Thursday, December 25, 2014

Two Presidents Have Died on December 26th

This is a dangerous time of year for American Presidents.

Former President George H.W. Bush remained at a Houston hospital for a third day in a row on Christmas Day 2014, after experiencing shortness of breath earlier this week.

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–53).

Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and, prior to this, was the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974 under President Richard Nixon.

Gerald Ford died on December 26, 2006 at 6:45 PM, the latest in the calendar year a president has died. Harry Truman also died on December 26 (exactly 34 years earlier, in 1972); he died earlier in the day, at 7:47AM.

December 26, 1799, was the date for George Washington's funeral. Four thousand people attended George Washington's funeral where Henry Lee III declared him as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

Washington had died at his Mt. Vernon, Virginia home around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. (reports vary) on Saturday, December 14, 1799, aged 67. His corpse was measured and he was found to be 6 feet 3.5 inches tall.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe in 1831 and John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826 all died on July 4.

Millard Fillmore in 1874 and William Howard Taft in 1930 both died on March 8.

George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) is an American retired politician who served as the 41st President of the United States (1989–1993).

In this November 17, 2013 photograph, former President George H.W. Bush, who turned 90 in 2014, sits on the sidelines before a game between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders, in Houston, Texas.

Other notable December 26th events:

On December 26, 1811, a theater fire in Richmond, Virginia killed the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable.

On December 26, 1862, the largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Native Americans died.

On December 26, 1977, Howard Hawks, American director and screenwriter (b. 1896) died.

Louis Whitley Strieber (born June 13, 1945, San Antonio, Texas) asserts that he was abducted from his cabin in upstate New York on the evening of December 26, 1985 by non-human beings. He wrote about this experience and related experiences in Communion (1987), his first non-fiction book. Although the book is perceived generally as an account of alien abduction, Strieber draws no conclusions about the identity of alleged abductors. He refers to the beings as "the visitors," a name chosen to be as neutral as possible to entertain the possibility that they are not extraterrestrials and may instead exist in his mind.

The following Strieber books have been adapted into movies:
Wolfen (1981; Orion/Warner Bros.),
The Hunger (1983; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), and
Communion (1989; New Line Cinema).

In the Communion, Christopher Walken plays Whitley Strieber and Lindsay Crouse plays Anne Strieber. The film's score is by Eric Clapton. The movie is directed by Philippe Mora.

The Hunger is directed by Tony Scott, Ridley Scott's brother who jumped from a bridge to his death. (See "Tony Scott: Divine Sacrifice of the King.")

On December 26, 1986, Elsa Lanchester, English-American actress and singer (b. 1902) died. She is best remembered for her dual roles of Mary Shelley and the Monster's Bride, in Bride of Frankenstein (1935).


Andrew said...

December 26th is also a day of earthquakes. On this day in 2004, a 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people. Two years later, to the day, a 7.1 eq struck Taiwan.

... said...

Off topic, but goes very well with your previous post on cars being used to crash and kill, by apparent terrorists. What do you make of the recent 'accident' in the center of Glasgow, Scotland, where a garbage truck veered out of control and killed six people, some from Toronto, Canada?

The story was first reported as unexplained and a 'possible terrorist incident' before the Police statement, which went something like, "Authorities in Glasgow have said the incident was a road traffic accident, nothing more sinister." The media were wondering what could have been the cause of the deaths in the middle of the afternoon before Christmas.

Happy New Year to you Sir!