Archive for the ‘thomas jefferson’ Tag

11/26/2022 “Our Founding Fathers”   Leave a comment

I continue to be fascinated by history. American history is my favorite especially reading stories of the Founding Fathers. I’ve gathered together a few interesting historical facts that are not commonly known about them.

  • Not until 1826 were fireworks used to celebrate the Fourth of July. Coincidentally, it was the very day that two of the founding fathers died, but their demise did not interfere with the national celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It took four days for the news of John Adams death to reach Washington and two days for the capital to learn of Thomas Jefferson’s death.
  • British ships in the English Channel fired a salute of 21 guns when word reached them that the countries erstwhile great adversary, President George Washington, had died in the States.
  • Thomas Jefferson chose not to attend ceremonies marking the death of George Washington in 1799, nor did he write a note of condolence to Washington’s widow. This enmity stemmed from the last year of Washington’s second term as the United States President, when he suspected Jefferson of being responsible for scurrilous attacks in the press on him. Jefferson denied responsibility and Washington accepted his word, but there was a chill between them thereafter.
  • Ben Franklin wanted the turkey, not the eagle, to be the United States national symbol. He considered the eagle “a bird of bad moral character” because it lives “by sharping and robbing”.

  • Thomas Jefferson was a smuggler of sorts. He went into northern Italy, in 1787, to see the machines used there for cleaning rice seed and was able to filch and bring back to the United States samples of rice that he gave to planters in Georgia and South Carolina. He also picked up information about the olive tree.
  • A former US vice president, Aaron Burr, was charged with treason for trying, it was said, to separate the western lands from the United States and establish his own rule in the early 1800s. He was acquitted, but his image remained tarnished.
  • George Washington seldom slept more than three or four consecutive hours in any day during the Revolutionary War.
  • Signing a memorial to Congress for the abolition of slavery was the last public act of Benjamin Franklin.

I have to admit that after reading the many and varied facts about the founding fathers I appreciate them even more. A group of colonists, some with education but many without, had the will and fortitude to fight for what they believed and to create this country. I wish I had the power of time travel so I can go back to the 1700’s and bring all of those gentlemen to the present day. I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t be at all happy.

WHERE ARE THE MEN OF GREAT QUALITY

10/25/2022 Economics & Apathy   2 comments

Yesterday I posted a long list of annoyances and if you noticed I never once mentioned politicians or politics. Political annoyances should not be grouped with the regular life annoyances because annoying politics and politicians is serious business. Not only does it impact our life in a number of ways it’s just another excuse for the powers that be to dip their hands into our pockets and take more of our money.

Are you as sick of this nonsense as I am? Sick of all these less than truthful politicians beating our brains out every day with more BS than any human being should be forced to listen to. It’s not just the current batch but everyone for the last 30 years who have permitted overspending without much of a thought. They’ve allowed huge government programs costing trillions of dollars to fund the numerous wars like the alleged War on Poverty (which we lost), the alleged War on Drugs (which we lost), and dozens of other alleged wars that were totally or partially unsuccessful. As an aside, hundreds and thousands of our young service men and women have been killed, wounded, or permanently damaged by PTSB. Remember this as you listen to our brave politicos sitting in their safe offices making life and death decisions for everyone else. Am I bitter? You bet your ass I am.

WE THE PEOPLE must take our share of the blame. We elected these fools over and over again because they brought home the “pork” for us locally. Know your history and read these few thoughts from our founding fathers.

“Rather go to bed supperless than rise in Debt” Benjamin Franklin, 7 July 1757

” I sincerely believe. . . and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Thomas Jefferson, 28 May 1816

IS THIS SYSTEM FIXABLE? I HAVE MY DOUBTS

08/11/2022 Odd Information   Leave a comment

I feel the need to distribute a little more useless information today. There seems to a never-ending supply which I will happily make available to as many people as possible. Some of this information was also supplied by my all-time favorite writer, Isaac Azimov.

  • The foundations of the great European cathedrals go down as far as 40 or 50 feet. In some instances, they form a mass of stone as great as that of the visible building above the ground.
  • While Columbus was seeking new worlds to the West, Italian engineers were rebuilding the Kremlin in Moscow.
  • The number of possible ways of playing just the first four movies on each side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.
  • There were more than 100 distinct ethnic groups in the old Soviet Union.
  • The Pacific Ocean fills nearly a complete hemisphere of the Earth’s surface.

  • Because of the story in Genesis that Eve had been created out of Adam’s rib, it was widely believed during the Middle Ages that men had one fewer rib than women.
  • Immediately after the end of the American Revolution, Congress abolished the United States Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps, leaving the Congress itself as the only national government organization. They feared a standing army.
  • When Thomas Jefferson became president, in 1801, 20% of the people in the United States were slaves. There were 5 million people in all.
  • It was only in 1968 – 43 years after the Scopes “monkey trial” – that the state of Tennessee abolished its anti-evolution law and accepted the doctrine of evolution.
  • “Red Tape” the rigid application of regulations and routine, resulting in the delay in getting business done, got its name from the color of the tape that was commonly used to tie official papers. The term was in use as early as 1658.

Well, for all of you trivia lovers out there you’ve just received your daily fix of totally useless information. My supply never seems to run low and more will definitely follow.

ENJOY YOUR WEEK

04/12/2022 Historical Trivia   Leave a comment

I’m a lover of history, and I’m absolutely crazy about obscure historical trivia facts. I’ve collected quite a few over the years and I’m going to begin today with what I hope will be a number of postings with more of these little tidbits. Enjoy!

  • “Take this script,” Rudyard Kipling said to the nurse who cared for his firstborn child, “and someday if you are in need of money, you may be able to sell it at a handsome price.” Years later, when the nurse was actually in want, she sold the manuscript of the first Jungle Book and lived in comfort for the rest of her life.
  • After writing the runaway bestseller Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe was bombarded with hate mail. Out of one package that she received fell the ear of a slave.
  • The author of the best-known document in the United States, and perhaps in the world, published only one book. Thomas Jefferson’s answers to a set of 23 questions about the American continent, circulated in 1780 by the French emissary François Marbois, appeared as Notes on the State of Virginia.
  • Walt Whitman was dismissed from his clerical post in the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior when the Secretary of the Interior, James Harlan, read a portion of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and deemed it “pernicious poetry”.
  • Heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney lectured on Shakespeare at Yale University.
  • The electric automobile self-starter, which was perfected in 1911 by Charles F Kettering, made it possible for women to drive without the companion previously needed for cranking the engine.
  • In the early 1860s, a New York firm offered a prize of $10,000 for a satisfactory substitute for ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls. The prize was won by an American inventor, John Wesley Hyatt, who devised for the purpose what came to be known as celluloid. It was the first synthetic plastic.
  • Somewhere out there in space, amid all of the junk, is the Hasselblad camera dropped during a spacewalk by the United States astronaut Michael Collins. It will orbit the earth indefinitely.
  • A manned rocket reaches the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of England.
  • In 1930, Ellen Church recruited seven other young nurses to work 5000 feet above the Earth. They were the first airline stewardesses, flying on Boeing’s San Francisco to Chicago route, a trip that, in good weather, took 20 hours and made 13 stops.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE HISTORICAL TRIVIA?

03/15/2022 Where’s Biden?   Leave a comment

I’ve stated on many occasions that I was done writing about politics and politicians. I’m afraid after watching the Biden administration in recent weeks I can’t remain quiet any longer or I will lose my effing mind.

As we all know the Ides of March can be a dangerous time as can be verified by Julius Caesar. In celebrating that infamous day today, I thought a short discussion on Presidents was in order. With Russia and the Ukraine battling it out and Biden and his socialist vice-president doing absolutely nothing. It made me wonder where Biden will be listed as compared to past presidents. We’ve had some dunces, some fools, and a large number of incompetents. Many American lives have been sacrificed when presidential decisions went sideways. The following information was recently commissioned by C-SPAN to answer that question definitively and the results are fascinating. They ranked each president according to a number of different factors such as public persuasion, crisis leadership, international relations, and vision while in office. Here are their top ten.

Abraham Lincoln

George Washington

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt

Dwight David Eisenhower

Harry S. Truman

Thomas Jefferson

John F. Kennedy

Ronald Reagan

Lyndon B. Johnson

Obviously, I don’t see the name Trump, Obama, Bush, or Carter listed in the top ten. After observing Biden since he took office, I would rank him around #40. He’s had a number of opportunities to make life a bit more difficult for the Russians but hasn’t done it. Either he’s an old fool or his advisors are incompetent. It seems their more concerned with party politics than international affairs. Maybe if gas reaches $6.00 a gallon someone will begin paying attention. This situation is getting out of hand and could turn dangerous at any time. Keep sitting on your hands Joe.

VOTE DEMOCRATIC AND KISS PUTIN’S ASS

11/19/2021 Presidential Trivia   2 comments

While I don’t fully respect most politicians, I do respect the office of the Presidency, regardless of party. It doesn’t change my opinion that most if not all politicians are underprepared for the responsibility of the office. Here are some facts concerning past presidents you might find interesting even if the individuals weren’t.

  • Our first president was George Washington. He is portrayed along with three other American presidents carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His birthday is the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen and was implemented by an act of Congress in 1879. He stood 6’2″ tall, weighed 200 pounds, and wore size 13 shoes. He is the only president who didn’t live in Washington during his presidency.
  • Eight presidents were born British subjects: Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J.Q. Adams, Jackson, and W. Harrison.
  • Eight presidents never attended college: Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, A. Johnson, and Cleveland.
  • The college that has the most presidents as alumni (seven in total) is Harvard: J. Adams, J.Q. Adams, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, John F. Kennedy, and George W. Bush.
  • Presidents who would be considered “Washington outsiders” (i.e., the 18 presidents who never served in Congress) are: Adams, Jefferson, Taylor, Grant, Arthur, Cleveland, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, F. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Trump, and G.W. Bush.
  • The most common religious affiliation among presidents has been Episcopalian, followed by Presbyterian.
  • The ancestry of all 46 presidents is limited to the following heritages, or some combination thereof: Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Swiss, German, and African.
  • The oldest president inaugurated was Joe Biden (age 78); the youngest was Kennedy (age 43). Theodore Roosevelt, however, was the youngest man to become president – he was 42 when he succeeded McKinley, who had been assassinated.
  • The tallest president was Abraham Lincoln at 6’4″, Madison was the shortest.
  • Fifteen presidents served as vice presidents: J. Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, Nixon, L.B. Johnson, Ford, George Bush, and Joe Biden.
  • For two years the nation was run by a president and a vice president who were not elected by the people. After VP Spiro T. Agnew resigned in 1973, President Nixon appointed Gerald Ford as vice president. Nixon resigned the following year, which left Ford as president, and Ford’s appointed, Nelson Rockefeller, as second in line.
  • James Buchanan was the only president never to marry. Five presidents remarried after the death of their first wives – two of whom, Tyler and Wilson, remarried while in the White House. Reagan was the only divorced president. Six presidents had no children. Tyler – father of 15 – had the most.
  • Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were assassinated in office.
  • Assassination attempts were made on the lives of Jackson, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush.
  • Eight presidents died in office: W. Harrison (after having served only one month), Taylor, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, F. Roosevelt, and Kennedy.
  • Presidents Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe all died on the Fourth of July; Coolidge was born on that day.
  • Kennedy and Taft are the only presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

There you have todays trivia. Can’t wait to see what odd facts Joe Biden will leave for us. For sure he won’t be a candidate for Mt. Rushmore. Hollywood has the Walk of Fame with hundreds of gold stars on their sidewalks. We should institute a Walk of Shame around Bill Clintons presidential library with gold 🚽’s instead of stars. The first three recipients could and should be Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Donald Trump. Coming up fast on the outside is Joe Biden looking for his spot. Actually I think I’ll just nominate him right now to avoid the rush later.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

10/28/2021 Our So-Called Celebrities   Leave a comment

I realize how many of you absolutely adore and idolize celebrities and some politicians. I will admit that not all of them are objectionable but as with any group of people there’s a certain percentage that give them all a bad name. I thought I’d start off first with five presidents that were arrested and convicted of crimes of one sort or another. See if you can match up the arrest with the appropriate photograph. Not as hard as you might think but if nothing else it makes them a little more human.

NAME THAT PRESIDENT

President Ulysses S. Grant was once arrested for speeding and his horse and carriage were impounded. He paid in a $20 fine and then walked back to the White House.

President Thomas Jefferson and President-To-Be James Madison were once arrested by an overeager police officer in Vermont in the spring of 1791, for carriage riding on a Sunday.

Then there’s “Tricky Dicky” Nixon of Watergate fame. The first and only president to be forced to resign from office because of his misdeeds and terrible judgment. Fortunately for him Pres. Gerald Ford officially pardoned him.

President Franklin Pierce was arrested in 1853 for running over an old lady.

Now that you’ve completed the presidential quiz, next comes some really out of control celebrities. Some of these photos are old but most are relatively current. Without cheating, name as many as you can without doing research on-line and then send me your total on a comment. I thought they were fairly easy so it shouldn’t be all that tough. It’s fun to see them without all the makeup and expensive clothes and having “regular folks” problems.

CELEBRITY MUG SHOTS

NAME YOUR FAVORITE CELEB

Nick Nolte, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Gary Bussey, Paris Hilton, Robert Downey Jr.,

Jane Fonda, Mike Tyson, Yasmine Bleeth, Macaulay Culkin, Kloe Kardashian, Heather Locklear

AMERICAN IDOLS ?

08-12-2016 Journal – #/*#! Politics!   Leave a comment

thQQFH5AW8I’ve been doing everything in my power to disassociate myself from politics during this presidential election year.  I’ve been keeping my opinions to myself except for a few comments to my better-half.  If the truth be told, I have little or no use for any political party at this point.  I’ve morphed from being an social moderate, fiscal conservative Independent to an “Anyone But Hillary” Libertarian.  Actually all of those labels are mostly BS anyway but everyone insists that everyone else have a label. If our forefathers could see us now they’d be sad, disappointed, and most certainly ashamed of what we’ve become and are still becoming.

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With that thought in mind why don’t you sit back and read some of the thoughts of the men who helped create this country. Take those thoughts from our forefathers and match them up to any of the antics of either the Bushes or Clintons.  If your an intelligent and thoughtful American you should be able to figure things out before pulling the lever for Hillary.

  • “A government of laws, and not of men.”  JOHN ADAMS 1774
  • “If the government is in the hands of a few, they will tyrannize the many, if in the hands of the many, they will tyrannize over the few.” ALEXANDER HAMILTON 1787
  • “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” THOMAS JEFFERSON 1801
  • “The aggregate happiness of the society, which is best promoted by the practice of a virtuous policy, is, or ought to be, the end of all government.” GEORGE WASHINGTON 1790

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Do  those statement in anyway describe our current political situation?  That would be a big “HELL NO”.  Lets take a moment to discuss with our forefathers the matter of government corruption.

  • “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 1738
  • “Few men have enough virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” GEORGE WASHINGTON 1799
  • “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.” THOMAS JEFFERSON 1821
  • “Where the private interests of a member of Congress are concerned in a bill of question, he is to withdraw.” THOMAS JEFFERSON 1801

I think they’ve made my point for me.  I’ll drop in one last quote from the most infamous of all politicians that perfectly describes many of out current representatives, senators, and Big Businesses.

  • “I recognize no moral law in politics. Politics is a game, in which every sort of trick is permissible, and in which the rules are constantly being changed by the players to suit themselves.” ADOLF HITLER  Mein Kampf 1924

I realize that my opinion means very little in the grand scheme of things but here it is anyway. Hillary Clinton is the epitome of what’s wrong with our government. Donald Trump may be brash, loud, and combative but he’s a better choice than anyone else I see.  We’ve had eight years of Liberal nonsense with Obama and Hillary  will be more of the same.  Trump will be a breath of fresh air in the halls of Congress that currently smells a lot like a hot and humid day in an outhouse.

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VOTE TRUMP!

02-20-2016 Odd Presidential Facts!   Leave a comment

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I decided to step away from a journal entry today and offer up some unusual tidbits of presidential trivia.  Since the political winds are once again beginning to blow I thought it might interest some of you. This information has been chosen at random and I’m not picking on any one party. To be sure, there’s enough useless information coming out of both parties to make everyone happy.  Here we go. . .

  • Edith Wilson, the wife of Woodrow Wilson, often rode a bicycle in the corridors of the White House.
  • Richard M. Nixon  once worked as a carnival barker.
  • Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird that followed him upstairs to bed every night.
  • First Lady Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, used to hang laundry in the White House East Room to dry.
  • David Rice Atchison, a state senator from Missouri (1843-1855), was President of the United States for one day.

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Who knew we had a president for just one day?  I can think of quite a few others I would have loved to have for only one day.

  • Calvin Coolidge, President from 1923 to 929, was the last President to write his own speeches.
  • President Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital.
  • Ronald Reagan received over seventy-five thousand gifts, including three hundred seventy-two belt buckles, a dog house, a six foot long pencil, and a four-square-foot portrait made out of ten thousand jelly beans.
  • When Zachary Taylor became President in 1849, he kept his horse “Old Whitey” on the front lawn of the White House.
  • Ulysses S. Grant was once arrested near the White House and fined twenty dollars for driving a team of horses too fast.

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I don’t doubt for a minute that Grant was probably under the influence of some unknown alcoholic beverage. That’s the same guy who once upon a time allegedly threw up on one of his officers .

  • The middle initial “S” in President Harry S. Truman’s name didn’t stand for anything.
  • John Tyler (1790-1862), 10th president, was unable to get a decent job after leaving office and worked at a village pound tending cows and horses.
  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), once delivered a one-hour speech in spite of being shot moments before by a would-be assassin.
  • President George H.W. Bush banned broccoli from the White House in March 1990, the California broccoli growers delivered nine tons of the vegetable to Washington.
  • President Millard Fillmore, in 1851, became the first chief executive to use a bathtub in the White House.

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Here’s a special bonus entry for JFK. He was known for a lot of questionable shenanigans but I’ll be nice and take the high road today. He was also the first President born in the twentieth century.

That should do it for today.  More to come. . .

07-03-2014 Journal Entry – 4th of July!   Leave a comment

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I’m sitting here quietly writing this blog on the 4th of July as I try to do every year.  I’m thinking about my late grandfather (born on the Fourth of July) and whose birthday we always celebrated along with the country’s.  All too often in the past I’ve fallen into the flag waving routine as many others do.  I love this country and as always I’m proud to be an American (95% of the time) even though Democrats and Liberals make 100% an unreachable goal. I can accept that because the alternative is unacceptable.

I think on this day we should all be flying the flag and celebrating our independence.  As screwed up as we seem to be at times I still wouldn’t want to be living anywhere else.  If you do, then your dumber than I imagined. I’ve traveled inside and outside the country enough to know the majority of our people don’t realize just how good they have it. Move to the Middle East, maybe try Africa, how about Indonesia, or even Europe. Count me out. We may have some issues here but compared to the rest of this miserable planet we’ve got it made. Period, end of discussion.

I decided to forego photographs and heart rendering monologues about the United States because they’ve become a bit trite over the years. And secondly no one really gives a damn about what I think anyway. I’d rather hear directly from our forefathers and a few others who seem to have understood things a lot better than most.  Listen to them…..

  • The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.  ~Woodrow Wilson
  • Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • This, then, is the state of the union:  free and restless, growing and full of hope.  So it was in the beginning.  So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.  ~Lyndon B. Johnson
  • America is much more than a geographical fact.  It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.  ~Adlai Stevenson
  • May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!  ~Daniel Webster
  • Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin
  • The winds that blow through the wide sky in these mounts, the winds that sweep from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic – have always blown on free men.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!  ~Thomas Jefferson
  • We need an America with the wisdom of experience.  But we must not let America grow old in spirit.  ~Hubert H. Humphrey
  • Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  ~Abraham Lincoln

I never thought I’d see the day when Bill Clinton was quoted on this blog because I wasn’t a big fan when he was in office and for the most part I’m still not.  My grandfather always told that “Even a blind man can find a pearl once in a while”.  Here’s Slick Willy’s one and only pearl:

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.  ~William J. Clinton

And finally a quote from my all time favorite quoter who frequently offers up a taste of good old American common sense:

“I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.”  ~Anonymous

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA & YOU TOO GRAMPS

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