

Nine Vice Presidents stepped in to fill vacancies left by Presidents of the United States.  How many can you name? Make a guess before you look at the list.

This is a very good reminder of why it is so important to choose a VP who can adequately perform the job of the presidency if destiny dictates. 

 

 

1841-1845  John Tyler became President upon the death of William Henry Harrison

1850-1853  Millard Fillmore became President upon the death of Zachary Taylor

1865-1869 Andrew Johnson became President upon the death of Abraham Lincoln

1881-1885 Chester Arthur became President upon the death of James Garfield

1901-1905  Theodore Roosevelt became President upon the death of William McKinley

1923-1925 Calvin Coolidge became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding

1945-1949 Harry Truman became President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt

1963-1965  Lyndon Johnson became President upon the death of John F. Kennedy.

1974             Gerald Ford became President upon the resignation of Richard Nixon

U.S. Presidents – The shortest and the tallest.

February 18th, 2017 Comments off

220px-James_Madison

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, political theorist and the fourth President of the United States (1809–17). He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and as the key champion and author of the Bill of Rights. He served as a politician much of his adult life. He was 5’4, a full 12 inches shorter than our tallest president.

Who was the tallest?

That would be our beloved Abraham Lincoln. This is one of the most flattering portraits of the President that I have seen.  At 6’4 he looks tall even sitting down, doesn’t he? I’m sure most of us know much more about him than President Madison.lincoln-color

The First US Presidential Election . . .

October 23rd, 2016 Comments off

The United States presidential election of 1788–1789 was the first presidential election in the United States of America and the only election to ever take place in a year that is not a multiple of four.

The election took place following the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788. In this election, George Washington was elected for the first of his two terms as president, and John Adams became the first vice-president.

Before this election, the United States had no chief executive.  Under the previous system agreed to under Articles of Confederation, the national government was headed by the Confederation Congress, which had a ceremonial presiding officer and several executive departments, but no independent executive branch.

In this election, the enormously popular Washington essentially ran unopposed. The only real issue to be decided was who would be chosen as vice-president.

Under the system then in place, each elector cast two votes; if a person received a vote from a majority of the electors, that person became president, and the runner-up became vice-president.

All 69 electors cast one vote each for Washington. Their other votes were divided among eleven other candidates; John Adams received the most, becoming vice-president.

The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, would change this procedure, requiring each elector to cast distinct votes for president and vice-president.

en.wikipedia.org

#37 President Richard M. Nixon

October 5th, 2016 Comments off

Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

Thirty-seventh President (1969-1974)

Richard Nixon owed his early prominence and election as Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President to his reputation as an anti-Communist militant. By the time he became President in 1968, however, his thinking about relationships between the Communist and free worlds had shifted considerably. As a result, under his leadership, the confrontational strategies that had long dominated this country’s response to Communism gave way to a historic d‚tente, marked by American recognition of Communist China and warmer relations with the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, these diplomatic achievements were eventually overshadowed by disclosure of the Watergate scandals a web of illegal activity involving scores of Nixon’s advisers. Though never implicated in the original crimes themselves, Nixon did become party to attempts to cover them up. Following irrefutable disclosure of that fact, he became the only President ever to resign from office.

Artist Norman Rockwell admitted that he had intentionally flattered Nixon in this portrait. The reason he did, Rockwell said, was that Nixon’s appearance was troublesomely elusive, and if he was going to err in his portrayal, he wanted it to be at least in a direction that would please the subject. 

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Oil on canvas, 1968 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Donated to the People of the United States of America by the Richard Nixon Foundation 
NPG.72.2 

#33 President Harry S. Truman

October 5th, 2016 Comments off

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)Thirty-third President (1945-1953) 

When Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945, his successor, Vice President Harry Truman, felt as if the weight of the world had fallen on him. Feeling woefully unprepared, he now had the responsibility for guiding the country through the final phases of World War II and the often-jolting adjustments to peace.

Elected to the presidency in his own right in 1948, Truman had his greatest impact in foreign policy, and his commitment to containing the postwar spread of Communist influence in the world set a pattern in American diplomacy that prevailed for many more decades.

Among his most notable achievements was the defeat of Communist takeovers in Greece and Turkey and of the Soviet Union’s attempt to push the West out of Berlin. The peppery Truman also presided over implementation of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe’s war-torn economies a scheme that may be the greatest triumph in the annals of American diplomacy.

The Vienna-born Greta Kempton was Harry Truman’s favorite portraitist. Shortly after she finished what would become his official White House likeness in 1947, she began this portrait. Left in an unfinished state, the picture was finally completed in 1970, when members of Truman’s administration presented it to the National Portrait Gallery. 

Greta Kempton (1903-1991)
Oil on canvas, 1948 and 1970 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
NPG.70.11 


 

#5 James Monroe

September 30th, 2016 Comments off

James Monroe (1758-1831)
Fifth President (1817-1825) 

In 1820 White House incumbent James Monroe stood virtually unopposed in his bid for a second term. The reason for this unusual turn of events did not lie in Monroe’s charismatic personality. In truth, this former secretary of war and state was a rather bland individual. Instead, his unchallenged candidacy was an expression of the “Era of Good Feelings” that set in following the War of 1812 and was marked by a temporary halt in two-party factionalism.

Monroe brought to his presidency a style that meshed well with this rancorless climate. When, for example, he vetoed public improvements legislation, he offered Congress suggestions for accomplishing the same end through means that circumvented his Constitution-based objections. The most enduring legacy of his administration, however, was the Monroe Doctrine, which registered opposition to European meddling in the Western Hemisphere and ultimately became a keystone of American foreign policy.

The restrained coloring and brushwork in Monroe’s portrait by John Vanderlyn testifies to the strong influence that French neoclassicism had on the artist during his years of study in Paris. It may also reflect Monroe’s own tastes, which ran decidedly to the French as a result of his several diplomatic missions to Paris. 

John Vanderlyn (1775-1852)

Oil on canvas, 1816 

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
NPG.70.59 

#26 President Theodore Roosevelt ‘Teddy’

September 8th, 2016 Comments off

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 

Twenty-sixth President (1901-1909) 

No one ever craved the presidency more than Theodore Roosevelt or used its powers more joyously. In early 1901, however, his rise toward that office was suddenly checked. Having gained national prominence as a civil service reformer, hero of the Spanish-American War, and reform-minded governor of New York, he was now relegated to a political backwater as William McKinley’s Vice President. But McKinley’s assassination several months later changed all of that, and Roosevelt was soon rushing headlong into one of American history’s most productive presidencies. By the time he left office in 1909, his accomplishments ranged everywhere from implementing landmark efforts to conserve the nation’s disappearing natural heritage, to instituting some of the first significant curbs on the excesses of big business, to building the Panama Canal.

When Hungarian-born English artist Philip de Lászlo painted the original version of this portrait, he encouraged Roosevelt to have visitors chat with him during the sittings, apparently thinking that it made for a more animated likeness. On the picture’s completion, Roosevelt declared it the only likeness that he “really enjoyed having painted.” 

Adrian Lamb (1901-1988)
Oil on canvas, after the 1908 oil by Philip de Lászlo, 1967 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gift of the Theodore Roosevelt Association 
NPG.68.28 

#36 President Lyndon B. Johnson

September 7th, 2016 Comments off

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) 
Thirty-sixth President (1963-1969)

Few individuals have managed to harness the forces of American politics to better advantage or with greater relish than Lyndon B. Johnson. Thus, when he surrendered his position as Senate majority leader to become John Kennedy’s Vice President in 1961, it was inevitable that Johnson should bridle at the political limbo of his new office.

Johnson’s instincts for power, however, survived that limbo. When Kennedy’s death put him in the White House in 1963, his ability to get what he wanted was soon yielding a string of landmark legislation that included a far-reaching civil rights act, health insurance for the elderly, and a federally funded “war on poverty.”

Unfortunately, his administration’s war against Communist aggression in Vietnam overshadowed those successes. By the end of his presidency, anger over the war was inspiring protests across the country, and Johnson had gone from being one of the most successful Presidents in history to being one of the most maligned.

This portrait by Peter Hurd was meant to be Johnson’s official White House likeness. But that plan was quickly scrapped after Johnson declared it “the ugliest thing I ever saw.” Soon the pun was making the rounds in Washington that “artists should be seen around the White House–but not Hurd.” 

Peter Hurd (1904-1984)
Tempera on panel, 1967 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gift of the artist 
NPG.68.14 

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