Thursday, March 31, 2005

Longevity of U.S. Presidents

Longevity of U.S. Presidents. Survey of how long the presidents lived and what health problems they suffered from. This is dated but interesting.

From the site:

The first half (16 individuals) of the death-by-natural-causes group died between 1799 and 1875. The median age at death was 73.5 years.

The second half of this group died between 1885 and 1994. The median age of death was 65.5 years (!)

The figures don't speak very loudly to modern medicine as a prolonger of life, at least for famous old white men, but I think we have to give medicine its due in certain individual cases. Washington died at 67 of quinsy, and I think just about everybody would agree that such deaths are very uncommon in modern times. Three other presidents clearly died before their time: Harrison of pneumonia, Taylor of a "typhoid-like fever," and Polk of cholera. Again, I think most people would agree that these untimely deaths would probably not have occurred in modern times (odd cases like Jim Henson's group B strep sepsis notwithstanding). Possibly ENT surgery could have saved Grant, as it apparently did Cleveland, and colorectal surgey saved Hoover and Reagan. The medicine of the fifties possibly kept Eisenhower's Crohn's disease sufficiently at bay, whereas a similarly afflicted counterpart of the nineteenth century may not have remained hale enough to rise to such high position, likewise for Kennedy and his Addison's disease.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Inaugural Address of Franklin Pierce

Inaugural Address of Franklin Pierce. This is the speech that President Pierce delivered after being sworn into office on March 4th, 1853.

From the site:

It a relief to feel that no heart but my own can know the personal regret and bitter sorrow over which I have been borne to a position so suitable for others rather than desirable for myself.

The circumstances under which I have been called for a limited period to preside over the destinies of the Republic fill me with aprofound sense of responsibility, but with nothing like shrinking apprehension. I repair to the post assigned me not as to one sought, but in obedience to the unsolicited expression of your will, answerable only for a fearless, faithful, and diligent exercise of my best powers. I ought to be, and am, truly grateful for the rare manifestation of the nation's confidence; but this, so far from lightening my obligations, only adds to their weight. You have summoned me in my weakness; you must sustain me by your strength. When looking for the fulfillment of reasonable requirements, you will not be unmindful of the great changes which have occurred, even within the last quarter of a century, and the consequent augmentation and complexity of duties imposed in the administration both of your home and foreign affairs.

Whether the elements of inherent force in the Republic have kept pace with its unparalleled progression in territory, population, and wealth has been the subject of earnest thought and discussion on both sides of the ocean. Less than sixty-four years ago the Father of his Country made "the" then "recent accession of the important State of North Carolina to the Constitution of the United States" one of the subjects of his special congratulation. At that moment, however, when the agitation consequent upon the Revolutionary struggle had hardly subsided, when we were just emerging from the weakness and embarrassments of the Confederation, there was an evident consciousness of vigor equal to the great mission so wisely and bravely fulfilled by our fathers. It was not a presumptuous assurance, but a calm faith, springing from a clear view of the sources of power in a government constituted like ours. It is no paradox to say that although comparatively weak the new-born nation was intrinsically strong. Inconsiderable in population and apparent resources, it was upheld by a broad and intelligent comprehension of rights and an all-pervading purpose to maintain them, stronger than armaments. It came from the furnace of the Revolution, tempered to the necessities of the times. The thoughts of the men of that day were as practical as their sentiments were patriotic. They wasted no portion of their energies upon idle and delusive speculations, but with a firm and fearless step advanced beyond the governmental landmarks which had hitherto circumscribed the limits of human freedom and planted their standard, where it has stood against dangers which have threatened from abroad, and internal agitation, which has at times fearfully menaced at home. They proved themselves equal to the solution of the great problem, to understand which their minds had been illuminated by the dawning lights of the Revolution. The object sought was not a thing dreamed of; it was a thing realized. They had exhibited only the power to achieve, but, what all history affirms to be so much more unusual, the capacity to maintain. The oppressed throughout the world from that day to the present have turned their eyes hitherward, not to find those lights extinguished or to fear lest they should wane, but to be constantly cheered by their steady and increasing radiance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Who Shot Garfield?

Who Shot Garfield? Biography of Garfield's assassin, Charles Guiteau, from History House.

From the site:

Shortly after his inauguration in 1881, President James A. Garfield was assassinated by one mildly loopy Charles Julius Guiteau. Guiteau joins the splendiferous ranks of political assassins in this country with the distinction of not only being mildly deranged but exceedingly depraved to boot. Guiteau's father beat his son recklessly and accused him of wanting "things beyond your earnings," and "having been guilty of things that were criminal according to human as well as divine laws."

As one might expect, Charles Guiteau left home at the age of 16 in 1857. Two years later, in a brief shining moment, he inherited $1,000 from his grandfather. Eager to make something of himself, he ventured to the newly-founded University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he promptly flunked the entrance exams. Hoping to eventually attend the University, he took remedial classes while his father sent him Oneida Community literature.

The Oneida Community was among the flurry of religious revivals in the late 1800s. Its founder, John Humphrey Noyes, was a personal friend of Guiteau's father, and firmly believed that Christ's Second Coming occurred in A.D. 70. Noyes also felt that monogamy was against Church doctrine, and he spent much of his time playing sexual musical chairs with the followers.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Nixon Pardon Proclamation

The Nixon Pardon Proclamation. President Gerald R. Ford's remarks on signing a proclamation granting pardon to Richard Nixon. He grants "a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States."

From the site:

I have come to a decision which I felt I should tell you and all of my fellow American citizens, as soon as I was certain in my own mind and in my own conscience that it is the right thing to do.

I have learned already in this office that the difficult decisions always come to this desk. I must admit that many of them do not look at all the same as the hypothetical questions that I have answered freely and perhaps too fast on previous occasions.

My customary policy is to try and get all the facts and to consider the opinions of my countrymen and to take counsel with my most valued friends. But these seldom agree, and in the end, the decision is mine. To procrastinate, to agonize, and to wait for a more favorable turn of events that may never come or more compelling external pressures that may as well be wrong as right, is itself a decision of sorts and a weak and potentially dangerous course for a President to follow.

I have promised to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best that I can for America.

Friday, March 25, 2005

World War II Commemoration: Dwight D. Eisenhower

World War II Commemoration: Dwight D. Eisenhower. Detailed biography written for students includes links to related topics. Gives special attention to Eisenhower's role in the war.

From the site:

DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER, (1890-1969), American general and 34th president of the United States. He was the principal architect of the successful Allied invasion of Europe during WORLD WAR II and of the subsequent defeat of Nazi Germany. As president, Eisenhower ended the Korean War, but his two terms (1953-1961) produced few legislative landmarks or dramatic initiatives in foreign policy. His presidency is remembered as a period of relative calm in the United States.

Eisenhower spent his first 50 years in almost total obscurity. A professional soldier, he was not even particularly well known within the U.S. Army. His rise to fame during World War II was meteoric: a lieutenant colonel in 1941, he was a five-star general in 1945. As supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, he commanded the most powerful force ever assembled under one man. He is one of the few generals ever to command major naval forces; he directed the world's greatest air force; he is the only man ever to command successfully an integrated, multinational alliance of ground, sea, and air forces. He led the assault on the French coast at Normandy, on June 6, 1944, and held together the Allied units through the European campaign that followed, concentrating everyone's attention on a single objective: the defeat of Nazi Germany, completed on May 8, 1945.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Prosperity and Thrift

Prosperity and Thrift. Assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. From the Library of Congress.

From the site:

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929 assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. The collection includes nearly 150 selections from twelve collections of personal papers and two collections of institutional papers from the Manuscript Division; 74 books, pamphlets, and legislative documents from the General Collections, along with selections from 34 consumer and trade journals; 185 photographs from the Prints and Photographs Division and the Manuscript Division; and 5 short films and 7 audio selections of Coolidge speeches from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. The collection is particularly strong in advertising and mass-marketing materials and will be of special interest to those seeking to understand economic and political forces at work in the 1920s. The production of this collection was made possible by the generous support of Laurance S. and Mary French Rockefeller.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Clinton's Last Days

Clinton's Last Days. Photographs and simple text describe Clinton's last week in office. From Time magazine.

From the site:

When the Bushes arrived for coffee Saturday morning, Bill Clinton was still nursing a paper cut on his finger. He had sliced it during a packing frenzy in the wee hours of Friday, and his friend Harry Thomason had tried to close the cut with Super Glue. Sorting his stuff through the night--an usher said the White House felt like a 7-Eleven all week--Clinton told a story about every gewgaw he was piling into boxes marked LIBRARY, CHAPPAQUA and WASHINGTON.

After a week of rolling parties for everyone from the Cabinet to the cleaning crew, parties so emotional that even Ironman John Podesta puddled up, it came down to saying goodbye to the household staff, which was rumored to have resented the Clintons since Day One. But everyone cried, even Hillary. She hugged one steward so long they segued into a waltz. Clinton gave them all his usual body slam. Another steward said, "I'm really going to miss you, but I hear the next people go to bed at nine."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

National Park Service - The Presidents (Grover Cleveland)

National Park Service - The Presidents (Grover Cleveland). Biography from the National Park Service on the man who was both the Twenty-Second and Twenty-Fourth President of the United States of America.

From the site:

Born in 1837 at Caldwell, N.J., Cleveland was christened as Stephen Grover, but stopped using his first name early in his life. He was the fifth of nine children sired by a Presbyterian pastor. In 1841 a ministerial reassignment resulted in a family move to Fayetteville, in central New York. There, the boy received an education at home and in village schools until he was 13 years old.

At that time, his father's failing health and financial problems forced Grover to work as a clerk in a local store. When his father took a job as district secretary of a missionary society and moved in 1850 to nearby Clinton, N.Y., the youth briefly enrolled at a college preparatory academy there, but soon had to return to his clerk position at Fayetteville. The death of his father in 1853, shortly after taking a parsonage in Holland Patent, N.Y., ended the young man's hopes of going to college.

After teaching in 1853-54 at Gotham's New York Institution for the Blind, Cleveland headed west to seek better economic opportunity. By the spring of 1855, however, he had ventured only as far as the stock farm of his uncle, Lewis F. Allen, near Buffalo, N.Y. After a summer of assisting in compiling Allen's American Shorthorn Herd Book, Cleveland entered a Buffalo law office as an apprentice clerk. In 1859 he was admitted to the bar and began practice. Lacking a martial spirit and still burdened by family financial responsibilities, during the Civil War (1861-65) he hired a substitute, as did many others, to perform his military service.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Inaugural Address of Zachary Taylor

Inaugural Address of Zachary Taylor. This is the text of the speech Zachary Taylor delievred after he was sworn in as President on March 5th, 1849.

From the site:

Elected by the American people to the highest office known to our laws, I appear here to take the oath prescribed by the Constitution, and, in compliance with a time-honored custom, to address those who are now assembled.

The confidence and respect shown by my countrymen in calling me to be the Chief Magistrate of a Republic holding a high rank among the nations of the earth have inspired me with feelings of the most profound gratitude; but when I reflect that the acceptance of the office which their partiality has bestowed imposes the discharge of the most arduous duties and involves the weightiest obligations, I am conscious that the position which I have been called to fill, though sufficient to satisfy the loftiest ambition, is surrounded by fearful responsibilities. Happily, however, in the performance of my new duties I shall not be without able cooperation. The legislative and judicial branches of the Government present prominent examples of distinguished civil attainments and matured experience, and it shall be my endeavor to call to my assistance in the Executive Departments individuals whose talents, integrity, and purity of character will furnish ample guaranties for the faithful and honorable performance of the trusts to be committed to their charge. With such aids and an honest purpose to do whatever is right, I hope to execute diligently, impartially, and for the best interests of the country the manifold duties devolved upon me.

In the discharge of these duties my guide will be the Constitution, which I this day swear to "preserve, protect, and defend." For the interpretation of that instrument I shall look to the decisions of the judicial tribunals established by its authority and to the practice of the Government under the earlier Presidents, who had so large a share in its formation. To the example of those illustrious patriots I shall always defer with reverence, and especially to his example who was by so many titles "the Father of his Country."

Friday, March 18, 2005

UCLA Webcast: Jimmy Carter "Talking Peace"

UCLA Webcast: Jimmy Carter "Talking Peace". Offers a streaming link to the 21st Annual Bernard Brodie Distinguished Lecture featuring President Jimmy Carter giving a presentation entitled "Talking Peace".

From the site:

Jimmy Carter's diplomatic and humanitarian activities have spanned the globe since the 39th president left the White House in 1980. Carter's recent participation in the turnover of the Panama Canal was merely the latest example of his leadership as a peacemaker in places such as Haiti and the Balkans, disease fighter in the developing world and homebuilder for America's poor. The Atlanta-based Carter Center, which he actively guides, conducts a wide range of humanitarian work. The former president also has been an influential voice on issues concerning faith and human rights. -- The Progress Project.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

George W. Bush Funnies Collection

George W. Bush Funnies Collection. Offers pictures, quotes and cartoons plus jokes from Leno, Conan O'Brian, and Letterman.

From the site:

U.S. President George W. Bush has marked International Women's Week by paying tribute to women reformers -- but one of those he cited is really a man.

"Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi. She's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy," the president said in a speech at the White House on Friday.

The only problem was that, by all other accounts, "she" is in fact "he".

"Definitely male," said Alistair Hodgett, spokesman for the human rights advocacy group Amnesty International, whose representatives tried to see Jahmi in prison during a recent visit to Libya.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

George H. W. Bush Quotes from Wikiquote

George H. W. Bush Quotes from Wikiquote. This features a collection of verified quotes from the first President Bush.

From the site:

"This is bigger than politics; this is about saving lives, and I must confess I’m getting a huge kick out of it." -- 2005 February 20, on serving with former political rival Bill Clinton in their efforts to raise money for tsunami recovery

"Most of the money that President Clinton and I raised has not been spent yet, and it will go into reconstruction." -- 2005 February 20 - said in tsunami-ravaged southeastern Asia alongside former political rival Bill Clinton in their efforts to raise money for tsunami recovery

"For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex...uh...setbacks."

"We're enjoying sluggish times, and not enjoying them very much."

"I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don't always agree with them."

"I'm conservative, but I'm not a nut about it."

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Chester Arthur 1830-1886

Chester Arthur 1830-1886. This is brief biography of President Arthur giving an overview to his life.

From the site:

Chester Alan Arthur was born near the northern Vermont community of Fairfield; later political opponents would charge that he was actually born farther north across the Canadian boundary, which would have rendered him ineligible for the presidency. Arthur's father was an Irish immigrant and Baptist preacher, who kept his family on the move from one town to another.

Young Arthur was an excellent student and mastered Latin and Greek under his father's supervision. Political interest developed early; he was an ardent supporter of Henry Clay in 1844. Arthur graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, in 1848. He supported himself as a teacher and began the study of law in his free time.

In 1854, Arthur formed a law partnership with a colleague in New York City. He willingly took cases to protect the civil rights of black citizens. Arthur became active in a number of political organizations and was involved in the establishment of the Republican Party in New York State. In 1859, he joined the Republican governor's staff and was later made responsible for outfitting New York soldiers in the Civil War; he developed a reputation for honesty and always insisted on receiving quality supplies for the soldiers.

Monday, March 14, 2005

History of Bangladesh

History of Bangladesh. This is an overview to the history of Bangladesh. It notes the role that President Carter had in the election of 2001.

From the site:

In July 2001, the Awami League government stepped down to allow a caretaker government to preside over parliamentary elections. Political violence that had increased during the Awami League government's tenure continued to increase through the summer in the run up to the election. In August, Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina agreed during a visit of former President Jimmy Carter to respect the results of the election, join Parliament win or lose, foreswear the use of hartals (violently enforced strikes) as political tools, and if successful in forming a government allow for a more meaningful role for the opposition in Parliament. The caretaker government was successful in containing the violence, which allowed a parliamentary general election to be successfully held on October 1, 2001.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Adams Defends the Mutineers

Adams Defends the Mutineers. John Quincy Adams was 74 years old when he appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Amistad Africans. This short biography tells of the role he played in that battle.

From the site:

After fifty-three African captives aboard the Spanish schooner Amistad mutinied off the coast of Cuba in 1839, killing the captain and cook, they tried to sail the vessel back to Africa. Captured off Long Island, their return was demanded by the Spanish government. Former president John Quincy Adams argued their case before the Supreme Court in 1841, and largely through his efforts, the captives were freed and permitted to return to Africa. Adams's legal brief, "extraordinary for its power" in the words of Justice Joseph Story, was widely circulated in print and became a milestone in the abolitionist cause.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Inaugural Address of James Knox Polk

Inaugural Address of James Knox Polk. This is the Inaugural Speech of President Polk. He delivered it March 4th, 1845.

From the site:

Without solicitation on my part, I have been chosen by the free and voluntary suffrages of my countrymen to the most honorable and most responsible office on earth. I am deeply impressed with gratitude for the confidence reposed in me. Honored with this distinguished consideration at an earlier period of life than any of my predecessors, I can not disguise the diffidence with which I am about to enter on the discharge of my official duties.

If the more aged and experienced men who have filled the office of President of the United States even in the infancy of the Republic distrusted their ability to discharge the duties of that exalted station, what ought not to be the apprehensions of one so much younger and less endowed now that our domain extends from ocean to ocean, that our people have so greatly increased in numbers, and at a time when so great diversity of opinion prevails in regard to the principles and policy which should characterize the administration of our Government? Well may the boldest fear and the wisest tremble when incurring responsibilities on which may depend our country's peace and prosperity, and in some degree the hopes and happiness of the whole human family.

In assuming responsibilities so vast I fervently invoke the aid of that Almighty Ruler of the Universe in whose hands are the destinies of nations and of men to guard this Heaven-favored land against the mischiefs which without His guidance might arise from an unwise public policy. With a firm reliance upon the wisdom of Omnipotence to sustain and direct me in the path of duty which I am appointed to pursue, I stand in the presence of this assembled multitude of my countrymen to take upon myself the solemn obligation "to the best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre. The is an essay which looks at the Boston Massacre from the perspective of John Adams. He wrote in his journal of the event, "Never in more misery my whole life."

From the site:

The Boston Massacre was the act of British soldiers firing into a mob of Boston citizens. When the smoke had cleared, five citizens of the mob were dead, including Crispus Attucks. The captain of the troops was Thomas Preston. After the troops had stop firing, Captain Preston noticed a Boston citizen walking directly up to soldiers. The citizen, Benjamin Burdick told Captain Preston, "I want to see some faces that I may swear to another day." Captain Preston, realizing that there would soon be a trial, answered, "Perhaps, sir, you may."

The next morning John Adams was in his law office in Boston. The anti-British fever in Boston was rampant. Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty were already calling the event the Boston Massacre. Paul Revere turned out an engraving that depicted Captain Preston ordering the troops to fire at point blank range on a defenseless crowd. To help calmed the mobs, Governor Hutchinson ordered that the soldiers arrested and promised the crowds that a trial would be held. That afternoon in Faneuil Hall a meeting of the Sons of Liberty demanded that all British must be removed from Boston.

James Forrest, a successful merchant and staunch Tory, brought a message to Adams. With tears streaming down his cheeks, Forrest explained that the message was from Captain Thomas Preston. Captain Preston was in jail and needed legal council. Forrest had spoke to several other lawyers and none of them would take the case. Captain Preston asked if Adams would take the case. Adams and another young lawyer, Josiah Quincy accepted Captain Preston request.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Address to the American Indians

Address to the American Indians. RealAudio version of President Wilson's 1915 speech to First People. The file is from The History Channel.

From the site:

On November 5, 1912, Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey was elected president of the United States in a landslide Democratic victory. Soon after his inauguration, President Wilson called for the series of progressive reforms that he had dubbed the "New Freedom" during his successful campaign. Among the legislation requested by Wilson was greater federal support of the Native Americans, a U.S. minority that had been severely marginalized since the end of the armed U.S.-Indian conflicts in the early 1890s. Later that year, the president spoke to a congress of Native Americans and praised them on their "progress to civilization." In the speech, Wilson acknowledged that there were "some dark figures in the history of the white man's dealings with the Indians," but assured the Indian leaders that on the whole the U.S. government's motives and policies had been "wise, just, and benevolent."

Monday, March 07, 2005

History House: Put it on George's Tab

History House: Put it on George's Tab. A brief look at Washington's extravagant expense account while General of the Continental Army.

From the site:

Of course, Washington is a famously humorless man, and the late president enjoys this reputation as the result of his own tireless labor. He intentionally curbed his wittier self in an effort to solidify a legacy as a sober statesman. George followed in the steps of Benjamin Franklin, who subscribed to "charity, humility and pacific temper." However, Franklin seems to have taken these words with a grain of salt, as he somehow managed to pen an essay called "Fart Proudly" in the interim.

By contrast, George easily followed that maxim because he wasn't funny at all. The man was so spectacularly unfunny that when P.M. Zall tried to write a book called George Washington Laughing in an effort to prove otherwise, he had to stop after only 52 pages. As if that weren't bad enough, most of these episodes describe jokes being told in Washington's presence rather than being uttered by the man himself. The President appears to have enjoyed pratfalls and seeing the hats of clergymen get blown into lakes, but rare was the day a witticism passed his lips. Surely, such a stoic, servile man would be content with meager rations. So Congress must have thought when it approved his expense account. Fortunately for posterity, a complete record of Washington's account exists. You can even look at scans of it, in entirety, online. The father of the United States, it seems, was magnificent at padding his accounts.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The American President: Martin Van Buren

The American President: Martin Van Buren. Fact file and comprehensive biographical sketch from PBS. Also includes lesson plans.

From the site:

Martin Van Buren said that the two happiest days of his life were his entrance into the office of president and his surrender of the office. While his political opponents were glad to see him go – they nicknamed him “Martin Van Ruin” - many Americans were not. Even though he lost the 1840 presidential election, Van Buren received 40,000 more votes than he had in his 1836 victory. In subsequent years, historians have come to regard Van Buren as integral to the development of the American political system.

Van Buren was the first president not born a British subject, or even of British ancestry. The Van Burens were a large, struggling family of Dutch descent. Martin's father, Abraham Van Buren -- a supporter of Thomas Jefferson in a region populated by supporters of Jefferson’s opponents, the Federalists -- ran a tavern where politicians often gathered as they traveled between New York City and Albany. This environment gave young Martin a taste for politics. Though the Van Burens could not afford to send Martin to college, he managed to get a job as a clerk in a law office where he began studying law independently. After he became a lawyer, Van Buren joined the Democratic-Republicans and began his political career, as a minor county official.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

History of Haiti

History of Haiti. This overview to the history of Haiti also looks at the roles President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton played in 1994.

From the site:

In the weeks that followed, the United States took the lead in forming a multinational force (MFN) to carry out the UN's mandate by means of a military intervention. In mid-September, with U.S. troops prepared to enter Haiti by force, President Clinton dispatched a negotiating team led by former President Jimmy Carter to persuade the de facto authorities to step aside and allow for the return of constitutional rule. With intervening troops already airborne, Gen. Raoul Cedras and other top leaders agreed to accept the intervention of the MNF. On September 19, 1994, the first contingents of what became a 21,000-member international force touched down in Haiti to oversee the end of military rule and the restoration of the constitutional government. By early October, the three de facto leaders--Cedras, Gen. Philippe Biamby, and Police Chief Lt. Col. Michel Francois -and their families had departed Haiti. President Aristide and other elected officials in exile returned on October 15.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sherwood Forest Plantation: Home of President John Tyler

Sherwood Forest Plantation: Home of President John Tyler. Provides information on John Tyler's home from 1842 until his death in 1862 including information on visiting it.

From the site:

Sherwood Forest Plantation was the home of the 10th U.S. President John Tyler from 1842 until his death in 1862. Sherwood Forest Plantation has been the continuous residence of the Tyler family since the President purchased it in 1842. Known to be the longest frame house in America, it is over 300 feet long. Elegantly furnished with Tyler's possessions, it reflects the lifestyle of this mid-19th century Presidential family. Beautifully wooded landscape and 12 dependencies surround President Tyler's home.

Sherwood Forest Plantation's grounds are open 9:00 am-5:00 pm daily. Located on State Rt. 5, 14501 John Tyler Highway, Charles City, VA. 30 minutes from Williamsburg and 45 minutes from Richmond. 804/282-1441. 3 miles west of the courthouse in Charles City County - Tyler Country.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Inaugural Address of William Henry Harrison

Inaugural Address of William Henry Harrison. This is the Inaugural Speech given by President William Henry Harrison on March 4th, 1841. It is the longest Inaugural Adress on record. The President died 31 days later.

From the site:

Called from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to fill the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow-citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes as a necessary qualification for the performance of its duties; and in obedience to a custom coeval with our Government and what I believe to be your expectations I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me in the discharge of the duties which I shall be called upon to perform.

It was the remark of a Roman consul in an early period of that celebrated Republic that a most striking contrast was observable in the conduct of candidates for offices of power and trust before and after obtaining them, they seldom carrying out in the latter case the pledges and promises made in the former. However much the world may have improved in many respects in the lapse of upward of two thousand years since the remark was made by the virtuous and indignant Roman, I fear that a strict examination of the annals of some of the modern elective governments would develop similar instances of violated confidence.

Although the fiat of the people has gone forth proclaiming me the Chief Magistrate of this glorious Union, nothing upon their part remaining to be done, it may be thought that a motive may exist to keep up the delusion under which they may be supposed to have acted in relation to my principles and opinions; and perhaps there may be some in this assembly who have come here either prepared to condemn those I shall now deliver, or, approving them, to doubt the sincerity with which they are now uttered. But the lapse of a few months will confirm or dispel their fears. The outline of principles to govern and measures to be adopted by an Administration not yet begun will soon be exchanged for immutable history, and I shall stand either exonerated by my countrymen or classed with the mass of those who promised that they might deceive and flattered with the intention to betray. However strong may be my present purpose to realize the expectations of a magnanimous and confiding people, I too well understand the dangerous temptations to which I shall be exposed from the magnitude of the power which it has been the pleasure of the people to commit to my hands not to place my chief confidence upon the aid of that Almighty Power which has hitherto protected me and enabled me to bring to favorable issues other important but still greatly inferior trusts heretofore confided to me by my country.