Archive for August, 2010

Happy Birthday Bill Clinton!

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

William Jefferson Clinton

Today is the 64th birthday of our 42 president, William Jefferson Clinton. Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas. Clinton is a graduate of Georgetown University, Yale Law School and is a Rhodes Scholar. He is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the current United States Secretary of State. Their only child, Chelsea, was married on July 31 of this year to Marc Mezvinsky.

Clinton was elected president in 1992 beating incumbent George H.W. Bush. At the time of his election he was the third youngest man ever elected to the office. Prior to being elected president, he was Arkansas Attorney General (1976-1978) and twice elected Governor of Arkansas (1979-1981, 1983-1992).

During his the inauguration speech in 1993 Clinton said, “Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” While in office, Clinton signed the Family Medical Leave Act of 1983, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Brady Bill.

Clinton appointed two United States Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993 and Stephen Beyer in 1994.

Clinton’s job approval rating ranged from the mid 30’s to the high 60’s to a high of 73% when in 1999. His overall rating for his two terms averaged about 68% which matched those of Regan and FDR.

Since leaving office, Clinton has devoted himself to working towards humanitarian causes such as HIV/AIDS, worked with former President George H.W. Bush on the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and Bush Clinton Tusnami Fund and worked as a tireless campaigner on his wife Hillary’s senate and presidential campaigns. It was during the Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign that the Little White House had the good fortune to host the Clintons.

August 6, 1945

Friday, August 6th, 2010

65 years ago today the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan.  Named, Little Boy, the bomb was developed by the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was led by the United States along with the Great Britain and Canada under the scientific direction of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and came about due to rising fears that Nazi Germany was developing nuclear weapons.

This decision drop the bomb was made by President Harry Truman. Truman had only assumed the presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt in April. On July 26, 1945, the Postdam Declaration was issued by President Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chang Kai-Shek calling for the surrender of Japan as outline by the Potsdam Conference. The declaration stated that if Japan did not surrender, it would face “prompt and utter destruction.”  Japan ignored the ultimatum.

Truman wrote about the atomic bomb, “We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.”

Paul Tibbets, who by reputation, was considered the best flyer in the Army Air Corps was selected as the commander of the mission. On the morning of August 5, Tibbets formally named the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, after his mother. The Enola Gay was one of 15 B-29 designed specifically for the transport atomic bombs. On the morning of August 6, Tibbets and his crew of 12 took off from Tinian in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific and headed for Hiroshima. At 8:15 am (JST) the bomb was dropped. The initial blast killed 80,000 people and the final death toll has been estimated between 90,000-100,000. Today the Enola Gay is a permanent exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum.

Truman said following the attack, “”Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima…The force from which the sun draws its powers has been loosed against those who brought the war in the Far East.” He later said, “The atom bomb was no “great decision.” It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness.” Truman’s presidency is most often defined by his decision to drop the atomic bomb to end World War II that ultimately saved both Allied and Japanese lives.