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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Little Presidential Trivia

Yesterday was Presidents Day. It seems that some presidents have a great deal written about them, while others remain a mystery to us. We don't hear much about President Tyler, but over the weekend I saw one of his grandsons being interviewed on television. Now, in case you're not up on your presidential history, President Tyler was born in 1790! It seems that he had a son by his second marriage when he was 63 and that son had a son by his second marriage when he was 75. Tyler's grandson, Harrison Tyler, is now in in his eighties and living on the family plantation in Virginia.

At the library, we have two books based on odd bits of presidential trivia. Both are written by Matthew Algeo. The President is a Sick Man concerns a little known secret surgery performed at sea on Grover Cleveland. Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure tells the tale of a road trip Harry and Bess Truman took alone after he was president. Today we can hardly imagine a former president getting into a car and traveling across the country unaccompanied by staff or guards, but that is exactly what Harry Truman did.

Then there are presidents who have inspired many books. Our library has over 70 items listed in our catalog about John F. Kennedy and an equal number on Abraham Lincoln. In fact, there have been so many books written about Abraham Lincoln, that historians at the Ford's Theater Center for Education and Leadership have created a tower of books written about him. The tower is 34 feet high and 8 feet in circumference. It contains 7,000 of the approximately 15,000 books that have been written about Lincoln. 

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