President’s Day: JFK’s One Semester In Tigertown

jfktiger

From John F. Kennedy’s one semester at Princeton in the fall of 1935. He would eventually graduate from Harvard.

Head over here for a short write-up on an exhibit held at Princeton in 2011. — CC

29 Comments on "President’s Day: JFK’s One Semester In Tigertown"

  1. Unrelated

    I just found out what Pitti Uomo is. WTF?

    Will

  2. Henry Contestwinner | February 15, 2016 at 11:16 pm |

    There is no such holiday as “President’s Day.” The name of the Federal holiday is “George Washington’s Birthday.” Yes, I know, everyone calls it “Presidents’ Day” (who cares where the apostrophe is), especially those trying to sell you stuff on sale, but it is George Washington, the Father of His Country, who should be honored. Not only were a lot of presidents not worthy of a national holiday, but by calling it “President’s Day,” we deny Washington the honor and recognition that he so richly deserves.

    Regardless of what one thinks of his politics, JFK was a man of low character. Washington, a man of principles, a man to whom honor and reputation were paramount, would probably have refused to associate with JFK, once he knew that JFK was a womanizer.

  3. @Henry,
    Could you provide details about how Washington was a man of honor and principles?

  4. Go to bed Henry C. You’ve had too much to drink!

  5. Wasn’t Washington a president? Presidents’ Day covers George.

    Kennedy a person of low character? Poppycock. He kept us out of a nuclear engagement with Russia and stopped them from setting up missiles in Cuba. He was a champion for civil rights and voting rights, started the Apollo moon mission, appointed blacks to key government offices, ran the airlift into West Berlin after the Berlin Wall went up, and started the Peace Corps, among other things. My oh my, such a low character.

  6. Ward Wickers,

    Hear! Hear!

    JFK-bashing is old hat. Time to focus on all the good he did.

  7. Boston Dandy | February 16, 2016 at 8:33 am |

    Sorry Henry
    Washington was a man who knew slavery was wrong but who owned slaves. I won’t deny him his historical due, but he didn’t have any high-principles worth celebrating.

  8. @Boston Dandy

    Nice of you not to deny Washington his historical due. Where did you attend school?

    Will

  9. Boston Dandy | February 16, 2016 at 9:52 am |

    I went to Perfectly Idiomatic State College. Would you like to see the pennant?

  10. So many people know so many things that are not so. I’ll take you with a grain of salt. See what I did there?

    Cheers,

    Will

  11. Depending on your perspective, you could say that George Washington was an opportunistic traitor to the Crown, at a time when most Americans also considered themselves to be Englishmen , and who helped to ferment and execute the first American “Civil War”.

    But that might be rude….

    Interesting though

  12. Henry Contestwinner | February 16, 2016 at 11:25 am |

    Forazem,

    I could not begin to answer your question here. Fortunately, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of books on him, and I’m certain that your local library has several of them.

    Ward,

    You seem to have missed the point. It’s Washington’s birthday, so he is the one to be honored. Including all presidents on his birthday makes as much sense as celebrating all countries’ independence on July 4th. I suppose that at the Wickers house, you celebrate the births of Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, as well as that of Jesus on Christmas.

    You also seem to be missing the point on character. Lots of men who cheat on their wives also make significant achievements, but those achievements are not the issue: it’s their character and morality. A man who cheats on his wife betrays her, breaks a sacred vow, and shows himself untrustworthy. He also shows he cannot control his impulses, which can have serious consequences in other aspects of his life (see the link). If the news media had done their job and reported on his serial womanizing, which started when he was in high school, perhaps he would never would have been elected. (Unlike many of us, most of our ancestors understood that adultery is a serious character flaw.)

    Boston Dandy,

    Yes, he knew slavery was wrong, but the vast majority of the Washington slaves were his wife’s, and so he had no control over them. He did manumit his slaves upon his death. However, to think that his slaveowning somehow means he had no high principles shows a complete ignorance of the man, along with your modernist PC “credentials.” Maybe you should join Forazem at the library.

    Dutch Uncle,

    Stating facts about JFK is not “bashing” him. Since JFK is one of the saints of the leftist pantheon, it seems we hardly ever hear of his shortcomings. I think we should have a balanced view of historical figures, honoring them for their achievements while acknowledging their shortcomings.

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/killing-kennedy/articles/the-sex-life-of-jfk/

  13. “Since JFK is one of the saints of the leftist pantheon…”

    Ahh, it all becomes clearer. I’d bet that Mr Contestwinner is also a passionate defender of what he imagines the constitution to be.

    http://www.theonion.com/article/area-man-passionate-defender-of-what-he-imagines-c-2849

  14. Henry
    T.S Eliot and Igor Stravinsky had modernist credentials. I can assure you that mine (and yours) are thoroughly post-modern.

    See you at the library.

  15. That last comment was mine signed in on the wrong account.

  16. Boston Dandy | February 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm |

    Feel free to be snarky and condescending now if you like. The grammar of the last comment justifies it.

  17. Ward Wickers | February 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm |

    What a contrast:

    Regarding Kennedy: “Lots of men who cheat on their wives also make significant achievements, but those achievements are not the issue: it’s their character and morality.”

    Regarding Washington: “ … to think that his slaveowning [sic] somehow means he had no high principles shows a complete ignorance of the man.”

    Screwing women is immoral and low character; owning slaves isn’t immoral at all. It still allows for high principles and high character. Great logic, there.

    You must have drunk an awful lot last night, as you still seem to be soused. Either that, or perhaps you are vying for a spin doctor position with one of the candidates of the Republican party.

  18. Candice Bergen recently recounted a date she had with Donald Trump while they were at Wharton. She described Trump as having arrived in a three piece burgundy suit, burgundy shoes and burgundy limousine. If her account is true, it should disqualify Donald Trump from becoming president-or to be taken seriously.

    Will

  19. Correction, Trump wore burgundy boots. I’m sure everything he wore that night were fantastic and the very best and just fantastic.

    Will

  20. JFK never “ran the airlift into West Berlin after the Berlin Wall went up.” Harry Truman ran the Berlin Airlift into West Berlin from 1948 to 1949, after the Soviets cut off access to the city from the West. The Berlin Wall went up in August of 1961, 13 years after the Airlift.

    If we are going to give lists of “facts” about Presidents, let us at least get those so called facts correct.

  21. Ward Wickers | February 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm |

    NDC

    Yes, you are correct. The airlift predated Kennedy’s presidency.

    Shortly after the Berlin Wall was built, Kennedy went to Berlin and used the Wall to focus world attention on the significant differences between the Free World and the Communism. Kennedy was an ardent and vocal opponent of Communism, much like Reagan some 25 years later.

  22. Henry Contestwinner | February 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm |

    Ward,

    George Washington was a slaveowner (no [sic]). Shall we shut down Mount Vernon? There were once slaves in Washington, D.C. Shall we move the capitol elsewhere? Slavery was once legal in the United States. Shall we shut down the United States because it was imperfect? If you aren’t willing to shut down the United States because of its slave-owning past, then why are you attacking Washington* for being a slaveowner? This is a double standard, commonly used by liberals, used to make those they oppose look bad. If you aren’t willing to shut down the U.S. because it once had slaves, then why are you attacking Washington for having slaves?

    Furthermore, slavery is a societal issue. Slavery has been found throughout the world and throughout history; indeed, it is still with us. George Washington was born in a time and place with legal slavery, and happened to wind up as a slaveowner. It actually bothered him, and he did something about it: he manumitted his slaves upon his death. In contrast, fornication and adultery, while also found throughout the world and history, are personal shortcomings, very much in the control of the man who commits them.

    In short, slavery and womanizing are different categories of shortcomings. I realize that conceptual thinking such as this is beyond most people, who would rather emote than think. However, I thought that you could think, Ward. Perhaps I was mistaken.

    * I will note in passing that the perfidious Jefferson, another Democrat and liberal icon, is nearly always given a pass for his slave-owning, in that it is mentioned only in passing, and not used to tear him down.

  23. Ward Wickers | February 16, 2016 at 9:52 pm |

    Only right wing nuts have tried to shut down the US. I can’t quite fathom the leap you take in suggesting I would be interested in that because there were once slaves in the country. Try not to cloud the issue with some dopey conservative-liberal nonsense.

    Let’s be clear. I wasn’t attacking Washington for being a slave owner, I was attacking your poorly constructed logic that a womanizer who had consensual sex outside his marriage has a lower character than a man who owned, bought, sold, whipped and tortured other human beings.

    But, you don’t believe his slave-holding was really all that bad. He was a good guy in your mind, not really wanting slaves and emancipating them when he died. In fact, you seem to think Washington held slaves by accident and wasn’t really responsible for being a slave owner, saying “… the vast majority of the Washington slaves were his wife’s, and so he had no control over them.” You try to give him a pass, but like many of the Republican candidate spin doctors, what you say is simply not true. Here, from the MountVernon.org website:

    “As a young adult, Washington purchased at least eight slaves, including a carpenter named Kitt who was acquired for £39.5. Washington purchases more slaves in 1755, four other men, two women, and a child.”

    Yes, his wife, had her own slaves which increased his slave ranks. But, “In the sixteen years between his marriage and the beginning of the American Revolution, Washington acquired slightly more than 40 additional slaves through purchase,” according to MountVernon.org.

    Washington held 318 slaves at the end of his life, 123 of which belonged to him, not his wife.

    Regarding not having any control over them and how he treated them, which speaks to his high character, MountVernon.org says, “What is clear is that Washington frequently utilized harsh punishment against the enslaved population, including whippings and the threat of particularly taxing work assignments. Perhaps most severely, Washington could sell a slave to a buyer in the West Indies, ensuring that the person would never see their family or friends at Mount Vernon again. Washington conducted such sales on several occasions.”

    How is it that you accord a man who acts like this towards fellow human beings such high character? You are either too caught up in your spinning and don’t understand what you say or your values are incredibly bankrupt.

  24. Henry,

    You’ve gained a friend from all of this. I commend your courage and voice in this comment thread today and urge you to continue on practicing your God-given right, protected by the Constitution, to the freedom of speech.

  25. @Ward

    It must pain you terribly to know that you are an American.

    Will

  26. Contestwinner Henry,

    JFK “one of the saints of the leftist pantheon”?
    We must be living in different universes.

  27. Good morning, it’s amusing that a site devoted to period clothing and style deteriorates to wrangling over politics and even grammar. (Officially no possessive apostrophe for Presidents Day)

    During my grade school years we celebrated Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays each February. It was my understanding they were combined in 1971 to celebrate on the third Monday. I’m not sure if that was the intent and I don’t care.

    It’s also my understanding JFK is not the only President to have extramarital affairs.

    My suggestion is to focus on the moral significance over the prsence of a dart, or the proper roll of a button down collar.

  28. Apostrophe placement deliberate.

  29. It was quite obvious to this reader that Christian was not referring to the holiday, hence his placement of the comma.

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