“The worst president is closer by nature to the best then either is to anyone who has not gone through what it requires to become president.” So said geopolitical strategist, George Friedman, in his illuminating, and at times, controversial, analytical jump forward in future, The Next Decade: What the World Will Look Like. This statement underscores my self-imposed inhibition to criticize any sitting President; an abeyance of censorious assessment that transcends political party loyalties.
This caveat established, it is time for another iteration of my Presidential mini-bio tract. I am picking up where I left off last blog starting with Grover Cleveland and will end with Theodore Roosevelt; bridging the transition between the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries. This sixteen year span also brought to end the era of “facial hair Presidents” that began in earnest with the Election of 1860. During the period between Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, eight of the 10 Presidents sported either a moustache or full beard. In the 118 years since then, only one, William Howard Taft, President #27, has rocked facial bristles. (A nice little piece of trivia you can use to impress your friends.)
This quartet of Presidents also presided during the historic stretch of time when the United States flexed both industrial and military muscle and forced admittance to the Pantheon of great nations. Through war, diplomacy and a series of strategic annexations America established a strata of non-colonial imperialism thus firmly cementing the US’s global preeminence. Truly a remarkable period in our Nation’s history and for the Presidents who made it happen. Here they are.
President #22: Grover Cleveland (Democrat)
Ask 10 people why we have had 45 Presidents but only 44 different men in the position and nine will respond with a blank stare. Our 22d President, Grover Cleveland, provides the answer to this quaint piece of trivia as he remains the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. Cleveland captured the Presidency in 1884, lost his reelection bid in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, then, in turn, defeated Harrison in 1892. Thus, by virtue of this US political anomaly, Grover Cleveland was our 22d and 24th President. For continuity purposes, I choose to focus only on Cleveland’s first term in this narrative.
Grover Cleveland was the first Democrat President after the American Civil War. Immediately prior to receiving the Democratic Party nomination, Cleveland was Governor of New York where he enjoyed the reputation of being a fiscal conservative and staunch and vociferous opponent of government corruption; two attributes he brought with him to the White house.
Like most Democrats of the time, Cleveland was ambivalent towards black civil rights and refused to use his federal authority to enforce the 15th Amendment (guaranteeing black Americans the right to vote.) Cleveland also demonstrated a penchant for vetoing bills designed to support American Civil War veterans; actions that many attributed to his stated fiscal conservatism, not the fact that he avoided service in the Civil War by paying $300 for a substitute to take his place (in fairness, a common practice of which, some who could afford to do so, took advantage.)
A bachelor upon entering the White House, President Cleveland married the daughter of his close friend. Cleveland became the only President to marry in the White House, and his bride, Frances Folsom, at twenty-one years old, remains the youngest First lady in American history.
In 1885, the U.S. nearly went to war – or, at the least, a battle of respective navies – with a neighbor to the south, Chile, during the Panamanian uprising in Colombia. The U.S., bound by treaty to help maintain order in the South American country, dispatched ships and naval personnel to the Panamanian territory to help restore order. Chile, flexing it very real military muscle, responded in kind. A potential showdown ensued with President Cleveland ultimately ordering the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The President’s prudence was fortunate because the Chilean armada, far superior at that time, would have, in all likelihood, defeated the American force quite handedly. (This is just one instance during the 19th Century the U.S. almost went to war with Chile. A fact I find quite astounding. If you agree and desire to learn more, I suggest Chile and the United States: Empire in Conflicts by William F. Sater (1990.)
President Cleveland enjoyed the reputation of being an honest and capable Chief Executive and this favorable standing among voters allowed him to win the popular vote in the 1888 Election. Unfortunately for him, though, President Cleveland lost the electoral count to challenger, Benjamin Harrison, thus ending his chance at reelection to a second term. During his first Presidential stint, Cleveland uttered these words, clearly shaped by his economic conservatism: “The lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government, Government should not support the people.”
President #23: Benjamin Harrison (Republican)
Our 23d President, Benjamin Harrison, lost the popular vote to incumbent President Grover Cleveland but captured the White House by earning more electoral votes. Like Presidents Grant, Garfield, Arthur and Hayes before him, Harrison was a Civil War veteran and a Republican. Harrison was also the grandson of our ninth President, William Henry Harrison and the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Harrison left his successful law practice answering President Lincoln’s call for volunteers at the start of the Civil War. Rising to the rank of Brigadier General, Harrison led the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Brigade in the Battles of Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. At the end of hostilities, General Harrison reentered private life, charted a political course and ultimately was elected to the US Senate.
While in Congress, Harrison was a huge proponent of black civil rights stating: “When and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law?” Not surprisingly, he was also a vociferous champion for Civil War veterans advocating for pensions for both them and their widows. Harrison leveraged his admirable Senate record to secure the 1888 Republican Presidential nomination and defeated President Cleveland earning 233 electoral votes to the latter’s 168.
While President, Harrison focused on civil service reform signing into law the Dependent and Disability Pension Act, and attacked trust and monopolies via his endorsement of the Sherman Antitrust Law. He also continued his crusade for civil rights and fought to end voting rights transgressions inflicted on blacks.
Like President Cleveland before him, Harrison also used statesmanship to avoid the potential of war with Chile, this time over an altercation that occurred in 1891 in the port town of Valparaíso. The crisis, dubbed “The Baltimore Affair” resulted from the stabbing death of two American sailors. A dramatic escalation of tensions between Chile and the U.S. ensued and President Harrison’s demand for and securing of indemnities from the South American country as compensation ultimately quelled the fracas. (Admittedly, a footnote in the U.S. military historiography but if you desire to learn more, check out Joyce S. Goldberg’s 1987 monograph, The Baltimore Affair.)
Unfortunately, Republican Party bosses viewed President Harrison’s Administration as failed and mounted a challenge to his renomination at the 1888 convention. Though Harrison was able to secure the nomination he was unable to defeat the Democrat candidate, former President Grover Cleveland.
Following his defeat, President Harrison retired to civilian life. Today, he is best remembered for his personal integrity and his intractable pursuit of equality and justice for black Americans. Benjamin Harrison, military leader and statesman, made this observation about the United States: “No other people have a government more worthy of their respect and love or a land so magnificent in extent, so pleasant to look upon, and so full of generous suggestion to enterprise and labor.”
Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Warrior Harry J. Sievers (1952)
Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Statesman Harry J. Sievers (1959)
Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier President Harry J. Sievers (1968)
President #24: Grover Cleveland (Democrat)
In a Presidential encore, our 22d President Grover Cleveland, became the 24th President by upsetting President Benjamin Harrison’s bid for reelection. Shortly after his inauguration, though, President Cleveland was forced to deal with his first crisis, the Panic of 1893. Brought on primarily by a collapse in the railroad industry, the Panic resulted in the most serious economic depression up until that time in U.S. history. Stock prices plummeted, banks closed and businesses failed. Americans blamed President Cleveland for this crisis; an unfair verdict given he had only been in office a few months before the meltdown. Regardless, Cleveland and the Democratic Congress paid a steep price for the economic downturn.
Shortly after starting his second term, President Cleveland was faced with a serious domestic crisis when the American Railway Union ordered a nationwide strike against the Pullman Railway Company, all but paralyzing the nation’s ability to move. Using the rationale that the crippling strike threatened public safety and impeded U.S. commerce, President Cleveland, using his legal and Constitutional responsibility to ensure mail service ordered the U.S. Army to intervene. The arrival of the military and the subsequent deaths of workers in violence led to further outbreaks of violence. During the course of the strike, 30 strikers were killed and 57 were wounded and ultimately, the strike was broken. (For a more in depth look at this striking (no pun intended) and historically infrequent use of a Presidential prerogative, take a look at The Pullman Strike and the Crisis of the 1890s: ESSAYS ON LABOR AND POLITICS edited by Richard Schneirov (1987.)
Regarding civil rights, President Cleveland opposed the Force Bill – the Federal Elections Bill as it is more frequently noted – which was focused primarily on ensuring black Americans had the right to vote. This move was one of many President Cleveland executed as a means of building a Democrat Party power base in the South. Additionally, although he expressed outrage at the widespread attacks and discrimination that prevailed against Chinese immigrants in America during this period, most especially the “Rock Springs Massacre” that occurred in 1885 in Wyoming and resulted in the deaths of at least 30 Chinese immigrants, he did little to thwart the practice. For the most part, President Cleveland blamed this outrage on immigrant’s own unwillingness to assimilate into “white” society.
President Cleveland also exercised his Executive prerogative, the veto – over 300 times – , more frequently than any President before or since. As such, he is viewed as one who strengthened the office of the Chief Executive significantly. Additionally, the integrity and honesty he demonstrated during his first Presidential stint prevailed during his second stay in the Oval Office.
The Democratic Party failed to nominate President Cleveland for a third term and he retired from politics upon leaving the White House. Aside from being the only President elected to two non-consecutive terms, Grover Cleveland was also the first President ever filmed and his portrait graces the obverse of the U.S $1000 bill.
About the value of hard work, President Cleveland had this to say: “The truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in natural toil.”
Recommended Books about President Grover Cleveland:
Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage Allan Nevins (1932)
Grove Cleveland: A Study in Character Alyn Brodsky (2000)
President #25: William McKinley (Republican)
Our 25th President, William McKinley, was the last American Civil War veteran elected as Chief Executive. Entering the war as a private, McKinley served from 1861 to 1865 with the 23d Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to lieutenant for valorous actions during the Battle of Antietam and by war’s end, was a major. During his time with the 23d Regiment, McKinley participated in every major battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley.
After the war, McKinley decided on a career in law and received his first exposure to politics writing speeches for his wartime friend, Rutherford B. Hayes’ (future President) gubernatorial campaign in 1867. Serving for several years in state and local positions, McKinley was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1877. He served in Congress until 1883 and again from 1885-91. In 1892, Ohio voters elected McKinley their governor where he served until earning the Republican Presidential Nomination in 1896. During the general election, William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan to become our twenty-third President.
Unlike the post-Civil War Republican Presidents that preceded him, civil rights advocacy was less a part of President McKinley platform than others. Though President McKinley appointed blacks into many low-level governmental positions, he did not attack racial inequality issues with the same fervor as his Republican predecessors. Instead, President McKinley focused on international issues and during his first term the U.S. became world power, when, as Commander-in-Chief, he deployed Army troops and the Navy beyond the North American continent to battle Spanish forces in Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.
President McKinley also deployed Army and Marine forces to China to quell the Boxer Rebellion as part of a coalition effort, the China Relief Expedition. The result of these military forays was the largest expansion of U.S. territory since the Mexican-American War. All total, the U.S. gained the territories Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Philippines and annexed the Republic of Hawaii thus expanding U.S. influence around the world. (If you are interested in learning more about this collection of events, I suggest the following: The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China by David J. Silbey (2013), The Philippine War, 1899-1902 , Brian McAllister Linn (2000), Empire by Default: The Spanish-Amercian War and the Dawn of the American Century, Ivan Musicant (1998.)
With his first term viewed a success, President McKinley ran for reelection in 1900, this time with a new Vice-President running mate, the young Republican rising star, Theodore Roosevelt. William Jennings Bryan was again the Democrat challenger and again McKinley was victorious in a landslide.
On 6 September 1901, just six months into his second term, however, President McKinley was shot by an anarchist while attending the Pan-American Exposition in NY. Mortally wounded, President McKinley died from his wounds nine days later. Remembered for his personal integrity, honesty and scrupulous tenure as Chief Executive, President McKinley’s portrait adorns the US $500 bill.
During his first term, President McKinley made this prescient observation: “The best way for the Government to maintain its credit is to pay as it goes—not by resorting to loans, but by keeping out of debt—through an adequate income secured by a system of taxation, external or internal, or both.”
William McKinley: Architect of the American Century Robert W. Merry (2017)
The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror and Empire Scott Miller (2011)
In the Days of McKinley Margaret Leech (1959)
President #26: Theodore Roosevelt (Republican)
By far, Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite President. I admire him for many reasons, foremost, for his unwavering love of country and his willingness to volunteer to serve the US in time of war. He instilled this same sense of patriotism in his sons with all four serving in the World Wars. That said, I hope my effusive praise does not overly distort the objectivity of the following narrative.
Our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, was the 5th Vice-President to ascend to the Oval Office following the death of a sitting President and the third to enter the White House following a Presidential assassination. At 42 years, 322 days, Roosevelt remains the youngest Chief Executive to ever serve.
Despite his young age, Theodore Roosevelt is arguably our most accomplished President. Politician, bona fide war hero, prolific author, accomplished naturalist and conservationist, adventurer, big game hunter, rancher and published ornithologist are but a few nouns that accurately describe Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt remains the only President awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Medal of Honor. The former for mediating an end to the 1904-1905 war between Japan and Russia and the latter for his heroic actions leading the U.S. assault in the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, 1898.
During his childhood, Theodore Roosevelt was plagued by asthma and other illnesses; conditions that shaped his life. As he grew, Roosevelt exercised, boxed and forced himself to engage in strenuous activity as a means of building his constitution. Home-schooled, he also developed a keen interest in nature, the sciences and reading. Roosevelt’s arduous regime of study and activity proved successful and by the time he entered Harvard University in 1876, he was physically robust, mentally sturdy, tenaciously driven to succeed and, possessing an eidetic memory, leveraged these characteristics to greatness.
While a student at Harvard, Roosevelt began work on a book he later published, The Naval War of 1812. An instant classic, this book remains one of the most preeminent studies of naval warfare ever written. All total, President Roosevelt’s prodigious literary output includes twenty-six books, hundreds of magazine articles and thousands of speeches and letters. Of the 44 men who have served as President, Roosevelt is by far the most published and prolific. (Of Roosevelt’s many publications, Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children (1919), is one of my favorites. A varied collection of missives addressed to Roosevelt’s children at various points in their lives. At times illuminating, at times informative, at times guiding; always poignant and beautifully written.)
After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, Roosevelt entered Columbia Law School but quickly grew disenchanted with the probability of a legal career. Instead, he focused on politics and running as a Republican, Roosevelt was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1881. In 1884, two days after giving birth to Roosevelt’s first child, his wife, Alice, died of kidney failure. Alice’s death came only hours after Roosevelt’s mother – who lived with Theodore – passed away following a bout with typhoid fever.
The double tragedy devastated Roosevelt. He ordered those around him not to mention his wife’s name. Burdened by grief, he abandoned politics, left his infant daughter with his sister, and, at the end of 1884, struck out for the Dakota territories, where he lived as a rancher and worked as a sheriff for two years. When not engrossed in raising cattle or acting as the local lawman, Roosevelt found time to indulge his passion for reading and writing history. After a blizzard wiped out his prized herd of cattle in 1885, Roosevelt decided to return to eastern society.
Once back in New York in 1886, Roosevelt remarried and reentered politics. First serving as a civil service commissioner, he earned a reputation as an enthusiastic and ruthless advocate against political corruption. Later, as a New York City Police Commissioner, Roosevelt radically reformed what was, one of the most corrupt police forces in the nation. During this period he was described as “an iron-willed leader of unimpeachable honesty.” (Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean up Sin-loving New York by Richard Zacks (2011), is a rollicking historical tale of Police Commissioner Roosevelt’s attempts to wipe out widespread vice in the Big Apple.)
These exploits earned Theodore Roosevelt an appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a position he retained until resigning in 1898 at the start of the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt resigned so that he could volunteer for military service and was appointed lieutenant colonel with the 1st U.S Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a unit he helped form. History remembers this eclectic assortment of cowboys, police officers hunters, gamblers, Indians, Ivy League college students and former soldiers as the “Rough Riders.” After a brief training period in Texas, Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders departed for Cuba to engage Spanish Army forces in control of the island.
During their time in Cuba, the Rough Riders participated in the three key battles of the war, to include San Juan where Colonel Roosevelt courageously led his men on a successful charge up Kettle Hill. Under intense Spanish fire, Roosevelt, on horseback and fully exposed, encouraged his men forward against entrenched enemy soldiers. For his actions, Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor. Roosevelt considered this his supreme moment – his “crowded hour” – and forever viewed “Colonel” the finest sobriquet he ever earned. Even after leaving the White House, Roosevelt insisted on being called “Colonel” not “Mr. President.”
Upon his return from Cuba, Roosevelt used his wartime fame as a catalyst to gain the governorship of New York and from there earned the nomination as Republican Presidential Candidate, William McKinley’s, running mate in the 1900 Election. The ticket victorious in the election, Roosevelt’s term as Vice-President was short lived, however, as he ascended to the Presidency following President McKinley’s assassination.
President Roosevelt led as a “progressive” and was a champion for reform and vigorously attacked big business monopolies and trusts. His most significant contributions were in the area of conservation. Stating “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country”, President Roosevelt was instrumental in the creation of four National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, 18 National Monuments and the permanent set aside of over 250 million acres of U.S. land for the perpetual enjoyment of future generations of Americans. (Historian, Douglas Brinkley, beautifully, and with much conviction, underscores Roosevelt’s peerless record as a conservationist in his magisterial 2009 opus, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919 as does Darrin Lunde in his equally vivid 2017 narrative The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History)
President Roosevelt finished President McKinley’s term then won reelection in a landslide victory over his Democrat opponent, Alton B. Parker. Accomplishments during this second term were many and varied with a focus on social and political reform and conservation. In 1905, he successfully negotiated the Portsmouth Treaty, which ended the Russo-Japanese War and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. He also created the U.S. Forest Service, dismantled the Beef Trust, and indicted Standard Oil for violating the Sherman Act.
In 1906, Roosevelt signed three acts (Forest Homestead, Hepburn Rate, and Meat Inspection), created numerous national monuments, and signed the Antiquities Act. By 1907, he had created four more national monuments, appointed the Inland Waterways Commission, admitted Oklahoma as the 46th state, and enacted the Immigration Act. The year of 1908 saw the emergency of the Employer’s Liability Act, designation of the Grand Canyon and six other national monuments, and the sale of the first U.S. postage stamp.
Throughout the remainder of his term he also found himself prosecuting war in The Philippines – a adjunct to the victory over Spain President McKinley orchestrated in 1898. (For more on this latter undertaking, I strongly suggest reading Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream by Gregg Jones (2012.) The book brilliantly captures an era brimming with American optimism and confidence as the nation expanded its influence abroad and President Roosevelt’s role at the forefront of the events. For a more specific and scholarly glimpse of the war Roosevelt inherited, James R. Arnold’s 2011 analysis, The Moro War: How America Battled a Muslim Insurgency in the Philippine Jungle, 1902-1913, is masterful.)
Prior to this election, Roosevelt promised not to seek a third term, a decision he regretted almost immediately. Though pressured to go back on his word, he refused and left the White House in 1908 paving the way for his handpicked protégée, William Howard Taft, to follow. In retirement, “Colonel” Roosevelt remained his prominence within the Republican Party but spent a year in Africa on expedition on behalf of the Smithsonian Institute.
Unhappy with the performance of President Taft and desirous of another White House term, Roosevelt challenged the former for the 1912 nomination. His bid was unsuccessful and he ran as a third party candidate under the Progressive Party banner. While campaigning, Roosevelt was shot by a would-be assassin. As an experienced hunter and anatomist, Roosevelt correctly concluded that since he was not coughing blood, the bullet had not completely penetrated the chest wall to his lung, and so declined suggestions he go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech with blood seeping into his shirt. He spoke for 90 minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”
Roosevelt’s decision to run as a third party candidate split the Republican Party and although he earned more votes than the incumbent President Taft (the only time in our history when a third party Presidential candidate placed higher than one of the two primary parties) Democrat Woodrow Wilson won the election despite only receiving 41% of the vote. This defeat marked the end of Roosevelt’s amazing political career. (To gain a keener understanding of the events that unfolded during this rambunctious election, peruse a copy of James Chace’s 2005 historical summary, 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs — The Election that Changed the Country.)
To assuage his remorse over defeat in the 1912 election, Colonel Roosevelt undertook a treacherous expedition into the Brazilian jungle. He explored and navigated an uncharted 625 mile section of the Amazon River, hereafter named Rio Roosevelt, with the harrowing ordeal almost costing him his life several times. (For a more intricate look at this spellbinding tale of risk and survival, please read Candice Millard’s 2006 book, River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey. It reads like a Spielberg script and begs the question: Why has this story not become a movie?)
At the onset of the American entry into World War I in 1918, former President Roosevelt volunteered to raise a combat infantry division with the understanding he could lead it in battle. Much to his chagrin, President Wilson denied Roosevelt’s request. Roosevelt’s four sons, however, did volunteer to serve and all engaged in extensive combat. His youngest son, Quentin, an Army pilot, was shot down and killed in France. (For a very insightful and exciting account of the Roosevelt’s selfless and fearless contribution to the Nation at war, I cannot more highly recommend Edward J. Renehan, Jr.’s 1998 elegant narrative, The Lion’s Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War.)
Theodore Roosevelt never fully recovered from Quentin’s death and he passed away in his sleep on January 6th 1919. In a eulogy that best personified Theodore Roosevelt, Vice-President Thomas R. Marshall, said that “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”
During his 59 years, Theodore Roosevelt left a volume of reflective and everlasting commentary; none more profound than this delivered in a 1910 speech at the University of Paris, Sorbonne:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
The photos above are from the President Theodore Roosevelt homage located in my home office. They feature the Colonel Theodore Roosevelt – in his Rough Rider uniform from the Spanish-American War, 1898 – G.I. Joe along with seven of the very best biographies of the great leader:
“The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” – Edmund Morris
“Theodore Rex” – Edmund Morris
“Colonel Roosevelt” – Edmund Morris
“The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey” – Candice Millard
“Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life” – Kathleen Dalton
“The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America” – Douglas Brinkley
“T.R.: The Last Romantic” – H. W. Brands
With this week’s entry complete – and counting the previous blog “These are the Presidents, Mighty, Mighty Presidents, Uh-huh, Uh-huh” – we have 10 President bios done and 34 more to go.
This blog entry title is a verse from the 1926 American folk song, “The White House Blues” by Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers.
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