Mo Rocca’s profile of Millard Fillmore

April 7, 2014

You may view Mo Rocca’s “profile” of President Millard Fillmore for CBS Sunday Morning, on YouTube:

“CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca, far left, poses with Kathy Frost, curator of the Millard Fillmore Presidential Site, and Robert Lowell Goller, town historian and director of the Aurora Historical Society, during his recent visit to East Aurora.  Photo by  Robert Lowell Goller

East Aurora Advertiser caption: CBS Visits East Aurora “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca, far left, poses with Kathy Frost, curator of the Millard Fillmore Presidential Site, and Robert Lowell Goller, town historian and director of the Aurora Historical Society, during his recent visit to East Aurora. Photo by Robert Lowell Goller

CBS broadcast this piece on February 16, 2014.

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Happy 213th Birthday, Millard Fillmore!

January 7, 2013

January 7 is Millard Fillmore‘s birthday.

Statue of President Millard Fillmore, a Buffal...

Statue of President Millard Fillmore, a Buffalo native, on southeast corner of the administration building of the University of Buffalo. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Why isn’t it a national holiday?

UB celebrates Fillmore’s birthday

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) [Monday, January 7, 2013] – The University at Buffalo is celebrating one of its Founding Fathers. Monday would be Millard Fillmore’s 213th birthday, and to mark the occasion, UB helped host a ceremony at the former president’s grave site.

A wreath from the White House was placed at the grave sit, to honor the former leader for his services to the nation and western New York.

After his presidency, Fillmore returned to Buffalo, New York, and a life of good citizenship. He founded the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, for example. And though he himself was about a third-grade dropout, and though he refused an honorary degree from Oxford because he said no man should get a degree he can’t read (it was in Latin), he founded what is now the University at Buffalo.

There’s a moral there, somewhere.

More:

Cake for Millard Fillmore's 213th birthday, Summerhill, New York

Birthday celebration for President Millard Fillmore in Summerhill, New York; caption from the Auburn, New York, Citizen: Sue Stoyell, treasurer of the Cayuga-Owasco Lakes Historical Society, serves a slice of Millard Filmore’s birthday cake to Roger Stoyell during a celebration of Fillmore’s 213th birthday Sunday at the town hall in Summerhill.

There was music:

Flock of Free Range Children sing for Millard Fillmore's 213th Birthday, Summerhill, New York

Fillmore’s 213th birthday bash in Summerhill, New York; photo by Michelle Bixby, Auburn Citizen: From left, John Davis, Ron Van Nostrand and Don Watkins, three of the seven members of the band “Flock of Free Range Children,” entertain attendees of Millard Filmore’s 213th birthday celebration Sunday at the town hall in Summerhill.


Reaction to the Millard Fillmore dollar

February 20, 2010

Millard Fillmore’s dollar got a bit of coverage — well, more than the dollar for Zachary Taylor, so far as I can tell.  It was not a big story.

The Wall Street Journal carried a page 1 feature. Some of the most fun coverage came out of local newspapers in Buffalo and Moravia, New York.

From the Berkshire-Hathaway-owned Buffalo News:

MORAVIA — When the U.S. Mint wanted to unveil a new $1 Millard Fillmore coin, it went to the 13th president’s birthplace to do the honors.

That’s this town of 4,000 in the Finger Lakes, where about a quarter of the population turned out Thursday to pay tribute to their favorite son.

But what about Buffalo, where he served as the University of Buffalo’s first chancellor and helped found a historical society and a hospital?

No problem. The same U.S. Mint official came to Buffalo to hold a second unveiling in Fillmore’s adopted hometown, where about three dozen people showed up at City Hall.

And in the Auburn, New York, Citizen, a story of a crowd much larger than anticipated:

MORAVIA – With close to 1,000 witnesses watching, a young Millard Fillmore impersonator and his equally sprite make-believe wife Abigail poured from a wooden bucket a stream of coins bearing the face of the 13th president and Moravia native.

The United States Mint Thursday released its 13th presidential dollar coin, honoring Millard Fillmore, at a ceremony in the Moravia Junior Senior School cafeteria, which was not large enough to accommodate the crowd of community members who had come to celebrate a president whose national legacy is not legendary, but whose roots are their roots.

“This is a grand, grand event,” Moravia Mayor Gary Mulvaney said, as he waited in a line that started at the cafeteria doors and wound through the school.

James P. McCoy’s photos of the unveiling and the large mockup of the dollar itself are good (you could steal them for a PowerPoint in your classroom), but I especially enjoyed the pictures in the Auburn paper, by Sam Tenney.  Two middle school students played Abigail and Millard Fillmore at the ceremony in Moravia.

Eleanor Younger, 10, and Colton Langtry, 12, portraying Abigail Powers Fillmore and Millard Fillmore, help Andy Brunhart, deputy director of the United States Mint, pour a bucket of $1 coins - Sam Tenney photo, Auburn, NY Citizen

Caption from the Auburn, New York, Citizen: "Eleanor Younger, 10, and Colton Langtry, 12, portraying Abigail Powers Fillmore and Millard Fillmore, help Andy Brunhart, deputy director of the United States Mint, pour a bucket of $1 coins bearing Fillmore's likeness during a ceremony celebrating the release of the coin Thursday morning at Moravia High School. The Fillmore coin is the 13th in a series honoring past presidents." Photo by Sam Tenney, Auburn, NY, Citizen

Uncharacteristically, the U.S. Mint offered some of the $1.00 coins to students for free — perhaps the only recorded time that the Mint has handed out money for free.

Looks like they had a good time.


Millard Fillmore’s dollar picks up steam?

February 18, 2010

Buffalo Rising comments on the local events in Buffalo, New York, around the release of the Millard Fillmore dollar.

Oh, yeah, I forgot:  The U.S. Mint is giving away dollars to kids.  Free money.

Look at all the grousing about it in comments at Buffalo Rising.  Some people are never happy.  Not even with free money for the kids.


Death of President William McKinley, September 14, 1901

September 15, 2009

On the Threshold, illustration from Harpers Weekly, September 14, 1901

"On the Threshold," illustration from Harper's Weekly, September 14, 1901

Teachers should be mining the “On This Day” feature at the New York Times, which usually features an historic cartoon or illustration from an antique Harper’s Weekly.  It is a favorite feature, to me.

Yesterday, it featured the illustration from Harper’s upon the death of President William McKinley, on September 14, 1901.

At the Threshold

Artist: William Allen Rogers

his post-dated cartoon was published as President William McKinley lay dying from an assassin’s bullet.  He had been shot on September 6, 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pronounced chol-gosh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  The president died on September 14.  Here, McKinley is led to the Hall of Martyrs by grief-stricken personifications of the North and South.  Between pillars topped by busts of the two previously slain presidents, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield, the angel of death prepares to place a laurel wreath of honor upon McKinley’s head.  (Images related to Garfield’s assassination also showed a reconciled North and South.)

There is much more at the Times site.

Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln, was present when McKinley was shot.  Accounts I have read but not confirmed say that Robert Lincoln had been invited to attend Ford’s Theatre with his father and mother, the night his father was shot.  As a member of President James Garfield’s cabinet, Robert Lincoln had been awaiting Garfield’s arrival at Union Station in Washington, D.C., when Garfield was shot.

And as a visitor in Buffalo, Robert Lincoln had as a matter of respect lined up to shake President William McKinley’s hand.

Astounding if true.  Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated.  Robert Lincoln was present for two of them, and close to the first assassination.  Where can we confirm or deny that story?

McKinley’s death catapulted the do-gooder, Theodore Roosevelt, into the presidency, probably to the great chagrin of corrupt Republican politicians who had hoped that by getting him nominated to the vice presidency they could get him out of New York politics.

The rest is history.


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