I decided for today’s post to get off the subject a little bit. Actually I’m off the beaten path a lot. A couple of random events have gone into this post. My grandmother will be turning 95 years of age in a few weeks and she made the off hand comment something to the effect ‘I’ve seen people go from Model T’s to Predator Drones just in my life time.’ I was also reading a history book that came out a few years ago that detailed all the U.S. Presidents from Washington to George W. Bush (it came out before Obama was elected). As I was reading this book my grandmother’s comments just kept coming back to me. And doing a little further looking into when some of the wonders of modern living that we take for granted were developed, I put together this list (which is by no means meant to be anything but for fun), of what the some of the leaders of the USA didn’t have even in the White House that you and I have even in our house and communities. So here goes:
George Washington didn’t even have the White House as Washington D.C. didn’t become the nation’s capital until after his death in 1799. New York was the capital at the time.
Thomas Jefferson may have wrote the Declaration of Independence, and approved the Louisiana Purchase, but he didn’t do with a ball point ink pin. He and political rival John Adams (the second U.S. president), also have the distinction of having probably never ridden on a train but having died on the exact same day, July 4 1826.
Andrew Jackson may have won the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 and be on the 20 dollar bill, but he never had a flushing toilet in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln never had electric lighting or a telephone but managed to be one for the ages anyway.
Theodore Roosevelt managed to complete the Panama Canal, win a Nobel Peace Prize, break up business monopolies, but never got to “speak softly and carry a big stick” before Hollywood could have filmed him in a color movie.
Woodrow Wilson got the Federal Reserve Bank and the League of Nations (the forerunner to the UN) pushed through, but never owned a black and white television set and probably never owned anything made of plastic.
Franklin D. Roosevelt had the New Deal, the TVA, the REA, the WPA, and was president during World War II but never shopped at a Wal-Mart, ate fast food, or had a credit card.
Dwight Eisenhower got the Interstate Highway System done, organized the Normandy Invasion, but never owned a hand held calculator or a minivan.
John F. Kennedy may have stopped us from getting in a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis but never so much as nuked a burrito in a microwave oven.
Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act but didn’t live to see the rise of cable television.
Richard Nixon opened relations to China, had his enemies list, and spied on practically everyone including himself but did so without personal computers, Skype, and those eye in the sky cameras you find on practically every intersection in every major city anymore.
Gerald Ford trips on the steps of Air Force One in the 1970s, it makes the 6 o’clock news. Today it would have probably a hundred million hits on YouTube within a weekend.
Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. president born in a hospital (born in 1924).
Ronald Reagan may have been instrumental in bringing down the Iron Curtain, but he couldn’t ‘lol’ about it on Facebook or tweet #toredownberlinwall on twitter at the time they happened. In fact, he couldn’t so much as receive a quick text message from Margaret Thatcher or anybody else for that matter.
I could list more examples, but these are just some off the top of my head. I welcome others and discussions.