Monday, January 31, 2005

List of Fictional U.S. Presidents

List of Fictional U.S. Presidents. This is from Wikipedia and it lists fictional American Presidents. It includes party affiliation, brief biography, and the show or book they appeared in. It includes names such as President Lawrence Ivor Randolph from The Brady Bunch in the White House and President Cliff Barnes from Dallas.

From the site:

Since the office of President of the United States is somewhat hallowed, fiction writers often choose to 'invent' a president in their stories to prevent a real one from being possibly insulted, to avoid having their stories become 'dated' over time, for dramatic license, or to provide literary flexibility.

Presidents are listed in alphabetical order by the first letter in their last name.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

JFK State of the Union Speeches

JFK State of the Union Speeches. President Kennedy gave three State of the Union Addresses when he was President. He helped to close his final one (in 1963) by saying, "My friends: I close on a note of hope. We are not lulled by the momentary calm of the sea or the somewhat clearer skies above. We know the turbulence that lies below, and the storms that are beyond the horizon this year. But now the winds of change appear to be blowing more strongly than ever, in the world of communism as well as our own."

JFK State of the Union Address 1961
JFK State of the Union Address 1962
JFK State of the Union Address 1963

Friday, January 28, 2005

LBJ in the Oval Office

LBJ in the Oval Office - Listen to some of LBJ's most important speeches and peer into the Oval Office through secretly recorded conversations made by Johnson during his presidency.

From the site:

At this site, you can listen to some President Lyndon Johnson's most important speeches and peer into the Oval Office through secretly recorded conversations made by Johnson during his presidency.

Listening to these audio files requires installation of the free RealAudio Player. It is available from RealAudio.

Speeches include Johnson's Vietnam Anguish, Selected Telephone Conversations Concerning the Special Commission to Investigate the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Johnson's Address to a Joint Session of Congress introducing the Voting Rights Act, and Johnson's Address on Civil Rights.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Politics of Andrew Johnson

The Politics of Andrew Johnson. Examines the bitter political battle that caused the first impeachment of an American President.

From the site:

As if to demonstrate the land question's complexities, only two days after this vote and with virtually unanimous Republican support, the House passed Julian’s Southern Homestead Act, opening public land in the South to settlement and giving blacks and loyal whites preferential access until 1867. Republicans were quite willing to offer freedmen the same opportunity to acquire land as whites already enjoyed under the Homestead Act of 1862, but not to interfere with planters' property rights. Despite extravagant hopes that it would "break down land monopoly" in the South, Julian’s bill proved a dismal failure. Plantations monopolized the best land in the South; public land-swampy, timbered, far from transportation-was markedly inferior. The freedmen, moreover, entirely lacked capital, and federal land offices were few and poorly managed. By 1869 only 4,000 black families had even attempted to take advantage of the act, three quarters of them in sparsely populated Florida, and many of these subsequently lost their land. By far the largest acreage claimed under the law went to whites, often acting as agents for lumber companies.

Thus, by February 1866, Republicans had united upon Trumbull's Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights bills as necessary amendments to Presidential Reconstruction. Radicals viewed them as first steps toward more fundamental change, moderates as a prelude to readmitting the South to Congressional representation. Meanwhile, the persistent complaints of persecution forwarded to Washington by Southern blacks and white loyalists altered the mood in Congress by eroding the plausibility of Johnson’s central assumption-that the Southern states could be trusted to manage their own affairs without federal oversight. Particularly alarming was the testimony being gathered by the joint Committee on Reconstruction. Although witnesses differed on many points (former Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens even reaffirmed the right of secession), army officers, Bureau agents, and Southern Unionists repeated tales of injustice against blacks, loyal whites, and Northerners. Speaker after speaker criticized Johnson’s amnesty policies for encouraging white intransigence. The few blacks called before the committee agreed. "If [Southern] representatives were received in Congress," one told the committee, "the condition of the freedmen would be very little better than that of the slaves." Early in February, North Carolina Senator-elect John Pool concluded that Southern members would not gain admission for some time, and that the South would have to submit to conditions that would never have been thought of, if a more prudent and wise course had been adopted" by the Johnson governments.

Virtually all Republicans assumed Johnson would sign the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights bills. The first passed Congress in February with nearly unanimous Republican support, including the votes of such outspoken supporters of the President as Senators Doolittle and Dixon. After separate meetings with Johnson, influential moderate Senators Fessenden, Trumbull, and James W. Grimes of Iowa all emerged convinced of his approval. "A veto at that time," Illinois Congressman Shelby Cullom later recalled, "was almost unheard of." If Johnson signed these measures, a local Republican official wrote -Trumbull from Illinois, then no one will care except a few, how soon the Senators and members of the H. R. are admitted to seats," and "no one will ever hear of the old democratic party . . . again."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

History of Greece

History of Greece. This article looks at the history of modern Greece. It includes information on how President Truman helped Greece after World War Two.

From the site:

After the German withdrawal, the principal Greek resistance movement, which was controlled by the communists, refused to disarm. A banned demonstration by resistance forces in Athens in December 1944 ended in battles with Greek Government and British forces. Continuing tensions led to the outbreak of full-fledged civil war in 1946. First the United Kingdom and later the U.S. gave extensive military and economic aid to the Greek government. In 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall implemented the Marshall Plan under President Truman, which focused on the economic recovery and the rebuilding of Europe. The U.S. contributed millions of dollars to rebuilding Greece in terms of buildings, agriculture, and industry.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Inaugural Address of John Quincy Adams

Inaugural Address of John Quincy Adams. This is the text of this speech delivered by President John Quincy Adams on March 4th, 1825.

From the site:

In compliance with an usage coeval with the existence of our Federal Constitution, and sanctioned by the example of my predecessors in the career upon which I am about to enter, I appear, my fellow-citizens, in your presence and in that of Heaven to bind myself by the solemnities of religious obligation to the faithful performance of the duties allotted to me in the station to which I have been called.

In unfolding to my countrymen the principles by which I shall be governed in the fulfillment of those duties my first resort will be to that Constitution which I shall swear to the best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend. That revered instrument enumerates the powers and prescribes the duties of the Executive Magistrate, and in its first words declares the purposes to which these and the whole action of the Government instituted by it should be invariably and sacredly devoted--to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the people of this Union in their successive generations. Since the adoption of this social compact one of these generations has passed away. It is the work of our forefathers.

Administered by some of the most eminent men who contributed to its formation, through a most eventful period in the annals of the world, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war incidental to the condition of associated man, it has not disappointed the hopes and aspirations of those illustrious benefactors of their age and nation. It has promoted the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all; it has to an extent far beyond the ordinary lot of humanity secured the freedom and happiness of this people. We now receive it as a precious inheritance from those to whom we are indebted for its establishment, doubly bound by the examples which they have left us and by the blessings which we have enjoyed as the fruits of their labors to transmit the same unimpaired to the succeeding generation.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government

Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government - Jefferson's political philosophy in his own words. Contains the founding principles of American self-government.

From the site:

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, was this nation's greatest champion of representative democracy and the rights of man. He was our most eloquent spokesman on the founding principles of American self-government. As he himself said, "I know my own principles to be pure and therefore am not ashamed of them. On the contrary, I wish them known and therefore willingly express them to everyone. They are the same I have acted on from the year 1775 to this day, and are the same, I am sure, with those of the great body of the American people." (letter to Samuel Smith, 1798)

Now with over 2,700 excerpts from Jefferson's writings, this site contains much more than just a collection of quotations arranged by topic. It provides a fair statement of the complete political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. The excerpts were chosen, not for their historical significance, but as an expression of Jefferson's PRINCIPLES of government that have relevance for us today. Much of Jefferson's thought is highly quotable, and a special download section is made available for those selections most useful for writing and speaking.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park - Official National Park Service site commemorating the battle in 1814 between Colonel Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indian nation in what is now modern day Alabama. Includes maps of the battle area, narrative of the battle and links to related historical information.

From the site:

On the morning of 27 March 1814, General Andrew Jackson and an army of 3,300 men consisting of Tennessee militia, United States regulars and both Cherokee and Lower Creek allies attacked Chief Menawa and 1,000 Upper Creek or Red Stick warriors fortified in the "horseshoe" bend of the Tallapoosa River. To seal off the bend of the river, the Upper Creeks built an incredibly strong 400 yard long barricade made of dirt and logs. As the Cherokee and Lower Creek warriors swam the Tallapoosa and attacked from the rear, Jackson launched the militia and regular soldiers against the barricade. Facing overwhelming odds, the Red Sticks fought bravely yet ultimately lost the battle. Over 800 Upper Creeks died at Horseshoe Bend defending their homeland. This was the final battle of the Creek War of 1813-14, which is considered part of the War of 1812. In a peace treaty signed after the battle, both the Upper and Lower Creeks were forced to give the United States nearly 20 million acres of land in what is today Alabama and Georgia. The victory here brought Andrew Jackson national attention and helped him to be elected the seventh President of the United States in 1828. This 2,040-acre park preserves the site of the battle.

Friday, January 21, 2005

LBJ State of the Union Speeches

LBJ State of the Union Speeches. President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered six State of the Union Addresses. The second one (from 1965) discussed the Great Societ. LBJ said, "We worked for two centuries to climb this peak of prosperity. But we are only at the beginning of the road to the Great Society. Ahead now is a summit where freedom from the wants of the body can help fulfill the needs of the spirit. "

1964 LBJ State of the Union Speech
1965 LBJ State of the Union Speech
1966 LBJ State of the Union Speech
1967 LBJ State of the Union Speech
1968 LBJ State of the Union Speech
1969 LBJ State of the Union Speech

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Second Inaugural Address of George W. Bush

Second Inaugural Address of George W. Bush. The President delivered his second Inaugural Address as President today. It focused on foreign policy and the concept of freedom.

From the site:

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as he wills.

We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages, when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty, when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" -- they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled.

History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction set by liberty and the author of liberty.

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still.

America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength -- tested, but not weary -- we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover

Remembering Stellar Iowans: Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover - Article by Timothy Walch remembers two famous Iowans, namely, Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou Henry Hoover.

From the site:

For many of us, 1999 will be little more than a countdown to the end of the 20th century and a running start to the new millennium. We will plan and fret about the future, among other things. Some of us will pray, others will party, and still others will wrestle with the dreaded "Y2K problem" over the next 12 months.

But this year also will be a special one in Iowa for a completely different reason. In one of his last official proclamations, Gov. Terry Branstad declared 1999 to be "The Year of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover" here in Iowa. During the year, we will commemorate special anniversaries of many of the important passages in the lives of these two remarkable people.

Foremost, we will celebrate the births of both Hoovers -- Mr. Hoover in West Branch and Mrs. Hoover in Waterloo -- 125 years ago this year. Unknown to each other as children, they migrated west -- he to Oregon, she to California -- in the 1880s. Sadly, like so many children born in Iowa, neither Hoover came back to live in the Hawkeye State.

The Hoovers first met, almost by chance, in a classroom at Stanford University. Like many of us, they eventually fell in love and married. But theirs was a special union. In fact, I believe their marriage was one of the great partnerships of American history.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes - Online Smithsonian exhibit includes biographical information. It also has a painting and a sclupture of President Hayes.

From the site:

Republican presidential hopeful Rutherford B. Hayes went to bed on election night of 1876 thinking that he had lost the contest. But charges of ballot-tampering led to prolonged investigations of the vote count in several states. Out of this inquiry, itself marked by backstairs chicanery, Hayes finally emerged triumphant by a single electoral vote.

All of the irregularities surrounding his election led some to view Hayes as "His Fraudulency." But questions about his legitimate right to office did not prevent this former Ohio governor from being an able chief executive. Among his presidential accomplishments were the termination of the harsh policies that had been imposed on the South since the Civil War and the first significant steps toward curbing rampant corruption in the civil service.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Second Inaugural Address of James Monroe

Second Inaugural Address of James Monroe. This is the speech given the second time President James Monroe took the oath of office. It was delivered on March 5, 1821.

From the site:

shall not attempt to describe the grateful emotions which the new and very distinguished proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, evinced by my reelection to this high trust, has excited in my bosom. The approbation which it announces of my conduct in the preceding term affords me a consolation which I shall profoundly feel through life. The general accord with which it has been expressed adds to the great and never-ceasing obligations which it imposes. To merit the continuance of this good opinion, and to carry it with me into my retirement as the solace of advancing years, will be the object of my most zealous and unceasing efforts.

Having no pretensions to the high and commanding claims of my predecessors, whose names are so much more conspicuously identified with our Revolution, and who contributed so preeminently to promote its success, I consider myself rather as the instrument than the cause of the union which has prevailed in the late election In surmounting, in favor of my humble pretensions, the difficulties which so often produce division in like occurrences, it is obvious that other powerful causes, indicating the great strength and stability of our Union, have essentially contributed to draw you together. That these powerful causes exist, and that they are permanent, is my fixed opinion; that they may produce a like accord in all questions touching, however remotely, the liberty, prosperity and happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good.

In a government which is founded by the people, who possess exclusively the sovereignty, it seems proper that the person who may be placed by their suffrages in this high trust should declare on commencing its duties the principles on which he intends to conduct the Administration. If the person thus elected has served the preceding term, an opportunity is afforded him to review its principal occurrences and to give such further explanation respecting them as in his judgment may be useful to his constituents. The events of one year have influence on those of another, and, in like manner, of a preceding on the succeeding Administration. The movements of a great nation are connected in all their parts. If errors have been committed they ought to be corrected; if the policy is sound it ought to be supported. It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that our fellow-citizens are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future.

Friday, January 14, 2005

History of Poland

History of Poland. President Wilson was one of the advocates for Polish independence after World War 1. This site has some background.

From the site:

Independence for Poland was one of the 14 points enunciated by President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. Many Polish Americans enlisted in the military services to further this aim, and the United States worked at the postwar conference to ensure its implementation.

However, the Poles were largely responsible for achieving their own independence in 1918. Authoritarian rule predominated for most of the period before World War II. On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov nonaggression pact, which secretly provided for the dismemberment of Poland into Nazi and Soviet-controlled zones. On September 1, 1939, Hitler ordered his troops into Poland. On September 17, Soviet troops invaded and then occupied eastern Poland under the terms of this agreement. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Poland was completely occupied by German troops.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The American President: William H. Harrison

The American President: William H. Harrison - Fact file and comprehensive biographical sketch based on PBS series. Includes lesson plans and links.

From the site:

William Henry Harrison served the shortest time of any American President -- only thirty-two days. He also was the first President from the Whig Party. He had won his nickname, "Old Tip," as the tough commanding general of American forces who defeated hostile Native Americans at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Ohio River Valley in 1811.

Harrison, the youngest of seven children, was born on February 9, 1773, only two years before the American Revolution. His family was among the richest and the most politically prominent in the colony. Harrison's father had served three terms as governor. When young Harrison reached adulthood, he chose a career in the military, a decision that disappointed his father, who had wanted him to become a physician.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Vincent Voice Library: President Benjamin Harrison

Vincent Voice Library: President Benjamin Harrison - Presents 36-second sound file believed to be the oldest recording of any President. Available in RealAudio and MP3 format.

On the recording he says:

"As president of the United States, I was present at the first Pan-American congress in Washington D.C. I believe that with God's help, our two countries shall continue to live side-by-side in peace and prosperity. . . "

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Richard Nixon State of the Union Addresses

Richard Nixon State of the Union Addresses. President Nixon gave five State of the Union Addresses. Here is access to all five of them. He made reference to Watergate in his last State of the Union by saying, "Now, needless to say, it would be understatement if I were not to admit that the year 1973 was not a very easy year for me personally or for my family." I bet it wasn't. He also was wishful thinking in 1974 during the same speech when he said, "Throughout the 5 years that I have served as your President, I have had one overriding aim, and that was to establish a new structure of peace in the world that can free future generations of the scourge of war. I can understand that others may have different priorities. This has been and this will remain my first priority and the chief legacy I hope to leave from the 8 years of my Presidency. " He resigned that same year.

Richard Nixon First State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon Second State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon Third State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon Fourth State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon Fifth State of the Union Address

Monday, January 10, 2005

Appointment of Special Counsel and the Investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal

Appointment of Special Counsel and the Investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal. An in-depth examination of the historical model for independent investigation and prosecution as provided by the Teapot Dome scandal. This scandal happened during the Harding Administration.

From the site:

If Congress considers alternatives to a system of temporary, court appointed independent counsel, history provides an important model--the investigation and prosecution of the Teapot Dome scandal. In 1924, President Coolidge nominated two special counsel, one a Republican and one a Democrat, to investigate and pursue the civil and criminal cases arising from allegations that members of President Harding's cabinet had corruptly leased naval oil reserves to private oil firms. His appointees, Democrat Atlee Pomerene and Republican Owen Roberts, were confirmed by the Senate.

Deep concerns over the integrity of then Attorney General Harry Daugherty mobilized Congress and the President to look outside the Department of Justice for counsel who could be trusted to vigorously pursue the case. Once such counsel were appointed, Congress continued to play a critical role, aggressively pursuing the facts through a Senate committee and working cooperatively with special counsel to further their efforts. The President, for his part, offered counsel his assistance but then withdrew to permit them the necessary independence to pursue the wrongdoers. The investigation was fraught with difficulty and high drama, consuming more than six years and culminating in significant victories in civil litigation and a mixed bag of results in the criminal prosecutions. Special counsel suffered intermittent shortages of funds and for one of them, frustration with the impact of the job on his ability to maintain his law practice.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant. Information on the life and career of President Grant from the official White House biography.

From the site:

Late in the administration of Andrew Johnson, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant quarreled with the President and aligned himself with the Radical Republicans. He was, as the symbol of Union victory during the Civil War, their logical candidate for President in 1868.

When he was elected, the American people hoped for an end to turmoil. Grant provided neither vigor nor reform. Looking to Congress for direction, he seemed bewildered. One visitor to the White House noted "a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms."

Born in 1822, Grant was the son of an Ohio tanner. He went to West Point rather against his will and graduated in the middle of his class. In the Mexican War he fought under Gen. Zachary Taylor.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

First Inaugural Address of James Monroe

First Inaugural Address of James Monroe. This is the complete text of this Inaugural speech presented by President Monroe in 1817.

From the site:

I should be destitute of feeling if I was not deeply affected by the strong proof which my fellow-citizens have given me of their confidence in calling me to the high office whose functions I am about to assume. As the expression of their good opinion of my conduct in the public service, I derive from it a gratification which those who are conscious of having done all that they could to merit it can alone feel. MY sensibility is increased by a just estimate of the importance of the trust and of the nature and extent of its duties, with the proper discharge of which the highest interests of a great and free people are intimately connected. Conscious of my own deficiency, I cannot enter on these duties without great anxiety for the result. From a just responsibility I will never shrink, calculating with confidence that in my best efforts to promote the public welfare my motives will always be duly appreciated and my conduct be viewed with that candor and indulgence which I have experienced in other stations.

In commencing the duties of the chief executive office it has been the practice of the distinguished men who have gone before me to explain the principles which would govern them in their respective Administrations. In following their venerated example my attention is naturally drawn to the great causes which have contributed in a principal degree to produce the present happy condition of the United States. They will best explain the nature of our duties and shed much light on the policy which ought to be pursued in future.

From the commencement of our Revolution to the present day almost forty years have elapsed, and from the establishment of this Constitution twenty-eight. Through this whole term the Government has been what may emphatically be called self-government. And what has been the effect? To whatever object we turn our attention, whether it relates to our foreign or domestic concerns, we find abundant cause to felicitate ourselves in the excellence of our institutions. During a period fraught with difficulties and marked by very extraordinary events the United States have flourished beyond example. Their citizens individually have been happy and the nation prosperous.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

History of Albania

History of Albania. It turns out that President Woodrow Wilson also helped to assure that modern Albania exists today. This is yet another European nation that owes Wilson some gratitude.

From the site:

In the early 20th century, the weakened Ottoman Empire was no longer able to suppress Albanian nationalism. The League of Prizren (1878) promoted the idea of an Albanian nation-state and established the modern Albanian alphabet. Following the conclusion of the First Balkan War, Albanians issued the Vlore Proclamation of November 28, 1912, declaring independence. Albania's borders were established by the Great Powers in 1913. Albania's territorial integrity was confirmed at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dismissed a plan by the European powers to divide Albania amongst its neighbors.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Guiteau's Assassination of President Garfield

Guiteau's Assassination of President Garfield - Story of President Garfield's assassination including contemporary drawings and the execution of his assassin.

From the site:

Charles Guiteau was the kind of guy who gives lawyers a bad name. Some folks question whether he ever successfully completed his law degree. His specialty was small claims - for which he charged a 75% contingency fee. If lawyers charged fees like that today, they would face disbarment.

Not being very good at what he did, Guiteau drifted around. There is good evidence he was deranged for quite some time before he joined the campaign of Republican candidate, James Garfield.

After Garfield won the 1880 election, Guiteau concocted the perfect job for himself. He wanted to work in the U.S. Consulate Office in Paris. Believing he had much more intelligence and ability than he really had, Guiteau thought he could just name a job and it would be his. He constantly visited the White House to talk with the President’s staff. After awhile, however, the secretaries were no longer amused. By the spring of 1881, the White House was off limits to this unsuccessful office-seeker.

When things didn’t turn out the way he wanted, Guiteau blamed the President.