Saturday, January 21, 2017

6° of George Washington

      American history is full of interesting stories. When it comes to the Presidents, I always find it interesting to find connections between Presidents that you don't normally think of as connected in anyway. For instance, James Madison and Zachary Taylor were second cousins. John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln served in the U.S. House of Representatives at the same time. Grover Cleveland as a young man was friends with Millard Fillmores son, and as an old man knew Woodrow Wilson well, and didn't really like him. 
  
   A while back it got me thinking. What is the shortest number of connection (or degrees) can we get from George Washington to Barack Obama. After doing some research I found 6° of separation between Washington and Obama. But since we have a new President. I need to refigure the connections. 

   Starting off are a few connections I found interesting, that I did not use in my final connection between George Washington and Donald Trump.    


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Andrew Jackson was a US senator from Tennessee at the same time that Jefferson was Vice President. Of course one of the rolls of Vice President is to act as President of the Senate. Jackson admired Jefferson. But later in life Jefferson expressed his concern of Andrew Jackson becoming President saying that he is, "a dangerous man"





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  Former President Martin Van Buren visited Springfield, Illinois in the summer of 1842. It was part of the strategy of mounting a political come back and running for President again. Van Buren had a cousin named George Brunk. Brunk was an acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln. Through this connection the former President and the future President met at a home in Rochester, Illinois. It seems that good times were had by all.  Van Buren later said "....he never spent so agreeable night in his life".


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  During the Mexican war Ulysses S. Grant was a second Lieutenant under the command of General Zachary Taylor. Taylor was a strong influence on Grant. When Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Lee looked very sharp in a new uniform, whereas Grant looked a little rough in a muddy field uniform. Both Taylor and Grant were known as great Generals who looked a little rough in their uniforms




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     At the age of 10, George W. Bush visited his Grandfather in Washington. His Grandpa was Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush. While attending a gathering with his grandparents in a Georgetown home, George was called by his Grandpa to come over and meet somebody. Prescott said to the tall man ,"I've got one of your constituents here". Then Senate majority leader Lyndon B. Johnson extended his hand to the 10-year-old George W. Bush and said," pleased to meet you"! 
  

    Below I spell out my original attempt to get from George Washington to Barack Obama in the fewest number of connections. 





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1°- #1 George Washington to #9 William Henry Harrison. George Washington had visited William Henry Harrison's home Berkeley Plantation when Harrison was young. Although I cannot confirm that they ever physically met. They certainly knew who each other were. WH Harrison's father Benjamin Harrison V and George Washington were friends who were both Virginia delegates to the second Continental Congress. I also found where WH Harrison's Uncle was married to Washington's sister in law. 



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 2° - #9 William Henry Harrison to #23 Benjamin Harrison. This one doesn't need much explanation. Benjamin Harrison was just a little boy when his grandfather William Henry Harrison became the first President to die in office. 


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  3°-  #23 Benjamin Harrison  to #31 Herbert Hoover. When former President Benjamin Harrison was attending a baseball game at the University of Stanford he somehow got past the gate without paying for his ticket. When the team manager, then student Herbert Hoover found out, he confronted the former President to pay up. Benjamin Harrison found the whole thing amusing and gladly paid for his ticket. 




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4° -  #31 Herbert Hoover to #35 John F. Kennedy. Herbert Hoover actually outlived John F. Kennedy by about a year. As members of the Presidents club, they probably met on a few different occasions. 





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5°-  #35 John F. Kennedy to #42 Bill Clinton. As a teenager Bill Clinton was involved in a youth group called "Boys Nation". Through this group he was able to visit the White House and meet President Kennedy. 


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6°- #42 Bill Clinton to #44 Barack Obama. Another one that needs no explanation. These two guys are well acquainted. 



So that's how I got from Washington to Obama in 6°. But now we have a new President. So now the goal is to get from Washington to Trump with the fewest number of connections. For this run the first few steps are the same. 

1° - #1 George Washington to #9 William Henry Harrison

2°- #9 William Henry Harrison to #23 Benjamin Harrison

3°-  #23 Benjamin Harrison to #31 Herbert Hoover

And now for the rest will take a different path. 




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4°- #31 Herbert Hoover to #37 Richard Nixon. Nixon was Vice President under Eisenhower. He probably met former President Hoover on several occasions. 




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5° -#37 Richard Nixon to #45 Donald Trump. I saw an interview where Trump shows a letter he once got from Nixon. Nixon tells Trump that he thinks that he could be a successful politician if he ever wanted to. The above picture proves that they met at least one occasion.



  Well there it is. I hope that you all found this as interesting as I did.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Donald J. Trump

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Donald J. Trump 45th President of the United States (2017-present)

Trump sites I have visited:

Trump's birthplace: Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens, NY

Trump boyhood homes: Queens, NY

Trump family gravesite: Queens, NY






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Donald Trump was born here at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on June 14, 1946. Along with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he is now the 3rd President born in the summer of 1946. 1946 is also now the only year in which 3 Presidents were born.



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ER enterance




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I stopped at Trump's birthplace in July 2017. It was a quick stop as parking was limited.



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Donald Trump boyhood home, Queens, NY He lived here until the age of 4.





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Trump's 2nd boyhood home. Just around the block from the first one.



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This is the Trump family gravesite. All Faiths Cemetery Queens, NY. Here are buried President Trump's parents, grandparents and older brother, who died of alcoholism in 1981. It is because of watching his brother's struggle with alcohol that Trump doesn't drink. 




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I have tried to visit the final resting places of Presidents parents for a few years now. Kind of a side hobby, if there's time. In planning for my recent trip I wasn't able to find much information on the exact location of this gravesite. Even when I called the cemetery they refused to give that information. Which is understandable. All I had was a few numbers to go by from Trumps brother's find a grave page. I got to the cemetery and acted like I was looking for a different grave in the same area. When I got there the numbers I had made a little more sense when looking at the map they gave me. Even so, it is a big cemetery and it took nearly 2 hours to find it. It felt like a pretty big win when I found it.


The next few pictures I took are of President Trump at campaign rallies during the 2016 election cycle.



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Trump at a rally in Ft. Wayne, Indiana back in May 2016






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Trump in Cleveland, Ohio in October 2016


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  Trying to figure out sites connected to the current President, especially so soon in his term can be difficult. So far the big Trump site that I am missing is Trump Tower in Manhattan. But I added it to a long list of things to see in Manhattan someday.

   Donald Trump is our first non politician President since Eisenhower. He is also now the oldest President to take office at 70, beating out Ronald Reagan by a few months. The history of his term of office will most definitely be interesting.