Thursday, August 20, 2020

Anecdotes About Famous People


33rd POTUS Harry S Truman (1884 – 1972) was Pres 1945-1953 and had a colourful, if scatological, turn of phrase. 

One piece of advice by him cautioned that if things are going badly in one or more areas of your life or the world just seems to be spinning wrong, don’t make matters worse by deliberately doing something that will come back to cause you problems later. His advice? . . . 

In the leadup to the 1948 Presidential election, Truman was widely tipped to be trounced by Thomas Dewey. Truman’s campaign came to be characterised by "whistle stop" speeches from the rear platform of the observation car as he criss crossed the US by train. Six stops in Michigan drew a combined half-million people; a full million turned out for a New York City ticker-tape parade. 

According to Wikipedia: 

The large, mostly spontaneous gatherings at Truman's whistle-stop events were an important sign of a change in momentum in the campaign, but this shift went virtually unnoticed by the national press corps. It continued reporting Republican Thomas Dewey's apparent impending victory as a certainty. One reason for the press's inaccurate projection was that polls were conducted primarily by telephone, but many people, including much of Truman's populist base, did not yet own a telephone. This skewed the data to indicate a stronger support base for Dewey than existed. An unintended and undetected projection error may have contributed to the perception of Truman's bleak chances. The three major polling organizations stopped polling well before the November 2 election date—Roper in September, and Crossley and Gallup in October—thus failing to measure the period when Truman appears to have surged past Dewey 

Truman was so widely expected to lose the 1948 election that in anticipation and to be out on the streets quickly, the Chicago Tribune had printed papers with a headline that Dewey had defeated Truman, the latter taking great delight in holding the erroneous headline aloft: 

Can President Trump do likewise?

By the way #1: 

The only Pres born in Missouri, that State celebrates him with a pubic holiday, Truman Day, on May 8 each year. I mention this in that my daughter now lives there. 

By the way #2: 

The S in Harry S Truman is not an abbreviation. It honours his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young 


From the Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau website at: 

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the devastating war that followed, many Americans wanted revenge, and some got in the most unexpected ways. One of the oddest might be the story of Tojo’s teeth.

Jack Mallory, a US Navy dental prosthetics specialist, didn’t return home after the war ended. Rather, he was assigned to the 361st Station Hospital in Tokyo, which also serviced Sugamo Prison. With the war over, several high-ranking Japanese officials were imprisoned at Sugamo, awaiting trial for war crimes. Among them was Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, the so-called “architect of the War in the Pacific.” Tojo, who was in his sixties, was found to be suffering from advanced tooth decay and requested dentures so that he could speak at his trial. 

George Foster (l) and Jack Mallory examine Tojo for his new dentures 

Jack Mallory and his roommate, a fellow dentist named George Foster, were given the task of making the dentures, but at the urging of some colleagues and his own desire for a little revenge, Mallory decided to carry out a hidden prank on the former Prime Minister. The dental prosthetics officer cooked up a plan to inscribe “Remember Pearl Harbor” on the dentures, but knowing the message would be seen easily, he put a spin on it. On the row of false teeth, he inscribed the message using Morse code. It was inconspicuous, but would still go down as a historic prank.

Mallory initially wanted the prank to be kept secret, but a colleague mentioned it in a letter home. Eventually, the story circulated back across the Pacific and eventually to Mallory’s superiors. While he expected the worst, he recalled his supervisor laughing, saying, “That’s funny as hell.” Mallory was shocked by the response, although he was still ordered to remove the message.

One night around three months after Tojo received his new teeth, Mallory had him woken up under the pretense of emergency work on the dentures. Without the former Prime Minister ever knowing it was there, Mallory was able to grind down the code. The following morning, Mallory and Foster were questioned by an angry colonel, but with the coded message removed, denial was a possibility. So that’s what they did.

The young officer never received any form of reprimand for his prank and, when he returned to the United States in 1947, set up his own dental practice. Jack Mallory passed away in 2013, but his legendary prank found its way into his obituary, described only as a “dental prank” on the mastermind behind the attack of Pearl Harbor. 

Jack Mallpory shown recalling his 'Tojo Story' to a major television network camera crew from Japan, visiting Jack at his home, while they were on assignment in the United States. 


(A repost)

President Calvin Coolidge and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown separately around an experimental government farm. 

When Mrs. Coolidge came to the chickenyard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, “Dozens of times each day.” Mrs. Coolidge said, “Tell that to the President when he comes by.” 

Upon being told, the President asked, “Same hen every time?” The reply was, “Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time.” President: “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.” 


On Sept. 25, 1775, the British captured Ethan Allen and held him on a series of prison ships, then moved him to England. As an officer of the Continental Army he would have been executed, but the British feared reprisals. So the British held Allen for two years in England, then sent him back to America as part of a prisoner exchange. 

Abraham Lincoln loved to tell a story about what happened to Allen after the war. 

Ethan Allen returned to England after the war, and the British made fun of him. One day they put a picture of George Washington in an outhouse where Allen would be sure to see it. He used the outhouse but said nothing about the picture. Then the British asked him about it and Allen said it was a very appropriate place for an Englishman to hang the picture because “nothing will make an Englishman shit so quick as the sight of General Washington.”

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