Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson
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Daily American show that celebrates the great United States of America! Here, I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with stories ranging from Ben Franklin to Billy the Kid to the New York Yankees and Hollywood. Give me four minutes and I'll tell you all about it!
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Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson -- November 23
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NOVEMBER 23 1804 Happy birthday Franklin “Handsome Frank” Pierce, #14. ...The only U.S. President to be born in New Hampshire, Pierce’s father served bravely as a hero in the American Revolution. In 1804 he attended Bowdoin College, then studied law and entered politics. At the young age of 24, Handsome frank was elected to the New Hampshire legislature, then two years later became its Speaker. In Washington, Pierce became a bored alcoholic who would calm down upon marrying Jane Appleton after an eight year engagement. Jane was Frank’s polar opposite. She was incredibly shy, deeply religious, was constantly sick, hated Washington D.C. and refused to live there, which may be the reason why Pierce gave up his seat in the Senate after his second term. Pierce would serve in the Mexican War from 1846-1848, then in 1852 at the Democratic Convention, where slavery was a huge topic, Pierce was seen as a man who could compromise interests between the north and the south. The party supported the controversial Compromise of 1850, and the Whig party was divided on the issue. The Democrats balloted 48 times, and Pierce emerged as a dark horse, barely defeating Whig leader General Winfield Scott in a landslide victory. The Whig party would dissolve shortly thereafter. Prior to taking office, handsome Frank and Jane were involved in a train accident. While they got out of it unhurt, their 11 year old son Bennie was thrown out of the window and killed, right before their eyes. This would be the third and last child Frank and Jane had that died before adulthood, and Jane never fully recovered, and wanted nothing to do with her husbands presidential candidacy. During his inauguration, Pierce refused to put his hand on the Bible, stating that God already passed judgement when He took his son away from him. He didn’t actually ake oath, rather, he affirmed it. As president, Pierce’s quest for expansion in the United States angered Northerners, who accused him of wanting to extending slavery. Trying to acquire Nicaragua from England didn’t help things, which is a whole ‘nother story. Same thing when he tried to persuade Spain to sell Cuba. P