Bob Diamond

Washington’s Finances

When George Washington was unanimously elected President of the United States in February 1789, he was “amid a full-blown financial crisis,” was deeply in debt and unable to pay his bills. He borrowed five hundred pounds to cover his travel expenses from Virginia to New York to attend his presidential ...

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Spielberg’s movie ‘Lincoln’

I urge everyone to see Steven Spielberg’s remarkable achievement in the heroic movie “Lincoln,” about compromise; where satisfying a moral position – embracing of social equality between black and white – would have led to defeat of the 13th Amendment. Lincoln was willing to compromise on “almost everything – except ...

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Washington’s Erratic Mother

One of the strangest mysteries of George Washington’s life was his strained relationship with his mother, Mary Ball. As a child, George feared his mother; his father, Gus, died when George was 11 years old and away on business so often that George remembered him vaguely. When George was appointed ...

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Valley Forge – December 1777

British General William Howe and his officers rested in comfortable winter quarters in Philadelphia, as eighteenth century warfare remained “a seasonal business.” Howe saw no reason to fight in cold weather, as well as his having confidence they could defeat George Washington and his rag-tailed ill trained troops at any ...

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George Washington and Phillis Wheatley

George Washington, as military leader of Colonial America, received numerous accolades from the adoring public during the Revolutionary War, but, according to historian Ron Chernow, nothing could match the tribute from a Boston woman named Phillis Wheatley, who sent him a flattering poem in October 1775. In polished poetry she ...

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Young George Washington ‘Set the World on Fire’

In 1753, it was only a question of time until the British and French clashed over their North American colonies. The British colonies were mainly along the eastern seaboard west to the Allegheny Mountains. The French claimed the entire area west thereof, including Canada. Both nations claimed the huge Ohio ...

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The two worlds of Lyndon B. Johnson

According to historian Robert A. Caro (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, The Passage of Power), “Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency (1963-1969) is arguably one of the greatest success stories of any president in American history, as well as one our worst failures.” With the assassination of Kennedy on November 22, 1963, ...

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The Kennedy’s, Johnson and the 1964 Civil Rigts Act

On November 22, 1963, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson became president upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The entire situation of Johnson assuming the presidency from Kennedy, according to historian Robert A. Caro, was ironic. The Kennedy’s (JFK and his brother Bobby, the Attorney General) had completely lost confidence ...

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