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Just as an addendum: Garfield and Pierce also definitely saw active military service at the front lines.


Concerning President Carter, you left out the time he, ans 22 other technicians, shut down a nuclear reactor that was in partial meltdown. They worked in 89 second shifts to avoid lethal exposure.

Lance Mannion

Lawrence, thanks for reminding me and for the Patheos link. I should have worked it in. I did write about the incident once, though. It's in the old post about Jimmy I link to at the bottom of this one.

And, John, thanks for your reminders about Garfield and Pierce. I meant to include a paragraph about Garfield. Pierce I just forgot about. I don't mean his military service. I mean him! Not one of our most memorable presidents. Whenever I do remember him, it's as a college classmate and friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne. He got Hawthorne the job at the Custom House that inspired Hawthorne to write The Scarlet Letter. Anyway, I added Pierce and Garfield to the post, properly crediting you for the reminders, of course.


And going further afield from the topic, Lance, on that fine day that you come around to visit Chicago, be sure to visit Garfield Park and its outstanding conservatory:

The best, cheapest tropical vacation that money can't buy.


I always liked that French officer in Lord Jim, the one posted on the Patna while she was being towed, and there was a man with an axe ready to cut her away from the tow ship in an instant if she started to sink. It was horrible, inhuman. He was allowed not so much as a sip of wine.

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