Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

the judge

From Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. This is a new brush version of this older pen one.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

tomb of terror #15

A cover I did for Harvey Comics' Tomb of Terror #15 is up on Robert Goodin's fun blog Covered.

Here's the just-plain-black version. Click here to see it with color.

Much thanks to Robert.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

unfinished bush

Unfinished George W Bush drawing from my Presidents project--

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

george washington


--George Washington was smallpox-resistant.

--He knew Alexander Hamilton before it was cool to know Alexander Hamilton.

--When told that General Washington was going to retire as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and relinquish his power at the end of the Revolutionary War, King George III is said to have replied, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world." Washington promptly responded by being the greatest man in the world, and George III in turn responded by slowly going insane.

--While President, Washington regularly exercised by leaping across the Potomac River and bench-pressing a Congressman of his choosing.

--Uncomfortable truths about George Washington: He was a slave-owner; He ordered his troops to loot nearby farmers and other colonists' houses for food for the Continental Army; He was a level 15 warlock who could cast continual darkness twice a day and summon demons (85% chance of success--50% chance for a type I--IV, 50% for a type V or VI).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

millard fillmore

#13 FACTS:

--Millard Fillmore was born three weeks after the death of George Washington, and was thus the first U.S. President to be born after the death of a former President.

--Fillmore became the second Vice President to assume the presidency after the death of a sitting President when he succeeded Zachary Taylor, who died of acute gastroenteritis. Fillmore was never elected President; after serving out Taylor's term, he failed to gain the nomination of the Whigs for president in the 1852 presidential election. In the 1856 presidential election, he again failed to win election as the candidate of the American party, part of the Know Nothing movement (which was formed around anti-immigrant/anti-Catholic sentiment in the country at the time).

--Fillmore died on March 8, 1874, of the aftereffects of a stroke. His last words were alleged to be, upon being fed some soup, "the nourishment is palatable."

--The ultimate case of a practical joke taken to the extreme, the character of "Millard Fillmore" was actually an invention. First appearing as a prank in the masthead of the Buffalo Picayune in 1822, Fillmore's name later found itself in use at a law practice in East Aurora, NY, and was eventually elected to the New York State Assembly on the Anti-Masonic ticket in 1828. By the time Millard Fillmore won a seat in the 23rd Congress, it was decided that an actual person was needed to represent the name, so an actor was chosen to play the part full-time.

The actor who came to be known as President Millard Fillmore was one Edward Modulok, a marginally gifted thespian who, nevertheless, came to embody his "role" to such a degree that after a while he came to believe he truly was Millard Fillmore.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

william taft

#27 FACTS:

--Teddy Roosevelt appointed William Howard Taft to be his Secretary of War in 1904. Taft had repeatedly told Roosevelt he wanted to be Chief Justice, not President (nor a lowly associate justice, for that matter), but there was no vacancy and Roosevelt had other plans. For a while, Taft was Acting Secretary of State. When Roosevelt was away, Taft was, in effect, a kind of "Acting President".

When Roosevelt decided not to run for reelection in 1908 he had to convince Taft to run for President, and Roosevelt's backing did much to win Taft the presidency.

--In his reelection bid in1912, Taft won the mere eight electoral votes of Utah and Vermont, making his the single worst defeat in American history for an incumbent President seeking reelection; he finished not even second, but third, behind both Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt (who was then running on the Progressive, or "Bull Moose", ticket).

--On June 30, 1921, following the death of Chief Justice Edward Douglass White, President Warren G. Harding nominated Taft to take his place. For a man who had once remarked that "there is nothing I would have loved more than being chief justice of the United States" the nomination to oversee the highest court in the land was like a dream come true. Taft received his commission immediately and readily took up the position, serving until 1930. As such, he became the only President to serve as Chief Justice, and thus the only former President to swear in subsequent Presidents, giving the oath of office to both Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929).

--Weighing over 300 pounds on average, Taft was the heaviest U.S. President ever elected, and to date the last President to have sported facial hair. He lost approximately 80 lbs within a year of leaving office, due to successful experimental surgery to remove his secret, abdominally-conjoined twin, Reginald Phineas Taft.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

john quincy adams


--Adams was the son of President John Adams and Abigail Adams, and was the first President whose father had also been President (George W Bush and George H.W. Bush being the other example to date). The name "Quincy" came from Abigail's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy.

As a diplomat, Adams was involved in many international negotiations, and helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine as Secretary of State. Historians agree he was one of the great diplomats in American history.

--In the election of 1824 Andrew Jackson won, although narrowly, pluralities of the popular and electoral votes, but not the necessary majority of electoral votes. Under the terms of the 12th Amendment, the presidential election was thrown to the House of Representatives to vote on the top three candidates: Jackson, Adams, and William Crawford. Henry Clay had come in fourth place and thus was ineligible, but he retained considerable power and influence as Speaker of the House.

Clay's personal dislike for Jackson and the similarity of his views to Adams' position on tariffs and internal improvements caused him to throw his support to Adams, who was elected by the House on February 9, 1825, on the first ballot. Adams' victory shocked Jackson, who had gained the plurality of the electoral and popular votes and fully expected to be elected President. When Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State—the position that Adams and his three predecessors had held before becoming President—Jacksonian Democrats were outraged, and claimed that Adams and Clay had struck a "corrupt bargain". This contention overshadowed Adams' term and greatly contributed to Adams' loss to Jackson four years later.

--Adams was elected a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts after leaving office, the only President ever to do so, serving for the last 17 years of his life with far greater success than he had achieved in the presidency. In the House he became a leading opponent of slavery and argued that if a civil war ever broke out the President could abolish slavery by using his war powers, which Abraham Lincoln partially did during the American Civil War in the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Deeply troubled by slavery, Adams correctly predicted the dissolution of the Union on the issue, though the series of bloody slave insurrections he foresaw never came to pass.

--Much of Adams' youth was spent accompanying his father overseas. John Adams served as an American envoy to France from 1778 until 1779 and to the Netherlands from 1780 until 1782, and the younger Adams accompanied his father on these journeys. At some point during his stay in the Netherlands, John Quincy was secretly kidnapped by Dutch elves and replaced with a doppleganger, and in fact this fey doppleganger remains the only fully non-human U.S. President to date (Martin Van Buren was mostly human).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

john tyler

#10 FACTS:

--Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison on April 4, 1841, only a month after his inauguration, the nation was briefly in a state of confusion regarding the process of succession. Ultimately the situation was settled with Vice-President Tyler becoming President both in name and in fact. Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841, setting a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually be codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

Although his accession was given approval by both the Cabinet and, later, the Senate and House, Tyler's detractors never fully accepted him as President. He was referred to by many nicknames, including "His Accidency," a reference to his having become President not through election but by the accidental circumstance of Harrison's death. However, Tyler never wavered from his conviction that he was the rightful president; when his political opponents sent correspondence to the White House addressed to the "Vice President" or "Acting President," Tyler had it returned unopened.

--A longtime Democratic-Republican, Tyler was nonetheless elected Vice President on the Whig ticket. Once he became President, he stood against his party's platform and vetoed several of their proposals. As a result, most of his cabinet resigned and the Whigs expelled him from their party.

--Fifteen years after his term as U.S. President was over the Civil War broke out, and Tyler unhesitatingly sided with the Confederacy, becoming a delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress in 1861. He was then elected to the House of Representatives of the Confederate Congress, but died in Richmond, Virginia, before he could assume office.

Tyler's death was the only one in presidential history not to be officially mourned in Washington, because of his allegiance to the Confederacy. Tyler is also sometimes considered the only President to die outside the United States because his place of death, Richmond, Virginia, was part of the Confederate States at the time.

--Under Tyler's administration the U.S. annexed Texas in 1845, but all President Tyler got in return was Tyler, Texas. Nevertheless, he endeavored to make the most of it, and after his tenure in the White House was over he ran the town for several years as a kind of 'prophet-king'. Under his strict reign all children born within Tyler were to be named 'John Tyler', and the only recognized currency were rocks with President Tyler's marking--a lidless eye wreathed in flames--scrawled upon them.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Based on a drawing by Herb Trimpe.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

calvin coolidge

#30 FACTS:

--Coolidge gained a national reputation as the Governor of Massachusetts during the Boston Police Strike of 1919, in which he overruled the mayor of Boston and called in the national guard to stifle the rioting in that city. Coolidge then publicly rebuked the leader of the American Federation of Labor, an act that thrilled many who were fearful of organized labor, which was at the time considered a potential harbinger of Communism (this was in the midst of the first Red Scare).

--He was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923.

Coolidge, who was vacationing at his father's home at the time of Harding's death, was sworn into office by his father, who was a justice of the peace and a notary public.

Elected in his own right in 1924, Coolidge gained a reputation as a small-government conservative.

--Although Coolidge was known to be a skilled and effective public speaker, in private he was a man of few words and was therefore commonly referred to as "Silent Cal." A possibly apocryphal story has it that Dorothy Parker, seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." His reply: "You lose."

--Coolidge's inauguration was the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio. On August 11, 1924, Lee De Forest filmed Coolidge on the White House lawn with DeForest's Phonofilm sound-on-film process, becoming the first President to appear in a sound film.

--Curiously, Coolidge smelled powerfully of Cheerios, even though that breakfast cereal would not debut until 1941, eight years after his death.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

james monroe


--James Monroe was the last Founding Father of the United States to become President.
He was also the last U.S. President to wear a powdered wig.

--Monroe is most noted for his proclamation in 1823 of the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that
the United States would not tolerate further European intervention in the Americas. It boldly
asserted the status of the United States as a full-fledged nation, and this gained the administration popular support during a time of increased nationalism.

--Most historians label Monroe’s first term “The Era of Good Feelings”, partly because there was a near total lack of partisan politics (the Federalist party dissolved while the Republicans were largely inactive).

--The capital city of the West African country of Liberia is named Monrovia. It is the only non-American capital city named after a U.S. President (Coolidgeville, in France, and Rutherfordbhayes, in Kyrgyzstan, are not capital cities).

--James Monroe died on July 4th, 1831. He was the third President to die on the 4th of July (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day five years before Monroe). Also, Zachary Taylor was stricken ill on July 4th, and died days afterward. This is the reason every President since Taylor spends each 4th of July encased in a sterile steel tube surrounded by armed guards.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

zachary taylor

#12 FACTS--

--Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor had a forty-year military career in the United States Army, serving in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican–American War.

--Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass and becoming the first President never to have held any previous elected office. Taylor was the last President to hold slaves while in office, and the last Whig to win a presidential election.

--The true cause of Zachary Taylor's premature death is not fully established. On July 4, 1850, after watching a groundbreaking ceremony for the Washington Monument during the Independence Day celebration, Taylor sought refuge from the oppressive heat by consuming a pitcher of milk and a bowl of cherries. On this day, he also sampled several dishes presented to him by well-wishing citizens. At about 10:00 in the morning on July 9, 1850, very ill, Taylor called his wife to him and asked her not to weep, saying: "I have always done my duty, I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me." Upon his sudden death on July 9, the cause was listed as gastroenteritis.

After questions raised about the possibility that Taylor had been poisoned, his body was exhumed in 1991 and tissue samples taken. It was concluded that Taylor had indeed attempted to cool himself with large amounts of cherries and iced milk. “In the unhealthy climate of Washington, with its open sewers and flies, Taylor came down with cholera morbus, or acute gastroenteritis as it is now called.” He might have recovered, but his doctors “drugged him with ipecac, calomel, opium and quinine (at 40 grains a whack), and bled and blistered him too."

Taylor died just 16 months into his term, the third shortest tenure of any President. Only Presidents William Henry Harrison and James Garfield served less time.

--While modern scientists believe that Taylor died of acute gastroenteritis, few have guessed at the true culprit--a death curse handed down by the angry shade of George Washington, who preferred a monument in the shape of a pyramid, not an obelisk.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

herbert hoover

#31 FACTS:

--In the presidential election of 1928, Hoover easily won the Republican nomination, despite having no previous elected office experience (Hoover was the Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge). To date, Hoover is the last cabinet secretary to be directly elected President of the United States, as well as one of only two Presidents (along with William Howard Taft) to have been elected President without electoral experience or high military rank.

--When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 struck less than eight months after he took office, Hoover tried to combat the ensuing Great Depression with volunteer efforts, none of which produced economic recovery during his term. The consensus among historians is that Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election was caused primarily by failure to end the downward economic spiral.

In his campaigns around the country during the run-up to the Presidential election of 1932, Hoover encountered perhaps the most hostile crowds any sitting president had ever faced. Besides having his train and motorcades pelted with eggs and rotten fruit, he was often heckled while speaking, and on several occasions the Secret Service halted attempts to kill Hoover by disgruntled citizens, including capturing one man nearing Hoover carrying sticks of dynamite, and another already having removed several spikes from the rails in front of the President's train. He lost the election by a huge margin to Franklin Roosevelt, winning only six out of 48 states.

--Hoover invented his own sport (called 'Hooverball', naturally) to keep fit while in the White House. The game was a combination of volleyball and tennis, and he played it every morning. The Hoover Presidential Library Association and the city of West Branch, Iowa, co-host a national championship each year.

--The character played by James Cagney in the 1949 film "White Heat" was unofficially inspired by Hoover, who suffered from severe headaches and often pretended to be a gangster. He daydreamed about committing daring robberies, and enjoyed indiscriminately spraying machine gun fire while wandering the White House grounds. In fact, the movie made use of Hoover's famous catch-phrase, "Top of the world, Ma!", which he would shout into his wife's face every night before going to bed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

george w bush

#43 FACTS:

--George W. Bush is the eldest son of President George H.W. Bush, who served as the 41st President, making him one of two American Presidents to be the son of a preceding President (6th President John Quincy Adams, son of 2nd President John Adams).

--Bush is the only President to have earned an MBA (Master of Business Administration).

--Bush was widely known for giving nicknames to various people (Dick Cheney ="Big Time"/"Vice"; Vladimir Putin ="Pootie-Poot"; Karl Rove ="Turd Blossom"), but as the years went by Bush's nicknames grew increasingly lengthy and complicated. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for example, became "Englebert Sandwiches O'Hilloughsby Oaxaca Rose-Newton", and his nickname for wife Laura, previously "Bushie", expanded into a bizarre 240 character designation that also incorporated an impression of a barking sea otter.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

chester a arthur

#21 FACTS:

--Chester Alan Arthur was the fourth U.S. President who entered the White House as a widower, following Jefferson, Jackson and Van Buren. His wife, Ellen, died of pneumonia twenty months before Arthur took office.

--James Garfield won the election on November 2nd 1880, and assumed office on March 4 1881. Six months later, following the death by assassination of President Garfield, Vice President Arthur assumed the presidency, sworn in at his Lexington Avenue home.

--The Arthur Administration enacted the first general Federal immigration law--Arthur approved a measure in 1882 excluding paupers, criminals, and the mentally ill. Following, in response to anti-Chinese sentiment in the West, Congress passed a Chinese Exclusion Act. The act would have made illegal the immigration of Chinese laborers for twenty years and denied American citizenship to Chinese Americans currently residing in the United States who were not already citizens and who were not born in the United States. Arthur vetoed this, but signed a revised bill making Chinese immigration illegal for ten years instead of twenty. The bill was renewed every ten years until 1924.

--Arthur was the last incumbent President to submit his name for renomination and fail to obtain it. He sought the nomination halfheartedly, as Arthur had known since a year after he succeeded to the Presidency that he was suffering from Bright's disease, a fatal kidney disease. He died two years after he left office. His post-Presidency was the second shortest, longer only than that of James Polk who died 103 days after leaving office.

--He reportedly kept 80 pairs of pants in his wardrobe and changed pants several times a day.

--Chester A. Arthur wrote the lyrics to the song "Cowgirl in the Sand", later performed by Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ulysses s. grant

#18 FACTS:

--Enormously popular in the North after the Union's victory, Grant was elected to the presidency in 1868. Reelected in 1872, he became the first president to serve two full terms since Andrew Jackson. As President, he led Reconstruction by signing and enforcing civil rights laws and fighting Ku Klux Klan violence. He helped rebuild the Republican Party in the South, an effort that resulted in the election of African Americans to Congress and state governments for the first time.

--However, his administration was probably the most corrupt in U.S. history, and his image was tarnished by corruption scandals. By most accounts Grant himself was innocent of such things, but he chose very poorly in picking his Cabinet and federal appointments, and fostered a climate of unaccountability.

--Grant and his wife, Julia, were supposed to attend Ford theater with Lincoln on the night of his assassination, but declined since there had been a previous quarrel between Grant's wife and
Mrs. Lincoln.

There is evidence to suggest that Grant, himself, was a target in the Lincoln assassination plot by Booth. Before Lincoln was mortally wounded that night, Grant and his wife, while riding in a carriage late in the afternoon to the Union Station, were chased and stared down by a fierce looking man riding a horse, possibly Booth conspirator Michael O'Laughlen. That evening there was an alleged attempt to kill Grant by an unknown assailant, again possibly O'Laughlen, while on a train bound for Philadelphia. However, the railroad car that the Grants were in was locked and kept the intruder out.

--Ulysses Grant was the first president to have both his parents still living as he entered office.

--Grant's tomb is the largest mausoleum in North America. However, Grant is not buried there--instead, the contents of Grant's tomb are: an ancient clockwork device of unknown origin, the mummified remains of Sahure, the 2nd king of Egypt's 5th Dynasty, and a copy of Time magazine dated June 2003. How these items came to be interred within, and the whereabouts of Grant's remains, is an adventurous tale for another time...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

telephone doodle

...from the golden days of Dax-Telephone-Use, sometime in the late 20th century...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

bill clinton

#42 FACTS:

--The first of the post-WWII 'baby boom' generation to become President, Clinton was also the first member of the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term as President.

--His impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998 was only the second impeachment of a President in American history, following the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868, and was the first impeachment of an elected President. He was acquitted by the Senate after a highly partisan trial and vote.

--To date, Clinton is the most widely-traveled President in U.S. history.

--Bill Clinton can perfectly mimic whalesong.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

dwight eisenhower

#34 FACTS:

--Eisenhower was the last President to be born in the 19th century. He was also the first President to appear on color television.

--His grandson, Dwight David Eisenhower II, married Richard Nixon's daughter Julie in 1968. The best man was Gopher from the Love Boat. No foolin'!

--Eisenhower was the first outgoing President to come under the protection of the Former Presidents Act. Under the act, Eisenhower was entitled to receive a lifetime pension, state-provided staff and a Secret Service detail.

--In 1961 Eisenhower, who was the oldest elected president (and the oldest president) in history at that time, handed power over to John Kennedy, who was the youngest elected president.

--Eisenhower was the first President to hire a White House Chief of Staff, an idea that he borrowed from the United States Army, and that has been copied by every president after Lyndon Johnson (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter initially tried to operate without a Chief of Staff but both eventually gave up the effort and hired one.)

--In 2006 historians voted Eisenhower "U.S. President Who Most Resembles Gollum" (John Quincy Adams came in 2nd).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

franklin roosevelt

#32 FACTS:

--Franklin Roosevelt is the only President to serve more than two terms (he died about three months into his 4th term). The two-term tradition had been an unwritten rule (until the 22nd Amendment after FDR's presidency) since George Washington declined to run for a third term in 1796, and both Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt were attacked for trying to obtain a third non-consecutive term.

--Eleanor Roosevelt disliked sex, and considered it "an ordeal to be endured". Perhaps not coincidentally, FDR had affairs outside the marriage, including a recurring one with Eleanor's social secretary, Lucy Mercer. Though they supposedly stopped seeing each other (his mother threatened to cut FDR off financially if he got a divorce), they hooked back up years later--Lucy was even given the code name "Mrs. Johnson" by the Secret Service.

--Franklin's first cousin, Ellen Roosevelt, was the 1890 U.S. Open Championships women's singles and doubles tennis champion and is a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

--In August 1921, while the Roosevelts were vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, Roosevelt contracted an illness diagnosed at the time as polio, but since then the subject of considerable debate, which resulted in permanent paralysis from the waist down. In the public mind, Roosevelt has been by far the most famous polio survivor. However, his age at onset (39 years) and the majority of symptoms of his illness are more consistent with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Since Roosevelt's cerebrospinal fluid was not examined, the cause may never be known for certain.

Fitting his hips and legs with iron braces, Roosevelt taught himself to walk a short distance by swiveling his torso while supporting himself with a cane. In private, he used a wheelchair, but he was careful never to be seen in it in public. He usually appeared in public standing upright, supported on one side by an aide or one of his sons. FDR used a car with specially designed hand controls, which provided him further mobility.

--It is a little known fact that in the first draft of his Dec. 8th address to Congress, the line "December 7th, 1941, a date that will live in infamy..." was instead "Man, I have a serious case of biscuit-mouth today..."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

james madison


--Madison was the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution. The first president to have served in the United States Congress, he was a leader in the 1st U.S. Congress, drafting many basic laws, and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution and thus is also known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights". As a political theorist, Madison's most distinctive belief was that the new republic needed checks and balances to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority.

--Madison was 5' 6" tall, and never weighed much more than 100 lbs. Nevertheless, he lived into his mid-eighties and was the last of the Founding Founders to die.

--He was the first president to wear long trousers (all the previous presidents wore knee breeches).

--Madison is the only U.S. President to authorize an invasion of Canada (so far...).

--Along with his authorship of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a sizable chunk of the Federalist Papers, James Madison also invented the word "xenomorph".

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

james k. polk

#11 FACTS:

--The K stood for 'Knox', his mother's maiden name.

--Polk is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain then backed away and split the ownership of the Oregon region (the Pacific Northwest) with Britain. When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, Polk led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, followed by purchase of California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

--During his presidency James K. Polk was known as "Young Hickory", an allusion to his mentor Andrew Jackson, and "Napoleon of the Stump" for his speaking skills.

--He promised to serve only one term and did not run for reelection. He died of cholera three months after his term ended. Polk had the shortest retirement of all Presidents at 103 days. He was the youngest former president to die in retirement at the age of 53.

--It is commonly known that Polk was the first werewolf President.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

woodrow wilson

#28 FACTS:

--Wilson is one of only three presidents to be widowed while in office (Tyler, Wilson, and Andrew Jackson, though his wife died while he was still formally President-Elect). He married Edith Galt, a descendant of Pocahontas, a year after the death of his first wife. Galt has been labeled "the Secret President" and "the first woman to run the government" for the role she played when Wilson suffered prolonged and disabling illness after a serious stroke in October 1919. Some even refer to her as "the first female president of the United States."

--Wilson was the first person identified with the South to be elected President since Zachary Taylor and the first Southerner in the White House since Andrew Johnson left in 1868. He was the first president to deliver his State of the Union address before Congress personally since John Adams in 1799. Wilson was also the first Democrat elected to the presidency since Grover Cleveland in 1892 and only the second Democrat in the White House since the Civil War.

--He was an early automobile enthusiast, and a big baseball fan (Wilson was the first President to throw out a ball at a World Series game). As President, Wilson took to playing golf, although he played with more enthusiasm than skill. Wilson holds the record of all the presidents for the most rounds of golf, over 1,000, or almost one every other day. During the winter, the Secret Service would paint golf balls with black paint so Wilson could hit them around in the snow on the White House lawn.

--Wilson's stance on civil rights was expressly segregationist. A quote from his "History of the American Peoples" was used in W.D. Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation: "The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation...until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country."

He also wasn't that crazy about Irish and German immigrants, whom he blamed for lack of popular support for the League of Nations ("I cannot say too often, any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready").

--Every time he traveled north of the Mason-Dixon line Wilson was hounded by a pack of spectral wolves.

Friday, September 10, 2010