Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day Break

DPD will be off until after Memorial Day, but there are plenty of presidential and quasi-presidential anniversaries over the next few days.

May 26, 1868, is the day that Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial came to a final, sputtering end. Pro-conviction Senators, hoping to change at least one Senator's mind, had not voted on all the charges 10 days earlier (see May 16). But they were unable to get a conviction on the remaining charges, and the impeachment effort was finally dead.

Helen Eugenie Anderson was born on May 26, 1909. She was the first woman ever to serve as an ambassador from the United States. Harry Truman sent her to Denmark in 1949; in 1962, John Kennedy sent her to Bulgaria.

May 27 is Hubert Humphrey's birthday, born 1911. Tom Lehrer wrote a song about the 38th Vice President of the United States: "Whatever Happened to Hubert?"

"Once a fiery liberal spirit,
Ah, but now when he speaks, he must clear it.
Second fiddle's a hard part, I know,
When they don't even give you a bow."

On May 28, 1798, Congress authorized John Adams to raise 10,000 men in case of a war with France. The army would have been led by former President Washington, but hostilities were averted. On May 28, 1830, Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, paving the way for the Trail of Tears removals of Indians from east of the Mississippi. On May 28, 1937, Franklin Roosevelt officially opened the Golden Gate Bridge by electronic signal from Washington, DC. This May 28 also happens to be Chris Ballew's 41st birthday -- he's with the band The Presidents of the United States of America.

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