Friday, April 27, 2012

AKSARBENT likes Grant

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.

Despite being a terrible judge of character who, as president of a corrupt administration, gave jobs to associates who were damn crooks, Ulysses S. Grant (personally a an honest man) was probably the most popular American of the 19th Century. The column marching in his funeral procession in New York City on August 8, 1885 was seven miles long and watched by seemingly everyone in the city.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born at Point Pleasant, Ohio, on April 27, 1822. After his death, Grant's body was placed in a temporary tomb in Riverside park while the biggest US fundraising campaign up to that time collected over $600,000 from 90,000 people around the world to construct what is still the largest tomb in North America.

When it was finished, President William McKinley and a million other Americans attended the dedication on April 27, 1897, in Morningside Heights, New York City. Each year, 100,000 people visit his tomb.

His autobiography, a favorite of historians, has NEVER been out of print. He wrote it while fatally ill with throat cancer so his wife would be provided for, as he was not wealthy. In fact he was so indifferent to money and so lousy at business that a dry goods store he invested in went broke — in San Francisco, during the Gold Rush — at a time when a shovel cost 20 bucks, or over $500 in today's dollars.

By the way, it's not true that he was a drunk. What is true is that he couldn't hold his liquor. Which is why he seldom imbibed.

And he would have looked way better in a tank top than his old boss.

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