"Sailors plan for safety. For escape. For survival. Sailors rely on plans, on strategies that have worked before. Trust me, most mariners are conservative. We stick to the tried and true." Randall Peffer, "Listen to the Dead"

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Stopover in Raleigh

     They say you should learn something new every day. Yesterday I learned that there have been three U. S. presidents who were born in North Carolina. Can you name them?

NC State Capitol, as seen from the NC History Museum
     I confess, I only knew one, and only because I'd read a book about him a few months ago called American Lion by Jon Meacham.

     We are on our way to Charleston, SC, and we stopped off in Raleigh to see my daughter who's a vet at the North Carolina 
State Veterinary Hospital. She had a day off, so we went to the North Carolina History Museum, and then walked around the capitol building.

     I don't have much more to report, except an update on traffic conditions. Once we got 20 or 30 miles south of Washington, DC, then I95 was a breeze, and so was Route 64, until we got to the Raleigh beltway, which is . . . well, it's a beltway.

What's NC famous for? Here's a replica of the Wright plane
     So the three presidents? Andrew Jackson, aka Old Hickory, was the American Lion. He was born in North Carolina, became a military hero, settled in Tennessee and served as president from 1829 to 1837. There was an interesting article a few days ago in The Wall Street Journal about how Jackson was denied the presidency in 1824 in what he perhaps rightfully called a "rigged election."

     James Polk was also born in North Carolina before following in Jackson's footsteps to Tennessee. He pledged to serve only one term as president, and did from 1845 to 1849, thus keeping his promise. His major accomplishments? He negotiated the 49th parallel as the border with Canada and annexed Texas as the 28th state in the Union.

Monument to Jackson, Polk and Johnson
     Andrew Johnson was the last of the three to follow a similar route from North Carolina to Tennessee to the White House. Johnson remained with the Union after Tennessee seceded, and as a Democratic senator was chosen to run for vice president on a unity ticket with Lincoln in his 1864 re-election bid. Johnson soon took over the presidency, after the assassination of Lincoln, and fought bitterly with Republicans who wanted to move more quickly in granting rights to former slaves. Johnson was impeached, acquitted by one vote, but failed to get his party's nomination for a second term. He then returned to Tennessee where he was re-elected to the Senate.

     And that's enough about North Carolina. Now it's on to Charleston where . . . where the Civil War began at Fort Sumter. But we're going to the beach, not a museum.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history lesson. I did not know those facts about those 3 presidents. Interesting.

DJan said...

Yes, very interesting. North Carolina has been on my mind because yesterday my friend moved away from Washington state back to her roots in NC. Thanks for the history lessons. I learned something new. :-)

John said...

I hope for your sakes in the US that your next president does not come from Trump Towers. We feel your pain!

stephen Hayes said...

I've never been to the Carolinas but would love to one day.

Tom said...

It's a nice area, Stephen, put in on your bucket list!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I knew the presidents, but then I went to elementary and high school in NC.