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Seven Things Corrected

May 2024
1min read

The following items in “101 Things Every College Graduate Should Know About American History” (December 1986) should read as follows:

Item 8: Had enough? The question was asked by the Republicans during the 1946 congressional elections. After fourteen years of “Democratic rule,” the Republicans maintained, it was “time for a change.”

Item 14: Marbury v. Madison (1803). William Marbury sued Secretary of State James Madison in order to obtain a commission appointing him a justice of the peace that had been signed but not de livered by retiring President John Adams. Important because in deciding the case, the Court for the first time declared a law of Congress unconstitutional.

Item 23: Charles J. Guiteau shot President James Garfield in Washington’s Union Station on July 2, 1881, and the President died of his wounds two months later. Guiteau’s reason was not, as had often been claimed, that he was a disappointed office seeker, but on the order (he insisted) of “the Deity.” Guiteau was, however, an admirer of the New York senator Roscoe Conkling, leader of the Republican faction, who had clashed with Garfield over patronage questions.

Item 28 (part 5): Charles Francis Adams (1807-86), son of J.Q., vice-presidential candidate of the Free Soil party in 1848, congressman, minister to Great Britain during the Civil War, editor of the papers of John and John Quincy.

Item 50: The Happy Warrior . Alfred E. Smith, who was given this name by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the course of a speech nominating him for President at the 1924 Democratic Convention.

Item 54: Landslide Lyndon . Lyndon B. Johnson, because of the paper-thin margin by which he was elected to the Senate in 1948.

Item 83: “ Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute .” Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was supposed to have said this in 1797 wlîen he and two other American diplomats who were trying to negotiate a commercial treaty with the French were asked for a bribe by agents of the foreign minister Talleyrand. What Pinckney did say was, “No! No! Not a sixpence!” The famous words, however, were spoken a year later by Congressman Robert Goodloe Harper of South Carolina at a banquet for another of these diplomats, John Marshall.

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