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President II - History

President II - History


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President II
(Sip: 12 guns)

The second President, a 12-gun sloop whose dimensions and builder are unknown, was originally purchased by the War Department on Lake Champlain and turned over to the Navy late in 1812.

This sloop, together with other suitable craft that had beenpurchased and built, temporarily gave the Americans dominance on Champlain.

The British squadron came down the lake to aid a British army that was attempting to invade New York along the very route Burgoyne had chosen during the Revolution. This British squadron was defeated at Plattsburg 11 September 1814, all ships being captured except for several gunboats.

Sloop President did not take part in the American victory, as she had been captured by the British earlier in the year and taken into the Royal Navy as Icicle.


Titan II History

The Martin Company first proposed the development of the Titan II in 1958, and the Air Force approved the program in October of 1959. Construction of the launch complexes began in December of 1960. The first missile was installed in December of 1962, and the first unit was turned over to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) on March 31, 1963.

Four important changes distinguished the Titan II from its predecessors, the Atlas F and the Titan I. First, the Titan II used nitrogen tetroxide (oxidizer) and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (fuel) as its propellants. These liquids are hypergolic, meaning that they do not ignite until contact. This increased the reliability of the Titan II, both at liftoff and when the Stage II engine ignited at high altitude. Second, nitrogen tetroxide is noncryogenic so that both propellants could be stored on board the missile for indefinite periods of time. Third, the Titan II would also launch from its underground silo, reducing the launch time of the missile to just under a minute. Finally, the Titan II utilized an all-inertial guidance system, increasing its accuracy over the Titan I.

Carrying the largest nuclear warhead ever deployed on an ICBM by the United States, and with a range of 5,500 miles, the Titan II was the ultimate liquid-propellant ICBM.

Fifty-four Titan II ICBMs were deployed in groups of eighteen around three Air Force Bases, with the first units coming on alert in early 1963. All fifty-four missiles were on alert by December of that year. Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona hosted the 390th Strategic Missile Wing (SMW) which was comprised of the 570th and 571st Strategic Missile Squadrons (SMS). Little Rock AFB, Arkansas hosted the 308th SMW which was comprised of the 373rd SMS and 374th SMS. And McConnell AFB, Kansas hosted the 381st SMW which was comprised of the 532nd SMS and 533rd SMS.

Classified as combat duty, Titan II crew duty was only open to men when the system became operational in 1963. This all changed in 1978 when the Air Force opened the Titan II career field to women. First Lieutenant Patricia M. Fornes was the first woman to pull a Titan II alert on September 16, 1978.

Originally designed for a ten-year deployment, the Titan II program was extended by a series of modifications and upgrades. One such modification replaced the all-inertial guidance system with the Universal Space Guidance System (USGS) developed by MIT and Delco Electronics. In the end, the Titan II more than doubled its planned deployment. But in October of 1981, President Reagan announced the start of his Strategic Forces Improvement Program. As part of this program, the land based ICBM programs would be modernized, and the Titan II was identified for deactivation to make way for more advanced systems such as the MX Peacekeeper. Deactivation of the Titan II began in 1982 at the 390th SMW. The 381st SMW followed, and finally, in 1987, twenty-four years after its initial deployment, the Titan II program came to an end when the 308th SMW was deactivated.


A Distinctive Leader

Roosevelt is a unique president in American history not only because he did the very difficult grunt work of helping lead the allies to victory in war, but because he was the longest-serving president the country is likely to ever see. Today, American presidents are restricted to serving just two terms in office, for a total of about eight years as president. Most presidents are elected twice and do serve their two terms. Just ten of all 45 US presidents so far have served only one term at the top because of failing to win re-election. Roosevelt, however, outranks them all. As a welcome powerhouse at the time, he was elected in 1933 and won four terms running as president.

Franklin Roosevelt, left, receiving official notification of his Democratic Vice Presidential nomination. July 17, 1920. Image credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock

How did he achieve this? When Franklin D. Roosevelt, a democrat, was elected as president in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression, he won two-thirds of the popular vote. This vast support made it relatively easy for him to be re-elected for a second term in 1937.

In 1940, he was elected for a third time as the world led itself into the beginnings of World War II and the country sought stability in its leadership. He was then elected a fourth time in 1944, while the country was in the final throes of the war, but he died before the end of this final term.


Biden makes 13: Queen Elizabeth II's (sometimes awkward) history with US presidents

Imagine trying to make an impression on someone who’s met, well, almost everyone.

Such is the challenge for US President Joe Biden, who is set to sip tea with Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday (local time) at Windsor Castle after a Group of Seven leaders' summit in southwestern England.

Biden will be the 13th president to sit with the now-95-year-old monarch. The White House said he previously met the queen in 1982, when he was a US senator.

Before the two meet again, the leaders are to attend a reception Friday with the queen, her son Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, and Charles' son Prince William and his wife, Kate.

The queen has met every American president since Dwight Eisenhower during her nearly 70-year reign, except for Lyndon Johnson, who didn't visit Britain while he was in office.

She was a 25-year-old princess when she came to Washington in 1951 and stayed with President Harry S Truman and his family at Blair House, where Truman lived while the White House underwent a major renovation. She met Herbert Hoover in 1957, more than 20 years after he left office.

Her personal ties to US leaders underscore the importance of the United States to the United Kingdom and to the queen. She came of age during World War II and understands the central role the trans-Atlantic alliance has played in modern British history, said Robert Hardman, author of Queen of the World, which examines her role representing Britain on the world stage.

“She grew up with that sort of sense of the USA is almost a sort of salvation that came along and rescued Europe in the darkest days of the war,’’ Hardman told The Associated Press.

Here are highlights of some of her meetings, on both sides of the pond, with past American presidents:

Donald Trump

Trump and the queen met in July 2018 at Windsor Castle during a visit to Britain that drew large anti-Trump protests in downtown London, including the hoisting of a balloon that depicted Trump in a diaper.

He was criticised for breaking protocol by briefly walking in front of the queen – instead of alongside her – and turning his back on her as they reviewed an honour guard.

Trump later said he thought of his late mother, Mary Anne, who was born in Scotland and who loved the royal family, when he and his wife, Melania, sipped tea with the queen.

Trump's subsequent comment that the queen told him that Brexit – Britain's break from the European Union – was complex also created a stir. Most heads of state keep private their private conversations with the queen.

She also doesn't discuss political matters.

The Trumps and the royals met again during the D-Day commemoration in 2019.

Barack Obama

Obama and the queen had their first of three meetings in April 2009 at a reception for world leaders attending the Group of 20 nations summit in London.

It was there that first lady Michelle Obama broke protocol by briefly putting an arm around the queen's back as they commiserated about their achy feet. It's generally a no-no to touch the queen, but she returned the gesture.

The queen invited the Obamas for a state visit in 2011 that included a two-night stay at Buckingham Palace and a lavish banquet in the president's honour.

As Obama delivered a toast to the queen, he didn't miss a beat when the band assumed that a pause in his remarks meant he had concluded and launched into a rendition of God Save the Queen. Obama kept talking over the music until the band quieted down.

The couples saw each other again in 2016 when Obama visited the queen at Windsor Castle a day after her 90th birthday during another swing through Europe.

George W Bush

Bush detested stuffy, formal affairs, but he donned a white tie-and-tails tuxedo after the queen pulled out all the stops for a state dinner in his honour at Buckingham Palace in November 2003.

A few years later, Bush's slip of the tongue generated ripples of laughter at a White House welcoming ceremony for the queen, who was touring the US in May 2007.

Stumbling on a line in his speech, Bush said the queen had dined with several of his predecessors and had helped the United States “celebrate its bicentennial in 17- . ” Bush caught himself and corrected the date to 1976, and paused to see if she had taken offence.

“She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child,” Bush said with a smile.

The queen later turned the tables on Bush with her toast at a dinner she hosted for the president at the British Embassy in Washington.

“I wondered whether I should start this toast by saying, ‘When I was here in 1776,'" she said to laughter.

Bill Clinton

The queen hosted Clinton and his wife, Hillary, aboard her royal yacht, Britannia, in June 1994.

The ship, 125m long and 17m wide, was docked at the Portsmouth Naval Base and was home base for the Clintons as they attended the queen's dinner at Guildhall for leaders of Allied nations whose troops participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy 50 years earlier.

The Clintons spent one night aboard the boat. The next day, the Britannia ferried Clinton to the USS George Washington aircraft carrier as it prepared to sail across the English Channel, from Portsmouth to Normandy, for D-Day anniversary celebrations.

George H W Bush

One of the more memorable images from the monarch's third state visit to the US came in 1991 when only her white-striped purple hat could be seen above the microphones when she spoke at an arrival ceremony on the White House grounds.

Someone forgot to adjust the lectern after the much taller Bush spoke.

The queen stayed strong and carried on, later making light of the incident as she opened an address to a joint meeting of Congress.

“I do hope you can see me today from where you are,” she deadpanned. Bush later apologised and said he felt badly for not pulling out a step for her to stand on.

Ronald Reagan

Reagan and the queen bonded over their mutual love of horseback riding.

They rode side by side on a 13km, hour long tour on the grounds of Windsor Castle when Reagan visited her there in June 1982. Reagan was the first president to sleep over at the British royal family's historic home, an 11th-century estate overlook the River Thames.

While in the US in 1983, the monarch and Philip stayed with the president and first lady Nancy Reagan at their ranch in Santa Barbara, California. She wanted to ride horses again, but a rainstorm wouldn't allow it. The Reagans served a lunch of regional staples, including enchiladas, chiles rellenos, refried beans, tacos, rice and guacamole.

They also hosted a state dinner for the queen in San Francisco at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.

Jimmy Carter

The queen hosted Carter in May 1977 on his first overseas trip at a dinner for NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace. At one point, as Carter stood with the queen and other guests, he noticed the arrival of the queen mother.

Ever the Southern gentleman, Carter broke away, took her by the hand and escorted her to the assembled line of guests.

The no-frills Georgia peanut farmer-turned-president ate chicken mousse off a gold plate and seemed excited by his dinner seating between the queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, and across from her son, Prince Charles, Prince Philip and the queen mother.

Gerald Ford

Ford threw a gala state dinner for the Brits in 1976 to mark the bicentennial of the American Revolution.

The queen was resplendent in a diamond-studded tiara that sparkled for a crowd that included diplomats, star athletes and celebrities such as Cary Grant and Julie Harris.

The mood evaporated when Ford led the queen to the dance floor while the song The Lady Is a Tramp echoed throughout the State Dining Room.


A history of papal visits by U.S. presidents

President Barack Obama had his first audience with Pope Francis Thursday at the Vatican. The visit is seen as an attempt to strengthen the relationship between the White House and the Catholic Church. President Obama and Pope Francis are expected to speak about shared causes, such as income inequality, but also delve into their disagreements on abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage.

With his visit to Vatican City, Mr. Obama continues the tradition of presidential meetings with the pope that began with the 28th president of the United States.

Here is a history of U.S. presidential visits to the Vatican:

    Woodrow Wilson was the first U.S. president to visit the pope at the Vatican. President Wilson met with Pope Benedict XV on Jan. 4, 1919. Wilson was first in Paris to negotiate the treaty to end World War I, when he decided to travel to Rome.

Photos via Library of Congress

Photo by Paul Schutzer/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Photo via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

President Richard Nixon visits the Vatican in 1970. Photo via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

President Ronald Reagan visits Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1982. Photo via Reagan Library

President George H.W. Bush visits Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1991. Photo by White House

Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images

President George W. Bush awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Pope John Paul II. White House photo by Eric Draper

Photo by Giancarlo Giuliani-Vatican Pool/Getty Images

White House photo by Pete Souza

The pope has also met with the presidents several times in the United States:

  • On Oct. 4, 1965, Pope Paul VI met with President Johnson in New York City. Pope Paul VI was the first reigning pope to visit the United States.
  • Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter are the only American presidents to receive a pope at the White House. Pope John Paul II came to Washington on Oct. 6, 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI visited the Bush White House in April of 2008.

Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick/White House/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

White House photo by Eric Draper

Photo via Ronald Reagan Library

President Bill Clinton with Pope John Paul II in Denver, Colo. Photo via Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Left: President Barack Obama meets Pope Francis at his private library in the Apostolic Palace on March 27, 2014 in Vatican City. Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images


Headstones

Each grave site for the World War I and World War II cemeteries is marked by a headstone of pristine white marble. Headstones of those of the Jewish faith are tapered marble shafts surmounted by a Star of David. Stylized marble Latin crosses mark all others. Annotated on the headstones of the World War I servicemen who could not be identified is: "Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The words "American Soldier" were changed to "Comrade in Arms" on the headstones of the unidentified of World War II.


The 11 Most Racist U.S. Presidents

Let's imagine the unimaginable: Donald Trump was elected president in November. Yes, president of the United States.

Let's imagine the impossible: he forced Mexico to build a border wall. Let's imagine the unthinkable: he deported millions of Latino/as. Let's imagine the unconscionable: he ruthlessly terrorized Muslim Americans and #Black Lives Matter activists. Let's imagine the unacceptable: middle and low income people suffered horribly under the weight of this billionaire's policies.

Let's imagine that he did not moderate on his campaign pledges and he carried them out as president. Would a President Trump go down in the annals of American history as one of the most racist presidents ever?

He certainly would face a substantial amount of competition on the racist front. There have been many frightfully racist U.S. presidents in American history. Here are the 11 most racist U.S. presidents of all time.

11. George Walker Bush

43rd President (2001-2009)

Not only did President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) in 2003 increase the stranglehold of standardized testing on America's children--tests antiracists have long argued were racist. NCLBA more or less encouraged funding mechanisms that decreased (or did not increase) funding to schools when students were struggling or not making improvements on tests, thus privately leaving the neediest students of color behind.

Then two years later, President Bush's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publically left thousands of stranded Black folk behind after Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. While reporters quickly reached the Gulf Coast, federal officials made excuses for their delays, quickening the death spiral in New Orleans, ensuring that President Bush would land on this list of the most racist presidents of all time. And to top it all off, President Bush's economic policies--his lax regulation of Wall Street loaners and speculators--helped bring into being the Great Recession, bringing about the largest loss of Black and Latino wealth in recent history.

10. John Calvin Coolidge Jr.

30th President (1923-1929)

President Bush's FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina seemed prompt when compared to President's Coolidge's handling of the Great Mississippi (River) Flood of 1927. While most White communities were saved, riverside Black communities were flooded to reduce the pressure on the levees. And then these thousands of displaced Blacks were forced to work for their rations under the gun of the National Guard and area planters, leading to a conflagration of mass beatings, lynchings, and rapes. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who President Coolidge eventually appointed to head the relief efforts, capitalized on southern segregationists' support for his flood mismanagement and succeeded Coolidge in the White House.

President Coolidge also signed arguably the most racist and ethnocentric immigration act in history, an act championed by Republican eugenicists and Democratic Klansmen. The Immigration Act of 1924 was co-authored by Washington Congressman Albert Johnson, well-schooled in theories of "yellow peril" that had rationalized discrimination against west coast Asians for decades. The bipartisan measure further restricted immigration from southern and eastern Europe, severely restricted African immigrants, and banned the immigrations of Arabs and Asians. "America must be kept American," President Coolidge had said during his first annual message to Congress in 1923.

9. Dwight David Eisenhower

34th President (1953-1961)

Most presidents made this list for what they did. President Eisenhower made this list for what he did not do. He made this list as a representative of all those U.S. presidents who did nothing to stop the trepidations of slavery and segregation and mass incarceration.

When NAACP lawyers persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to rule Jim Crow as unconstitutional in 1954, President Eisenhower did not endorse Brown v. Board of Education and dragged his feat to enforce it. At a White House dinner the year before, President Eisenhower had told Chief Justice Earl Warren he could understand why White southerners wanted to make sure "their sweet little girls [are not] required to sit in school alongside some big black buck." He reluctantly sent federal troops to protect the Little Rock Nine who were desegregating an Arkansas high school. He considered that act to be the most repugnant of all his presidential acts. During those critical years after the 1954 Brown decision, this former five-star World War II general did not wage war against segregation. And he remains as much to blame as anyone for its persistence, for the lives lost fighting against it.

11th President (1845-1849)

In the 1840s, western expansion of the U.S. was uniting White Americans, while the western expansion of slavery was dividing White Americans. Months after President Polk took office, John O'Sullivan had imagined White Americans' "manifest destiny. to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us." President Polk leaned on this racist idea when his administration waged the Mexican American War (1846-1848). War propagandists framed the U.S. as bringing freedom and civilization to the backward Mexicans. From the war spoils, the U.S. seized from Mexico nearly all of what is now the American Southwest--a gargantuan land seizure that mirrored the ongoing violent seizures of Native American land and the ongoing violent seizures of Black labor.

President Polk led the fight against those politicians and activists pressing to ban slavery in the new southwestern territories. This lifelong slaveholder was angrily hated by antislavery Americans as the leader of the western marching "Slave Power." Indeed, President Polk wanted slavery to extend to the Pacific Ocean. He looked away as White slaveholders (and non-slaveholders) danced around the legal protections for Mexican landowners inscribed in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and went about illegally stealing the lands of the new group of Mexican American citizens. President Polk started a forgetful history of the Mexican southwest--and the long history of racism against Mexicans inside and outside of the border--a history of racism that is now fueling the campaign of Donald Trump.

7. Thomas Woodrow Wilson

28th President (1913-1921)

The same reasons why antiracist students have been pushing recently for Princeton University to take Wilson's name down from campus buildings are the same reasons why he made this list. President Wilson never turned his back on the racist ideas he produced as a Princeton political scientist. President Wilson oversaw the re-segregation of the federal government. Black federal workers were fired, and those that remained faced separate and unequal workspaces, lunchrooms, and bathrooms. He refused to appoint Black ambassadors to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as was custom. Professor Wilson and then President Wilson unapologetically backed what he called the "great Ku Klux Klan," and championed the Klan's violent disenfranchisement of southern African Americans in the late 19th century. President Wilson began the brutal two-decade U.S. occupation of Haiti in 1915, preventing Haitians from self-governing. And possibly most egregiously, at the Versailles Convention settling World War I in 1919, President Wilson effectively killed Japan's proposal for a treaty recognizing racial equality, thus sustaining the life of European colonialism.

6. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

32nd President (1933-1945)

Eleanor Roosevelt's storied life of activity on the civil rights front could not save her husband from making this list. Neither could the storied life of activity on the racist front of his uncle Theodore Roosevelt save him. FDR's racism was even more impactful that his uncle, Teddy. President Roosevelt's executive order in 1942 that ended up rounding up and forcing more than 100,000 Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II is arguably the most racist executive order in American history (He thankfully spared German and Italian Americans from the military prisons, but that showed his racism).

And while some of the White American competitors in the 1936 Berlin Olympics received invitations to the White House, Jesse Owens did not. President Roosevelt's snub of the U.S. four-time gold medal winner came around the same time he was pushing through Congress all of the job benefits in his New Deal, like minimum wage, social security, unemployment insurance, and unionizing rights. Farmers and domestics--southern Blacks' primary vocations--were excluded from the New Deal and federal relief was locally administered, satisfying southern segregationists. Northern segregationists were also satisfied by the housing discrimination in New Deal initiatives, like coding Black neighborhoods as unsuitable for the new mortgages. As such, Black communities remained buried in the Great Depression long after the 1930s while these New Deal policies (combined with the GI Bill) exploded the size of the White middle class.

5. Thomas Jefferson

3rd President (1801-1809)

By the time President Jefferson took office in 1801, his "all Men are created equal" was fast becoming a distant memory in the new nation's racial politics. President Jefferson had emerged as the preeminent American authority on Black inferiority. His racist ideas ("The blacks. are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind") in his perennially best-selling Notes on the State of Virginia (1787) were that impactful. His Notes were useful for powerful Americans rationalizing slavery after the American Revolution. In the book, Jefferson also offered the most popular race relations solution of the 19th century: the freeing, "civilizing," and colonizing of all Blacks back to "barbaric" Africa.

President Jefferson should be applauded for pushing Congress to pass the Slave Trade Act in 1807. Then again, a new evil replaced the old. The measure closed the door on the nation's legal participation in the international slave trade in 1808, and flung open the door on the domestic slave trade. Large slaveholders like President Jefferson supported this law since it increased the demand and value of their captives. They started deliberately "breeding" enslaved Africans to supply the demand of planters rushing into the Louisiana territory, which President Jefferson purchased from Napoleon in 1803. "I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man on the farm," Jefferson explained to a friend on June 30, 1820.

5th President (1817-1825)

If Jefferson was the brainchild of the colonization movement, then President Monroe was its pioneering initiator. Weeks before he was elected, candidate Monroe watched and supported the formation of the American Colonization Society. Presiding over the first meeting, House Speaker Henry Clay tasked the organization with ridding "our country of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous" population, and redeeming Africa "from ignorance and barbarism." By 1821, President Monroe had seized a strip of coastal West African land. This first American colony in Africa was later named "Liberia," and its capital was named "Monrovia."

But it was another namesake that really thrust President Monroe onto this list. "We. declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portions of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety." Thus said President Monroe during his seventh annual message to Congress in 1923. Several U.S. presidents used this "Monroe Doctrine" as a rationalizing cord for U.S. intervention into sovereign Latin American states, including the toppling of governments unfriendly to U.S. interests. This Monroe Doctrine was as racist and devastating to Latin American communities abroad as the doctrine of Manifest Destiny was to indigenous communities at home. In 2013, President Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry declared to the Organization of American States the "era of the Monroe Doctrine is over."

3. Ronald Wilson Reagan

40th President (1981-1989)

The arbiter of the "welfare queen" myth who evoked the old slaveholder and segregationist mantra of "states' rights" perfected President Richard Nixon's infamous "southern strategy" that actually worked nationally. President Reagan attracted voters through racially coded appeals that allowed them to avoid admitting they were attracted by the racist appeals. He stood at the head of a reactionary movement that undid some of the material gains of civil rights and Black power activists. During President Reagan's first year in office, the median income of Black families declined by 5.2 percent and the number of poor Americans, who were disproportionately Black, increased by 2.2. million--a sign of things to come under Reaganomics. Then in 1982, President Reagan announced his War on Drugs at an inauspicious time: when drug use was declining. "We must mobilize all our forces to stop the flow of drugs into this country," Reagan said.

President Reagan surely did not mobilize any of his forces to stop the CIA-back Contra rebels of Nicaragua from smuggling cocaine into the country to fund their operations. But he surely did mobilize his forces to draw media attention to their spreading of crack cocaine in 1985. The media blitz handed his slumbering War on Drugs an intense media high in 1986. That fall, he signed "with great pleasure" the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which established minimum sentencing for drug crimes and led to the mass incarceration of Black and Brown drug offenders over the next few decades. Like his campaign strategies, President Reagan took President Nixon's racist drug war to a new level, and the mass incarceration of Black and Brown bodies accelerated under the Bush (times two) and Clinton administrations, especially after Clinton's 1994 crime bill. White drug offenders, consuming and dealing drugs at similar or greater rates, remained disproportionately free. Reagan stands on this list as the representative of all these mass incarcerating presidents in the late 20th century.

7th President (1829-1837)

Yes, the president the U.S. Treasury is planning on putting on the back of Harriett Tubman is the second most racist president of all-time. Ironically, he attracted the same demographic groups (less educated, less affluent White men) that Trump is attracting these days.

Jackson stepped into the U.S. presidency as a wealthy Tennessee enslaver and military general who had founded and spearheaded the Democratic Party. Jacksonian Democrats, as historians call them, amassed a winning coalition of southern enslavers, White working people, and recent European immigrants who regularly rioted against abolitionists, indigenous and Black communities, and civil rights activists before and after the Civil War. When the mass mailings of antislavery tracts captured national attention in 1835, President Jackson called on Congress to pass a law prohibiting "under severe penalties, the circulation. of incendiary publications." And the following year Jackson and his supporters instituted the infamous "gag rule" that effectively tabled all the anti-slavery petitions rushing into Congress.

And yet, it was his Indian removal policies that were the most devastating of all on the lives of Native Americans (and African Americans). Beginning with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, President Jackson forced several Native Americans nations to relocate from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to areas west of the Mississippi River--all to make way for those enslaved Africans being forcibly hauled into the Deep South. President Jackson help forge this trail of Native American tears out of the Deep South, and this trail of African tears into the Deep South.

17th President (1865-1869)

This Democrat from Tennessee was sworn into the presidency after John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln days after the Civil War ended. When President Johnson issued his Reconstruction proclamations about a month later on May 29, 1865, he deflated the high hopes of civil rights activists. President Johnson offered amnesty, property rights, and voting rights to all but the highest Confederate officials (most of whom he pardoned a year later). He later ordered the return of land to pardoned Confederates, null and voided those wartime orders that granted Blacks forty acres and a mule, and removed many of the Black troops from the South.

Feeling empowered by President Johnson, Confederates instituted a series of discriminatory Black codes at the constitutional conventions that reformulated southern states in the summer and fall of 1865. The immediate postwar South became the spitting image of the prewar South in everything but name--as the law replaced the master. These racist policies caused a postwar, war, since an untold number of Black people lost their lives resisting them.


Ahead Of Joe Biden Meeting, Here's Queen Elizabeth II's History With US Presidents

Imagine trying to make an impression on someone who's met, well, almost everyone. Such is the challenge for US President Joe Biden, who will meet Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday at Windsor Castle outside London. During her nearly 70-year reign, the monarch has met every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower, except for Lyndon Johnson, who didn't visit Britain while he was in office. She also met Herbert Hoover, though that was in 1957, more than 20 years after he left the White House.

Her personal ties to U.S. leaders underscore the importance of the United States to the U.K. and to the queen. She came of age during World War II and understands the central role the trans-Atlantic alliance has played in modern British history, said Robert Hardman, author of "Queen of the World,'' which examines her role representing Britain on the world stage.

Biden will be the 13th sitting U.S. president to meet with the now-95-year-old monarch. The latest U.S. president Donald Trump and the queen met in July 2018 in the courtyard of Windsor Castle, outside London, during a visit to Britain for which large anti-Trump protests, including the hoisting of a balloon that depicted Trump in a diaper, were held in the streets of downtown London. Trump largely got around by helicopter to avoid seeing the outpouring against him.

He received a bit of criticism for briefly walking in front of the queen &mdash instead of alongside her &mdash as they reviewed an honor guard on castle grounds. Trump later said he thought of his late mother Mary Anne, who was born in Scotland and who loved the royal family, when he and his wife, Melania, sipped tea with the queen.

Trump's subsequent comment that the queen told him Britain's exit from the European Union, known as Brexit, was complex also created a stir. Most heads of state keep their private conversations with the queen private. She also doesn't discuss political matters.


U.S. Presidents 1789-1829

The earliest presidents, most of whom are considered to be Founding Fathers of the United States, are usually the easiest to remember. Streets, counties, and cities are named after all of them across the country. Washington is called the father of his country for good reason: His ragtag Revolutionary army beat the British, and that made the United States of America a country. He served as the country's first president, guiding it through its infancy, and set the tone. Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, expanded the country tremendously with the Louisiana Purchase. Madison, the father of the Constitution, was in the White House during the War of 1812 with the British (again), and he and wife Dolley had to famously escape the White House as it was burned by the British. These early years saw the country carefully begin to find its way as a new nation.


The First Air Force One

On a sunny day last November, Air Force One was parked inside a hangar 140 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The large, four-engine transport had logged thousands of miles. Countless VIPs had flown aboard it. Speeches on the peaceful purpose of atomic power had been crafted inside its cabin, and presidential naps taken in its comfy berths.

But this Air Force One was not waiting for the president. No, this airplane, a 72-year-old Lockheed VC-121 Constellation—the first presidential aircraft officially designated as Air Force One—was waiting for resurrection. Named Columbine II, the airplane was the personal transport of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who flew aboard it in the early 1950s. As could be expected, the aircraft is in need of a nose-to-tail overhaul.

The driving force behind the ongoing restoration is Karl Stoltzfus, founder of Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater, Virginia. Serving both government and commercial clients, the company is a one-stop shop for aviation services, leasing and staffing its fleet of 140 aircraft for missions that range from military reconnaissance to data acquisition for civilian organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hidden away on a pastoral road in rural Virginia, Dynamic is situated on a 750-acre airpark. Numerous hangars house King Airs and Dash 8s, which workers have fitted with photographic equipment to measure snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and to take geographical surveys for mining companies.

Eisenhower’s former transport is part of a small number of legacy aircraft that Stoltzfus restores out of a sense duty to preserve his country’s aviation history. That includes the C-47 Miss Virginia, which Dynamic flew to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day last year (see “Return to Normandy,” June/July 2019), as well as a Stearman biplane and a T-6 Texan, two aircraft types that taught some of the Stoltzfus family to fly.

Columbine II has found a devoted benefactor in Karl Stoltzfus, who is funding the restoration out of a desire to preserve historic aircraft. (Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee / USAF)

Stoltzfus is an avid student of history in general. He started reading about Eisenhower after purchasing the Connie, and he’s come to admire the 34th president. Stoltzfus’ slow and steady approach to the restoration seems to mimic Ike’s character. “He was using his understated style of diplomacy,” says Stoltzfus. “His style was not blustery.”

Though it’s obvious that Columbine II needs to be rebuilt, the airliner’s deteriorated condition cannot obscure its good looks. Lockheed’s Constellation is the loveliest of 1950s airliners, with a long, tapered fuselage that brings to mind the bottlenose dolphin. Most of Columbine II is a dull pewter now, except for the belly of its forward fuselage and part of its nose, where its aluminum skin has been polished to a lustrous silver that shimmers under the hangar’s fluorescent lights. Its name is painted in mustard-color cursive and underlined by an image of a blooming columbine, the state flower of Colorado and a nod to the home of Eisenhower’s wife, Mamie.

“The aesthetics of the Constellation are in a class all by themselves—they were the iconic aircraft of that era,” says Stoltzfus. “It’s definitely all-American.”

The aircraft that would eventually become the first Air Force One rolled off Lockheed’s assembly line in Burbank, California on December 22, 1948, and was purchased by the Air Force. Eisenhower used the aircraft for a trip to Korea shortly after he was elected president in November 1952, and the next year the aircraft was converted into a VIP transport for him. The aircraft’s transformation included the installation of a mahogany desk that featured buttons to activate a phone that could connect to landlines at airport terminals.

Unlike today’s Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747, the Constellation could not hold the president’s entire staff plus a gaggle of reporters. The cabin of Columbine II had a scant 16 seats. And because the aircraft flew before the age of digital automation, the flight crew had several more positions than today’s crews: radio operator, flight engineer, and navigator in addition to pilot and co-pilot.

Walking through the cabin today, one can see numerous ashtrays dispersed throughout, from the first lady’s room at the aft cabin up to the cockpit. It’s difficult to tell whether the brown stains on the walls come from years of neglect or the decades of cigarette smoking by many who flew aboard the transport. (Eisenhower, who started smoking during his days at West Point, had quit his three-pack-a-day habit by the time he became president, but he didn’t mind if others smoked.)

The interior of the Connie smells like plywood. William Borchers, who is leading the team that is restoring the aircraft’s interior, stands in its cabin. When asked about the most exciting part of his job, Borchers exhales deeply. “Oooh boy,” he says. “There’s a lot to it. You’ll see there’s a lot of things we’re removing, and making them out of metal rather than wood because all the wood is coming out.”

By November 1954, Eisenhower had upgraded from his used transport to Lockheed’s Super Constellation, making Columbine II the only Air Force One to serve a single president. A year later, the aircraft was transferred to Pan American World Airways for two years before returning to the Air Force. Retired from military service in 1968, it was put into storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and sold by auction to a private owner two years later. By 2003, when that owner had failed to find a buyer for Columbine II, the airplane was sent to a boneyard at the Marana Regional Airport near Tucson.

Stoltzfus and his team lead for Columbine II, Bryan Miklos, first visited the aircraft in 2014 at the Marana airport. The once-elegant presidential ferry was coated in an oily grime. Over time, the 70,000-pound aircraft had settled six inches into the sandy soil. Wildlife had invaded the fuselage, and layers of owl pellets coated the cabin floor. “This was a bird condominium,” says Brad Holliday, Dynamic’s technical maintenance manager for Columbine II. “There were rattlesnakes, some scorpions, other critters—I wasn’t too sure what they were—either in it, around it, or under it.”

One word came to mind when Stoltzfus laid eyes on the Connie: depression. “It just looked so overwhelming,” he says.

Stoltzfus went to bed that night and returned to the boneyard the next day. “I started walking around the front of the airplane and tried to put a new thought process into it,” he says. “Every fiber of my body said, ‘This is something you’re supposed to do. This isn’t a financial-consideration thing.’ ”

After Stoltzfus decided that the airliner could be saved, he had to craft a plan to move Columbine II from the Arizona desert to Bridgewater. In early 2015, a team of aircraft maintenance experts from Dynamic Aviation flew to Arizona and spent the next three months documenting the Constellation’s condition. The team devised a strategy for how to restore Columbine II to airworthiness, and they—along with a group of volunteers from the Mid America Flight Museum in Mount Pleasant, Texas—spent the next year refurbishing the airframe, engines, and the fuel-, hydraulic-, and electrical systems.

On March 22, 2016, the now-revived airliner began a two-day journey to its new home in Virginia. Since then, part of the remaining restoration has focused on returning presidential grandeur to the interior. Helping with historical accuracy is someone who flew aboard Columbine II as a child: Mary Jean Eisenhower, the president’s youngest granddaughter. “We first got to know Mary Jean in 2016, when she was working with a museum that had interest in the airplane,” says Stoltzfus. “We are delighted with her involvement.”

Stoltzfus estimates his company spends about $500,000 a year on the restoration. That excludes a permanent hangar he plans to build for a future aviation museum that will house the Connie, Miss Virginia, and other legacy aircraft in Dynamic’s collection.

As for when fans of vintage airliners can expect to see Columbine II once again in the air, the timeline continues to shift. “I think three years from now I could see engines running,” said Stoltzfus last November. When the Connie’s restoration is complete, he wants to take the airplane to airshows so that visitors can walk through its historic cabin.

Whenever possible, the team does its best to ensure that the restoration remains a thrifty operation. “This is a very frugal model,” says Stoltzfus. “If we need a part, we don’t just run out and say ‘We gotta have it right now.’ We say ‘Let’s figure out what we can do.’ ”

The ingenuity and self-reliance that Stoltzfus speaks of can be seen in the work being done by Aaron Asche, the project’s electrical lead. Asche has been helping to remove, replace, and modify the airplane’s electrical systems. That’s a challenge when some schematics for the Constellation are no longer available. “I don’t have the drawing, but I do have the plane,” he says. “So I simply follow the wire and draw it myself.”

Using reverse engineering from existing wiring, Asche has been re-creating wiring diagrams using software that enables him to edit the maps by hand. The results are simple and easy to follow, but each map takes days of work. He estimates it took 30 hours to re-create the generator-control diagram.

Asche admits his work can be tedious, but the 31-year-old is an old soul with a love for history. As he lies on the aircraft’s plywood floor searching for wiring, Asche is reminded of the magnitude of his job. “Sometimes you lose focus a bit—it’s kind of just a plane,” he says. “You really do have to think the president was flying on this thing. I’m up there looking at the wiring, and I’m looking at his desk. He was sitting there 65 years ago.”

Columbine II is a symbol of the presidency in the time before jets, when air travel was slower but more glamorous, and Constellations were the queens of the sky.

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This story is a selection from the June/July issue of Air & Space magazine


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