Once upon a time, which wasn't so long ago, we celebrated Abraham Lincoln's birthday in February and then had a week's vacation from school to celebrate George Washington's birthday on February 22. Today, the children still get a week's vacation in the middle of the month, but the middle Monday of February is President's Day, and they lump them all together. We only knew what we learned in school that George Washington never told a lie and old Abe was wonderful. We shall never forget hearing about those two presidents and hold them to high esteem.
Today, after watching all the Democratic and Republican candidates' debate, we wonder who the young people will hold in "high esteem."
No matter how they insult each other and practically come to blows, I have to watch it so hopefully I can make up my mind when we vote. I have always voted since I became 18 because I think about how hard Susan B. Anthony must have worked so women could vote — as before they were considered second-class citizens.
Living, as I prefer, in Maine we don't see many presidents in person, but television is a great invention for some things.
My first memory of being interested in politics was at a very early age when the 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, ran. He was orphaned at the age of 10 but became a millionaire through mining. He lost the second term to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932. I remember a Kansas oilman, Alfred Landon, from the sunflower state, lost to Roosevelt in 1936.
I did see Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady in 1943, when she christened a barge at Camden Shipbuilding and Marine Railways Co. I saw her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he rode through Rockland to take the train after meeting with Churchill to form the "Atlantic Charter."
One weekend with friends, we went to see Plymouth Village and Plymouth Rock. For the fun of it we said ‘let’s drive to Hyannis port and MAYBE the 35th President John Kennedy will be there.’ We saw a crowd around a church, so we stopped. He and Jackie were going in the back door of the church and I tried to take a picture, but so many were in front of short me that I held the camera high and clicked. I knew what dot he was but now one else would know.
When he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, in 1963, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States. I saw him as he was the speakers at Fletcher (graduate school of Tufts College.)
I had the pleasure of meeting First Lady Barbara Bush at a brunch when she came to Camden to dedicate the Centennial Wing at the Camden Public Library. I also met Present George Bush and Barbara at a party in Camden. They were wonderful people.
Those are probably the only ones I will see, except on television.
Barbara F. Dyer has lived in Camden all of her life, so far.
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