January 28 – Happy birthday, William McKinley

January 29, 2018

William McKinley photographed between 1873 and 1890, by Washington, D.C. photographer C. M. Bell. McKinley served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, 1876 to 1891; this was probably taken close to the start of his time in Congress. Library of Congress image.

William McKinley photographed between 1873 and 1890, by Washington, D.C. photographer C. M. Bell. McKinley served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, 1876 to 1891; this was probably taken close to the start of his time in Congress. Library of Congress image.

President William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, served from March 4, 1897 until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley was born on January 29, 1843, in Niles, Ohio. McKinley would have been 175 years old today, and probably very cranky. 

President during the Spanish-American War of 1898, in which the U.S. took Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam from Spain, and presiding over the annexation of Hawaii in 1898, McKinley is best known for being the third president to die from assassination, in 1901. He was succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.

This photo, published in 1902 after McKinley's death, was probably taken during the campaign of 1900. Library of Congress caption:

This photo, published in 1902 after McKinley’s death, was probably taken during the campaign of 1900. Library of Congress caption: “Photograph shows William McKinley, standing on platform, between Gov. Jos. E. Johnston and Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, Alabama.”

Frequently overlooked as a non-entity as president, historians in the past 20 years tend to upgrade their judgments of McKinley’s political acumen and achievements as president.

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Happy birthday, Kathryn!

July 4, 2009

Fireworks in Texas - supposedly in Addison, but I cant figure where

Fireworks in Texas - supposedly in Addison, but I can't figure where

I used to tell the kids their mother was so beloved that the town set off fireworks every year on her birthday.  They probably didn’t believe the cause, but the town did, indeed, set off fireworks on her birthday.  I don’t always do the best planning, but at least I don’t ever forget Kathryn’s birthday — I cannot forget it.

We saw a lot of great displays on the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C., and a fantastic show one year out on the water in Baltimore’s harbor, right over Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write his now-famous poem.  One year with brother Wes and his wife, Momie, we watched bluebirds all day, and then stayed for the fireworks at the Yorktown Battlefield, where Cornwallis was cut off by George Washington and the Continental Army with a grand assist from the French fleet.

We’ve seen great shows in Dallas, a bunch of shows in Duncanville, Texas, and Ogden, Utah, and we saw a part of a show in Addison, Texas, before the rain and wind shut it down (no, I can’t figure out where that photo came from, either) — and that doesn’t count all those shows before we met.  New York City, Hyde Park, from the parking lot of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Salt Lake City, overlooking Liberty Park, Derks Field, and a dozen other displays across the valley; from Wahkara Ridge, high up in Payson Canyon, catching the displays from Payson, Springville, Spanish Fork and Provo, Utah; and right there in Cougar Stadium in Provo.  Ohio, Michigan, Idaho, upper New York State, and probably a few other places we’ve forgotten about.  Great fireworks displays every one.

Last year we camped at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah on the Fourth of July — no gunpowder fireworks, just the Milky Way and the most spectacular stars you can imagine, perched on 80-foot sand dunes where voices carried 150 yards with no shouting.  The decision not to drive back into Kanab for their show was a good idea.

This year?  Heck, we’ve already had some fireworks — Kathryn’s mother made a quick trip to an emergency room Friday, and we’ve had to rejuggle the dinner arrangements just a bit for tomorrow.  But the knockwursts and bratwursts from Kuby’s are in the refrigerator; the potato salad’s halfway done.  The beans will cook up most of the morning.  The flags will wave from their new poles.

The kids are home.  Buddy the border setter has his sedatives, so maybe the illegal fireworks around the neighborhood won’t make him a total wreck; and we can choose between a Grucci show at the Cotton Bowl or the local fireworks two miles away — or maybe the fireworks at the U.S. Capitol again, this time on PBS, with a glass of champagne.

The nation may not be setting off all those fireworks just for you, Kathryn, but they should be — and the coincidence can’t be explained except by divine intervention, eh?  Happy birthday, sweetie!


Happy birthday, Orrin Hatch

March 22, 2009

Dear Orrin,

We know how old you are really, but we won’t divulge.

U.S. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah

U.S. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah

When we were campaigning in 1976, I don’t think anyone thought you’d be there in 2009, still.  Sen. Reed Smoot served Utah for one day shy of 30 years.  No one else from Utah has come close to your 32 years of service, and it will be a long time before any other challenges your longevity.

Not bad for the first office you ever got elected to.

Kathryn and I wish you all the best on your birthday.

And we’ll be pleased to set  you straight any time you want.

Sincerely,

Ed

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Happy Birthday, Kathryn!

July 4, 2008


Je t’aime a la folies!

Image from Sotirov


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