I visited the FDR Home in Hyde Park with my wife and mother-in-law a couple of months ago. It was right after the Bowash earthquake of 2011 and right before Hurricane Irene (why don’t they name earthquakes, too?)
I picked up a souvenier in the gift shop. It was a set of documents relating to presidents and our national pastime. I think it has something from everyone from Hoover to Clinton. My favorites are the JFK telegrams regarding Jackie Robinson and the memo from Donald Rumsfeld recommending that Gerald Ford call Sparky Anderson to congratulate him on the Reds 1975 World Series win. Ford was more of a football man and I know he opted to watch Michigan-Michigan State instead of Game One of the World Seires. (Check out my post from last week about the presidential diary.)
Take a click and enjoy!
Here’s a Time magazine article on the crash that I mentioned the other day when Gerald Ford’s limo collided with a car driven by a young James Salamites. Here are some other links when you Google Ford Salamites (I hope that works.) Whiskeypedia has a page on the Presidential state car; as it is called.
I was watching Pawn Star one nite and Rick Harrison said something about the first presidential limo that didn’t jibe with what I found on this page and elsewhere online. I forget what it was, but it wasn’t the first time his story didn’t check out for me. He’s like a bald Cliff Claven. I enjoy the show, but someone should start up a Fairness and Accuracy on Pawn Stars website.
Fellow SABRite Bob Timmerman wrote an excellent blog about presidential bios. I knew of it at the time, but hadn’t started reading it until recently. Another friend, Tim Morris, is also a man of presidential letters. Forget the Ford story for a moment, I have a presidential accident story I like even better. Franklin Pierce allegedly ran over an elderly woman with his carriage. Unfortunately, according to Mental Floss, that story is untrue.
I’ve been doing some research on Gerald Ford recently. For what it is worth, he sounds better and better the more I read about him. Yesterday was the 36th anniversary of a comic moment in his presidency. He was in Hartford and was heading back to Bradley International. The Secret Service forgot to block one of the side streets and a 19 year old kid was able to hit the Presidential limo with his Buick LeSabre. This was soon after a couple of assassination attempts, so there was a some concern about that, but it turns out that it was an honest mistake.
The Ford Administration kept a diary and the incident is mentioned matter-of-factly. (If you have a few hours to kill, you can read the whole diary online. I read a month or so and found it oddly fascinating.)