Friday, January 25, 2013

Presidential Prophecies

History Channel aired Presidential Prophecies from "Decoding the Past," awhile back and I DVRed and just got around to watching it.  Except for a few instances, most of the stories were "lore," so I wasn't that impressed.  Like the Washington story they begin with - it was told once in a newspaper in 1880 about Valley Forge. Not exactly great primary source material!  The historians pretty much all agreed that most of these stories weren't well based and certainly nothing we can say actually impacted presidential decision making.  The best examples were at the end.  They have actual tapes of Nixon talking about listening to prophecies and really taking them to heart by what he is telling others.  Nancy Reagan also is well known for her astrology, so that was easy as well. 

Someone they didn't cover that I would have found interesting was Florence Harding (although they mention Harding as part of the "twenty year curse.").    Mrs. Harding even consulted astrologers on Harding's run for office:
In early 1920, Florence Harding consulted Marcia Champrey, the astrologer of Evalyn McLean, who predicted that if Harding was able to win the Republican nomination, he would go on to win the presidency - but not live to complete the full term.

If you visit the Harding Home in  Marion, she had a really cool moon and star chair (this site has a picture of it plus lots of fun stuff on this subject) that was supposedly a "medium's chair."
...a chair in one of the bedrooms was known as the “medium’s chair” (though whether or not a medium actually used it is unclear).

There is also a "haunted clock:" (this is from the Marion Home, but it is also on the other site as well)
The Harding Home is a gem among Presidential sites and historical homes because of the high
percentage of original objects. Here, you'll see many personal items used by the Hardings, as
well as mementos from the White House. One of the most famous objects in the Home is the
eight-day clock. The clock supposedly is haunted and stopped at the exact time that President
Harding died in San Francisco on Aug. 2, 1923. It reportedly has stopped on some of the
anniversaries of his death since 1923; the most recent was in 2000. Don't worry, we'll be
watching closely to see what happens on Aug. 2, 2013!

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