This project has gotten to the point that friends will now send me articles related to the presidents, knowing that these will be right up my alley. In the interests of openness and sharing, I present them now to you:
First, check out this week’s piece in the Washington Post magazine about presidential deathplaces. The writer, one Andrew Clark of Boston, is both reverent and irreverent about his travels, and comes away with some great stories. He also visits a few places I was able to see (like the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington – highly recommended) and a lot that are still on my list to see (Chester Arthur House in New York, which is now a kind of grocery store). I also liked his efforts to get a marker put in at a James Monroe-related site in New York – I was surprised in DC that there is no marker to note the spot where President Garfield was shot; it’s the only assassination site not to have some kind of commemoration there. Thanks to Roger and Erik for sending that one over.
Next, check out Mo Rocca’s piece from CBS Sunday Morning on the final days of Ulysses S. Grant, from the unbelievably furious pace he kept up in writing his memoirs to the “cocaine water” he kept nearby:
“It was used to bathe his throat and his tongue, to give him some relief from the pain,” Welch explained.
“Is that sediment down there, is that cocaine?” Rocca asked.
“That’s cocaine, and every year the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation measures this and makes sure that none of it is gone,” Welch said.
“You’re not kidding?” asked Rocca.
“No, I’m quite serious,” Welch replied.
Can’t add much more to that, can we?
Finally, my wife (who celebrates a birthday today) sent over a piece from the Smithsonian whose title speaks for itself: That Time a Chicken Crashed Nixon’s Inaugural Ball and Other Crazy Inaugural Tales.
Keep ’em coming, my friends!