Carl M. Cannon

Author Archive

  • Aug 7, 2020
    It's Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise instructive or inspirational quotations. Today's concerns Joseph Lieberman, whom Al Gore selected as a running mate 20...
  • Aug 6, 2020
    On this date in 1945, the United States Army dropped an ordnance of unprecedented destructive power on the bustling Japanese city of Hiroshima. The atomic bomb's inventors had...
  • Aug 5, 2020
    On this date seven years ago, in a private White House ceremony, President Obama hosted a reception for Negro League players. The event was not open to the press or the public,...
  • Aug 4, 2020
    On this date 115 years ago, while on a road trip to Boston, the shorthanded Cleveland Indians signed a local kid to play infield. His name was Edward Leslie Grant. Although his...
  • Aug 3, 2020
    On this date in U.S. history, the presidency passed in the middle of the night to Calvin Coolidge as he slept in his family's Vermont farmhouse while on summer...
  • Jul 31, 2020
    It's Friday, July 31, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise instructive or inspirational quotations. Today's comes from -- who else? -- John Lewis, the man beaten mercilessly...
  • Jul 30, 2020
    COVID-19 has now officially claimed 668,000 lives worldwide, although the actual number is probably significantly higher. That's two-thirds of 1 million people we're talking about,...
  • Jul 29, 2020
    It's Wednesday, July 29, a milestone date in the history of technological advancement in the United States. On this day 106 years ago, the Cape Cod Canal opened as a...
  • Jul 28, 2020
    On this date 88 years ago, an American president superseded local authorities and unleashed the U.S. Army on protesters who'd been camped for two months in Washington. The troops...
  • Jul 27, 2020
    Twenty-four years ago today, an anonymous 911 call was received by an emergency operator in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. “There is a bomb in Centennial Park,” said...
  • Jul 24, 2020
    It's Friday, July 24, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise an instructive or inspirational quotation. Today's concerns the New York Yankees, the "Damn Yankees" to generations of...
  • Jul 23, 2020
    On this date in American history, Ulysses S. Grant died at age 63, Detroit was consumed by a 1967 race riot that would claim 43 lives, and in 1829 the U.S. Patent Office accepted...
  • Jul 22, 2020
    The weather forecaster on the local NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., did not mince words this morning. High of 96, with high humidity -- "miserably hot," he said -- and the...
  • Jul 21, 2020
    Yesterday, the Washington Nationals announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch when Major League Baseball belatedly begins its season...
  • Jul 20, 2020
    This summer, criminal justice issues have risen to the forefront of America's national political conversation. It's not the first time, and it seems to happen often in a...
  • Jul 17, 2020
    It's Friday, July 17, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise an instructive or inspirational quotation. Today's concerns Joe DiMaggio, whose amazing 56-game hitting streak ended...
  • Jul 16, 2020
    On this date in U.S. history, a Depression-era photographer working for the Farm Security Administration was loaned by the government to Fortune magazine, which had commissioned one...
  • Jul 15, 2020
    Four years ago today, Donald J. Trump chose Mike Pence as his running mate. It was hardly a seamless process, and when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee finally made...
  • Jul 14, 2020
    Around the world, this date is known as Bastille Day, and the French ambassador to the United States has a warm message for Americans: "Tous solidaires," proclaimed Philippe...
  • Jul 13, 2020
    Sixty-nine years ago today, Harry Truman signed legislation granting guest workers legal status in this country. The rationale wasn't humanitarian; it was economic. In the...
  • Jul 10, 2020
    It's Friday, July 10, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be instructive or inspirational. I wrote yesterday about U.S. presidents who died before their...
  • Jul 9, 2020
    Yesterday, I wrote about Warren G. Harding, one of eight U.S. presidents to die in office. Harding was one of the four who succumbed to natural causes. The others were William Henry...
  • Jul 8, 2020
    I've been thinking about first ladies this week. Monday was Nancy Reagan's 99th birthday and in yesterday's note I mentioned how Nancy helped Sandra Day O'Connor cope with a...
  • Jul 7, 2020
    Thirty-nine years ago today, President Reagan chose Sandra Day O'Connor to be the Supreme Court's first female justice. Although those in the right-to-life movement...
  • Jul 6, 2020
    On this date in 1945, a 21-year-old Jewish refugee named Gerda Weissmann wrote a letter to an American officer she had met two months earlier when his unit liberated...
  • Jul 3, 2020
    Good morning. It’s July 3, 2020 -- a federal holiday -- but also a Friday, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be instructive or inspirational....
  • Jul 2, 2020
    On this date in 1976, Gerald R. Ford went to the National Archives and paid homage to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which he called "the great charters of...
  • Jul 1, 2020
    On this date in 1898, Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt led the "Rough Riders," a mounted amalgamation of Western cowboys and Eastern bluebloods, to victory over Spanish defenders at San...
  • Jun 30, 2020
    On this date in 1918, a small British passenger ship that had been converted to a wartime cargo vessel was finally allowed to dock at its destination port of Philadelphia....
  • Jun 29, 2020
    Fifteen years ago today, George W. Bush uncorked one of his frequent malapropisms. Discussing his upcoming trip to Denmark, the president told a prominent Danish broadcast...
  • Jun 26, 2020
    It's Friday, June 26, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be instructive or inspirational. Today's, which comes from Rahm Emanuel, is both. I first met...
  • Jun 25, 2020
    Seventy years ago today, Harry Truman's hopes for a relaxing weekend at his home in Independence, Mo., were dashed by events halfway around the world. The 33rd U.S. president...
  • Jun 24, 2020
    One hundred and fifty-six years ago today, Union troops under the overall command of Ulysses S. Grant engaged Robert E. Lee's Confederates in the last battle of Grant's grueling...
  • Jun 23, 2020
    It's Tuesday, June 23, 2020, the third day of summer -- the summer of national discontent. John Steinbeck, a native of Salinas, Calif., usually wrote about life on the West Coast....
  • Jun 22, 2020
    I hope you had a good Father's Day weekend. If you're unfamiliar with the origins of the observance, you might suspect it's an idea that was hatched in Kansas City by the folks at...
  • Jun 19, 2020
    It's Friday, June 19, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be instructive or inspirational. Today's concerns Juneteenth, a date celebrating freedom --...
  • Jun 18, 2020
    On this date in 1983, Sally K. Ride, the astronaut with the dime novel name, made history aboard the space shuttle Challenger as it circled the Earth. This was second mission for...
  • Jun 17, 2020
    Forty-eight years ago today, five shadowy operators, one of whom told police he once worked for the CIA, were arrested for burglary at a Washington apartment and hotel complex known...
  • Jun 16, 2020
    On this date in 1858, a former one-term congressman from Illinois delivered one of the most momentous political orations in American history. "A house divided against itself cannot...
  • Jun 15, 2020
    Yesterday was Flag Day, an annual remembrance that fell this year at a time when Old Glory is sorely stressed. Or, rather, our feelings about the American flag are being tested,...
  • Jun 12, 2020
    It's Friday, June 12, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise quotes intended to be instructive or inspirational. Today's come from both members of the losing Republican ticket in...
  • Jun 11, 2020
    Didn't HBO pick an odd day to go all Taliban on us by removing "Gone With the Wind" from its platform? Yesterday, you see, was Hattie McDaniel's birthday. I've previously written in...
  • Jun 10, 2020
    On this day in 1928, Sadie and Philip Sendak, Polish émigrés living in Brooklyn, welcomed their third child into the world. Maurice Sendak would later report that...
  • Jun 9, 2020
    If this year reminds you of 1968, you are not alone. Yesterday, a friend of mine who was just a little kid that year used social media to highlight the soothing and...
  • Jun 8, 2020
    Over the weekend five years ago, a vice president's son was laid to rest in the cemetery of his home parish, St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Greenville, Del. Although Joseph...
  • Jun 5, 2020
    Good morning. It's Friday, June 5, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be instructive or inspirational. Today's was originally going to be from James...
  • Jun 4, 2020
    On this date in 1863 Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton regarding the thorny problem of a free press generally, and an irascible newspaper editor...
  • Jun 3, 2020
    Eighty-seven years ago today, Jack and Irene Cannon welcomed their first son into the world. They lived in New York City, although they would soon move to Nevada. Even though it was...
  • Jun 2, 2020
    Yesterday evening, Donald Trump pronounced himself "your president of law and order," which apparently means he wants to be a president known as uncompromising with violent or...
  • Jun 1, 2020
    Good morning, it's June 1, 2020, a Monday morning perhaps like no other in the history of our republic. A hundred cities waking up to broken glass on the sidewalks, burned-out...
  • May 29, 2020
    It's Friday, May 29, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be instructive or inspirational. Today's comes from John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th U.S....
  • May 28, 2020
    Yesterday I wrote about the lovely letters written 76 years ago this week by U.S. Army Cpl. Frank Elliott to his wife, Pauline, in the hours leading up to D-Day. While keeping watch...
  • May 27, 2020
    Seventy-six years ago today, a 24-year-old U.S. soldier far from home wrote a letter to his wife, Pauline, who was back in New Castle, Pa. His name was Frank M. Elliott and he...
  • May 26, 2020
    On this date in 1864, the U.S. president who described America as the "last, best hope of Earth," took a respite from his duties as wartime commander-in-chief to sign legislation...
  • May 25, 2020
    On a day America mourns her war dead -- and honors the military service of those who answered their country's call -- we are coping with the casualties in another kind of conflict,...
  • May 22, 2020
    His name was John S. Carroll and he was old school all the way. I mean that in the best sense of the word. John believed that journalists, out of fealty to their craft and respect...
  • May 21, 2020
    On this date in 1901, the state of Connecticut passed the first speed limits for motor vehicles. This was an incremental step, or so it seemed at the time, as the concept of...
  • May 20, 2020
    On this date 158 years ago, a wartime U.S. president signed legislation that was of interest to the men under his command. The statute was the Homestead Act of 1862. Designed to...
  • May 19, 2020
    Forty-seven years ago today, the Preakness Stakes record was broken at Pimlico by a colt known affectionately by his handlers and fans as "Big Red." Secretariat's smashing victory...
  • May 18, 2020
    This year, graduation rituals at most colleges have been cancelled, postponed, or relegated to online ceremonies. It's a loss. Commencement speakers are like political conventions...
  • May 15, 2020
    Except maybe at Kentucky Derby time, which was postponed this year, thoroughbred horse racing is passé among most Americans these days. This was true before the...
  • May 14, 2020
    When the United States entered the First World War, a young New Yorker named Henry Johnson was one of those who answered the call. Just 5-foot-4 and 130 pounds, Johnson was small in...
  • May 13, 2020
    Eighty years ago today, in her darkest hour, Great Britain turned to Winston Churchill as her leader. Hitler's invasion of Poland eight months earlier had revealed the...
  • May 12, 2020
    On this date in 1883, Boston publishing house James R. Osgood and Co. issued a new work, "Life on the Mississippi." Written by a familiar author, this book contained more than 300...
  • May 11, 2020
    Good morning, it's Monday, May 11, 2020. Yesterday was a glorious day on the East Coast, and Americans who've been in lockdown for nearly two months flocked out into the sunshine....
  • May 8, 2020
    It's Friday, May 8, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be educational or evocative. Today there was no shortage of candidates, as this is the...
  • May 7, 2020
    Sixteen years ago this week, NBC aired the final episode of "Friends" to a national audience estimated at 52.5 million. I was thinking of that television sitcom recently while...
  • May 6, 2020
    This is Willie Mays' birthday. Yes, the "Say Hey" Kid turns 89 today. During the current lockdown, everybody has things they miss, maybe activities they once took for granted: going...
  • May 5, 2020
    Today is Cinco de Mayo, one of the holidays I cherish most, albeit an unlikely cause for celebration in the United States. For one thing, it honors an obscure battle between...
  • May 4, 2020
    Fifty years ago today, the number of Americans killed in Vietnam had surpassed 50,000. Most of those who gave their last full measure of devotion were in their 20s; almost...
  • May 1, 2020
    It's Friday, May 1, 2020, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation intended to be educational or evocative. Today's comes from Stewart Udall, a scion of the dynastic Arizona...
  • Apr 30, 2020
    It was April 30 in 1789 when George Washington took the inaugural oath as the first president of this -- or any other -- country. "In our progress toward political happiness my...
  • Apr 29, 2020
    No American is alive today who attended the St. Louis World's Fair, which opened this month in 1904, but those who were there never forgot it. Spread across two square miles and...
  • Apr 28, 2020
    The United States is closing in on 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases. As I write these words, the death toll in America has surpassed 56,000. That is a lot of people, but even...
  • Apr 27, 2020
    Today is the birthday of Ulysses S. Grant, born 198 years ago on this date in Point Pleasant, Ohio. His life and career are an inspiration, both for college-age people and young...
  • Apr 24, 2020
    At his daily White House coronavirus briefing/2020 campaign rally earlier this week, President Trump induced much merriment among the assembled scribes by proclaiming with a...
  • Apr 23, 2020
    April is National Poetry Month. Perhaps you already knew that, but it might surprise you to learn how many U.S. presidents penned poems of their own. Also, many presidents who...
  • Apr 22, 2020
    Good morning, it's Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Even ardent environmentalists couldn't have foreseen how we're experiencing the iconic day this...
  • Apr 21, 2020
    On this date in 1861, 27-year-old Asa Melvin, a Concord farmer, was just getting to know his new comrades in Company K of the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. The oldest of...
  • Apr 20, 2020
    On this date in 1875, centennial festivities in New England had concluded, President Grant had returned to Washington, and residents of Concord, Mass., took pride in a new statue...
  • Apr 17, 2020
    After the Bay of Pigs fiasco in April 1961, John F. Kennedy's third month in office, the president reluctantly accepted the blame by noting, "There's an old saying that victory has...
  • Apr 16, 2020
    Yesterday, while writing about the doomed ship Titanic, I mentioned the White Star Line's early-20th-century competition with Cunard Line. Competition is usually good in business,...
  • Apr 15, 2020
    Americans didn't always have to pay income taxes, you know. It took a constitutional amendment to even make it legal. As the 16th Amendment slowly wended its way through the...
  • Apr 14, 2020
    Today, Ford's Theatre is quiet -- as are the famous stages on Broadway and elsewhere in the country. The place was buzzing on April 14, 1865, however. The featured play that evening...
  • Apr 13, 2020
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt had planned to deliver a radio address on April 13, 1945, from his curative getaway in Warm Springs, Ga. On that date two years earlier, Roosevelt...
  • Apr 10, 2020
    At Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas, Mark Hamilton lettered in soccer as well as in baseball. Baseball America magazine put him on its national all-star team and in 2002 he...
  • Apr 9, 2020
    More than 3,800 Americans have died in the last two days from the coronavirus that has shut down America. That's more than the number of killed and wounded on 9/11 or at Pearl...
  • Apr 8, 2020
    Today the RealClear family of sites welcomes a new member, one focused on a topic receiving scant attention in our schools and society at large: American Civics. I kick things...
  • Apr 7, 2020
    Long before "Hamilton," there was "South Pacific," which opened on Broadway 71 years ago today. I've written about this musical before, but it seems appropriate to do so again this...
  • Apr 6, 2020
    In an alternative universe, which is to say, the normal reality that we've enjoyed for the past 80 years, the NCAA would crown its men's basketball champion tonight. This year,...
  • Apr 3, 2020
    Mason Temple in Memphis was packed with listeners on this date in 1968. They had come to hear Martin Luther King preach. King had come in support of the city's striking sanitation...
  • Apr 2, 2020
    On this date in history, Albert Einstein came to the United States for the first time. The famed scientist has been on my mind lately as the pandemic has hardened the partisan...
  • Apr 1, 2020
    Today's history lesson is about coping with loss, although it was loss on a human scale, which is to say a sad, but manageable, scale. I've written about it before in this space,...
  • Mar 31, 2020
    On this date in 1938, Ernest Hemingway returned to Barcelona for the third time during the bloody civil war between Gen. Francisco Franco's right-wing rebels and Spain's leftist...
  • Mar 30, 2020
    On Friday, I wrote about heroism. I’ll continue in that vein this morning by highlighting the actions of an American president -- and his primary political adversary -- during...
  • Mar 27, 2020
    In wartime, and that's what this feels like, sentient citizens find themselves contemplating the true meaning of courage and its first cousin, heroism. Politicians aren't always the...
  • Mar 26, 2020
    On March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas E. Salk announced on CBS radio that he had developed a vaccine for the scourge of polio. It was an electrifying moment in American science, and it...
  • Mar 25, 2020
    One would be foolish to minimize the threat of this pandemic. And still, an event that took place 63 years ago today reminds us what we risk when government plays too intrusive a...
  • Mar 24, 2020
    Yesterday, I wrote at length about the life and times of reporter and author Randy Shilts during the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic. I was thinking about Randy because it was...
  • Mar 23, 2020
    Thirty-seven years ago today, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a bracing story based on a study done by two local medical researchers, Dr. Andrew R. Moss of San Francisco General...
  • Mar 20, 2020
    Yesterday, a friend and I were commiserating (digitally, of course) about the uncertainty -- and, in some places, misery -- of the virus pandemic sweeping the world. He quoted one...
  • Mar 19, 2020
    On this date in 1993, two months after Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House, Hillary’s father suffered a stroke. Hugh Rodham died less than three weeks later,...
  • Mar 18, 2020
    It seems so long ago, but a large and unruly roster of candidates assembled themselves at the outset of this campaign, a field that included four female members of the U.S. Senate....
  • Mar 17, 2020
    The big St. Patrick’s Day parades were canceled in Europe as well as the United States. Ireland’s prime minister cut short his annual American trip, avoiding New York...