Were there any Presidents to be sworn in on anything other than a bible?
John Quincy Adams and Franklin Pierce took the oath on a book of laws to represent the Constitution (not sure why they didn’t just use a copy of the Constitution), Theodore Roosevelt didn’t take the oath on anything when he was sworn in following President McKinley’s assassination, and LBJ was sworn in using a Catholic missal because they couldn’t find a Bible on Air Force One when he took the oath in Dallas before flying back to Washington after JFK’s assassination.
“Lyndon B. Johnson yelling at the pilots of a nearby plane to cut their engines so that John F. Kennedy could speak as Kennedy is seen trying to calm him down. Photograph by Richard Pipes during the 1960 presidential campaign in Amarillo, Texas.”
“We stand ready tonight, as we have always stood in our history, to test our system against any other on the field of thought and belief and the work of peace, for on that field, freedom will never lose. We have always welcomed dissent. We have never muzzled disagreement. Pick up any afternoon paper and you will see proof of that, for the truth of this Republic’s durability tells us that men worth of the Presidency must be measured by the highest rules of responsibility.
The Presidency of this Nation is no place for a timid soul or a torpid spirit. It is the one place where a petty temper and a narrow view can never reside, for the Presidency is both a legacy from the past and a profusion of hope for the future…The basic freedoms – the world that Franklin Roosevelt envisioned and that John Kennedy worked and died for – have taken on new meaning in our time. They were not fully realized in Roosevelt’s generation, nor will we fully reach them in ours. But they are a part of our heritage.
And from that heritage Americans must draw the goals and the guidance that are best suited to their own time. We are determined to preserve in the future what we have received from the past. But we are also aware that only by accepting the arduous, uncertain, and most of the time very lonely duty of interpreting and pursuing democracy according to our convictions of today – only then can we hope that our posterity will say to us: ‘They, too, guarded and handed on the Great Experiment’.”
– President Lyndon B. Johnson, Miami Beach, Florida, February 27, 1964
Black history month day 20: First black SCOTUS justice Thurgood Marshall.
Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908. Originally his name was Thoroughgood, but he shortened it to Thurgood in second grade because he disliked spelling it. His father worked as a railroad porter and his mother as a teacher; together they instilled in him an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law.
Marshall attended Lincoln University and his classmates included Langston Hughes and Cab Calloway. At first, he did not take his studies particularly seriously, getting into some trouble. But later he became the star of the debate team and that was the beginning of his political activism. In his second year of school he participated in a sit in protest against segregation at a local movie theater.
Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 decision that ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional. He was later appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President John F. Kennedy. In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court.
Today, February 15, is President’s day in the United States! To celebrate, I’ve accrued an interesting bit of information for every American president from Washington to Obama!
George Washington is the only president so far to not be affiliated with any party.
John Adams served as a lawyer for British soldiers charged in the 1775 Boston massacre, despite his own anti-British sentiments.
Thomas Jefferson spoke 6 langauges; English, Welsh, Greek, Latin, French, and Arabic.
James Madison was the shortest president ever, standing 5'4" tall.
James Monroe had the Liberian capital city of Monrovia named after him, as he helped establish the country.
John Quincy Adams was the first president to be interviewed by a female reporter, Anne Royal, who stole the president’s clothes when he went skinny dipping and refused to give them back until he answered her questions.
Andrew Jackson’s birthplace is unknown, but it’s in one of the Carolinas.
Martin Van Buren is the only president to not speak English as his first language, he actually spoke Dutch.
William Henry Harrison died a month after becoming president.
John Tyler has two living grandsons as of 2016.
James K. Polk died the youngest of any president, not counting those that were assassinated.
Zachary Taylor was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” because as a soldier, he went into battle in old farm clothes instead of a uniform.
Millard Fillmore is the only president to have never had a VP for their entire presidency.
Franklin Pierce’s wife believed God didn’t want him to become president, since their son died shortly after his election.
James Buchanan sometimes bought slaves just to set them free.
Abraham Lincoln is the only president to have held a patent, on a type of buoy.
Andrew Johnson was the only Southern Senator to stay loyal to the Union during the civil war.
Ulysses S. Grant’s real first name was Hiram.
Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use a telephone.
James A. Garfield was the last president to be born in a log cabin.
Chester A. Arthur was accused of being born in Canada during his presidency, and the allegations have persisted to this day.
Grover Cleveland was accused of having an illegitimate child, and his detractors protested by chanting “Mama, where’s my pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!”
Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, and his presidency, although 48 times as long, was just as uneventful.
William McKinley was the first president to ride in an automobile, however, this auto was an ambulance used to transport him after he was assassinated.
Theodore Roosevelt was the first American to receive a Nobel prize, for his role on ending the Russo-Japanese war.
William H. Taft kept a cow at the White House named Pauline to provide fresh milk.
Woodrow Wilson suffered from dyslexia as a child.
Warren G. Harding entered college at age 14.
Calvin Coolidge liked to wear a cowboy hat around the White House.
Herbert Hoover has a comet named after him.
Franklin Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio after falling into the Bay of Fundy while vacationing in Canada.
Harry S Truman kept a sign on his desk that said “The buck stops here” representing how he couldn’t pass on his duties to anyone else. The other side read “I’m from Missouri”, as Truman was very proud of his home state.
Dwight Eisenhower’s reputation as a war hero made him so popular, that both parties asked him to run on their ticket.
John F. Kennedy’s father encouraged him to go into politics and become the first catholic president, which he did.
Lyndon B. Johnson owned an amphibious car that he liked to surprise foreign diplomats with by offering them a ride and then driving straight into a lake.
Richard Nixon could play five musical instruments: Piano, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, and violin.
Gerald Ford is the only president to have never been elected to any executive office, he won both the vice presidency and the presidency by accident.
Jimmy Carter won a Nobel prize in 2002 for his humanitarian work.
Ronald Reagan kept a jar of jellybeans on his desk, and he would eat them whenever he was stressed. When he became president, the Jelly Belly company introduced blueberry jelly beans so the jar on Reagan’s desk could have red, white, and blue beans.
George H.W. Bush served as VP for Reagan, an ambassador to China, and head of the CIA before becoming president.
Bill Clinton originally wanted to be a jazz musician, but was inspired to enter government after meeting JFK in 1963.
George W. Bush is the first president to have run a marathon. In 1993, he completed the Houston marathon in 3 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds.
Johnson City Settlement, Johnson City, Texas. 2017.
In the mid 1860′s, the Grandfather and Great Uncle of President Lyndon B. Johnson built this settlement as a Cattle Droving headquarters. Its a really cool place to wander around if you’re in the area.
The Democrats have been sedulously rewriting history for decades. Their preferred version pretends that all the Democratic racists and segregationists left their party and became Republicans starting in the 1960s. How convenient. If it were true that the South began to turn Republican due to Lyndon Johnson’s passage of the Civil Rights Act, you would expect that the Deep South, the states most associated with racism, would have been the first to move. That’s not what happened. The first southern states to trend Republican were on the periphery: North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. (George Wallace lost these voters in his 1968 bid.) The voters who first migrated to the Republican party were suburban, prosperous New South types. The more Republican the South has become, the less racist.
All but the redoubtable Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the Southern Democrat who managed to stay Democrat for well over 40 years; despite all the mythical ship-jumping which is supposed to have occurred. All of the modern liberal Democrats who adored him, like Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama and Al Gore, must not have been told Byrd was a Grand Klegal in the KKK before he ran for the Senate as a Democrat. Byrd was a celebrated member of the Democrat party up til his death, in 2010. So it is not as if the discussion of his affiliations is somehow ancient history.
All I could accomplish would be to make a fool of myself. I don’t hold public office. I don’t have a party position. I don’t have a party platform. I don’t have any troops. The only thing more impotent than a former President is a cut dog at a screwing match.
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, when asked how involved he planned to be in the 1972 Presidential campaign.
(Pictured at top: Senator George McGovern, 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, visits with former President Lyndon B. Johnson at the LBJ Ranch near Johnson City, Texas, August 22, 1972; Bottom photo: LBJ shakes hands with Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sargent Shriver at the LBJ Ranch in Texas on August 22, 1972 with Senator McGovern and Lady Bird Johnson nearby.)
The Republican symbol is the elephant and the elephant never forgets. The Republicans remember that they have always been elected by scaring people. Their platform this year is made up of one word. And that word is fear.
President Lyndon B. Johnson, speech in Newark, New Jersey, October 7, 1966. Just as relevant 50 years later.
I’m going to get Kennedy’s tax cut out of the Senate Finance Committee, and we’re going to get this economy humming again. Then I’m going to pass Kennedy’s civil rights bill, which has been hung up too long in the Congress. And I’m going to pass it without changing a single comma or a word. After that we’ll pass legislation that allows everyone in this country to vote, with all the barriers down. And that’s not all. We’re going to get a law that says every boy and girl in this country, no matter how poor, or the color of their skin, or the region they come from, is going to be able to get all the education they can take by loan, scholarship, or grant, right from the federal government. And I aim to pass Harry Truman’s medical insurance bill that got nowhere before.
Lyndon B. Johnson, to aides Jack Valenti, Bill Moyers, and Cliff Carter, as they sat with him in his bedroom before he went to sleep at 4:00 AM on November 23, 1963 – just hours after being sworn in as President following John F. Kennedy’s assassination.