On this day, October 30, in 1735 the future first vice president and second president of the United States was born in Massachusetts. Much has been written about John Adams and his life and career but I am going to touch on a few things you might find surprising. He was taught to read when he was a tot and he started smoking at the age of 8, which he continued to do throughout his life. He described himself at age 11 as having an "amorous disposition" and "very fond of the society of females". He was an avid player and collector of marbles. His rank at Harvard College was 15 out of a class of 24. He once carved a sliver of wood from a chair at Shakespeare's birthplace. He almost ruined his legal career by defending British soldiers charged with instigating the Boston Massacre. He was the only president to be defeated by his vice president, Thomas Jefferson.
President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson offer treats to local children on the steps of the White House last night. The kids got White House M&Ms, dried fruit and orange butter cookies in the shape of the White House.
The North Lawn of the White House is decorated and just waiting for the little ghosts and witches to arrive tonight to trick or treat. The White House might also have an unannounced visitor--snow. The Washington area has not had snow in October in over 40 years.
Halloween is approaching with all the chatter about ghosts, goblins, ghouls and goodies. Are there or have there been ghosts the White House? Is it haunted? Some occupants of the White House as well as members of the White House staff have thought so. Through the years White House workers have claimed seeing apparitions of Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, William McKinley,and even some first ladies. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remarked that sometimes when she was working late at night she had the feeling that someone was standing behind her only to turn around to find nothing. President Dwight Eisenhower claimed to have felt Lincoln's presence. And President Harry Truman wrote this to his wife on September 9, 1946: "At 4 o'clock I was awakened by three distinct knocks on my bedroom door. I jumped up but no one there. Went out and looked up and down the hall...no one. Went back to bed after locking the door and there were footsteps...jumped up and looked and no one there. The damned place is haunted sure as shootin." Structural engineers at the time said that the noise probably came from sagging joints and cracking walls due to the age of the structure and a complete renovation of the White House took place in 1948. Did that banish any spirits? Hmm..I wonder.
Tonight the winners of the "Dinner with Barack" contest dine with the President in Washington, DC. There are four winners: a retired teacher from Colorado, a retired professor and artist from Indiana, a U.S. postal worker from Arizona, and a small business owner from Minnesota.
On this day in 1858 the 26th president of the United States was born-- Theodore Roosevelt. Much later in his life the toy teddy bear would be named for him after a cartoon appeared of him sparing the life of a bear cub while he was hunting. He was also the first president to be known popularly by his initials.