Harry Truman

April 12, One Of Most Historic Days On Calendar: 1861, 1945, 1961

Every day on the calendar, historically, has had some interesting event occur, but April 12 is an unusually historic day worth remembering.

Three path breaking events occurred on April 12.

In 1861, the attack by South Carolina on the US fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, occurred, the first shots of the Civil War.

In 1945, the greatest President of the 20th century, and the President who has had the greatest impact on us of any President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia, thrusting Harry Truman into the Presidency at a time of great challenge, with the Second World War not yet ended, and the challenge to overcome Japan in Asia still ahead of us.

FDR did more for America domestically than any President, and much of what he accomplished is now under attack by the Trump Administration.

At the same time, Truman, despite questions about his competence to become our President, proved his ability to take on the responsibility, and is now rated 5th or 6th among all of our Presidents, while FDR is rated 2nd or 3rd greatest.

And in 1961, exactly a century after Fort Sumter, the Space Age began, as far as manned space exploration, with Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union being the first astronaut to orbit the earth, and now further space exploration is in the offing.

To have the Civil War start on this day; the promoter of the New Deal to cope with the Great Depression, and also the Second World War President, FDR, to die on this day; the accession to power of Harry Truman; and the inception of the Space Age—all on this day, makes April 12 a special day in the historical calendar!

Theodore Roosevelt To Barack Obama, And The Antiquities Act Of 1906, Now Under Threat From Donald Trump

Theodore Roosevelt, the greatest environmental and conservation President, promoted the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906, and since then, 16 Presidents have designated a grand total of 157 National Monuments and National Parks.

Four Republican Presidents added no national monuments or national parks—Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, although Nixon is seen as a great environmental President with his Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel, and the signing into law of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and the first declared Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Under Theodore Roosevelt, a total of 18 monuments or parks were added, including Devils Tower National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, and Olympic National Park.

William Howard Taft added 10 national monuments and national parks, including Navajo National Monument and Zion National Park.

Woodrow Wilson added 13 national monuments and national parks, including Dinosaur National Monument, Acadia National Park, and Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

Warren G. Harding added 8 national monuments and national parks, including Great Basin National Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument, and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Calvin Coolidge added 13 national monuments and national parks, including Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Statue Of Liberty National Monument, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Herbert Hoover added 9 national monuments and national parks, including Arches National Park, Portion Of White River National Forest, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Grand Canyon National Park (extension), White Sands National Monument, and Death Valley National Park.

Franklin D. Roosevelt added 13 national monuments and national parks, including Dry Tortugas National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park (extension), and Grant Teton National Park.

Harry Truman added just 1 national monument and national park, Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Dwight D. Eisenhower added just 2 national monuments and national parks, Thomas Edison National Historical Park, and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

John F. Kennedy added just 2 national monuments and national parks, including Russell Cave National Monument, and Buck Island Reef National Monument.

Lyndon B. Johnson added just 2 national monuments and national parks, an extension again of Grand Canyon National Park, and Portion of Tongrass National Forest.

Jimmy Carter added 15 national monuments and national parks in just one term as President, a reason why Carter is seen as one of the top three conservation oriented Presidents, alongside TR and Nixon. Among those monuments and forests Carter added were Denali National Park in Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Bill Clinton added the grant total of 19 national monuments and national parks, including Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, California Coastal National Monument, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Portion of Sequoia National Forest, President Lincoln and Soldier’s Home National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, and Governors Island National Monument.

George W. Bush added 6 national monuments and national parks, including African Burial Ground National Monument, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, and Pacific Remote Islands National Monument.

Finally, Barack Obama added the grand total of 29 national monuments and national parks, far more than runners up Bill Clinton, Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These included Fort Monroe National Monument, Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, San Juan Islands National Monument, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Stonewall National Monument, Bears Ears National Monument, Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument, and Reconstruction Era National Monument.

Political Scientist 2018 Presidential Poll Rates Several Presidents Quite Differently Than C Span Poll Of Presidential Scholars A Year Ago

The 2018 Presidents And Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey of 170 Political Scientists, which showed Donald Trump at the bottom of the list, and only four places higher in the view of conservatives and Republicans, also shows several Presidents rated quite differently than in the 2017 C Span Presidential Poll of Presidential Scholars just a year ago.

Thomas Jefferson is fifth in the Political Scientist poll, ahead of Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, while Ike rated fifth and Truman sixth ahead of Jefferson in seventh place in the C Span Poll.

John F. Kennedy is knocked out of the top ten, all the way down to 16th in the Political Scientist poll, with Barack Obama taking his place as 8th, so a big drop for JFK, and a dramatic rise for Obama from 12 to 8.

James Madison went from 16th in the first poll to a ranking now of 12th, just behind Woodrow Wilson, who is steadily in 11th place.

Bill Clinton went from 15th place in the C Span poll to 13th in the Political Scientist poll.

John Adams went from 19th to 14th, a dramatic rise from a year ago.

Andrew Jackson went from 18th to 15th, after having suffered a drop in the 2009 C Span Poll from 13th.

George H. W. Bush went from 20th a year ago to 17th this year.

James Monroe went from 13th a year ago to 18th this year.

William McKinley went from 16th a year ago to 19th this year.

James K. Polk dropped dramatically from 14th last year to 20th this year.

Ulysses S. Grant remained elevated, having gone from 33rd in 2000 to 23rd in 2009 to 22nd in 2017, and now 21st this year.

Martin Van Buren rose dramatically from 34th last year to 27th this year.

Rutherford B. Hayes rose from 32nd last year to 29th this year.

George W. Bush rose from 36th in 2009 to 33rd in 2017, and now to 30th in 2018.

Richard Nixon dropped from 28th in 2017 to 33rd in 2018.

Of course, these kinds of differences in polls is understandable, with the different combination of scholars in each poll.

But some of these statistics stick out, particularly the dramatic rise of Barack Obama, James Madison, John Adams, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush; and the dramatic drop of John F. Kennedy, James Monroe, James K. Polk, and Richard Nixon.

The long range likelihood is that these dramatic changes will not, necessarily, last and may even reverse themselves, with the exception of Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy, and also Ulysses S. Grant, and this will be analyzed further in future postings soon.

Donald Trump Has Lowest Popularity Rating Of One Year President Since Polling Began

With one year in office, Donald Trump ranks as the lowest popularity rating of all Presidents since public opinion polling began as a full time effort in the Presidency of Harry Truman after 1945.

The FiveThirtyEight blog shows that Trump’s overall average in January is 40 percent in favor and 55 percent opposed.

Every other President after a year in office ranks as more popular than not popular.

The least popular after Trump is Gerald Ford, with 44 percent in favor after one year and 39 opposed, and a lot of this result was due to Ford’s pardoning of Richard Nixon one month into his term.

Following up the list, we have Barack Obama 50-43; Ronald Reagan 49-40; Harry Truman 50-35; Bill Clinton 57-34; Jimmy Carter 55-27; Richard Nixon 60-23; Dwight D. Eisenhower 71-18; Lyndon B. Johnson 74-15; George H. W. Bush 78-11; George W. Bush 81-13; and at the top of the list John F. Kennedy 79-10.

So from Ford to JFK, the net approval is from plus 5 points to plus 69 points.

Of course, many of these great public opinion ratings deteriorated over time, particularly with Truman, Carter, Nixon, Johnson, and the Bushes, but they, along with all other Presidents, ranked more popular than not popular at this early stage of their White House tenure.

Those supportive of Trump love to point out that he has risen slightly from the low to mid 30s, but with the constant tumult and chaos in the White House, and his horrible, thoughtless, and cruel policies on so many issues, it is assured that Trump will never rise to a more positive than negative view of him and his Presidency.

Trump Tax Cuts Already Undermining Budget, And Threatening Social Safety Net Of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

The Trump tax cuts are already, just as they are going into effect, causing a massive shortage of government funds, and threatening the stability of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and as well as educational, environmental, consumer, and labor laws.

This is precisely what the Republican Party of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Trump White House wants, to destroy the entire social and economic reforms and regulatory laws of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of the Lyndon B. Johnson, and the reforms of Barack Obama, along with lesser reforms of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The Republican Party is now an extremist right wing party controlled by the Freedom Caucus and evangelical Christians, who will not be satisfied until they take America back to the 1920s and the Gilded Age.

And this past week, the beginning of the end of what is now 88 months of economic expansion and job growth is evident, as today, the stock market collapsed with a 670 point drop, and a 1,000 point drop over this entire week. This is the biggest drop in two years, about 2.5 percent in the past week. It is also the biggest drop since the financial crisis of late 2008, which led to the Great Recession.

This was predictable, as no market or economic growth can continue to expand forever and already, the seven years and four months of expansion, since the last months of 2010, is an all time record.

We will go through very rough times from now on, and yet the wealthy top one or two percent will continue to gain massive tax cuts, while the rest of America suffers.

We are on the road to potential social uprising, as the American people realize that a President who lost the popular vote, and has engaged in illegal acts, works to undermine the investigation of Russian collusion, money laundering, abuse of power, violating the emoluments clause, and obstruction of justice, at the expense of the American people, but makes sure his class of wealthy people continues to benefit.

The Trump public opinion rating in the mid 30s is likely to collapse into the 20s at this rate, but will the Republican Party try to rectify itself in Congress, or will they continue to collaborate in treason and corruption, and destroy their historical legacy long term?

We shall see in the months leading up to a likely massacre in the midterm elections this November.

January 20 Presidential Inauguration Days

Since 1937, as a result of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, we have had the President of the United States inaugurated every fourth year, so there have been 21 such inaugurations from 1937 to 2017.

Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the exception of Gerald Ford, has been inaugurated on January 20 since 1937. So 13 Presidents have had the excitement of inauguration at the US Capitol before crowds of varying sizes.

The greatest inauguration crowd was in 2009, when Barack Obama took the oath of office for the first time, and this author and blogger was fortunate enough to have been at his inauguration with his older son, and a video of that experience is on the right side of this blog.

The electricity in the crowd in 2009 was special, as it was in 1961, when the youngest elected President, John F. Kennedy, was inaugurated, and gave one of the top three inaugural addresses in American history, after Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, both on the original Inauguration Day of March 4.

In 1941, FDR was sworn in to an unprecedented third term in the Presidency, and in 1949, Harry Truman was sworn in after shocking America with his surprise victory over Thomas E. Dewey, something no one other than Truman himself, expected to occur.

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in after the greatest popular vote percentage victory in all of American history.

In 1973, Richard Nixon was sworn in for his second term, with no former President present, as Lyndon B. Johnson was not feeling well enough to attend, and then his passing two days later, at age 64.

And in 1977, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were sworn in as President and Vice President, with no one able to know that 41 years later, today, that they were both alive and in their 90s, and flourishing.

And in 1981, former movie actor and California Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn in, and at the same time, 52 Americans who had been held hostage in Iran were freed.

So January 20 has had its historic moments, including Donald Trump taking the oath exactly a year ago, after a much smaller crowd to witness, and followed by a Woman’s March the next day.

Health Care Costs Push People Into Poverty, And Republicans Have No Concern

Anyone who has health care issues can be pushed into bankruptcy and poverty by medical bills, but the Republican Party has no concern about how such a situation destroys the lives of millions, and further undermines their health and life longevity.

America is the only advanced nation that does not have national health care for all, and even when Republicans have town hall meetings and meet with constituents who have health issues, their reaction is one of lack of compassion and utter disinterest.

One has to wonder how these Republicans, who often claim to be “religious” and “good Christians” can look in the mirror and not feel great guilt.

What is it about the Republican mind that they cannot have compassion and wish to make the life of the elderly, single mothers and children, the poor, and the disabled, who all face great challenges every day, a bit easier?

To claim that health care in the 21st century is not a right, but a privilege, is mind boggling.

An idea first broached by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, a century later, is still a battleground, rather than an agreed upon issue that should unite the American people in wishing to promote a long, healthy life for all Americans. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all worked to advance health care, but we still have this refusal to recognize the right of all people to health care, and those who cannot afford it, often having to go bankrupt.

The Obsessive Donald Trump Hatred Of Barack Obama And Hillary Clinton A Clear Cut Sign Of Serious Mental Illness

We have never seen such hatred and obsessiveness by any President against a predecessor or successor in the Oval Office or a presidential rival as we see with Donald Trump’s attitude toward Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

There have been other rivalries that existed, as for instance:

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson;

John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson;

Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft;

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson;

Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt;

Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower;

Harry Truman and Richard Nixon;

Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller;

Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan

as the major cases, but none of these rivalries were on the level of Donald Trump with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

None of these was a situation of such vehement, long lasting venom, and the manufacturing of lies and accusations that are clearly paranoid and vicious to an extreme, with no possibility of being resolved.

Some of the above rivalries were long lasting, including JQ Adams and Jackson, TR and Wilson, and Hoover and FDR, but the rest ended up with reconciliation and eventual communication between the two parties involved.

That will never happen with Donald Trump, and it is a sad commentary that teaches the wrong lessons to children and to all of us, that no matter what differences one has, they can be overcome with a real effort and commitment.

The difference is that Donald Trump, unlike past Presidents, is clearly a person with a serious mental illness, which undermines the possibility of cooperation among and unity of the American people.

Donald Trump, The Laziest And Least Knowledgeable President Since 1900, If Not Before

It is difficult to know for certain how hard working our Presidents from George Washington to William McKinley were, as available sources cannot often pinpoint the work habits of the 24 Presidents before 1900.

It is much easier to pinpoint the work habits of the 20 Presidents since 1901, from Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump.

It is also clear that being President is a tough, challenging job, and one does not have to be President to understand that reality.

But then, we have Donald Trump, who has expressed surprise at how difficult and complex and time consuming the Presidency is.

After all, Donald Trump has never truly worked that hard in his life, and always has had an advantage over others by his wealth and connections.

It is now clear that despite the burdens of the Presidency, that Donald Trump is the laziest and least knowledgeable President since 1900, if not before, but also likely.

Historians make clear how hard working and time consuming most Presidents have found their job and its duties.

William Howard Taft, being the heaviest President, took long naps daily, which makes it seem as if he was lazy to some, but clearly, Taft had a good mind, and a history of legal experience. He later became the only President to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as well, and no one has ever accused Taft in his nine years on the Court as not taking his job seriously.

Warren G. Harding was poorly qualified for the Presidency, and did not really like the job, and that he spent a lot of time engaging in love affairs and drinking alcohol in a time of Prohibition. But despite his generally disastrous Presidency, he comes across as still less lazy and far more knowledgeable than Donald Trump, and certainly more goodhearted and considerate of others who worked with him, and with the general public.

Calvin Coolidge, who was not at all overweight, also took a lot of naps, but despite that, he seems to have asserted himself, and his work load seems activist. His napping maybe was a way to cope with the loss of his younger son, Calvin, Jr at age 16 in 1924, just as he was running for a full term, after succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Harding in 1923.

Dwight D. Eisenhower liked to delegate authority, and avoid dealing with many issues in detail, and was far less interested in dealing personally with every issue. But no one could accuse him of being lazy and lacking in knowledge, although many criticized his love of golf as a hobby during the White House years. But we must remember his military brilliance in World War II at D Day, and realize he was very capable of being President.

Ronald Reagan also liked to delegate authority, and liked longer vacations, but still could not be accused of lacking knowledge, or being overly lazy. His staff and his wife, Nancy Reagan, promoted an activist Presidency, and Reagan comes across as an activist President. He knew how to communicate in a positive way with the American people.

George W. Bush took many long vacations on his ranch in Texas, and seemed often poorly informed. He leaned too much on his Vice President, Dick Cheney, in his first term, but in the second term, his attention to issues and his commitment to his job grew, even though the results in his Presidency were often disastrous.

Once one goes beyond these six Presidents named above, there is no question that the other Presidents were committed to the work ethic, and had broad knowledge of the major issues of their times.

This is particularly true of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, who all governed in complex times with challenging issues to deal with on a daily basis.

But equally true is the competence and commitment of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

Particularly “workaholic” Presidents would include TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, and Obama.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has spent more time on “vacation” than any President, and has shown ignorance and lack of interest in the details of his job. He spends more time playing golf; is constantly on attack against his critics on Twitter; and he eats unhealthy foods and drinks twelve Diet Cokes daily.

The man loves the title and the pomp and circumstance of the Presidency, but is extremely disinterested in the details of the issues he must deal with in domestic and foreign policy, and clearly is the laziest President in modern times, if not the entire history of the Presidency. He has undermined both domestic and foreign policy in dangerous ways.

The conclusion is that Donald Trump is ill equipped to be President, and disgraces the reputation of the office every day. If earlier Presidents were able to come back from the next world, they would be shocked at what harm he has done to the Presidency in just one short year! Heads would be shaking, and eyes rolling, without any doubt!

Harry Truman And Gerald Ford Share Death Date Of December 26 in 1972 And 2006

The day after Christmas is a day shared by two Presidents in death.

The 33rd President, Harry Truman, died on this day in 1972.

The 38th President, Gerald Ford. died on this day in 2006.

These two Presidents, the first a Democrat, the second a Republican, shared many common traits.

Both were from the Midwest–Truman from Missouri, and Ford from Hichigan.

Both faced challenging times and issues–Truman with the end of World War II; the Atomic Bomb issue; the Berlin Blockade and Airlift; the Korean War;-McCarthyism;–and Ford with the pardoning of Richard Nixon; the final end of the Vietnam War; the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia; the two assassination attempts 17 days apart in September 1975; and the challenge of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Both faced public opinion polls that made their governing difficult, with Truman surprising everyone with his upset victory over Thomas E. Dewey in 1948; and Ford almost winning a full term in 1976, and only losing because of close vote returns in Ohio and Hawaii.

Both had no desire to be President, and had not sought it, with both succeeding to the Presidency when Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.

Both died at advanced ages, with Truman seven and a half months past the age of 88; and Ford five and a half months past 93, and the longest lived President until George H. W. Bush passed his age on November 25, a month ago, and also to be surpassed by Jimmy Carter on March 16, 2018.

Both Presidents have gained in stature in death and in retrospect, although Truman is in the top ten Presidents of all time, usually around number five or six in most scholarly polls, while Ford is in the mid to high 20s as an average President.

But both came along, unexpectedly, and performed their responsibilities in an admirable way, and have gained respect that both might not have imagined in their lifetimes.