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2023-05-24 13:32
Historians and biographers have long explored the enigmatic mind and heart of Thomas Jefferson And their conclusion is… Some have claimed he was infuriating, evasive, elusive, c… Read More
James Monroe, The Decorator
2023-05-15 14:27
Nothing in James Monroe’s upbringing indicated his latent taste in the decorative arts. JM: Orphaned Boy James Monroe (1758-1831), Virginia born to a middle class planting fa… Read More
John Tyler: Entitlements
2023-05-09 12:22
The Whig Party was a brand new national entity in 1840. John Tyler…And Tyler Who? The Whig Party, originally formed around 1836, was an amalgam of sectional and factional differ… Read More
2023-05-01 20:32
  Nothing in his 60+ years prepared Zachary Taylor to be President.  ZT: A Brief Background Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was born to a fine old Virginia family, but the rugge… Read More
2023-04-24 14:20
Abigail Adams was never one to mince words. Mrs. A. The Outspoken Most historians concur that Abigail Smith Adams (1744-1818) was a woman far ahead of her time. Born to a Congregationa… Read More
The Death Of Jack Custis
2023-04-17 14:47
Martha Washington lost all four of her children. Martha’s Kids In 1750, eighteen year old Martha Dandridge married Daniel Parke Custis, twice her age, and one of the wealthiest p… Read More
2023-04-10 13:57
Surgeon Generals are seldom associated with mega-events. The Surgeon General More than 200 years ago, the US Army created the position of Surgeon General, the ranking doctor of pub… Read More
Grant’s Tomb: A NY Icon
2023-04-03 14:30
The Civil War could have been fought 3x over in the time it took for Grant’s Tomb to be erected. We Love New York Choosing New York City to be the site of Grant’s fin… Read More
2023-03-27 14:02
Former POTUS (and always General) Ike lived nearly a decade after his Presidency. But The General’s Health… …was not very good. He had suffered a few aches and pain… Read More
2023-03-20 14:35
This is another Julia story, told in her memoirs. Julia, The Plain Child Julia Dent (1826-1902) was the fourth of eight children (one died in infancy) born to Frederick W. Dent and El… Read More
Andrew Johnson: The Kirkwood Inaugural
2023-03-13 15:05
Andrew Johnson is one of the most unlikely US Presidents The Unlikely POTUS Beginning with Andrew Jackson in 1828, and into the 20th century, the White House was the home of some of th… Read More
The Booths: Collateral Damage
2023-03-06 13:41
Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth sullied the family name. The Booth Brothers While Junius Brutus Booth Sr., the patriarch of the illustrious acting family had long been dead… Read More
An Assassin In Utopia: A Book Review
2023-02-27 21:30
An Assassin in Utopia: The True Story of a Nineteenth-Century Sex Cult and a President’s Murder, is one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” historical episode… Read More
The First Burial Of Willie Lincoln
2023-02-06 22:23
Willie Lincoln was 11 when he died in the White House. Willie. In December, 1850, ten months after his sickly four year old brother Edward Baker Lincoln died, William Wallace Linco… Read More
Nellie Taft And The Philippine Band
2023-01-30 14:43
Helen Herron Taft’s happiest years were in the Philippines. The Manila Years In 1900 Helen Herron Taft (1861-1943), married and mother of three, traveled to Manila, where she… Read More
The Epiphany Of Edwin M. Stanton
2023-01-23 14:00
Edwin M. Stanton was a complicated and very prickly fellow.  Stanton: The Basics Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-69), was Ohio born and raised, the son of a middle class physician a… Read More
Theodore Roosevelt: Super Cop
2023-01-09 15:59
Theodore Roosevelt had a varied career, and made the most of all his opportunities The Mid-90s: At Loose Ends Still in his early-to-mid 30s, Theodore Roosevelt, aristocratic and we… Read More
FDR 1941: The Christmas Houseguest
2023-01-02 15:23
On December 6, 1941, the US was an isolationist country. That changed on December 7. The great partnership The Storm Clouds War had been looming throughout Europe for nearly a decade… Read More
Abraham Lincoln And The Christmas Turkey
2022-12-19 15:19
All the Lincolns were very fond of animals. The Lincoln Family Pets In the mid-1850s, the Lincoln Family of Springfield, IL had a dog named Fido. He was likely what people would ca… Read More
The Tea Party Tea Box
2022-11-14 14:25
A rare treasure of American history! The Boston Tea Party Eons ago when I was in the 4th grade, everybody learned the basics of the Boston Tea Party. The gist being that back in De… Read More
Selling McKinley In 1896
2022-11-07 14:54
Historians frequently point to 1896 as being the first “modern” election. Setting the Stage By 1896, the country was poised for a new century. Huge changes had occurred… Read More
Kermit Roosevelt: TR’s Troubled Son
2022-10-31 15:05
All children inherit varying traits of both parents. The Second Son Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943) was the second son of Theodore Roosevelt and his second wife, Edith Kermit Carow… Read More
Abraham Lincoln And The Prince
2022-10-24 15:12
Spoiler alert: Abraham Lincoln never met Prince Albert or Queen Victoria….but…. The Protocol of Nations In the earlier days of the country, long before “the hot… Read More
The Great White Jail
2022-10-17 14:47
“The White House is the finest prison in the world.” Harry S Truman. The White House Paradox The White House, or the Executive Mansion, is undoubtedly the finest residence… Read More
2022-10-10 14:58
Benjamin Harrison is one of those post-Civil War presidents with a beard. A Little More About Ben For the knowledgeable, Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) is generally remembered as the… Read More
Ike & Mamie ‘52: The Bathrobe Story
2022-09-05 15:35
In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the most famous man in the country – maybe the world. Ike and Mamie Ike: Non-War Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) was called Ike from boyho… Read More
2022-08-08 13:29
July 4 has been celebrated as our national birthday since 1776. The Declaration During a brutally hot summer in 1776, representatives from all thirteen American colonies gathered i… Read More
Lucretia Garfield: The 6-Month FLOTUS
2022-08-01 13:55
Poor Crete… She had so little time to make an impression. Crete Lucretia “Crete” Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918) was a well educated young woman. She was sent first to… Read More
Grant, Buckner And The Pillow Flight
2022-07-18 15:07
Gideon Pillow was first and foremost a “political” general of massive pretensions. The Stuffed Pillow Gideon Pillow (1806-78) was born and raised to a prosperous and we… Read More
John Adams: Four Months In The White House
2022-07-12 13:59
The Second President On November 1, 1800, 65-year-old President John Adams took up residence in the unfinished Executive Mansion in Washington, DC, only a few days before the quadrennial… Read More
The Lincolns: A Tale Of Two Stepmothers
2022-06-28 14:21
Among the many commonalities between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd was the sad memory of being motherless at an early age. Abraham Lincoln: Semi-orphaned at Nine Nancy Hanks Lincoln di… Read More
George Washington: Disposing Of Stuff
2022-06-20 19:27
Senior Citizen George The Retired General George Washington (who preferred his military title of “General” once retired from the Presidency) was only 67 when he died in Dec… Read More
The Tragic Death Of Bennie Pierce
2022-05-16 15:07
Benjamin Pierce was the third and last child of Franklin and Jane Pierce. The Pierce Parents When Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) married Jane Means Appleton (1806-63) in 1834, he was near… Read More
Corinne: The Long Neglected Roosevelt
2022-05-09 15:42
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson Little Sister Corinne Young Theodore Roosevelt The iconic Theodore Roosevelt was one of four siblings. The oldest of the four remarkable Roosevelts was Ann… Read More
2022-04-18 15:18
Ulysses S. Grant took command of the entire Union Army in early 1864 Hard to Believe, But… After millenniums of savage butchery, more “civilized” armies faced each o… Read More
Frances Cleveland: Saturday
2022-04-11 21:04
Frances Folsom Cleveland was only 21 when she became First Lady. The Young FLOTUS-To-Be Frances Folsom (1864-1947) was the total antithesis of her husband, sitting President Grover Cle… Read More
Martha Washington’s Speckled Apron 
2022-04-04 14:20
Mrs. Washington had a big house to manage. Mistress Custis, Mistress Washington Martha Dandridge (1731-1802) was not born to wealth per se. She was born, very much like George Washingt… Read More
Al Smith: The “3-P” Loss Of 1928
2022-03-28 20:32
Alfred E. Smith was from the “Sidewalks of New York.” Al: A Brief Run-Up Alfred Emanuel Smith (1873-1944) was born to Catholic immigrants in a rough neighborhood on NY&rsq&helli…Read More
Robert Todd Lincoln: The Legacy
2022-02-28 21:15
Robert Todd Lincoln was just 21 when his father was assassinated. The Responsibility of Robert Only hours before Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the President spent a little… Read More
Woodrow Wilson 1919: Savior Of Europe
2022-02-22 21:33
When the Great War ended in 1918, US President Wilson was a hero to the Allies. WW: Writer of Rules and Righter of Wrongs Many historians over the past century have alluded to Wood… Read More
Andrew Johnson: Owning His Cemetery
2022-02-14 15:51
Andrew and Eliza Johnson AJ: The Turbulent Soul Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) always ranks in the bottom of the POTUS class. It was not always so much what he did or did not do, but… Read More
Ellen Herndon: Mrs. Chester Alan Arthur
2022-01-17 15:42
Chester Alan Arthur was a recent widower when he was elected VP in 1880. Ellen Herndon Arthur The Private Arthurs No one was more surprised than Chester Alan Arthur when he was nomi… Read More
Thomas Jefferson: Smuggler
2022-01-03 15:56
Thomas Jefferson was a man of many talents and interests… The Agronomist Long before Monticello as we know it was built and rebuilt by “Thomas Jefferson, Architect,”… Read More
The Funeral Of Theodore Roosevelt
2021-12-27 16:59
When Theodore Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919, the world was stunned. TR Dies Not only was the world stunned at the death of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who was only… Read More
The FDRs: Home For The Holidays
2021-12-20 20:21
President and Mrs. FDR After the First War When Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt married in 1905, it was a love match. Despite differences in their personalities and natures (he was outg… Read More
Ida McKinley’s Slippers
2021-12-13 16:06
Ida McKinley was dealt some nasty woe… Poor Ida McKinley Ida Saxton McKinley (1848 – 1908) was the pretty, wealthy and privileged daughter of a well-to-do Canton, Ohio bus… Read More
The Unexpected Death Of Zachary Taylor
2021-12-06 20:59
During the past few decades, a couple of mild kerfluffles were posed by eminent scholars who suspected that POTUS Rough and Ready may have been done in! Ol’ Zach Zachary Tayl… Read More
Bess Truman: Waiting For Harry
2021-11-29 16:25
Bess and Harry Truman on their wedding day. The Old Soldier Harry Truman was 33, well past the age for a man to be a volunteer soldier, unless, of course, the country is in severe dang… Read More
Abraham Lincoln: Quibbling Thanksgiving
2021-11-22 15:51
In 1863 Thanksgiving Day had been a local or regional holiday for more than two centuries. Quibbling The Day Massachusetts has long maintained that a day of Thanksgiving was celebr… Read More
Grant, Grant, The Tanner’s Son…
2021-11-10 19:15
Held his nose and away he run… The quintessential Ulysses S. Grant Jesse Grant, Tanner Jesse Root Grant (1794-1873) was Pennsylvania-born, but migrated to southern Ohio as a… Read More
2021-11-08 16:28
An early image of Lou Henry as Mrs. Herbert Hoover The Western Woman Despite her birth and early girlhood in Iowa, Lou Henry (1874-1944) spent most of her growing-up years in Californi… Read More
Burying Mary Lincoln
2021-11-01 14:40
Everybody knows about Lincoln’s assassination and the huge funeral journey back to Springfield. But what about when Mary died? First Lady Mary Lincoln Mary Lincoln, Widow Mary… Read More
2021-10-18 14:27
Of all the programs undertaken by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, none was more personal than the National Infantile Paralysis Foundation. The quintessential PR photo for the March of Dimes… Read More
2021-10-11 15:18
A quarter century after James Monroe died, he was buried. Again. James Monroe, Virginian Like his close friends and Revolutionary companions Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Jam… Read More
Grant And Lincoln At City Point
2021-09-27 14:03
In 1864-5, City Point, VA briefly became the tenth largest city in the United States. Grant in the East On February 29, 1864, President Lincoln promoted General Ulysses S. Grant as… Read More
2021-09-13 13:27
Literally. Rich FLOTUS Julia Gardiner Tyler Julia Gardiner (1820-1869) was a wealthy New Yorker. Her father, David Lyon Gardiner owned considerable property in Long Island. Her mot… Read More
Herbert Hoover The Dam Story
2021-08-30 14:42
The Colorado River is a mighty one, taking eons to carve out the Grand Canyon. HH: The Great Engineer Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) was a true Horatio Alger story. Born to a poor farm… Read More
2021-08-23 14:08
Young Mary Todd Lincoln “Elizabeths” were imporant in Mary Lincoln’s life – and that doesn’t even include her mother Eliza and stepmother Betsey! Friends… Read More
Calvin Coolidge: Losing Grace
2021-08-16 13:53
Calvin Coolidge deeply loved his wife. Always… But… Most modern historians conclude that Coolidge was one of the most “sexist” Presidents we ever had. Bor… Read More
2021-07-26 15:31
Ulysses S. Grant was never happier than with his beloved wife and children. The Family Grant – later USG & Julia: The Long Courtship Young Ulysses S. Grant For Second L… Read More
FDR Changes His Will
2021-07-19 13:52
Franklin D. Roosevelt was well born and well pedigreed. But… President Franklin D. Roosevelt But when his seventy-something father died, FDR was still in college. His son was… Read More
2021-07-06 14:47
Spoiler alert! She didn’t do him in! The Death of Harding When President Warren G. Harding died unexpectedly in August, 1923, the country was sincerely shocked and saddened… Read More
The Three Forgotten FIRST LADIES
2021-06-28 13:55
The incomparable Dolley Madison Following Dolley Madison, there was a big gap in the role of the First Lady Elizabeth Monroe was a reclusive woman by nature, and her grown daughter wa… Read More
Mary Lincoln And The Seed Pearls
2021-06-22 14:35
No question abut it, Mary Lincoln liked nice stuff! The Well-Born Miss Todd Miss Mary Todd (1818-1882) was born into what might be called Lexington, Kentucky aristocracy. At birth… Read More
George Washington Revered And Reviled
2021-06-14 14:48
Harry Truman probably said it best. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” The Thick Hide It is a part of human nature to be sensitive to criticis… Read More
2021-05-24 15:22
Abraham Lincoln “It is hard, hard to have him die.” Man of Sadness Most historians agree that Abraham Lincoln, when he wasn’t laughing and telling droll stories, w… Read More
William McKinley: The Best Career Move
2021-04-26 14:52
Major William McKinley At the suggestion of General Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley decided to study law. The Hard-Knocks Youth of William McKinley Born in Niles, raised in th… Read More
The Third Act Of Millard Fillmore
2021-04-19 14:25
The First Act being his youth and political rise, the Second Act being his Presidency… Millard Fillmore: Lame Duck President Millard Fillmore Millard Fillmore (1800-74) h… Read More
John Quincy Adams And Mary Frazier
2021-04-05 14:24
At eighteen, John Quincy Adams returned to Massachusetts after eight years in Europe. Young Man JQ: His Harvard education suited him well. Classes were small and elite. Only the be… Read More
2021-03-29 14:31
New York can boast being home to ELEVEN Vice Presidents! The Old Guys…  In the early days of our country, a geopolitical balance between the President and Vice President wa… Read More

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