A First Lady Who Might Have Been

Jessie Benton Fremont (National Park Service)

Several blogs past I wrote about some “also rans” for United States President, which could lead to speculation of “what if” the loser had won. I overlooked at least one name, that of John Fremont. He isn’t well-known or taught much about in history classes, although his experience and leadership matched many of the time.

His wife, Jessie, most certainly would have been an impressive first lady.

Jessie Benton Fremont was the daughter of Thomas Hart Benton, (not to be confused with an artist of the same name) who is taught about in history classes. He was a senator from Missouri before the Civil War, an advocate for western expansion and an opponent of slavery in the territories, and he let his daughter tag along with him when he had business at the Capitol and Executive Mansion.

At 17, while attending school in Washington, she eloped with Lieutenant John C. Fremont, ten years older. There was a period of estrangement between the two generations but eventually the Fremonts and the Bentons reconciled, and John became active in exploring the West with Kit Carson. Jessie stayed home and wrote for newspapers, also becoming well-known.

Jesie held a salon of writers, artists and spiritual leaders when they lived in San Francisco in the early 1860s. (National Park Service)

John became a senator from California, and then received the nomination for President in 1856 from the new Republican Party. Unmarried opponent Buchanan did not have an asset like Jessie. Crowds called her name and sang a song about her to the tune of Yankee Doodle. But “Mr. Fremont,” as she called him, lost, unable to sway the southern states. A newspaperman said they all regretted that she would not be “Mrs. President.”

Parents of five children, two of whom died in infancy, they moved to St. Louis during the Civil War where John was in command of the Western Department. But he ended a declaration of martial law by freeing slaves held by rebels in Missouri, which preceded the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln was not happy. Even though Jessie traveled to Washington to plead the case with the President, he fired her husband. She also worked with the Soldier’s Relief Society and the Western Sanitation Commission which were accepted roles for a woman.

With husband, John C. Fremont. (www.calisphere.org)

The family came into hard times when John’s railroad speculations failed. After his death Jessie lived another twelve years, aided by a widow’s army pension and her narratives, which were as popular as ever.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One can see why readers anticipated her articles:

I look up at the little water-color which is my résumé of that time of severance from all I held indispensable to happiness—it was made for me on the spot, and gives my tent under the tall cotton-woods, already browned and growing bare with the coming winter winds.
Mr. Fremont was to make a winter crossing of the mountains, and I went with him in to his starting-point, the Delaware Indian reservation on the frontier of Missouri, to return when he left, and remain at home in Washington until my time came to start in March.
Of everything in the Centennial Exhibition, I think nothing interested me so much as the display made by Kansas. It seemed so few years since I had been there, when only a small settlement marked the steamboat landing where now Kansas City stands. Looking at its silk manufacturers, its produce of not only essentials, but luxuries, it was hard to realize the untracked prairie of my time, with only Indians and wolves for figures.

~ ~ ~ ~

My blog post receiving the most responses has been one about “little orange books” (subsequently with other covers) pubished by the Bobbs-Merrill Company. They were prevalent in elementary school libraries in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Many said these adapted biographies sparked a lifelong interest in history, as they did for me.

I remember reading Jessie Fremont’s story. One incident that stood out was when she befriended a girl at school whom everyone else shunned. That reflects the character of one who would have, by all accounts, been a knockout of a First Lady.


http://www.theatlantic.com, http://www.tile.loc.gov, http://www.civilwar.vt.edu, http://www.nps.gov, http://www.americanhistoryblog.org, http://www.historynet.com

The Atlantic piece is an excerpt from a book about the Fremonts, Imperfect Union, by Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s Morning Edition.

What George Washington Said (and How He Said It)

Five years ago I wondered in this blog what George Washington might have sounded like. More recently I found a book called The Founders on the Founders (John P. Kaminski, editor; University Press 2008) with some fascinating letters by people who talked with him.

Charles Willson Peale, the painter, recalled a visit to Mount Vernon in December of 1773:

Several young gentlemen…and myself were engaged in pitching the bar, one of the athletic sports common in those days, when suddenly the colonel appeared among us. He requested to be shown the pegs that marked the bounds of our efforts; then, smiling and without putting off his coat, he held out his hand for the missile…the bar whizzed through the air, striking the ground far, very far, beyond our utmost limits. We were indeed amazed, as we stood around, all stripped to the buff, with shirt sleeves rolled up, and having thought ourselves very clever fellows, while the colonel, on retiring, pleasantly observed, “When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I’ll try again.”

Chevalier de La Luzerne in a letter, March 29, 1783:

After a war of eight years, during which he has scarcely left his army, and has never take any repose, he has received the news of the peace with the greatest joy. It made him shed tears, and he said it was the happiest hour of his life.

James McHenry in a letter of December 23, 1783:

Today…the General at a public audience made a deposit of his commission, and in a pathetic (emotional) manner took leave of Congress. It was a solemn and affecting spectacle, such a one as history does not present. The spectators all wept, and there was hardly a member of Congress who did not drop tears. The General’s hand which held the address shook as he read it. But when he commended the interests of his dearest country to Almighty God, and those who had the superintendence of them to his holy keeping, his voice faltered and sunk… After the pause which was necessary for him to recover himself, he proceeded to say in the most penetrating manner, “Having now finished the work assigned me I retire from the great theater of action, and bidding an affectionate farewell to this august body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission and take my leave of all the employments of public life.”

Static Image
National Portrait Gallery (npg.si.edu)

Fisher Ames to George Richards Minot, May 1789:

I was present (at the inauguration of Washington) in the pew with the President, and I must assure you that…I still think of him with more veneration than for any other person. He addressed the two Houses in the Senate chamber; it was a very touching scene, and quite of the solemn kind. His aspect grave, almost to sadness, his modesty, actually shaking; his voice deep, a little tremulous, and so low as to call for close attention…

Abigail Adams to Mary Cranch, January 1790:

If he (Washington) was not really one of the best intentioned men in the world he might be a very dangerous one. He is polite with dignity, affable without familiarity, distant without haughtiness, grave without austerity, modest, wise and good.

Julian Ursyn Niemcewiz, May 1798:

He held out his hand to me and shook mine. We went into the parlor: I sat down beside him; I was moved, speechless…He began by questioning me about General Kosciusko…”How long are you in this country?” — “Eight months” — “How do you like it?” –I am happy, Sir, to see in America those blessings which I was so ardently wishing for in my own country.” He bowed his head with a modest air and said to me, “I wished always to your country well and that with all my heart.” He uttered these last words with feeling.

And this letter, which Washington wrote to his wife, Martha, at the beginning of the War for Independence, reveals much. It is rare because she burned most of their correspondence before she died.

My Dearest, I am now set down to write to you on a subject which fills me with inexpressible concern…that it is necessary for me to proceed to Boston to take upon me the command of (the Army). You may believe me my dear Patcy, when I assure you in the most solemn manner, that, so far from seeking this appointment, I have used every endeavor in my power to avoid it... As it has been a kind of destiny that has thrown me upon this service, I shall hope that my undertaking of it is designed to answer some good purpose… I shall rely therefore, confidently, on that Providence which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you in the fall. My happiness will flow, from the uneasiness I know you will feel from being left alone—I therefore beg of you to summon your whole fortitude and resolution, and pass your time as agreeable as possible–nothing will give me so much sincere satisfaction as to hear this, and to hear it from your own pen.

He has been gone for 220 years. During his lifetime he was greatly revered, and the passing of time should not dim the virtues he showed his contemporaries: patience, honesty, courage, steadiness, sensitivity, politeness. As Benjamin Rush wrote, He seems to be one of those illustrious heroes whom Providence raises up once in three or four hundred years to save a nation from ruin.

It’s My Party…

Leslie Gore’s hip song of the 60s has nothing to do with politics, but its opening words are strangely appropro today. The complete line is, “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to,” which many Americans are feeling when it comes to Republicans and Democrats.

Political Animals: Republican Elephants and Democratic Donkeys | Arts &  Culture | Smithsonian Magazine
1874 cartoon by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly (Smithsonian Magazine)

Perplexed at who to vote for because we don’t agree with all of anybody’s platform, what are we supposed to do? Not vote at all?

Would you be surprised to know that our founding fathers were opposed to political parties? “Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally,” George Washington said in his 1797 farewell address.

The next president, John Adams, dreaded nothing so much as a “division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.”

Then came Thomas Jefferson, who pretty much caused the big split as he disagreed with Alexander Hamilton on how much power the federal government should have. “A man under the tyranny of party spirit is the greatest slave upon the earth, for none but himself can deprive him of the freedom of thought.” Of course, he was speaking of the party he opposed.

James Madison, our fourth president and Father of the Constitution, warned of “mischiefs of factions” and believed that the government could prosper without parties. “I have always considered their existence as the curse of the country,” he stated.

George Washington chose Hamilton for Secretary of the Treasury and Jefferson for Secretary of State, hoping he could get the opposing leaders to work together in the country’s interest. Hamilton wanted a national bank, and more federal power, which he got. Jefferson, the Virginian, who wanted more power for the states, believed New England would benefit financially at the expense of farmers.

The first two political parties were the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, which soon were known as the Whigs and the Democratic-Republicans.

In 1828 the Democratic-Republicans became the Democrats. Andrew Jackson won on their ticket. In 1834 the Whigs became the National Republicans, and by Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 we were in our current two-party system, the Democrats and the Republicans. The big issue then was, of course, slavery. Other issues, including entering the first world war, the Great Depression, and abortion, have headlined the liberal and conservative divide since then.

Third party experiments have been compared to bees: “They sting, then they die after one or both parties restructure in response.” An example is Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, second in 1912 to the Democrats and Woodrow Wilson. Businessman Ross Perot took 20 million votes away from Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr. in 1992.

Party bosses such as the Daleys of Chicago and the Tweeds of New York fulfilled some John Adams’ fears.

A topical list of the roles of a political party includes: running candidates for office, checking the other party, informing the public, and organizing the government. One source states that what they agree on are liberty, equality and individualism, maintaining the Constitution, and the election process. After the last election, who is sure of any of that?

Yuval Levin, a director at the American Enterprise Institute, stated in March of this year: “Trust in our highest institutions is broken..a lot of elite journalists now step out on their own onto a platform like Twitter…building their own following.” I remember concluding in a paper I wrote in college that the biggest thing affecting mass media in the future would be the public’s relationship with them. I wasn’t far off.

Remember the absence of civility in the 2016 presidential debates? Civility is, as defined by Martin Luther King Jr.: “If you want to persuade your enemy, you must redeem your enemy.” Other advice includes these statements: The people you disagree with will still be there tomorrow, so don’t cut every tie. We shouldn’t disagree less, we should disagree better.

“We can only do good by not trying to do the impossible good,” Theodore Roosevelt said, under the theme of Practical Politics.

Voters have traditionally changed their thinking as they age. When young they leaned toward the Democrats, but turned towards the right as they experienced home ownership, marriage and children. In 2020 many red states turned blue, possibly showing a switch in attitudes of Generation Xers and Milleniums.

Maybe in the mess, someone who was never elected to anything had the best idea: “In truth, I care little about any party’s politics — the man behind it is the important thing.” –Mark Twain

May better men step up to leadership of our country. We can still hope.

(Sources: harvard.edu, notable quotes.com, brookings.edu/research, prospect.org/politics, loc.gov, ushistory.org, open.lib.umn.edu)


Ruins of Aristotle’s Lyceaum in Athens.  factsanddetails.com

Educated: A Memoir is a current bestseller written by a young lady who broke away from her family’s systematic brainwashing, graduated from Harvard and Cambridge Universities, and gave the world of readers plenty to think about.

But being educated has much more to it than finding the right teachers and environment, as families are discovering in the present shut-in days of e-learning.  

A child learns to read, and then reads to learn.  A very simple statement, but it embodies the whole idea of independent education.  Teachers, mentors and coaches are needed for modeling, encouragement and advice.  It is important for them  to promote independent learning as much as they can.  Students will go much further than solely completing requirements of the best elementary schools, high schools, and universities.

The ancient Greeks are responsible for the finest education “best practices”  in history.  Socrates’ method was questioning, Plato had an academy in a garden next to a gymnasium, and one of the first think tanks.  His student, Aristotle, worked in a building called the Lyceaum (pictured above) in which he had a big library and regular “serious” morning classes, but also symposiums, or festive meals in the evening.  Nothing like food you get your protoges’ attention.  He emphasized the hands-on, including studying habits of insects and dissecting larger creatures.

Movers and shakers in our nation’s past were prime independent learners.  James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, spent his sickly childhood reading all the books in his father’s library; Theodore Roosevelt, also pretty much an invalid until he willed himself into better health, taught himself to be a naturalist with knowledge comparable to that of a supervisor in the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

On the back cover of The Amazing Bird Collection of Young Mr. Roosevelt which I published in 2014, I listed some of his traits: curiosity, learning from playing and imitating animal sounds, making up his own games, taking risks, making observations in notebooks, sketching, and sharing the information he found with family and friends.  Sound familiar?  Your kids do the same.

If you look up characteristics of independent learners, you will find some of these —

  • Being  active instead of passive
  • Being ready to change rapidly and apply new skills
  • Structuring learning time themselves
  • Assessing themselves, focusing on process rather than product  

All right on.

In Indiana the Lilly Foundation provides teacher fellowships every summer for instructors’ and administrators’ independent study, but are not required to be  in the recipients’ field: just something they are curious about.  I can tell you from participating in two of these grants that the knowledge and experiences I gained go far beyond any course or plan of study.  And I have learned much from other fellows in all areas.

Emotion drives learning, as parents and caregivers are realizing with every day of current stay-at-home rules.  One source I looked at said that a drawback of independent study is cost, but that’s bunk.  Field trips to the back yard can be enlightening, and so many resources are available on the Internet.  History.org from Colonial Williamsburg has scads of things to offer about American History, as does The Library of Congress (loc.gov).  Book lists, especially those of Newbery Award winnners, are a good place to start for reading selections.  Babble Dabble Do on Facebook offers art, math and science activities which I would be using in the classroom if I were not retired.  I’ve seen many others shared by excellent teachers.

I do not suggest that the 20,000 hours children spend in the classroom from Kindergarten through Grade 12 are not needed.  However, kids require more exploring time rather than testing time.  They should be excited to experience more about anything which interests them.  Pedagogical terms and guidelines are OK, but the way to get a kid to learn is to inspire him to find out things on his own.

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Sources of information include eutopia.org, factsanddetails.com, law.uchigago.edu, opencolleges.edu.  I was disappointed to find I could not read articles from National Geographic and The Washington Post unless I subscribed.


More Also-Rans

Image result for rufus king

Does anyone recognize this guy?  Rufus King, the final Federalist nominee for President.  Anyone remember what the Federalist Party was?  A big group of Alexander Hamilton’s followers who were for a strong central government and a national bank.  From Massachusetts, King was a representative to the Constitutional Convention in 1787; his hometown soon became part of the new state of Maine.

He was elected to serve in the United States Senate, and in 1812 was an “informal” candidate for the Presidency.  He got two percent of the vote.  James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins won that year (same guy from the psychiatrist’s quiz in the movie Miracle on 34th Street).  The Federalist Party’s last hurrah was in 1816, in which he upped his percentage to 30.  But one-third of the popular vote was not enough to win.  Senator King was reported to have a massive library of 3,500 volumes.  Another respected American who just didn’t quite make it to the top of Executive Branch.

Related imageThe name Henry Clay causes a flash of recognition in memories of most former history students.  But the details?  Clay was a charming orator from Kentucky who ran for President several times.  He gave his votes in one election to John Quincy Adams so that Andrew Jackson would not win, and subsequently was named U.S. Secretary of State, which caused a stir.   Some called him a hothead, while to colleagues in the Senate he was “The Dictator.”

He said, “I would rather be right than be President,” almost defeating James Polk in 1844.  His last accomplishment was to write The Great Compromise of 1850 with Daniel Webster, which delayed the start of the Civil War by ten years.  After he died, he was the first to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.

Photograph of Winfield Scott Hancock

Winfield Scott Hancock narrowly lost to James A. Garfield in the election of 1880, even though he carried all the southern states.  Responsible for stopping  “Pickett’s Charge” in the Battle of Gettysburg, the prolific general also led troops into battle at Antietam and Fredericksburg.  He presided over the execution of conspirators of Lincoln’s assassination.

Image result for horace greeley

Horace Greeley is known to most journalism majors as the eccentric publisher of the New York Tribune, an anti-slavery weekly newspaper during the Civil War.  From a poor family in New Hampshire, his schooling had ended when he was 14.  He became the editor of the Log Cabin, a publication which helped William Henry Harrison get elected.  He himself ran unsuccessfully against Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, dying just three weeks after election day due to the shock of losing his wife, control of the Tribune, and the nation’s highest office.

Image result for adlai stevenson

And lastly, for this time, a fast forward to the Twentieth Century and a witty man named Adlai Stevenson.  He was the grandson of Grover Cleveland’s vice president, and son of a publisher and Secretary of State of Illinois.  Admired by intellectuals, he was elected Governor of Illinois, once quoted as saying he would rather not be President.   As the Democratic candidate in 1952 and 1956, he lost both times to Dwight Eisenhower.

Later Stevenson was a delegate to the United Nations who helped ban above ground nuclear testing.

“When demagoguery and deceit become a national political movement,” he asserted, “we Americans are in trouble; not just Democrats, but all of us.”

Sources: let.rug.nl/usa/biographies, history.state.gov, battlefields.org, nps.gov, tulane.edu, gwu.edu, nytimes.com.

What Happened to the Losers?

In American history, the most notable winners and losers have been presidents and their opponents.  Some elections were landslides; some were so close that a few votes made the difference, and in one the winner who was announced in bold headlines had his fortunes reversed the next morning.

Image result for dewey defeats truman newspaper


Thomas E. Dewey was the governor of New York before, during and after his failed 1944 and 1948 bids for the presidency, causing Alice Roosevelt Longworth to quip, “A soufflé doesn’t rise twice.”  The second campaign is the more remembered because the Chicago Tribune ran a story before the polls closed that he had beat Harry Truman.  Eventually Truman got 49.5 percent of the popular vote, and had his picture taken with the infamous front page.

Image result for thomas e dewey


Dewey, who in his younger years couldn’t decide between a career in professional music or politics, served as district attorney and prosecutor for New York.  Known for his efforts to rid the state of organized crime, he was elected to one more term as governor after 1948, and then returned to private law practice.  He was instrumental in Dwight D. Eisenhower’s campaign in 1952 and the choice of Richard M. Nixon as his running mate.  Dewey was offered the nomination of Supreme Court Justice twice, but turned it down.

DeWitt Clinton

Does this man look like he’s got a headache?  DeWitt Clinton had plenty of things on his mind during his lifetime.  His first job was working for his Uncle George, New York’s longtime governor and twice the vice president of the United States.

The younger Clinton worked his way up through the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate and the United States Senate.  He ran for president in 1812 but James Madison had the edge.  The loss did not deter DeWitt Clinton from working to get the Erie Canal built in upstate New York, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.  He eventually accomplished his goal while serving as governor.  Had he been elected president in 1812, would the canal have been built so soon?  Our railway systems and subsequent economic progress depended on the trail blazed by the Erie Canal.

Related image


Not many Americans live to their hundredth birthday.  Alfred Landon, the Republican candidate for president in 1936, did; the photo above shows President Ronald Reagan’s visit to him in 1987. Landon was a popular governor from Kansas whose party thought had the best chance against Franklin D. Roosevelt.   He carried just two states in the biggest defeat in 116 years.

Portrait of Alfred M. Landon, 1936

Alf Landon.  Kansas Historical Society.

Landon’s daughter, Nancy Kassebaum, served in the United States Senate from 1977 to 1997.  She was the first woman ever elected to a complete term in that office and now, at age 86, has been quoted as saying she couldn’t think of better coattails to have ridden on than her father’s.

The Library of Congress offers the list of presidential “Also Rans,” which I have copied below.  More than one ran again and was elected.   Which are new to you?  No telling what other stories are behind these determined men.   Well, wait a minute, there probably is.  And I will probably do it.

1796                                                                                                                            Thomas Jefferson

Aaron Burr
Charles C. Pinckney
Charles C. Pinckney

DeWitt Clinton
Rufus King
John Quincy Adams
Henry Clay
William H. Crawford
Andrew Jackson
John Quincy Adams
Henry Clay
William H. Harrison
Martin Van Buren
Henry Clay
Lewis Cass

Winfield Scott
John C. Fremont
John Bell
John C. Breckinridge
Stephen A. Douglas
George McClellan
Horatio Seymour
Horace Greeley
Samuel J. Tilden
Winfield S. Hancock
James G. Blaine
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
James B. Weaver
William J. Bryan

William J. Bryan
Alton B. Parker
William J. Bryan
Theodore Roosevelt
William H. Taft
Charles E. Hughes
James M. Cox
Robert M. Lafollette
Alfred E. Smith
Herbert Hoover
Norman Thomas
Alfred M. Landon
Wendell L. Willkie
Thomas E. Dewey
J. Strom Thurmond
Henry A. Wallace

Adlai E. Stevenson
Adlai E. Stevenson
Richard M. Nixon
Barry M. Goldwater
Hubert H. Humphrey
George C. Wallace
George S. McGovern
Gerald R. Ford
John Anderson
Jimmy Carter
Walter F. Mondale
Michael Dukakis

George Bush
H. Ross Perot
Robert J. Dole
H. Ross Perot
Al Gore
Ralph Nader
John Kerry
Ralph Nader
John McCain
Ralph Nader
The Library of Congress needs to update!  Can you name the losers in presidential elections since 2008?




Sources: nytimes.com, eriecanalmuseum.org, loc.gov, history.house.gov.


Der Alte

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” Jesus said in Matthew 22.  But what do you do when Caesar is Hitler?  And before that, an unpredictable German Kaiser named Wilhelm?

It would take a remarkable man to maintain his sanity, let alone be a just leader in the middle of chaotic regimes in the country largely held responsible for both world wars.  Konrad Adenaur (1875-1967) was that.

TIME Magazine Cover: Konrad Adenauer -- Dec. 5, 1949

Adenaur served as mayor of the city of Cologne during both war eras, and as West Germany’s first chancellor in the 1950s and 60s.  When he left that post, he was 87 years old.  His nickname, “Der Alte,” means “The Elder.”

Though I was in high school the year of his death, I don’t remember studying about him.  When I to college for a teaching degree in the 80s and took a world history course,  I read his biography.  All I could think of was, “How could anyone keep going through all that?”

Image result for konrad adenauer


Adenaur had a pleasant childhood.  He was born in the Victorian Era to civil servants.  His Roman Catholic family taught him well, and throughout his long life he was committed to his faith.

When he married, it was into a wealthy family.  He studied law, had the opportunity to vie for new political positions, had three children, and was appointed mayor of Cologne in 1917.  But not before tragedies came: his wife died and he was involved in a horrific car accident which changed his facial features permanently.

During World War 1 he managed the food supply for the city and for the troops.  After the Kaiser abdicated, he filled leadership roles of the new Weimar Republic.  At first, it seemed to be going well.  But the U.S  stock market crash’s ripple effect on Germany was disastrous.  Coal and iron mines were shut down and  printing presses made more paper money, which became worthless.

In 1933 the Enabling Act gave Adolph Hitler absolute rule over the country.  The Nazis tried to arrest Adenaur during World War 2, but he hid for many months in a monastery.  When they did put him in prison, they confiscated his leg braces.  He managed to hobble home without them at his release.

The Cologne Cathedral stands in the background of the city’s ruins after World War 2.   bartcop.com

At the top of the list of “untainted politicians,” Adenaur once again became Cologne’s mayor.  But he clashed with British military leadership and was dismissed.  The Christian Democratic Union was formed in 1946; he was elected chancellor in 1949.  By one vote.  And he held the position for the next 14 years.

During postwar reconstruction he worked to restore relations with France and the US, and the economy, balancing relations between labor and management.  In 1953 he was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.  He’d led his country back to “moral respectability,” the editors said.

Adenauer wanted to swap West Berlin


Critics would say he opposed the reunification of Germany after it divided into East and West.  He said this was the responsibility of the government who caused the split, not his.

In a TV segment which may be viewed on YouTube, an interviewer asks Adenaur why he had become good friends with John Foster Dulles, President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State.  “He tells the truth,” was the reply.

Image result for cologne germany

Cologne today as seen from the Rhine River.  thecrazytourist.com

Sometimes it is not apparent there are leaders who make decisions with integrity.  Their counterparts often get the headlines.  But throughout history, if we look, we can see some like “The Elder,” who personified persistence, through loss and hardship, to help the whole of mankind.

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Sources: history.com, weebly.com, kas.de, theneweuropean.co.uk.