Monday, May 29, 2023

Presidential War #24 - Suckling at the Presidential Teat

This Presidential War episode settles the burning question that is on everyone's mind—who would have made a better president: George Washington's brother Lawrence Washington or James A. Garfield's son James R. Garfield? We also discuss Dolley Madison's accomplishments, Frances Cleveland's good looks, and how Abraham Lincoln might have fared if he had served as Attorney General.      

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Monday, May 22, 2023

Top 5 Presidential Golfers

Golf is the unofficial presidential pastime and some presidential practitioners have been particularly passionate about hitting the links. Some have even been good at it, and we count down the best on this Top 5. (Fore!)   

Monday, May 15, 2023

29 Warren G. Harding

From publisher of the Marion Star newspaper to U.S. Senator from Ohio, Warren G. Harding's meteoric rise culminated in 1920 when he became the compromise candidate of a deadlocked Republican convention and trounced his Democratic opponent with a campaign promising a "Return to Normalcy." He inherited a terrible economy, high taxes, exploding debt, and a nation still wracked with tension from the First World War and subsequent Red Scare. When Harding's health gave out and he died after just two-and-a-half years in office, he left behind a humming economy and had turned a new page from the war years. But in the wake of his death, a parade of emerging corruption scandals involving some of his closest friends forever tarnished his legacy--not to mention the tell-all book published by a young woman who claimed he was the father of her child!    

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We're very proud of all our wonderful Episode 29 sponsors:
Marvel Whirling Spray Syringe – Knoxville Sentinel (Knoxville, TN) – November 12, 1922

Southland Sport brassieres for stout women – Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT) – March 8, 1921

Burbank Electric Shop vacuum cleaner – Burbank Review (Burbank, CA) – March 24, 1922

Georgiana Chapman has left her husband – Burbank Review (Burbank, CA) – November 11, 1921

Frederick Chapman shoots his wife – Burbank Review (Burbank, CA) – November 25, 1921

Frederick Chapman escapes – Los Angeles Evening Express (Los Angeles, CA) – November 22, 1921

Frederick Chapman charged – Los Angeles Evening Express (Los Angeles, CA) – May 2, 1922

Frederick Chapman seeks reconciliation – Los Angeles Evening Express (Los Angeles, CA) – November 25, 1921

Georgiana Chapman seeks divorce – Los Angeles Record (Los Angeles, CA) – June 26, 1924

Russell & Co. manure – Fresno Morning Republican (Fresno, CA) – March 12, 1921

California Syrup of Figs children’s laxative – Norfolk Daily News (Norfolk, NE) – March 11, 1921

Mrs. Holmes reaching out to her niece – Boston Globe (Boston, MA) – March 9, 1921

Monday, May 8, 2023

PWF #12 - After School Special

The PWF has fallen on hard times and its latest event is being held in a high school gymnasium, but the quality of the presidential wrestling action on display is as high as ever in this slate of electrifying matches:
  • Fathers vs. Sons Match: John Adams & George H.W. Bush vs. John Quincy Adams & George W. Bush
  • Tag Team Championship Match: James Madison & James Monroe vs. Theodore Roosevelt & William Howard Taft
  • Transcontinental Championship Match: Barack Obama vs. Richard Nixon
  • PWF Championship Match: FDR vs. Dwight D. Eisenhower 
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Monday, May 1, 2023

Presidential War #23 - Eviscerated by Cholera

This game of Presidential War comes down to the wire! The scintillating discussion topics include: Would we rather have William McKinley or George H.W. Bush dating our daughter? Would we rather have John Adams or Andrew Jackson defending us against murder charges? And an epic clash of titans: Would George Washington or Abraham Lincoln make the better Secretary of State?      

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Monday, April 24, 2023

Top 5 Troubled Presidential Sons

While some presidents' sons have achieved great things (two even becoming president themselves), others have lived tragic lives characterized by depression, scandal, substance abuse, and early death.   

Monday, April 17, 2023

28 Woodrow Wilson

Born to Scots-Irish immigrants and raised in the Confederate South, Woodrow Wilson came into his own as a student at Princeton University. Armed with a Ph.D, he launched his career a historian and professor of political science and soon returned to Princeton, where he quickly became its most popular lecturer and was eventually named its president. His ambitious tenure garnered him national attention, and some Democratic party kingmakers saw him as an attractive candidate for national political office. Wilson had long harbored dreams of becoming a statesman, and in 1910 he allowed New Jersey's Democratic political machine to make him New Jersey's governor. Promptly repudiating the machine, he signed into law many progressive reforms and positioned himself to run for president in 1912. Up against a bitterly divided Republican party, Wilson coasted to an electoral college landslide victory. As president, he aggressively lobbied Congress to enact his New Freedom agenda (and turned a blind eye as his cabinet introduced widespread segregation into the federal bureaucracy), but his presidency reached a turning point in the summer of 1914 when the death of his wife coincided with the outbreak of the First World War in Europe. He resisted calls for the U.S. to enter the conflict and was re-elected in 1916 on the slogan "He Kept Us Out Of War," but in 1917 he felt forced to join the war in order to make the world "safe for democracy" (though his war effort was tinged by a sweeping suppression of civil liberties on the home front). Upon the Allied victory, Wilson hoped to shape a new world order with his idealistic Fourteen Points peace plan, but settled for a punitive peace propped up by a League of Nations. He failed to persuade a reluctant America to join the League and--after he suffered a debilitating stroke--his second wife led a conspiracy to hide his condition from the American people for the final year-and-a-half of his presidency. Clinging to fantasies of a third term, Wilson descended into bitterness and died soon after leaving office.    

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We're very proud of all our wonderful Episode 28 sponsors:
Clifford Titus’s wife has left – Brooklyn Times Union – Brooklyn, NY – April 11, 1913

Mrs. Titus responds – Brooklyn Times Union – Brooklyn, NY – April 14, 1913

Clifford Titus arrested – Brooklyn Daily Eagle – Brooklyn, NY – April 18, 1913

Clifford Titus acquitted – Brooklyn Daily Eagle – Brooklyn, NY – April 26, 1913

Debt collector Harry W. Worsham – Bixby Bulletin – Bixby, OK – March 28, 1913

Ewing Hotel wants chambermaids – Sioux City Journal – Sioux City, IA – September 2, 1914

Ewing Hotel is a house of prostitution? – Sioux City Journal – Sioux City, IA – May 23, 1915

Barnes Circus – The Brainerd Daily Dispatch – Brainerd, MN – July 3, 1919

Barnes Circus – The Bellingham Herald – Bellingham, WA – June 3, 1919

Barnes Circus – Star Tribune – Minneapolis, MN – July 6, 1919

Barnes Circus charged w/ staging lewd performance – Bismarck Tribune – Bismarck, ND – July 3, 1919

Barnes Circus “men only” sideshow – Jamestown Weekly Alert – Jamestown, ND – July 10, 1919

Lusitania + German warning – New York Tribune – New York, NY – May 1, 1915

Lusitania sunk – New York Times – New York, NY – May 8, 1915

Dr. O.A. Young cures strokes – The Gazette – Cedar Rapids, IA – June 15, 1915

Scranton Life Insurance Company – The Tribune-Republican – Scranton, PA – March 6, 1913

Monday, April 10, 2023

PWF #11 - War At The Shore

War at the Shore features a card full of electrifying matches, including a main event in which the PWF is challenged by an unholy alliance between the CCW and the TWO:

Monday, April 3, 2023

Presidential War #22 - All The Peanuts You Can Eat

On this episode, we discuss whether we'd rather have Jimmy Carter or Andrew Jackson dating our daughter, whether Woodrow Wilson or Millard Fillmore would make the better Supreme Court Justice, whether George Washington stands a snowball's chance in hell against George W. Bush in the category of Biggest Partier, and much more!      

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Top 5 Crazy Succession Scenarios That Almost Happened

The U.S. has never been forced to call upon presidential line of succession beyond the vice president, but it has been close many times. This episode delves into some of the craziest near-miss scenarios and considers some the wildest What Ifs in American history.   

Monday, March 20, 2023

27 William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft is perhaps best known as the fattest president who allegedly got stuck in a bathtub, but this episode will show that he was much, much more than that. Taft followed in his eminent father's footsteps to become a Yale graduate, lawyer, and judge. His highest ambition was to join the U.S. Supreme Court, and President McKinley promised to appoint him--if he first agreed to serve as civil governor of the Philippines. After his friend Theodore Roosevelt became president upon McKinley's assassination, Taft would turn down multiple offers to join the Supreme Court so he could finish his work in the Philippines. As Secretary of War, his masterful administrative skills and lovable personality made him Roosevelt's closest advisor and chosen successor for the presidency in 1908. Though Taft still yearned for the Supreme Court, he found himself as our nation's 27th President. He quietly built an impressive record of tariff reform, fiscal responsibility, conservation, antitrust enforcement, and international economic expansion via "Dollar Diplomacy." But his judicial temperament lacked finely-tuned political instincts, and he lost the confidence of the growing progressive wing of the Republican party--which turned to the increasingly radical Roosevelt to challenge Taft in the 1912 election, splitting the party and handing the presidency to the Democrats. Taft went on to serve as a law professor at Yale until 1921, when President Harding floored him with an offer to become Chief Justice of the United States. Finally ensconced in his dream job, Taft would transform the federal judiciary like no Chief Justice since John Marshall.    

Dead Presidents Podcast Homepage (with links to subscribe on your favorite podcast app!)

We're very proud of all of our wonderful Episode 27 sponsors:
Viola Miner funeral – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – March 5, 1909

Edmund J. Neuman funeral – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – July 2, 1910

Louise Dierkop funeral – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – August 12, 1910

William Horne dead – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – November 27, 1909

William Horne’s XXL coffin – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – November 30, 1909

Frank Graf dies using toe knife – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – April 1, 1910

Head crushed by train cars – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – March 25, 1909

Charles Zettel unclaimed – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – March 26, 1909

Charles Zettel buried as pauper – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – March 27, 1909

“The Old Reliable” First National Bank of Comanche – The American (Comanche, OK) – March 4, 1909

$500 Reward for John B. Campbell – The North Star (Britton, OK) – March 18, 1909

Campbell’s drunken note – El Reno Daily American (El Reno, OK) – March 17, 1909

Campbell says he’s sorry – Chickasha Daily Express (Chickasha, OK) – March 20, 1909

Eat and get thin with Marmola Prescription Tablets – La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) – March 5, 1909

Marmola fixes shiny skin – Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, KS) – April 18, 1909

$5 reward for purse containing $90 – Cawker City Ledger (Cawker City, KS) – March 4, 1909

$500 if J.B. Brisbois can’t cure your alcoholism – Seattle Star (Seattle, WA) – March 9, 1909