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a US presidential slave ownership reference table

Which US presidents owned slaves? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Dec 30, 2013 - 82 comments

Run, Hercules, Run!

"He was one of the first great chefs of Philadelphia - in fact, of the young nation. The chief cook in President George Washington's home in 1790 had only one name: Hercules." [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Feb 22, 2010 - 20 comments

Happy Birthday, Jimmy Madison!

James Madison is more responsible than any other single American for one of the nation's greatest characteristics -- religious freedom.
posted by VicNebulous on Mar 16, 2009 - 14 comments

"I slept most of that Sunday."

David Rice Atchison is claimed by some to have been President for one day, Sunday, March 4, 1849, since the incoming president, Zachary Taylor, was a religious man who refused to take the Oath of Office on the Sabbath. Even the inscribers of his gravestone thought so. The truth, however, is somewhat more subtle.
posted by starkeffect on Aug 9, 2006 - 11 comments

Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate

Beyond the Playing Field: Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Jan 16, 2006 - 12 comments

"To attract today's generation, glass boxes and yellow labels may not be enough".

"Calling it a museum is really a misnomer". The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum opens today in Springfield, Ill., with a silicone Lincoln posing in the rotunda and Tim Russert introducing mock TV attack ads from the campaign of 1860. In the Union Theater, an abolitionist roars "Lincoln was no friend of the black man" as hologram cannons boom to signal the start of the Civil War. Strobe lights flash; the plush seats jerk and rumble like a ride at Universal Studios. When Atlanta burns, the air feels hot. This is history, Hollywood style: A $90-million look at Honest Abe's life and times — with special effects created by the "Jurassic Park" and "Terminator 3" team of Stan Winston Studios (link with sound).
posted by matteo on Apr 16, 2005 - 14 comments

It's the IQ, stupid

"Innate intelligence has to do with capability and ignorance to do with variables such as educational opportunity and personal diligence. But the conundrum remains. Is intellect important in presidents? If Americans can't solve the question definitively in the matter of John Kerry and George Bush, we damn sure ought to make an educated guess."
posted by acrobat on Aug 27, 2004 - 30 comments

Four Years at a Time

"The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment." - James D. St. Clair, arguing before the Supreme Court in 1974.

The court didn't agree, returning an 8-0 decision and as a result, thirty years ago today Richard Nixon announced his resignation. The next day at 11:35AM it became official and Gerald Ford, the first unelected Vice-President in history was sworn in under the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution as the 38th President of the United States.

But what if Nixon had chosen to respond differently? What if he had vowed not to resign? Article II of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. Could the Supreme Court really have forced Nixon to comply with their order? What if the President had viewed the Court's order as an attempted coup d'etat?
posted by snarfodox on Aug 8, 2004 - 17 comments

The Suicide’s Soliloquy

The Suicide’s Soliloquy August 25, 1838, the Sangamo Journal, a Whig newspaper in Springfield, Illinois, carried an unsigned poem, thirty-six lines long. It stands out for two reasons: first, its subject is suicide; second, its author was most likely a twenty-nine-year-old politician and lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin relates how historians regard a broken off engagement to Mary Todd as the trigger to his famous depression, but it was his perceived failure as politician, she maintains, that fed Lincoln's "black dog". (For his depression, Lincoln probably took "blue mass", a drug prescribed to treat "hypochondriasis," a vague term that included melancholia). Lincoln's medical history file is here
posted by matteo on Jun 7, 2004 - 12 comments

bush in 30 seconds

bush in 30 seconds the finalists are in ... i wish bradley had given it a shot. [ quicktime required ]
posted by specialk420 on Jan 5, 2004 - 39 comments

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

Lies and the Lying Presidents Who Tell Them. The Washington Monthly publishes its "mendacity index" of the last four U.S. presidents, ranking their overall history (and severity) of lying. TWM's site also lets you rate them yourself, just in case ranking the 20 worst Americans got boring.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 27, 2003 - 44 comments

Big Head George and the Presidents

"Virginia Attraction to Put its Heads Together." Like a bizarre hybrid of Easter Island and Mt. Rushmore, the future Presidents Park in Williamsburg, VA, will feature 43 house-sized busts of the presidents of the United States, allowing you to get very, uh, close to history [scroll down a bit]. Hopefully this will be as glorious as that other monument to the presidents in South Dakota; you know, this one.
posted by arco on May 22, 2003 - 3 comments

Data Archives from the American Presidency Project

Data Archives from the American Presidency Project Fascinating statistical data about a variety of subjects, and not just trivia either. Includes data, for example, about Congressional concurrence with the President, number of Presidential vetos, number of first-year requests, etc. Good information for acquiring an overall understanding of our current political situation.
posted by oissubke on Nov 6, 2002 - 6 comments

A few political links today.
Arthur, Tyler, and Polk were interesting men, but mediocre Presidents. Learn about them by spending a few minutes in the smallish Hall of Forgotten Presidents.
William F. Maton's Solon Law Archive Mirror is a neat resource, especially for those interesting in the Canadian constitution. Every major and minor constitutional act is up there.
The ZDNet UK Random Political Manifesto Generator is a funny little script. 'Friends, Britain stands poised on the threshold of a new era. The future holds great promise but who will reap the benefits? Make sure you're not left out by voting for us.'
posted by tdecius on Nov 1, 1999 - 0 comments

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