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Ironies, Anachronisms, Eponyms, and 
Crystallized Words:

CATEGORY:  Ordinary ironies.

Semicentennial Conicidence.
	John Adams and Thomas Jefferson worked closely and arduously to 
persuade the Continental Congress to declare independence.  Adams was more 
the impatient agitator and Jefferson more the deliberating philosopher, but this 
may have less to do with their natures than with the cultural differences between 
New England and Virginia.  Among others, they are credited with being critical 
forces in the critical drama which played out that hot Summer in Philadelphia; 
arguably, the result might have been quite different had not spent so much time 
together in the building which later came to be known as Independence Hall.
	July 4th, 1776 is the recognized date of the Declaration of Independence.  
A large bell, later dubbed the Liberty Bell, was rung in celebration and rung 
again on every anniversary thereafter, for several decades.  (For a year or so 
during the Revolutionary War, the bell was hidden in Allentown while the British 
occupied Philadelphia.  See below for more ironies regarding this bell.)
	John Adams and Thomas Jefferson later were political opponents and 
philosophical antagonists, and became bitter and hostile toward one another in 
later years.  During his final illness, Adams asked repeatedly whether his rival 
Jefferson, who also lay dying, had yet predeceased him.  Both died on exactly 
the same day.  The date was July 4th.  Adams' last words were, "Is it the 4th?"
	The year was 1826:  exactly one half century, to the day, after the official 
creation of the republic which would not have been likely without their joint 
	[Probability = ????]

Longevity of the Adams family (and others).
	Given John Adams' preoccupation with survival over his rival, it is 
interesting to note that he still holds the record as the longest-lived President.  
He was nearly 91.  Only Hoover lived beyond 90.  Truman lived to 88, Madison 
to 85, and Nixon to ??.  Jefferson was 83.  Aside from these, only his son John 
Quincy Adams died in his 80s.  
	Ex-President Reagan, born in 1911, turned 80 in 1991.  Gerald Ford was 
born in the same year as Richard Nixon (1913).  Jimmy Carter was born in the 
same year as George Bush (1924).
	Washington, of course, was the only President to die in the same century 
as the Revolutionary War he won, and which made possible his Presidency.
	Only Lincoln had five past Presidents alive at the time of his inauguration.

Longevity of Vice Presidents and of Presidential candidates.
	Both of Madison's Vice Presidents died in office.  In the first term, George 
Clinton, who had also served as Vice President under Thomas Jefferson, died in 
1812 at the age of 72.
	The party choice for Vice President for the 1812 election was Senator 
Langdon of New Hampshire, but he declined because of age (71).  Elbridge 
Gerry, who was then chosen, died in 1814 at the age of 70.  He was the only VP 
ever buried in the District of Columbia.  Langdon lived on until 1819.
	Earlier, Gerry, as governor of Massachussets, had reluctantly signed a 
redistricting bill which lumped most of the Federalist voters into one or two 
Congressional districts.  The famous oil painter, Gilbert Stuart, added a few lines 
that made the map resemble a salamander.  As a result, Elbridge Gerry became 
the eponym of the coined word "gerrymander".
	"His superfluous excellency

"Proclaim Liberty throughout the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof"

Presidential Dynasties
	The last President born before the Declaration of Independence was the 
son of one of the signers of that document.  He was the only President whose 
grandson also became President.  His name was William Henry Harrison.  His 
father and his grandson were both named Benjamin Harrison.
	The only other President whose father signed the Declaration of 
Independence was John Quincy Adams, the son of another President.  These 
are the only two cases where a President was directly descended from another.

Presidential Jinx (Zerophobia)
	William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, was the first President to die in 
office.  The next President elected in a year ending in zero, Abraham Lincoln, 
was the first President ever assasinated.  Since then, every President elected in 
year ending in zero has died in office and/or been shot.  In this century, each of 
their Vice Presidents was later elected President.
	Here is the record:
Died and/or shot

W. Harrison
Died of pneumonia

A. Lincoln
Shot to death

J. Garfield
Shot to death

W. McKinley
Shot to death

W. Harding
Died of pneumonia (Possible 

F. D. Roosevelt
Died, natural causes

J. F. Kennedy
Shot to death

R. Reagan
Shot, non-fatally

	Who wants to run in the year 2000?

Presidential Terms, the long and short of it.
	William Henry Harrison had the shortest Presidential term on record.  He 
caught cold at his inauguration (after riding to the Capitol on a white horse, 
refusing to wear a hat or overcoat, and giving the longest speech on record), 
and died ++++ 31 days later.
	A President is elected to four-year term.  Normally, this means that the 
term of office is 1461 days.  However, five Presidents were elected to terms 
shorter than 1461 days.
	George Washington's first term began late, for various reasons as the 
new Constitution was being implemented.  He was inaugurated on April 30th, 
1789, for a term that ended on March 4th, 1793.  His second term was of normal 
length, but his successor, John Adams, served a term of only 1460 days 
because the year 1800 was not a leap year.  William McKinley did not survive 
his term of office, which was also a day short, because 1900 was not a leap 
year.  Since the year 2000 is a leap year, this is not expected to happen again 
until 2100.
	The "Lame Duck" Amendment (???) shortened FDR's third??? term by 
??? days, when inauguration day was moved up from March 4th to January 20th.
	The above, of course, refers to elected terms.  Not all those elected 
served out their full term.  

President Atchison <

This pre-publication draft is Copyrighted by Bruce A. Martin/ABCD unlimited.
All rights reserved!

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