Archive for the ‘White House Portrait’ Tag

Portraits: William McKinley   3 comments

1900 reelection poster celebrates McKinley standing tall on the gold standard with support from soldiers, sailors, businessmen, factory workers and professionals.

1900 reelection poster celebrates McKinley standing tall on the gold standard with support from soldiers, sailors, businessmen, factory workers and professionals.

William McKinley (1843 – 1901)

The 25th President of the United States, 1897 – 1901

AKA: the Napoleon of Protection

From: Ohio

College: Allegheny College, Albany Law School

Married to: Ida Saxton

Children: Katherine, Ida

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: postal clerk, teacher, militiaman, Major in the Union Army, lawyer, prosecuting attorney, US Congressman, Governor,

In His Words:  “Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of earth.”

“War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.”

“Illiteracy must be banished from the land if we shall attain that high destiny as the foremost of the enlightened nations of the world which, under Providence, we ought to achieve.”

“We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is manifest destiny.”

“Without competition we would be clinging to the clumsy antiquated processes of farming and manufacture and the methods of business of long ago, and the twentieth would be no further advanced than the eighteenth century.”

Not true: Some would have you believe that McKinley lied in order for us to attack Cuba, launching the Spanish American War.  However, there simply is no persuasive proof that this is true.

It’s certainly true that McKinley inherited a volatile situation with Spain.  The repressive rule of Spain had led Cuba into open revolt.  Some Americans were fighting alongside the Cubans after Spain put 300,000 Cubans into internment camps.  Americans with Cuban investments pushed the government for action, and eventually McKinley sent the battleship Maine into Havana’s harbor.  And then, on February 15, 1898, the ship blew up, killing 266 US sailors. Americans rallied around the flag, and the US Congress approved McKinley’s request for $50,000,000 in defense spending.  War became inevitable.

But why did the ship blow up?  We’ll never really know.  Certainly in 1898, there were no scientific facts, there was only the actual event of American deaths while trying to quell an armed revolt just 90 miles from our shore.

The initial US Navy investigation blamed a mine that exploded, igniting the ship’s powder magazines.  In 1974, Admiral Rickover had his staff look at the historical records, and they decided there was an internal explosion.  National Geographic conducted another study in 1999 using computer modeling, and they concluded no definitive cause could be proved.  So what happened?  We don’t know.  Did McKinley lie to start a war?  No, but he did react to the ship’s sinking, and took the country into the 100-day Spanish American War

True: Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico all became part of the United States during the McKinley administrations. Cuba and the Philippines were also won in the Spanish American War, but granted independence soon after.

McKinley’s picture is on the $500 bill.

He was the last President to have served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  He enlisted as a private, but ended as a brevet major.

His term as President was a prosperous one for the country.

The Official Portrait: August Benziger painted the official White House Portrait of McKinley.  The President sat for the painting for several mornings at 8am, eventually taking to dictating his correspondence while Benziger sketched away.  Over the course of several sittings, the painter experienced the personality of the President, which came through in the final work. William McKinley, Presidential Portrait

William McKinley


The Spanish American War

Portraits: James Polk   Leave a comment

James Knox Polk (1795 – 1849)

Polk is the first President with an extant photograph.

Polk is the first President with an extant photograph.

The 11th President of the United States, 1845 – 1849

AKA: Napoleon of the Stump, Young Hickory

From: North Carolina, Tennessee

College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Married to: Sarah Childress

Children: None

Party: Democratic

Previous Jobs: Planter, Tennessee State Senator, lawyer, US Representative, Speaker of the House, Governor of Tennessee

In His Words:  “It becomes us, in humility, to make our devout acknowledgments to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, for the inestimable civil and religious blessings with which we are favored.”

“Thank God, under our Constitution there was no connection between church and state.”

“With me it is emphatically true that the presidency is ‘no bed of roses.'”

“I am heartily rejoiced that my term is so near its close. I will soon cease to be a servant and will become a sovereign.”

“I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you.” (his last words)

Not true: Or perhaps it is true that Polk lied us into the Mexican War (again, we should all believe that history does repeat itself!).  If he lied.  See?  It’s just like what happened with the Iraqi War!  But back to 1845.

Polk was determined to obtain California from Mexico, extending the US borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  When the Mexicans turned down $15 million, Polk ordered Zachary Taylor to occupy an area claimed by Mexico — and the US — near the Texas border.  After the Mexicans attacked, Polk asked Congress for a declaration of war because the Mexicans had “spilled American blood on American soil.”  Opposition parties strongly doubted Polk’s characterization of the facts.  Abraham Lincoln specifically doubted Polk’s veracity on the issue.

Congress approved the declaration of war.  Just like in 2003 — if you believe the Republican President lied then, and the Democratic President lied in 1846.

True: Polk was in poor health growing up.  When his pain became intolerable, he had an operation to remove urinary stones.  Only brandy was used as an anesthetic, but the surgery was successful.  Unfortunately, it may have left him sterile; he did not have children.

Though “Hail To The Chief” was first used to honor George Washington in 1815 at the close of the War of 1812, it became a tradition with the entrance of President Polk 30 years later. Due to his small size (he was 5′-8″), his wife was afraid he might not be noticed when he entered a room.  Therefore, the band was always requested to play “Hail To The Chief,” and with a great flourish of drums, a path was cleared for President Polk to enter the room.

Polk is the only President who also served as Speaker of the House.

Polk believed that Federal money should not be spent on internal improvements like roads and canals.

Though an efficient and competent president and deft in his handling of Congress, he was exhausted by his efforts and did not seek reelection; he died three months after leaving office.

The Official Portrait: 1858 portrait was by George Healy.  He painted more portraits, and of more eminent people, than any other painter of his day.  He also painted the official White House portrait of Millard Fillmore.James K Polk, Official Presidential Portrait

James Polk signature

Portraits: James Madison   2 comments

James Madison (1751 – 1836)James Madison

The 4th President of the United States, 1809 – 1817

AKA: Little Jemmy, His Little Majesty

From: Virginia

College: Princeton University, class of 1771

Married to: Dolley Todd

Children: John (stepson)

Party: Democratic-Republican

Previous Jobs: Virginia state legislator, plantation owner, US Representative, Secretary of State,

In His Words:  “In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

“Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”

“The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”

Not true: On page 120 of David Barton’s book The Myth of Separation, Barton quotes James Madison as saying:

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments.”

In 1994 this quote was cited by Rush Limbaugh, which of course prompted cries that Limbaugh was wrong.  And he was … but only because he was quoting Barton’s book, that was wrong.  Responding to the controversy, the editors of The Papers of James Madison, John Stagg and David Mattern, cited their previous research on the quote: “We did not find anything in our files remotely like the sentiment expressed in the extract you sent us. In addition, the idea is inconsistent with everything we know about Madison’s views on religion and government, views which he expressed time and time again in public and in private.”

True: At only 5′ 4″, he is the shortest person to serve as president.

Best known as “The Father of the Constitution,” Madison is considered the most influential contributor to the US Constitution.  He worked vigorously to see it ratified in his own Virginia and throughout the US.

Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay collaborated to write the Federalist Papers, which were 85 newspaper articles published in New York that explained how the proposed Constitution would work.  These articles were also published in book form and became the road map for the supporters of the Constitution at each state’s ratifying convention.  Clinton Rossiter called the Federalist Papers “the most important work in political science that ever has been written, or is likely ever to be written, in the United States.”

In 1776, he was elected to the Virginia convention that resolved for independence.  He specifically worked to strengthen the clause on religious freedom to proclaim “liberty of conscience for all,” which is a very liberal view.  It certainly does not advocate for a view that is centered on the Ten Commandments.

The Official Portrait: John Vanderlyn was commissioned many famous Americans, including George Washington (for the US House), Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, John C Calhoun and others.  He painted battles and city panoramas, but his commissions barely supported him, as he worked very slowly.  His 1842 commission by Congress to paint The Landing of Columbus produced one of his most famous works, which was later used on five-dollar banknotes and a 2 cent stamp in 1893.

“The portrait of James Madison was commissioned by James Monroe. The face is set above a high-collared black coat between a freely painted cravat and the simple powdered hairstyle favored by Madison.” (extracted from Kloss, William, et al. Art in the White House: A Nation’s Pride. Washington, D.C.: The White House Historical Association, 2008.)

James Madison, Presidential Portrait

James Madison signature

Portraits: Gerald R Ford   Leave a comment

President Ford, first official photo

Gerald R Ford (1913 – 2006)

The 38th President of the United States, 1974 – 1977

AKA: Leslie Lynch King, Jr (his birth name), Jerry, Mr. Nice Guy

From: Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan

College: University of Michigan (class of 1935), Yale Law School (class of 1941)

Betty Ford

Ford’s marriage to Betty was delayed until after his first election to the House, as he was not sure how the voters would feel about his marrying a divorced ex-dancer.

Married to: Elizabeth Bloomer Warren

Children: Michael Gerard, John Gardner, Steven Meigs, Susan Elizabeth

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: waiter, dishwasher, boxing & football coach, lawyer, US Navy (Lieutenant Commander), US Representative, Vice President

In His Words:

Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, on Right

Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, on Right

“I believe in friendly compromise. I said over in the Senate hearings that truth is the glue that holds government together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.”

“If you have not chosen me by secret ballot, neither have I gained office by any secret promises… I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman — my dear wife — as I begin this very difficult job.”

“All my children have spoken for themselves since they first learned to speak, and not always with my advance approval, and I expect that to continue in the future.”

“I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers.”

“It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Kinstler painted Ford ten times.  "He wanted me to keep trying," he said.

Kinstler painted Ford ten times. “He wanted me to keep trying,” he said.

“The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?”

“I gave a speech in Omaha. After the speech I went to a reception elsewhere in town. A sweet old lady came up to me, put her gloved hand in mine, and said, ‘I hear you spoke here tonight.’ ‘Oh, it was nothing,’ I replied modestly. ‘Yes,’ the little old lady nodded, ‘that’s what I heard.'”

Not true: On September 8, 1974, Ford gave President Nixon a full pardon for any crimes he committed against the United States while President.  This was extremely controversial.  Critics claimed the pardon must have been some sort of corrupt bargain that had been struck between the two men before Ford was nominated as Vice President. All parties denied that there had been such a deal.  The New York Times called it “a profoundly unwise, divisive and unjust act.”

Ford testified before Congress about the pardon; he was the first sitting President to do so since Abraham Lincoln.

In 2001, Senator Ted Kennedy said that he had opposed the pardon at the time, but in time he had come to the belief that history had proved that Ford had made the correct decision.

True: Ford is the only President who also earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

A star football player at the University of Michigan, Ford helped lead the team to two undefeated seasons and national championships.  Ford became the only future President to tackle a future Heisman Trophy winner in 1934 when he tackled Jay Berwanger, who won the award in 1935.

President Johnson appointed Ford to the Warren Commission, who investigated the assassination of President Kennedy. He was an outspoken proponent of the single-assassin theory.

Ford was the first Vice President confirmed to office under the procedures outlined in the 25th Amendment.  After Agnew’s resignation, Nixon had sought advice from senior Congressional leaders about whom he should choose as a replacement.  House Speaker Carl Albert said, “We gave Nixon no choice but Ford.”

The Official Portrait: Among Everett Raymond Kinstler’s more than 1200 portraits are such well-known personalities as Tony Bennett, Carol Burnett, James Cagney, Betty Ford, Gene Hackman, Katharine Hepburn, Lady Bird Johnson, Paul Newman, Peter O’Toole, Gregory Peck, and John Wayne. Others include authors Arthur Miller, Ayn Rand, Tennessee Williams, and Tom Wolfe; Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Harry Blackmun; business and government leaders such as John D. Rockefeller lll, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 6 U.S. Governors, four US Secretaries of State, and the presidents of universities and colleges including Brown, Harvard, Oklahoma, Princeton, Smith, Wellesley, Williams, and Yale.

Kinstler has painted more than 50 cabinet officers, more than any artist in the country’s history. Seven Presidents — Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — have posed for him. His portraits of Ford and Reagan are the official White House portraits.

Gerald Ford, Presidential Portrait

Gerald R Ford Signature

Portraits: Chester Arthur   Leave a comment

This 1881 painting is currently in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

The 21st President of the United States, 1881 – 1885

AKA: Chet, Gentleman Boss, Prince Arthur, The Dude President, Walrus

From: Vermont, New York

College: Union College

Married to: Ellen Herndon

Children: William, Chester, Ellen

Party: Whig, Republican

Previous Jobs: teacher, principal, lawyer,

In His Words:  “I trust the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized people, all international differences shall be determined without resort to arms by the benignant processes of civilization.”

“The office of the Vice-President is a greater honor than I ever dreamed of attaining.”

“Men may die, but the fabric of our free institutions remains unshaken.” – said upon the death of President Garfield.

“I love the autumn.  The crispness in the air, the changing of the leaves, and the changing of my wardrobe to winter-weight wools.”

“Madam, I may be President of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damn business.”

Not true: Arthur’s father was born in Ireland, and he moved frequently with his young family.  That led to Chester Arthur’s political opponents starting a rumor that he was foreign born and not eligible to be Vice President in 1880.  The rumors first swirled that he was born in Ireland, and then in Canada … but neither rumor took hold.  Isn’t this all of the proof we need to see that history does repeat itself?

True: Arthur owned at least 80 pairs of pants, which may not be a lot by today’s presidential standards, it was quite the extravagance back then.

His nomination as Vice President was a compromise.  Republicans were fighting between the Stalwarts and the Half-Breeds, with Garfield’s nomination only happening after 36 ballots.  Arthur was the 2nd choice for Vice President.

He refused the duties of the office of President while President Garfield was incapacitated and unable to perform those duties.  The nation was rudderless during the two months of Garfield’s decline.

His nomination was secured due to the sentiment that he would not upset the patronage system that prevailed in the Washington of his day.  In the end, however, he did institute reforms, and his administration was not marred by the scandals that tarred so many of this era.

The Official Portrait: Daniel Huntington painted the official portrait of President Arthur in 1885.  It would prove to be his last significant painting.

Portraits: Franklin Pierce   Leave a comment

Franklin Pierce (1804 – 1869)

The 14th President of the United States, 1853 – 1857

AKA: Young Hickory of the Granite Hills, Handsome Frank (proof that most never saw him!)

From: New Hampshire

College: Bowdoin College, Northampton Law School

Married to: Jane Appleton

Children: Franklin, Frank Robert, Benjamin

Party: Democrat

Previous Jobs: Lawyer, state representative, US Representative, US Senator

In His Words:  “You have summoned me in my weakness. You must sustain me by your strength.”

“Do we not all know that the cause of our casualties is the vicious intermeddling of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the constitutional rights of the Southern States, cooperating with the discontents of the people of those states? Do we not know that the disregard of the Constitution, and of the security that it affords to the rights of States and of individuals, has been the cause of the calamity which our country is called to undergo? And now, war! war, in its direst shape — war, such as it makes the blood run cold to read of in the history of other nations and of other times — war, on a scale of a million of men in arms — war, horrid as that of barbaric ages, rages in several of the States of the Union, as its more immediate field, and casts the lurid shadow of its death and lamentation athwart the whole expanse, and into every nook and corner of our vast domain.”

“Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.”

Not true: Pierce was branded a coward by some after he passed out and was carried from the battlefield at the Battle of Churubusco, part of the Mexican American War.  Here’s what happened:

In 1847, Pierce was serving in the US Army, and was promoted to Brigadier General.  He took command of the army marching on Mexico City.  During the Battle of Contreras, he was injured when his horse stepped into a crevice, breaking its leg and pinning Pierce underneath.  Contemporary accounts say he was seriously injured, including a sprained knee.

He returned to the battlefield the next day, but had to be tied into the saddle.  His pain proved to be so great, however, that he passed out and had to be carried from the field.  His political opponents branded him a coward.  However, in his memoirs, Ulysses S Grant (who was not a political ally of Pierce’s) said that the negative description was “unfair and unjust.”  He further stated that Pierce was “a gentleman and a man of courage.”

Pierce returned to command and led his brigade in its capture of Mexico City.

True:  Pierce saw much tragedy in his life.  For example, all 3 of his sons died before he was inaugurated as President.

Franklin Pierce was the first President to have a Christmas tree in the White House.  He was also the first to install a bathtub in the White House, which was somewhat controversial, as many people of the time thought taking baths was not healthy and would make you sick.

Pierce gave his 3,319-word inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes.

During his administration, bloodshed over the issue of slavery followed the passage of Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and re-opened the question of slavery in the West.  Pierce worked with Senator Stephen A Douglas, who was advocating building a railroad to the west from Chicago, while simultaneously asserting that it was each state’s right to decide the question of slavery in their territory.  Part of that effort resulted in the purchase of what is now the southern part of Arizona and New Mexico for $10,000,000 from Mexico.

Pierce was the only elected President who sought but did not win his party’s nomination for a second term.

The Official Portrait: George Healy painted the official White House portrait of Franklin Pierce in 1858 after an earlier sitting in 1853.  Healy painted most of the presidents in the mid-19th century.

Portraits: Calvin Coolidge   8 comments

Calvin Coolidge (John Calvin Coolidge, Jr, 1872 – 1933)

The 30th President of the United States, 1923 – 1929

AKA: Cautious Cal, Cool Cal, Silent Cal

From: Vermont, Massachusetts

College: Amherst College

Married to: Grace Anna Goodhue

Children: John and Calvin, Jr

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: Lawyer, city councilman, city solicitor, clerk of courts, state representative, mayor, state senator, lieutenant governor, governor, vice president

In His Words:  “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.”

“There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.”

“The chief business of the American people is business.”

“What we need is not more Federal government, but better local government.”

“I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm.”

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

“If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it.”

Not true: “Silent Cal” gave 529 press conferences, more than any other President before or since. (from Greenberg, David (2006). Calvin Coolidge. The American Presidents Series.)

True: Coolidge’s first Presidential speech to congress, on December 6, 1923, was the first speech by a President broadcast on the radio.  He was the first President to appear in a motion picture with sound, in 1924.

After completing Harding’s term, and then running successfully for re-election, he declined to run again in 1930, saying that 10 years in Washington is more than anyone should be President.

The Official Portrait:

Charles Hopkinson painted the official White House portrait of Calvin Coolidge in 1932.  Many of his paintings were commissioned by U. S. East Coast institutions, especially Harvard University, where he acted as house portraitist. Among his sitters were Oliver Wendell Holmes and E. E. Cummings.

Portraits: William H Harrison   1 comment

William Henry Harrison (1773 – 1841)

The 9th President of the United States, 1841

This portrait of Harrison originally showed him in civilian clothes as the congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory in 1800, but the uniform was added after he became famous in the War of 1812.

AKA: Old Tippecanoe, General Mum

From: Virginia, Ohio

College: Presbyterian Hampden-Sydney College, University of Pennsylvania (withdrew from both)

Married to: Anna Symmes

Children: Ten with his wife, and six with one of his slaves, Dilsia.  He didn’t want “bastard slave children” around the White House, so he gave four of those to his brother, who sold them.

Party: Whig

Previous Jobs: General, US Representative, Senator, minister to Columbia

In His Words:  “But I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free.”

“There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.”

“The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed.”

Final words: “Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more.”

Not true: Chief Tecumseh’s Shawnee were defeated by Harrison (at the Tippecanoe River), prompting Tecumseh to curse the American presidency. The oddly specific curse was that every President elected in a year ending in zero would die in office.  Harrison himself was the first such President to die, followed by Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, Roosevelt and Kennedy.  The curse was proven false when Reagan did not die in office (though he was shot).

True: Harrison’s father, Benjamin Harrison, signed the Declaration of Independence.

It was a cold, wet day in March when Harrison was inaugurated. His speech lasted nearly 2 hours. He caught pneumonia and died on his 32nd day in office, the shortest term of any president. Harrison was the first president to die in office. His death would be seen as the first in a long series of what became known as Tecumseh’s Curse: Presidents elected in a year ending in a zero would die in office.

The Official Portrait:

James Lambdin is famous for many of his portraits of U.S. Presidents, including portraits of William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. The Harrison portrait was painted in 1835, before he was elected President. Lambdin became professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

Portraits: Dwight Eisenhower   2 comments

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)

The 34th President of the United States, 1953 – 1961

Normal Rockwell’s Dwight Eisenhower

AKA: Ike

From: Born in Texas, raised in Kansas

College: United States Military Academy

Married to: Mamie Geneva Doud

Children: Doud Dwight and John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: Night supervisor at a creamery, US Army, US Chief of Staff of the Army, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Chief of Staff of the Army, University President, NATO Supreme Commander

In His Words:  “Neither a wise man or a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”

“There is one thing about being President — nobody can tell you when to sit down.”

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

“The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men.”

“Un-American activity cannot be prevented or routed out by employing un-American methods; to preserve freedom we must use the tools that freedom provides.”

Not true: There’s a viral email that makes the rounds stating that “Operation Wetback,” which ran during Eisenhower’s administration, deported 13,000,000 illegal immigrants.  It’s stated this program also swept up and deported large numbers of legal residents and citizens.  Though the program did exist, it resulted in less than 100,000 deportations, and perhaps an additional 500,000 illegal immigrants leaving the country before they were apprehended.  The program was controversial and there were reports of abuse, but not nearly on the scale alleged by the viral emails.

True: Eisenhower was responsible for the lives of millions during WWII, as he was in charge of war planning, and later implementing those plans, in Europe.  He oversaw the invasion of Italy and the liberation of western Europe from Nazi control.  He was the first General elected President since Ulysses S Grant, and is one of only 5 Presidents that did not hold an elected office before becoming President.

The Official Portrait:

This painting is the official portrait of the President. The artist,  J. Anthony Wills from Houston, Texas painted 5 copies of the portrait. One of them hangs in the White House and one is at his Presidential Library in Abilene, KS. The location of the other three copies is unknown.


Portraits: Rutherford B Hayes   5 comments

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822 – 1893)

The 19th President of the United States, 1877 – 1881

AKA: Rutherfraud or His Fraudulency

From: Ohio

College: Kenyon College, class of 1842 and Harvard Law, class of 1845

Married to: Lucy Ware Webb (the first wife of a President to graduate from college)

Children: Birchard, Webb, Rutherford, Joseph, George, Fanny, Scott and Manning

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: businessman, lawyer, soldier, congressman, governor

In His Words: “He serves his party best who serves his country best.”

“Fighting battles is like courting girls: those who make the most pretensions and are boldest usually win.”

“In avoiding the appearance of evil, I am not sure but I have sometimes unnecessarily deprived myself and others of innocent enjoyments.”

“Lemonade Lucy” Hayes was the first Presidential wife called “First Lady” in the national press.

Not true: President Obama invoked Hayes in the 2012 Presidential campaign, saying,

“One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore because he’s looking backwards.  he’s not looking forwards.”

There is no proof that this ever happened.  Indeed, Hayes installed the first telephone in the White House, given the number of 1, when there were only 190 telephones in all of Washington, DC.

True: Hayes was the first President to travel to the west coast while in office.

Hayes is the only President whose election was decided by a congressional commission.  The 1876 election was rife with fraud by both parties.  Eventually both sides agreed to have a non-partisan congressional commission appointed, with 5 from the House, 5 from the Senate, and 5 from Supreme Court Justices.  Affiliations were to be 7 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and a well-respected independent Supreme Court Justice, David Davis.  The Democrats attempted to influence even this process, with the Illinois legislature electing Davis to the Senate.  Davis then declined the nomination to the congressional commission due to the conflict, further muddling the process.  Eventually, a compromise was worked out, with Hayes agreeing to end Reconstruction, withdrawing the Army from the South, and the Democrats agreeing to support his Presidency.

Hayes was the first President to have a typewriter in the White House.

Banned alcohol from the White House, perhaps in support of his wife who was a staunch supporter of the temperance movement.

The Official Portrait:

Daniel Huntington was one of the most fashionable portraitists of his generation.  He accepted Lucy Hayes’ invitation  to paint her portrait after the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union offered to fund this memorial for her.  After her husband retired from the Presidency, Huntington was selected by the President to paint a companion piece, which was to be his official portrait.  It was completed in 1884, three years after Hayes left office.