Friday, August 27, 2010
--Generally regarded as one of the more worthless Presidents, Pierce is the only sitting President not to be renominated by his own party after his first term. Afterwards, he was quoted as telling a friend, “There is nothing left to do but get drunk.”
On the bright side, he might win if you were to rank Presidents by "best hair".
--And yes, he probably was something of an alcoholic. There was even a story told that a drunken Pierce ran over an elderly woman with his carriage, though there's no evidence of that actually happening. He died at 64 of cirrhosis.
--His reputation was destroyed during the American Civil War when he declared some support for the Confederacy, and personal correspondence between Pierce and Confederate President Jefferson Davis was leaked to the press (Davis had been Pierce's Secretary of War when he was in office, and the two remained friends).
--Pierce became President partly because of the success of a book written by his college roommate, Nathaniel Hawthorne, called "The Life of Franklin Pierce", which came out a few months before the election.
--Pierce's VP, William King, died just 45 days after Pierce took office. For the rest of Pierce's term he had no acting Vice-President.
--I swear to God this is true: The Democrats' slogan in the election of 1852 was "We Polked you in 1844; we shall Pierce you in 1852!"
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
(inspired by Jack Kirby's cover to Thor #135)
DID YOU KNOW?
--Both Jackson and Truman survived assassination attempts.
In 1835 Richard Lawrence, an unemployed and deranged housepainter from England, either burst from a crowd or stepped out from hiding behind a column and aimed a pistol at Jackson, which misfired. Lawrence then pulled out a second pistol, which also misfired. It has been postulated that moisture from the humid weather contributed to the double misfiring. Lawrence was then restrained, with legend saying that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him. Others present, including Davey Crockett (really), restrained and disarmed Lawrence.
In 1950, Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate Truman at Blair House. On the street outside the residence, Torresola mortally wounded a White House policeman, Leslie Coffelt, who shot Torresola dead before expiring himself. Collazo, as a co-conspirator in a felony that turned into a homicide, was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death in 1952. Truman, who was opposed to the death penalty, later commuted his sentence to life in prison.
--A time-traveling Nancy Drew, girl detective, once enlisted the help of Jackson, Truman, and Abraham Lincoln to solve "the Case of the Haunted Showboat".
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
--To date, Reagan is the oldest man elected to the office of the presidency (at 69). He was also the first former professional actor to become President, and so far remains the only U.S. President to have gone through a divorce.
--On March 30, 1981, Reagan, along with his press secretary James Brady and two others, were shot by a would-be assassin, John Hinckley, Jr., outside of the Hilton Washington hotel. Missing Reagan's heart by less than one inch, the bullet instead pierced his left lung. He began coughing up blood in the limousine and was rushed to George Washington University Hospital, where it was determined that his lung had collapsed; he endured emergency surgery to remove the bullet. The president was released from the hospital on April 11 and recovered relatively quickly, becoming the first serving U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt.
--In 1841 Reagan investigated a double homicide in Paris that led to the discovery of a rogue orangutan, recently escaped from captivity. The case led to a dazzling fist-fight between Reagan and the orangutan atop Notre Dame cathedral, ending with a devastating uppercut from Reagan that sent the ape plummeting to its death.