Other than Sam Houston, I really am not as knowledgeable about the Presidents of Texas as I’d like to be. I really need (and want) to learn more about them, and eventually, I will.
Houston, of course, is endlessly fascinating, and he is a towering figure (literally, in fact) in American history. It’s incredible to see how many important moments in this country’s history that Houston was present at, how many influential figures he knew, was mentored by, and was a leader of. He is one of the most colorful personalities in all of American history, and he remains the only person elected Governor of two different states by the people of those states (Tennessee and Texas). There is so much more to him that I can’t possibly do him justice, but I think that Sam Houston’s greatest legacy is that he remained loyal to the Union when Texas decided to secede and join the Confederacy. He was Governor of Texas at the time and refused to pledge his loyalty to the Confederate cause. And Texas — the Texas that Sam Houston helped lead to independence and steer into the United States — betrayed Sam Houston, the first President of the Republic of Texas. Texas deposed him as Governor because Sam Houston remained loyal to the Union.
I still haven’t found a definitive book on Sam Houston, however. I’d love for someone like H.W. Brands, William C. Davis or T.J. Stiles to do Houston justice. Not only is his public life an incredible story, but his personal life is worth a volume on its own.
Yes, I have considered it a lot. I just tend to have a weird loyalty to Tumblr because this is where I started the blog and this is where it really blew up into something bigger than I ever imagined (for better and worse). Although I probably have more non-Tumblr visitors to the site than Tumblr followers, that’s still a substantial amount of people that I’d be worried about not carrying over to the new site since it’s so easy for followers to keep up to date through their dashboard or via the crappy Tumblr app.
Plus, it’s really easy to update with fresh content through the Tumblr system and finding a new website would probably require changing the name since I’m guessing “deadpresidents.com” isn’t available. Right now, it just makes more sense to stick with Tumblr even if the Tumblr universe gives me ulcers at times.
Santa Anna is a really interesting historical figure — just his longevity, the number of times he was in power, and his constant switching of sides is fascinating to read about.
As for the Mexican Presidents/Presidency, my knowledge on it isn’t strong. Honestly, I should be much more knowledgeable about all of Mexican history, but I’m not. I’ve always enjoyed learning about Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, but I’ve always been much more interested in Cuban history than Mexican history for some reason. I need to remedy that deficit in knowledge about Mexican history at some point.
First of all, I don’t know why anybody would fight over Texas. I think General Philip Sheridan put it best when he said, “If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell.”
But if I was there, let’s just say I wouldn’t have been inside the Alamo.
I don’t think there’s anything on here that the Secret Service should worry about. In fact, I doubt that there are many people in the country who respects the institution of the Presidency (and its occupants) more than I do. Unless, of course, you’re worried that I’m one of those people who likes things too much — like someone who hugs a kitten too tightly and then wonders why it’s “always sleepy”.
But thank you.
Probably FDR, although it would be fun to have John Quincy Adams up there saying smart-ass things about everybody.
The very best Oscar host of the Presidents is still alive — Bill Clinton. Quite frankly, the Academy is crazy for not sticking him up there for the night instead of Ellen or Seth MacFarlane or whoever else they have host the show. It’s not too late. There should be a hashtag revolution calling for Bill Clinton to host the Oscars.
Those are two very different questions.
Do I think the film is real? No.
Would JFK really cheat on his wife? Yes, he would and yes he did. Many times. With many different women. Most likely including Marilyn Monroe.
The Emancipation Proclamation largely applied to slaves in areas that were not yet under Union control and that gives people the opportunity to argue that the Proclamation was toothless or ineffective. There will always be a group of people who want to take a contrary position for the sake of being disagreeable.
But, yes, Lincoln began the process of freeing the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s not as if the Proclamation was rolled back or swept under the rug once those rebellious regions came under Union control. More importantly, the Proclamation gave slaves an understanding that they had a ticket to freedom declared by the President of the United States. Scores upon scores of slaves were encouraged by word and proof of the Proclamation and gave them genuine hope and belief that their government would back them up if they took the step of breaking their own chains of bondage and heading North or finding their way into Union military lines. Without that sense of legal protection, it seemed almost unthinkable for most slaves and their families to set out on their own. It did not free every slave in every region of the United States, but it was a green light (forgive the anachronism) to leave the horrors of human bondage behind in order to take the long walk to freedom.
Incidentally, the Emancipation Proclamation had an very important impact on the Union soldiers, too. With the Proclamation, President Lincoln made it crystal clear that the Civil War was no longer just an attempt to crush a rebellion and hold the United States together. From that point forward, the abolition of slavery officially became a leading aim of the war. Earlier during the Civil War, President Lincoln famously wrote to the New York Tribune’s Horace Greeley:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would do that."
The Emancipation Proclamation was a declaration that the “paramount object” of the struggle for Lincoln (and, through him, the entire Union military) had shifted and abolishing slavery was now the leading mission of the Union war effort as Northern troops began turning the tide and claiming some much needed battlefield successes. Whether or not it immediately applied to their region on January 1, 1863 when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, it had a tangible impact on slaves throughout the country as an obvious first step in the progression from human bondage to the landmark Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which officially abolished slavery in the United States of America.
No, I don’t think it’s the beginning of World War 3. It could kickstart a full-fledged new Cold War, but if there’s a World War 3, I think it would happen in either Palestine or India/Pakistan.
The situation in Ukraine is very worrisome, though.
(We’ll be back on this edition of Understatement Tonight after this commercial message.)