Look closely, you can (almost) see Teddy Roosevelt on his 160th birthday

October 26, 2018

Young Theodore Roosevelt, as a boxer and wrestler at Harvard University. Harvard University image.

Young Theodore Roosevelt, as a boxer and wrestler at Harvard University. Harvard University image.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in Manhattan on October 27, 1858. 160 years ago, today.

Among many other things in his life, he was for a time a cowboy in the Dakota Territory, in the area of North Dakota where today resides the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Look closely at the picture.  You can almost see Teddy.  He was a powerful, guiding force behind the movement to protect precious, historic, scientifically valuable and beautiful lands, by the federal government.

Happy birthday, Theodore Roosevelt! Let's celebrate with a great shot of @TRooseveltNPS #NorthDakota

Happy birthday, Theodore Roosevelt! Let’s celebrate with a great shot of @TRooseveltNPS #NorthDakota

In 1922, the U.S. Navy started celebrating Navy Day on Roosevelt’s Birthday, October 27, to honor Roosevelt. When he had been Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt overhauled the entire fleet and brought the U.S. Navy onto the world stage as a modern, major fighting force worthy of deep respect. When we fly the flag for Navy Day, we also honor one of the Navy’s greatest leaders, Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt.

Happy Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday, America.

More:

A short, mostly accurate history of Teddy Roosevelt, from some guy named Jeremiah:

In his life, Teddy Roosevelt often lived outside the box, bigger than life. Running for election in 1912, Roosevelt was shot in the chest before a speech in Milwaukee. The copy of the speech and things in his pocket protected him, but it was still quite a blow to his chest. Roosevelt gave the speech before going to a hospital. Here’s a headline from the Atlanta Constitution on the affair.

Front page of the Atlanta Constitution, October 15, 1912, telling the story of Teddy Roosevelt's having been shot in Milwaukee the previous day.

Front page of the Atlanta Constitution, October 15, 1912, telling the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s having been shot in Milwaukee the previous day.


September 14, 1901: McKinley died, Teddy Roosevelt ascended to presidency

September 14, 2017

September 14, 1901, front page of the Boston Morning Journal, announcing the death of President William McKinley. Image from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers.

September 14, 1901, front page of the Boston Morning Journal, announcing the death of President William McKinley. Image from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers.

Lincoln, Garfield, then McKinley.

September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, eight days after having been shot at Buffalo’s Pan American Exposition a sort of World Fair.

Within hours, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath as president.

Ken Burns explained the events of the day well in his long series of films on the Roosevelts:

Interesting to read the newspapers from an era before television, radio or especially internet.

Front page of the

Front page of the “3:00 p.m. edition” of the Buffalo Enquirer, September 14, 1901. Image from Nate D. Sanders Auctions

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115 years ago: September 14, 1901, President McKinley died

September 14, 2016

On the Threshold, illustration from Harpers Weekly, September 14, 1901

“On the Threshold,” illustration from Harper’s Weekly, September 14, 1901

On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, from gangrene from gunshot wounds he suffered eight days earlier.

Teachers should be mining the “On This Day” feature at the New York Times, which usually features an historic cartoon or illustration from an antique Harper’s Weekly. It is a favorite feature, to me.

Some time ago “On This Day” featured the illustration from Harper’s upon the death of President William McKinley, on September 14, 1901.

At the Threshold

Artist: William Allen Rogers

his post-dated cartoon was published as President William McKinley lay dying from an assassin’s bullet. He had been shot on September 6, 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pronounced chol-gosh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. The president died on September 14. Here, McKinley is led to the Hall of Martyrs by grief-stricken personifications of the North and South. Between pillars topped by busts of the two previously slain presidents, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield, the angel of death prepares to place a laurel wreath of honor upon McKinley’s head. (Images related to Garfield’s assassination also showed a reconciled North and South.)

There is much more at the Times site.

Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln, was present when McKinley was shot. Accounts I have read but not confirmed say that Robert Lincoln had been invited to attend Ford’s Theatre with his father and mother, the night his father was shot. As a member of President James Garfield’s cabinet, Robert Lincoln had been awaiting Garfield’s arrival at Union Station in Washington, D.C., when Garfield was shot.

And as a visitor in Buffalo, Robert Lincoln had as a matter of respect lined up to shake President William McKinley’s hand.

Astounding if true. Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated. Robert Lincoln was close to the first, the assassination of his father, and present for the next two. Where can we confirm that story? U.S. National Archives publishes a magazine, Prologue, which detailed the unusual, and sad, case of Robert Lincoln and his brushes with presidential assassins and assassinations.

McKinley’s death catapulted the do-gooder, Theodore Roosevelt, into the presidency, probably to the great chagrin of corrupt Republican politicians who had hoped that by getting him nominated to the vice presidency they could get him out of New York politics, banishing him to the eternal ignominy of Vice Presidents of the U.S. who never went on to achieve much more in their lives.

The rest is history.

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Look closely, you can (almost) see Teddy Roosevelt on his birthday

October 27, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt was born in Manhattan on October 27, 1858.

Among many other things in his life, he was for a time a cowboy in the Dakota Territory, in the area of North Dakota where today resides the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Look closely at the picture.  You can almost see Teddy.  He was a powerful, guiding force behind the movement to protect precious, historic, scientifically valuable and beautiful lands, by the federal government.

Happy birthday, Theodore Roosevelt! Let's celebrate with a great shot of @TRooseveltNPS #NorthDakota

Happy birthday, Theodore Roosevelt! Let’s celebrate with a great shot of @TRooseveltNPS #NorthDakota

Happy Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday, America.

More:

A short, mostly accurate history of Teddy Roosevelt, from some guy named Jeremiah:

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.


Navy Day 2014, October 27 – Fly your flag today

October 27, 2014

1945 Navy Day poster. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 72280-KN (Color) via CrashMacDuff

1945 Navy Day poster. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 72280-KN (Color) via CrashMacDuff

Navy Day, October 27, is designated in the U.S. Flag Code as one of those days Americans may, or should, fly our flags.

History of Navy Day from the U.S. Department of Defense:

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922 by the Navy League of the United States. Although it was not a national holiday, Navy Day received special attention from President Warren Harding. Harding wrote to the Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby:

“Thank you for your note which brings assurance of the notable success which seems certain to attend the celebration of Navy Day on Friday, October 27, in commemoration of past and present services of the Navy. From our earliest national beginnings the Navy has always been, and deserved to be, an object of special pride to the American people. Its record is indeed one to inspire such sentiments, and I am very sure that such a commemoration as is planned will be a timely reminder.”

“It is well for us to have in mind that under a program of lessening naval armaments there is a greater reason for maintaining the highest efficiency, fitness and morale in this branch of the national defensive service. I know how earnestly the Navy personnel are devoted to this idea and want you to be assured of my hearty concurrence.”

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

Navy Day was last observed on Oct. 27, 1949.

But, of course, it’s still designated in the Flag Code.

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Look closely, you can (almost) see Teddy Roosevelt

October 27, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt was born in Manhattan on October 27, 1858.

Among many other things in his life, he was for a time a cowboy in South Dakota, in the area where today resides the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Look closely at the picture.  You can almost see Teddy.  He was a powerful, guiding force behind the movement to protect precious, historic, scientifically valuable and beautiful lands, by the federal government.

Happy birthday, Theodore Roosevelt! Let's celebrate with a great shot of @TRooseveltNPS #NorthDakota

Happy birthday, Theodore Roosevelt! Let’s celebrate with a great shot of @TRooseveltNPS #NorthDakota

Happy Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday, America.

More:


116 years ago, July 1, Teddy Roosevelt “rode” into history

July 2, 2014

American Experience makes a Facebook presence.  On July 1, they posted one of my favorite photos of Teddy Roosevelt (and one of the more famous):

On July 1, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, stormed Kettle Hill and helped capture San Juan Hill. Learn more about Roosevelt and the Rough Riders: http://to.pbs.org/1x730Kv

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, atop San Juan Hill in Cuba, ostensibly; circa July 1, 1898.

American Experience

On July 1, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, stormed Kettle Hill and helped capture San Juan Hill.

Learn more about Roosevelt and the Rough Riders: http://to.pbs.org/1x730Kv

But, it’s Teddy Roosevelt!  There is always so much more!

On my Facebook timeline I answered:

And started the ball rolling that would make Teddy Roosevelt the only person ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace, and the Medal of Honor for war.

What an interesting character.

P.S. — TR resigned his job as Asst. Secretary of the Navy to enlist; told that there was no group for him to lead, he proceeded to recruit fellow Harvard Law classmates, and fellow South Dakota cowboys, to form the roughriders. Wouldn’t you love to have sat around a campfire with THAT group?

The horses of the Rough Riders were stuck on a ship in the harbor when they made this assault. Famous for riding horses, their reputation was earned on foot, with their horses on a boat.

You couldn’t make that stuff up for a fictional account.

It was a short war; by the end of the year TR was back in New York, wangling to get elected governor, which he did.  His do-good, reformer ways rubbed the corrupt GOP machine the wrong way, however, and when William McKinley’s Vice President Garret A. Hobart died, they seized the opportunity to bury Roosevelt forever; they got him nominated vice president for McKinley’s second term.  They probably remembered, and thought always true, that old Mark Twain story, about the poor widow who had two sons:  One went off to sea, and the other was elected vice president, and neither was ever heard from again.

Assassination struck for the third time in our presidential history.  By the end of 1901, Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States.

Just like Teddy to ride into history, too impatient to wait for a horse to ride on.


Devils Tower is beautiful in autumn

October 25, 2013

Or any other time of year.

From the Department of Interior Twitter feeds:

 Devils Tower NM. pic.twitter.com/YRo1U8DSMQ

US Dept of Interior ‏@Interior 16h Is there any doubt fall is best enjoyed in America’s great outdoors? Here’s great example from Devils Tower NM. pic.twitter.com/YRo1U8DSMQ

What do you think Richard Dreyfus thinks when he sees that?  Stephen Spielberg?

Devils Tower NM” means “National Monument,” not New Mexico.  This volcano remnant stands in Wyoming.

Old friend, painter and photographer Nancy Christensen Littlefield offers a more close-up view.

Devil's Tower on a July morning.  Photo by Nancy Christensen LIttlefield.

Devil’s Tower on a July morning. Photo by Nancy Christensen LIttlefield.

And looking even closer, you spy Richard Dreyfus never-wanna-bes:

Climbers on Devil's Tower. Photographer Nancy Littlefield

Climbers on Devils Tower. Photographer Nancy Littlefield said: “There were Native American prayer bundles along the trail around the base. It really is awe inspiring. Early morning gives you the best light to photograph it by.”

Devils Tower is the plug of an old volcano.  What’s left is the magma that hardened, and what we see is left after the softer cone eroded away.

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September 14: President McKinley died, 1901

September 14, 2011

On the Threshold, illustration from Harpers Weekly, September 14, 1901

"On the Threshold," illustration from Harper's Weekly, September 14, 1901

Teachers should be mining the “On This Day” feature at the New York Times, which usually features an historic cartoon or illustration from an antique Harper’s Weekly. It is a favorite feature, to me.

Yesterday, it featured the illustration from Harper’s upon the death of President William McKinley, on September 14, 1901.

At the Threshold

Artist: William Allen Rogers

his post-dated cartoon was published as President William McKinley lay dying from an assassin’s bullet. He had been shot on September 6, 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pronounced chol-gosh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. The president died on September 14. Here, McKinley is led to the Hall of Martyrs by grief-stricken personifications of the North and South. Between pillars topped by busts of the two previously slain presidents, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield, the angel of death prepares to place a laurel wreath of honor upon McKinley’s head. (Images related to Garfield’s assassination also showed a reconciled North and South.)

There is much more at the Times site.

Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln, was present when McKinley was shot. Accounts I have read but not confirmed say that Robert Lincoln had been invited to attend Ford’s Theatre with his father and mother, the night his father was shot. As a member of President James Garfield’s cabinet, Robert Lincoln had been awaiting Garfield’s arrival at Union Station in Washington, D.C., when Garfield was shot.

And as a visitor in Buffalo, Robert Lincoln had as a matter of respect lined up to shake President William McKinley’s hand.

Astounding if true. Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated. Robert Lincoln was close to the first, the assassination of his father, and present for the next two. Where can we confirm that story?

McKinley’s death catapulted the do-gooder, Theodore Roosevelt, into the presidency, probably to the great chagrin of corrupt Republican politicians who had hoped that by getting him nominated to the vice presidency they could get him out of New York politics.

The rest is history.

(This is an encore post.)


Does this photograph show Teddy Roosevelt at Lincoln’s funeral procession?

February 22, 2010

1865 - Lincoln's funeral procession; Passing the (Cornelius) Roosevelt Mansion, sw corner 14th Street, Broadway, view looking North on Broadway

1865 – Lincoln’s funeral procession; Passing the (Cornelius) Roosevelt Mansion, sw corner 14th Street, Broadway, view looking North on Broadway – Flickr image from Stratis

See the house on the corner, at the left?  Look at the second story, at the window on the side of the house facing the camera.  Is that young Theodore Roosevelt watching Lincoln’s funeral procession?

Stratis, who posted this photo at Flickr, added the note at that window:

6 year old, Theodore Roosevelt watches Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from an upstairs window of his grandfather, Cornelius Roosevelt’s mansion on Union Square with his younger brother Elliott and a friend.  Teddy lived at 28 East 20th Street.

Is that accurate?  Is that his grandfather’s house?  I assume that it is not 28 East 20th Street, which is where he was born and the house of his father.

A timeline of TR’s life said he watched the passing funeral entourage:

  • 1865  –  Watches Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from an upstairs window of his grandfather’s house on Union Square, New York City. With him are his younger brother Elliott and a friend named Edith Kermit Carow.

Interesting intersection of history.  This would probably be the only meeting of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, though Teddy almost certainly knew Lincoln’s sole surviving son, Robert, pretty well.  Both were in Buffalo when William McKinley was assassinated; Robert Lincoln, having lived through his father’s assassination, and then been present at the assassinations of James Garfield and McKinley, declined an invitation to Roosevelt’s inauguration in 1905, not wishing to extend one of the oddest bad luck streaks ever imaginable.

Can you add details about the photo?

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Death of President William McKinley, September 14, 1901

September 15, 2009

On the Threshold, illustration from Harpers Weekly, September 14, 1901

"On the Threshold," illustration from Harper's Weekly, September 14, 1901

Teachers should be mining the “On This Day” feature at the New York Times, which usually features an historic cartoon or illustration from an antique Harper’s Weekly.  It is a favorite feature, to me.

Yesterday, it featured the illustration from Harper’s upon the death of President William McKinley, on September 14, 1901.

At the Threshold

Artist: William Allen Rogers

his post-dated cartoon was published as President William McKinley lay dying from an assassin’s bullet.  He had been shot on September 6, 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pronounced chol-gosh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  The president died on September 14.  Here, McKinley is led to the Hall of Martyrs by grief-stricken personifications of the North and South.  Between pillars topped by busts of the two previously slain presidents, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield, the angel of death prepares to place a laurel wreath of honor upon McKinley’s head.  (Images related to Garfield’s assassination also showed a reconciled North and South.)

There is much more at the Times site.

Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln, was present when McKinley was shot.  Accounts I have read but not confirmed say that Robert Lincoln had been invited to attend Ford’s Theatre with his father and mother, the night his father was shot.  As a member of President James Garfield’s cabinet, Robert Lincoln had been awaiting Garfield’s arrival at Union Station in Washington, D.C., when Garfield was shot.

And as a visitor in Buffalo, Robert Lincoln had as a matter of respect lined up to shake President William McKinley’s hand.

Astounding if true.  Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated.  Robert Lincoln was present for two of them, and close to the first assassination.  Where can we confirm or deny that story?

McKinley’s death catapulted the do-gooder, Theodore Roosevelt, into the presidency, probably to the great chagrin of corrupt Republican politicians who had hoped that by getting him nominated to the vice presidency they could get him out of New York politics.

The rest is history.


Typewriter of the moment: Theodore Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill

June 11, 2009

He held many jobs, cowboy, police commissioner, governor, military leader, president — but he regarded his profession as “writer.”

Theodore Roosevelt‘s typewriter, a Remington, from his house at Sagamore Hill, New York:

Theodore Roosevelts typewriter from his home at Sagamore Hill - Fish and Wildlife Service, National Digital Image Library

Theodore Roosevelt’s typewriter from his home at Sagamore Hill, New York – Fish and Wildlife Service photo, National Digital Image Library (public domain)

Remington typewriter used by Theodore Roosevelt at his home at Sagamore Hill, New York - US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Digital Library (public domain)

Update, March 16, 2012:  There are two versions of the same photo above, if we’re lucky.  The designator at the National Digital Library has changed at least twice, leaving this post high and dry.  There is another, slightly lower quality version of the photo above.  You’re not seeing double, you’re seeing operational redundancy.

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Typewriter of the moment: Muckraker Upton Sinclair

December 17, 2008

Without typewriter, however.*

A journalist and novelist, labeled by President Theodore Roosevelt as a “muckraker,” Upton Sinclair. The caption to the Associated Press photo said it was Sinclair working on his first movie screenplay in 1943, part of his generally forgotten life in California. In fact, several of his works were made into movies.

Upton Sinclair, Los Angeles Times

Upton Sinclair, from the Los Angeles Times

* I had difficulty getting the images to work in this post.  Odd stuff kept popping up.  Then, as a reader Michael Todd gently noted, I discovered I’d used a picture of Sinclair Lewis in place of Upton Sinclair.

In working to correct the problem, I discovered no photos of Upton Sinclar with his typewriter.  So, here we have Upton Sinclair, without typewriter.  How embarrassing.


Governors with broad foreign policy experience? Here’s a short list, Sen. Hutchison

September 14, 2008

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, joined a panel on CBS’s “Face the Nation” this morning, discussing the qualifications to be vice president of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

She said, “Four of the last presidents have been governors, and they have come in, every one of them, without an in-depth foreign policy experience.”  Hutchison suggested that Palin reads the newspapers and knows as much as the average governor about foreign policy, but doesn’t need significant knowledge in foreign affairs.

Hutchison challenged:  “Name one governor who has become president who has had in-depth foreign policy experience.”

It pains me when public officials demonstrate such a vast lack of knowledge about American history.  Because you’re from Texas, Sen. Hutchison, let me give you the facts, so you can avoid gaffes in the future.

1.  Thomas Jefferson, former governor of Virginia, assumed the presidency after having served as the American Ambassador to France, after extensive travels through Europe specifically to study government and foreign affairs, and after having served as both Secretary of State to George Washington, and vice president to John Adams.  If we ignore Jefferson’s service after his governorship, we would note that he read fluently in both Greek and Latin before he was 20, and had read extensively of the histories of Rome, Greece, France, Britain and the rest of Europe.  By the time he assumed the presidency he had added fluent French, passing Italian, and Hebrew to his catalog of languages.

Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican (the first of that party), the party that is today known as the Democratic Party.  Perhaps Sen. Hutchison is party blind.

2.  Theodore Roosevelt — you remember him, the guy with the glasses on Mt. Rushmore? — came to the vice presidency in 1901 from being governor of New York.  Prior to that he had been Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Navy, a post from which he wrote the book on naval power in the new age, for foreign affairs.  When the Spanish American War broke out, Roosevelt thought his desk job as head of the Navy too tame, so he created an elite corps of cavalrymen, recruiting almost equally from his old cowboy friends in the Dakotas and his Harvard friends, and insisted on service in the front lines.  His 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the “Rough Riders” were deployed to Cuba.  Coming under fire, they stormed San Juan Hill and pushed better-trained, veteran Spanish troops off, thereby winning the battle (Roosevelt was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action, though many years after his death).  Among the more interesting facts:  Their horses had not made it to Cuba; Roosevelt led the charge on foot.  He always was impatient.

Roosevelt’s experience came in handy.  He was the guy who pushed the Japanese and Russians to a peace treaty, ending the Russo-Japanese War, in 1906.  Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Prize in Peace for this work (he’s the only person ever to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor and been president, and the only Congressional Medal of Honor winner to win a Nobel Prize, and vice versa.  If we’re making a case that one doesn’t need foreign affairs experience to be vice president, for fairness, we should consider that vice president’s with foreign affairs experience provide great advantages to the nation, and have advanced the cause of peace, and readiness.

New York City, the major city in New York, was in 1900 one of the world’s greatest cities, a major trading center, and one of America’s largest ports (Roosevelt had been police commissioner there, earlier).  The population of the city alone was 3,437,202.  The population of the entire state was 7,268,894.  Alaska’s population today is about 670,000

3.  Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived at the White House after four years as governor of New York. Like his cousin before him, Roosevelt had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, during a period of frequent intervention in Central America and Caribbean nations.  It is reputed that FDR wrote the constitution imposed on Haiti in 1915.  In his Navy post, Roosevelt visited England and France, and made the acquaintance of Winston Churchill.  Roosevelt played a key role in the establishment of the Navy Reserve, and fought to keep the Navy from decommissioning after the end of World War I.  FDR came from a privileged family.  They made frequent trips to Europe, and by the time he was 18 FDR was conversant in both French and German.  A philatelist, his knowledge of the world’s business and trade was rather legendary.

4.  Jimmy Carter graduated high in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy, where the required curriculum includes extensive instruction in foreign affairs.  He was chosen by Adm. Hyman Rickover for the elite nuclear submarine corps.  As Georgia’s governor, Carter was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-governmental group whose intention is to create knowledge about foreign relations in the U.S. in order to aid in defense and trade, and the Trilateral Commission, a group founded on the idea that trade between the U.S., Japan and Europe can be a basis for improving international relations and trade.

5. Bill Clinton graduated from Georgetown University with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS), from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.  Phi Beta Kappa, he won a Rhodes Scholarship, designed to pick from the next generation of great leaders, and got a degree in government in his studies at University College, Oxford.  He also traveled Europe during that time.

Hutchison’s point may apply to two Republican governors who won the White House, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.  They brought other gifts, but their lack of foreign policy experience nearly led to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union in Reagan’s first term, and Bush’s lack of foreign policy knowledge probably led to the unfortunate invasion of Iraq, which has led our nation too close to the brink of national calamity.

And for good measure, let’s list this guy at #6:  Bill Richardson, the current governor of New Mexico, has a sound reputation in international relations, as a former Secretary of Energy, and former U.S. Ambassodor to the United Nations.  Among other things, Richardson talked the North Koreans into shutting down their nuclear bomb plans and operations in 1994.  When the Bush administration squirreled that deal, it was Bill Richardson again who stepped in (at the request of the North Koreans — they trust him), and got them to agree to back off the most recent bomb plans and development.  “Richardson has been recognized for negotiating the release of hostages, American servicemen, and political prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, and Cuba.”  In 14 years as a congressman representing New Mexico, Richardson “visited Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, India, North Korea, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Sudan to represent U.S. interests.”  He previously staffed the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate, and worked for Henry Kissinger’s State Department in the Nixon Administration.

Contrary to Hutchison’s claim, of the four “recent” governors to gain the White House, two (both Democrats) had foreign relations education or experience far beyond that of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, and at least three other governors brought extensive foreign relations experience with them; one other has foreign relations experience a Secretary of State might envy.

Those are the facts.

Sen. Hutchison:  Can you earmark about $200,000 for education in foreign affairs for Dallas high schools?  Perhaps you can see, now, that experience and education in foreign affairs is useful for high office.  My students will be seeking those offices sooner than we may expect.

I wouldn’t want them wandering the world thinking lack of knowledge about foreign affairs is a good thing.

Update:  Calvin Coolidge was governor of Massachusetts before being elected to the vice presidency on a ticket with Warren G. Harding.  Coolidge’s foreign relations experience could be said to be lacking.  However, Coolidge’s experience as a mayor and governor differed greatly from Palin’s:

[From Wikipedia’s entry on Coolidge] Instead of vying for another term in the state house, Coolidge returned home to his growing family and ran for mayor of Northampton when the incumbent Democrat retired. He was well-liked in the town, and defeated his challenger by a vote of 1,597 to 1,409.[29] During his first term (1910 to 1911), he increased teachers’ salaries and retired some of the city’s debt while still managing to effect a slight tax decrease.[30] He was renominated in 1911, and defeated the same opponent by a slightly larger margin.[31]

And, later:

Coolidge was unopposed for the Republican nomination for Governor of Massachusetts in 1918. He and his running mate, Channing Cox, a Boston lawyer and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, ran on the previous administration’s record: fiscal conservatism, a vague opposition to Prohibition, support for women’s suffrage, and support for American involvement in the First World War.[49] The issue of the war proved divisive, especially among Irish– and German-Americans.[50] Coolidge was elected by a margin of 16,773 votes over his opponent, Richard H. Long, in the smallest margin of victory of any of his state-wide campaigns.[51]

*   *   *   *   *   *

By the time Coolidge was inaugurated on January 1, 1919 the First World War had ended, and Coolidge pushed the legislature to give a $100 bonus to Massachusetts veterans. He also signed a bill reducing the work week for women and children from fifty-four hours to forty-eight, saying “we must humanize the industry, or the system will break down.”[65] He signed into law a budget that kept the tax rates the same, while trimming four million dollars from expenditures, thus allowing the state to retire some of its debt.[66]

Update:  Lisa has a series of interesting posts on presidents and their executive experience, at As If You Care.

“I-have-gall” (not “I got Gaul”) update:  Some clown actually compared Palin to Roosevelt in a letter to the Wall Street Journal, according to Snopes.comSnopes’s response was much kinder, and less flattering to Roosevelt, than I would have been.  WSJ left off the San Juan Hill episode, the Medal of Honor, and the Nobel Peace Prize (though he won that for his actions as president).


Teddy Roosevelt at the Minnesota State Fair

August 21, 2008

It’s state fair time!

Which state fair has the most fried foods? Which state fair has the oddest fried foods? You can make nominations in comments.

State fairs drive local economies, sometimes, and occasionally a bit of history gets made there. Certainly they are places where culture and history are on display.

Minnesota’s State Fair is so good even Teddy Roosevelt visited — it’s been an almost annual event since 1859. I’ll bet Roosevelt had a good time, though I wonder if the Fair served him a bag of their famous mini-donuts — 388,000 bags of donuts served last year (do they rival corny dogs?).

Then Vice President Theodore Roosevelt tell Americans our foreign policy should be to

Then Vice President Theodore Roosevelt tell Americans our foreign policy should be to “speak softly, and carry a big stick!” September 3, 1901. President William McKinley was shot on September 6, and died just over a week later; Roosevelt was sworn in as president on September 14.

Check out Minnesota’s State Fair with this 21-question interactive quiz by Dave Braunger at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune — see how well you know or can guess Minnesota history, and compare it to your own state fair if you’re not in Minnesota.

Corny dog, called a Pronto Pup, at the Minnesota State Fair. Pronto Pups are wan copies of Fletcher's Corny Dogs, from the Texas State Fair. Image from Travel.Garden.Eat

Corny dog, called a Pronto Pup, at the Minnesota State Fair. Pronto Pups are wan copies of Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, from the Texas State Fair. Image from Travel.Garden.Eat


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