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10 Deadly Mistakes Made By US Presidents

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This is from ListVerse.

 

Throughout American history, presidents have done things both good and bad. They have made mistakes which have cost lives, and many times they have gotten away with it. This is a list of some of the things that presidents have done which caused casualties and fatalities.

10 Bill Clinton
Not Killing Bin Laden

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Photo credit: USAF

 

In 2001, just hours before the attacks on the World Trade Center, former President Bill Clinton told an audience in Australia that he once nearly killed Osama bin Laden. The recording, which neither Clinton nor the audience would have known the significance of at the time, serves as one of the most sadly ironic footnotes in history.

In 1998, bin Laden was not considered the danger that he later became, but he was still on the government’s radar. He had been wanted for bombing the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya but had never committed significant attacks toward the United States. The government, though, suspected that the terrorist leader was capable of far more dangerous attacks. Finally, after years of attempting to find him, he was tracked to a small town in Afghanistan called Kandahar, where he was suspected of being held in the governor’s residence.

The military wanted to launch a strike against the town which would have killed bin Laden, but to do so would have put hundreds of civilian lives at risk. To avoid the deaths of the 300 or so townspeople, President Clinton called off the strike. It was also believed that the strike wouldn’t be successful because bin Laden left the room which the missile was aimed at. A second strike was proposed in May 1999, but a recent mishap involving a CIA bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade made the military wary of another possible misstep. Another chance would never come their way, and two years later, bin Laden committed the deadliest attack on US soil in American history. We may never know what difference it may have made had bin Laden been killed when we had the chance.

9 Richard Nixon

Pakistani Genocide Of Bangladesh

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Photo credit: Jack E. Kightlinger

 

In 1971, tensions were flaring between the military government of Pakistan and the government of India. India and Pakistan have had issues for centuries, but due to increasing problems between the countries, there seemed to be war on the horizon. Pakistan at the time was a close economic and political ally of the United States, while India held a lesser position. Despite the Muslim dictatorship of the country, President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger decided to provide economic and military support for Pakistan in the event of a war (which there was later that year).

However, the weapons which were secretly given to the Pakistani government were used for a much more sinister purpose—the genocide of the Bengali people. It’s estimated that nearly 200,000 people were killed by Pakistan, and according to documents by the State Department, neither Nixon nor Kissinger seemed to care. The slaughtering did nothing to stop the United States from continuing its support. The private US investments (many of the companies which were in Pakistan donated money to the Nixon campaign) seemed to be more important than the lives of the Bengali people.

At the time, the Indian government was receiving support from the Soviet Union, and the White House Tapes revealed the feelings of the president: Nixon once said that India needed “a mass famine.” When Kenneth Keating, a Republican serving as ambassador to India, confronted Nixon about the suffering of the Bengali people, Nixon called him “a traitor.” Finally, this all came to a head when India and Pakistan went to war. The cost of Nixon’s support for Pakistan was the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives in the region, for which he showed a callousness which displayed his lack of remorse for his lethal actions.

8 Herbert Hoover
The Election Of General Jorge Ubico

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Photo credit: Harris & Ewing

 

In 1930, President Lazaro Chacon suffered a stroke and resigned, which set about a series of events through which General Jorge Ubico would be elected. After several leaders were removed by either the Guatemalan army or the United States government, Ubico finally proved himself to be a worthy leader in the eyes of the United States.

His most appealing quality to the United States was his undying devotion to the United Fruit Company. He offered them vast tracts of land in the country along with complete access to the labor force. He knew that by portraying himself as a servant to the United States, he would remain the sole leader of Guatemala. In fact, Ubico made such an impression on American ambassador Sheldon Whitehouse that Whitehouse said he was “the best friend the Untied States has in Latin America.”

After a rigged election in 1931 which was sanctioned by Herbert Hoover, Ubico started a campaign to create a highly efficient military dictatorship in Guatemala. He became an ostentatious man who wore extravagant military uniforms wherever he went in an effort to emulate his hero, Napoleon Bonaparte. He started to systematically kill off all opposition and democratic activity. His abuse of the labor force soon bubbled over, though, and after more than 20 years of a bloody, repressive regime, Ubico was removed from power in 1944.

7  Franklin D. Roosevelt

SS St. Louis

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Photo via Wikimedia

 

Photo via Wikimedia

In 1939, The SS St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba, with 937 Jewish refugees seeking to escape Nazi Germany. At the time, the United States had immigration quotas which allowed for only a certain number of immigrants to stay in the United States at any given time. The refugees went to Cuba ostensibly as tourists but planned to remain there until they could fill the quota numbers. However, when the Cuban government received word that they planned to stay there, they refused to allow the Jewish refugees to leave the ship. The non-Jewish passengers, though, were allowed to leave the ship.

Knowing what would happen if he took them back to Germany, the captain of the ship, Gustav Schroder, refused to allow the Jewish refugees to return across the Atlantic. The Jewish passengers were treated well onboard the ship: Captain Schroder tried to treat the passengers with respect, giving them kosher foods which were being rationed in Germany at the time, along with Jewish religious services. He even provided a cinema for the passengers. He next tried to dock the ship in Florida, but the Roosevelt administration would not allow the passengers on US soil due to immigration laws. When the ship neared the Florida coast, warning shots were fired.

Captain Schroder was so desperate to save the Jewish passengers that he tried to wreck the ship and force the American government to take them, but the Coast Guard, hearing of his plan, was ordered to follow the ship. Despite knowing full well the fates of the Jewish people aboard the ship, Roosevelt told them to leave.

Roosevelt, who was considering an unprecedented third run for president, did not want to engage in the plight of the passengers of the ship because public opinion leaned toward strict immigration laws. Eventually, the British government coordinated efforts to place the passengers into countries in Europe, but Nazi Germany eventually conquered many of the countries where the refugees were placed. It’s been estimated that a quarter of those aboard the SS St. Louis were exterminated in Nazi concentration camps.

6 Abraham Lincoln
Dakota War Of 1862

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Photo via Wikimedia

 

Abraham Lincoln is certainly one of the most beloved presidents of all time. His handling of the country during the Civil War counts as one of the greatest achievements of any American president before or since. However, one of the most overlooked aspects of his presidency was his treatment of the Sioux tribe. It is certainly one of the darkest spots on Lincoln’s record and taints his reputation as an American saint.

In 1851, the Sioux ceded massive tracts of their land in exchange for cash payments. By 1862, the federal government owed the Sioux nearly $1.4 million. Chief Little Crow attempted to go before the government, but the president refused to acknowledge him. A series of skirmishes started by the Sioux led to Lincoln giving permission for General John Pope to fight back. This led to the Dakota War of 1862, in which the Union government went on the warpath against the Sioux, who were only fighting for payment they’d been promised.

Of course, the American government crushed the Sioux uprising almost as soon as it began. On December 26, 1862, 300 Sioux were to be executed; while Lincoln pardoned most of them, 38 were still executed in the largest mass execution in American history. Over the years, the Dakota War disappeared from history. While the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves have been used to uplift Lincoln to a spot higher than many other presidents, his war with the Sioux over their rightful payment has not been forgotten.

5  Andrew Jackson

Treaty Of New Echota

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Photo credit: Lmaotru

 

In 1835, five years after the Indian Removal Act had been signed by Andrew Jackson, a small group of Cherokee tribal members signed the Treaty of New Echota, which forced the Cherokee to leave their tribal lands in Tennessee and move west of the Mississippi River to the Oklahoma territory. The signing of the document itself was already illegal since the entire Cherokee tribal leadership had not agreed to the removal of their lands, but it soon came out that speculators had pushed for the signing of the treaty so they could purchase the newly available land for profit.

In 1838, the Cherokee tribe was forced to relocate in what has been called the Trail of Tears. The brutal march led to the deaths of 4,000 Cherokee who had been forced out of their ancestral land. Andrew Jackson showed no remorse for his actions, and the treaty, while technically illegal, was upheld by the entirety of the Cherokee nation out of honor.

Through abuses by officials which were sanctioned by Jackson, many more Native Americans were killed or cheated out of their land. Many of the other treaties signed during Jackson’s presidency only led to further wars with the Native Americans and more bloodshed. While the Treaty of New Echota was just one of many treaties used against the Native Americans, it led to the most pain for people who were forced out of their land by a president who was led by cruel convictions.

4 Franklin Pierce
Bleeding Kansas

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Photo credit: Utopies

 

In 1854, with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the decision of whether or not slavery was to be legal in Kansas was left to the settlers of the state rather than to Congress. Franklin Pierce thought that this would be a good resolution to the slavery issue without involving the government. He believed that, with the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the whole headache of deciding a state’s slavery status was behind him. His assumption proved wrong.

As anti-slavery forces heard about the rise in pro-slavery settlers, they began to arrive en masse to sway the pro-slavery vote in Kansas. The abolitionists began to arm the settlers in an effort to keep them from being forced out of the state. This eventually erupted into bloody conflict as fighting broke out between the pro- and anti-slave forces. This was dubbed “Bleeding Kansas” by Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune.

In 1856, all hell broke loose with the Sacking of Laurence, in which Missourians invaded the city and destroyed homes, businesses, and other properties. The Missourians were pro-slavery, and the city of Laurence had been built by anti-slavery forces. The fighting continued throughout the state, all due to Franklin Pierce’s insistence that the federal government stay out of the slavery issue.

3 George W. Bush
Niger Uranium Forgeries

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Photo via Wikimedia

 

In 2001, the Italian military supposedly presented the CIA with evidence that Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy yellowcake uranium from the government of Niger. This occurred in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, and the United Nations was gathering evidence of whether or not Hussein was attempting to create and store weapons of mass destruction. Yellowcake uranium is one of the main ingredients in the creation of nuclear weapons—which the Iraqi government had been doing, according to the United States—and the documents only seemed to prove this accusation.

However, for their entire existence, the documents were suspected of being forgeries. Despite the questions of their authenticity, the Bush administration used them in the case for war with Iraq with the infamous words, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Even before President Bush gave the speech in which he put forward the evidence that Iraq had been attempting to get uranium, French intelligence had said that the documents were not hard evidence. Despite this, the American coalitionwent to war with Iraq.

The controversy behind the documents and the justification for war would not die down. In 2002, American generals and CIA agents had attempted to verify the documents, but their efforts came to nothing. In 2004, an Italian source claimed that he had helped forge the documents, and both British and French forces found that the documents had indeed been forged. In 2003, word broke that an investigation by the Atomic Energy Agency had also found the documents to be forged. None of these findings affected the war. Many lives were lost, but there were no prosecutions despite the key foundation of the War in Iraq being entirely fake.

2 Barack Obama
ATF Gun-Walking

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Photo credit: Pete Souza

 

While gun-walking has been in use by the ATF since 2006 with some success, it wasn’t until 2009 that President Obama authorized then–Attorney General Eric Holder to use the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to tag several deadly assault rifles so they could be sold by gun dealers near the border to “straw buyers” who would then sell the weapons to the Mexican cartels. This was all done under the code name “Operation Gunrunner.” Not only was this all highly illegal, but when the guns did manage to get into cartel hands, they were used to execute Mexican citizens and ceremoniously dumped so there could be no trace. While many of the straw buyers were caught and prosecuted, none of the cartel targets were actually caught, leaving them in the clear.

After the failure of the operation, the order was for all documents to be buried. According to a Department of Justice report, of the 2,000 guns being tracked, only 710 of them had been recovered by 2012. This means that over 1,000 assault rifles may still be in the hands of the Mexican cartels. The operation would have remained secret if it weren’t for the murder of United States border patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed by a Mexican cartel in 2010. After his death, investigations discovered that the tagged guns were related to 150 murders in Mexico.

In 2011, members of Congress began to investigate the operation and started to wonder: Who gave the order for it? Former Attorney General Holder denied giving the order. He refused to give any related documents to Congress, and he was placed in contempt of court. When President Obama was asked about his part in the operation, he invoked executive privilege for the first time in his presidency. The investigation, while never formally closed, eventually came to nothing, and there has been no further word about who was at fault.

1 James Madison
War Of 1812

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Photo credit: Thomas Birch

 

During the Napoleonic Wars, many British war vessels patrolled the Atlantic Ocean for French trading vessels. This often led to altercations with American ships that did business with both Britain and France. The frequent provocative acts by the British eventually angered President Madison too much, and he declared war in 1812. This proved to be a great mistake.

The British government was angered by their defeat during the War for Independence and were out for blood. They unleashed the most vicious assault that the United States has ever known. After crushing the American naval fleet, they launched the first and only invasion of the United States. They overwhelmed the American armies, and it seemed that they were going to retake the lands they had lost. They marched to Washington, DC, where they proceeded to sack and burn the city. Madison began to realize that by declaring war, he may have sowed the seeds of destruction for America.

By 1814, however, after much fighting in which the United States managed to push back the British invasion, Madison decided to press for a truce with the British government. Both governments came to realize that prolonged war would be unprofitable on both sides of the Atlantic and agreed to peace. They signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814, which put an end to the War of 1812, although fighting would continue for some time. By the end of the violence, an estimated 20,000 Americans had lost their lives.

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3 Surprising Facts About U.S Presidents That You Were Probably Never Taught In History Class

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This is from Independent Journal Review.

 

 

Most of us would think we know a good deal about the Presidents of the United States. Still, there are a few facts that won’t be found in history books:

1.) George W. Bush is a distant cousin with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

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2.) John F. Kennedy was buried without his brain after it was lost during the autopsy.

kennedy

3.) Barack Obama descended from the first documented African slave in colonial America.

obama

4.) George H.W. Bush threw up on the Japanese Prime Minister.

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5.) Calvin Coolidge liked having petroleum jelly rubbed on his head every morning while eating breakfast in bed.

coolidge final

6.) Jimmy Carter only has one testicle.

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7.) Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, was actually his fifth cousin.

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8.) Gerald Ford worked as a fashion model during college, appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

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9.) Herbert Hoover’s son had two pet alligators, which were occasionally permitted to run loose through the White House.

actual hoover

10.) Harry Truman does not have a middle name; the ‘S’ often included as his middle initial stands for nothing.

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11.) In one poker game, Warren Harding bet the White House china collection and lost it all in one hand.

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12.) Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III.

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13.) George W. Bush was head cheerleader in high school.

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Mind blown?

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Always expect the unexpected, even when it comes to the leaders of our country.

Hotels where presidents have slept

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This is from Fox News.

A little presidential trivia.

 

 

It’s only natural for the president to rest their heads at some of the best hotels. These luxurious hotels haven’t just served as a White House away from home for some commanders-in-chief, but they’re places where history –and scandals –were made.

Inn at Crossroads
Charlottesville, Va.

This historic inn, which opened in 1820, was visited by Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the 1930’s Roosevelt gave a speech from the front porch of the inn to the local townspeople during his presidential campaign.

Hale Springs Inn
Rogersville, Tenn.

The Hale Springs Inn was built during the mid-1820’s, and provided shelter for Presidents Andrew Jackson, James Polk and Andrew Johnson. The inn has three presidential suites all named after them.

Historic Rosemont Manor
Berryville, Va.

Rosemont was once the estate of Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. Over the years, it hosted Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy.

The Brown Palace Hotel
Denver

This famous Colorado Hotel has been visited by every U.S. president since Theodore Roosevelt, except Calvin Coolidge and Barack Obama. The club located on the hotel’s second floor served as President Eisenhower’s campaign headquarters prior to his election, and the dent his miscalculated golf ball made in the fireplace mental of the Eisenhower Suite can still be seen today.

The Greenbrier Resort
White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

The Greenbrier has hosted 26 U.S. presidents, and you can see memorable moments from their stays at the Presidents’ Cottage Museum. It was also the location of a secret underground bunker for Congress in the event of nuclear war.

Waldorf Astoria
New York

Every president since Herbert Hoover has either stayed at or, in the case of Hoover, lived at this palatial Park Avenue hotel. Barack Obama has stayed in the property’s four-bedroom Presidential Suite—along with every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover. George H. W. Bush reportedly was a big fan of the Waldorf’s cuisine and the hotel served up culinary specialities, minus the broccoli.

Carlyle Hotel
New York

This luxurious Upper East Side hotel has been a favorite of presidents and world leaders since the 1930’s. President Harry Truman, the first U.S. president to say at the Carlyle, was reportedly known for bolting out of the hotel on his “morning constitutionals.” Legend has it that JFK spent the night with Marilyn Monroe in his hotel suite after she sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”

The Homestead
Hot Springs, Va.

The Homestead, which opened in 1766, has been visited by 22 presidents. It is said that Jefferson stayed at the hot spring resort for 30 days in 1818, at the cost of $2.12.

The Jefferson Hotel
Richmond, Va.

Twelve presidents have stayed at The Jefferson since it opened in 1895: Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, William Howard Taft, both Roosevelts, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, both Bushes and Barack Obama.

The Willard

Washington, D.C.

Called the “residence of presidents,” every president since Franklin Pierce has either slept in or attended an event at the hotel. Ulysses S. Grant used to be a frequent quest and had the habit of visiting for a drink and cigar in the lobby.  There he would be swarmed by those loitering around hoping to seek favors with the president–and thus the term “lobbyist” was born.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/11/06/suites-where-presidents-have-slept/?intcmp=features#ixzz2BUHufkL6

 

10 amazing facts on the White House’s 220th anniversary

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This is from Yahoo News.

I knew some of the facts.

 

On October 13, 1792, the White House’s cornerstone was put in place in a quiet ceremony. Since then, the president’s house has survived an attack, a near condemning, a second fire, and an effort to build a rival White House!

So there’s also a lot you might not know about the really interesting history of America’s most famous residence.

Here’s a look at 10 factoids you can use to impress your friends and liven up any conversation aboutthe White House.

1. Another city built its own version of the White House. Yes, Philadelphia wasn’t happy that the new city of Washington was getting the president’s executive mansion. During the 1790s, the city built its own presidential palace as a way to tempt George Washington and others from leaving Philadelphia, which was the acting capital. Washington refused to use the “palace” and stayed elsewhere in Philadelphia. That location is two blocks south of the National Constitution Center.

2. George Washington never lived in the White House. Don’t look for Washington’s ghost on your next White House tour. The mansion was in the city named for Washington, and he had a big role in the executive residence’s creation. But George passed away in late 1799, about one year before John Adams became the first president to live in the building.

3. Very little of the original White House remains. Those pesky British burned the originalWhite House in 1814 after U.S. forces set fire to Canada’s parliament. The famous Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington was saved by a fleeing Dolley Madison and some exterior stone walls survived the fire.

4. There was a second big fire at the White House. A blaze on Christmas Eve in 1929 gutted parts of the West Wing and Oval Office during the Herbert Hoover administration. Hoover left a Christmas party to personally direct the firefighting efforts, helped by Ulysses S. Grant III, a city official. Hoover also briefly entered the Oval Office during the fire, but he was whisked away by the Secret Service. The blaze was started by a blocked fireplace flue.

5. The suffragettes stayed at the White House for two years. The heated fight over the right of women to vote reached a fever pitch in 1917, as suffragettes picketed at the White House gates in an attempt to get President Woodrow Wilson’s attention. Led by Alice Paul, the picketers stayed in front of the White House for two years, with more than 200 arrests. The pressure helped in the successful effort to pass the 19th Amendment.

6. It was Teddy Roosevelt who created the West Wing. The West Wing was expanded under William Howard Taft and Franklin D Roosevelt, but it was Teddy who got the facility built. Thomas Jefferson had started the ball rolling with the idea 100 years earlier, but things take a long time to build in Washington. Teddy had some conservatories leveled and the “temporary” office building established, to be connected to the main White House using a colonnaded gallery. President Taft added the Oval Office to the West Wing.

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7. The White House was nearly condemned in 1948. President Harry S. Truman was forced out of the White House as his living quarters to the Blair House after officials decided the aging White House was close to collapse. Apparently, the repair budget under the FDR administration was ignored, even as more White House staffers were added to payrolls. When Truman tried to upgrade the White House, engineers discovered it was structurally unsound and close to falling down. The project was completed in 1952.

8. There was a 1950 attack on the president’s house. While Truman was staying at the Blair House, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to storm the Blair House and kill Truman while he was napping inside the residence. After a 38-second gun battle, one assailant was dead, and a White House police officer was mortally wounded. They were apparently emboldened by the idea that the Blair House was less secure than the White House. The officer who died in the attack fatally shot the assailant as he stood 30 feet from the president’s bedroom window. Truman had moved to the window just before the assailant was killed.

9. You can buy your own White House, for just $4 million. That may sound like a lot of money, but it’s a steal when the real White House is worth about $110 million (or as much as $286 million by another estimate). The replica White House is in McLean, Virginia, and it has just 14,000 square feet of space, compared with 55,000 for the real White House. It does have a full-sized Oval Office and replica Lincoln bedroom. The original owners used plans from White House I to build the facility from scratch. You will need to bring your own helicopter and pets.

10. The White House is missing its cornerstone. Any anniversary of the White House wouldn’t be complete without the story of its missing cornerstone. On that fateful day in October 1792, a group of freemasons met at a Georgetown tavern and paraded to the proposed site of the president’s mansion. In a ceremony, they placed an inscribed cornerstone to mark the start of the House’s construction. They then marched to an inn and made a toast to the event. And another, and another. In  fact, they made 16 toasts! So no one really documented where the stone was.  President Truman tried to find the stone during the renovation period, but no one has seen it since 1792. One theory is that is imbedded between two stone walls near the Rose Garden.

 

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