About MFB

Welcome! google3d495549482a90fa.html

I am Ed Darrell. Millard Fillmore‘s Bathtub is my weblog.

You may contact me by e-mail at edarrell-AT-sbcglobal-DOT-net.

If you are reading this in Microsoft Internet Explorer, all the sidebar stuff has [perhaps still] fallen to the bottom of the page. I do not know what reinforcer failed, to let it fall so low, but it’s on Microsoft’s end, and it’s the software — I can’t do anything about it at this end. I’m sorry. I use FireFox to avoid such problems.

Of all the bathtubs in all the bathrooms in the world, and I had to pick Millard Fillmore’s!

Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub started as my way of learning about making blogs work, for my hope to integrate blog usage into the classroom.

This blog focuses on history education, with meanders into all of the social studies: Economics, history, geography, law, political science, and government (have I left something unmentioned? It’s in there). Debunking false, bad, bogus and voodoo history occupied me from at least junior high school; the story of Millard Fillmore’s bathtub, the hoax perpetrated by H. L. Mencken and the inability of historians to straighten out the issue in 90 years, seemed a good jumping off point.

My hope is to help students, their learning partners (especially parents), teachers and administrators make history sing for the students — and other social studies, too.

My experience is broad — political campaigns, legislative staffing, executive agencies, law, private business (airline, wireless telephones, logistics and other management consulting), and education (college, graduate school, secondary).  You can learn a bit more about me here, at my testimony to the Texas State Board of Education back in 2003.  I’m older now.   Or, if you must be pedantic about it, there’s a more complete, third-person profile below the fold.

Please provide comments: What helps you? What sources do you know about that I don’t list, but should?

What do you know about Millard Fillmore’s bathtub that I don’t?

By the way, who did put the first bathtub in the White House, if not Millard Fillmore?  Technically, it was John Adams.  But if you mean, the first plumbed bathtub, with running water, there are two later presidents — read the answers here.

[Well, yes, I do find it irritating that people keep calling me "Tim Pagonos" or "Tim Panogos." It's rather an insult to a beautiful work of rock, don't you think?  Update December 13, 2013:  And yet, the foolishness continues. ]

Nota bene: Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of any of my employers, nor official views of any organization to which I belong, though they would be, if those employers and organizations were thinking well.

Profile used in classroom blogs:

Ed Darrell at the Presidential Podium (mockup, at George H. W. Bush Library), 2011

Ed Darrell at the Presidential Podium (mockup, at George H. W. Bush Library), working with the teleprompter, 2011

Mr. Darrell comes to high school education late, with a wealth of experience in government at the federal, state and local levels, and rather deep experience in working in and consulting for large corporations in legal matters, management and travel.  He spent his childhood and youth in small towns in Idaho and Utah.  Mr. Darrell holds a B.S. in Mass Communication from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and a J.D. with emphasis in environmental protection and land development from the National Law Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Darrell also did graduate work in rhetoric and speech communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where he taught Business and Professional Communication and coached with the award-winning debate team.

Mr. Darrell’s work experience includes years with the U.S. Senate Staff, where he worked for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and held positions on Judiciary Committee and Labor and Human Resources Committee staff (now Health, Education, Labor and Pensions).  He directed the creation of the first Senate committee press operation, at Labor and Human Resources after 1981.  In the executive branch, Mr. Darrell was public affairs director for the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, chaired by then-Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, and Director of Information Services for the Department of Education at the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), which made him the publisher of education research for the Department.  In private business, Mr. Darrell served as real estate counsel for AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines, manager in the Transportation Group in the national consulting practice at Ernst & Young, LLP, and as a due diligence coordinator for PrimeCo PCS, and then Real Estate Manager after PrimeCo was absorbed into the partnership operating as Verizon Wireless.   He also maintained a solo law practice, and consulting practice.

In addition to federal government positions, Mr. Darrell served on the Utah Wilderness Commission in the 1970s, and the Beltwoods Management Commission in Maryland, in the 1980s.  He served on the Duncanville, Texas, Sign Board, and Planning and Zoning Commission.  He was active in student government in high school and college, and was a member of the Faculty Senates at the University of Utah and the University of Arizona.  He has been active in PTAs at elementary, middle, and high schools.  He remains an active Scouter, now in the Wisdom Trail District of Circle 10 Council, BSA,  as membership committee chairman.  Mr. Darrell was awarded the Silver Beaver in 2009.    Mr. Darrell and his wife, Kathryn, have two sons, one graduated from  the University of Texas at Dallas, and one graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.  They reside in Dallas with their dachsund-plus Peanut, and cats Luna Lovegood and Cap’n. Jack Sparrow.

In Texas, Mr. Darrell has taught business ethics and business law at local universities.  He is certified to teach grades 8-12 in social studies, and has taught economics, U.S. history, world history, street law, and psychology.



43 Responses to About MFB

  1. […] About MFB […]

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  2. So you like History; Download video presentations of travel & tour with Google Earth! Easy style of recording travel account!
    Download, watch, listen & experience !
    Muhummad Mushtaq Tariq,

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  3. jsojourner says:

    Ed should be proud of himself. He’s articulate, erudite, courteous and fair. I usually agree with him, but even when I don’t…he’s gracious.

    Plus, he never leaves soap scum in the tub. I hate soap scum. So did Millard Fillmore.

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Heh. Thanks for the click.

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  5. Joe Pacaune says:

    You’re very proud of yourself – to the point of uselessness.

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Happy to hear you found it useful. Especially to the point of cowboys trying to organize to use labor unions — cowboys had it particularly difficult, and still do. There’s a good reason very few people go into cow punching these days.

    And, sadly, 40 years of hammering at the foundations of the American Way and the uniquely American social contract, which allowed everyone to dream, even the big cattle ranches are dying, killed by financial shenanigans and unchecked global warming, and a great unwillingness to help out a land-rich man down on his luck.

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  7. Nancy Garner says:

    Thanks for your website. Just used some of your stuff to comment on an article on Common dreams. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/11 Keep up the good work.

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  8. Ed Darrell says:


    Thanks for the heads-up. I hadn’t seen that, and probably wouldn’t have.

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  9. Hi, Ed,
    Here’s more presidential historical inaccuracy, alas. Hope all is well with you! Cathy


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  10. Frank says:

    Great blog! Highly accurate.

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  11. I sent you a blog award.

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Michael, go to the search bar, and put in “Mencken”:






    And so on.

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  13. Michael Cargal says:

    I’m a little confused. The thrust of your blog is accuracy in history, so I expected to see a reference to H.L. Mencken, who made up the bathtub story one day when he couldn’t think of anything else to write for his newspaper column, but I couldn’t find it. He later wrote about the hoax. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_hoax

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  14. Ben Hoffman says:

    Good blog. :)

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  15. [...] his site, Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, Darrell asserts lofty ambitions "to help students, their learning partners (especially parents), teachers and administrators make [...]

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  16. Ed: Thanks for your wonderful blogs. Keep ‘em coming!

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  17. btchakir says:

    I am so happy to find your blog since it debates many of the same things mine does, but you go into tremendous depth which I rarely get around to.

    I have added Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub to my blogroll and will be back frequently.

    Keep up the good work.

    -Btchakir at http://underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com

    Like this

  18. [...] elasticity of meaning, suggesting both possibility and futility.” [ Thanks to Ed Darrell at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub for alerting me to this [...]

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  19. WeaselSpleen says:

    Graemebird’s web site is conspiracy theorist porno. There’s no point in even trying to have an intelligent discussion with him, he will simply introduce a deus ex machina to fix any problems you find with his arguments, assuming he even acknowledges them. The man’s a complete fumblewit.

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  20. Nice of you and unusual to allow comments on the about us page. Only comment I have right now is please ignore Sarah Palin. She is not worth our time and we better hope she goes away soon.

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  21. Ed Darrell says:

    Mr. Bird, if you choose to believe that Millard Fillmore introduced the first plumbed bathtub to the White House in 1853, and that he had to overcome the opposition of medical authorities to do so, please feel free to do so. In your case, Mr. Bird, for such beliefs in untrue things, res ipsa loquitur.

    Mencken himself announced it was a hoax. But of course, Mr. Bird would know better what Mr. Mencken knew and thought, than Mr. Mencken would — according to Mr. Bird.

    You are a legend in your own closed mind, Mr. Bird. You’re quickly becoming another sort of legend here.

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  22. graemebird says:

    ” the hoax perpetrated by H. L. Mencken and the inability of historians to straighten out the issue in 90 years, seemed a good jumping off point.”

    What hoax was that? My bet is that the hoax is all your own. You’ve proved a nitwit with the DDT-rationing holocaust. No doubt you’ve got this one wrong too.

    How about operation keelhaul? You a denier of history in that regard as well?

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  23. Kristen Epps says:

    Hi! Just saw that you linked to my course website (HIST128 at KU). I have encouraged my students to check out the blogs on my blogroll, and hopefully some of have come on over here. You have a great site!

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  24. Ed – I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and would like to invite you to mine, The Third Rail. You’re welcome time to read and comment any time.


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  25. Darrell, All I know is I like Ezra T’s Talk about the Proper Role of Government. It just seems to me that right now, the central government is just way too big.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment on my blog. :)

    Like this

  26. [...] Secondly, Ed showed that he didn’t actually know much about the history of the development of evolutionary theory when he made his claims. He thought that Darwin understood inheritance mechanisms, when every modern evolutionist acknowledges that Darwin and his contemporaries did not understand the mechanisms of heredity at all. Ed also didn’t know anything about the early-20th-century controversies among evolutionists leading to the Modern Synthesis. This is rather distressing, considering that Ed is supposedly a history teacher. [...]

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  27. Ed Darrell says:


    No, it was William Howard Taft who was reputed to have gotten stuck in a White House Bathtub.

    If you want sources on Fillmore, click on the third tab at the top, “Millard Fillmore.”

    H. L. Mencken wrote a hoax column once upon a time about how Millard Fillmore’s only worthwhile action had been the installation of the first bathtub at the White House. It was all a hoax. You can find links to that essay on the “About MFB” page. Here’s the story:

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  28. Michala says:

    I really don’t get it i’m doing a report on Millard Fillmore and all it says at the top of the screen is Millard Fillmore’s bathtub!!!! I mean seriousley is he the president that got stuck in his bath tub?

    TYPE BACK PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  29. If this was a blogspot template I’d tell you that your content in the main column is bigger than the column, which pushes it into the sidebar, which then moves down to get out of the way. I solved this by widening the main column and the overall page width. Why they use pixel widths rather than percentages, I dont know, but then I’m not really an html guy, except in the most primitive sense.

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  30. the forester says:

    Saw a reference to Mallard Fillmore’s bathtub here on Slate and immediately thought of you.

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  31. Sean Dick says:

    I was referred to your blog by your son whom I went to school with. I wanted to leave a note to say that your blog is consistently one of my favorites to read.

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  32. mpb says:

    Many thanks.

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  33. mpb says:

    Post something new :)

    (Maybe you might have meant you have reached the WP limits on how many incoming feeds get displayed in the sidebar. I ended up mixing several feeds into one, such as the Tundra Teachers group. I used http://www.rssmix.com/ but only 4 feeds can be mixed. There’s a new one I want to try.)

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  34. Ed Darrell says:

    “My limits” means I don’t know how feeds work.

    Check it now — I’ve set the thing at full article rather than summary. Does that help?

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  35. mpb says:

    I don’t know what you mean by limit to feeds. WordPress issues your posts in a feed and millions and millions of us (nay, billions and biolliosn) can subscribe.

    What happens now is you have probably set set your options for Dashboard | Options | Reading to a low level. Some people set it low, some set it full. My preference is full so I can mark to read later, go to the site for commenting or for checking out the urls of your readers, etc.

    It is true that everything after the “more” tag in a post will not be fed out.

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  36. Ed Darrell says:

    We’re pushing my limits on feeds. As I understand it, you lose anything that I post after a jump, right?

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  37. mpb says:

    Any chance you could go to full feeds, please? Sometimes I miss interesting stuff until I read the comments (then I come back to the blog itself, if I have time.)

    Well, everything is interesting. It’s just that there is so much interesting to read and so little time…

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  38. [...] Why Millard Fillmore’s bathtub? [...]

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  39. Will B. says:

    Thank you for this site. Here are a few other sites to triangulate with:






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  40. psp says:

    Mr. Ex-Presidend’s Tub, sir,

    Thank you for your kind mention of some great artists, John Starling and Carolina Star. Fans of the artists might be interested in a video interview of Mr. Starling and Emmylou Harris recorded as a companion peice to the new record.


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  41. Ed Darrell says:

    Not sure how that works out. A couple of those are from my visits to your blog. Others should probably show the link through Clio Bluestocking (esp. this one: http://cliobluestockingtales.blogspot.com/2007/03/sea-otter-blogger.html)

    Interesting mystery.

    (Hey, you, readers! Go talk a look at http://calabazanova.wordpress.com/

    It’s worth it.)

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  42. calabazanova says:

    I keep noticing that your blog is referring people to my blog. Thanks, I like traffic. Could you tell me where you’ve linked to me?


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  43. mpb says:

    http://tinyurl.com/uhytn FYI re: history and myth and audiences for same (Tuskegee Airmen)

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Play nice in the Bathtub -- don't splash soap in anyone's eyes.

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