Monday, February 29, 2016

Ronald Reagan Pens Letter Clarifying His Views on the Ku Klux Klan

Ronald Reagan
Pol Light Moment #137 occurred on April 30, 1984, when Ronald Reagan sent a letter to the Chairman of the Commission on Civil Rights concerning his views on the Ku Klux Klan. Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving from 1981-1989.

Below is the content of the letter that Ronald Reagan sent to The Honorable Morris B. Abram, the chair of the Commission on Civil Rights, on April 30, 1984.


April 30, 1984 

Dear Morris:

While in China, I have been distressed to learn that some individuals back home have questioned whether my views on the Ku Klux Klan have somehow changed since 1980. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In 1980, I said that I have no tolerance for what the Klan represents, and would have nothing to do with any groups of that type. If anything, my feelings on this subject have only grown stronger. The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood. Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse.

I firmly believe that there is no room for partisanship on this question. Democrats and Republicans alike must be resolute in disassociating ourselves from any group or individual whose political philosophy consists only of racial or religious intolerance, whose arguments are supported only by intimidation or threats of violence.

We must, and will, continue our unified rejection of such elements of hate in our political life, for while there are many issues which divide us, it is fundamental principles such as this which will always draw us together.

Sincerely,
Ronald Reagan


[The Honorable Morris B. Abram, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1121 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20425]

Source: Reagan Library Archives


Ronald Reagan has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Ronald Reagan posts search with the Ronald Reagan 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 Ronald Reagan is in the Public Domain.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Andrew Cuomo Helps Driver Stranded in Snow

Pol Light Moment #136 occurred on January 23, 2016, when Andrew Cuomo helped a driver who was stranded in a snowstorm on Long Island in New York. Andrew Cuomo has served as the Governor of New York since 2011.

From January 22-24, 2016 a blizzard hit the Northeast United States dropping up to 3 feet of snow in some areas (Wikipedia: January 2016 United States Blizzard). New York state experienced much of the storm. On January 23, 2016, Andrew Cuomo personally helped rescue a driver who was stranded on the roads in Long Island (ABC News, New York Governor Cuomo Helps Long Island Driver Stranded in Snow, Emily Shapiro, January 23, 2016).


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, February 27, 2016

Marco Rubio Stops Rally to Pray for Elderly Man Who Collapsed

Photo of Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio
Pol Light Moment #135 took place on February 19, 2016, when Marco Rubio stopped his speech to say a spontaneous prayer for an elderly man who had collapsed at his rally in South Carolina. Marco Rubio has served as a United States Senator for Florida since January, 2011. 

It was the eve of the South Carolina Presidential Primary on February 19, 2016, and Marco Rubio was speaking at a campaign rally at the Madren Center on the campus of Clemson University. During his speech to about 400 people an elderly man collapsed and needed medical attention. When the situation happened, Marco Rubio stopped his speech and offered a prayer for the man.

The following is a video of this moment when Marco Rubio prayed for the man who had collapsed at the rally. 


The words of the prayer that Marco Rubio uttered were:
Father Lord we thank you for bringing us here together tonight. We ask you to pray for our brother at this moment that you would put your hand upon him Lord. And that you will help him to deal with whatever circumstances he might be facing. God, all things are possible for you. Lord, you can do everything so Lord we ask for your blessing upon him now and we ask for your blessings upon those of us here today. If any of us has the ability to provide assistance Lord, that we may do that now. We thank you God for all your blessings and ask you God that your spirit would come upon this place and provide assistance to this gentleman at this key moment. That you Lord may do whatever needs to be done father that he may recover from what he is facing. In your son's name we pray Amen (Transcribed from YouTube video at CBN News by Alan Stokes).
Thankfully the man regained consciousness and was laughing and smiling with emergency medical personnel when they arrived (Greenville Online, Rubio Leads Campaign Rally in Prayer after Man Collapses, Amanda Coyne, February 19, 2016).

For more information on this moment read, the article Marco Rubio Stops to Pray for Elderly Man Who Collapses at Campaign Rally, published in the Christian Post on February 21, 2016.

Marco Rubio has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Marco Rubio posts search with the "Marco Rubio" 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 in this Post: "Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress" by US Senate - Email from the Office of Senator Marco Rubio. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

John Conyers Helps Grieving Family Travel to Funeral

John Conyers
Pol Light Moment #134 happened in June 2009, when John Conyers provided airline tickets for a family in Detroit to attend their slain relatives funeral in Washington DC.  John Conyers is a member of the US House of Representatives from Detroit who has represented Michigan's 13th District (1st District until 1993) since 1965.

Stephen Johns was shot and killed on June 10, 2009, when he was working as a security guard at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington DC (Source: Wikipedia).  John Conyers reached out to his Michigan family about their needs and he provided nine airplane tickets for Detroit based members of Stephen Johns' family to fly to Washington DC for the funeral on June 19, 2009.

Special thanks to the Positive Detroit blog for preserving the essential information in June 18, 2009 about this inspiring moment from a Detroit politician.

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 Conyers is in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Joseph Lieberman Shares About His Jewish Faith

Joseph Lieberman
Pol Light Moment #133 occurred on December 9, 2012, when Joseph Lieberman shared about his religious journey in the Jewish faith, when he received the Orthodox Jewish All-Star Award in 2012. Joseph Lieberman served as a United States Senator from Connecticut from 1989-2013.

The following is a video of Joe Lieberman sharing his Jewish faith. The video was released on February 4, 2014, but it was recorded on December 9, 2012, as part of a presentation for when Joseph Lieberman received the Orthodox Jewish All-Star Award in 2012.



For more information on Joseph Lieberman's faith read Jew in the City, Exclusive on Joe Lieberman: The Story of His Religious Journey, Allison Josephs, February 5, 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.

The photo of Joseph Lieberman is in the Public Domain.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Formed

Laura Bush
Pol Light Moment #132 occurred in 2002, when Laura Bush founded the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. Laura Bush was the First Lady of the United States while her husband George W. Bush served as the President of the United States from 2001-2009.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries was started in 2002 as a fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington DC.  In 2014 the Foundation moved to Dallas, Texas and became part of the George W. Bush Foundation.

Here is a video of Laura Bush distributing grants to school libraries in 2015.



Laura Bush was a school librarian from 1972-1977 (National First Ladies Library).  In keeping with her background, her foundation has helped pass on a love of reading to young people in needy communities. The following is the mission today of The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries:
The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries provides funds to our Nation's neediest schools so that they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning (Laura Bush Foundation/About).

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 Laura Bush is in the Public Domain.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lady Bird Johnson Establishes the National Wildflower Research Center

Lady Bird Johnson/1987
Pol Light Moment #131 occurred on December 22, 1982, when Lady Bird Johnson co-founded the National Wildflower Research Center on her 70th birthday. Claudia Alta Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson (1912-2007) was the First Lady of the United States while her husband Lyndon B. Johnson served as the President of the United States from 1963-1969. She was the second lady when Lyndon B. Johnson was the Vice-President from 1961-1963.

Lady Bird Johnson co-founded the National Wildflower Research Center along with actress Helen Hayes in 1982.  The National First Ladies Library states on their website that, "She made a personal donation of sixty acres of land near Austin, and $125,000; matching gifts flooded in, establishing a $700,000 endowment and the center opened the following year (National First Ladies Library: Biography of Lady Bird Johnson)."

The center was renamed it's present name of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in December 1997 in honor of Johnson's 85th birthday. The center became a part of the research program of the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center).

More information about Lady Bird Johnson and her appreciation of wildflowers can be found at these websites.



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 Lady Bird Johnson is in the Public Domain.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mario Cuomo Signs Nation's First Seat Belt Law

Mario Cuomo (Kenneth C. Zirkel/1987)
Pol Light Moment #130 occurred on July 12, 1984, when Mario Cuomo (1932-2015) signed the nation's first seat belt law for the State of New York.  Mario Cuomo served as the Governor of New York from 1983-1994.

The seat belt law that Mario Cuomo signed on July 12, 1984, took effect on December 1, 1984. It required that all front seat passengers in vehicles operating in the State of New York wear a seat belt and that children under 10 year of age also wear a seat belt. The fine when the bill was established was set at $50 (Schenectady Gazette, Cuomo Signs Nation's First Seat Belt Law, Gary Langer, July 13, 1984).

Devin Tobin with the New York Public Research Institute called the law, "the most significant highway measure ever adopted by a state government (Schenectady Gazette, Cuomo Signs Nation's First Seat Belt Law, Gary Langer, July 13, 1984)."

Ironically on July 11, 1984, a day before Mario Cuomo signed the seat belt law, he was involved in a 7 car crash which he survived without injury.  He was wearing a seat belt during the accident (Schenectady Gazette, Governor Unhurt After 7-Car Crash; Seat Belt in Place, Jul 12, 1984).


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 Mario Cuomo is in the Creative Commons of Wikipedia and is attributed to Kenneth C. Zirkel.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jimmy Carter Works to Eliminate Guinea Worm Disease


Jimmy Carter
Pol Light Moment #129 ocurred in 1986 when Jimmy Carter started his efforts to eradicte Guinea worm disease.  Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States, serving from 1977-1981. Prior to that he served as the Governor of Georgia from 1971-1975.

Here is a video of Jimmy Carter during a news conference on his cancer diagnosis where he stated his last wish is to see the eradication of the Guinea worm.



The Carter Center led by Jimmy Carter started working to eliminate Guinea worm disease in 1986 (Carter Center Website). Guinea worm disease is a painful health problem that people get from contanimated water.

Guinea Worm disease exists in just four countries today:  South Sudan, Mali, Chad and Ethiopia. The Carter Center says on their website, "In 1986, the disease afflicted an estimated 3.5 million people a year in 21 countries in Africa ad Asia. Today, thanks to the work of The Carter Center and its partners--including the countries themselves--the incidence of Guinea worm has been reduced by more than 99.99 percent to 22 cases in 2015."

On February 3, 2016, Carter addressed Britain's House of Lords on the success of hs work with this disease (Associated Press, Jimmy Carter to Make Rare Address to British House of Lords, January 30, 2016).

Jimmy Carter has been featured in other Pol Light moments and can be found by searching this blog with the Jimmy Carter Label.

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 as an official photo of the United States government.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Edward Brooke Raises Male Breast Cancer Awareness

Edward Brooke
Pol Light Moment #128 occurred on June 4, 2003, when Edward Brooke (1919-2015) started to raise awareness for male breast cancer. Edward Brooke served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1967-1979. Prior to that he had served as the Attorney General of Massachusetts from 1963-1967.

Edward Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and in September 2002 had a double mastectomy. After a period of recovery and reflection on June 4, 2003, Brooke started to share his story about male breast cancer in order to raise awareness for this rare condition. He would continue to speak on that subject as he had opportunity for the next 12 years of his life.

Edward Brooke said the following in June 2003 about raising awareness of male breast cancer:
I want to produce some male breast cancer awareness on a national level. I'm a very private person, but if I have to give up my privacy to save a life, then I am willing to do that. Because if you have breast tissue, you can get breast cancer. Don't forget that (Edward Brooke as quoted in USA Today, Sen. Brooke Advocates Male Breast Cancer Awareness, June 24, 2003).

The American Cancer Society indicates that 1 in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer (Dr. Sharon Giordano, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Tackling the Rare and Under-Researched Area of Male Breast Cancer, January 23, 2015). Men are less likely than women to get screened for breast cancer because it is a rare disease for them. This can make the prognosis more dire and stresses the importance of famous men like Edward Brooke raising awareness of breast cancer.

The following are some links on Edward Brooke and his crusade for male breast cancer awareness.

Edward Brooke has been featured on other posts at Pol Light. To view them search the blog with the label "Edward Brooke".

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 Edward Brooke is in the Public Domain.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Edward Brooke is First Popularly Elected African American Senator

Edward Brooke
Pol Light Moment #127 occurred on January 10, 1967, when Edward Brooke (1919-2015) took office as the first popularly elected African American to the United States Senate. Edward Brooke served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1967-1979. Prior to that he had served as the Attorney General of Massachusetts from 1963-1967.

The following news story gives tributes to Edward Brooke after his passing on January 3, 2015.



More information about Edward Booke is available at these links.
Edward Brooke has been featured on other posts at Pol Light. To view them search the blog with the label "Edward Brooke".

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 Edward Brooke is in the Public Domain.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

William Howard Taft Throws First Presidential Pitch

William Howard Taft
Pol Light Moment #126 occurred on April 14, 1910, when William Howard Taft (1857-1930) threw the first ceremonial Presidential pitch on the opening day of the Major League Baseball season. In doing so Taft started an opening day tradition carried on by almost all Presidents who followed him. William Howard Taft served as President of the United States from 1909-1913.

The baseball game William Howard Taft threw his Presidential pitch at was played on April 14, 1910 in Washington D.C.. In the game the Washington Senators defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0 and Walter Johnson was the winning pitcher with a complete game shutout (Society for American Baseball Research, Walter Johnson Impresses President Taft on Opening Day, Steven V. Rice).

A story in The Washington Post about the game said,
President Taft threw the first ball into the diamond and opened the season with a true presidential flourish. He did it with his good, trusty right arm and the virgin sphere scudded across the diamond as a die to the pitcher's box, where Walter Johnson, also the possessor of a good trusty right arm, gathered it in and started winding up for one of his rifle shots across the plate (Taft Tosses Ball, The Washington Post, April 15, 1910 as quoted in Boundary Stones blog, April 13, 2015).
A day after the game Walter Johnson sent the ball that was thrown for the ceremonial first pitch to William Howard Taft and asked that he sign it for him. President Taft signed it along with an inscription, "For Walter Johnson, with the hope that he may continue to be as formidable as in yesterday's game (Society for American Baseball Research, Walter Johnson Impresses President Taft on Opening Day, Steven V. Rice)." Indeed Walter Johnson went on to have a hall of fame baseball career winning 417 games from 1907-1927.

Steve Goldman wrote a history of Presidential first pitches for SB Nation.

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 William Howard Taft is in the Public Domain.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Joe Biden Joins Facebook to Promote Cancer Initiative


Pol Light Moment #125 is when Joe Biden started a Facebook page on February 4, 2016, making history as the first Vice-President of the United States to join Facebook. The first status message Joe Biden shared on his Facebook page was related to President Obama's Cancer Initiative. Joe Biden has been the Vice President of the United States from 2009 to the present. Prior to that he served as a United States Senator for Delaware from 1973-2009.

President Obama asked Joe Biden to lead a new task force to end cancer. It is especially close to Biden's heart because his oldest son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in May of 2015 (CNN.com, Sophie Tatum, Joe Biden Joins Facebook, Will Field Questions on Cancer Initiative, February 4, 2016). 

Below is the first message and video that Joe Biden posted on his Facebook page. He came back to Facebook a few hours later at 3:14 ET and answered questions for about 45 minutes about the cancer initiative for World Cancer Day. 

Hi, folks. Welcome to my Facebook page. It’s the first time a Vice President has had one of these. I’d like it to be a...
Posted by Vice President Biden on Thursday, February 4, 2016


Joe Biden has been featured on other posts at Pol Light. To view them search the blog with the label "Joe Biden".

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 Joe Biden is in the Public Domain and is the official United States federal government photo of Joe Biden.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Robert Dole Shares About Turning 90

Robert Dole
Pol Light Moment #124 occurred on July 22, 2013, when Robert Dole talked about turning 90. Robert Dole served as a United States Senator from Kansas from 1969-1996. Dole was the Senate Majority Leader in 1995-1996 and the Senate Minority Leader from 1987-1995. Prior to serving as a senator he served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1969.

Here is the televised interview with Bob Dole about his 90th birthday.


In the video Bob Dole thanked the people of Kansas for their support over the years. Dole said, "I've had a great life. Kansas - the people, have been good to me. And I want to say thak you to them for voting for me (KSHB.com, Mark Clegg, Former Senator Bob Dole Reflects on Kansas, Washingon, and the GOP As He Turns 90, July 22, 2013)."

At the occasion of turning 90, Dole mentioned how he wants to be remembered. He said, "I'd just like people to remember me as somebody who kept the faith, had integrity and honesty - but above all, knowing who I was and where I was from (KSHB.com, Mark Clegg, Former Senator Bob Dole Reflects on Kansas, Washingon, and the GOP As He Turns 90, July 22, 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.

The photo of Robert Dole is in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Edward Kennedy Gives Eulogy for His Brother Robert

Edward "Ted" Kennedy

Pol Light Moment #123 occurred on June 8, 1968, when Edward Kennedy (1932-2009) gave a heartfelt and emotional eulogy at the funeral of his brother Robert F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated and died on June 6, 1968. Edward Kennedy served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1962-2009.

The following is a video recording of Edward Kennedy's eulogy for his brother Robert.


The following are the closing words of this eulogy.
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. 
Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. 
As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.  (Edward Kennedy)
(Source: American Rhetoric: Edward M. Kennedy At Public Memorial Service for Robert F. Kennedy)

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

 "Ted Kennedy, official photo portrait crop" by Ted_Kennedy,_official_photo_portrait.jpg: United States Senatederivative work: Tktru (talk) - Ted_Kennedy,_official_photo_portrait.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Joni Ernst Reports for National Guard Duty 2 Days After Election

Joni Ernst
Pol Light Moment #122 occurred on November 6, 2014, when Joni Ernst reported for National Guard service two days after she was elected as the first woman to the Senate in Iowa. Joni Ernst has served as a United States Senator from Iowa since 2015. From 2011-2014, Joni Ernst served in the Iowa State Senate representing the 12th District.

Lt. Col. Joni Ernst joined the National Guard in 1993. She is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Independent Journal, Victoria Taft, What Newly Elected Senator Joni Ernst Did Two Days After the Election Tells Us All About Her Character).

After winning election to the United States Senate, Ernst reported to her base on November 6, 2014, for two days of training with the 185th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (National Review, Benny Johson, Iowa's New Senator -Elect Has Other Duties Before She Heads to Washington, November 7, 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.

"Joni Ernst Official photo portrait 114th Congress" by United States Congress - http://www.ernst.senate.gov/content/about-joni. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tom Harkin is Grand Marshall for Disability Pride Parade

Tom Harkin
Pol Light Moment #121 occurred on July 12, 2015, when Tom Harkin served as the Grand Marshall for the first-ever Disability Pride Parade in New York City. Tom Harkin served as a United States Senator from Iowa from 1985-2015.

The first of several Disability Pride Parades started in Boston, Massachusetts in 1990. Parades have taken place in several major cities across the country, including an active slate in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Trenton, New Jersey, and New York City. Tom Harkin served as t he Grand Marshall for the first-ever parade in New York City. 2015 also marked the 25th Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in 1990.

The following is a video of Tom Harkin speaking at the 2015 Disability Pride Parade in New York City.



Autism Speaks featured this video about the 2015 Disability Pride Parade in New York City.




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 Tom Harkin used in this post is in the Public Domain.