Category Archives: Nifty History People

VP James Sherman: Voting for the Dead Guy

James Sherman was VP for William Howard Taft. A Little Bit About Sherman James Schoolcraft Sherman (1852-1912) was born and raised in upstate New York – very very distantly related to General Cump and Senator John of the same name. … Continue reading

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Abigail Adams and Polly Jefferson

Abigail Adams always loved children. The Lonely Childhood of Polly Jefferson Mary (or Maria) Jefferson (1778-1804), called Polly as a child, was the second surviving daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson. Her older sister Martha (1772-1836), nicknamed Patsy from birth, … Continue reading

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Brother Generals: Hancock and Armistead

Few ties are as strong as the military bands of brotherhood. The Gist of the Matter Two soldiers, close friends for years, had the unlikely distinction of meeting (sort of) for the last time at Gettysburg. One fought for the … Continue reading

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Mrs. Coolidge and Mrs. Hoover: A Rare Friendship

On the surface, there were only superficial commonalities between FLOTUS Grace Coolidge and her successor Lou Henry Hoover. The FLOTUS Sorority Many historians refer to the position of First Lady as a sorority. There are only a few dozen FLOTUSES … Continue reading

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Alben Barkley: The Last VP of His Kind

When Al Barkley became Vice President to Harry Truman in 1949, the position had been primarily ceremonial for 150 years. The VPOTUScy in General When our country formulated its Constitution in 1787, the position of Vice President was an afterthought. … Continue reading

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Will and Nellie Taft: A Modern Marriage, Part 1

William Howard Taft and Helen (from-birth Nellie) Herron were born and raised Victorians – but they had a very modern marriage. The Early Years Both William Howard Taft (1857-1930) and Helen Herron (1861-1943) were pedigreed Cincinnatians. He was the son … Continue reading

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Theodore Roosevelt and the Maxwell House Connection

Theodore Roosevelt was a mega coffee drinker from earliest childhood. TR: For “Medicinal Purposes” Coffee is non-alcoholic, but still perceived as an adult drink. It is common today for children to abstain from coffee drinking until way past puberty. Parents … Continue reading

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The Franklin D. Roosevelt Spanish Flu Casualty

One of the serious casualties of the great Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-9, was the marriage of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Franklin Roosevelt In Europe In mid-1918, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was sent to Europe to … Continue reading

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Sarah Polk: Gas Lighting

Sarah Childress Polk was FLOTUS in the mid-1840s – a time of major technical and industrial advances. Technology, Circa 1840s When James and Sarah Polk were in the White House (1845-49), the country had grown enormously. Between 1830 and 1840, … Continue reading

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William McKinley: A Little Help From His Friends

In 1893, the USA suffered a huge “panic,” or economic recession – larger than it had ever experienced before. William McKinley: The Panic of 1893 In 1893, the usual collision of factors that create recessions occurred – with the usual … Continue reading

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