Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Little Something for Presidents Day

A 2008 Obama button I own,. It was the only I could find. I have a lot of others from both parties in a box somewhere

Even though most people think of Presidents Day as honoring the combined birthday's of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln two of our greatest Presidents, I decided to take a different approach and honor all of the men that have been President. It is clearly one of the toughest jobs in the world and only 44 men over the last 230 years know what it is like.

Here are some of my favorite books that I own about the Presidents:

"The Day Lincoln Was Shot" by Jim Bishop was published in 1955 and it chronicles the last 24 hours of his life from 7:00am on Friday, April 14th 1865 until 7:22am on Saturday, April 15th. It follows and goes into detail the deadly chain on events of Lincoln's assassination. Really good read even if it is dated

Margaret Truman's great biography of her father Harry S. Truman.  I have always thought that Truman was a great President who did a lot for this country. A lot of people mis-understand Truman. He was a very honest man who was throw into a really tough situation after FDR died. As Vice-President he was not given much information by FDR and FDR's people and then boom he was President rubbing shoulders with Churchill, Stalin and helping to remake the World at the end of WWII. I think the thing I really admire about him is that he was earthy and straight-forward, something that is missing today.

"Ike's Bluff" by Evan Thomas is a new one in my library and it is a good one. It is about President Eisenhower and how he manged to keep the peace during the beginning of the Cold War when many of the Generals in the U.S.Army wanted to blow the Soviet Union off the map with a first strike. After reading this book, I learned a couple of things about Ike-that he was really smart and would have been a super poker player. He kept his cards close to his vest and thank god we had him for a President during the beginning of the Cold War.

"Campaigning for President" is a great book just to look at as it shows some of the different stuff that different people trying to achieve the office have used to sway voters. I like it because it is an easy fun book to look at and I like looking at the different ways that candidates have tried to sway voters throughout our history.

"Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents" by Cormac O'Brien
Above is my favorite about the Presidents it goes a little deeper than most books do and it tells us facts that they do not teach in school. Examples:

- That three of the first five presidents (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe) all died on July 4th.
-That John Quincy Adams swam nude in the Potomac River every day.
-That Martin Van Buren's cure for an upset stomach was a mixture of soot and charcoal mixed in water.
-That Queen Victoria called Millard Fillmore the handsomest she ever met.
-That James Buchanan would stop by Jacob Baer's distillery on way to church on Sunday and would pick up a ten-gallon cask of "Old J.B."
-That William Taft never wanted to be President. He got the job he really wanted after his Presidency- Chief Justice of the United States.

It goes on and on. It is a great book.

Enjoy the holiday and remember the 44 brave men who have been U.S. Presidents.

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