Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Annual Grover Cleveland Birthday Conference Presents: A Lecture By Matthew Algeo
The President Is a Sick Man
10 a.m., Saturday March 19th, 2011
Author and journalist, Matthew Algeo, will speak on the secret surgery of President Cleveland in 1893, the ensuing cover-up, and the news reporter who, after publishing the story, was labeled a liar and a “disgrace to journalism”. Twenty-four long years would pass before one of Cleveland’s doctors finally revealed the truth.
As a journalist, Algeo has reported from three continents. His stories have been featured on public radio programs; All Things Considered, Marketplace, and Morning Edition. Mr. Algeo is the author of Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure, named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Washington Post, and Last Team Standing, a history of the Eagles and the Steelers. Wife, Allyson, works for the United States government as a Foreign Service officer. The couple currently resides in Washington.
Excerpts from his latest book, The President is a Sick Man:
“. . . some presidents have gone to remarkable lengths to hide their infirmities . . . Edith Wilson, for all intents and purposes, oversaw the executive branch after her husband’s stroke. It has been said that she could be considered the country’s first female president. . . .Even his valet knew Harding was deathly ill, telling a Secret Service agent that “something is going to happen to our boss . . .”
“. . . at the very moment President Cleveland was slumped, unconscious, in a makeshift operating room . . . the nation's attention was fixed on the opposite end of New York State . . .A steeplejack and tightrope walker . . . was attempting to cross a wire strung over Niagara Falls. According to one report . . .”
Date: Saturday, March 19th
Time: 9:30 Registration, Lecture 10 am, Luncheon to follow
Location: First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, 326 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell NJ
Fee: $25 fee for lecture and luncheon.
Free admission to Grover Cleveland Historic Site
Registration: In advance: 973-226-0001 firstname.lastname@example.org
at the door.
Event Sponsored by: The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
I happened to be working on the newscast desk at NPR last Sunday when the news came across the wire that Frank Buckles, America’s last surviving First World War veteran, had passed away at the age of 110. (He died of natural causes incidentally; I remember calling Allyson to tell her that Jimmy Stewart had died, and her reaction was, “How?” As if he might have died in a parachuting accident.)
I never met Frank, but I feel like I’ve come to known him over the years. I really respected him for embracing his role as the Last Man Standing. He understood the importance of his place in history. He was America’s last living link to the Great War. One week ago, I (or you) could have spoken with spoken with someone who had experienced that war firsthand. Now that opportunity is gone forever. The first draft of the history of the First World War is finished.
I’ve been fascinated by the First World War since I was a kid, and saw the veterans marching at the head of all the parades in Perkasie. (I also remember seeing a few Spanish-American War veterans in the parades, as well; weird to think that I remember the veterans of a nineteenth-century war.) When I worked at Minnesota Public Radio in the mid 90s I did a story about First World War vets for Veterans Day on year. I remember meeting a 99-year-old vet from Wisconsin who still bowled in a league twice a week. He’d shaken hands with Teddy Roosevelt. So I shook the hand that shook the hand...
Another vet I met had lived in the same Minneapolis apartment since the 1920s. His apartment was a time machine. The lamps, appliances, and furniture were at least fifty years old. The neighborhood had changed rather dramatically; it was populated almost entirely by Laotians. It was like something from the movie Being There.
As a history buff, I was drawn to these men. It was almost inconceivable that I could interview soldiers who had served in the trenches on the Western Front. I knew that was a rare opportunity, and I’m glad I took it, because now it’s gone.
Thank you, Frank Buckles. Thank you for your service to our country, and for bearing the standard of your colleagues with incalculable grace.
If the last surviving Second World War veteran lives as long as Frank did, he or she will live until 2039. I just hope I make it that long!
UPDATE: Turns out John Boehner and Harry Reid are refusing to allow Frank's body to lie in the Capitol Rotunda.