Tag Archives: White House history

The Death of Tad Lincoln

Tad Lincoln had just turned 18 when he died. Tad in Springfield, IL Thomas Lincoln, (1853-1871) named for his paternal grandfather, was called Tad from the outset.  It was a hard birth, and Tad was born with a cleft palate … Continue reading

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William McKinley: The Sneezing Fit

President William McKinley was a genial and popular man. He had a long list of personal friends. William McK: Mister Nice Guy William McKinley (1843-1901) was a nice fellow – and a good fellow. At 18, he enlisted in the … Continue reading

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Harriet Lane and the James Buchanan Statue

James Buchanan has been the cellar dweller among Presidents for more than 150 years. JB: The Balance Sheet The asset side. Pennsylvania’s James Buchanan (1791-1868) came to the presidency in 1857 with a forty-plus-year resume of solid achievement: successful attorney, … Continue reading

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Harry Truman, Poker and The Buck Stops Here

President Harry Truman’s desk sign “The Buck Stops Here” is usually construed as an assumption of responsibility. The Origin of “The Buck” The saying, however, derives from a poker term (and HST was a long-time poker player). In the wild … Continue reading

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Martha Johnson Patterson: First Daughter

Martha Johnson Patterson served for nearly four years as de facto First Lady to an unpopular president. The Johnson Family of Greeneville Andrew Johnson (1808-75) was seventeen years old when he pushed a cart across the North Carolina border into … Continue reading

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The Courtship of Bess and Harry Truman

Bess Wallace and Harry Truman courted (sort of) for nearly thirty years. Little Boy Harry and Little Girl Bess: Writing of his courtship many years after his marriage, Harry Truman said he first fell in love with Bess Wallace when … Continue reading

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Harding and Taft: Making An Old Man Happy

Every so often, dreams do come true. Even in politics Ex-President Taft: A Public Career William Howard Taft (1857-1932) spent his entire life in public service: as judge, as Solicitor General, as Governor of the Philippines, as Cabinet member and … Continue reading

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