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"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change."
– Leon C. Megginson  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 4 April 2020  

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Michelle Barrette

  
  By Michelle Barrette
  Publisher

   President’s Day is Feb. 17. There is a very slight chance that the current president could be mourning that day. I doubt it. It’s more like Democrats will be mourning the day if this impeachment trial doesn’t go their way. Regardless, on this day, I can actually visualize our Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves, yelling “what the heck is going on?” I’m talking about how divisive this country has become.
   
   I don’t know where we go in the future; but, from the past, here is some fun President’s Day trivia.
   
   George Washington owned a profitable whiskey distillery. In1799, the distillery used five stills and a boiler and produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey. With sales of $7,500 that year, it was perhaps the country’s largest distillery.
   
   James Madison held the first Inaugural Ball. Although there was a ball in 1789 to honor the election of George Washington, the first official inaugural ball occurred in 1809, when Madison took office. Dolley Madison hosted a gala at Long’s Hotel that evening. The price of admission was $4 a ticket. Four hundred tickets were sold, and the Inaugural Ball became a Washington tradition.
   
   Gerald Ford was a fashion model in his youth — he was on the cover of Cosmopolitan. I would not have believed this one, but all of this trivia is from Smithsonian Magazine.
   
   Ford’s first love was a fashion model named Phyllis Brown, who persuaded Ford to invest in a modeling agency. Together they appeared in a ski resort spread for Look magazine (1940) and on a cover of Cosmopolitan (1942).
   
   Abraham Lincoln attended séances at the White House.
   
   Lincoln’s wife, Mary Lincoln, became interested in séances after their young son Willie died in 1862. At the White House, she engaged mediums, who conducted “spirit circles” where those who attended could communicate with their deceased loved ones. Abe participated in a few of these seances.
   
   Perhaps they should bring back those “seances” to the White House now. It might change things for the better!
   
   John Tyler had 15 children. He had eight children with his first wife, Letitia. After she died, the 54-year-old president married 24-year-old Julia Gardiner, with whom he had seven more children.
   
   The above has nothing to do with our area, but the national stage is out front at this time — and who needs fun stuff? We do. No matter your side of the political scene, it is a stressful time in this country. The NFH won’t be addressing the national scene on a regular basis, but we cannot ignore it. Everything we do as a nation affects us as a community.
   
   Happy Valentine’s Day!
   
   See you in March!
   
   - Michelle
  
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