It’s Presidents’ Day here in the United States and I meant to write some sort of listicle along the lines of odd facts you might not know about the 43 men who’ve held the office.
Something along the lines of James Madison being 5’4” (1.63m) and about 100 pounds (45.4k); that Andrew Jackson took part in about 100 duels; that James Buchanan bought slaves in Washington, DC and released them in Pennsylvania; that Abraham Lincoln’s in the Wrestling Hall of Fame with more or less one loss in 300 bouts; or that Bushu-suru, a Japanese word coined after George Bush the elder puked on the Japanese Prime Minister, means “to do the Bush thing,” that is, to vomit publicly.
Something along those lines.
But Lyndon Johnson and his johnson kept popping up. Seems the man had a thing for his thing and called it “Jumbo.” From 2015 it’s pretty much impossible to think how hint of such behavior would play out across our media.
But Johnson found it difficult to sustain his rationality in dealing with war critics. During a private conversation with some reporters who pressed him to explain why we were in Vietnam, Johnson lost his patience. Accoring to Arthur Goldberg, “LBJ unzipped his fly, drew out his substantial organ, and declared, ‘This is why!’”
So, no listicle today. But I do hope you had a happy Presidents’ Day. — Michael
Image — Screenshot from Lyndon B. Johnson: The American Presidents Series, by Charles Peters, via Google Books.