Thursday, April 28, 2011

170 years ago Saint Peter Louis Mary Chanel died

He loves us. He does what he teaches. He forgives his enemies. His teaching is good.

- one of Saint Peter's catechumens, explaining why he believed Peter's teachings

ST. PETER CHANEL—1803-1841
Feast: April 28

On April 18, 1841, a band of native warriors entered the hut of Father Peter Chanel on the island of Futuna in the New Hebrides islands near New Zealand. They clubbed the missionary to death and cut up his body with hatchets. Two years later, the whole island was Catholic.
St. Peter Chanel's death bears witness to the ancient axiom that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians." He is the first martyr from Oceania, that part of the world spread over the south Pacific, and he came there as the fulfillment of a dream he had had as a boy.

Peter was born in 1803 in the diocese of Belley, France. At the age of seven, he was a shepherd boy, but the local parish priest, recognizing something unusual in the boy, convinced his parents to let him study, in a little school the priest had started. From there Peter went on to the seminary, where it was said of him: "He had a heart of gold with the simple faith of a child, and he led the life of an angel."

He was ordained a priest and assigned to a parish at Crozet. In three years he had transformed the parish. In 1831, he joined the newly founded Society of Mary, since he had long dreamed of being a missionary; but for five years he was assigned to teach at the seminary in Belley. Finally, in 1836, his dream was realized, and he was sent with other Marists to the islands of the Pacific. He had to suffer great hardships, disappointments, frustration, and almost complete failure as well as the opposition of the local chieftain. The work seemed hopeless: only a few had been baptized, and the chieftain continued to be suspicious and hostile. Then, when the chief's son asked for baptism, the chief was so angry that he sent warriors to kill the missionary.

Peter's violent death brought about the conversion of the island, and the people of Futuna remain Catholic to this day. Peter Chanel was beatified in 1889 and canonized in 1954.

Thought for the Day: Success or failure is often not completely in our hands, and sometimes we have to face what seems almost certain failure. But success is not required of us, only fidelity. St. Peter Chanel's work ended in his own death in the face of what seemed total failure. Out of that failure, God brought about the success Peter was seeking.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . "Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He has come back to life again! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee . . . that he would rise again the third day?"—Luke 24:5-7

Pierre Louis Marie Chanel, known in English as Saint Peter Chanel (12 July 1803 – 28 April 1841) was a Catholic priest, missionary, and martyr.

Protomartyr of Oceania
Born July 12, 1803(1803-07-12)
Montrevel-en-Bresse, Ain, France
Died April 28, 1841(1841-04-28) (aged 37)
Futuna Island
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified 17 November 1889, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Canonized 12 June 1954, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major shrine Futuna
Feast 28 April
Attributes Gentle, Kind, Encouraging
Patronage Oceania

Pierre Louis Marie Chanel, known in English as Saint Peter Chanel (12 July 1803 – 28 April 1841) was a Catholic priest, missionary, and martyr.

Early years:

Chanel was born in La Potière near Cuet in the area of Belley, Ain département, France.

After some schooling at Cras, his piety and intelligence attracted the attention of a local priest, Fr. Trompier, and he was put into Church-sponsored education. He followed this with seminary training in 1819, at the minor seminary at Meximieux and Belley in 1823, and then in 1824 at the major seminary at Brou.

He was ordained priest, along with 24 others, on 15 July 1827 by Bishop Devie, and spent a brief time as an assistant priest at Ambérieu. There he again met Claude Bret, who was to become his friend and also one of the first Marist Missionaries.

From an early age, Chanel had been thinking about going on the foreign missions, and his intention was strengthened by the letters that arrived at Ambérieu from a former curate, then a missionary in India.

The following year, Chanel applied to the bishop of Belley for permission to go to the missions. His application was not accepted and instead he was appointed for the next three years as parish priest of the run-down parish of Crozet, which he revitalized in that short time.

His zeal was widely respected, and his care, particularly of those in the parish that were sick, won the hearts of the locals, who began again to practice their faith. During this time, Chanel heard of a group of Diocesan Priests who were hopeful of starting a religious order to be dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Marist and missionary

Chanel joined the forming Society of Mary (Marists), who would concentrate on local missions and foreign missionary work. Instead of selecting him as a missionary, however, the Marists used his talents as the spiritual director at the Seminary of Belley, where he stayed for five years. In 1833, he accompanied Fr. Jean-Claude Colin to Rome to seek approval of the nascent Society.

In 1836, the Marists, finally formally approved by Pope Gregory XVI, were asked to send missionaries to the territory of the South West Pacific. Chanel, professed a Marist on 24 September 1836, was made the superior of a band of Marist missionaries that set out on 24 December from Le Havre. They were accompanied by Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier who was to become the first Bishop of New Zealand.

Chanel traveled first to the Canary Islands (8 January 1837), where Fr. Claude Bret (Chanel's friend) caught a flu-like virus which led to his death at sea (20 March 1837). Next Chanel traveled to Valparaiso (28 June), where the French Picpus Fathers who had care of the Vicariate of Eastern Oceania had their base. His third and fourth stops were in Gambier (13 September) and in Tahiti (21 September), where the group transferred to the Raiatea.

In that ship they set sail (23 October) to drop off two missionaries at Wallis, the main seat of the mission in Tonga. Pierre Chanel went to neighboring Futuna, accompanied by a French lay brother Marie-Nizier Delorme. They arrived on 8 November 1837 with an English Protestant layman named Thomas Boag who had been resident on the island and had joined them at Tonga seeking passage to Futuna.


The group was initially well received by the island's king, Niuliki. Once the missionaries learned the local language and began preaching directly to the people, the king grew restive. He believed that Christianity would take away his prerogatives as high priest and king.

When the king's son, Meitala, sought to be baptized, the king sent a favoured warrior, his son-in-law, Musumusu, to "do whatever was necessary" to resolve the problem. Musumusu initially went to Meitala and the two fought. Musumusu, injured in the fracas, went to Chanel feigning need of medical attention. While Chanel tended him, a group of others ransacked his house. Musumusu took an axe and clubbed Chanel on the head. Chanel died that day, April 28, 1841.

The news of Chanel's death took months to reach the outside world. It was almost a year before Marists in France learned of it; for those in New Zealand, it took half that time. Two weeks after the killing the William Hamilton, a passing American trading ship, took Br. Marie-Nizier, Boag and others to Wallis (arriving 18 May 1841) and safety. In time, the news made it to Kororareka, New Zealand. There, Marie Nizier told Pompallier’s deputy, Fr. Jean-Baptiste Épalle, that Peter Chanel had been murdered.

Bishop Pompallier heard of the death of Chanel on 4 November 1841, while he was at Akaroa, and arranged for a French naval corvette L’Allier, commanded by the Comte du Bouzet, to accompany the Mission schooner Sancta Maria and sail on 19 November for Wallis and Futuna Islands, taking with him Fr. Philippe Viard. The two vessels arrived at ʻUvea (Wallis) on 30 December 1841.

Fr. Bataillon, the missionary priest on ʻUvea, persuaded the Bishop to stay awhile on ʻUvea, where conversions were plentiful. The Bishop sent Viard to Futuna, where he landed on 18 January 1842. A chief named Maligi, who had not agreed to Chanel’s murder, agreed to disinter Fr. Chanel's body, and brought it to the L’Allier the next day, wrapped in several local mats.

The commander of the vessel asked the ship's doctor, M. Rault, to inspect the remains. After a prolonged examination he was able to certify the identity of the remains, bearing in mind the description of the manner of Chanel's death given previously by Brother Marie-Nizier. The doctor undertook to embalm the remains, so that they could be kept. They were wrapped in linen and placed in a cask, and taken to the Sancta Maria. The body was taken back to Kororareka, New Zealand, arriving on 3 May 1842.

Late in May 1842, a French vessel, the Jonas, arrived in the Bay of Islands. The ship's doctor visited the Marists there, and they mentioned to him their concern to have Chanel's remains more fittingly cared for. With the doctor's help, a little tin chest was made and well lined with linen; the remains were placed in it as decently as possible. This chest was wrapped in linen, and then placed in a "box made of good quality wood." After telling Fr. Colin, the founder and first Superior General of the Society of Mary in France about these arrangements for more appropriate care of the remains, Fr. Forest said that the box would be kept "in a fitting place".

The relics remained in the Bay of Islands until 1849, when they were accompanied by Fr. Petitjean to Auckland – most likely early in April 1849. They left New Zealand on 15 April 1849 by the ship Maukin, and arrived in Sydney, Australia on 4 May. Fr. Rocher S.M. received the container that held the bones and took it to the Procure Chapel at Gladesville in Sydney on 7 May. Fr. Rocher was very careful in making the decision as to when to send the container on to England and France.

He looked for a trustworthy captain, and a reliable person in London to receive the consignment, attend to the Customs, and have it sent on to Lyon. Early in 1850, Fr. Bernin S.M., pro-vicar for Bishop Douarre, vicar-apostolic of New Caledonia, had to leave for France. He left Sydney for London on the Waterloo on 1 February 1850, taking Peter Chanel's remains with him. On June 1, 1850, the remains arrived at the Mother House of the Society of Mary in Lyon, to the great joy, in particular, of Father Colin, founder of the Marists.

Conversions in Futuna:

Chanel's martyrdom accomplished his missionary work, however. Pompallier sent Frs. Catherin Servant, François Roulleaux-Dubignon and Br. Marie Nizier to return to the Island. They arrived on 9 June 1842. Eventually, most on the island converted to Catholicism. Musumusu himself converted and, as he lay dying, expressed the desire that he be buried outside the church at Poi, so that those who came to revere Peter Chanel in the Church would walk over his grave to get to it.

Fact and fiction:

It is important that a biographer distinguish overly keen hagiography that might make it seem that the local people of Futuna converted overnight. The rigorous scrutiny demanded by Chanel's Beatification as a martyr in 1889, and even more by his canonization in 1954, sifted out such exaggerations and embellished piety. Two of the three notebooks containing his Futuna diary survived, and these provide a solid reference point in assessing his character as a missionary.

It is equally regrettable that many of the errors made in earlier biographies abound and can be found on websites elsewhere. Mistakes in geography including statements that Chanel went to the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) or that Futuna is part of that island group are also frequent. (In fact there is another island as part of the Vanuatu group called Futuna but the two islands should not be confused.)

As a kind of penitence, a special action song and dance, known as the eke, was created by the people of Futuna shortly after Chanel's death. The dance is still performed in Tonga.

Chanel was declared a martyr and beatified in 1889. He was canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII. His feast day in the Catholic Church is 28 April. The relics were returned to Futuna in 1977. The fractured skull was returned to Futuna in 1985.

First Martyr of Oceania
by M O'Meeghan SM
This year marks the Bi-centenary of the birth of St Peter Chanel; he was born on 12 July 1803, the fifth of eight children in a farming family with a small holding in south-western France. The area was still troubled by the political instability that followed the Revolution. That, plus the need to help on the farm, meant his primary schooling was rather fragmented.

In his early teens the parish priest helped him with special lessons in the presbytery, so that at 16 he was ready to begin his four years of secondary education at the minor seminary. He progressed to the major seminary to be ordained at 24 as a priest for the Belley diocese. For his first year of priesthood he was assistant in a medium sized town, already thinking seriously about applying for an apostolate in the foreign missions. Then followed three years as parish priest in a small country town where the Church was still in disarray a generation after the Revolution. With quiet zeal, tact and compassion he transformed it. Underlying his approach was his personal motto “Aimer Marie et faire l'aimer” - to love Mary and bring others to love her.

In 1831, at 28, with his bishop's agreement he joined the small group of diocesan priests who had hopes of starting a Society of Mary. He was one of the three representatives who went to Rome to ask the Pope's approval for their planned Society of Mary. This approval was given in April 1836 when Marists accepted responsibility for new missions in the little-known south-west Pacific. By the end of that year Peter was one of the first band of missionaries, four priests and three catechist brothers, attached to Bishop Pompallier, who sailed from Le Havre on Christmas Eve for this pioneering mission.

After a prolonged journey out to the Pacific fact-finding and considering possibilities, on All Saints Day 1837 Pompallier placed Fr Peter Bataillon and Br Joseph Luzy on Wallis Island, in an island group north of Fiji. A week later he founded a second mission, leaving Fr Peter Chanel and Br Marie-Nizier Delorme 170km away on Futuna, the smaller island of the two. By then the Bishop had decided to make his base in New Zealand and, via Sydney, landed in Hokianga on 10 January 1838.

For three and a half years on Futuna, Chanel and Marie-Nizier battled with language difficulties, strange customs and food, sickness, malnutrition, loneliness. Hardest to bear was the seeming lack of success in adult conversions. But they persevered, living and preaching the Gospel, in spite of the king's tolerance wearing thin.

The eventual conversion of the king's son proved to be Peter's death warrant. The king kept control of his people largely through their worship of evil spirits. His son's becoming a Christian undermined this power, so Peter had to be stopped. With the king's approval a small group of his tribal leaders clubbed Peter to death while Marie-Nizier was absent visiting elsewhere. It was on 28th April 1841.

When he heard the news of Peter's brutal death, Pompallier sailed to Wallis, accompanied by Fr Philippe Viard, later to be the first bishop of Wellington. Viard went ashore on Futuna, refusing any armed escort, and gathered Peter's remains which were then brought to New Zealand. These were kept reverently at Kororareka (Russell) till 1849 when they were returned to France.

Because of the difficulty of getting reliable eye-witness evidence, it took the Church a long time to be satisfied that Peter died because of hatred of the Catholic faith, and not merely through greed for his few possessions, or resentment at Peter's efforts to act as peacemaker between warring tribes. He was officially declared a martyr and beatified in 1889.He was declared a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1954 and, because of his connection with New Zealand, St Peter Chanel is honoured here with a feast day.

The Story of his “Relics”
By Fr B Quin SM
Father Chanel was done to death soon after 7am on 28th April 1841. His murderers stripped his body of clothing, but some sympathetic women came soon after,wrapped his body in mats of siapo (tapa cloth) as was the Futunian custom and buried it with traditional ceremony.

Bishop Pompallier was at Akaroa in the course of visitation to Mission Stations down the east coast of both main islands of New Zealand, when news of Fr. Chanel's death reached him on 4th November 1841.

He arranged for a French naval vessel L’Allier, commanded by the Comte du Bouzet, to accompany the Mission schooner the Sancta Maria and to sail for Wallis and Futuna Islands, taking with him Fr. Philippe Viard S.M. The two vessels arrived at Wallis Island on 30 December 1841 after a journey of 32 days. Fr. Bataillon S.M., the missionary Priest on Wallis Island persuaded the Bishop to stay a while on Wallis, where the harvest of conversions was in full swing. The Bishop sent Fr. Viard to Futuna Island, where after having to wait offshore well over a week because of contrary winds, he was able to land on 18th January 1842. A chief named Maligi, who had not agreed to Chanel’s murder, agreed to disinter Fr. Chanel’s body, and brought it to L’Allier the next day, again wrapped in several mats.

The Commander of the vessel asked the ship’s doctor M. Rault, to inspect the remains. After a prolonged examination he was able to certify the identity of the remains bearing in mind the description of the manner of the Saint’s death given previously by Brother Marie-Nizier S.M., Fr. Chanel’s assistant. (Brother Marie—Nizier had been able to escape to Wallis a few days after Chanel’s murder and accompanied Fr. Viard back to Futuna Island).

The doctor undertook to embalm the remains so that they could be kept without upsetting the crew. They were wrapped in linen and placed in a cask, and taken to the Sancta Maria. Bishop Pompallier decided to stay on Wallis Island, and Fr. Viard, on the Sancta Maria brought Fr. Chanel’s remains back to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. He arrived on 3rd February 1842.

Late in May 1842 a French Vessel, the Jonas arrived in the Bay of Islands. The ship’s doctor visited the Marists there, and they mentioned to him their concern to have Chanel’s remains more fittingly cared for. The bones were by now completely stripped of flesh. With the Doctors help a little tin chest was made and well-lined with linen, and the remains were placed in it as decently as possible. This chest was wrapped in linen., and then placed in a “box made of good quality wood”.

After telling Fr. Colin, the Founder and first Superior General of the Society of Mary in France about these arrangements for more appropiate care of the Saint’s remains, Fr. Forest S.M. said that the box would be kept “in a fitting place”. Just where that “fitting place’ was, is not known today. As Fr.Kevin Roach S.M. observed "it is improbable that the printing house and store ( for that is what the building now called Pompallier House then was) would have been seen as the suitable resting place for a martyr.”

The Saint’s remains stayed at Kororareka until 1849. Bishop Pompallier drew up a document proving the authenticity of the bones, and gave the axe which had smashed the missionary’s skull to the Council for the Propogation of The Faith in Lyons, France. In 1949, according to a Marist Messenqer article of that time, it was in the Society’s museum at 72, Rue Sala. Other articles belonging to Fr. Chanel were given to the Mission in Futuna Island or sent to Lyons for the Society of Mary.

On June 20th 1848, the Sacred Congregation de Propoganda Fide decreed that the New Zealand Catholic Mission should be split into two vicariates-apostolic, and that the Marists should leave Auckland and, under the leadership of (new) Bishop Viard, undertake mission and parish work in the new Wellington vicariate.

In communicating this decision to his men, Fr. Colin also asked that Fr. Chanel's remains be brought back to France.

The relics were accompanied by Fr. Petitjean to Auckland - most likely early in April 1849. They left New Zealand on 15th April 1849 by the ship Maukin and arrived in Sydney, Australia on 4th May, Fr. Rocher S.M. who had been in Sydney since 1845 setting up the Procure (business office) for the Oceania Marist Mission, received the container which held the bones and took it to the Procure Chapel at Gladesville in Sydney on 7th May.

Fr. Rocher was very careful in making the decision as to when to send the container on to England and France. He looked for a trustworthy Captain, and a reliable person in London to receive the consignment, attend to the Customs, and have it sent on to Lyons.

Early in 1850, Fr. Bernin S.M., pro-vicar for Bishop Douarre, vicar-apostolic of New Caledonia, had to leave for France. He left Sydney for London on the Waterloo on 1st February 1850 taking Peter Chanel’s remains with him. On June 1st 1850 the remains arrived at the Mother House of the Society of Mary in Lyons, to the great joy, in particular, of Father Colin, founder of the Marists.

Many small parts of the remains were distributed after Peter Chanel’s beatification in Rome in 1889. One of his rib bones came to New Zealand and is now at the Marist Seminary in Auckland, for example. But substantially the relics remained in or near Lyons except the skull which was taken to the Marist General House in Rome at the time of Peter Chanel's canonisation in 1954.

In 1977, at the request of the Bishop of Wallis and Futuna, the main reliquary containing the major bones of Peter Chanel, was returned to Futuna Island. They travelled by air through Australia, New Zealand, (they were taken to the National Shrine at Russell in the Bay of Islands on March 30th 1977) on to Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Wallis. They were placed in in the Church at Poi on Futuna Island, the site of the martydom, on 28th April 1977, the day this Saint is honoured throughout the Catholic Church in the world.

The 1985 General Chapter of the Society of Mary, decided that the major relic of the Saint, his fractured skull, should likewise be returned to Futuna Island. Accompanied by an Assistant-General of the Marist Order, Fr. Joaquin Fernandez, it arrived in Futuna on 7th November 1985. As someone remarked at the time, "what God has joined together....".

Monday, April 25, 2011

72 years ago today, my hero was created!

Bob Kane: Sir you are truly a role model for me, I am a extremely big fan of your creation, Batman, I have your autobiography, I have read the book a few times and I will treasure it dearly. On this day 72 years ago today created the greatest comic book hero ever, Batman!

The first issue of Batman: Detective Comics #27 April 1939

Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and since then has appeared in many of DC Comics’ publications. Originally referred to as "the Bat-Man" and still referred to at times as "the Batman", he is additionally known as "The Caped Crusader", "The Dark Knight", "The Darknight Detective", and "The World's Greatest Detective".

In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on crime, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime.

Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl.

He fights an assortment of villains such as the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.

Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller, while the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman also helped to reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world such as toys and video games.


In early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at the comic book division of National Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created "the Bat-Man."[5] Collaborator Bill Finger recalled "Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman', and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN."

Finger offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves, and removing the red sections from the original costume.

Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Bruce, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic strip character with which Kane was familiar as well.

Various aspects of Batman's personality, character history, visual design, and equipment were inspired by contemporary popular culture of the 1930s, including movies, pulp magazines, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and even aspects of Kane himself.

Kane noted especially the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the iconography associated with the character, while Finger drew inspiration from literary characters Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Sherlock Holmes in his depiction of Batman as a master sleuth and scientist.

Kane, in his 1989 autobiography, detailed Finger's contributions to Batman's creation:

One day I called Bill and said, 'I have a new character called the Bat-Man and I've made some crude, elementary sketches I'd like you to look at'. He came over and I showed him the drawings. At the time, I only had a small domino mask, like the one Robin later wore, on Batman's face. Bill said, 'Why not make him look more like a bat and put a hood on him, and take the eyeballs out and just put slits for eyes to make him look more mysterious?' At this point, the Bat-Man wore a red union suit; the wings, trunks, and mask were black. I thought that red and black would be a good combination. Bill said that the costume was too bright: 'Color it dark gray to make it look more ominous'. The cape looked like two stiff bat wings attached to his arms. As Bill and I talked, we realized that these wings would get cumbersome when Bat-Man was in action, and changed them into a cape, scalloped to look like bat wings when he was fighting or swinging down on a rope. Also, he didn't have any gloves on, and we added them so that he wouldn't leave fingerprints.

Kane signed away ownership in the character in exchange for, among other compensation, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics. This byline did not, originally, say "Batman created by Bob Kane"; his name was simply written on the title page of each story.

The name disappeared from the comic book in the mid-1960s, replaced by credits for each story's actual writer and artists. In the late 1970s, when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster began receiving a "created by" credit on the Superman titles, along with William Moulton Marston being given the byline for creating Wonder Woman, Batman stories began saying "Created by Bob Kane" in addition to the other credits.

Finger did not receive the same recognition. While he had received credit for other DC work since the 1940s, he began, in the 1960s, to receive limited acknowledgment for his Batman writing; in the letters page of Batman #169 (February 1965) for example, editor Julius Schwartz names him as the creator of the Riddler, one of Batman's recurring villains. However, Finger's contract left him only with his writing page rate and no byline. Kane wrote, "Bill was disheartened by the lack of major accomplishments in his career. He felt that he had not used his creative potential to its fullest and that success had passed him by."[11] At the time of Finger's death in 1974, DC had not officially credited Finger as Batman co-creator.

Jerry Robinson, who also worked with Finger and Kane on the strip at this time, has criticized Kane for failing to share the credit. He recalled Finger resenting his position, stating in a 2005 interview with The Comics Journal:

Bob made him more insecure, because while he slaved working on Batman, he wasn't sharing in any of the glory or the money that Bob began to make, which is why... [he was] going to leave [Kane's employ]. ... [Kane] should have credited Bill as co-creator, because I know; I was there. ... That was one thing I would never forgive Bob for, was not to take care of Bill or recognize his vital role in the creation of Batman. As with Siegel and Shuster, it should have been the same, the same co-creator credit in the strip, writer and artist.

Although Kane initially rebutted Finger's claims at having created the character, writing in a 1965 open letter to fans that "it seemed to me that Bill Finger has given out the impression that he and not myself created the ''Batman, t' [sic] as well as Robin and all the other leading villains and characters. This statement is fraudulent and entirely untrue." Kane himself also commented on Finger's lack of credit. "The trouble with being a 'ghost' writer or artist is that you must remain rather anonymously without 'credit'. However, if one wants the 'credit', then one has to cease being a 'ghost' or follower and become a leader or innovator."

In 1989, Kane revisited Finger's situation, recalling in an interview,

In those days it was like, one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] — the policy of DC in the comic books was, if you can't write it, obtain other writers, but their names would never appear on the comic book in the finished version. So Bill never asked me for it [the byline] and I never volunteered — I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died.

Early years

Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Cover art by Bob KaneThe first Batman story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate," was published in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Finger said, "Batman was originally written in the style of the pulps," and this influence was evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals.

Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940, while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, National was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company's other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company's success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World's Finest Comics, which was originally titled World's Best Comics when it debuted in fall 1940. Creators including Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang also worked on the strips during this period.

Over the course of the first few Batman strips elements were added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved.

Kane noted that within six issues he drew the character's jawline more pronounced, and lengthened the ears on the costume. "About a year later he was almost the full figure, my mature Batman," Kane said. Batman's characteristic utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane, in #31 (September 1939).

The character's origin was revealed in #33 (November 1939), unfolding in a two-page story that establishes the brooding persona of Batman, a character driven by the death of his parents. Written by Finger, it depicts a young Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents' murder at the hands of a mugger. Days later, at their grave, the child vows that "by the spirits of my parents [I will] avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals."

The early, pulp-inflected portrayal of Batman started to soften in Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) with the introduction of Robin, Batman's kid sidekick.[24] Robin was introduced, based on Finger's suggestion Batman needed a "Watson" with whom Batman could talk. Sales nearly doubled, despite Kane's preference for a solo Batman, and it sparked a proliferation of "kid sidekicks."

The first issue of the solo spin-off series Batman was notable not only for introducing two of his most persistent antagonists, the Joker and Catwoman, but for a story in which Batman shoots some monstrous giants to death. That story prompted editor Whitney Ellsworth to decree that the character could no longer kill or use a gun.

By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics "adopted a postwar editorial direction that increasingly de-emphasized social commentary in favor of lighthearted juvenile fantasy." The impact of this editorial approach was evident in Batman comics of the postwar period; removed from the "bleak and menacing world" of the strips of the early 1940s, Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a "bright and colorful" environment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today is the 266th birthday of President Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson:thank you sir for being part of this nation's independence from England. May you still continue to be part of this nation's history. thank you for writing the Declaration of Independence and also serving as the nation 3rd president 1801-1809! happy 266th birthday! Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809) and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776). An influential Founding Father, Jefferson envisioned America as a great "Empire of Liberty" that would promote republicanism. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), barely escaping capture by the British in 1781. Many people disliked his tenure, and he did not win office again in Virginia. From mid-1784 through late 1789, Jefferson lived outside the United States. He served in Paris initially as a commissioner to help negotiate commercial treaties. In May 1785 he succeeded Benjamin Franklin as the U.S. Minister to France. He was the first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) under George Washington and advised him against a national bank and the Jay Treaty. He was the second Vice President (1797–1801) under John Adams. Winning on an anti-federalist platform, Jefferson took the oath of office and became President of the United States in 1801. As president he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase (1803), and sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806) to explore the vast new territory and lands further west. Jefferson sponsored embargo laws that escalated tensions with Britain and France, leading to war with Britain in 1812 shortly after he left office. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). Jefferson's revolutionary view on individual religious freedom and protection from government authority have generated much interest with modern scholars. He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for 25 years. Born into a prominent planter family, Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves throughout his life; he held views on the racial inferiority of Africans common for this period in time. While historians long discounted accounts that Jefferson had an intimate relationship with his slave Sally Hemings, it is now widely held that he did and had six children by her. Jefferson is constantly rated by historical scholars as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. Reputation: Jefferson has always been one of the two or three central American icons of liberty, democracy and republicanism, standing with Washington and Lincoln. Americans have celebrated him as the most articulate spokesman of the American Revolution, and as a renaissance man who promoted science and scholarship. He articulated a political philosophy that has retained its power across the centuries. Abraham Lincoln in particular was heavily indebted to Jefferson for the political philosophy of liberty and equality used in Lincoln's battle against slavery. Lincoln used the natural rights precepts of the Declaration of Independence as his guide to a better Union. He considered Jefferson to be "the most distinguished politician in our history." During the New Deal era of the 1930s, Democrats honored Jefferson as the founding father and continued inspiration for their party. President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the lead in building his monument in Washington. Jefferson's reputation among the general public and in the school textbooks has generally been high based on his leadership as a founding father during the Revolution and early national period. Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a scholarly trend in Hamilton's favor: In recent years, Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive. Jefferson and his allies, by contrast, have come across as naïve, dreamy idealists. At best according to many historians, the Jeffersonians were reactionary utopians who resisted the onrush of capitalist modernity in hopes of turning America into a yeoman farmers' arcadia. At worst, they were proslavery racists who wish to rid the West of Indians, expand the empire of slavery, and keep political power in local hands -- all the better to expand the institution of slavery and protect slaveholders' rights to own human property. On racial issues historians express dismay at his harsh treatment of Native Americans, opposition to a biracial society, and low opinion of blacks. The confirmation of his relationship with Sally Hemings, a slave who was three-quarters white, and his "shadow family" by her shows that he kept his privacy and was a complex man of contradictions. Historians who held him up as an icon rather than human are disappointed to learn the truth. Jefferson's legacy as a champion of Enlightenment ideals has been challenged by modern historians who find his ownership of hundreds of slaves at Monticello to be in contradiction and problematic to his radical rhetoric on freedom and the equality of men. Historian Peter Onuf stated that "Jefferson's failure to address the problem of slavery generally and the situation of his own human in itself the most damning possible commentary on his iconic standing as 'apostle of freedom'." The historian Clarence E. Walker said that Jefferson could rationalize being a slave owner and defender of freedom since he believed blacks were inferior and needed supervision. Memorials Jefferson has been memorialized in many ways, including buildings, sculptures, and currency. The Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. The interior of the memorial includes a 19-foot (6 m) statue of Jefferson and engravings of passages from his writings. Most prominent are the words which are inscribed around the monument near the roof: "I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man". Thomas Jefferson's portrait has been found engraved on the face of the various U.S. Postage issues that have honored him. His portrait appears on the U.S. $2 bill, nickel, and the $100 Series EE Savings Bond, and a Presidential Dollar which released into circulation on August 16, 2007. His original tombstone, now a cenotaph, is located on the campus in the University of Missouri's Quadrangle. Jefferson, together with George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, was chosen by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and approved by President Calvin Coolidge to be depicted in stone at the Mount Rushmore Memorial. Other memorials to Jefferson include the commissioning of the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson in Norfolk, Virginia on July 8, 2003, in commemoration of his establishment of a Survey of the Coast, the predecessor to NOAA's National Ocean Service; and the placement of a bronze monument in Jefferson Park, Chicago at the entrance to the Jefferson Park Transit Center along Milwaukee Avenue in 2005.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

66 years ago today the USA lost a great president

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:Sir You brought the presidency to a new level in the 20th century. You served the presidency for amazing 12 years. you were born as a leader, thanks for serving the presidency, remembering you 66 years later, may you rest in peace! Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945) also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945) and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. The only American president elected to more than two terms, he forged a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades. FDR defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover in November 1932, at the depths of the Great Depression. FDR's combination of optimism and activism contributed to reviving the national spirit. Working closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, he died just as victory was in sight. Roosevelt dominated the American political scene, not only during the twelve years of his presidency, but for decades afterward. He orchestrated the realignment of voters that created the Fifth Party System. FDR's New Deal Coalition united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans and rural white Southerners. Roosevelt's diplomatic impact also resonated on the world stage long after his death, with the United Nations and Bretton Woods as examples of his administration's wide-ranging impact. Roosevelt is consistently rated by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. Fourth term and death, 1945 Last days, death and memorial The President left the Yalta Conference on February 12, 1945, and flew to Egypt and boarded the USS Quincy operating on the Great Bitter Lake near the Suez Canal. Aboard Quincy, the next day he met with Farouk I, king of Egypt, and Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia. On February 14, he held a historic meeting with King Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, a meeting which holds profound significance in U.S.-Saudi relations even today. After a final meeting between Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Quincy steamed for Algiers, arriving February 18, at which time Roosevelt conferred with American ambassadors to Britain, France and Italy. At Yalta, Lord Moran, Winston Churchill's physician, commented on Roosevelt's ill health: "He is a very sick man. He has all the symptoms of hardening of the arteries of the brain in an advanced stage, so that I give him only a few months to live. When he returned to the United States, he addressed Congress on March 1 about the Yalta Conference, and many were shocked to see how old, thin and frail he looked. He spoke while seated in the well of the House, an unprecedented concession to his physical incapacity. Roosevelt opened his speech by saying, "I hope that you will pardon me for this unusual posture of sitting down during the presentation of what I want to say, makes it a lot easier for me not to have to carry about ten pounds of steel around on the bottom of my legs." Still in full command mentally, he firmly stated "The Crimean Conference ought to spell the end of a system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries– and have always failed. We propose to substitute for all these, a universal organization in which all peace-loving nations will finally have a chance to join." During March 1945, he sent strongly worded messages to Stalin accusing him of breaking his Yalta commitments over Poland, Germany, prisoners of war and other issues. When Stalin accused the western Allies of plotting a separate peace with Hitler behind his back, Roosevelt replied: "I cannot avoid a feeling of bitter resentment towards your informers, whoever they are, for such vile misrepresentations of my actions or those of my trusted subordinates." On March 29, 1945, Roosevelt went to Warm Springs to rest before his anticipated appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. He had high hopes for the conference, and was even considering resigning from the presidency to become the first Secretary General of the United Nations. On the afternoon of April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head." He then slumped forward in his chair, unconscious, and was carried into his bedroom. The president's attending cardiologist, Dr. Howard Bruenn, diagnosed a massive cerebral hemorrhage (stroke). At 3:35 pm that day, Roosevelt died. As Allen Drury later said, “so ended an era, and so began another.” After Roosevelt's death an editorial by The New York Times declared, "Men will thank God on their knees a hundred years from now that Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House". At the time he collapsed, Roosevelt had been sitting for a portrait painting by the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, known as the famous Unfinished Portrait of FDR. In his later years at the White House, Roosevelt was increasingly overworked and his daughter Anna Roosevelt Boettiger had moved in to provide her father companionship and support. Anna had also arranged for her father to meet with his former mistress, the now widowed Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. Shoumatoff, who maintained close friendships with both Roosevelt and Mercer, rushed Mercer away to avoid negative publicity and implications of infidelity. When Eleanor heard about her husband's death, she was also faced with the news that Anna had been arranging these meetings with Mercer and that Mercer had been with Franklin when he died. On the morning of April 13, Roosevelt's body was placed in a flag-draped coffin and loaded onto the presidential train. After a White House funeral on April 14, Roosevelt was transported back to Hyde Park by train, guarded by four servicemen from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. As was his wish, Roosevelt was buried in the Rose Garden of the Springwood estate, the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park on April 15. Eleanor, who died in November 1962, was buried next to him. Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across the U.S. and around the world. His declining health had not been known to the general public. Roosevelt had been president for more than 12 years, longer than any other person, and had led the country through some of its greatest crises to the impending defeat of Nazi Germany and to within sight of the defeat of Japan as well. Less than a month after his death, on May 8, came the moment Roosevelt fought for: V-E Day. President Harry Truman, who turned 61 that day, dedicated V-E Day and its celebrations to Roosevelt's memory, as well as keeping the flags across the U.S. at half-staff for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period. In doing so, Truman said that his only wish was "that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day." Legacy A 1999 survey by C-SPAN found that by a wide margin academic historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Roosevelt the three greatest presidents, consistent with other surveys. Roosevelt is the sixth most admired person from the 20th century by US citizens, according to Gallup. Both during and after his terms, critics of Roosevelt questioned not only his policies and positions, but also the consolidation of power that occurred because of his lengthy tenure as president, his service during two major crises, and his enormous popularity. The rapid expansion of government programs that occurred during Roosevelt's term redefined the role of the government in the United States, and Roosevelt's advocacy of government social programs was instrumental in redefining liberalism for coming generations. Roosevelt firmly established the United States' leadership role on the world stage, with pronouncements such as his Four Freedoms speech, forming a basis for the active role of the United States in the war and beyond. In 1945, Roosevelt was mentioned by Halvdan Koht among seven candidates that were qualified for the Nobel Prize in Peace. However, he did not explicitly nominate any of them. The person actually nominated was Cordell Hull. After Franklin's death, Eleanor Roosevelt continued to be a forceful presence in U.S. and world politics, serving as delegate to the conference which established the United Nations and championing civil rights. Many members of his administration played leading roles in the administrations of Truman, Kennedy and Johnson, each of whom embraced Roosevelt's political legacy. Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park is now a National Historic Site and home to his Presidential library. His retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia is a museum operated by the state of Georgia. His summer retreat on Campobello Island is maintained by the governments of both Canada and the United States as Roosevelt Campobello International Park; the island is accessible by way of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge. The Roosevelt Memorial is located in Washington, D.C. next to the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin, and Roosevelt's image appears on the Roosevelt dime. Many parks and schools, as well as an aircraft carrier and a Paris subway station and hundreds of streets and squares both across the US and the rest of the world have been named in his honor. Reflecting on Roosevelt's presidency, "which brought the United States through the Great Depression and World War II to a prosperous future", said FDR's biographer Jean Edward Smith in 2007, "He lifted himself from a wheelchair to lift the nation from its knees.

Today is the 150th anniversary of Battle of Fort Sumter

President James Buchanan: protested but took no military action in response. Buchanan was concerned that an overt action could cause the remaining slave states to leave the Union, and while he acknowledged there was no constitutional authority for a state to secede, he could find no constitutional authority for him to act to prevent it! Fort Sumter on this day in 1861! Battle of Fort Sumter The Battle of Fort Sumter (April 12–13, 1861) was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War. Following declarations of secession by seven Southern states, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On December 26, 1860, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surreptitiously moved his small command from the indefensible Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. An attempt by U.S. President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson, using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West, failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, 1861.South Carolina authorities then seized all Federal property in the Charleston area, except for Fort Sumter. During the winter months of 1861, the situation around Fort Sumter increasingly began to resemble a siege. In March, Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, the first general officer of the newly formed Confederate States of America, was placed in command of Confederate forces in Charleston. Beauregard energetically directed the strengthening of batteries around Charleston harbor aimed at Fort Sumter. Conditions in the fort grew dire as the Federals rushed to complete the installation of additional guns. Anderson was short of men, food, and supplies. The resupply of Fort Sumter became the first crisis of the administration of President Abraham Lincoln. He notified the Governor of South Carolina, Francis W. Pickens, that he was sending supply ships, which resulted in an ultimatum from the Confederate government: evacuate Fort Sumter immediately. Major Anderson refused to surrender. Beginning at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, the Confederates bombarded the fort from artillery batteries surrounding the harbor. Although the Union garrison returned fire, they were significantly outgunned and, after 34 hours, Major Anderson agreed to evacuate. There was no loss of life on either side as a direct result of this engagement, although a gun explosion during the surrender ceremonies on April 14 caused two Union deaths. Following the battle, there was widespread support from both North and South for further military action. Lincoln's immediate call for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion resulted in an additional four states also declaring their secession and joining the Confederacy. The Civil War had begun. Conditions at the fort were difficult during the winter of 1860–61. Rations were short and fuel for heat was limited. The garrison scrambled to complete the defenses as best they could. Fort Sumter was designed to mount 135 guns, operated by 650 officers and men, but construction had encountered numerous delays for decades and budget cuts had left it only about 90 percent finished in early 1861. Anderson's garrison consisted of just 85 men, primarily made up of two small artillery companies: Company E, 1st U.S. Artillery, commanded by Capt. Abner Doubleday, and Company H, commanded by Capt. Truman Seymour. There were six other officers present: Surgeon Samuel W. Crawford, First Lt. Theodore Talbot of Company H, First Lt. Jefferson C. Davis of the 1st U.S. Artillery, and Second Lt. Norman J. Hall of Company H. Capt. John G. Foster and First Lt. George W. Snyder of the Corps of Engineers were responsible for construction of the Charleston forts, but they reported to their headquarters in Washington, not directly to Anderson. The remaining personnel were 68 noncommissioned officers and privates, eight musicians, and 43 noncombatant workmen. By April the Union troops had positioned 60 guns, but they had insufficient men to operate them all. The fort consisted of three levels of enclosed gun positions, or casemates. The second level of casemates was unoccupied. The majority of the guns were on the first level of casemates, on the upper level (the parapet or barbette positions), and on the center parade field. Unfortunately for the defenders, the original mission of the fort—harbor defense—meant that it was designed so that the guns were primarily aimed at the Atlantic, with little capability of protecting from artillery fire from the surrounding land or from infantry conducting an amphibious assault. In March, Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard took command of South Carolina forces in Charleston; on March 1, President Jefferson Davis had appointed him the first general officer in the armed forces of the new Confederacy,specifically to take command of the siege. Beauregard made repeated demands that the Union force either surrender or withdraw and took steps to ensure that no supplies from the city were available to the defenders, whose food was running low. He also increased drills amongst the South Carolina militia, training them to operate the guns they manned. Ironically, Major Anderson had been Beauregard's artillery instructor at West Point; the two had been especially close, and Beauregard had become Anderson's assistant after graduation. Both sides spent the month of March drilling and improving their fortifications to the best of their abilities. Beauregard, a trained military engineer, built-up overwhelming strength to challenge Fort Sumter. Fort Moultrie had three 8-inch Columbiads, two 8-inch howitzers, five 32-pound smoothbores, and four 24-pounders. Outside of Moultrie were five 10-inch mortars, two 32-pounders, two 24-pounders, and a 9-inch Dahlgren smoothbore. The floating battery next to Fort Moultrie had two 42-pounders and two 32-pounders on a raft protected by iron shielding. Fort Johnson on James Island had one 24-pounder and four 10-inch mortars. At Cummings Point on Morris Island were stationed seven 10-inch mortars, two 42-pounders, an English Blakely rifled cannon, and three 8-inch Columbiads, the latter in the so-called Iron Battery, protected by a wooden shield faced with iron bars. About 6,000 men were available to man the artillery and to assault the fort, if necessary, including the local militia, young boys, and older men. Decisions for war On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as president. He was almost immediately confronted with the surprise information that Major Anderson was reporting that only six weeks of rations remained at Fort Sumter. In addition to Fort Sumter, a similar crisis had emerged at Pensacola, Florida, where Confederates threatened another U.S. fortification—Fort Pickens. Lincoln and his new cabinet struggled with the decisions of whether to reinforce the forts, and how. They were also concerned about whether to take actions that might start open hostilities and which side would be perceived as the aggressor as a result. Similar discussions and concerns were occurring in the Confederacy. Following the formation of the Confederate States of America in early February, there was some debate among the secessionists as to whether the capture of the fort was rightly a matter for the State of South Carolina or the newly declared national government in Montgomery, Alabama. South Carolina Governor Pickens was among the states' rights advocates who felt that all of the property in Charleston harbor had reverted to South Carolina upon that state's secession as an independent commonwealth. This debate ran alongside another discussion as to how aggressively the installations—including Forts Sumter and Pickens—should be obtained. President Davis, like his counterpart in Washington, preferred that his side not be seen as the aggressor. Both sides believed that the first side to use force would lose precious political support in the border states, whose allegiance was undetermined; prior to Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, five states had voted against secession, including Virginia, and Lincoln openly offered to evacuate Fort Sumter if it would guarantee Virginia's loyalty. The South sent delegations to Washington, D.C., and offered to pay for the Federal properties and enter into a peace treaty with the United States. Lincoln rejected any negotiations with the Confederate agents on the grounds that the Confederacy was not a legitimate nation, and that making any treaty with it would be tantamount to recognition of it as a sovereign government. However, Secretary of State William H. Seward, who wished to give up Sumter for political reasons—as a gesture of good will—engaged in unauthorized and indirect negotiations that failed. On April 4, as the supply situation on Sumter became critical, President Lincoln ordered a relief expedition, to be commanded by former naval captain (and future Assistant Secretary of the Navy) Gustavus V. Fox, who had proposed a plan for nighttime landings of smaller vessels than the Star of the West. Fox's orders were to land at Sumter with supplies only, and if he was opposed by the Confederates, to respond with the U.S. Navy vessels following and to then land both supplies and men. This time, Maj. Anderson was informed of the impending expedition, although the arrival date was not revealed to him. On April 6, Lincoln notified Governor Pickens that "an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only, and that if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition will be made without further notice, [except] in case of an attack on the fort." Lincoln's notification had been made to the governor of South Carolina, not the new Confederate government, which Lincoln did not recognize. Pickens consulted with Beauregard, the local Confederate commander. Soon Jefferson Davis ordered Beauregard to repeat the demand for Sumter's surrender, and if it did not, to reduce the fort before the relief expedition arrived. The Confederate cabinet, meeting in Montgomery, endorsed Davis's order on April 9. Only Secretary of State Robert Toombs opposed this decision: he reportedly told Jefferson Davis the attack "will lose us every friend at the North. You will only strike a hornet's nest. ... Legions now quiet will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary. It puts us in the wrong. It is fatal." Beauregard dispatched aides—Col. James Chesnut, Col. James A. Chisholm, and Capt. Stephen D. Lee—to Fort Sumter on April 11 to issue the ultimatum. Anderson refused, although he reportedly commented, "I shall await the first shot, and if you do not batter us to pieces, we shall be starved out in a few days." The aides returned to Charleston and reported this comment to Beauregard. At 1 a.m. on April 12, the aides brought Anderson a message from Beauregard: "If you will state the time which you will evacuate Fort Sumter, and agree in the meantime that you will not use your guns against us unless heart shall be employed against Fort Sumter, we will abstain from opening fire upon you." After consulting with his senior officers, Maj. Anderson replied that he would evacuate Sumter by noon, April 15, unless he received new orders from his government or additional supplies. Col. Chesnut considered this reply to be too conditional and wrote a reply, which he handed to Anderson at 3:20 a.m.: "Sir: by authority of Brigadier General Beauregard, commanding the Provisional Forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time." Anderson escorted the officers back to their boat, shook hands with each one, and said "If we never meet in this world again, God grant that we may meet in the next." Bombardment: At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, Lt. Henry S. Farley, acting upon the command of Capt. George S. James, fired a single 10-inch mortar round from Fort Johnson. (James had offered the first shot to Roger Pryor, a noted Virginia secessionist, who declined, saying "I could not fire the first gun of the war.") The shell exploded over Fort Sumter as a signal to open the general bombardment from 43 guns and mortars at Fort Moultrie, Fort Johnson, the floating battery, and Cummings Point. Under orders from Beauregard, the guns fired in a counterclockwise sequence around the harbor, with 2 minutes between each shot; Beauregard wanted to conserve ammunition, which he calculated would last for only 48 hours. Edmund Ruffin, another noted Virginia secessionist, had traveled to Charleston in order to be present for the beginning of the war, and fired one of the first shots at Sumter after the signal round, a 64-pound shell from the Iron Battery at Cummings Point. The shelling of Fort Sumter from the batteries ringing the harbor awakened Charleston's residents (including diarist Mary Chesnut), who rushed out into the predawn darkness to watch the shells arc over the water and burst inside the fort. Major Anderson withheld his fire, awaiting daylight. His troops reported for roll call at 6 a.m. and then had breakfast. At 7 a.m., Capt. Abner Doubleday fired a shot at the Ironclad Battery at Cummings Point. He missed. Given the available manpower, Anderson could not take advantage of all of his 60 guns. He deliberately avoided using guns that were situated in the fort where casualties were most likely. The fort's best cannons were mounted on the uppermost of its three tiers—the barbette tier—where his troops were most exposed to incoming fire from overhead. The fort had been designed to withstand a naval assault, and naval warships of the time did not mount guns capable of elevating to fire over the walls of the fort; however, the land-based cannons manned by the Confederates were capable of landing such indirect fire on Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter's garrison could only safely fire the 21 working guns on the lowest level, which themselves, by virtue of being in stone emplacements, were largely incapable of indirect fire that could seriously threaten Fort Moultrie. Moreover, although the Federals had moved as many of their supplies to Fort Sumter as they could manage, the fort was quite low on ammunition, and was nearly out at the end of the 34-hour bombardment. A more immediate problem was the scarcity of cloth gunpowder cartridges or bags; only 700 were available at the start of the battle and workmen sewed frantically to create more, in some cases using socks provided by Anderson. Because of the shortages, Anderson reduced his firing to only six guns: two aimed at Cummings Point, two at Fort Moultrie, and two at the Sullivan's Island batteries. Ships from Fox's relief expedition began to arrive on April 12. Although Fox himself arrived at 3 a.m. on his steamer Baltic, most of the rest of his fleet was delayed until 6 p.m., and one of the two warships, USS Powhatan, never did arrive. Unbeknownst to Fox, it had been ordered to the relief of Fort Pickens in Florida. As landing craft were sent toward the fort with supplies, the artillery fire deterred them and they pulled back. Fox decided to wait until after dark and for the arrival of his warships. The next day, heavy seas made it difficult to load the small boats with men and supplies and Fox was left with the hope that Anderson and his men could hold out until dark on April 13. Although Sumter was a masonry fort, there were wooden buildings inside for barracks and officer quarters. The Confederates targeted these with "hot shot" rounds (cannonballs that had been heated in ovens), starting fires that could prove more dangerous to the men than the explosive artillery. At 7 p.m. on April 12, a rain shower extinguished the flames and at the same time the Union gunners stopped firing for the night. They slept fitfully, concerned about a potential infantry assault against the fort. During the darkness, the Confederates reduced their fire to four shots each hour. The following morning, the full bombardment resumed and the Confederates continued firing hot shot against the wooden buildings. By noon most of the wooden buildings in the fort and the main gate were on fire. The flames moved toward the main ammunition magazine, where 300 barrels of gunpowder were stored. The Union soldiers frantically tried to move the barrels to safety, but two thirds were left when Anderson judged it was too dangerous and ordered the magazine doors closed. He ordered the remaining barrels thrown into the sea, but the tide kept floating them back together into groups, some of which were ignited by incoming artillery rounds. He also ordered his crews to redouble their efforts at firing, but the Confederates did the same, firing the hot shots almost exclusively. Many of the Confederate soldiers admired the courage and determination of the Yankees. When the fort had to pause its firing, the Confederates often cheered and applauded after the firing resumed and they shouted epithets at some of the nearby Union ships for failing to come to the fort's aid. Surrender Major Anderson's telegram announcing the surrender The fort's central flagpole was knocked down at 1 p.m. on April 13, raising doubts among the Confederates about whether the fort was ready to surrender. Col. Louis Wigfall, a former U.S. senator, had been observing the battle and decided that this indicated the fort had had enough punishment. He commandeered a small boat and proceeded from Morris Island, waving a white handkerchief from his sword, dodging incoming rounds from Sullivan's Island. Meeting with Major Anderson, he said "You have defended your flag nobly, Sir. You have done all that it is possible to do, and General Beauregard wants to stop this fight. On what terms, Major Anderson, will you evacuate this fort?" Anderson was encouraged that Wigfall had said "evacuate," not "surrender." He was low on ammunition, fires were burning out of control, and his men were hungry and exhausted. Satisfied that they had defended their post with honor, enduring over 3,000 Confederate rounds without losing a man, Anderson agreed to a truce at 2 p.m. Fort Sumter raised Wigfall's white handkerchief on its flagpole as Wigfall departed in his small boat back to Morris Island, where he was hailed as a hero. The handkerchief was spotted in Charleston and a delegation of officers representing Beauregard—Stephen D. Lee, Porcher Miles, a former mayor of Charleston, and Roger Pryor—sailed to Sumter, unaware of Wigfall's visit. Anderson was outraged when these officers disavowed Wigfall's authority, telling him that the former senator had not spoken with Beauregard for two days, and he threatened to resume firing. Meanwhile, General Beauregard himself had finally seen the handkerchief and sent a second set of officers, offering essentially the same terms that Wigfall had presented, so the agreement was reinstated. The Union garrison surrendered the fort to Confederate personnel at 2:30 p.m., April 14. No one from either side was killed during the bombardment. During the 100-gun salute to the U.S. flag—Anderson's one condition for withdrawal—a pile of cartridges blew up from a spark, killing 36 year old Irish born Private Daniel Hough instantly and seriously injuring the rest of the gun crew, one mortally (Private Edward Gallway); these were the first fatalities of the war. The salute was stopped at fifty shots. Gallway and another injured crewman were sent to the hospital in Charleston, where Gallway died a few days later. Union troops were placed aboard a Confederate steamer, the Isabel, where they spent the night and were transported the next morning to Fox's relief ship Baltic, resting outside the harbor bar. Anderson carried the Fort Sumter Flag with him North, where it became a widely known symbol of the battle, and rallying point for supporters of the Union. Aftermath: The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the first military action of the American Civil War. Following the surrender, Northerners rallied behind Lincoln's call for all of the states to send troops to recapture the forts and preserve the Union. With the scale of the rebellion apparently small so far, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers for 90 days.This call triggered the secession of four additional states to join the Confederacy. The ensuing war lasted four years, effectively ending in April 1865, with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Charleston Harbor was completely in Confederate hands for almost all of the four-year duration of the war, leaving a hole in the Union naval blockade. Union forces conducted major operations in 1862 and 1863 to capture Charleston, first overland on James Island (the Battle of Secessionville, June 1862), then by naval assault against Fort Sumter (the First Battle of Charleston Harbor, April 1863), then by seizing the Confederate artillery positions on Morris Island (beginning with the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, July 1863, and followed by a siege until September). After pounding Sumter to rubble with artillery fire, a final amphibious operation attempted to occupy it (the Second Battle of Fort Sumter, September 1863), but was repulsed and no further attempts were made. The Confederates evacuated Fort Sumter and Charleston in February 1865 as Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman outflanked the city in the Carolinas Campaign. On April 14, 1865, four years to the day after lowering the Fort Sumter Flag in surrender, Robert Anderson (by then a major general, although ill and in retired status) raised it over the fort again. Two of the cannons used at Fort Sumter were later presented to Louisiana State University by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who was president of the university before the war began. Battle of Fort Sumter On Thursday, April 11, 1861, Beauregard sent three aides, Colonel James Chesnut, Jr., Captain Stephen D. Lee, and Lieutenant A. R. Chisolm to demand the surrender of the fort. Anderson declined, and the aides returned to report to Beauregard. After Beauregard had consulted the Secretary of War, Leroy Walker, he sent the aides back to the fort and authorized Chesnut to decide whether the fort should be taken by force. The aides waited for hours while Anderson considered his alternatives and played for time. At about 3 a.m., when Anderson finally announced his conditions, Colonel Chesnut, after conferring with the other aides, decided that they were "manifestly futile and not within the scope of the instructions verbally given to us". The aides then left the fort and proceeded to the nearby Fort Johnson. There, Chesnut ordered the fort to open fire on Fort Sumter.[11] On Friday, April 12, 1861, at 4:30 a.m., Confederate batteries opened fire, firing for 34 straight hours, on the fort. Edmund Ruffin, noted Virginian agronomist and secessionist, claimed that he fired the first shot on Fort Sumter. His story has been widely believed, but Lieutenant Henry S. Farley, commanding a battery of two mortars on James Island fired the first shot at 4:30 A.M. (Detzer 2001, pp. 269–71). No attempt was made to return the fire for more than two hours. The fort's supply of ammunition was not suited for the task, also there were no fuses for their explosive shells, only solid balls could be used against the Rebel batteries. At about 7:00 A.M., Captain Abner Doubleday , the fort's second in command, was given the honor of firing the first shot in defense of the fort. The shot was ineffective, in part because Major Anderson did not use the guns mounted on the highest tier, the barbette tier, where the gun detachments would be more exposed to Confederate fire. The firing continued all day, the Union fired slowly to conserve ammunition. At night the fire from the fort stopped, but the confederates still lobbed an occasional shell in Sumter. On Saturday, April 13, the fort was surrendered and evacuated. During the attack, the Union colors fell. Lt.Norman J. Hall risked life and limb to put them back up, burning off his eyebrows permanently. No Union soldiers died in the actual battle though a Confederate soldier bled to death having been wounded by a misfiring cannon. One Union soldier died and another was mortally wounded during the 47th shot of a 100 shot salute, allowed by the Confederacy. Afterwards the salute was shortened to 50 shots. Accounts, such as in the famous diary of Mary Chesnut, describe Charleston residents along what is now known as The Battery, sitting on balconies and drinking salutes to the start of the hostilities. The Fort Sumter Flag became a popular patriotic symbol after Major Anderson returned North with it. The flag is still displayed in the fort's museum. A supply ship Star of the West took all the Union soldiers to New York City. There they were welcomed and honored with a parade on Broadway.

Monday, April 4, 2011

170 years ago today: President William Henry Harrison died

William Henry Harrison: General, thank you for serving the presidency but sadly it was cut short only a month for 1841. remembering you after 170 years, may you rest in peace!
The campaign poster for President William Henry Harrison in 1840

  • William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was the ninth President of the United States (1841), an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. The oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the United States Declaration of Independence, Harrison died on his 32nd day in office of complications from pneumonia, serving the shortest tenure in United States presidential history. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis, but that crisis ultimately resolved many questions about presidential succession left unanswered by the Constitution until passage of the 25th Amendment. Before election as president, Harrison served as the first territorial congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory, governor of the Indiana Territory and later as a U.S. representative and senator from Ohio. He originally gained national fame for leading U.S. forces against American Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Tippecanoe" (or "Old Tippecanoe"). As a general in the subsequent War of 1812, his most notable contribution was a victory at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, which brought an end to hostilities in his region. After the war, Harrison moved to Ohio, where he was elected to the United States Congress, and in 1824 he became a member of the Senate. There he served a truncated term before being appointed as Minister Plenipotentiary to Colombia in May 1828. In Colombia, he spoke with Simon Bolívar about the finer points of democracy before returning to his farm in Ohio, where he lived in relative retirement until he was nominated for the presidency in 1836. Defeated, he retired again to his farm before being elected president in 1840. Private citizen After Harrison returned to the United States in 1829, he settled on his farm in North Bend, Ohio, his adopted home state. There, he lived in relative retirement after nearly 40 years of continuous government service. Having accumulated no substantial wealth during his lifetime, he subsisted on his savings, a small pension, and the income produced by his farm. Harrison cultivated corn and established a distillery to produce whiskey. After a brief time in the liquor business, he became disturbed by the effects of alcohol on its consumers, and closed the distillery. In a later address to the Hamilton County Agricultural Board in 1831, Harrison said he had sinned in making whiskey, and hoped that others would learn from his mistake and stop the production of liquors. In these early years, Harrison also earned money from his contributions to a biography written by James Hall, entitled A Memoir of the Public Services of William Henry Harrison, published in 1836. That year he made an unsuccessful run for the presidency as a Whig candidate. Between 1836 and 1840, Harrison served as Clerk of Courts for Hamilton County. This was his job when he was elected president in 1840. By 1840, when Harrison campaigned for president a second time, more than 12 books had been published on his life. In many, he was hailed as a national hero. 1840 presidential campaign Harrison was the Whig candidate (and again faced Van Buren, now the incumbent president) in the 1840 election. The Whig party unified behind a single candidate, and Harrison was chosen over more controversial members of the party, such as Clay and Webster. Harrison based his campaign on his heroic military record and on the weak U.S. economy, caused by the Panic of 1837. In a ploy to blame Van Buren for the depressed economy, the Whigs nicknamed him "Van Ruin". The Democrats ridiculed Harrison by calling him "Granny Harrison, the petticoat general," because he resigned from the army before the War of 1812 ended. When asking voters whether Harrison should be elected, they asked them what his name backwards was, which happens to be "No Sirrah." Democrats cast Harrison as a provincial, out-of-touch old man who would rather "sit in his log cabin drinking hard cider" than attend to the administration of the country. This strategy backfired by Harrison and his vice presidential running-mate, John Tyler's adopting the log cabin and hard cider as campaign symbols. They used the images in banners and posters, and created bottles of hard cider that were shaped like log cabins, all to connect to the "common man". Poster of Harrison's accomplishments Although Harrison had come from a wealthy, slaveholding Virginia family, in this campaign he was promoted as a humble frontiersman in the style of the popular Andrew Jackson. A memorable example was the Gold Spoon Oration, delivered by a Whig representative. Van Buren, by contrast, was presented as a wealthy elitist. A Whig chant from the time of the election exhibited the difference between candidates: Old Tip he wore a homespun coat, he had no ruffled shirt: wirt-wirt, But Matt he has the golden plate, and he's a little squirt: wirt-wirt! People singing the chant would spit tobacco juice while singing "wirt-wirt". The Whigs boasted of Harrison's military record and reputation as the hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe. Their campaign slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too", became among the most famous in American politics.[57] On election day, Harrison won a landslide electoral college victory, though the popular vote was much closer, at 53% to 47% Tip and Ty What's the cause of this commotion, motion, motion, Our country through? It is the ball a-rolling on For Tippecanoe and Tyler too. For Tippecanoe and Tyler too. And with them we'll beat little Van, Van, Van, Van is a used up man. And with them we'll beat little Van. Shortest presidency When Harrison came to Washington, he wanted to show that he was still the steadfast hero of Tippecanoe. He took the oath of office on March 4, 1841, a cold and wet day. He wore neither an overcoat nor hat, and delivered the longest inaugural address in American history. It took him nearly two hours to read, although his friend and fellow Whig Daniel Webster had edited it for length. Harrison rode through the streets in the inaugural parade. The inaugural address was a detailed statement of the Whig agenda, essentially a repudiation of Jackson and Van Buren's policies. Harrison promised to reestablish the Bank of the United States and extend its capacity for credit by issuing paper currency (Henry Clay's American System); to defer to the judgment of Congress on legislative matters, with sparing use of his veto power; and to reverse Jackson's spoils system of executive patronage. He promised to use patronage to create a qualified staff, not to enhance his own standing in government. As leader of the Whigs and a powerful legislator (as well as a frustrated Presidential candidate in his own right), Clay expected to have substantial influence in the Harrison administration. He ignored his own platform plank of overturning the "Spoils" system. Clay attempted to influence Harrison's actions before and during his brief presidency, especially in putting forth his own preferences for Cabinet offices and other presidential appointments. Harrison rebuffed his aggression, saying "Mr. Clay, you forget that I am the President." The dispute intensified when Harrison named Daniel Webster, Clay's arch-rival for control of the Whig Party, as his Secretary of State, and appeared to give Webster's supporters some highly coveted patronage positions. Harrison's sole concession to Clay was to name his protegé John J. Crittenden to the post of Attorney General. When Clay pressed Harrison on the appointments, the president told him not to visit the White House again, but to address him only in writing. Despite this, the dispute continued until the president's death. William Henry Harrison Clay was not the only one who hoped to benefit from Harrison's election. Hordes of office applicants came to the White House, which was then open to all comers who wanted a meeting with the President. Most of Harrison's business during his month-long presidency involved extensive social obligations—an inevitable part of his high position and arrival in Washington—and receiving visitors at the White House. They awaited him at all hours and filled the Executive Mansion. As he had with Clay, Harrison resisted pressure from other Whigs over patronage. When a group arrived in his office on March 16 to demand the removal of all Democrats from any appointed office, Harrison proclaimed, "So help me God, I will resign my office before I can be guilty of such an iniquity." Harrison's only official act of consequence was to call Congress into a special session. He and Henry Clay had disagreed over the necessity of such a session, and when on March 11 Harrison's cabinet proved evenly divided, the president vetoed the idea. A few days later, however, Treasury Secretary Thomas Ewing reported to Harrison that federal funds were in such trouble that the government could not continue to operate until Congress' regularly scheduled session in December; Harrison thus relented, and on March 17 proclaimed the special session in the interests of "the condition of the revenue and finance of the country." The session was scheduled to begin on May 31. [edit] Administration and cabinet The Harrison Cabinet President William Henry Harrison 1841 Vice President John Tyler 1841 Secretary of State Daniel Webster 1841 Secretary of Treasury Thomas Ewing 1841 Secretary of War John Bell 1841 Attorney General John J. Crittenden 1841 Postmaster General Francis Granger 1841 Secretary of the Navy George E. Badger 1841 Death On March 26, Harrison became ill with a cold. According to the prevailing medical misconception of that time, it was believed that his illness was directly caused by the bad weather; however, Harrison's illness did not arise until more than three weeks after the inauguration. The cold worsened, rapidly turning to pneumonia and pleurisy.[66] He sought to rest in the White House, but could not find a quiet room because of the steady crowd of office seekers. His extremely busy social schedule made any rest time scarce. Harrison's doctors tried cures, applying opium, castor oil, leeches, and Virginia snakeweed. But the treatments only made Harrison worse, and he became delirious. He died nine days after becoming ill, at 12:30 a.m. on April 4, 1841, of right lower lobe pneumonia, jaundice, and overwhelming septicemia. He was the first United States president to die in office. His last words were to his doctor, but assumed to be directed at John Tyler, "Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more." Harrison served the shortest term of any American president: March 4 – April 4, 1841, 30 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes. Harrison's funeral took place in the Wesley Chapel in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1841. His original interment was in the public vault of the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He was later buried in North Bend, Ohio. The William Henry Harrison Tomb State Memorial was erected in his honor. Impact of death Statue of Harrison on horseback in Cincinnati, OhioThe untimely death of Harrison was a disappointment to Whigs, who hoped to pass a revenue tariff and enact measures to support Henry Clay's American System. John Tyler, Harrison's successor and a former Democrat, abandoned the Whig agenda, effectively cutting himself off from the party. Due to the death of Harrison, three presidents served within a single calendar year (Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler). This has happened on only one other occasion, in 1881, when Rutherford B. Hayes was succeeded by James A. Garfield, who was assassinated later in that year. With the death of Garfield, Chester A. Arthur stepped into the presidency. Harrison's death revealed the flaws in the constitution's clauses on presidential succession. Article II of the Constitution states that "In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, ... and [the Vice President] shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected". Scholars at the time disagreed whether the vice president would become President or merely Acting President. Further, the Constitution did not stipulate whether the vice president could serve the remainder of the president's term, until the next election, or if emergency elections should be held. Harrison's cabinet insisted that Tyler was "Vice President acting as President." After the cabinet consulted with the Chief Justice Roger Taney they decided that if Tyler took the presidential Oath of Office he would assume the office of President. Tyler obliged and was sworn in on April 6. In May, Congress convened. After a short period of debate in both houses, it passed a resolution that confirmed Tyler in the presidency for the remainder of Harrison's term. Once established, this precedent of presidential succession remained in effect until the Twenty-fifth Amendment was ratified in 1967. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the succession of Lyndon B. Johnson to the presidency in 1963, the Twenty-fifth Amendment dealt with the finer points of succession. It defined in what situations the vice president was acting president, and in what situation the vice president could become president. As the shortest-serving president, Harrison was the only one not to appoint a single federal judge at any level.[75] No states were admitted to the union during his term. Legacy Harrison was the first sitting president to have his photograph taken. The original daguerreotype, made in Washington on his Inauguration Day, has been lost—although at least one copy exists in the archives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His chief presidential legacy lies in his campaigning methods, which laid the foundation for the modern presidential campaign tactics. Harrison died nearly penniless. Congress voted to give his wife a Presidential widow's pension, a payment of $25,000, one year of Harrison's salary. This is equivalent to over $500,000 in 2009 dollars. She also received the right to mail letters free of charge. Harrison was the first of only four presidents who did not have an opportunity to nominate a judge to serve on the Supreme Court. Harrison's son John Scott Harrison served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio between 1853 and 1857. Harrison's grandson, Benjamin Harrison of Indiana, was the 23rd president, from 1889 to 1893, making them the only grandparent–grandchild pair of presidents. Numerous places were named after the military hero and president: Harrison, New Jersey; Harrison County, Indiana; Harrison County, Mississippi; Harrison County, Iowa; Harrison County, Ohio; and three schools named William Henry Harrison High School (in Evansville and Battle Ground, Indiana and Harrison, Ohio). Because of his short service, no military vessel was named after him as president. During the American Civil War, the Union Army named a post near Cincinnati Camp Harrison. A military fort in Montana was named for him. A statue of Harrison was erected on Monument Circle in Indianapolis. Inauguration of William Henry Harrison Participants William Henry Harrison Location Washington, D.C. U.S. Capitol Date March 4, 1841 The inauguration of William Henry Harrison as the ninth President of the United States took place on March 4, 1841. The inauguration marked the commencement of the only four-year term of William Henry Harrison as President and John Tyler as Vice President. Harrison's inauguration was marked by several novelties; he was the first president-elect to arrive in Washington, D.C. by train, and for the first time an official inaugural committee of citizens had formed to plan the day's parade and Inaugural ball. The day of Harrison's inauguration was overcast with cold wind and a noon temperature estimated to be 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Harrison chose to not wear an overcoat, hat, or gloves for the ceremony. Sworn-in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney on the East Portico of the United States Capitol, Harrison proceeded to deliver the longest inaugural address in American history, running 8,445 words. Harrison wrote the entire speech himself, though it was edited by soon-to-be Secretary of State, Daniel Webster. Webster said afterwards that in the process of reducing the text, he had "killed seventeen Roman proconsuls." That evening Harrison attended three inaugural balls, including one at Carusi's Saloon entitled the "Tippecanoe" ball, which at a price of US$10 per person attracted 1000 guests. On March 26, Harrison developed a cold, then attributed to inauguration day exposure, a theory cast into doubt by modern medicine. Despite doctors' attempts at treating him, he died on April 4, making his 30-day tenure the shortest in history. President William Henry Harrison, 1841 Vice President John Tyler Inauguration Date Saturday, March 4, 1841 Location East Portico, U.S. Capitol Oath Administered By: Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice Bible Used: Unknown Length of Inaugural Address: 8,445 words Attire (what the president wore): Did not wear overcoat, hat, nor gloves during swearing-in ceremony Weather: Overcast with a cold wind. Estimated noon temperature of 48°F. Precedents, "firsts" or other interesting information: Harrison was the first President to arrive in Washington, D.C. by train. The first official Inaugural committee was formed by citizens of D.C. to plan the parade and Inaugural ball. Harrison delivered the longest Inaugural address on record. He died of pneumonia one month later, believed to have been brought on by prolonged exposure to bad weather at his March 4 Inauguration.