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.



When presidents can, cannot decide who succeeds

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This is from Human Events.

Why did Slick Willie support Obama for reelection?

Does Bill think Obama’s reelection will make a path for Hillary?

If Obama gets reelected it will be a long time before a DemocRat is president.

The Cubs will win back to back World Series Championships first.

Yes it will be that long before a DemocRat is elected president.


If President Barack Obama is inaugurated Jan. 20, he will owe a debt of gratitude to a previous resident of his home William J. Clinton.

The two-term president not only gave a ringing endorsement to Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., he is also campaigning in battleground states for the incumbent — freeing him to campaign in other states.

W. Mitt Romney has no comparable surrogate or advocate.

In fact, Romney has distanced himself from the last GOP president George W. Bush in a way reminiscent of how Clinton was treated by his intended successor and vice-president Albert A. Gore Jr.

Dynastic succession is a tricky game in a democratic republic. Despite our protestations to the contrary, Americans are quite comfortable with familial succession. There have been two father-son presidents: John Adams and John Q. Adams, and George H. W. Bush and his son W.; one grandfather-grandson: William H. Harrison and Benjamin Harrison; one set of cousins: Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose brothers Robert F. and Edward M., both came close to winning the Democratic nomination within 17 years of J.F.K.’s murder in 1963.

For that matter, a member of Clinton’s own household, Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, took her losing fight for the Democratic nomination against Obama all the way to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

In the Age of the Antonines, Roman emperors put aside familial succession in favor of designating the best man to succeed them in their own lifetime. This model of meritorious succession from A.D. 96 to 192, not only provided the empire with its golden age, but when Marcus Aurelius named his own son Commodus, it marked the beginning of the empire’s decline.

In America, by tradition and then constitutional amendment after F.D.R. broke tradition, the president is limited to two terms. Unable to succeed themselves, eight of the 11 two-term presidents have been followed by their own party’s nominee.

Of the eight winners, only two served two terms themselves: James Madison following Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe following Madison, a 24-year streak broken by Q. Adams.

In a bizarre twist of events, William H. Taft was groomed and blessed by his predecessor, only to have that same man, Theodore Roosevelt, run against him in 1912, splitting the Republican vote and handing the election to T. Woodrow Wilson.

The three, who did not, were all in the post-World War II-era: Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon, Clinton and Gore, and W. Bush and John S. McCain III.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was spurned by Richard M. Nixon, his then-vice president, when Ike offered to campaign for Nixon in his 1960 run for the White House against John F. Kennedy. Nixon, like Albert A. Gore Jr, in 2000 and John S. McCain III in 2008, lost, preferring to win or lose as their own man without the support of the two-term president they would have succeeded.

In each of the three cases, the losing candidate rejected help from the outgoing president.

What is strange about Clinton’s role in the 2012 election is that he anointed Obama as his heir after Obama was already president. While he supported Obama in 2008, Obama very much won without his help. Now, Obama needs his help, so in this way, Clinton can redeem himself this year for the 2000 election, when Gore preferred to lose than ask for his help.

Clinton’s support of Obama also sets up a neat synthesis, if Obama is re-elected. In 2016, the conditions would be perfect for his wife Hillary to run again for the White House and win. There is precedent. Six secretaries of state have gone on to become president, and this first husband-wife president set will be the combination of designated and familial succession.


Washington Post’ Catches Democrats Rewriting Civil Rights History

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This is from Breitbart’s Big Journalism.

I all of my 58 years on this planet DemocRat’s have rewritten history.

You need to know history outside of what is taught in school’s.

Sadly the history taught in school’s have been rewritten.

I learned twice the history than was offered in public schools.

One of the ways in which President Obama was able to win states such as North Carolina and Indiana in 2008, was through an unprecedented turnout among blacks, who were obviously and understandably inspired to vote for America‘s first black president. But today, with his approval ratings stubbornly stuck at 47 to 48%, Obama knows he’s going to need a similar explosion of black support if he’s going to have any chance at all for a second term.

But when you’re a failed president whose only impact on black Americans has been to increase their unemployment rate and side against them on the issue of same-sex marriage, this is not a group Obama’s going to be able to inspire as easily. So, as we’ve seen for months now and during the last two nights of the Charlotte convention, Obama is running a base campaign, a “devil you know” campaign that says, “If I can’t get you to come out and vote for me, I can damn well get you to vote against the other guy.”

In any number of cynical moves, Team Obama has appealed to the worst in the Democratic base through the waging of a campaign of bitter divisiveness. We’ve seen the phony War on Women, the demagoguery of class warfare, the unilateral decision to stop enforcing certain immigration laws for a special demographic (Hispanics), and now we’ve learned that Democrats have gone so far as to manufacture a Orwellian rewriting of history on the DNC Website. 20 paragraphs of nonsense are in support of this opening sentence:

For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights.

The idea that Democrat Party has led the fight for American civil rights for over 200 years is nothing more than a bald-faced lie. Even the Washington Post’s fact-checker found the claim too preposterous to ignore:

The Web history mentions the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson in helping pass the 19th Amendment, without noting that he was a racist or that he repressed civil liberties — even to the point of jailing one of his rivals for the presidency in 1914 (socialist Eugene Debs).

The history also highlights the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Certainly President Lyndon Johnson, a Texas Democrat, played an essential role, but it is worth remembering that 80 percent of the “no” votes in the Senate came from Democrats, including the late Robert Byrd (W.Va.) and Albert Gore (Tenn.), father of the future vice president. Republican votes, in fact, were essential in winning final passage of the bill.

And let’s not forget that The Great Emancipator, the president who spent his legal and political career making some of the most persuasive, moral, common sense, and elegant cases against slavery in our nation’s history — was a Republican. Oh, and he freed the slaves.

And since that time, we have always been the Party of Lincoln:

In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.

For a contrast of how low Obama is stooping to divide and conquer, the Washington Post reminds us  how the history of the Democratic Party and civil rights was presented during Bill Clinton’s 1992 convention:

[I]n the 1992 book, “Of the People,” which Democrats distributed at the convention that nominated Bill Clinton. That book, written by real historians, obviously has a slant, but it found the space to mention such historical blemishes. For instance, it acknowledged that before the Civil War the party “played both sides of the slavery issue” and after the Civil War, the party “reached out a welcoming hand to returning Confederates, not to blacks.”

And have you noticed lately how we keep hearing about these so-called gaffes — these racially charged gaffes?

We’ve had three instances in almost as many convention days of Democrat officials hurling Nazi references at Republicans; we had a sitting vice president tell a crowd filled with many black Americans that Mitt Romney would put them in chains; we had a sitting president light a stick of racial dynamite under the body of a dead teenager; and we’ve had the media scream racism at every serious criticism of Obama, ranging from the record number of people currently on food stamps to his gutting of welfare reform.

But on a less shrill and more subtle and disturbing scale, what we see almost every day in the media and from Democrats is unceasing chatter about how Romney can’t win enough of the minority vote to win the election — how he can’t appeal to these groups and how that somehow proves there’s something wrong with him.

On the flip-side, however, even though Romney is winning a smaller percentage of the white vote than Obama is the minority vote, the fact that a majority of whites are polling with Romney is also presented by the media as a Romney/Republican flaw. The subtext and sometimes outright text is that if Obama loses it will be because of racist whites who vote against him.

Naturally, though, the media won’t even speculate on the idea that there might be a sinister racial motivation behind a black and Hispanic community that will only give a small percentage of its votes to a white candidate.

The double standard here is shameless.

But what we’re seeing in ways that are subtle (the rewriting of history) and not-so-subtle (“chains”), is a reprehensible campaign of racial division that the media is complicit in — unless you want to argue that NBC News choosing not to broadcast a single speech made by a minority speaker at the Republican convention that first night was just an accident.

Moreover, do you think it was an accident that Chuck Todd, NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent, walked the floor of the RNC convention hall and dismissed the presence of non-white faces before the cameras as nothing more than token window dressing?

Because he’s failed so miserably, Obama can’t win on his record, so he and his media minions have launched a campaign of resentment and part of that campaign is to — if you’ll pardon the expression — whitewash Romney, the Republican Party, and the convention in Tampa into something it’s not: lily-white and without a proud history on the front lines of the civil rights movement.

Worse still, this campaign of resentment is determined to make Romney and those of us who support him look racist and maybe even feel racist for making what we believe is the best decision for our country.

Sometimes you have to pull your head out of the news cycle and take a 30,000 foot look over the landscape to see the big picture of what’s really going on. And what I  see are not isolated events or “gaffes,” but rather pieces of a vicious game-plan methodically being rolled out by a desperate and divisive president and the race-baiting media that worships him.




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