Posts Tagged ‘History’

Warren G. Harding

(March 1921 – August 1923)

First Off: A Prize to Anyone who knows what the G stands for without looking it up!!!

  • Wobbly Warren
  • Prsident Hardly
  • Ran on the Slogan: A Return to Normalcy (A word Harding made up for his campaign – which obvs. peeved HL Mencken (see quote below)).
  • His mother called him ‘Winnie’ (Gotta Admit: Not too butch)



  • Generally and consistently ranked by scholars as one of the worst presidents of all time.
  • Harding played poker at least twice a week, once gambling away a set of presidential china dating back to Benjamin Harrison. His cabinet was often referred to as the Poker Cabinet because they all played poker together.
  • Many incorrectly claim that Harding coined the term ‘bloviating’ but it was recorded in print prior to Harding’s birth.
  • Both of Harding’s parents were doctors.
  • First President to have a golf course named after him.
  • First newspaper publisher to be elected president.
  • First President to travel to Canada (He stopped over on the way to Alaska. Also; He was the first president to visit Alaska).
  • Warren G  has the distinction of having the largest feet of any president with a size 14.
  • And PS – the G stands for Gamaliel.

And finally, we leave you with a quote from H. L. Mencken:

He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash

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  • The Schoolmaster in Politics
  • The Professor
  • The Phrasemaker
  • Coiner of Weasal Words




  • Wilson didn’t learn his letters until he was 9, didn’t learn to read until he was 13. So, Good News, Illiterate tweens! You too can grow up to be president of Princeton and the good ole US of A. But…you  probably won’t.
  • Though they never met, Sigmund Freud wrote a treatise on Wilson that claimed he likened himself to Jesus Christ.
  • Wilson was married when he was in office to Edith Bolling Galt Wilson. Is it just me or do her middle and maiden names sound like they should be hyphenated and used as a nickname like “Machine Gun” Kelly?
  • An avid golfer, Wilson used a black ball when he played in the snow.
  • Woody Guthrie is named after him (Woodrow Wilson Guthrie).
  • Election results were broadcast for the first time by WWJ in Detroit, MI. (What, did they not have hologram results with Wolf Blitzer back then?)
  • After suffering a massive stroke that left him partially paralyzed and nearly blind, his wife ran a “Petticoat Government” She was also referred to as the Iron Queen, the Presidentress and the Regent. Generally considered the most powerful First Lady there ever was.
  • Woodrow Wilson had a pet sheep named “Old Ike” that would chew tobacco and graze on the South Lawn.
  • Second president to address Congress (the first was Washington).
  • His vice president Marshall was the one to utter the famous bon mot, “What this country needs is a good five cent cigar.” Here-Here.

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William Howard Taft


Nicked Names

  • Old Bill
  • Big Lub
  • FattyFatty 2×4 Can’t Fit Thru The Bathroom Door
  • The 27th President, 10th Chief Justice of US Supreme Court, 1st Provisional Governor of Cuba, 42nd US Secretary of War, 1st Civil Governor of the Philippines, 5th US Solicitor General, 1st in line at a buffet


Taft is really the president that ought to be known as the Trustbuster. He busted over 80, beating that so-called buster (Teddy ‘Not as Busted’ Roosevelt) by about 40. Taft just didn’t happen to rail against business in his rhetoric. That’s right Taft is twice the buster TR ever was, suckas!


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  • 1911 – Chevrolet first enters the automobile industry in competition with the Model T
  • 1913 – US introduces the income tax
  • 1957 – USSR launches Sputnik 2 first animal in orbit
  • 1964 – Washington, DC residents able to vote in the presidential election for the first time
  • 1973 – NASA luanches Mariner 10 towards Mercury, becomes first space probe to reach that planet
  • 1986 – The Federated States of Micronesia gain independence from the United States of America


  • 1793 – Stephen F. Austin, American pioneer
  • 1936- Annie Oakley
  • 1933 – Micheal Dukakis
  • 1949 – Anna Wintaur
  • 1953 – Dennis Miller
  • 1957- Dolph Lungren
  • 1959 – Hal Hartley
  • 1971 – Dylan Moran


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     Theodore Roosevelt


    • Theodore the Meddler
    • Trustbuster
    • TR or Teddy
    • The Cyclone Assemblyman
    • Rough Rider and Hero of San Juan Hill
    • Old Four Eyes
    • The Lion

    (Walk softly and stand near a big globe).


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    William McKinley

    Served 1897-1901

    • The Napolean of Protection (For his love of tariffs)
    • The Major (referring to his rank in the Civil War; used by intimates and family, not publically)
    • The Idol of Ohio
    • The Stocking-footed Orator (Cute!)



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    (Subtitled: Ab Ovo Ad Ovum)

    I think, in the future we will come to view this as eggstremely eggregious. Eggistentially speaking, We are better than this! We start off with Bin Laden, (the arch-eggemy who currently dictates our entire foreign policy)

    (Has the thought crossed your mind that unless Doc Ad gets here (and we don’t want to egg on our favorite media commentator) quick you’re in for a lot more where that came from? Cause you’d be eggactly right!)

    This is going to be eggasperating. Suckers!

    If you’re not with me now, you will be…But wait! There’s more. It’s a whole campaign. Yay!


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    Chester A. Arthur

    Sept 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885



    • Elegant Arthur
    • The Gentleman Boss
    • The Dude President (Inspiration for the “Big Lebowski”)
    • Our Chet



    Arthir was chosen by Garfield to be his running mate at the 1880 Republican National Convention because he was a stalwart (the support of which Garfield did not have) and Garfield knew the vote would be close. In some ways this was to be his undoing since Charles Guiteau shot Garfield saying “I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts…Arthur is president now!!” Arthur was shocked by the assassination and mortified of Guiteau’s claim of political unity.


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    They tried. They failed. We’re all for innovation here at the ‘Tuss but we alwaysknow when to say ‘When’…

    Solo Synchronized Swimming (1992) It’s an oxy-moron, ya morons! Couldn’t you have called something else similarly as lame, like Water DancingSwamcing?

    Live Pigeon Shooting (1900) – Only time in Olympic history live animals were exterminated utilized in sport. Let loose some birds and see how many one person can kill take as prize. The gold medalist took 71 pigeons.  (There also was a “Running Deer Single Shot (1906-1936) but that was a more humane moving paper target).

    Pistol Dueling (1906) – Participants didn’t shoot at each other but at dummies…dressed in fancy frock coats of the day, but with bullseyes painted on the chest.  The sport never took off, but the coats where a big hit!

    Tug Of War (1900-1920): Team of 8 had to pull their opponents 6 feet. If it hadn’t happened in 5 minuttes, whoever had pulled the other team the farthest was the winner.  This would be a great event today, for our WWF athletes.

    Cricket – Only in 1900. So popular, only 2 countries even had teams (Great Britain and France) Britain won.  USA should have assembled a team, becuase just showing up would have won bronze.

    Poodle Clipping (1900) – This seems to have been speed not subjective quality rankings. The winner clipped 17 poodles in 2 hours.  Who where the athletes, the poodles or the clipperers?  Obviously, this was a one-timer event only held in France, of course.

    Club Swinging – (1904, 1932) Complicated routines involving swinging a ribboned-festooned club around the head. In the 1932 Games, an unemployed American (in the midst of the Great Depression) took the gold and hitchicked home from the LA games.

    Rope Climbing – (1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, 1932) – Sounds easy, everyone born in the second half of the 20th century had to participate in gym, right? In the 1896 Games, only 2 competitors completed the task.  Obviously, they didn’t have my gym teacher as coach or they all would have made it.  And no sliding down, it turns out not to be as fun as it sounds!

    Bridge (2002) – I can support any Olympic event that provides snacks. And can encourage any age or body type. Why this wasn’t didn’t last is beyond me.

    Motor Boating – Only in the 1908 Games. It was a flop.  I gues in 1908, if you could make a motor work on demand, you deserved a medal.  And 19 mph was the average speed… wow/yawn.

    Jeu de Paume (1900) – Translated means ‘game of palm‘ It was the precursor to tennis and is played in  roughly (pun intended) the same manner. Seems a natural these days, no fancy equipment needed, open to all comers. Practice anywhere.  Teenage boys are typically exceptional at this.

    Long Jump for Horses You’ve got an athletic horse, you want to show it off..but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of skill involved for the people. Give JuanInaAMillion a gold but not his rider Juan ICouldn’tCarlos.


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    James A. Garfield

    March 4, 1881-September 19, 1881


    • The President Preacher (was a lay preacher for the Church of Christ)
    • Boatman Jim or The Canal Boy (referring to early occupation)
    • The Plow-Boy of Ohio

    At the time of the Republican National Convention, Garfield was a current member of the House of Representatives. Right before he left for the convention, he had been named to replace a senate seat from Ohio that had just been vacated. By the 36th vote at the convention, Garfield had been named nominee for the presidential election and that senate seat Garfield now declined eventually went to John Sherman (who Garfield had gone to the convention to support as presidential nominee).


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     Rutherford B Hayes



    • Rutherfraud
    • His Fraudulancy
    • The Usurper
    • Granny Hayes
    • Queen Victoria in Riding Britches
    • The Great Unknown
    • President de Facto
    • Dark Horse Prsident

    [Is that a reconstructed nation in your beard or are you just a scary old dude?]


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    Ulysses S. Grant


    • Unconditional Surrender Grant
    • The Hero of Appomattox
    • Useless Grant
    • The Galena Tanner (Due to his Artificially Orange pallor)



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    Franklin Pierce


    • Handsome Frank– He found this embarrassing
    • The Hero of A Well-Fought Bottle – Refers to his lack of military command and his known drinking habits.
    • The Fainting General– Reference by his opponents to an incident when an artillery blast blew his saddle horn into his abdomen, causing him to loose consciousness for a few moments.
    • Young Hickory Of Granite Hills– Comparing his military deeds with Andrew Jackson, and Granite Hills refered to his New Hampshire background

    Alright Folks, we’re at a tough time in our nation’s history. We’re leading up to #16 and the Civil War. What’re you gonna do, Handsome Frank?



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    Millard Fillmore

    July 1850- March 1853

    • The Accidental President
    • Wool-Carder-President
    • The American Louis Philippe




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    Zachary Taylor

    (March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850)

    • Old Rough and Ready (disdained the luxurious afforded to senior officers, preferring to ‘rough it’ along with all the other ranks)
    • Old Zach
    • Hero of Buena Vista (referring to Mexican War)


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    James K. Polk (1845-1849)

    • Young Hickory -Because he was backed by “Old Hickory,” Andrew Jackson
    • Napoleon of the Stump -Due to fiery speeches at the stump
    • Dark Horse Candidate – Le Duh.

    (Wait. – Are you seeing what I’m seeing? James Polk rocked a mullet. Kudos).

    When Polk took office he had four clear objectives:

    • Purchase of California from Mexico
    • Reduction of tariffs
    • Re-establish the Independent Treasury System
    • Acquire part or all of the Oregon territory

    Resolved to only serve one term, Polk accomplished all four of his goals. (Are you loving Polk yet? Doesn’t he seem like a breath of fresh air?)


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    We here at the Tuss are quite glad Prince Philip is out of hospital. Having sent him our kind and good thoughts, we would also like to take this opportunity to reflect back on some of the foot’n mouth disease Prince Philip has displayed over the years. Just remember, it’s a tough job being consort to the Queen, day in and day out.



    • Asked a driving instructor in Scotland, “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”
    • When visiting a group of British students in China in 1986 he remarked, “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
    • In 2002 Prince Philip asked an indegenious Australian businessman, “Do you still throw spears at each other?”
    • In 1994 he asked a Cayman Island native, “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”
    • In 1987 he wrote in the forward to If I Were an Animal that “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.”
    • To a British student in Papua New Guinea, “You’ve managed not to get eaten then?”
    • At the height of recession in 1981 Prince Philip commented, “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they’re unemployed.”

    If only there were more people to speak their minds so succinctly! We appreciate his sense of humor. It’s just that he’s in the public sector and we live in such a politically correct world that, taken out of context, some of these seem to verge on the innappropriate. Maybe it’s just us.

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    Ladies and Gentlemen…Let’s Welcome…

    • Old Tippacanoe (Commemorates his 2 victories over Tecumsah)
    • Granny Harrison (At 68 he was then the oldest president to be elected)
    • General Mum (Denotes his avoidance to speak on controversial issues)
    • Log Cabin Candidate (positioning him as a man of the people, even though he did come from a privileged background)
    • Cinncanatus of the West (Comparing him to both the original and Goerge Washington)



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    Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)

    • Old Hickory (During Creek War nothing would keep him from battle, causing his troops to compare him to the hardest of woods)
    • King Andy (Far reaching programs seemed to some as excessive use of power)
    • Hero of New Orleans (Victory over the British in January 1815)
    • Caped Crusader (only President to wear a cape in his Presidential Photograph)
    • Action Jackson (this one is a lie but, we wish people called him that)


     BADASS MOMENT #1– In 1806, Jackson met Charles Dickinson in a duel over some remarks Dickinson made about Jackson’s wife. Dickinson got in the first shot, a direct hit square in the chest, two inches from Jackson’s heart. Jackson didn’t even fall down. But returned fire, killing Dickinson and walked away. The bullet was too close to his heart to be removed so it remained lodged in his chest for the rest of his life.

    BADASS MOMENT #2 – On January 30 1835, Richard Lawrence fired two pistols at Jackson at point blank range. Both of them failed to fire (Odds 1:125,000). Jackson chased after Lawrence and beat him with his cane. 


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    Happy, Merry President’s Day

    It’s a bit late (although Washington’s birthday is Feb 22) but, with Presidents Day still fresh in your mind, and our on-going series of “Man, I-Don’t-Know-My-Presidents Monday,” we thought we’d like to make sure you were aware of the tall tale, historically non-accurate cartoons of Brad Neely.

    Unfortunately, like a lot of things here at the Tussle, there is some strong language.

    Sometimes you wonder where other people’s minds live. Sheesh. 

    Sing it with me now, “He’ll save children, but not the British children.”


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    We here at the Life Tussle aim to entertain and inform you.

    Call it “Edu-Tainment.”

    This begins a year long look into the history of the presidents of our United States Presidents. We promise that it will  consistently be 98% factual.

    Unfortunately, we have decided to go in order. So we have to first start with the most famous of American Presidents, George Washington. (Unfortunate, only in the fact that I know a dazzling amount about Benjamin Harrison, but that’ll have to wait). And also…why be funny about Washington?

    PS – If you happen to know a great deal about a president, leave a comment or drop us a  note at thelifetussle@gmail.com

    Let’s go:

    You know him.

    You love him.

    Ladies and Gentleman, Our Very First President,

    • George Washington (1789-1797)

    Vice President: John Adams

    If you’re like me, you love him mostly because he decided not to be king. I sort of can’t say enough about this fact. Others wanted him to be king. He refused. He also chose the reference “Mr. President” over more regal and more European titles. Washington also refused his salary of $25,000 (which must have been alot at the time) because he didn’t need it and he wanted to be more of a servant to the new, fledgling democracy. He later relented when Congress pointed out that it would dissuade others with less financial means from running for president (which is pretty laughable in this day and age).

    MYTH: Washington had wooden false teeth.

    FACT: Washington’s teeth were made of cow’s teeth, human teeth, and elephant ivory set in a lead base with springs that allowed him to open and close his mouth. They fit poorly and distorted the shape of his mouth. (This makes more sense when you see it in Disney’s animatronic Hall of Presidents).

    MYTH: Washington could not tell a lie/Chopping down a cherry tree. – I think we all know this was made up (by an early biographer, Parson Weems) who just wanted to re-iterate the fact that Washington was truthful. We get it, the dude is To-Be-Respected. Gotcha.

    About.com tells me that he is the only president not to live in Washington, DC.

    QUESTION: Ummm….Was there a Washington, DC?

    ANSWER: Kind of. Planning began in 1790. A southern site was agreed upon during a dinner between James Madison and Alexander Hamilton (at Thomas Jefferson’s place).  The site was part of a new national government’s assumption of debts from the Revolutionary War (the South had largely paid off their debts and this was a compromise for the largely industrial, more populous, bankrupt North (See: Civil War)).

    Interestingly enough, George met Martha when she was living on the ‘White House Plantation’ in 1759, when they were both 29. He proposed to her 3 weeks after they met. She was a wealthy widow, thereby increasing his estate by a third. He helped raise her two children from a previous marriage. They never had any children together.

    Washington is the only man to be unanimously elected by the electoral college. And he did it twice. (Take that, Benjaimin Harrison’s re-election team!).

    George Washington wasn’t a member of a political party. And, I read somewhere that Washington was the only founding father to free his slaves.

    • Only founding father not to attend college.
    • Patron saint of the hippie/stoner types for his allegiance to hemp.
    • Gave the shortest inauguration address at 133 words.
    • Washington freed his slaves in his will, upon the death of his wife Martha. Although Martha did not free slaves in her will.

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