Miscellany and Trivia

Anecdote Alexandre Dumas – French writer (1802 – 1870)

One day the writer's son found him reading some book that seemed to absorb him completely. Curious, he asked him what book was it.

'It's a really fascinating novel!', the writer said. 'I can't wait to find out what finally happens to the characters.'

'And who's the author?', asked his son.

'Me! I wrote it myself!", said the writer.

Anecdote Theodore Roosevelt – The twenty-sixth President of the United States (1858 – 1919)

While delivering a campaign speech one day Theodore Roosevelt was interrupted by a heckler: “I’m a Democrat!” the man shouted.
“May I ask the gentleman,” Roosevelt replied, quieting the crowd, “why he is a Democrat?”
“My grandfather was a Democrat,” the man replied, “my father was a Democrat and I am a Democrat.”
“My friend,” Roosevelt interjected, moving in for the kill, “suppose your grandfather had been a jackass and your father was a jackass. What would you then be?”
Alas, Roosevelt was thwarted by the quick-witted heckler, who promptly replied: “A Republican!”

Anecdote Lyndon Johnson – The thirty-sixth President of the United States (1908 – 1973)

Lyndon Johnson was fond of differentiating between two kinds of speeches: "The Mother Hubbard speech, which, like the garment, covers everything but touches nothing; and the French bathing suit speech, which covers only the essential points."

Anecdote Richard Nixon – The thirty-seventh President of the United Sates (1913 – 1994)

Shortly after the Watergate story broke, Richard Nixon was asked by British television interviewer David Frost to explain his approval of such illegal activities as burglary and the unauthorized opening of mail. "Well," Nixon boldly replied, "when the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

Anecdote Ronald Reagan – The fortieth President of the United Sates (1911 – 2004)

The latter portion of Jimmy Carter’s presidency was plagued by recession. The American economy did not pick up again until Ronald Reagan had assumed the helm (in the early 1980s).
“Depression is when you are out of work,” Reagan declared after taking office. “Recession is when your neighbor is out of work…”
And a recovery? “A recovery is when Jimmy Carter is out of work!

Anecdote Abraham Lincoln – The sixteenth President of the United Sates. (1809 – 1865)

In 1846, Lincoln ran for Congress as a Whig against an evangelical Methodist named Peter Cartwright.
One day during the campaign, Lincoln attended a religious meeting at which Cartwright, after a stirring welcome, invited everyone who wished to go to heaven to rise. Several congregants complied.
“Now,” Cartwright continued, “those who do not wish to go to hell will stand!” With these words, everyone else rose up, with a single notable exception.
“May I inquire of you, Mr. Lincoln,” Cartwright asked, “where you are going?” Lincoln rose. “I came here as a respectful listener,” he calmly replied. “I did not know I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartwright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartwright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness: I am going to Congress!”


Anecdote Ludwig van Beethoven – German composer and pianist. (1770 – 1827)

Beethoven once dismissed a housekeeper for telling a lie. Nanette Streicher, who had procured the housekeeper on his behalf, pleaded the woman's case, pointing out that she had only lied because she thought it would benefit him. Beethoven was not so easily persuaded: "Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart," he declared, "and cannot make pure soup!"

Anecdote Cole Porter – American composer and songwriter. (1891 – 1964)

"Within a few years after his marriage, Cole Porter had written, and had courteously tossed off at one party or another, such songs as 'Two Little Babes in the Wood,' 'Let's Do It,' and 'What Is This Thing Called Love?' He turned a bland eye upon his excited friends when they insisted that these songs should be published. He had plenty of money [much of it inherited] and a vast indifference toward making any more. To one enthusiastic pep-talker, he solemnly explained his fear of commercial success. 'Suppose I had to settle down on Broadway for three months just when I was planning to go to Antibes,' he said."

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