Thursday, August 31, 2006

World Leaders

I own a wonderful book entitled "Presidential Anecdotes" by Paul F. Boller, Jr. It happens to be very out of date - it stops at Reagan - and I'm not sure if there has been a new edition, but it provides insight as well amusement into some great (and some grating) men.

To quote:

During the battle of New Orleans, it was said, (Andrew) Jackson strode through the powder smoke to see the effect of his artillry fire and gave the order: "Boys, elevate them guns a little lower!"

From a long section about Lincoln and McClellan ...

A little later, greatly irked by McClellan's inactivity, he wrote: "Dear General, if you do not want to use the army I would like to borrow it for a few days." Lincoln gave as good as he got, too, when he felt like it. When McClellan, iritated by one of Lincoln's orders requiring detailed reports to the White House, sent him a telegraph saying, "We have just captured six cows. What shall we do with them?" Lincoln answered: "Milk them."

Then there's Calvin Coolidge, who has the lion's share of the good anecdotes.

The best story about Coolidge's taciturnity, told by his wife, concerns the society woman who said, as she say down next to him at a dinner party, "You must talk to me, Mr. Coolidge. I made a bet today that I could get more than two words out of you." "You lose," said Coolidge.

And finally...

Reagan turned seventy in February 1981 and joked about his age in a speech at a Washington Press Club dinner. "I know your organization was founded by six Washington newspaperwomen in 1919," he remarked, then, after a slight pause, added: "It seems like only yesterday." Middle age, he went on to say, "is when you're faced with two temptations and you choose the one that will get you home at 9 o'clock." And, after quoting Thomas Jefferson's advice not to worry about one's age, he exclaimed: "And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying."

With all credits to the illustrious author, but I had to share. :-)

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