This button from 1940, supporting the Republican presidential candidate, Wendell Willkie, is the oldest button in Rabbi [Peter H.] Schweitzer’s collection. He suggested that, with it’s Hebrew-inflected font, it may have been the first button designed to appeal specifically to Jewish voters.
Photo: The National Museum of American Jewish History
Source: People of the Button, NYTimes.com
Here are all the articles you could ever want on the history of the presidential turkey pardon. Until next year!
Theodore Roosevelt reading aboard the Imperator, returning from Europe, 1914
Roosevelt was a lifelong prodigious reader. In her new book, The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about William Howard Taft’s amazement at Roosevelt’s ability to find time to read: “He always carried a book with him to the Executive Office, and though there were but few intervals during the business hours, he made the most of them in his reading,” Taft said. Charles Washburn, a classmate of Roosevelt’s from Harvard, remembered, “If he were reading, the house might fall about his head, he could not be diverted.”
Roosevelt himself wrote to his parents during his freshman year at college: “My library has been the greatest possible pleasure to me, as whenever I have any spare time I can immediately take up a book.”
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (Flickr)
Stupid sexy Taft …
A few months ago I drew a sexy George Washington. My friend liked it so much I decided to draw her a sexy Taft today.
Hey! Look who was an Al Smith fan.
Hot off the New York Yankees’ World Series win in 1928, Babe Ruth supported Al Smith's unsuccessful presidential bid, even posing for the top photo with a very Smith-like cigar and bowler.
But according to Joseph Cummins, in Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises in U.S. Presidential Campaigns, maybe not the best spokesperson:
He would sometimes appear in his undershirt, holding a mug of beer in one hand and a spare rib in the other. Worse, if he met with any dissent while praising Smith, he would snarl, “If that’s the way you feel, the hell with you!” and stagger back inside.In the bottom photo, in presumably happier times, Babe and Smith are playing a round of golf at the Miami Biltmore Hotel & Country Club in Coral Gables, Florida on January 17, 1930.
Postcard from Heritage Auctions
Golfing photo from the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory - Romer, G. W.(Gleason Waite)
President Richard Nixon’s “enemies list" of political opponents became public knowledge during the Watergate hearings. Nixon Counsel and soon-to-be-convicted-felon John Dean said the purpose was to figure out “how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”
There were 20 names in the original 1971 memo, compiled by White House special counsel Charles Colson, but a larger list was later developed, naming everyone from senators to journalists to celebrities to … well, it was a long list, let’s just say.
Soon, appearing on the list became a badge of honor for those named. And for those not on the list? “I would almost have preferred a vindictive tax audit to that kind of crippling exclusion,” said Hunter S. Thompson, in The Great Shark Hunt.