sinclair-lewis-at-134

Sinclair Lewis at 134

Writer Sinclair Lewis was born on February 7, 1885.  Lewis was the author of “Main Street,” “Babbitt,” “Arrowsmith,” and “Elmer Gantry,” among many other works.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930.  Lewis was one of three deceased laureates honored with after-dinner presentations at the dinner President and Mrs. Kennedy held for…

“the-buck-stops-right-here”

“The Buck Stops Right here”

On the evening of January 15, 1953, President Harry Truman broadcast a farewell address to the nation.  Most of the remarks summarized the events during his presidential tenure, but he also talked about how he conducted himself in office.  At one point he said, “The greatest part of the President’s job is to make decisions—big…

jfokay.-runs-for-president

J.F.Okay. Runs for President

John F. Kennedy launched his presidential candidacy fifty-nine years ago today in the Senate Caucus Room at the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.  In concluding his brief remarks, he said:  “For 18 years, I have been in the service of the United States, first as a naval officer in the Pacific during World War…

totally-happy-birthday,-al-smith

Totally happy Birthday, Al Smith

Al Smith, the New Yorker who rose from humble origins to become a successful governor and unsuccessful Democratic presidential nominee, was born on this day 145 years ago.  Smith, who quipped that his education was restricted to the Fulton Fish Market, made a run for president in 1924 and was his party’s standard bearer four…

ava-helen-pauling,-1903-1981

Ava Helen Pauling, 1903-1981

Ava Helen Pauling, the wife of Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and a noted activist in her own right, was born on this day in 1903.  In writing Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House, I came to know her and I was impressed by her…

modern-england-and-secession:-1814

Modern England and Secession: 1814

The first serious effort at secession in the United States came not from the South, but from New England.  As a result of the economic impact of the War of 1812 and the seeming stranglehold that the southern states held in the national government, the Federalists from several states met at Hartford, Connecticut, to discuss…

louis-daguerre,-images-pioneer

Louis Daguerre, Images Pioneer

 Louis Daguerre, the creator of the earliest form of photography, was born on November 18, 1787.  The French artist revolutionized the way we see the world when he perfected his process, which resulted in daguerreotypes, in the 1830s.   Over the next two decades, a mania was created as people were able to obtain, receive and…

articles-of-confederation-present,-1777

Articles of Confederation Present, 1777

There will be little fanfare but today marks the anniversary of the congressional approval of the new United States government under the Articles of Confederation in 1777. The seat of the government was then in York, Pennsylvania, and that’s where the document was drafted and approved.  It was quickly sent to the thirteen states for…

peacemakers-flock-to-paris

Peacemakers Flock to Paris

When the Great War ended on November 11, 1918, the euphoria quickly moved toward the post-war settlement.  Paris became the hub of the world as leaders and hangers-on flocked there, pressing concerns and special interests.  The Big Four, the leaders of the United States, England, France, and Italy, would have the pivotal role in drafting…