In 1880, the “surprise” presidential nomination of Ohioan James A. Garfield by the Republicans resulted in a campaign that, unlike any before it, regularly brought citizens and the candidate face-to-face. It was conducted on the front porch of Garfield's home.
My Grandmother hated it when her father-in-law came to visit. Frank Keeney usually came by every other weekend or so, travelling by bus from Charleston to Alum Creek. My father tells me he can still remember seeing the bus pull away to reveal his grandfather standing at the bottom of the hill wearing a suit and lighting a cigarette like it was yesterday.
Presidents are required by the Constitution to present a State of the Union address to Congress; Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."
So, how important is Mayflower ancestry, really? To me, it’s a point of pride and reflection. Someone had the courage to make the equivalent of what would be a Mars mission today – and how many of you have signed up for that? Yet, they had a lot less information about their destination and the natives they would encounter.
In January 2016, American Experience has two new documentaries premiering on PBS. Bonnie & Clyde will kick off the new season on January 19 at 9/8c, followed by the premiere of Mine Wars on January 26 at 9/8c. We will also be re-airing our 2012 documentary, Death and the Civil War on January 12.