Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

On this day in 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln and his entourage arrive at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. They do so amid secrecy and security, avoiding Baltimore where an assassination plot awaited him.

Lincoln did not want to appear cowardly but took the threat seriously, at the insistence of his wife Mary Todd.

Similarly, there is nothing cowardly about Lincoln’s thoughts on the Bible, which inspired Our t-shirt:

Abraham Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

 

George Washington Invisible hand shirt zoom

On this day in 1732, George Washington, the first President of the United States, is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Washington’s Birthday is now generally known as Presidents Day. In fact, it was the first federal holiday to honor an American president, and was originally established in 1885.

Presidents Day was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday until January 1, 1971. Then, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted it to the third Monday in February.

As a result, it can occur the 15th through the 21st inclusive, but not on Washington’s actual birthday.

Even so, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government and is although an occasion to remember all presidents.

As Our first President, and the “Father of Our Country,” Washington set many precedents for those who would follow him.

“A nation” and its “People”

Something we all would do well to remember is something Washington said in his first inaugural address:
“[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…”

Also from that address, is the quote that inspired Our George Washington “Invisible Hand” t-shirt:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.

George Washington's Birthday

Washington Monument Dedicated

On this day in 1885, the Washington Monument is formally dedicated. It was, of course, built for military and political hero, America’s first president George Washington.

Appropriately, the cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, and construction halted during the Civil War.

Then, on December 6th, 1884, a nine-inch pyramid of cast aluminum is placed atop the Washington Monument, and thus completed construction. That aluminum pyramid was the largest piece of aluminum in the world at the time it was cast.

Laus Deo

All four faces of the aluminum apex bear inscriptions in Snell Roundhand. Among them, on the east side, facing the rising sun is “Laus Deo,” which is Latin for Praise be to God. Although weather and and ill-placed lightning rod base have corroded the letters beyond legibility, the significance of the phrase endures.

Finally, in 1888 the monument opened to the public. This marble obelisk, at 555′ 5 1/8″ was the tallest structure in the world when completed. It remains today, by law, the tallest building in Washington, D.C.

A fitting monument indeed for the Father of Our Country.

Washington Monument Dedicated

John Adams White House blessing Presidents' Day

George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd is now generally known as Presidents’ Day. In fact, it was the first federal holiday to honor an American president, and was originally established in 1885.

Presidents Day was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday until January 1, 1971. Then, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted it to the third Monday in February.

As a result, it can occur the 15th through the 21st inclusive, but not on Washington’s actual birthday.

Even so, the federal government still officially recognizes Presidents’ Day as “Washington’s Birthday,” though it is certainly an occasion to remember all U.S. presidents.

“Heaven” and “this House”

John Adams, our second president, and the first to inhabit the President’s House (known as the White House since 1901),  wrote this in a letter to his beloved wife Abigail, as seen below carved in to the stone fireplace of the White House State Dining Room:

“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”

We would do well to do the same.

 

Presidents' Day

On this day in 1801, Vice President Thomas Jefferson is elected the third president of the United States. His running mate was also his opponent, as was typical for the time. That man, was the infamous Aaron Burr. A tie vote in the Electoral College and 35 indecisive ballot votes in the House of Representatives preceded Jefferson’s election.

“With all these blessings”

Thus, Thomas Jefferson shared this at his first inaugural address on March 4, 1801

“Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter — with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

 

Thomas Jefferson first Inaugural AddressThomas Jefferson inaugural address 2

Abraham Lincoln

On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Despite growing up a member of a poor family in Kentucky and Indiana, Lincoln became one of America’s most admired presidents.

“A new birth”

Regarding another form of birth, you have likely heard this quote from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

“this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln Bible

On this day in 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln leaves his home in Springfield, Illinois bound for Washington, D.C.

Unfortunately, his belongings, including his Bible, did not arrive in time for his inauguration.

So, William Thomas Carroll, the clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, provided a bible that he kept for official use, which went on to become what we know as the “Lincoln Bible,” and the design inspiration for one of Our t-shirts.

Find yours here:

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

William Henry Harrison Inauguration

On this day in 1773, the ninth President of the United States, William Henry Harrison is born in Virginia.

He was the last president born as a British subject and the first president to die in office.

In 1841, he began the shortest presidential term ever served, which lasted just 32 days.

Power and the Beneficent Creator

William Henry Harrison also has the record for the longest inaugural address. It lasted one hour and 45 minutes, on that cold, snowy morning of March 4th, 1841.

The address, though not historically revered, contains this essential truth:
“We admit of no government by divine right, believing that so far as power is concerned the Beneficent Creator has made no distinction amongst men; that all are upon an equality, and that the only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed. The Constitution of the United States is the instrument containing this grant of power to the several departments composing the Government.”

 

William Henry Harrison Inauguration

Official Portrait of President Reagan

On this day in 1911, Ronald Reagan, the 33rd Governor of California and the 40th President of the United States is born in Tampico, Illinois.

So, to recognize his birthday, here are three of Our posts featuring profound words from “The Great Communicator”:

http://ourlostfounding.com/i-owe-my-life-to-god/

http://ourlostfounding.com/if-we-ever-forget/

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

USO United Service Organizations

On this day in 1941, The United Service Organizations, the USO, is incorporated in New York, at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Those organizations were the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board.

This is their stated mission: 
“The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation.”

Lastly, though congressionally chartered, the USO is not part of the federal government. It remains a private organization that relies on generous contributions and volunteers.

USO United Service Organizations

President Ronald Reagan first inaugural address

Since 1937, Inauguration Day occurs on January 20th following a presidential election. So, here is a collection of quotes from four January 20 inaugural addresses from four different presidents:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, fourth inaugural address, 1945

As I stand here today, having taken the solemn oath of office in the presence of my fellow countrymen–in the presence of our God— I know that it is America’s purpose that we shall not fail.

The Almighty God has blessed our land in many ways. He has given our people stout hearts and strong arms with which to strike mighty blows for freedom and truth. He has given to our country a faith which has become the hope of all peoples in an anguished world.

So we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly–to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men–to the achievement of His will to peace on earth.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, first inaugural address, 1953

My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads:
Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the Executive branch of Government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race or calling.

May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.

We are summoned by this honored and historic ceremony to witness more than the act of one citizen swearing his oath of service, in the presence of God. We are called as a people to give testimony in the sight of the world to our faith that the future shall belong to the free.

In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know the full sense and meaning of these times in which we live. In our quest of understanding, we beseech God’s guidance. We summon all our knowledge of the past and we scan all signs of the future.

It is because we, all of us, hold to these principles that the political changes accomplished this day do not imply turbulence, upheaval or disorder. Rather this change expresses a purpose of strengthening our dedication and devotion to the precepts of our founding documents, a conscious renewal of faith in our country and in the watchfulness of a Divine Providence.

John F. Kennedy, 1961

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

Ronald Reagan, first inaugural address, 1981

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every 4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

[Y]ou, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.

I’m told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I’m deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inaugural Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.

[B]elieve that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.

 

Finally, even with no constitutional requirement for a Bible while taking the oath of office, the custom endures. After all, as Abraham Lincoln said “it is the best gift God has given to man.”

President Ronald Reagan first inaugural address