Aide To Four Presidents

One day in 1926 when the world was quiet and no wars were in progress anywhere, Wilson Brown, a spare, erect and self-effacing captain in the Navy, reported to Washington, confidently expecting to pick up orders for his next job, as naval attaché in Paris. Instead, and without explanation, he was hustled over to the White House and subjected to a brief interview with Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States. Read more »

The Temper Thing

How bad is it when Presidents get really sore?

The rumor first began to spread around Washington last year: Sen. John McCain had a skeleton in his closet. Was it something to do with his past as a war hero in Vietnam? His voting record in the Senate? The role he had played as one of the Keating Five in the savings and loan scandal? Read more »

The Man Who Made The Yanquis Go Home

Starting with thirty “liberated”
rifles, Augusto Sandino forced American troops out of Nicaragua in 1933

Rear Adm. Julian L. Latimer stood on the bridge of his flagship, the USS Rochester, as it nosed into the harbor of Puerto Cabezas, on Nicaragua’s northeastern Mosquito Coast. It was Christmas Eve, 1926, and the fifry-seven-year-old West Virginian had been called abruptly away from family festivities at the Canal Zone naval station at Balboa. Read more »

The Man Of A Thousand Faces

PLYMOUTH , Vt, Dec., 1925-Up here in the cold, silent hills of Vermont, his old friends and neighbors are afraid that success may be spoiling Colonel John Coolidge’s son Calvin. As a boy, to be sure, he was regarded as a bit of a chatterbox, and his grandmother, Mrs. Galusha Coolidge, would lock him in the attic until he quieted down, but Amherst and law studies were supposed to have sobered him up. It was old Vermont speaking when he wrote his father that “I see no need of a wife as long as I have my health.” He was twenty-nine.Read more »

The Strike That Made A President

When Boston’s police walked out, a great city erupted in violence. By doggedly doing nothing, Governor Coolidge emerged as a national hero

Had it not been for the Boston police strike of September, 1919, Calvin Coolidge probably would have become just another in the succession of Republican governors of Massachusetts, his name no more remembered than that of his predecessor, Samuel McCall, or his successor, Channing Cox. But the curious and chance circumstances of that event suddenly made him known all over America.

 
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Lamplight Inauguration

In San Francisco Warren G. Harding lay dead, and the nation was without a Chief Executive. In the early morning hours, by the light of a flickering oil lamp, an elderly Vermonter swore in his son as the thirtieth President of the United States

 

In Vermont, the night of August 2, 1923, was definitely unusual. It was the hottest night of the summer and one of the sultriest ever recorded in Plymouth Notch, normally one of the breezier areas at the eastern fringe of the Green Mountain range.

 
 
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Ghosts In The White House

Discreet helpers have worked on the speeches and papers of many Presidents, but a nation in a time of trial will respond best “to the Great Man himself, standing alone”

It is assumed that the so-called “ghost writer” has become “a necessity of modern-day, high-speed campaigning.” Dorothy Thompson has said that ghostwriting “is so common today that one can almost say our thoughts are guided by ghosts.” Even a religious co-ordinator has been added to the White House staff. Recent demonstrations, however, have led some critics to long tor the Good Old Days when a President told his story in his own way.

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