Archives For Bismarck

The Founding Fathers on Leadership, Chapter One Points

  • The first step in the change process involves raising awareness.
  • You should labor for the future rather than only for the present moment.
  • People are bound by no law whatever that they have not approved of.
  • Touch ordinary people with a plain talk and be a good public speaker.
  • Have no fear, and show no fear.
  • Success will not belong to the strong alone – but to the vigilant, the active, and the brave.
  • Do not stand idle. When will you be stronger?
  • Create an effective network of communications that will disseminate accurate information quickly.
  • Be prepared for even the worst-case scenario.
  • Human nature is such that all people will rebel when subjected to continual coercion and oppression.
  • It’s okay to use cover and sneak up on an overwhelming competitor.

~ Donald T. Phillips, The Founding Fathers on Leadership

The 7 Point Creed

  1. Be true to yourself.
  2. Make each day your masterpiece.
  3. Help others.
  4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
  5. Make friendship a fine art.
  6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
  7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

~ Coach John Wooden’s Rules for Life

Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Ohio on a farm by the Ohio River. His father was John Scott Harrison, a member of the United States House, and his mother was Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin Harrison. He was the second of eight children in his family.

The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with roots stretching back to Jamestown. Ben’s great-grandfather was Colonel Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His grandfather, William Henry Harrison (“Old Tippecanoe”) was the ninth President of the United States, and his father, John Scott Harrison, served as a congressman.

As a child, he hunted, fished, hauled wood, tended livestock, and studied at home with private tutors.  He also attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and in 1847, attended the Farmer’s College, a prep school in Cincinnati for two years.  He transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and graduated near the top of his class in 1852.

After completing college he studied law as a legal apprentice in the Cincinnati law office of Storer & Gwynne. He later moved to Indianapolis to begin practicing law and became a crier for the Federal Court in Indianapolis.

On October 20, 1853, he married his college sweetheart Caroline Lavinia Scott, he was a twenty and she was twenty-one years old music teacher. The couple was blessed with two children; Russell Benjamin Harrison, born in 1854, and Mary “Mamie” Scott Harrison, born in 1858.

Ben joined the new Republican Party and campaigned in 1856 for its first presidential nominee, John C. Fremont. In 1857, he entered politics himself and was elected as the Indianapolis City Attorney. Later he served as secretary of the Republican State Central Committee and campaigned for the presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He was also the state reporter for the Supreme Court of Indiana, summarizing and supervising the publication of the court’s official opinions.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Ben joined the Union Army as a lieutenant in the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, he would attain the rank of brevet brigadier general by 1865. He served under Major General William T. Sherman in the Atlanta campaign and was among the first of the Union forces to march into the city upon its surrender.

After the Civil War he was Colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry and became a pillar of Indianapolis. He resumed his law practice and worked as a court reporter. He unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana in 1872, but won the Republican nomination in 1876.The Democrats defeated him for Governor by branding him as “Kid Gloves” Harrison. Ben was nicknamed “kid gloves,” because he wore goat-skin gloves, allegedly to protect himself from infection.

By 1880 he became involved in national politics and led the Indiana delegation to the Republican National Convention. From 1881 to 1887, he served as a U.S. senator and championed Indians, homesteaders, and Civil War veterans. Ben broke with his party to oppose the controversial Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and when the Indiana state legislature came under Democratic control in 1887, he declined to return to the Senate.

Ben announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, declaring himself a “living and rejuvenated Republican.” The words “Rejuvenated Republicanism” became the slogan of his presidential campaign and he was nominated for President at the 1888 Republican Convention. He was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall so Democrats called him “Little Ben”, Republicans responded that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, “Old Tippecanoe,” William Henry Harrison who was elected as the ninth president of the United States in 1840, but died of pneumonia only one month after he took office.

The two candidates did not personally campaign, President Cleveland made only one appearance and Ben limited his speeches to front porch receptions in Indianapolis for selected delegations and press reporters. In the Presidential election, Ben received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but received 233 Electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168. He took oath as the 23rd President of United States of America on March 4, 1889 and became the only grandson to become President whose grandfather had been a President.

Ben developed a stiff and formal personality and his own staff privately spoke of him as “the human iceberg.” Although stiff and formal with acquaintances, Ben opened up with his family. He spent as little time as possible in the office, usually working until noon. He loved to play with his grandchildren, many of whom had moved into the White House with their parents, Russell Benjamin Harrison and Mary Scott McKee. The children were allowed to keep as many pets as they wanted, including a goat whom they named Old Whiskers. In one situation Ben was seen chasing the goat down Pennsylvania Avenue with his three grandchildren.

First Lady Caroline Harrison was appalled at the living conditions in the White House stating that it was cramped, shabby, and overrun with rats. She used ferrets to combat the rats, bought new curtains and furniture, renovated the kitchen, laid new floors, and installed private baths, a new heating system and electric lighting installed by Edison General Electric Company. However, Ben and Caroline wouldn’t touch the light switches for fear of being electrocuted and often went to bed with the lights on. Ben also used a different Edison invention when he became the first president to have his voice preserved in a thirty-six second speech recorded on a wax phonograph cylinder.

At first Ben supported large corporations but when powerful entities like John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust started to eliminate competition, set monopoly rates and prices, he supported the bipartison antimonopoly legislation. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first federal law to regulate giant corporations. Today, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 remains an operational law.

Congress appropriated a billion dollars during Ben’s administration, angering many Americans who saw Ben and his fellow Republicans as too supportive of wealthy interests. The treasury had a surplus at the beginning of Ben’s administration, but the incorporation of soldiers’ pensions and business subsidies evaporated the budget surplus. Ben also advocated for the expansion of the U.S. Navy and forest conservation, authorizing America’s first forest reserve located in Yellowstone, Wyoming.

Ben supported bills that promoted voting rights of African Americans in the South, but could not get them through Congress. He appointed Frederick Douglass, the most famous African American of the day, as ambassador to Haiti.

Over the four years of Ben’s term in office, more states were admitted into the Union than during any previous presidential administration: North Dakota and South Dakota (November 2, 1889), Montana (November 8, 1889), Washington (November 11, 1889), Idaho (July 3, 1890), and Wyoming (July 10, 1890). When Ben signed the proclamations admitting North and South Dakota to the Union he ordered the papers to be shuffled due to a rivalry between the two states, the names where hidden from him while signing so there would be no argument over which he signed first. However, since North Dakota is before South Dakota alphabetically, its proclamation was printed first in the Statutes At Large, thus North Dakota has always been considered the 39th state.

The Republican Party re-nominated Ben as their Presidential candidate in 1892, but due to Caroline becoming seriously ill he chose not to campaign and remained by her side. In respect for Ben and his dying wife Grover Cleveland didn’t campaign either, letting both parties to lead the campaign trail. Caroline died in October 1892 from tuberculosis and two weeks later Ben lost to Cleveland by an electoral vote of 145 to 277, the most decisive victory in 20 years.

Prior to leaving office, an American-led coup toppled Queen Liliuokalani in the Hawaiian Islands in February 1893. Ben submitted a treaty of annexation before the Senate due to his interest in establishing a naval base at Pearl Harbor. Democrats blocked it for the remainder of Ben’s term and President Cleveland later withdrew it. Hawaii wouldn’t become a state until August 21, 1959.

When Harrison lost the election to Cleveland he told his family that he felt like he had been freed from prison. He was the last Civil War general to serve as president of the United States. He returned to his legal practice in Indiana and wrote several books including ‘This Country of Ours’ (1897) and ‘Views of an Ex-President’ (1901). He served on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University from July 1895 until he passed away. A campus dormitory was named after him in 1966. He also spent time in San Francisco, California to teach at Stanford University.

On April 6, 1896, Ben married the niece of his late wife, Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, who was 37 years old, 25 years younger than Ben. Ben’s grown children from his first marriage disapproved of the marriage to a relative 25 years his junior and did not attend the wedding, which only consisted of about three dozen guests. The couple had one child together, a daughter named Elizabeth.

Ben became a respected elder statesman and acclaimed public speaker. He died of pneumonia on March 13, 1901, in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the age of 67. He was buried next to his first wife at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis and left the bulk of his estate, valued at about $400,000, to his second wife and their four-year-old daughter.

Mary went on to establish The Benjamin Harrison Memorial Home in Indianapolis. She and Elizabeth traveled to Europe and returned upon the outbreak of World War I. She died in New York City on January 5, 1948 from asthma and is buried next to Ben and his first wife at the Crown Hill Cemetery.


“Great lives never go out; they go on.”

“I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”

“We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.”

“Prayer steadies one when he is walking in slippery places – even if things asked for are not given.”

“I am thorough believer in the American test of character. He will not build high who does not build for himself.”

“No other people have a government more worthy of their respect and love or a land so magnificent in extent, so pleasant to look upon, and so full of generous suggestion to enterprise and labor.”

“I knew that my staying up would not change the election result if I were defeated, while if elected I had a hard day ahead of me. So I thought a night’s rest was best in any event.”

“God forbid that the day should ever come when, in the American mind, the thought of man as a consumer shall submerge the old American thought of man as a creature of God, endowed with unalienable rights.”

“I cannot always sympathize with that demand which we hear so frequently for cheap things. Things may be too cheap. They are too cheap when the man or woman who produces them upon the farm or the man or woman who produces them in the factory does not get out of them living wages with a margin for old age and for a dowry for the incidents that are to follow. I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth or shapes it into a garment will starve in the process.”

“The bud of victory is always in the truth.”

“Sir, I wish to understand the true principles of the Government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more.”

“Lincoln had faith in time, and time has justified his faith.”

“There never has been a time in our history when work was so abundant or when wages were as high, whether measured by the currency in which they are paid or by their power to supply the necessaries and comforts of life.”

“Will it not be wise to allow the friendship between nations to rest upon deep and permanent things? Irritations of the cuticle must not be confounded with heart failure.”

“The disfranchisement of a single legal elector by fraud or intimidation is a crime too grave to be regarded lightly.”

“The indiscriminate denunciation of the rich is mischievous…. No poor man was ever made richer or happier by it. It is quite as illogical to despise a man because he is rich as because he is poor. Not what a man has, but what he is, settles his class. We can not right matters by taking from one what he has honestly acquired to bestow upon another what he has not earned.”

“That one flag encircles us with its folds today, the unrivaled object of our loyal love.”

“If you take out of your statutes, your constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?”

“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”

“If the educated and influential classes in a community either practice or connive at the systematic violation of laws that seem to them to cross their convenience, what can they expect when the lesson that convenience or a supposed class interest is a sufficient cause for lawlessness has been well learned by the ignorant classes?”

“Have you not learned that not stocks or bonds or stately houses, or products of the mill or field are our country? It is a spiritual thought that is in our minds.”

“The evil works from a bad center both ways. It demoralizes those who practice it and destroys the faith of those who suffer by it in the efficiency of the law as a safe protector.”

“It is often easier to assemble armies than it is to assemble army revenues.”

“I’d rather have a bullet inside of me than to be living in constant dread of one.”

“When and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law?”

“There is no constitutional or legal requirement that the President shall take the oath of office in the presence of the People but there is so manifest an appropriateness in the public induction to office of the chief executive officer of the nation that from the beginning of the Government the people to whose service the official oath consecrates the officer, have been called to witness the solemn ceremonial.”

“I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry. When we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.”


Benjamin Harrison

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Herbert Clark Hoover was born on August 10, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, he was the first United States president to be born west of the Mississippi River. His father, Jesse Clark Hoover (1846-80), worked as a blacksmith and his mother, Hulda Minthorn Hoover (1848-84), was a teacher, a seamstress and recorded minister in the Society of Friends (Quakers). Herbert was the second of three children in a family who valued honesty, industriousness and simplicity. He enjoyed fishing in the local creek and working in his father’s blacksmith shop.  His father suffered a heart attack and died when Herbert was six years old and three years later his mother passed away from pneumonia, orphaning Herbert, his older brother Theodore, and little sister Mary.

The children were passed between relatives for a few years with Herbert eventually living with his uncle, Dr. John Minthorn, in Oregon. Having lost both his parents at an early age and then living with relatives, resulted in young Herbert to be shy, sensitive, introverted, and somewhat suspicious.

Herbert left school at 15 and worked as an office helper for Minthorn’s Oregon Land Company. In the evenings he attended the Capital Business College and applied for the newly established Leland Stanford Junior University in California to become an engineer. Unfortunately he failed the school’s entrance exam, but a professor noticed he had potential and Herbert was accepted into Stanford’s inaugural 1891 class.

He served as class treasurer and managed the school baseball and football teams. To pay his tuition, Herbert worked as a clerk in the registration office and showed entrepreneurial skills by starting a student laundry service. He majored in geology and met his future wife, Lou Henry (1874-1944), in geology lab, she was the sole female geology major at Stanford.

After majoring in geology at Stanford and graduating in 1895, Herbert struggled to find a job as a surveyor and went to work pushing ore carts at a gold mine near Nevada City, California. He moved to Australia to work as a mining engineer. As he prepared to move to China Herbert cabled Lou to propose marriage, she accepted by return wire.

On February 10, 1899, Herbert and Lou Henry were married, the couple had two sons, Herbert (1903-69) and Allan Henry (1907-93). The day after their wedding the couple set sail for Tientsin, China, where they got caught in the Boxer Rebellion. Lou strapped on a revolver for self-defense, ignored flying bullets and helped nurse wounded Western diplomats and soldiers. By the time the couple returned home to America in 1917, Lou had learned to shoot a gun and had mastered eight languages. Herbert and Lou worked alongside in Australia, Russia, Mandalay, England and France. By the time their youngest son Allan turned three he had traveled around the world three times.

Herbert become a giant in his field and he opened his own mining consulting business in 1908. His consulting firm eventually employed 175,000 people in offices located in England, France, Russia, San Francisco and New York City. He soon became known as the “Great Engineer,” and became a multi-millionaire in his early thirties.

By 1914 he had accumulated a personal fortune around $4 million (about $95 million in today’s money), but he wanted more than wealth and World War I provided him with an opportunity for public service. One week before Herbert celebrated his 40th birthday in London, Germany declared war on France. The American Consul General asked for Herbert’s help in getting stranded tourists home.In six weeks his committee helped 120,000 Americans return to the United States. He then started to serve as chairman of the American Relief Committee in London and organized to feed starving masses in occupied Belgium, at great risk to his own life. Herbert even pooled his money with several wealthy friends to organize the Committee for the Relief of Belgium, raising millions of dollars for food and medicine to help desperate Belgians.

During this time Herbert read, and was influenced by, an autobiography of Andrew White, who had assembled a vast collection of documents pertaining to the French Revolution. He realized that he was in a unique position to collect information about the Great War. It was this idea that would lead him to develop the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, becoming the largest private repository of documents on twentieth-century political history.

The United States entered the war in 1917 and Herbert was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to lead the newly created U.S. Food Administration. He succeeded in cutting consumption of foods needed overseas, avoided rationing at home, and kept the Allies fed. Herbert became a household name during the war with Americans knowing that the verb “to Hooverize” meant the rationing of household materials.

After World War I ended, Herbert lead the European Relief and Rehabilitation Administration which channeled 34 million tons of American food, clothing, and supplies to war-torn Europe. He earned worldwide acclaim for his humanitarian efforts, as well as thousands of appreciative letters from people across Europe who benefited from the free meals known as “Hoover lunches.”

Pursuing his vision of a Great War repository he pledged $50,000 to Stanford University in 1919. The collection grew and in 1922 was renamed the Hoover War Library. By 1926, it was legitimately described as the largest library in the world dealing with the Great War and by 1929 contained 1.4 million items. The Hoover Tower, reaching a height of 285 feet, was completed in 1941, the fiftieth anniversary of Stanford University.

Herbert and his family had returned to his alma mater in 1920 and built a house on campus. Shortly after President-Elect Warren Harding recruited Herbert to become secretary of commerce, he continued his service under President Coolidge.

Herbert’s reputation peaked in 1927 when he took charge of relief efforts following disastrous floods along the Mississippi River. When Coolidge announced he would not seek reelection, Herbert became the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

Herbert ran a risk-free campaign, making only seven well-crafted radio speeches to the nation; he never even mentioned his opponent Al Smith by name. The Republicans portrayed Herbert as an efficient engineer in an era of technology, he was even the first person to appear on a long-distance TV broadcast. He was a successful self-made man, a skilled administrator in a new corporate world of international markets, and a businessman with a vision for economic growth that would, in the words of one GOP campaign circular, put “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”

Religion and Prohibition quickly emerged as the most volatile and energizing issues in the campaign. No Catholic had ever been elected President, a by-product of the long history of American anti-Catholic sentiment. Vicious rumors and openly hateful anti-Catholic rhetoric hit Smith hard in the months leading up to Election Day. Numerous Protestant preachers in rural areas delivered Sunday sermons warning their flocks that a vote for Smith was a vote for the Devil. Smith’s anti-Prohibition politics, dubbing him “Alcoholic” Smith, spreading rumors about his own addiction and linking him with moral decline.

Herbert won 58.2 percent of the popular vote compared to Smith’s 40.9 percent. The Electoral College tally was even more uneven, 444 to 87. His election seemed to ensure prosperity and he declared in his inaugural address, “I have no fears for the future of our country. It is bright with hope.” He was the first president to have a telephone on his desk and to hire an executive staff. His wife Lou was the perfect White House hostess. She started to catalog the White House antiques and restored furniture which she paid for herself. The Girl Scouts were her chief interest, and she served as their president. True to form, Herbert tried to keep his own family shielded from public view.

On October 24, 1929, only seven months after Herbert took office, a drop in the value of the U.S. stock market sent the economy spiraling downward and signaled the start of the Great Depression. Banks and businesses failed and unemployment soared. It was a national crisis with no precedent, and Herbert was vilified.

Between 1929 and 1933, 5,000 American banks collapsed, one in four farms went into foreclosure, and an average of 100,000 jobs vanished each week. By 1932, over 12 million Americans, nearly one-quarter of the workforce, was unemployed. For tens of millions, it was a time of panic and poverty, hunger and hopelessness. Many people were forced to wait in bread lines for food and to live in squalid shantytowns known as “Hoovervilles.”

Herbert tried a number of programs to stimulate the economy, and a few of them became key components of later relief efforts. However, Herbert’s response to the crisis was constrained by his conservative political philosophy. He opposed federal intervention in the economy or the construction of a welfare state, he believed that voluntarism and individual effort would solve the country’s economic woes. He believed in a limited role for government and worried that excessive federal intervention posed a threat to capitalism and individualism. Accordingly, Herbert vetoed several bills that would have provided direct relief to struggling Americans. He explained in his 1930 State of the Union address, “Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the public Treasury.”

In an effort to help war veterans Herbert signed the bill founding the Department of Veterans Affairs on July 21, 1930. He also signed a law on March 3, 1931 that made the 1814 poem by Francis Scott Key, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as America’s national anthem.

Herbert would not provide direct federal relief to the unemployed, he promoted indirect relief through public works projects and loans to the states. He presented to Congress a program asking for creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to aid business. He also supported helping farmers facing mortgage foreclosures, banking reform, a loan to states for feeding the unemployed, expansion of public works. His programs proved inadequate and the number of unemployed workers increased from seven million in 1931 to eleven million in 1933.

Herbert won passage of the Boulder Canyon Project Act, which mandated the construction of a massive dam (later named the Hoover Dam) to provide power for public utilities in California. He also placed nearly two million acres of federal land in the national forest reserve, demonstrating his belief in the conservation of national resources.

Herbert would relax doing one of his favorite hobbies, fishing. He built a fishing camp in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with $120,000 of his own money. He would bring congressmen and economic advisers to the cabin and held front-porch conferences. Herbert said, “I have discovered that even the work of the government can be improved by leisurely discussions out under the trees.”

At the White House Herbert adapted a game of medicine ball he had first played during a Latin American journey. For thirty minutes each day, seven days a week, Herbert and his “Medicine Ball Cabinet” heaved a six-pound medicine ball back and forth over a volleyball net. The game was scored exactly like tennis, and played in a similar fashion. It was a game that burned three times as many calories as tennis and six times that of golf as the players tried to throw a six pound ball over an eight foot high net.

The Depression reshaped American family life, birth rates dropped along with divorce rates, couples simply split up rather than going through legal channels for a costly divorce. The average annual family income dropped by 35 percent between Herbert’s inaugural speech and his retirement from office, from $2,300 to $1,500.

The word “Hooverize,” which in 1917 carried positive images in the public mind, had undergone a similar transformation and by 1932, “Hooverville” represented the dirty shacks in which the unemployed and homeless lived, with “Hoover Flags,” denoting the turned-out pockets of men’s trousers as they stood in bread lines. All the things about Hoover that had sounded positive during the 1920s became negative in 1932. Words like “rationalize,” “efficiency,” and “technocrat” spoke of heartlessness and a cold-minded concern with an industrial process that had devastated the nation.

Will Rogers summed up the mood of a nation when he joked, “If someone bit an apple and found a worm in it, Hoover would get the blame.” Comedians told the story of Herbert asking the treasury secretary for a nickel so he could call a friend and the treasury secretary replying, “Here, take a dime and call all your friends.”

Generous to a fault, Herbert was one of two American Presidents to give away his salary (John F. Kennedy was the other). He anonymously donated $25,000 a year to aid victims of the depression and raised $500,000 toward the 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and Welfare.

“The Great Engineer” shied away from the emotional aspects of modern, mass leadership. In the spring of 1932, three Detroit children hitchhiked to Washington to get their father out of jail. Herbert was deeply moved and ordered the father released immediately, yet he refused to let the press be informed or the children exploited for his personal political advantage. From hero to scapegoat, Herbert’s failure to dramatize himself was his greatest strength as a humanitarian and his greatest flaw as a politician.

The most politically damaging event of Herbert’s presidency was the Bonus March, staged by World War I veterans in 1932. Several years earlier, Congress had passed the Soldiers’ Bonus Act, which granted veterans Adjusted Compensation Certificates, payable in 1945. In May 1932, the “Bonus Army,” with more than 17,000 desperate veterans, gathered in Washington to force passage of the bill. Herbert had already made generous provisions for veterans and felt that the bill was a huge expense that wouldn’t help the countries neediest, veterans’ benefits already took up 25 percent of the 1932 federal budget. In July, the Bonus Bill was defeated in the Senate, the government offered to pay the fare home for each of the veterans who had traveled to Washington.

Thousands accepted the offer, but thousands more remained encamped across the Potomac from central Washington in a ramshackle shantytown. Herbert secretly ordered that its members be given tents, cots, army rations, and medical care. Although the Bonus Army had behaved remarkably peacefully, the police were called in to evict the veterans. A riot broke out and Herbert ordered that federal troops be dispatched to contain the veterans. The commanding general, Douglas MacArthur, did much more than “contain” the veterans, he ordered the use of tear gas, tanks, and bayonets, and commanded soldiers to set fire to the veterans’ shacks. Several veterans and even an infant were killed in the chaos. Herbert never publicly criticized the general for his excessive conduct, and thus the American people blamed Herbert as well as MacArthur.

Upon hearing the news, the Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt told a friend, “Well, this elects me.” By the time of the 1932 presidential election, Herbert had become a deeply unpopular, even reviled, figure across much of the country. He carried only six states and was soundly defeated by Democratic candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt, the governor of New York. The Great Depression officially became Roosevelt’s problem in March 1933, he promised to enact progressive reforms and economic relief programs that he called “A New Deal,” for the American people.

“Democracy is a harsh employer,” Herbert said when recalling his 1932 defeat. Rejected by his countrymen, Herbert departed Washington in March 1933, his once bright reputation in shambles and his career in public service apparently at an end. The Roosevelt era was, for Herbert, his own purgatory, during which the former President was forced to defend himself against charges that he had somehow caused the Great Depression or done little to combat it.

Defeated and still a relatively youthful man, the fifty-eight-year-old former President and his family moved to their home in Palo Alto, California. Herbert emerged as a critic of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. He wrote about his conservative political views and warning about the dangers of investing too much power in the federal government. His books, ‘The Challenge to Liberty’ and the eight-volume ‘Addresses Upon the American Road,’ attacked Roosevelt’s government policies.

Herbert traveled extensively in his post-presidential years and in 1938 he met with Adolf Hitler. The former U.S. President dressed down the German dictator, irritated at Hitler’s shouting in their private audience. Herbert opposed U.S. entry into the European conflict that broke out in 1939 after Germany attacked Poland. Although when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he changed his mind. He opposed the use of the atomic bomb on Japan, he wrote to a friend in August 1945, “The only difference between this and the use of poison gas is the fear of retaliation. We alone have the bomb.”

Herbert’s organizational and humanitarian skills where once again needed and President Roosevelt put aside his personal antipathy towards his predecessor and supported Herbert’s appointment to chair an international relief organization for Poland, Finland, and Belgium. Herbert was unsuccessful in getting food relief to nations occupied by the Nazis.

In 1944, after returning from an afternoon concert, First Lady Lou Hoover died of a heart attack at the couple’s suite in New York’s Waldorf Towers. She was a skilled linguist who was distinguished by her prematurely white hair, she shunned cosmetics, jewelry and frilly clothes.

In 1945 President Roosevelt died while still in office making Vice President Harry Truman President. In May 1945, President Truman invited America’s only living former President to visit him at the White House. “I would be most happy to talk over the European food situation with you,” wrote Truman. “Also it would be a pleasure for me to become acquainted with you.” It was the start of an improbable, yet historic friendship between two men who formed perhaps the oddest couple in American politics. Early in 1946 Herbert served as the coordinator of the Food Supply for World Famine and the 71 year old Herbert visited 38 nations in an effort to beg, borrow, and cajole enough food to avert mass starvation among victims of World War II.

Herbert returned to public service in the 1950s, serving on commissions aimed at increasing government efficiency for presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Herbert’s attention returned to Iowa late in the 1950s when he agreed to allow friends and associates construct a “presidential library” near the site of his birthplace. Herbert insisted that the building be modest in size in accordance with scale of the other buildings in the community. The former president made his last visit to Iowa on August 10, 1962 to dedicate the building to the American people.

The former President continued to advise Presidents of both parties into his eighties. A reporter who dropped by Herbert’s home at the Waldorf Towers in New York City, in 1960 could hardly believe that Herbert worked eight to twelve hours each day. After all, said the journalist, the former President was nearly 86 years old. “Yes,”replied one of his secretaries, “but he doesn’t know that.” With his unending series of books, articles, speeches, and other public appearances, Herbert reinvented the ex-presidency. Long before his death he had regained much of his countrymen’s esteem and became the nation’s respected elder statesman.

Herbert Hoover died on October 20, 1964 in New York, NY at the age of ninety from colon cancer. More than 75,000 people attended the funeral service. On October 29, the body of Herbert was interred in a simple grave beside his wife Lou on an Iowa hill overlooking the cottage where he was born.

In a final demonstration of Quaker simplicity, his tombstone carries no presidential seal, no inscription of any kind, simply the name Herbert Hoover and the dates 1874–1964. It is a deliberately understated comment on a highly dramatic life that impacted millions of people.


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The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933

Herbert Hoover: A biography

An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover: A Public Life (Signature)

The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover – The Great Depression, 1929-1941



Herbert Hoover

#31 Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover: Master of Emergencies

A trip to Iowa reveals President Herbert Hoover was an extraordinary man

Herbert Hoover Biography

Life Portrait of Herbert Hoover

A Conversation with Herbert Hoover

Quotes by Herbert Hoover

“Whatever doubt there may be as to the quality or purpose of our free speech we certainly have ample volumes in production.”

“We must not be misled by the claim that the source of all wisdom is in the government.”

“The durability of free speech and free press rests on the simple concept that it search for the truth and tell the truth.”

“The imperative need of this nation at all times is the leadership of Uncommon Men or Women.”

“No great question will ever be settled in dollars and cents. Great questions must be settled on moral grounds and the tests of what makes free men.”

“Truth alone can stand the guns of criticism.”

“No public man can be just a little crooked. There is no such thing as a no-man’s land between honesty and dishonesty.”

“The budget should be balanced not by more taxes, but by reduction of follies.”

“We are now speeding down the road of wasteful spending and debt, and unless we can escape we will be smashed in inflation.”

“Freedom requires that government keep the channels of competition and opportunity open, prevent monopolies, economic abuse and domination.”

“There is no more cruel illusion than that war makes a people richer.”

“We cannot change ideas in the minds of men and races with machine guns or battle ships.”

“One of the primary necessities of the world for the maintenance of peace is the elimination of the frictions which arise from competitive armament.”

“Truly every generation discovers the world all new again and knows it can improve it.”

“The advancement of knowledge must be translated into increasing health and education for the children.”

“Every generation has the right to build its own world out of the materials of the past, cemented by the hopes of the future.”

“Children are the most wholesome part of the race, the sweetest, for they are the freshest from the hand of god.”

“National character cannot be built by law. It is the sum of the moral fiber of its individuals.”

“Many women are now holding posts of grave responsibility in city and country and state and nation, and their number must be greatly increased.”

“It is obvious that while science is struggling to bring Heaven to earth some men are using its materials in the construction of Hell.”

“Next to religion, baseball has had a greater impact on our American way of life than any other American institution.”

On Engineering

“It is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege.

The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned…

On the other hand, unlike the doctor his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope. No doubt as years go by the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician puts hs name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other people’s money . . . But the engineer himself looks back at the the unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with satisfactions that few professions may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants.”

On Fishing

“Tis the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of the sun on the blue water.

It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week.

And it is discipline in the equality of men, for all men are equal before fish.”

 What Is A Boy?

“You can absolutely rely on a boy if you know what to expect.

A boy is Nature’s answer to false belief that there is no such thing as perpetual motion. A boy can run like a deer, swim like a fish, climb like a squirrel, balk like a mule, bellow like a bull, eat like a pig, or act like a jackass, according to climatic conditions.

The world is so full of boys that it’s impossible to touch off a fire cracker, strike up a band, or pitch a ball without collecting a thousand of them. Boys are no ornamental; they’re useful. If it were not for boys, the newspapers would go undelivered and unread and a hundred thousand picture shows would go bankrupt.

The boy is a natural spectator; he watches parades, fires, fights, football games, automobiles and planes with equal fervor. However, he will not watch a clock. A boy is a piece of skin stretched over an appetite. However, he eats only when he’s awake. Boys imitate their Dads in spite of all efforts to teach them good manners. Boys are very durable. A boy if not washed too often and if kept in a cool quiet place after each accident, will survive broken bones, hornets nests, swimming holes and five helpings of pie.

Boys love to trade things. They’ll trade fish hooks, marbles, broken knives and snakes for anything that is priceless or worthless.”

On July 14, 1913 Leslie Lynch King, Jr. is born in Omaha, Nebraska to Leslie and Dorothy King. Leslie’s mother left her abusive relationship on July 30, 1913 and took her two-week old son to her parents’ house in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Leslie’s mother divorced his father December 19, 1913 and married Gerald R. Ford on February 1, 1917. Gerald was a successful paint salesman who adopted her young son. They began calling her son Gerald R. Ford, Jr., although his name was not legally changed until December 3, 1935. Gerald Ford was commonly known as Jerry, and he always signed his name as Jerry Ford. Jerry was not even aware of the existence of his biological father until he was 12. He grow up in a close knit family with three younger brothers, Thomas, Richard, and James.

Jerry attended elementary school at Madison Elementary in Grand Rapids, MI. and on his twelfth birthday he joined the local Boy Scout Troop. In November 1927 he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and is the only U.S. President to have been an Eagle Scout. He respected the Boy Scouts so much that an honor guard of about 400 Eagle Scouts stood watch during his funeral procession.

Jerry attended South High School in Grand Rapids and excelled at football, being named to the “All-City” and “All-State” teams. He also worked at his father’s paint and varnish factory and a local hamburger stand.

His closeness to his stepfather was deepened after a brief encounter with his father when he was 17 years old.  While he was waiting on tables a patron in the restaurant stared at him and then told him, “Leslie, I’m your father.” He was stunned and in an interview decades later recalled with bitterness, “It was shocking, in that he would intrude on a happy family life after he had neglected my mother and me by his refusal to pay what the court ordered him to pay as child support.” His father never paid the monthly child support ordered by the court but Mr. King’s father paid the money his son owed until the elder Mr. King died.

In 1931 Jerry attended the University of Michigan and joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and became a member of Michigamua, an esteemed senior honor society. Jerry also played center on the football team and was named the Wolverine’s Most Valuable Player in 1934. He remained devoted to Wolverine’s football all his life, often asking the Naval band to play his team’s fight song instead of “Hail to the Chief” before state events.

He received offers to pley professional football from the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. Instead of taking up a professional football career he chose to take a position as boxing coach and assistant varsity football coach at Yale, hoping to attend law school there. Yale officials initially denied him admission to the law school, but admitted him in the spring of 1938.

While at Yale, Jerry met Phyllis Brown, a blond, beautiful model who was a student attending Connecticut College for Women, they even appeared in a photograph spread in the March 12, 1940 Look Magazine. The two shared a zest for life and fell in love. The romance ended when Jerry returned to Grand Rapids to practice law and Brown stayed in New York to continue her modeling career.

When Jerry wasn’t hanging out with models and playing football in college he volunteered for Wendell Wilkie’s presidential campaign and attended the 1940 Republican Convention. A year later, he graduated from Yale Law School in the top 25 percent of his class, while still completing his coaching duties.

Jerry returned to Grand Rapids in May 1941 and opened a law firm with college friend Philip Buchen. He also become active in local politics helping to launch a reform group opposed to the Republican political machine of Frank D. McKay.

When the United States entered World War II, Jerry volunteered for the Navy and was assigned to Annapolis, Maryland as a physical training instructor. After Annapolis he became a physical fitness instructor at a pre-flight school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

After a number of requests to be assigned to combat duty he was eventually reassigned as the athletic director and gunnery division officer onboard the USS MONTEREY.  He sees combat action in the Pacific Theater but the worse battle was on December 18, 1944 when his ship was hit by typhoon Cobra. Jerry was almost swept off the deck of the Monterey to his death, over 300 of his fellow sailors lost their lives to the typhoon.

He survived the typhoon but the Monterey was declared unfit for service. Jerry was reassigned to the Athletic Department at the Navy Pre-flight School at St. Mary’s College in California. He was honorably discharged from active duty in the United States Navy in February 1946.

Jerry returned to Grand Rapids and worked at the law firm of Butterfield, Keeney, and Amberg. He became active in many civic affairs and charities including chapters of the Red Cross, the American Legion, and the VFW. He also resumed his involvement in reforming Grand Rapids politics.

Mutual friends introduced Jerry to Elizabeth (Betty) Bloomer Warren in August 1947. Betty was a former model and dancer and a recent divorcee who had returned home to Grand Rapids. She worked as a department store fashion coordinator and taught dance to handicapped children.

On June 14, 1948 Jerry announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives, he defeated Bartel Jonkman, on September 14, 1948 in the Republican primary.

A month later, on October 15, 1948, Jerry and Betty Bloomer Warren became married at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids. The marriage was postponed until just before the election because Jerry wasn’t sure how his marriage to “a divorced ex-dancer” would affect his campaign. As it turned out, the public loved Betty, she was a strong and interesting woman who was open about her love for Jerry and he was never shy about expressing his affection for his wife, either. They eventually had four children: Michael, John, Steven and Susan.

Their brief honeymoon was in Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan-Northwestern football game, and then they drive to Michigan to attend a rally for Republican Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey.

On November 2, 1948 Jerry was elected to his first term as a U.S. Congressman from Grand Rapids and serves in the House of Representatives from January 3, 1949 to December 6, 1973. He was reelected twelve times, each time with more than 60% of the vote.

He earned a reputation as a friendly, honest, loyal and hardworking Republican. He earned a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversaw all government spending. He also helped to organize the “Chowder and Marching Club” of young Republican Congressmen with fellow House member Richard Nixon. He served on the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the following year Jerry became the House Minority Leader, the third most powerful Republican.

Jerry continued to be reelected throughout the sixties and told his family and friends that he likely would stand for election in 1974, hopefully win, and then retire from Congress in 1977.

Political colleague Richard Nixon is reelected as president in 1972. A national nightmare would begin when on June 17, 1972 five burglars where arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C..

Spiro Agnew resigned the office of Vice President in 1973, pleading no contest to a charge of accepting bribes and income tax evasion. President Nixon telephoned Jerry at home and offered the vice presidency to him and he was sworn in on December 6, 1973. Jerry’s main political goal was to become the Speaker of the House, but instead he became the Vice President and the Speaker of the Senate, a position he wouldn’t hold very long.

Jerry traveled more than 130,000 miles to support President Nixon saying that he was not involved in the Watergate scandal.  In a later interview when referring to the belief that Nixon wasn’t involved in Watergate he said “I believed what I was told, so my whole conduct as vice president was predicated on that personal trust.”

Although his support for President Nixon ended on August 6, 1974. President Nixon assembled his Cabinet at the White House and declared that he would not resign. Jerry was seated on the opposite side of the table and told Nixon, “I no longer can publicly defend you.” It was, for Jerry, a loyal friend of the president, one of the most difficult things he had ever done, he later told an interviewer, “with the development of the evidence, I had no other choice.”

On August 8, Nixon announced his resignation in a televised address to the American people. The next day, Jerry became President of the United States, the first person ever to occupy that office who had not been sent there by the electorate.

When Jerry took the oath of office on August 9, 1974, he declared, “I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances…. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.” He continued to say, “I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots. … I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it.”

Jerry inherited an administration plagued by a war in Southeast Asia, rising inflation, and fears of energy shortages. He faced many difficult decisions including replacing Nixon’s staff and restoring the credibility of the presidency. His first priority was to bring inflation under control, declaring it “public enemy number one.” One of his first unpopular decisions was when he named Nelson A. Rockefeller as his selection for Vice President. Many Republicans believed that he should’ve selected George H.W. Bush.

The next unpopular decision, and on that possibly cost him the 1976 reelection was on September 8, 1974 when Jerry pardoned Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed as President. The surprise announcement stunned the country and his approval rating dropped. Millions of Americans wanted to see the disgraced former president brought to justice. Some believed that Nixon made a deal with Jerry that if he made him Vice President and if he had to resign he would pardon him.  Jerry had to testify to Congress why he made this decision and insisted that the nation’s future hinged on ending the ordeal of Watergate and beginning the process of healing. In his 1979 autobiography he said that if Mr. Nixon been required to face indictment and trial that, “all of the healing process that I thought was so essential would have been much more difficult to achieve.”

Jerry wasn’t only going dealing with extensive criticism for pardoning Nixon, His wife Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery three weeks later.

In his first State of the Union Address on January 15, 1975, Jerry announced bluntly that “the state of the Union is not good. Millions of Americans are out of work. Recession and inflation are eroding the money of millions more. Prices are too high, and sales are too slow.” To remedy these problems, Jerry proposed tax cuts for American families and businesses, and strongly advocated for the reduction of government spending.

On April 28, 1975 Jerry ordered the emergency evacuation of American personnel and high-risk South Vietnamese nationals from Vietnam due to communist forces taking over Saigon. The following month Communist Cambodia seized a U.S. merchant ship and Jerry ordered Marines to rescue the ship’s crew. The civilians are safely recovered but many Marines died. It appeared that communism was spreading.

But even with everything going on Jerry formally announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976.

Jerry’s future was almost ended on September 5, 1975 when he was in Sacramento, California and Charles Manson follower, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, attempted to assassinate him. If that wasn’t enough, on September 22, Sara Jane Moore, a woman with ties to leftwing radical groups, attempted to assassinate him in San Francisco. Both Moore and Fromme were given life sentences.

As President, Jerry still found time to relax, he enjoyed fishing, golfing, swimming, tennis, horseback riding, and taking the family on skiing trips to Vail, Colorado. He was in excellent health and was certainly one of the most athletic of all the nation’s Presidents. The family had Golden Retriever named Liberty, who had pups at the White House, they kept one and named her Misty. Jerry’s daughter Susan held her senior prom in the East room of the White House and the self-admitting pot smoking son Jack made headlines by bringing a former member of the Beatles, George Harrison, to the White House.

On August 19, 1976 Jerry is nominated at the Republican Convention over former California Governor Ronald Reagan. He selects Senator Robert Dole of Kansas as his running mate. The Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter is already winning public opinion polls and in September they engaged in the first presidential candidate debate since the Nixon-Kennedy debates in 1960.

On November 3, 1976 Jerry loses the Presidential election to Jimmy Carter of Georgia. Jerry received 39,147,793 votes compared to Carter’s 40,830,763 votes.

During his final State of the Union Address on January 12, 1977, Jerry tells Congress and the American People, “I can report that the state of the union is good. There is room for improvement, as always, but today we have a more perfect Union than when my stewardship began.”

On January 20, 1977 Carter is sworn in as the 39th President of the United States. In his inaugural address, Carter states, “For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.”

Jerry retired to Rancho Mirage, California but he did return to the White House on March 24, 1977 to meet with President Carter in the Oval Office. They meet for an hour and a half discussing a range of national and international issues.

In his post-presidential years, Jerry wrote a number of books, including an account of his presidency, A Time to Heal (1979), and Humor and the Presidency (1987). Always very athletic, Jerry continued to enjoy the game of golf and spending time at Val Colorado skiing.

In the fall 1979 Jerry did consider another run for the Presidency in the 1980 election. He officially took himself out of consideration on March 16, 1980 when he stated “…America needs a new President. I have determined that I can best help that cause by not being a candidate for President, which might further divide my party.”There was even consideration with him running with Ronald Reagan as the Vice Presidential nominee.

On April 27, 1981 Jerry dedicated his Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan and then on September 18, he dedicated his Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Betty Ford struggled with alcohol and pain killer addiction and founded The Betty Ford Center which was opened on October 3, 1982. In November 18, 1991, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush and a Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.

Throughout Jerry’s post presidency he represents the United States in a number of international issues and stayed active in supporting future republican presidential nominees. On August 11, 1999 Jerry is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton, the nation’s highest civilian award. On May 21, 2001 The John F. Kennedy Foundation presented Jerry with the Profiles in Courage Award for putting the nation’s interest above his own political future for pardoning Richard Nixon.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) established the “NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award” in October 2003. The award honors an individual who had provided significant leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics on a continuous basis over the course of their career. Three years later the NCAA named Jerry as the fourteenth most-influential student-athlete of the last 100 years.

On December 26, 2006 Jerry died at his California home at 93 years old. At the time of his death, he was America’s oldest ex-president.

Funeral services were first held at St. Margaret’s Church in Palm Desert, California on December 30, 2006.  Then on January 2, 2007 services were held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. with final services held on January 3 at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jerry is interred on the grounds of his Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jerry may not be remembered for sweeping changes during his presidency, which was probably the last thing the country needed at the time. His calm, forgiving presence was perhaps the best thing and while his decision to pardon Nixon was unpopular at the time, it helped put the nation back on the road to recovery.

Following her husband’s death, Betty continued to live in Rancho Mirage but poor health and increasing frailty largely curtailed her public life. She died of natural causes on July 8, 2011, at the age of 93. She is buried next to her husband at the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids Michigan.


“Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time”!

“He [Gerald R. Ford, Sr.] and Mother had three rules: tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time—and woe unto any of us who violated those rules.”

“I am not a saint, and I am sure I have done things I might have done better or differently, or not at all.  I have also left undone things that I should have done.  But I believe and hope that I have been honest with myself and with others, that I have been faithful to my friends and fair to my opponents, and that I have tried my very best to make this great Government work for the good of all Americans.”

“I am a Ford, not a Lincoln.”

“I promise my fellow citizens only this: To uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and…to do the very best that I can for America.”

“I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it . . . I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government, but civilization itself.  That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.  In all my public and private acts as your President, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end.  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.  Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a Government of laws and not of men.  Here the people rule.”

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

“This Congress, unless it has changed, I am confident, will be my working partner as well as my most constructive critic.  I am not asking for conformity.  I am dedicated to the two-party system, and you know which party I belong to.  I do not want a honeymoon with you.  I want a good marriage.”

“As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God.  And I have sought such guidance and searched my own conscience with special diligence to determine the right thing for me to do with respect to my predecessor in this place, Richard Nixon, and his loyal wife and family.  Theirs is an American tragedy in which we all have played a part.  It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it.  I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must.”

“Desertion in time of war is a major, serious offense; failure to respond to the country’s call for duty is also a serious offense.  Reconciliation among our people does not require that these acts be condoned.  Yet, reconciliation calls for an act of mercy to bind the Nation’s wounds and to heal the scars of divisiveness.”

“We are bound together by the most powerful of all ties, our fervent love for freedom and independence, which knows no homeland but the human heart.”

“History will judge this Conference not by what we say here today, but by what we do tomorrow – not by the promises we make, but by the promises we keep.”

“As we continue our American adventure…all our heroes and heroines of war and peace send us this single, urgent message: though prosperity is a good thing, though compassionate charity is a good thing, though institutional reform is a good thing, a nation survives only so long as the spirit of sacrifice and self-discipline is strong within its people.  Independence has to be defended as well as declared; freedom is always worth fighting for; and liberty ultimately belongs only to those willing to suffer for it.”

“The world is ever conscious of what Americans are doing, for better or for worse, because the United States today remains that most successful realization of humanity’s universal hope.  The world may or may not follow, but we lead because our whole history says we must.  Liberty is for all men and women as a matter of equal and unalienable right.  The establishment of justice and peace abroad will in large measure depend upon the peace and justice we create here in our own country, for we still show the way.”

“Remember that none of us are more than caretakers of this great country.  Remember that the more freedom you give to others, the more you will have for yourself.  Remember that without law there can be no liberty.  And remember, as well, the rich treasures you brought from whence you came, and let us share your pride in them.”

“To me, the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency were not prizes to be won, but a duty to be done.”

“I am a loyal Wolverine. When they lose in football, basketball, or anything I still get darn disappointed.”

“Some people equate civility with weakness and compromise with surrender. I strongly disagree. I come by my political pragmatism the hard way, for my generation paid a very heavy price in resistance to the century we had of some extremists — to the dictators, the utopians, the social engineers who are forever condemning the human race for being all too human.”

“I have always believed that most people are mostly good, most of the time.  I have never mistaken moderation for weakness, nor civility for surrender.  As far as I’m concerned, there are no enemies in politics–just temporary opponents who might vote with you on the next Roll Call.”

“. . . The ultimate test of leadership is not the polls you take, but the risks you take.  In the short run, some risks prove overwhelming.  Political courage can be self-defeating.  But the greatest defeat of all would be to live without courage, for that would hardly be living at all.”


Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford Presidential Library and Museum

Gerald Ford, 38th President, Dies at 93

61 – Proclamation 4311 – Granting Pardon to Richard Nixon

Timeline of President Ford’s Life and Career

10 Facts About Gerald Ford

Gerald R. Ford – Facts and Favorites

Fun Facts on Gerald Ford


By Gerald Ford

A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford

Greater Grand Rapids : City that Works

Humor and the Presidency

Conversation with Gerald Ford: Thoughts on Economics and Politics in the 1980’s (Studies in political and social processes)

Toward a Healthy Economy (The Francis Boyer Lectures on Public Policy)

The Vladivostok negotiations and other events (IGCC policy papers)

Selected speeches

Seminar in Economic Policy With Gerald R. Ford (Studies in Economic Policy)


Other Authors

Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life

Gerald R. Ford (The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977)

31 Days: Gerald Ford, the Nixon Pardon and A Government in Crisis

Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford

Time and Chance: Gerald Ford’s Appointment With History

The Education of Gerald Ford

The Last of the President’s Men

Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford

Biography – Gerald R. Ford: Healing the Presidency

Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s


Swearing in Ceremony of Gerald R. Ford as 38th President of the United States, August 9. 1974

Gerald Ford Interview- Pardoning Nixon (Merv Griffin Show 1979)

A Time to Heal: Gerald Ford’s America

Jimmy Carter – Gerald Ford Presidential Candidates Debate #2 (1976)

Time and Chance: Gerald R. Ford’s Appointment with History

President Gerald Ford on Larry King 6-8-2004 Full Hour

The U.S. Navy’s Newest Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)

Gerald Ford – Assassination Attempts (02)

Gerald Ford assassination attempts – Doug Wead

Funeral of Gerald R. Ford Grand Rapids.

John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on July 11, 1767. He was the first President who was the son of a President, George W. Bush being the other one. John Quincy, in many respects, paralleled the career as well as the temperament and viewpoints of one of the country’s founding fathers and his own father John Adams. He watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from the top of Penn’s Hill with his mother. He regularly saw soldiers passing through his hometown. The Revolutionary War was not some distant event but an immediate and frightening reality, especially since his father was one of the revolutionaries that signed the Declaration of Independence, not only putting himself in danger, but also his family.

His early years were spent living between Braintree and Boston. Some references state that John Quincy came from Quincy Massachusetts but Quincy didn’t became a city until 1888 when it split off from Braintree. The town was named after Colonel John Quincy, maternal grandfather of Abigail Adams and after whom John Quincy Adams was named. His doting father and affectionate mother taught him mathematics, languages, and the classics. His father was absent from his childhood more often than he was present, leaving much of the raising and educating of the children to Abigail.

His father groomed his son to become president of the new nation and from 1778 to 1779 eleven year old John Quincy traveled with his father to France where he served as a diplomatic envoy. John Quincy would spend a total of seven years traveling with his father to Paris, the Netherlands, and St. Petersburg, with shorter visits to England, Sweden, and Prussia. His first formal schooling was at the Passy Academy outside of Paris where studied of Benjamin Franklin’s grandsons.  As secretary to his father in Europe, he became an accomplished linguist, his father called him “the greatest traveler of his age.”

In 1780 Charles and John Quincy accompanied their father to the Netherlands to negotiate a loan. Charles was unhappy in Europe and went home after a year and a half. John Quincy’s education was interrupted when the U.S. emissary to St. Petersburg, Francis Dana, asked that he accompany him as a translator and personal secretary. A year later, John Quincy traveled alone for five months from St. Petersburg to The Hague, to rejoin his father. When he returned to America in 1785, John Quincy enrolled in Harvard College and completed a Bachelor Degree in Arts in two years.

In 1787 he started to study law and fell deeply in love with a young woman he met in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The romance lasted for several months before his mother persuaded him to put off marriage until he could support a wife. John Quincy respected his mother’s opinion and the couple eventually parted ways, which he always regretted.

John Quincy earned his Master of Art degree from Harvard in 1790 and passed the Massachusetts bar exam. He was admitted to the bar 1791 and started practicing law in Boston. As a new, young lawyer, he had difficulty attracting paying clients, even with his father being the vice president of the United States. John Quincy wrote articles in support of the Washington administration and finally, in 1794, President George Washington, aware of his fluency in French and Dutch, appointed him minister to the Netherlands.

After his father was elected president in 1796 he made John Quincy minister to Prussia where he meet Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of Joshua Johnson, an American merchant who had married an Englishwoman. John Quincy first meet her when she was only four. Louisa had grown into a pretty 22-year-old woman and John Quincy was a 30-year-old diplomat and the son of the President of the United States. John Quincy’s parents initially objected, they did not think it wise for a future President to have a foreign-born wife but this time against his parent’s opinion, they became married on July 26, 1797. The couple had four children, a daughter that didn’t reach her first birthday, George Washington Adams, who died at age 28 of apparent suicide, John Adams II died at age 31 from alcoholism. The surviving son, Charles Francis Adams, became a congressman from Massachusetts and ambassador to Britain during the Civil War.

After John Adams lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, Jefferson recalled John Quincy from Europe, he returned to Boston and reopened his law practice. The following year he was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, and in 1803 the state legislature chose him to serve in the U.S. Senate. John Quincy was known as a member of the Federalist Party but once he was in Washington he voted against the Federalist Party line on several issues. The Federalist-controlled Massachusetts state legislature was infuriated by John Quincy’s pro-Jeffersonian conduct and expressed their displeasure by appointing his successor a year before his term was complete. John Quincy resigned his Senate seat in June 1808 and returned to Harvard, where he became a professor.

President James Madison called Adams back into diplomatic service in 1809 and appointed him ambassador to the Russian court of Czar Alexander I. While in St. Petersburg, John Quincy observed Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and later the withdrawal of the French army. War broke out between the United States and Britain, and in 1814 Madison called John Quincy to Belgium to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. John Quincy then began serving (like his father before him) as U.S. minister to Great Britain and later his son, Charles Francis Adams, would hold the same post during the American Civil War.

President James Monroe appointed John Quincy as the Secretary of State for two consecutive terms, from 1817-1824. While in this position he arranged with England for the joint occupation of the Oregon country, helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine, negotiated U.S. fishing rights off the Canadian coast, established the present U.S.-Canadian border from Minnesota to the Rockies, and achieved the transfer of Spanish Florida to the United States in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. Within the State Department, he appointed staff on the basis of merit and left behind a highly efficient diplomatic service with clear accountability procedures and a system of regularized correspondence in place.

In the political tradition of the early 19th century, Adams as Secretary of State was considered the political heir to the Presidency. But the old ways of choosing a President were changing in 1824 to a populace vote. When he entered the race for the presidency he faced a handicap, he was widely respected, but was less widely liked and the southern states objected him because he opposed slavery.

John Quincy entered a five-way race for the presidency with two other members of Monroe’s cabinet–Secretary of War John C. Calhoun and Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford–along with Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House, and the military hero General Andrew Jackson. John Quincy carried the New England states, most of New York and a few districts elsewhere, but finished behind Jackson who won in both the electoral and popular votes. However, no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, and the election was decided by the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, gave his support to Adams, who would later name Clay as the secretary of state. Andrew Jackson’s supporters claimed that this was a “corrupt bargain,” and Jackson himself resigned from the Senate declaring that he would win the next presidential election. He didn’t like to lose, especially when he won both the popular and electoral votes and didn’t become president because he didn’t accept Henry Clays offer before he went to John Quincy.

After the contested presidential election, John Quincy was elected the sixth President of the United States. As President, he rose precisely at five A.M. (4:15 in the summers), made his own fire, read his Bible, and then took a morning walk or a swim in the Potomac. In a study conducted in 2008, a fitness chain concluded that he was the fittest president in American history, thanks to his habit of walking more than three miles daily and swimming in the Potomac River. Once he was swimming naked and Journalist Anne Royall stole his clothes and wouldn’t return them until she was given an interview. Besides swimming, he enjoyed shooting billiards (he installed the first billiard table in the White House), reading, observing nature, domesticating wild plants, walking, horseback riding, attending the theater, and partaking of fine wines. He even owned a pet alligator which he kept in the East Room of the White House, it was given to him by the Marquis de Lafayette.

But he didn’t spend much time with his wife Louisa, except for breakfast and an occasional dinner, during which they both read papers and rarely talked. They often went for weeks without much communication and by his second year in office, they began taking separate summer vacations.

John Quincy faced continuous hostility from the Jacksonians in Congress, which explains his few accomplishments while in the White House. The Erie Canal was completed while he was in office, linking the Great Lakes to East Coast and enabling a flow of products to Eastern markets. He also sought to provide Native Americans with territory in the West, but this also failed to find support in Congress.

Not only did he have what appeared to be an unsuccessful presidency, his father died on July 4th, 1826 when he was president, the man he continually tried to impress. Maybe the “corrupt bargain” scandal was too much for his father to see him go through.

John Quincy and Andrew Jackson didn’t personally campaign in 1828, but their political followers organized rallies, parades, and demonstrations. In the press, the personal attacks reached a level of cruelty and misrepresentation. Jackson was accused of multiple murders (he was in a number of pistol duels), of extreme personal violence, and having lived in sin with his wife, Rachel, who herself was attacked as a bigamist since they got married before her divorce was finalized. John Quincy, on the other hand, was attacked for his legalistic attitudes, for his foreign-born wife, and for reportedly having procured young American virgins for the Russian czar as the primary achievement of his diplomatic career. John Quincy’s critics referred to him as “His Excellency” while Jackson came under attack as an ill-mannered, barely civilized, backwoods Indian killer.

The branding of Jackson’s wife as an “American Jezebel” and convicted adulteress backfired as an election strategy, voters didn’t approve of humiliating a woman who had lived for 40 years as the devoted wife of General Jackson. To many Americans, Jackson’s duels, brawls, executions, and unauthorized ventures represented the victory of what was right and good over John Quincy’s stiff-minded and narrowly construed principles. The attacks simply enhanced Jackson’s image as an authentic American hero who fought “heathen savages” and was one of the main generals in the War of 1812, especially winning the final battle in New Orleans.

John Quincy’s elitist attitude and his disliked contact with ordinary people had said, “If the country wants my services, she must ask for them.” He refused to campaign for his own re-election because he felt that political office should be a matter of service and not a popularity contest.

It was the first campaign in history to extensively use election materials such as campaign buttons, slogans, posters, tokens, flasks, snuffboxes, medallions, thread boxes, matchboxes, mugs, and fabric images. Almost all of these campaign trinkets depicted some aspect of the candidate’s popular image. Jackson’s status as a war hero and frontiersman played far better with the public than John Quincy’s stiff-looking elder statesman stance.

The campaign turned out more than twice the number of voters who had cast ballots in 1824. Jackson won the election by a landslide, and by a wide margin of 95 electoral votes. John Quincy carried New England, Delaware, part of Maryland, New Jersey, and sixteen of New York’s electoral votes, nine states in all. Jackson carried the remaining fifteen states of the South, Northwest, mid-Atlantic, and West. John Quincy became the second president in U.S. history to fail to win a second term, the first being his own father in 1800.

After his defeat by Andrew Jackson in 1828, John Quincy refused to attend the new president’s inauguration, just like his father when he boycotted Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration in 1801. He returned to Massachusetts, expecting to spend the remainder of his life enjoying his farm and his books but unexpectedly, the Plymouth district elected him to the House of Representatives in 1830. He would serve as a powerful leader for nine consecutive terms until the end of his life in 1848.

As one of the House’s most articulate and forceful spokesmen against slavery, John Quincy earned the nickname of “Old Man Eloquent.” Whenever he speak silence would sweep over the chamber as congressmen turned their attention to the former President. In 1841, John Quincy argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court to win freedom for slave mutineers aboard the Spanish ship Amistad. The court ruled that the mutineers were free men because international slave trade was illegal under British and U.S. law.

Keeping in character with his devotion to education and the sciences, he oversaw the donation of James Smithson of England, who willed $500,000 to the United States for the creation of an institution dedicated to knowledge, later called the Smithsonian Institution. In 1843, at the age of seventy-six, he also traveled to Cincinnati to oversee the laying of the cornerstone of the Cincinnati Observatory.

On February 21, 1848, John Quincy suffered a stroke on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol building discussing a matter he strongly opposed. He subsequently slipped into a coma after uttering these last words: “This is the end of earth. But I am content.” John Quincy died on February 23 and for two days mourners filed by his open casket in one of the House committee room. He was eventually interred next to his parents, John and Abigail Adams, beneath the First Congregational Church in Quincy Massachusetts. He left his 8,500-volume library and personal papers, as well as his home and lands, to his only surviving son, Charles Francis Adams. He divided the remainder of his estate between his wife, daughter-in-law Mary Catherine Hellen Adams (widow of his second son John Adams II), and granddaughter Mary Louisa Adams.

Many historians consider him to be the most learned person ever to have served as President He kept a diary most of his life that the biographer Fred Kaplan calls “the most valuable firsthand account of an American life and events from the last decades of the 18th century to the threshold of the Civil War.” He started his diary in 1779 when he was 12 years old and continued writing in it until his death, it consisted of 51 volumes with more than 14,000 pages. His diary reflected that he suffered from depression most of his life.

He was the first president to have his photograph taken the date was April 13, 1843. In 1970 someone had purchased a daguerreotype photograph of John Quincy at an antique store for fifty cents, it was later purchased for an undisclosed four digit sum and donated to a museum.


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”

“The will of the people is the source and the happiness of the people the end of all legitimate government upon earth.”

“From the experience of the past we derive instructive lessons for the future.”

“In unfolding to my countrymen the principles by which I shall be governed in the fulfillment of those duties my first resort will be to that Constitution which I shall swear to the best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend. That revered instrument enumerates the powers and prescribes the duties of the Executive Magistrate, and in its first words declares the purposes to which these and the whole action of the Government instituted by it should be invariably and sacredly devoted–to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the people of this Union in their successive generations. Since the adoption of this social compact one of these generations has passed away. It is the work of our forefathers. Administered by some of the most eminent men who contributed to its formation, through a most eventful period in the annals of the world, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war incidental to the condition of associated man, it has not disappointed the hopes and aspirations of those illustrious benefactors of their age and nation. It has promoted the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all; it has to an extent far beyond the ordinary lot of humanity secured the freedom and happiness of this people. We now receive it as a precious inheritance from those to whom we are indebted for its establishment, doubly bound by the examples which they have left us and by the blessings which we have enjoyed as the fruits of their labors to transmit the same unimpaired to the succeeding generation.”

“The best guarantee against the abuse of power consists in the freedom, the purity, and the frequency of popular elections.”

“Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

“I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong.”

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

“All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.”

“America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet on her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world; she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit…. Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind.”

“The Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth … it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfilment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before.”

“Roll, years of promise, rapidly roll round, till not a slave shall on this earth be found.”

“To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is … the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.”

“The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this — it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.”

“Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.”

“The radical principle of all commercial intercourse between independent nations is the mutual interest of both parties. It is the vital spirit of trade itself; nor can it be reconciled to the nature of man or to the primary laws of human society that any traffic should long be willingly pursued of which all the advantages are on one side and all the burdens on the other. Treaties of commerce have been found by experience to be among the most effective instruments for promoting peace and harmony between nations whose interests, exclusively considered on either side, are brought into frequent collisions by competition. In framing such treaties it is the duty of each party not simply to urge with unyielding pertinacity that which suits its own interest, but to concede liberally to that which is adapted to the interest of the other.”

“The origin of the political relations between the United States and France is coeval with the first years of our independence. The memory of it is interwoven with that of our arduous struggle for national existence. Weakened as it has occasionally been since that time, it can by us never be forgotten, and we should hail with exultation the moment which should indicate a recollection equally friendly in spirit on the part of France.”

“Of the two great political parties which have divided the opinions and feelings of our country, the candid and the just will now admit that both have contributed splendid talents, spotless integrity, ardent patriotism, and disinterested sacrifices to the formation and administration of this Government, and that both have required a liberal indulgence for a portion of human infirmity and error.”

“My wants are many, and, if told, would muster many a score; and were each wish a mint of gold, I still would want for more.”



Timeline of the life of John Quincy Adams

The Oldest Known Photographs of a U.S. President

A Principled Warrior

“Oh my sweet little farm…”

John Quincy Adams’s diary

The Death of Representative John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts

John Quincy Adams Facts

Fun Facts on John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams perfectly defined leadership


John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit

John Quincy Adams: American Visionary

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life

John Quincy Adams: The often ignored sixth President of the United States


John Quincy Adams – Mini Biography

John Quincy Adams Addresses the U.S. Supreme Court.wmv

Amistad: The Best of John Quincy Adams

Who is the Real John Quincy Adams? Biography, Education, Quotes (1998)

James Traub: The Militant Spirit of John Quincy Adams

1828: The Worst Election in History | Andrew Jackson VS John Quincy Adams | Laughing Historically

#06 John Quincy Adams

George Walker Bush was born July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. He was the first son of future President George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife Barbara (Pierce) Bush. He has five siblings; John (Jeb), Marvin, Neil, and Dorothy (Doro). In 1953, at the age of four, his first sister, Pauline (Robin), died after fighting leukemia. The Bush family had been involved in business and politics since the 1950s. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a former Wall Street banker and progressive Republican senator from Connecticut, and his father was a businessman, diplomat, vice president and president of the United States.

In 1948, George H.W. Bush moved the family to Midland, Texas, where he made his fortune in the oil business. Young George spent most of his childhood in Midland until the family moved to Houston in 1961. He began high school at Kincaid High School and then completed high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, just like his father. He was an all-around athlete, playing baseball, basketball and football. He’s one of four presidents who were cheerleaders in high school, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan where the other three. He was a fair student who was an occasional troublemaker. Even though his grades where not superior he managed to get accepted to Yale University in 1964, of course his family connections helped him get accepted.

George was a popular student at Yale and became president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Like his father and grandfather he became a member of Yale’s secretive Skull and Bones society whose membership contains some of American’s most powerful and elite family members. George’s grades continued to be unimpressive due to playing rugby and Yale’s social life, he had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in history in 1968, two weeks prior to graduating he enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard.

In 1968 the Vietnam War was at its height and although the Guard unit had a long waiting list, George was accepted through the unsolicited help of a family friend. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant by a special commission instead of attending Officer Candidate School. He earned his fighter pilot certification in June of 1970, for a plane that was being phased out of service. Despite irregular attendance and not maintaining his flight status he was honorably discharged on November 21, 1974 from the Air Force Reserve, 10 months early in order to attend Harvard Business School. He obtained his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Harvard Business School in 1975 and is the only president to earn a MBA.

At a backyard barbeque in 1977, George was introduced by friends Joe and Jan O’Neill to Laura Welch, a school teacher and librarian from Dawson Elementary School in Austin, Texas. After a quick three-month courtship, he proposed, and they were married on November 5, 1977. The couple settled in Midland, Texas where George continued to build his business. Their twin daughters were born in 1981 and were named Barbara and Jenna after their grandmothers, Barbara Bush and Jenna Welch.

Before George married Laura he struggled with alcohol and at the age of 30 was arrested for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol). He was fined $150 and had his driving license suspended for 2 years. After getting married he joined the United Methodist Church, stabilized his drinking and became a born-again Christian in 1986, when he gave up alcohol entirely.

George made his first run for political office in 1978 but lost his first election as the U.S. Representative of the 19th District in Texas. Ten years later he moved his family to Washington D.C. to serve as a campaign advisor and media liaison with his father’s Presidential campaign.

In 1989 he assembled a group of investors that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball team and served as their managing general partner for five years. The Rangers did well and George sold his share of the team for a reported 17 times his initial investment. During this time he oversaw the creation of a $191 million Rangers stadium funded by local taxpayers.

George ran the Houston Marathon in 1993, finishing in 3 hours and 44 minutes. He is the first president to have finished a marathon at some point in their life. His time comes out to about 8.5 minutes per mile.

After his father’s lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton George decided to run for governor of Texas as a Republican. His affiliation with the Rangers and his family reputation helped him in the 1994 campaign against incumbent Democrat Ann Richards. George won the election with 53 percent of the vote and became the first child of a U.S. president to be elected a state governor. In 1998 he won the re-election with nearly 69% of the vote and became the first Texas governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. During his term as Texas’ governor, he oversaw 152 executions.

George began his quest for the presidency in 1999 and after a series of primary elections won the Republican presidential nomination. The 2000 presidential election was against Democratic candidate Al Gore. The election was close and late-night news declared one candidate the winner, then the other the winner. When all the votes were counted George had 246 electoral votes and Gore had 255, with 270 needed. Florida’s 25 electoral votes were held in the balance due to several counties reporting problems with balloting. After more than a month of recounts the official record showed George carrying Florida by just 537 votes, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the election and gave George the victory. Though Gore lost the election in the Electoral College he received over 543,000 more popular votes than Bush. Only three other president won by electoral votes but lost by the popular vote, John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and Benjamin Harrison in 1888.

When George W. Bush, at the age of 54, became the 43rd president of the United States, it was only the second time in American history that a president’s son went on to the White House. John Quincy Adams, elected the sixth president in 1824, was the son of John Adams, the second president. While John Adams had groomed his son to be president, George Bush, the 41st president, insisted he was surprised when the eldest of his six children became interested in politics, became governor of Texas, and then went on to the White House.

George’s Presidency changed with the events of September 11, 2001. In the deadliest attack ever on American soil, terrorists hijacked four airplanes, crashing two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers attempted to overtake the hijackers. George’s father, the 41st president, declared that his son “faced the greatest challenge of any president since Abraham Lincoln.”

The war on terror had begun, and nine days after the attacks, George addressed a joint session of Congress, declaring to the world, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” George promised the American people that he would do all he could to prevent another terrorist attack. He formed the Homeland Security Department and enacted the Patriot Act. The Bush administration also built international coalitions to seek out and destroy Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.

On October 7, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the United States had begun military action in Afghanistan. The military operation was code-named Enduring Freedom. Bush said in a somber, televised address from the White House Treaty Room. “On my order, U.S. forces have begun strikes on terrorist camps of Al Qaeda and the military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,” The air assaults were joined by Britain, with intelligence and logistical support coming from several other nations, including France, Germany, Australia, and Canada.

The Enron Corporation filed for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection on December 2, 2001, the largest bankruptcy case in American history. The Bush administration had ties to key Enron executives, including CEO Kenneth Lay, but denied any involvement in the scandal. George called for new laws on corporate abuse.

Early decisions in the Bush Administration focused on public education. George’s first major initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, created reforms that raised standards and improved test scores in the public education system. He increased the size of Pell Grants available to college students to an all-time high and also created the Helping America’s Youth Initiative, led by his wife Laura. George also created a tax relief package, which reduced individual income tax rates and doubled the child tax credit, in addition to other reforms.

In September, 2002, the Bush administration announced that the United States would preemptively use military force if necessary to prevent threats to its national security by terrorists. Based on what would prove to be inaccurate intelligence reports, the Bush administration successfully obtained a UN Security Council resolution to return weapons inspectors to Iraq. Soon afterward, George declared that Iraq hadn’t complied with inspections, and on March 20, 2003, the United States launched a successful invasion of Iraq, quickly defeating the Iraqi military. Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, fell on April 9, 2003, and George personally declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003.

Prior to the fall of Baghdad the United States space program faced a setback when on February 01, 2003 when the seven-member crew of the shuttle Columbia died in an explosion. The United States wouldn’t attempt to send another ship into space until the space shuttle Discovery was sent on a mission to deliver repairs to the International Space Station on July 26, 2005.

George gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to give up power and leave Iraq in order to prevent the war. Unfortunately for Saddam he didn’t listen and on July 22, 2003 U.S. forces killed two of his sons when they launched an air attack on his Presidential Palace.

In 2004, George ran for re-election and won over Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry. During his second term, George pushed for immigration reform and eased environmental regulations. Although George enjoyed high approval ratings not everyone thought kindly of him. He was nearly assassinated in Georgia in May 2005 when a man threw a live grenade at George, but it didn’t explode.

The most memorable event in George’s second term is when Hurricane Katrina struck the southern coast of the United States with devastating effects in August 2005. The Bush administration was harshly criticized for an inadequate response by the federal government to the storm’s destruction. George asked his Father and former President Bill Clinton to lead a fund raising campaign to support those devastated by the hurricane.

George and Laura worked together to establish the Preserve America Initiative and the National Parks Centennial Initiative, and George asked Congress to provide more than $6.5 billion to repair and improve the National Park System. He also designated nearly 195,000 square miles of the central Pacific Ocean as national monuments and preserved an additional 1,000,000 square miles of fish habitats.

In January 2007 George announced his plan for a “surge” of more than 20,000 new United States troops in the Iraq War to combat the insurgency. Following the surge, total violence in Iraq was drastically reduced, but the U.S. death toll for the war reached 4,000 on March 23. Later, Obama admitted the surge had worked better than anyone anticipated, and in retrospect, 60 percent of Americans approved of the decision.

As George entered the final year of his presidency, the country faced enormous challenges. It was fighting two foreign wars, and the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration had transformed into a multi-trillion-dollar debt. In the fall of 2008, the country was hit with a severe credit crisis that sent the stock market into free fall and led to massive layoffs. The Bush administration scrambled and encouraged Congress to enact a controversial $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to bail out the housing and banking industries.

It was time for George to leave office, especially since his approval rating dropped to 24 percent in October 2008, he actually tied with former President Richard Nixon for the lowest approval rating in history. His also had one of the highest approval ratings after the 911 Terrorist Attacks at 90 percent.

On November 04, 2008 Barack Obama is elected as the next President of the United States. Before leaving office George passed several laws to try to stop the countries financial tailspin.

George left behind much unfinished business and the country remained politically divided. Critics laid much of the country’s misfortunes at his feet, while supporters defended him for his strong leadership during one of the country’s most dangerous periods. In January 2010, he united with former President Bill Clinton to lead a major fund raising relief effort for the victims of the devastating Haitian earthquake.

After years of leading a relatively quiet life in Texas, Bush returned to the media spotlight in 2013 for the opening of the George W. Bush Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The other living former presidents, including Bill Clinton and George’s own father, attended the event as did President Barack Obama. Bush joked that “There was a time in my life when I wasn’t likely to be found at a library, much less found one.” Speaking on a more serious note, George seemed to defend his time as president when he said, “When people come to this library and research this administration, they’re going to find out we stayed true to our convictions.”

George is the author of two bestselling books, “Decision Points,” his memoirs and “41: A Portrait of My Father.” One of George’s favorite post-presidency hobbies is painting and has finished over 30 portraits of world leaders using oil and canvas.

In addition, George remains actively involved in issues of national and global concern through the George W. Bush Institute that is operated by the George W. Bush Foundation. He continues to emphasize education, global health, human freedom, and support of the military.

Laura Bush has focused her time in public life on her lifelong passions, early childhood education, books, reading, and the arts. The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides grants each year to schools in critical need of library books. She founded the Texas Book Festival and, as First Lady, the National Book Festival to encourage and celebrate the nation’s greatest authors.

He and Laura are proud parents to their twin daughters and of their granddaughters Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise Hager. The Bush family also includes two cats, Bob and Bernadette.


George W. Bush

Office of George W. Bush

The George W. Bush Childhood Home

George W. Bush Timeline

Presidential Key Events

Bush Jr.’s Skeleton Closet

Ten Facts About George Bush You Did Not Know

10 Unique and Interesting Facts About George W. Bush

25 Facts About George W. Bush


By George W. Bush

Decision Points
41: A Portrait of My Father
A Charge to Keep
Other Authors



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George W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 43rd President, 2001-2009

The Faith of George W. Bush

The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment

George W. Bush on God and Country: The President Speaks Out About Faith, Principle, and Patriotism

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

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George W. Bush – AutoBiography – Decision Points

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George W. Bush: Most Controversial President? – Fast Facts | History

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Presidential Farewell Speech George W Bush


July 4, 2016 — Leave a comment
This Friday I had the unfortunate opportunity to attend a friends funeral. We never worked directly together or hung out, but we briefly talked when we’d run into each other. So I would call Glenn a friend because he was so easy to talk with, and I think that was why the church was full, not a single empty pew.
Glenn was one of the good guys, who was eagerly waiting for retirement, but didn’t make it in his physical life but I’m sure he’s enjoying it in his afterlife. Like most of us he had a stressful job with high demands. Now, I’m not saying the job was the reason he passed away, but stress can contribute to it. And that’s why we need to take a deep breath, (literally, take a deep breath), and slowly exhale.
And that’s the first tip to relieving stress, when you feel stressed, close your eyes (unless you’re driving, or walking) and take some deep breaths. Breathe through your nose into your belly and then up into your chest and slowly exhale. After about four or five deep breaths let your breath return to normal and just focus on your breathing until you’ve calmed down. Of course when you start to do this you’re actually meditating in its simplest form. Focus on your breathing and when the outside thoughts creep in, because they will, refocus on your breathing. The point of meditating isn’t to always have a silent mind, it’s to realize when you lose focus, push away the outside thought and refocus on your breathing or whatever it is that you’re focusing on. It helps to train your super computer to stay focused better. Making you more productive. I’ve been using the meditation app Headspace for over a year and you can try it for a free ten day trial period.
The second tip is to go for a walk. If you get breaks at work do you use them to get moving, or do you just skip them? You may feel like you’re being more productive if you work through your break, but in reality you’re more productive when you take breaks. You may even be more creative due to getting more blood and oxygen into that super computer between your ears. Even better, at least I think it is, is to do some Tai Chi/Qi Gong. Tai Chi is called moving mediation, you breath as you focus on the movements, getting a good workout, and building internal energy (Qi) instead of depleting it. If you’re interested you can do 15 minutes for free online at at 8:00 am and 7:00 pm ctrl time, Monday through Saturday. And there’s plenty of demonstrations on David Dorian Ross’s YouTube channel, he has a good sense of humor and may even make you laugh.
The third tip is to laugh. I know, it sounds simple enough but it helps with stress because it releases feel good hormones. Put something funny in your Mp3 player and listen to it while you walk. Who cares what other people think as you walk past them laughing, just don’t stare at them as you laugh. Mayo Clinic reports that some of the short-term benefits is that laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. Long-term effects of making laughter a regular practice is that it improves your immune system. Negative thoughts cause a chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and illnesses. Laughter may even ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers and can help lessen depression and anxiety.
The forth tip to relieve stress is to take a vacation. I’m not one to preach here, but I know I need to take a vacation, sooner or later. It’s hard to take a vacation when you get to do what you like to do. I think the key is to find an activity that lets you lower stress and cortisol levels, the stress hormone that damages our body when we get too much of it. The Harvard Business Review articleWhen a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t reports that positive vacations have a significant effect upon energy and stress. In their study, 94% of employees had as much or more energy after coming back after a good trip. In fact, on low-stress trips, 55% returned to work with even higher levels of energy than before the trip. We all know that vacations can be stressful, so to create a positive vacation make sure you; 1) focus on the details, 2) plan more than one month in advance, 3) go far away, and 4) meet with someone knowledgeable at the location.
Unfortunately, most of these stress relieving tips we’ve heard before, so why don’t we do them? It’s the big space between knowing and doing, called the potential gap. We can’t even imagine our potential so we don’t do the simple things. Which in turn cause us stress, it’s almost like our subconscious is having us do things to keep us in our own reality, that life is stressful.
Oh wait, our subconscious does keep us in what we think our reality is. Change starts with the thought that you can change, once you know you have control over your life, your stress levels may decrease. Once you believe you can change, you’re more likely to take action, not stress about not taking action.
So the fifth tip is to take control of your thoughts, as the book As A Man Thinketh states, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In the chapter “Effect of Thought on Health and the Body,” Allen states, “Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body.” He continues to write, “Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up that body in vigour and grace?” 
You are what you believe, if you want to get out of a stressful situation then believe that you can be out of it, then start to plan to do it and then of course, take action.
But it begins with belief.

George H.W. Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924. He was the second of five children to Prescott Bush (1895-1972), a banker and Dorothy Walker Bush (1901-92). Dorothy wanted to name her son after her father, but couldn’t choose between George Herbert Bush and George Walker Bush, so she decided to name him George Herbert Walker Bush.

George’s father was a partner in a prestigious Wall Street investment firm who went on to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate. His mother Dorothy instilled in George a sense of humility and she warned her children against bragging or having “too many ‘I’s’ in a sentence.” His parents believed that “from those to whom much is given, much is expected,” and encouraged public service, empathy and personal modesty. Prescott and Dorothy raised their five children to be a close-knit group.

George, known as “Poppy,” attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. During his junior year he contracted a staph infection which put him in the hospital for six weeks. He decided to repeat the year which put him with students his own age. He was elected senior class president, captain of the baseball and soccer teams, and was a member of a number of other clubs. His sister Nancy would later recall, “I was terribly popular for a while — everyone wanted to come to our house because they might run into George.” Although he was a popular student he followed his mother’s teachings and was kind to everybody, no matter their social standing.

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, George heard the news of the attack while walking across campus and has what he calls “the typical American reaction that we had better do something about this.” A few weeks later at a Christmas dance, he meets Barbara Pierce.

George graduated during World War II and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, himself an Andover graduate, told the boys at the graduation ceremony that they should go to college and let the draft do its work. George was already accepted to Yale and would hear none of it. Years later, he simply said, “I wanted to serve—duty, honor, country.” Against his father’s wishes, George deferred acceptance to Yale and joined the Navy on his 18th birthday, the same day he graduated from Andover. Two months later, he boarded a train to North Carolina for flight training.

On June 9, 1943 George became the youngest commissioned pilot in the naval air service and in December was assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. San Jacinto in the Pacific. As a member of the torpedo squadron VT-51, George flew an Avenger bomber on which he inscribed the name “Barbara.” He never told stories about his sweetheart Barbra and he didn’t try to pick up women on nights in town. He didn’t smoke or drink or cuss but his fellow pilot Jack Guy said of George decades later, “He was a lot of fun, a live wire, I don’t know anyone who didn’t like him for any reason.”

He flew combat missions over the Pacific and on September 2, 1944 George’s plane was hit at 8,000 feet and caught fire. He finished his dive, dropped his four 500-pound bombs successfully on target, a key Japanese radio station on the island of Chichi Jima. He headed out to sea with his plane on fire and radioed his two crewmen, Ted White and John Delaney, to “hit the silk,” or bail out. Only one of the two crewmen bailed out, and that man’s parachute never opened. George bailed out and was rescued by the submarine U.S.S. Finback and spent a month on the sub before being dropped off in Midway. Instead of taking his chance to rotate home he returned to his squadron aboard the San Jacinto. In a letter to his mother about the incident he states that when he realized that the other two men didn’t survive he “…was pretty much a sissy about it cause I sat in my raft and sobbed for a while ….I feel so terribly responsible for their fate”. More than 50 years later, George said the deaths of his two crewmen “still weigh heavy on my mind,” and continues to relive the experience in nightmares throughout his life.

When he rotated back to the states he had completed 58 combat missions and 1,228 combat hours. He learned that being heroic didn’t mean a man was without fear. Being heroic meant a man went on despite his fear.

While on leave he married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York on January 6, 1945. The war ended before he had to return to duty, and was honorably discharged on September 18, 1945. George and Barbara moved to New Haven, Connecticut where they had their first son, George Walker Bush on July 6, 1946.

George attended Yale University on an accelerated schedule and excelled at sports, captained the baseball team and was admitted to the elite secret society Skull and Bones. He also played in the first two College World Series in 1947 and 1948. After just two and a half years, George graduated with honors and a degree in economics.

He was offered a job at his father’s Wall Street firm, but decided to set out for West Texas to try his luck in the oil boom and landed an entry-level job. Two years later he partnered with a neighbor and friend, John Overbey, who knew the oil business inside and out and with George’s East Coast investment connections, the two were moderately successful. They joined with a team of two brothers from Oklahoma in 1952 and created Zapata Petroleum which struck it big at an oil field in Coke County known as Jameson Field.

George’s father, Prescott Bush, was elected a Senator from Connecticut in 1952, and was a role model that led George to become interested in public service and politics.

On February 11, 1953 John Ellis Bush was born, known as “Jeb,” his name is derived from his initials. Just a few weeks later their three-year-old daughter Robin is diagnosed with leukemia and dies on October 12, 1953. For more than 40 years George carried a gold medallion in his wallet that read, “For the Love of Robin.” When the Bushes had another daughter, six years after Robin’s death, George visited the nursery, pressed his face against the glass, and sobbed.

The Bushes’ fourth child, Neil Mallon Bush, is born in Midland, Texas on January 22, 1955 and then on October 22, 1956, Marvin Pierce Bush, the Bushes’ fifth child and youngest son, is born. On August 18, 1959 Dorothy “Doro” Bush is born and soon after her birth, the family moved to Houston.

In 1962, after a decade in office, George’s father retired from the U.S. Senate. That same year, George made his political debut as chairman of the Republican Party in Houston, Texas and was soon seen as a bright light in the Texas Republican Party.

George ran against liberal Ralph Yarborough for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas. The John F. Kennedy administration had divided the Democratic Party, especially in Texas. However, Kennedy’s assassination unites the party behind the new president and native Texan, Lyndon Johnson, squashing Bush’s chances of defeating Yarborough. Conspiracy theorists claim that George was part of the assassination plot to kill President Kennedy.

In 1966 George ran for Congress in Texas and wins with the help of his dramatic war story and a grainy film of him being rescued by the USS Finback being used in his campaign. He has said that he never understood why he was given a medal because he was shot out of the sky, he said “When I got down on the submarine, I was just a sick, scared, young kid. The heroes were the guys shot down and killed or the guys who hit the beaches and were slaughtered, the guys who didn’t come back to families and jobs.”

As a new congressman, George struggled to strike a balance between the conservative Texas electorate and his more moderate personal views. Despite not leaving too much of a mark in Washington in those four years, he did earn the nickname “Rubbers” for his deep interest in population control and family planning. With his father’s help, he became the first freshman in 63 years to be offered a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

In 1970 George gave up his congressional seat to challenge Ralph Yarborough for the U.S. Senate. His election plan failed when Lloyd Bentsen defeats Yarborough in the Democratic Primary and defeated Bush in November.

Keeping a promise to find Bush a job if his bid for U.S. Senate failed, on December 11, 1970 Richard Nixon announces his appointment of Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, after George declined his offer as a Special Assistant to the President.  He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1971 to 1973. During this time his father, Prescott Bush died of lung cancer.

George left the United Nations in January 1973 to become chairman of the Republican National Committee. A month later, the Senate Watergate Committee is established to investigate the administration’s involvement in the Watergate break-in. During a cabinet meeting on August 6, 1974, George told President Nixon that Watergate is sapping public confidence. The next day, he sends a letter to the president suggesting that he resign and President Nixon announced his resignation on August 8, 1974.

George went to Kennebunkport to wait for President Gerald Ford to announce his choice for vice president. George is the first choice among party leaders but Ford chose Nelson Rockefeller instead. A reporter with Bush in Kennebunkport says, “Mr. Bush, you don’t seem to be too upset about this.” Bush replies, “Yes, but you can’t see what’s on the inside.”

Since President Ford didn’t select George as his vice president he offered him an ambassadorship in the country of his choosing. George chose China, although the U.S. does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China he becomes the head of the U.S. Liaison Office.

While in China, George is requested by President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to return to Washington to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. George acts as Director until 1977 when newly-elected Democrat Jimmy Carter became president.

After two years as a private citizen, George announced in May of 1979 that he was running for president. After a number of debates, Ronald Reagan wins the Republican nomination for president and in May 1980 George officially pulls out of the presidential race. On July 16, 1980 George received a phone call from Ronald Reagan asking him to be the vice presidential nominee.

On November 4, 1980 the Reagan and Bush team defeated Carter and Mondale by a wide margin. On January 20, 1981 George is sworn in as the nation’s 41st vice president and travels 1.3 million miles, visiting 50 states and 65 countries in his role.

On March 30, 1981 President Reagan was shot outside the Washington (D.C.) Hilton Hotel. Even though George was the acting president for eight hours, he would not sit in the president’s chair during cabinet meetings. His actions cements George’s relationship with Reagan, leaving no doubt among Reagan’s closest advisors about George’s loyalty to the President.

In George’s first public statement about the Iran-Contra affair, on December 3, 1986 he admitted that mistakes were made and he was not aware of any diversion of funds, any ransom payments, or any circumvention of the will of the Congress or the laws of the United States of America. His speech drew praise but didn’t keep George from being suspected of knowing more than he let on. Doubts about George ‘s involvement will linger through his 1992 presidential campaign.

After two terms as vice president under Reagan, George became the Republican presidential nominee in 1988 with running mate Dan Quayle, a U.S. senator from Indiana. George’s image became a factor during the 1988 presidential campaign due to being unwilling or unable to speak out against President Reagan’s policies. The week George announced his candidacy, a Newsweek cover read, “Fighting the Wimp Factor.” Though George ultimately won in 1988, that campaign is remembered largely for his team’s palpable shift toward attack-style, negative campaign tactics.

On November 8, 1988 George captured 426 electoral votes and more than 53 percent of the popular vote, his opponent, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis received 111 electoral votes and more than 45 percent of the popular vote. On January 20, 1989 George is inaugurated as the 41st President of the United States and calls for a “kinder, gentler America,” in his inauguration speech, which is seen as a subtle departure from the Reagan agenda.

One of the interesting bans George had was on broccoli aboard Air Force One. He stated, “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”

In May 1989, George signed a bill which established a Federal Holiday in the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.. There was some resistance to the initial suggestion, but the bill was supported by musician Stevie Wonder who wrote and recorded a song called “Happy Birthday” which helped to publicly promote the campaign.

George is criticized for his reaction of not being tough enough when the Chinese government brutally suppressed an uprising in Tiananmen Square on June 3, 1989. Instead of publicly condemning the actions of the Chinese government, George wrote a letter to the Chinese leadership laying out his thoughts and grave concerns about the event.

When the Berlin Wall falls on November 9, 1989 some claimed that George should participate in the celebrations that symbolically end of the Cold War. But George believed that a victory celebration by the American president would provoke a backlash from the Soviet Union.

On December 20, 1989 George is pressed to take actions on foreign affairs when a U.S. Navy seaman was killed and two American witnesses where beat by members of the Panamanian Defense Force. In response, the United States invaded Panama, captured the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, bringing him to the United States to stand trial for drug trafficking.

Bush announced his “no new taxes” pledge on June 26, 1990 when he agrees to put taxes on the table in negotiating a budget deal with congressional Democrats. In September, George and the bipartisan budget committee announced their budget agreement but the House minority whip, Newt Gingrich, a member of the bipartisan committee, refused to attend the announcement ceremony and leads a Republican revolt against the budget agreement.

George signed important legislation on November 15, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The New York Times refers to the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments as the single most distinguished policy achievement of the Bush administration. He also founded the Points of Light Foundation to promote the spirit of volunteerism by signing the National and Community Service Act of 1990, the first piece of federal service legislation in almost 20 years.

When Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait on August 2, 1990 George started to organize a military coalition of more than 30 countries. He sees Hussein as another Adolf Hitler and resolves from the start to eject Iraq from Kuwait entirely. A November United Nations vote backing the use of “all means necessary” to eject Hussein’s army, but George faced resistance from Congress who passed a war resolution of its own, and the Senate passed the resolution by a narrow margin of  52-47. On January 12, 1991 the Gulf War, with 425,000 American troops and 118,000 troops from allied nations started a five weeks air offensive followed by 100 hours of a ground offensive. Operation Desert Storm ended in late February with Iraq’s defeat and Kuwait’s liberation. As a result, George enjoyed the highest presidential polling numbers recorded at the time.

In July 1991 George improved U.S.-Soviet relations when he met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

George announced his candidacy for re-election February 1992. With his approval rating soaring to 89 percent in the wake of the Gulf War, he was not prepared for a complete reversal in the minds and hearts of the American people. After promising “no new taxes” in his first presidential campaign, he upset some by raising tax revenues in an effort to deal with a rising budget deficit. Wealthy businessman Ross Perot also entered the presidential race as a third party candidate and ultimately won 19 percent of the popular vote in November, making him the most successful third-party candidate since the election of 1912.

On November 4, 1992 Democratic candidate William J. Clinton defeated George and became the 42nd President of the United States. Two weeks later, on November 19, 1992, George’s mother, Dorothy Walker Bush, dies. His daughter Doro will later write, “It’s still moving to think I was there when my father said good-bye to his mother, the woman who had the biggest impact on his life. I believe that to be true because my dad’s life was not defined by the political system he navigated, but by the set of beliefs his mother taught him.”

After George left the presidency Queen Elizabeth II awarded him an honorary knighthood in 1993, and when he visited Kuwait later that year a car bomb assassination plot was foiled.

On November 6, 1997 the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is opened to the public and George told his audience “Today I feel like the luckiest person in the world”.  The Bush School of Government and Public Service, located at Texas A&M University, was also founded in 1997 and has become one of the leading public and international affairs graduate schools in the nation.

On June 9, 1999, George celebrated his 75th birthday by skydiving and continued that tradition every five years and skydived on his 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays. On his 90th birthday he tweeted about the incident prior to the jump, saying “It’s a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump.”

George attended the inauguration of his son, George W. Bush, who became the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. It is the first time a father and son have both been elected president since John and John Quincy Adams almost 200 years before. The family refers to them as “41” and “43.”

Teaming up with a former political foe in February 2005, he joined Bill Clinton and toured areas in Southeast Asia damaged by a tsunami. Later that year in September Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast states and the two former presidents formed the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to help raise funds to aid in the relief efforts. Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast in September of 2008, and once again the two presidents joined to form the Bush-Clinton Gulf Coast Recovery Fund to aid in the reconstruction of Gulf Coast infrastructure.

Having been an aircraft carrier pilot during World War II George is honored by having an aircraft carrier named after him, the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier is commissioned on January 10, 2009.

President Barack Obama awarded George the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his commitment to service, his ability to inspire volunteerism throughout the country, and encouraging citizens to be “a thousand points of light.” The administration continues to promote service and civic engagement, honoring heroes of local communities as “Champions of Change” and fostering civic participation.

George seemed to always be supporting other people and in July 2013 he shaved his head to support a leukemia victim, the son of a member of his Secret Service detail. In the same year he also attended the same-sex wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Kennebunkport, Maine, and signed their marriage license as a witness.

The National College Baseball Foundation announced in November 2013 that its Hall of Fame museum will be named after the 41st president and in May 2014 he received the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation Profiles in Courage Award.

In December 2014 he was hospitalized as a precautionary measure after he experienced a shortness of breath and in July 15, 2015 he fell and broke his C2 vertebrae in his neck. His spokesman Jim McGrath told CNN the injury is not life threatening. In October 2015 he made his first public engagement since the accident and threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

George isn’t just known for his funky sock collection but he has also written three books: Looking Forward, an autobiography; A World Transformed, co-authored with General Brent Scowcroft, on foreign policy during his administration, and All The Best, a collection of letters written throughout his life. In 2008, President Bush’s diary, written during his time in China, was published under the title, The China Diary of George H.W. Bush — The Making of a Global President.

Barbara Bush often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. But she has also made a difference by founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989, which supports family literacy programs where parents and children can learn and read together. The Foundation has awarded over $40 million to create or expand 902 family literacy programs in all 50 states. She has also authored two children’s books, C. Fred’s Story, and Millie’s Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush about the White House dog Millie, and the best-selling books Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Reflections: Life After the White House.

George and Barbara Bush’s family keeps growing, they have five children, 24 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. At 90 and 91 years old, they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary on January 6, 2016.

George H.W. Bush Quotes

“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the Nation and gentler the face of the world.”

“Read my lips: no new taxes.”

“Equality begins with economic empowerment.”

“I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of [CIA] sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.”

“Weakness and ambivalence lead to war.”

“Our nation is the enduring dream of every immigrant who ever set foot on these shores, and the millions still struggling to be free. This nation, this idea called America, was and always will be a new world — our new world.”

“Competence is the creed of the technocrat who makes sure the gears mesh but doesn’t for a second understand the magic of the machine.”

“This is America … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”

“The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world.”

“The fact is prosperity has a purpose. It’s to allow us to pursue “the better angels,” to give us time to think and grow.”

 “There is a God and He is good, and his love, while free, has a self imposed cost: We must be good to one another.”

“They only name things after you when you’re dead or really old.”

 “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

“There are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on Washington. My family is divided. For the broccoli vote out there: Barbara loves broccoli. She has tried to make me eat it. She eats it all the time herself. So she can go out and meet the caravan of broccoli that’s coming in.”

“We’re going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.”

“The longer our graduation lines are today, the shorter our unemployment lines will be tomorrow.”

 “If you believe that there’s a being superior to yourself and that will guide you, strengthen you that helps a lot but, you know, you just have to stay the course. You just got to stay in there. You cannot be waffling or taking a poll to see what people think. You have to do what you think is right.”

“I know this about the American people: We welcome competition. We’ll match our ingenuity, our energy, our experience and technology, our spirit and enterprise against anyone.”

“I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are…. I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

“It is possible to tell things by a handshake. I like the “looking in the eye” syndrome. It conveys interest. I like the firm, though not bone crushing shake. The bone crusher is trying too hard to “macho it.” The clammy or diffident handshake — fairly or unfairly — get me off to a bad start with a person.”

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.”

“I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger.”

“Abraham Lincoln truly inspired me. It wasn’t just the freeing of the slaves, he kept the Union together. Some people even forget that today. What I think inspired me was the fact that in spite of being the President of the United States he retained a certain down-to-earth quality. He never got to be a big shot, and he cared about people.”

“No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”

 “No generation can escape history.”

“My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos.”

 “The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change.”

“The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.”

“There are singular moments in history, dates that divide all that goes before from all that comes after.”

“I’m not concerned about anything anymore. It’s kind of in the shadows. There’s been a sea change on all of that. Things that I felt passionately about, I just don’t anymore. I think that goes … I think that goes with just being older and having had the privilege of having a full and active life, and now just fading, fading—fading away, like General MacArthur said.”

“In addition to caring for our future, we must care for those around us. A decent society shows compassion for the young, the elderly, the vulnerable, and the poor.”

“We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.”

“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”

 “I think any time there’s a crisis people want to blame someone. I’ve never been much for the Monday morning quarterbacking…. The media has a fascination with the blame game and instead of looking for what can we do to help now there’s a lot of why didn’t we do something different?”

 “We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order, a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations.”

“I’ll be glad to reply to or dodge your questions depending on what I think will help our election most.”

“There isn’t any such thing as something free out there. It either gets passed along as increased prices or it gets passed along by people being put out of work so the business can continue to compete.”

“We’re headed the right way, but we cannot rest. We’re a people whose energy and drive have fueled our rise to greatness. And we’re a forward-looking nation—generous, yes, but ambitious, not for ourselves but for the world. Complacency is not in our character—not before, not now, not ever.”

“Courage is a terribly important value. It means you don’t run away when things are tough. It means you don’t turn away from a friend when he or she is in trouble. It means standing up against the majority opinion…. There’s a lot of people who won’t wear it on their sleeve, or display it through some heroic act. But courage is having the strength to do what’s honorable and decent.”

“Let me tell you, if we ignore human capital, if we lose the spirit of American ingenuity, the spirit that is the hallmark of the American worker, that would be bad. The American worker is the most productive worker in the world.”

 “To those men and women in business, remember the ultimate end of your work: to make a better product, to create better lives. I ask you to plan for the longer term and avoid that temptation of quick and easy paper profits.”

“Education is the one investment that means more for our future because it means the most for our children. Real improvement in our schools is not simply a matter of spending more: It’s a matter of asking more—expecting more—of our schools, our teachers, of our kids, of our parents, and ourselves.”

“For the first time since World War II the international community is united. The leadership of the United Nations, once only a hoped-for ideal, is now confirming its founders’ vision…. The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order.”

“There’s one thing I hope we will all be able to agree on. It’s about our commitments. I’m talking about Social Security. To every American out there on Social Security, to every American supporting that system today, and to everyone counting on it when they retire, we made a promise to you, and we are going to keep it.”

“The most important competitiveness program of all is one which improves education in America. When some of our students actually have trouble locating America on a map of the world, it is time for us to map a new approach to education.”

“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” — Barbara Bush

“All of our nation’s problems – the breakup of families, drugs, homelessness, unemployment – everything would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend.” – Barbara Bush


George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush Fast Facts—fast-facts/

14 Fun Facts About Bush Sr. (Besides His Crazy Socks)

Fun Facts on George H. Bush

10 Things You Didn’t Know About George H.W. Bush


USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

Bush School of Government and Public Service



By George H.W. Bush

Looking Forward

George Bush: Man of Integrity

All the Best: My Life in Letters and Other Writings

A World Transformed

The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President

Speaking of Freedom: The Collected Speeches

Heartbeat: George Bush in His Own Words

Other authors

41: A Portrait of My Father

My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush

George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993

George H. W. Bush: A Biography

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography

The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents from Kennedy to Obama



American Experience – The Presidents George H.W. Bush

41 George HW Bush

The Dirty Secrets of George Bush

Dark Legacy: George Bush And The Murder Of John Kennedy

Patrick Lencioni hits another home run in his latest business fable, The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues. Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader who is looking for a career change and agrees to take over his families construction company. He begins to work with his uncle Bob to slowly transition into the CEO position.

Not to spoil the plot of the book, Jeff becomes the CEO sooner than expected and needs to lead the company through the most trying times of its history. He realizes that the company’s culture will not support the changes needed due to behaviors that destroy teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues
that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues. His Human Resources Officer and Chief of Operations call the process the “no jackass” rule and in order to be an ideal team player the person must embody three virtues;

Humble: Ideal team players are humble who lack excessive ego and are not concerned about their status. They share credit, emphasize team over self  and define success collectively rather than individually.model

Hungry: Ideal team players are hungry who are always looking for more things to do, to learn and looking for more responsibility to take on. Hungry people work harder because they are self-motivated and are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.

Smart: Ideal team players are smart and have common sense about people. They know what is happening in a group situation and have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.

Like past Lencioni books he presents a practical framework and actionable tools that you can use if you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork and how to identify and hire real team players, and to see how your current team embodies the three virtues.

I would consider this a must read for any leader to take not only their team, but themselves, to the next level.



The Ideal Team Player  –

The Table Group – Book Resources –