Archive for January, 2009

First. . .Ladies

Last March during a visit to the Reagan Presidential Library I picked up sets of Presidential/FLOTUS paper dolls. The dolls remained in their books until a few days ago. After cutting out the Ladies in my FLOTUS paper doll set, and after accidentally decapitating Mrs. Carter, I noticed that Mamie Eisenhower was much shorter than all the other First Ladies, who were all relatively the same height. So I went to the Google to see how accurate the height disparity was. I found out that while Wikipedia has a page of Presidents and Presidential candidates ranked by height and a list of First Ladies ranked by longevity, it lacks a page on how tall each FLOTUS was, which is totally sexist. I know the height thing is to compare which presidential candidate is taller and see if height is a factor in who wins. Someday I’ll make a chart comparing each potential FLOTUS by height and see what meaningless result I can get.

The majority of the heights I found here. Thanks to Alfie for Betty Ford’s height, Busster for Michelle Obama’s height, and awesome researchers from Truman Library and McKinley Museum for Bess Truman and Ida McKinley’s heights.

UPDATE: A few weeks ago I was reading an issue of Life Magazine on books.google.com that had an article about the Kennedys campaigning in Michigan. Reporters asked Mrs. Kennedy several questions including how tall she was. She said 5’7″, the same number she told Vogue Magazine. I emailed Firstladies.org which lists her height at 5’8″. They referred me to the Kennedy Library. The Kennedy Library said they split the difference and listed it as 5’7 1/2″.

  • Martha Washington – Less than 5′
  • Abigail Adams – 5’1″
  • Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
  • Dolley Madison – 5′ 6 1/2″
  • Elizabeth Kortright Monroe – About 5′
  • Louisa Catherine Adams – 5′ 6″
  • Rachel Robards Jackson 
  • Hannah Hoes Van Buren
  • Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison
  • Letitia Christian Tyler/Julia Gardiner Tyler – 5’3″
  • Sarah Childress Polk
  • Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor
  • Abigail Powers Fillmore – 5’6″
  • Jane M. Pierce – 5’4″ or 5’5″
  • Harriet Lane
  • Mary Todd – 5’2″
  • Eliza McCardle Johnson
  • Julia Dent Grant
  • Lucy Webb Hayes – 5’4″
  • Lucretia Rudolph Garfield
  • Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur
  • Frances Folsom Cleveland – 5’7″-5’8″
  • Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison – 5’1″
  • Ida Saxton McKinley – 5′ 5 3/4″
  • Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt – 5’7″
  • Helen Herron Taft5’7″
  • Ellen Axson Wilson -5’3″/Edith Bolling Galt Wilson -5’9″
  • Florence Kling Harding -5’6″- 5’7″
  • Grace Goodhue Coolidge 5’5″
  • Lou Henry Hoover – 5’8″
  • Eleanor Roosevelt – 5’11”
  • Bess Wallace Truman – 5’3″
  • Mamie Doud Eisenhower – 5’1″
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – 5’7 1/2″
  • Lady Bird Johnson – 5′ 6″
  • Pat Nixon – 5’5″
  • Betty Ford – 5’5.5″
  • Rosalynn Carter – 5’5″
  • Nancy Reagan – 5’4″
  • Barbara Bush
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton – 5’4″ or 5′ 6″
  • Laura Bush – 5’4″ or 5’6″
  • Michelle Obama -5′ 11″


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Inspired by qbqrat’s presidential quiz, I decided to make a quiz about vice presidential trivia.

  1. Which three Vice Presidents have been Nobel Peace Prize winners? Al Gore-Srah Two more
  2. Which VP lobbied for his state’s official flower to be the prickly pear cactus?
  3. What song accompanies the entrance of a VP? Hail Columbia-Alfie
  4. Which Vice Presidents were never elected to the office? Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller-Srah, Alfie
  5. Which VP has his own Parliament? George Clinton-Srah
  6. Which Vice President shot a guy in the face? Dick Cheney-Srah
  7. Name all the living former Vice Presidents. Cheney, Gore, Quayle, Bush, MondaleSrah
  8. Which Vice Presidents served under more than two Presidents? George Clinton and John C. Calhoun-Srah
  9. Which VP was an Eagle Scout? Gerald Ford-Alfie
  10. Which alliteratively named VPs hailed from Maine and Minnesota? Hubert Humphrey-Srah One more
  11. Who were the two lady candidates for the office of VP? Geraldine Ferraro, S**** P****Srah, Alfie
  12. Which VP used a fast food chain’s slogan during a presidential bid?
  13. Which VP once stated “A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls”? Dan Quayle-Srah
  14. Which Vice President became the namesake for “dividing (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections.”?
    Elbridge Gerry-Srah
  15. How awesome is failed VP candidate Theodore Frelinghuysen’s campaign poster? Wicked awesome-Srah

Srah: 10 points
Alfie: 5 points (bonus point for Eleanor Roosevelt’s height)

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Books Read in 2009

Best/favorites in bold

  1. 1960 LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidents by David Pietrusza
  2. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
  3. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  4. Radio On by Sarah Vowell
  5. Fraud by David Rakoff
  6. Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell
  7. 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry by Andrew Bridgeford
  8. The European Superpower by John McCormick
  9. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
  10. America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation by Kenneth Davis
  11. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
  12. Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
  13. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
  14. The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs
  15. Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
  16. Nancy: A Portrait of My Years with Nancy Reagan by Michael Deaver
  17. Who Let the Dogs In? by Molly Ivins
  18. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt
  19. Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public by Helen Thomas
  20. Blind Ambition by John Dean
  21. Toast by Nigel Slater
  22. Alternate Kennedys edited by Mike Resnik
  23. “Mo”: A Woman’s View of Watergate by Maureen Dean
  24. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter
  25. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  26. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  27. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  28. The John F. Kennedy Handbook by Gareth Jenkins
  29. Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol
  30. Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella
  31. A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books by Alex Beam
  32. Twisted Head: An Italian-American Memoir by Carl Capotorto
  33. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  34. The Golden Age of Advertising: The 60s edited by Jim Heilmann
  35. Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
  36. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
  37. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  38. French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew by Peter Mayle
  39. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  40. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
  41. Hunger by Knut Hansum
  42. The Know-it-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs
  43. Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
  44. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  45. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  46. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  47. The Adventures of Sally by P.G. Wodehouse
  48. Pounding the Pavement by Jennifer van der Kwast
  49. Call of the Mall by Paco Underhill
  50. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
  51. Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art out of Desperate Times by Susan Quinn
  52. The Clicking of Cuthbert by P. G. Wodehouse
  53. Kissinger: the Secret Side of the Secretary of State by Gary Allen
  54. Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
  55. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  56. Betty: A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford with Chris Chase
  57. The Lees of Happiness by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  58. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
  59. Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith Gelles
  60. The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson
  61. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  62. The Icing on the Cake by Elodia Strain
  63. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  64. Ted Kennedy: Scenes from an Epic Life by the writers and editors of the Boston Globe
  65. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
  66. Mr. Abernathy by Tony Delgrosso
  67. Set Your Compass True: The Wisdom of John, Robert and Edward Kennedy-Reflections on leading an inspired life compiled by Signe Bergstrom
  68. The Power of the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush by Brian McCall
  69. Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order by Robert Kagan
  70. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
  71. Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
  72. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
  73. Comfort me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl
  74. Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as a Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker and Apprentice to a Dante Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
  75. Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died by Edward Klein
  76. Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business by Dolly Parton
  77. Bridget Jone’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  78. All the President’s Pastries: 25 Years in the White House by Roland Mesnier
  79. Pat Nixon: The Untold Story by Julie Nixon Eisenhower
  80. Monica’s Story by Andrew Morton
  81. Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, Health Inspected cartoons 1978-2006 by Roz Chast
  82. The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purposes by Laura Fredricks
  83. Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules edited by David Sedaris
  84. Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective by Thomas Buechner
  85. Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  86. Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
  87. The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled by Vincent Bzdek
  88. Grover Cleveland by Henry Graff
  89. A Little Bit Wicked: Live, Love and Faith in Stages by Kristin Chenowith with Joni Rodgers
  90. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi
  91. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
  92. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  93. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
  94. Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot
  95. God Said, “Ha!” by Julia Sweeney
  96. American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs by Priscilla Harris Dalrymple
  97. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
  98. The Beast of Chicago: the Murderous Career of H.H. Holmes by Rick Geary
  99. Bachelors Anonymous by P.G. Woodhouse
  100. The Art of Tying the Cravat: Demonstrated in Sixteen Lessons, Including Thirty-Two Different Styles; Forming A Pocket Manual; and Exemplifying the advantages arising from an elegant arrangement of this important part of the Costume; Preceded by A History of the Cravat, From its Origin to the Present Time; and Remarks on its influence on Society in general by H. LeBlanc Esq.
  101. Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography by Andrew Helfer
  102. Barrel Fever and Other Stories by David Sedaris
  103. Wigfield: The Can Do Town That Just May Not by Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert
  104. Abraham Lincoln: The Life of America’s 16th President by Gary Jeffrey and Kate Perry
  105. I like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris
  106. Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster
  107. Americanism in Religion by Theodore Roosevelt
  108. The Life and Public Service of General Zachary Taylor by Abraham Lincoln
  109. True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy
  110. The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  111. Clueless by H.B. Gilmour and Amy Heckerling
  112. Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters by Nancy Pelosi
  113. The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft edited by Edward Steers and Harold Holzer
  114. Flashback: Twenty-Five Years of Doonesbury by G.B. Trudeau
  115. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
  116. Sweet and Low by Rich Cohen
  117. Much Obliged, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  118. America (the Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by the Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  119. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  120. A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald Ford by Gerald Ford
  121. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Robert Kennedy
  122. Uncommon Grace: Reminiscences and Photographs of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy by J.C. Suares and J. Spencer Beck
  123. Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonelo
  124. Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations by Al Franken
  125. Ladybird: A Comprehensive Biography of Mrs. Johnson by Jan Russell
  126. Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose
  127. In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House by Letitia Baldridge and Rene Verdon
  128. Happy Birthday or Whatever: Track Suits, Kim Chee, and Other Family Disasters by Annie Choi
  129. Naked by David Sedaris
  130. On With The Wind: Martha Mitchell Speaks (additional dialogue by John Mitchell)
  131. Summer Crossing by Truman Capote
  132. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  133. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless by Susan Gilman
  134. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  135. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  136. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken
  137. Shopaholic Takes Manhatten by Sophie Kinsella
  138. Bertie Wooster Sees it Through by P.G. Wodehouse
  139. Michelle Style: Celebrating the First Lady of Fashion by Mandi Norwood
  140. Election by Tom Perrotta
  141. What is the State of Human Rights? edited by Tom Head
  142. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  143. A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style by Tim Gunn with Kate Maloney
  144. Words That Set Us Free: A Documentary History and Chronology of America’s Struggle for Equal Justice and Civil Rights by editors of the World Almanac
  145. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
  146. Don’t Eat this Book by Morgan Spurlock
  147. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  148. George H. W. Bush by Timothy Naftali
  149. The Truth (with Jokes) by Al Franken
  150. Barack Obama: In His Own Words edited by Lisa Rogak
  151. George Herbert Walker Bush by Tom Wicker
  152. Andrew Jackson by Sean Wilentz
  153. I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello and Allison Silverman
  154. Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Dining for One and Eating Alone edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler
  155. James K. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter Borneman
  156. Chester A. Arthur by Zachary Karabell
  157. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  158. The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews by James Reston Jr.
  159. The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
  160. The Associate by John Grisham
  161. House of Plenty: The Rise, Fall, and Revival of Luby’s Cafeterias by Carol Dawson and Carol Johnston
  162. Blandings Castle by P.G. Wodehouse
  163. Save the Deli: In Search of the Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen by David Sax
  164. Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles, and Scrawls from the Oval Office by David Greenberg
  165. The True History of Chocolate by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe
  166. Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo
  167. I was told there’d be cake by Sloane Crosley
  168. Yeah, I said it by Wanda Sykes
  169. The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A.J. Jacobs
  170. Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
  171. Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy by the writers of the Boston Globe
  172. Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell
  173. Michelle Obama: the First Lady in Photographs by Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard
  174. Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert Hazen and James Trefil
  175. I am the New Black by Tracy Morgan with Anthony Bozza
  176. Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids’ Letters to President Obama edited by Jory John
  177. Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet
  178. I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech by Ralph Keyes
  179. Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser
  180. Who Owns History?: Rethinking the Past in a Changing World by Eric Foner
  181. In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect by Ronald Kessler
  182. Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats by Steve Ettlinger
  183. Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

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