The Secret Lives Of U.S. Presidents
3/5/2013 by BY MARGARET BOGUE
The U.S. government has been under the constitution since 1789. In that 224 years we have elected 44 presidents – from Washington to Obama.
The president has a very big job. All have been human. Evaluation of the 44 rates some bad, mediocre, good, very good, and great.
The Secret Lives of U.S. Presidents by Cormac O’Brien is very interesting and can be found in the library. Some facts about chief executives are: Age when inaugurated, the youngest – Theodore Roosevelt, age 42. The oldest Ronald Regan, age 69. Most educated, Wilson with a PhD from Johns Hopkins. The shortest term, William Henry Harrison – one month. The longest term – F.D. Roosevelt, elected 4 times, served 12 years and 83 days. Served 2 terms not consecutive – Cleveland. Resigned – only one, Nixon.
Impeached – Andrew Johnson and Clinton. Neither was removed from office. Number who died in their term in office – 8. Two sets of father and son who held the office – John Adams and John Quincy Adams. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. The only president of color – Barach Obama.
Some interesting personal facts: Arthur had 80 pairs of pants and was the first to hire a valet. John Tyler had 15 children (8 by first wife, 7 by his second). Polk was a workaholic – all his time was given to the office. Harding never let work interfere with pleasure. He loved to play poker and attend burlesque shows. Taft carried the most weight at 325 pounds. A special bathtub was installed for him that was 7 ft. long and weighed a ton. No alcohol was served in the White House in Hayes’ term. Water was served at state dinners. Imbibers referred to his wife as “Lemonade Lucy.”
Have you heard about the curse of the “Zero Year”? Every president elected on the zero year from 1840 to 1960 died in office. The one exception is Zachary Taylor (1848). The other 7 were elected on zero years, 1840, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1920, 1940, and 1960. The curse was broken by Reagan. He survived 2 terms, even though an attempt was made on his life.
It’s time to recognize some good folks who have given memorial gifts to the library.
Mr. and Mrs. W.R. McSwane gave in memory of Shirley Dillon; Pam Johnson gave in memory of Neil Clute; Kay Walker gave in memory of Shirley Dillon; Cody and Rosemary Thomson gave six memorials for Pennie Ruth Douglas, Eva Hamrick, Shirley Dillon, April Wells, Bill Corley and Louella Calame Taylor; Charlsie Thompson gave nine memorials for Shirley Dillon, Betty Danford, Bill Corley, Carroll Foley, Ella Lummas, Louella Calame Taylor, Frances (Beth) Christan, Homer Barger and Jimmy Beddingfield. Robert Compton gave five memorials for Marilyn Lee, Herbert Russ, Dorothy Fogleman Hardison, Mary Jim Hill Aycock, and Rosalee Wilson Withrow.
Sincere thanks to those who gave. An excellent way to honor a friend or loved one is with a memorial gift to the library. All gifts are used to buy books and improve the library.
IN closing please permit an original limerick: Do you feel that life is a bore? Loads of books at the library to explore. Here’s my prediction; There’s lots of good fiction, That’ll chase your blues out the door.