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January, 2013:

President Obama’s Inauguration: Jan. 21, 2013

While not as big as his first inauguration it was a very nice day. There were a few first.

He was the first two term president to take the oath of office four times. Once at his first inauguration that got goofed up by the Supreme Court Justice trying to say it from memory. So just to make sure everything was legal he said it a second time the next day. This year, January 20th was on a Sunday and he was sworn in on Sunday with just a few people present. Then he was sworn in during the ceremonies on Monday. You most likely can guess the only other president to take the oath four times.

Another first, was his mentioning guy rights. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” He was the first president to mention gay  rights in an inaugural address.

I think he was the seventh president to use two bibles. A few other small things. Mrs. Evers was the first woman and the first lay person to give the invocation. And the poet, Richard Blanco was named the inaugural poet for Barack Obama’s second inauguration. He is the first Latino and first gay inaugural poet.

It was a nice joyous occasion.


Calvin Coolidge

I just finished a book about Calvin Coolidge. (Coolidge, An American Enigma) It was a good book and for me a great book. I never learned much about Coolidge in school except that he was a very quite man. What little I heard was negative. After reading about him I think he was very intelligent. His biggest failure is that he had a hard time with social occasions when he met new people. If you set that aside he was a very smart, determined and hard working person. He was also very loyal to his family.

He served in numerous positions in the State of Massachusetts. He rose to the rank of Governor of the state and then was chosen to to be vice president. When Harding died he became president and then ran for another term and won easily. The only election he ever lost was for the School Board in Northamton. He most likely lost that because some people voted against him because he didn’t have children in the schools.

Coolidge’s opinion of being president, governor, or any administration was that the person should carry out and enact the laws. He didn’t think we always needed new laws, in fact he thought some should be taken off the books. He felt leaders need time to implement the laws that were already passed and suggest improvements if needed.

He had a strong position on the separation of the three branches of government. But most importantly he was loved by the American people. Even when he turn down running for a second full term, people wanted to draft him for the presidency. The economy was prosperous and we were at peace.

He wasn’t an inspirational president. But he was good at running the government and delegating responsibilities to his appointees.

Overall, I would rank him in the upper half of U.S. Presidents. You may wish to read his biography and form your own opinion.


Back Again

I haven’t written on my blog for a long time. I hope to start posting on a regular basis. Wish me luck.

 Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr.


The first thing I found interesting is that Woodrow Wilson was named Thomas Woodrow Wilson. He was called Tommy as a boy. He started using Woodrow when he was studying the law at the University of Virginia. The second is that he was a poor reader. He didn’t learn his “letters” until he was nine and he learned to read at twelve. This problem might have been due to his eyesight or dyslexia.

In 1883, he paid $87 for a typewriter. That was a lot of money at that time. Typewriters did not have set keyboards at that time. Also, not all typewriters had the same keyboard. Wilson typed with two fingers using the popular hunt and peck method.

All of that is interesting. Reading this book and others books about U.S. Presidents has started me thinking about how do you rate a president. What or who is a good president and why. Who is a bad president and why.

The tough part is that some presidents came in to office during troubled times and solved the problems. Others had prosperous times that they didn’t create that hurt their term in office. Some had the support of the House and Senate and could pass legislation and others had the House and Senate controlled by the other party and couldn’t do anything.

My question is what do you think makes a good president? And who during your life time has been the best president?