Day: February 21, 2011

A Look At Post Presidencies On Presidents Day

As we celebrate Presidents Day, on the third Monday of February, it is significant to look at post Presidencies and their impact.

Among earlier Presidents, a few stood out in public office after the Presidency.

John Quincy Adams served nearly 18 years in the House of Representatives from Boston, and led the fight against slavery and the “gag rule” which banned discussion of slavery on the floor of the House.

Andrew Johnson served briefly back in the Senate where he had been the only Southerner to remain loyal to the Union, of all the Senators from the Confederate States.

William Howard Taft served nine years as Chief Justice after almost a decade out of the White House, and came up with the plans for the Supreme Court Building.

Herbert Hoover served President Truman in reorganization of the executive branch as the head of the Hoover Commission after World War II.

Richard Nixon wrote numerous books on foreign policy, and became regarded as an elder statesman who was asked for advice by every President, despite the disgrace of the Watergate Scandal.

Jimmy Carter has been heavily involved in Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Center, engaged in promoting diplomacy and free elections and better living conditions all over the world, and has also been a prolific author.

George W Bush has been involved in Haitian relief and other activities, and his father,  George H W Bush, now will be honorary co chairman of the University of Arizona Civility Institute, an outgrowth of the violence which led to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords last month, sharing that responsibility with Bill Clinton.

And Bill Clinton has been a “whirlwind” of activity with the Clinton Global Initiative, which aims to help the promotion of prosperity and human rights all over the world, with the support of the business community, and he also was involved in the Haitian relief after last year’s earthquake, and now is to be part of the Civility Institute activities at the University of Arizona.

In fact, this evening on MSNBC, Chris Matthews will host an hour review of the many activities of Bill Clinton since his Presidency ended 20 years ago.

So on this day when we commemorate Presidents, let’s remember the contributions of former Presidents as well!

150th Anniversary Of Jefferson Davis Inauguration As President Of The Confederacy Celebrated In Montgomery, Alabama

This past weekend, the 150th Anniversary of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy was celebrated in Montgomery, Alabama.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans organized the event, and several hundred attended.

No mention of slavery was found in the proceedings, only that the North had subjugated the South, and that the war was over tariffs, taxes, and states rights.

The War For Southern Independence was invoked as the appropriate name for the war, rather than the Civil War.

This kind of managed event will, unfortunately, still be prevalent over the next four years, as the re-enactments of Civil War battles and events will be constantly celebrated, instead of being seen as a great human tragedy.

The regionalism that still exists is very powerful, and the scars left from the Civil War continue to be an issue today in a different way.

It used to be the Republican Party who was hated and despised in the South, but now the Republicans have become dominant in the South, and it is the Democratic Party which is now seen as the “enemy” of the Southern heritage.

So a complete switch around has occurred, and one wonders what those who fought and died for the Union would think if they came back today and saw how politics have changed in the South!