Sunday, November 23, 2014

Franklin Roosevelt's Sullivan Letter



Pol Light Moment #107 is when Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) wrote a letter to Mrs. Sullivan on January 13, 1943. Mrs. Sullivan was the mother who lost all five of her sons in World War II because the cruiser they were all on was destroyed in war. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States and served from 1933 until his death in 1945. Franklin D. Roosevelt also served as the Governor of New York from 1929-1932.

The five sons of Mrs. Sullivan requested to be stationed on the same Navy ship. They were killed on Nov. 15, 1942 during World War II when their ship the Juneau was attacked off Guadalcanal and sunk during the Battle of Solomon Islands (American Presidents History).

The following was the contents of the letter dated January 13, 1943, that Franklin Roosevelt wrote to Mrs. Sullivan.

Dear Mrs. Sullivan:
The knowledge that your five gallant sons are missing in action, against the enemy, inspired me to write you this personal message, I realize full well there is little I can say to assuage your grief.
As the Commander in Chief of the Army and the Navy, I want you to know that the entire nation shares your sorrow. I offer you the condolence and gratitude of our country. We, who remain to carry on the fight, must maintain the spirit in the knowledge that such sacrifice is not in vain. The Navy Department has informed me of the expressed desire of your son; George Thomas, Francis Henry, Joseph Eugene, Madison Abel, and Albert Leo, to serve on the same ship. I am sure, that we all take pride in the knowledge that they fought side by side.As one of your sons wrote, 'We will make a team together that can't be beat.' It is this spirit which in the end must triumph.  
Last March, you Mrs. Sullivan, were designated to sponsor a ship of the Navy in recognition of your patriotism and that of your sons. I am to understand that you are, now even more determined to carry on as sponsor. This evidence of unselfishness and courage serves as a real inspiration for me, as I am sure it will for all Americans. Such acts of fate and fortitude in the face of tragedy convince me of the indomitable spirit and will of our people. 
 I send you my deepest sympathy in your hour of trial and pray that in Almighty God you will find a comfort and help that only he can bring. 
Very Sincerely Yours,
Franklin Roosevelt 
(Source of Letter: American Presidents History). 

Franklin D. Roosevelt has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Franklin Roosevelt posts search with Franklin Roosevelt label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The photo in this post is in the Public Domain. It was obtained from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Barack Obama Welcomes New Dog Bo to White House


Bo Obama, Portuguese Water Dog



Pol Light Moment #106 happened on April 14, 2009, when Barack Obama welcomed his new dog Bo to the White House for the first time. Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He has served as President of the United States from 2009 to the present.

Here is a video of Barack Obama and his family showing Bo to his new home in the White House.


For other posts on Barack Obama search with the "Barack Obama" label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

The photo of Barack Obama is in the Public Domain.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ann Romney Launches Center for Neurological Diseases

Photo of Mitt and Ann Romney
Mitt and Ann Romney
Pol Light Moment #105 was on October 14, 2014, when Ann Romney announced the formation of the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases. Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1998 and is the wife of Mitt Romney who has served as the Governor of Massachusetts and ran for President in 2012.

The Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases will be at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston Massachusetts and will help treat patients who have a variety of neurological conditions multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, and brain tumors. Treatment and global collaboration in research are also goals of the Ann Romney Center. Mitt and Ann Romney have also given an undisclosed monetary gift to start the fundraising for the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases.

The following is a video describing the vision for the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases.




Mitt Romney shared this on his Twitter on the day his wife launched her groundbreaking Ann Romney Center for Neurological Studies.
Here are some links to articles on the start of the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases.
Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jane Byrne Orders Chicago Fire Department to Stand Down

Pol Light Moment #104 happened on November 11, 1981, when Jane Byrne (1934-2014) ordered the Chicago Fire Department to cease the unsafe practice of using force to stop climber Dan Goodwin (AKA SpiderDan) from climbing the John Hancock Center. Jane Byrne was the first and only female Mayor of the City of Chicago, serving from 1979-1983.

Here is the Wikipedia account of Jane Byrne ordering the Chicago Fire Department to stand down.
On Veterans Day, November 11, 1981, Dan Goodwin, who had successfully climbed the Sears Tower on Memorial Day, battled for his life on the side of the John Hancock Center. William Blair, Chicago's then-fire commissioner, had ordered the Chicago Fire Department to stop Goodwin by directing a full power fire hose at him and by using fire axes to break window glass in Goodwin's path. Mayor Byrne rushed to the scene and ordered the fire department to stand down. Then, through a smashed out 38th floor window, she told Goodwin, who was hanging from the building's side a floor below, that though she did not agree with his climbing of the John Hancock Center, she certainly opposed the fire department knocking him to the ground below. Byrne then allowed Goodwin to continue to the top as thousands of people on the street below gave him an ovation and screamed, "Go! Go! Go!" (Source - Wikipedia, Jane Byrne, 11/15/2014)
Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jennifer Granholm Rides Bicycle to Work

Photo of Jennifer Granholm
Jennifer Granholm
Pol Light Moment #103 happened during the Summer of 2008, when Jennifer Granholm rode her bicycle to work several days a week.  One specific day she rode her bicycle to work was Wednesday, July 3, 2008. Jennifer Granholm was the Governor of the State of Michigan from 2003-2011.

Jennifer Granholm rode her bicycle to her work at Michigan's capital in Lansing, Michigan several times a week during the Summer of 2008 as part of an effort to demonstrate to citizens how they could save money and help the environment.  The residence of the Governor, where Jennifer Granholm lived at the time, is about 3 miles from the Capital. In addition to riding a bicycle, Jennifer Granholm also rode the public bus system known in Lansing, Michigan as CATA to demonstrate how to save money and help the environment.

Here are some online articles about Jennifer Granholm riding her bicycle to work.
Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The photo of Jennifer Granholm is believed to be in the Public Domain according to the Quote Collection.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ted Cruz Reads to His Children from Senate Floor

Photo of Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz
Pol Light Moment #102 happened on September 24, 2013, when Ted Cruz read bedtime stories to his children from the U.S. Senate floor. Ted Cruz has been a United States Senator from Texas since 2013.

Ted Cruz was in the midst of a marathon all night speech in the United States Senate on September 24, 2013 about defunding the health care law, when he took a diversion from his political speech at about 8:00pm EST in order to read bedtime stories to his two daughters, Caroline and Catherine Cruz (The Guardian, Ted Cruz Pulls All-Nighter as Marathon Anti-Obamacare Speech Churns On, September 25, 2013).

Here is a video of Ted Cruz reading to his children from the Senate floor. He read first a passage from Proverbs in the Holy Bible and then from the book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.


Ted Cruz has been the subject of other posts on this blog. To find other Ted Cruz posts search with the label "Ted Cruz" on the blog.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.


Photo: The photo of Ted Cruz is in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower Celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower in 1916 at their Wedding

Pol Light Moment #101 is when Dwight Eisenhower and Mamie Eisenhower had their 50th Wedding Anniversary on July 1, 1966. The couple married on July 1, 1916, in Denver, Colorado. Dwight Eisenhower served as the 34th President of the United States, from 1953-1961. Prior to that he had served as a 5 star General in the Army during World War II.

The following is some original video footage from 1966 that was created as a tribute to Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower on their 50th Anniversary.


Dwight and Mamie had planned to be married in November of 1916, but they moved their wedding up to July 1 because of the pending entry of the United States into World War I. In 1966, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower became the first former President and wife to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary since John Quincy Adams and his wife Louisa reached this milestone in the middle of the 19th Century.

Quote Light: Dwight Eisenhower has a page on the Quote Light blog.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photos:  The wedding photo of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower from 1916 is from History.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Terry Branstad Issues Proclamation for Day of Prayer

Photo of Terry Brandstad
Terry Branstad
Pol Light Moment #100 happened on April 8, 2014, when Terry Branstad issued a proclamation designating July 14, 2014 as a Day of Prayer and Fasting and Repentence in Iowa. Terry Branstad is the Governor of Iowa. He is the longest serving Governor in Iowa history having been in office from 1983-1999 and 2011 to the present.

The Family Leader writes, "The proclamation was signed at the request of a group who’s focus is bringing spiritual revival back to our nation. You can learn more about them at www.prayer7-14-14.com. They hosted an event at the Iowa Capitol on July 14, 2014 symbolizing our response to 2 Chronicles 7:14 (The Family Leader)."

The following is a YouTube video of Terry Branstad signing his proclamation on of a Day of Prayer, Fasting and Repentence on July 14, 2014.



The following is the text of Terry Branstad's proclamation on a Day of Prayer.

The Proclamation reads:

WHEREAS,

President George Washington stated in his Proclamation of October 17, 1789, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor”; and

WHEREAS,

President Abraham Lincoln stated in his Proclamation of April 24, 1863, a day of national humble repentance, fasting and prayer, “It is the duty of all Nations as well to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations are blessed whose God is The Lord (Psalm 33:12)…But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace-to-proud to pray to the God that made us…”; and

WHEREAS,

President John Hancock stated in his Proclamation on April 15, 1775, a day of fasting, humble repentance and prayer, with a total abstinence from labor and recreation, “In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect what whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, …at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness…”; and

WHEREAS,

Governors throughout history, have called for days of fasting and prayer over the condition of their state and nation, including Samuel Adams, a signer of the Constitution and serving as Governor of Massachusetts, “I do hereby appoint Thursday the Second Day of April next, to be observed as a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer throughout this Commonwealth: Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel, of every Denomination, with their respective Congregations, to assemble on that Day, and devoutly implore the Divine forgiveness of our Sins…”:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E Branstad, as Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby invite all Iowans who choose to join in the thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO  SUBSCRIBED MY NAME AND CAUSED THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF IOWA TO BE AFFIXED.  DONE AT DES MOINES THIS 8TH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN. :

TERRY E. BRANSTAD

GOVERNOR OF IOWA

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The top photo of Terry Branstad is attributed to Gage Skidmore and is in Wikipedia Commons.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Franklin Roosevelt Supports Boy Scouts of America's First Jamboree


Photo of Franklin Roosevelt

Pol Light Moment #99 is when Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) gave his Presidential support to the Boy Scouts of America having their first Jamboree on June 30, 1937.  Roosevelt himself had been a Boy Scout.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States and served from 1933 until his death in 1945. Franklin D. Roosevelt also served as the Governor of New York from 1929-1932.

The National Scout Jamboree is held every four years for ten days in the Summer. Scouting Magazine featured an article detailing the tremendous support Franklin Roosevelt gave the Boy Scouts of America as they held their first jamboree on June 30, 1937.
On June 30, 1937, the jamboree opened. Scouts were greeted at their campsites with copies of the Jamboree Journal, a photograph of FDR on page one. The president’s message of greeting praised Scouting as a great source of training in the virtues of good citizenship. 
FDR gave his personal attention to the huge gathering. After taking 12 Eagle Scouts to baseball’s annual major-league all-star game, he toured the jamboree site. Accompanied by James West and National Scout Commissioner Dan Beard, he stopped at the Sea Scouts’ camp and then visited the Scouts from Duchess County, N.Y., whose construction of a large replica of the Roosevelt family home at Hyde Park, N.Y., attracted his attention. 
The president, from his touring car, awarded an Eagle badge, spoke with leaders, examined some handicrafts, and posed for photographs. As his car moved out of the jamboree site, many Scouts swarmed around it, seeking a look at the president (Scouting Magazine, March, 2003, A Best Friend in the White House).

Franklin D. Roosevelt has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Franklin Roosevelt posts search with Franklin Roosevelt label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The photo in this post is in the Public Domain. It was obtained from Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

John F. Kennedy Writes Sympathy Note to Mother of a Sick Child

Photo of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

Pol Light Moment #98 is when John F. Kennedy wrote a sympathy note to a mother of a sick child on August 9, 1963.  John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961-1963.

John F. Kennedy's son Patrick Bouvier Kennedy was born premature on August 7, 1963 and suffered from hyaline membrane disease.  In the early hours of August 9, 1963, with his son Patrick's conditioning worsening, John F. Kennedy went with his friend Dave Powers at 2:00am to the Children's Medical Center in Boston. Prior to seeing his son he stopped to write a sympathy note to a mother whose son had been burned badly and was in the same hospital.

Here is an account by the Washington Post of John F. Kennedy stopping to write a sympathy note to a mother he had never met before.
While waiting for the elevator, his eye wandered into a nearby room, falling on a small child who had been badly burned. JFK summoned the night nurse. He wanted to know how the accident happened. And how often did the mother visit the hospital? When he learned that the mother came every day, the president asked for her name. Taking a slip of paper and a pen from Powers, he scrawled a note of sympathy. “There he was, with his own baby dying downstairs,” Powers recalled in his memoir, “but he had to take the time to write a note to that poor woman, asking her to keep her courage up (Washington Post, October 24, 2013).”
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy died on August 9, 1963 at 4:00am.

John F. Kennedy has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all John F. Kennedy posts search with John F. Kennedy label at Pol Light.

Quote Light: John F. Kennedy has a page on the Quote Light blog.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

The photo of John F. Kennedy is in the Public Domain.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Richard Nixon Meets with Elvis Presley

Photo of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley
Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley
Pol Light Moment #97 happened on December 21, 1970, when Richard Nixon had a meeting with Elvis Presley in the Oval Office of the White House. Richard Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969-1974. He was previously the Vice-President of the United States from 1953-1961.

Elvis Presley paid a visit to the White House on the morning of December 21, 1970, and left a note requesting a meeting with Richard Nixon. Elvis wanted to help combat the drug problem among youth in the culture and specifically desired to become a "Federal Agent-at-Large" in the Bureau of Narcotics and Other Dangerous Drugs.  Richard Nixon was able to meet with Elvis Presley at 12:30pm that same day.

There is a memo of the notes about this meeting revealing that Richard Nixon desired to have this meeting to thank Elvis Presley for his offer to help with the problem of drug abuse among youth in the United States. At the time. Elvis was told that he could have the title he wanted though no such position existed. As a follow up to the meeting Richard Nixon wrote a letter to Elvis Presley on December 31, 1970, thanking him for the gift of a World War II Colt 45 gun given to him by Elvis at this meeting on December 21, 1970.  You can read more photos and documents pertaining to the meeting that Richard Nixon had with Elvis Presley at the National Security Archives page on this historical event.

For other posts on Richard Nixon search with the "Richard Nixon" label at Pol Light. Richard Nixon was also mentioned in the post at Pol Light called Gerald Ford Pardons Richard Nixon published on October 11, 2013.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.


Photo: Photo taken by Ollie Atkinson/Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and is in the Public Domain. Copies of this photo are requested more than any other from the National Archives.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Paul Ryan Uses Social Security to Go to College

Photo of Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan
Pol Light Moment #96 happened in August 1988 when Paul Ryan went to college at Miami University in Ohio with money he had saved from receiving Social Security survivors benefits. Paul Ryan is a member of the US House of Representatives from Janesville who has represented Wisconsin's 1st District since 1999.

Paul Ryan was 16 years of age when his father died in the summer of 1986. After the unexpected death of his father by a heart attack, Paul Ryan said, "I grew up real fast (Talking Points Memo, August 20, 2014)."

Paul Ryan received Social Security survivors benefits after his father died until he reached age 18. He saved the money he received from Social Security and used it to pay for his education at Miami University in Ohio. In 1992, Paul Ryan graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Miami University (U.S. News & World Report, July 23, 2008).

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.


Photo: The photo of Paul Ryan is in the Public Domain.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Al Gore Rescues 270 Katrina Victims

Photo of Al Gore
Al Gore
Pol Light Moment #95 happened on September 3-4, 2005, when Al Gore arranged for two private charter flights to airlift 270 people out of New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Al Gore served as the Vice-President of the United States from 1993-2001. He was a candidate for President in 2000.  From 1985-1993 he served as a United States Senator from Tennessee.

Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Al Gore's son after his life threatening accident in 1989 was in New Orleans at the Charity Hospital helping patients after Katrina. Dr. Kline got a message to Al Gore that the people there were in a terrible situation that was increasingly growing worse. Hearing of the heartbreaking situation, Al Gore decided to personally provide for two flights to evacuate 270 people from New Orleans. He also physically traveled on those flights.

Al Gore's personal physician at the time, Dr. Anderson Spickard accompanied Gore on the flights and said, “Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has (Outside the Beltway, September 10, 2005).”

In addition to funding the flights, "Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee’s support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans (Outside the Beltway, September 10, 2005)."

Al Gore has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Al Gore posts search with the Al Gore label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.


The photo of Al Gore is in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Elise Stefanik Becomes Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

Pol Light Moment #94 happened on November 4, 2014, when Elise Stefanik was elected to the U.S. Congress to represent New York's 21st Congressional District. Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 30. She was born on July 2, 1984, and she secured the primary nomination to represent her party at age 29.

The following is Elise Stefanik giving her acceptance speech the night of November 4, 2014.




Prior to the election of Elise Stefanik, former Brooklyn Representative Elizabeth Holtzman held the record for the youngest woman to serve in Congress. Holtzman was elected in 1973 at age 31 and she continued to check each election cycle to see if a younger woman was in a position to break her record. Elizabeth Holtzman said about Elisie Stafanik's campaign, "But hats off to her. We need more young women in Congress (New York Post, November 3, 2014)."

You can read some more information on Elise Stefanik's election to Congress at these links.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Harry T. Burn Votes for Women's Suffrage

Black and White Photo of Harry T. Burn

Pol Light Moment #93 happened on August 18, 1920, when Harry T. Burn (1895-1977) cast the deciding vote in the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment (women's suffrage) in a session of the legislator at the State of Tennessee. Harry T. Burn served in the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1918-1922. He later served in the Tennessee State Senate from 1948-1952.

The U.S. Congress had approved the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Tennessee was the final state needed to ratify the Amendment and they were split on the issue.

Harry T. Burn was a 24 year old legislator that was part of the anti suffrage camp. However, at the last moment he switched sides because of a letter he had received from his mother and he cast the deciding vote for a women's right to vote.

“I know that a mother’s advice is always the safest for a boy to follow,” Burn said, switching sides (New York Times, My Favorite August, August 13, 2010). Because of the historical importance of his vote and the publicity about his rationale for voting as he did, Harry T. Burn became known by some as a hero and others as a "mamma's boy".

This is part of the eight page letter that Harry Burn's mother sent him about his vote on the 19th Amendment and that he kept in his pocket when he changed his mind and voted in support of women's suffrage.
Dear Son: 
Hurrah and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt! I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the "rat" in ratification. 
Your mother
(Source: Tennessee State Library and Archives

The New York Times reported this account of the vote in its August 19, 1920 edition.
The vote at the outset was on partisan lines, but when the name of Representative Harry T. Burn, Republican, of McMinn County, was called, he voted "Aye." The opposition then virtually conceded defeat, for Mr Burn had voted with them to table the resolution, and his change gave the suffregists the needed majority (Wikipedia, Harry T. Burn). 

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Gerald Ford Initiates Operation Babylift in Vietnam

Photo of Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Pol Light Moment #92 happened on April 3, 1975, when Gerald Ford initiated Operation Babylift to rescue orphans in South Vietnam. Gerald Ford was the 38th President of the United States serving from 1974 to 1977. He served as Vice-President of the United States from 1973-1974 and prior to that represented the 5th District of Michigan in the United States House of Representatives from 1949-1973.

Operation Babylift was Gerald Ford's initiative to rescue orphans who were in danger in the war-torn South Vietnam. On April 3, 1975, Ford set aside $2 million dollars to provide for military flights to bring orphans in Vietnam to the United States. Approximately 2,700 orphans were brought to the United States where homes were waiting for them with families pre-approved to adopt them (About.com, Operation Babylift).

Carrie Craft writes, "Operation Babylift is a very interesting part of adoption history and there is much on the Internet, including grateful letters from adoptees to President Ford thanking him for the chance to live (About.com, Operation Babylift)." The Vietnam Babylift website tells some of those stories and gives more personal information about the initiative.

Gerald Ford has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Gerald Ford posts search with the Gerald Ford label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.



Photo: The photo of Gerald Ford is in the Public Domain.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rick Perry Organizes Prayer Event for America

Photo of Rick Perry
Rick Perry
Pol Light Moment #91 took place on August 6, 2011, when Rick Perry organized an event to pray for America called The Repsonse: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis.  Rick Perry has served as the Governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015. He has been nominated to serve as the Secretary of Energy.

The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis was held in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on August 6, 2011 and had an estimated attendance of about 30,000 (Wall Street Journal, Rick Perry's Positive 'Response').  Rick Perry helped create the Christian focused event. In addition to saying a prayer he gave a 13 minute speech at the event.

The following is a video of Rick Perry's Prayer at The Response Rally.

 
Part of the prayer that Rick Perry said was for Barack Obama. Rick Perry prayed, "Father we pray for our president, that you impart your wisdom upon him, that you would guard his family (New York Times, Perry Leads Prayer Rally for 'Nation in Crisis').

Rick Perry sent out the following message promoting the event in advance of it.

My Fellow Americans, 
Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy. 
Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose. 
I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees. 
Sincerely, 
Rick Perry(Source: rickperry.org)

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.



Photo: The photo in this post of Rick Perry was taken by Gage Skidmore.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Al Gore Concedes 2000 Presidential Election

Photo of Al Gore
Al Gore
Pol Light Moment #90 happened on December 13, 2000, when Al Gore conceded the historically close 2000 Presidential Election to George W. Bush. Al Gore served as the Vice-President of the United States from 1993-2001. He was a candidate for President in 2000.  From 1985-1993 he served as a United States Senator from Tennessee.

The 2000 Presidential Election was historically close. Al Gore had won the popular vote, but the election came down to the State of Florida which had recorded 537 more votes for George W. Bush then Al Gore. The candidate who won Florida would exceed the 270 electoral votes needed to become President. The closeness of the November 7, 2000 election resulted in 36 days of drama which included recounts in select counties in Florida and an eventual case at the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court affirmed the vote tally in Florida, Al Gore conceded the election.

Here is a video of Al Gore's Concession speech on December 13, 2000.



A political person is often at their best when they give their concession speech and this was no exception for Al Gore.  A transcript of Al Gore's speech is included here.

Good evening.

Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. And I promised him that I wouldn't call him back this time. I offered to meet with him as soon as possible so that we can start to heal the divisions of the campaign and the contest through which we've just passed. 


Almost a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, "Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I'm with you, Mr. President, and God bless you." Well, in that same spirit, I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country. Neither he nor I anticipated this long and difficult road. Certainly neither of us wanted it to happen. Yet it came, and now it has ended, resolved, as it must be resolved, through the honored institutions of our democracy.


Over the library of one of our great law schools is inscribed the motto, "Not under man but under God and law." That's the ruling principle of American freedom, the source of our democratic liberties. I've tried to make it my guide throughout this contest, as it has guided America's deliberations of all the complex issues of the past five weeks.


Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new President-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.


Let me say how grateful I am to all those who supported me and supported the cause for which we have fought. Tipper and I feel a deep gratitude to Joe and Hadassah Lieberman, who brought passion and high purpose to our partnership and opened new doors, not just for our campaign but for our country.


This has been an extraordinary election. But in one of God's unforeseen paths, this belatedly broken impasse can point us all to a new common ground, for its very closeness can serve to remind us that we are one people with a shared history and a shared destiny. Indeed, that history gives us many examples of contests as hotly debated, as fiercely fought, with their own challenges to the popular will. Other disputes have dragged on for weeks before reaching resolution. And each time, both the victor and the vanquished have accepted the result peacefully and in a spirit of reconciliation.

I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country.

And I say to our fellow members of the world community, let no one see this contest as a sign of American weakness. The strength of American democracy is shown most clearly through the difficulties it can overcome. Some have expressed concern that the unusual nature of this election might hamper the next president in the conduct of his office. I do not believe it need be so.

President-elect Bush inherits a nation whose citizens will be ready to assist him in the conduct of his large responsibilities. I, personally, will be at his disposal, and I call on all Americans -- I particularly urge all who stood with us -- to unite behind our next president. This is America. Just as we fight hard when the stakes are high, we close ranks and come together when the contest is done. 

And while there will be time enough to debate our continuing differences, now is the time to recognize that that which unites us is greater than that which divides us. While we yet hold and do not yield our opposing beliefs, there is a higher duty than the one we owe to political party. This is America and we put country before party; we will stand together behind our new president.

As for what I'll do next, I don't know the answer to that one yet. Like many of you, I'm looking forward to spending the holidays with family and old friends. I know I'll spend time in Tennessee and mend some fences, literally and figuratively.

Some have asked whether I have any regrets, and I do have one regret: that I didn't get the chance to stay and fight for the American people over the next four years, especially for those who need burdens lifted and barriers removed, especially for those who feel their voices have not been heard. I heard you. And I will not forget.

I've seen America in this campaign, and I like what I see. It's worth fighting for and that's a fight I'll never stop. As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe, as my father once said, that "No matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out."

So for me this campaign ends as it began: with the love of Tipper and our family; with faith in God and in the country I have been so proud to serve, from Vietnam to the vice presidency; and with gratitude to our truly tireless campaign staff and volunteers, including all those who worked so hard in Florida for the last 36 days.

Now the political struggle is over and we turn again to the unending struggle for the common good of all Americans and for those multitudes around the world who look to us for leadership in the cause of freedom.

In the words of our great hymn, "America, America": "Let us crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea."

And now, my friends, in a phrase I once addressed to others: it's time for me to go.

Thank you, and good night, and God bless America
(Source: 
American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank).

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