Memoes On Horseback

roosevelt-t-rough-rider.jpg The National Archives Doc ‘O The Day for Saturday

Surfacing this picture
gives the Archives reason enough to link to a 1998 article in their publication “Prologue,” “I Am Entitled to the Medal of Honor and I Want It” Theodore Roosevelt and His Quest for Glory

The story is a trawl through the documents and secondary sources on Roosevelt’s brief combat experience roosevelt-cuba-puck.jpg near Santiago Cuba with the Rough Riders, doing his part lifting Spanish Tyranny from the grateful Cuban people [and of course to protect our white women.] cuba-spaniards-search-women-on-american-steamersi.JPG

It’s quite a tale. The author points out that Roosevelt’s charge was up Kettle Hill, not neighboring San Juan Hill, and that “By the time the assault reached the top of Kettle Hill the ground was practically deserted by the Spanish soldiers.”

Roosevelt backed up his medal of honor pitch with documents from his superior officers. But the article points out none of them were there, and they largely replicated second hand documents or repeated what he had told them. roosevelt-teddy-writing.jpg

The Theodore Roosevelt Association claimed the author was biased, but perhaps what they object to is the comic effect he achieves quoting TR bluster:

“I don’t know who saw me throughout the fight, because I was almost always in the front and could not tell who was close behind me, and was paying no attention to it.”

He didn’t get the medal, he became President and the issue slumbered. During the 90s an effort to right past military awards wrongs against African-American soldiers was piggy-backed by Roosevelt fans, and Congress passed a bill asking for another review of the record. Which found against Roosevelt.

His Great-Grandson Tweed Roosevelt roosevelt-tweed-and-clinton.jpg finally received the award during Bill Clinton’s last week in office. This instance is not generally attacked as part of Clinton’s shall we say generous use of his pen on the way out.

In the citation it became once again “a desperate and gallant charge up San Juan Hill.”

Clinton was at his wistful, head tilting, wondering best as he repeated the misinformation Roosevelt generated:

“Two high-ranking military officers who had won the Medal of Honor in earlier wars and who saw Theodore Roosevelt’s bravery recommended him for the medal, too. For some reason, the War Department never acted on the recommendation…”

The Bitch Is Back

nixon-tatoo-roger-stone.jpg Standard deviation

The Weekly Standard offers a wet kiss to Republican operative and son-Nixon-never-had Roger Stone. Nothing on Nixon but the bitchin’ tat on the cover, lots of Stone’s mischievous rise to greatness.

Manhattan Transfer


Every jot and tickle of drama surrounding access to Hillary Clinton’s papers gets extensive play in right wing blogs, generally along the lines of “I wonder what she’s hiding” or “Hmmm.”

We can now watch with interest the reaction to the Chicago Tribune’s blow by blow of the ever changing status of Rudy Giuliani’s papers.

After his failed attempt to extend his term in mayor’s office by three months, Rudy’s thoughts apparently turned to History.

As his mayoralty entered it’s final days, the Giuliani appointed Records Department Commissioner signed an agreement transferring his administration’s papers to the Rudolph Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs. The Commissioner says he agreed to give away the papers because the municipal archives’ staff had been halved under Giuliaini:

“We went from 92 people in ’93 to 44 in 2001…That’s the largest percentage drop of any city department. The archives were overstressed.”

giuliani-papers-file-graphic.jpg The agreement gave Giuliani veto over releasing papers: “”whenever Rudolph W. Giuliani has a personal interest or right in a document separate and apart from the interests and rights of the city, his approval shall be required before any such document may be released or disclosed by the center to the public.”

Protests , lawsuits, and City Council legislation turned this back, with Rudy eventually dropping the language and returning the papers. Or so he says.

The city’s records chief says he thinks he got them all, but “I couldn’t testify in court that every paper came back.” And New York historian Michael Wallace told the Tribune “There should always be an asterisk next to any citation of the Giuliani papers, saying … ‘The chain of public custody of these documents was broken…He had to be sued repeatedly to get him to disclose even the most inoffensive material …Somebody with that kind of track record, you don’t want to turn over to him the task of archiving his papers.”

At the time the agreement was signed the Rudy center was but a gleam in the incorporating attorney’s eyes. Even today it’s only existence is as files at Rudy’s corporate offices.

Flights of Fancy

bush-mission-accomplised-thumbs-up.jpg Before the Banner, there was the flight suit


bush-flight-suit.jpg – Mission Accomplished Explained?

reagan-international-squadren-mission-accomplished.jpg bush-model-of-iraq-war-end-declartion.jpg

Johnson City


The L.B.Jesus that’s ugly!

David H. Bennett argues in the Austin American-Statesman


for LBJ memorializement beyond the Education Department building.

“Washington is a city of monuments: The Mall features buildings, statues and walls commemorating big achievements (like saving the Union) and small ones (like inventing the screw propeller). But until now, Washington had not a single monument to a man who left an enormous mark, not only on American government, but on the lives of our people: Lyndon Baines Johnson.”

Well, you could make a case for this monument: