Facsimile Magazine, published by Haoyan of America. Volume Two, Number Eleven, 2008. ISSN 1937-2116.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Haoyan of America
This issue is dedicated to those of you who participated in this year's presidential election. Those of you who decidedly awoke yourselves from the bad dream. Those who rediscovered the meaning of life and surrendered yourself to surround the world. Those who proved once and again that America can still sometimes get its act together long enough to have one's cake and eat it too... uh oh! Then it is to you that I say, "the easy part is done and gone, now the real fun will have begun..."
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received a letter from a 12-year-old student at the Colegio de Dolores school in Santiago, Cuba.
Mr Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States.
My good friend Roosevelt I don't know very English, but I know as much as write to you.
I like to hear the radio, and I am very happy, because I heard in it that you will be president for a new (periodo)
I am twelve years old. I am a boy but I think very much but I do not think that I am writing to the President of the United States.
If you like, give me a ten dollar bill green american, in the letter, because never I have not seen a ten dollar bill green american and I would like to have one of them.
My address is:
I don't know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don't know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.
Thank you very much, Good by. Your friend,
If you want iron to make your ships I will show you the bigest mines of iron of the land. They are in Mayori, Oriente Cuba.
Young Castro's wish went unfulfilled; he did not receive any U.S. currency from the President. His letter is now among the collection of The National Archives and Records Administration.
By Nikolina Å Tanfel
Originally Published March 26, 2007
The story of the so-called Tippecanoe curse, although largely unknown to the world, is part of American culture and is sometimes taught in schools in history classes. How else to explain the horrifying sequence of seven American presidents who did not live to see the end of their mandates in the strict periods of 20 years?
According to folklore, the curse also known as the Tecumseh Curse, the President's Curse or the Curse of the Zero Year arose after the victory over American Indians in the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. The famous Indian chief Tecumseh placed the curse on the American people when he and his army were defeated by the Americans led by General William Henry Harrison, a future presidential candidate. According to another version, his brother Tenskwatawa, also known as The Prophet, made the curse. Whomever passed the curse, it presumably went something like this: Harrison, you will die, I tell you. After his every big chief (meaning U.S. presidents) elected in the space of 20 years on the year ending with a zero will die during his term. And each time they die, let them remember my people.
Since U.S. presidential elections take place every four years, every 20 years an election takes place on the year ending with a zero.
The general who beat Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, won in the presidential race in 1840, although the majority did not support him as a favorite. His opponent was the than vice-president for whom many believed would take over the presidential seat. The day when Harrison was giving his inauguration speech, it was cold and windy. The speech lasted for an hour and 40 minutes and the new president got a cold. A month later he died of pneumonia. The people became panic-stricken.
To confirm that this was not a fluke, 20 years had to go by and an election for a new president. It was Abraham Lincoln, elected for the first time in 1860. At the beginning of his first mandate he was killed by southern sympathiser John Wilkes Booth.
James Garfield was elected in 1880 and lived through only four months of his term. He was shot dead by the mentally unstable Charles J. Guiteau.
William McKinley was elected in 1900 for his second term as president. After a year and a half he was killed by Leon F. Czolgosz, who claimed to be the antichrist. He confessed to the murder, saying that McKinley was an "enemy of the people".
The curse, first widely noted in a Ripley's Believe It or Not book published in 1931, began with the death of William Henry Harrison, who died in 1841 after having been elected in 1840. For the next 120 years, presidents elected during years ending in a zero ultimately died while serving in office, from William Henry Harrison, (elected 1840, died 1841) to John F. Kennedy (elected 1960, died 1963). Zachary Taylor's death of acute gastroenteritis does not fit this pattern. Although he died in 1850, just 16 months after election, the election itself took place in 1848, excluding him from the "curse".
After World War II the Americans were tired of Woodrow Wilson and in 1920 elections voted for his total opposite, the decisive Warren G. Harding. He is considered one of the worst American presidents. During his tour Travels to Understand People of America he was struck by a heart attack in San Francisco. He died in his room at the Palace Hotel.
One of the most popular American presidents who was elected four times was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1940 he was elected a third term. He died from a brain aneurism soon after he was elected the fourth time. Since he was elected as president in the zero year, 1940, his death is also considered to be part of the Tippencanoe curse.
The youngest American president John F. Kennedy became president in 1960 in the narrowest presidential race to date. On November 22, 1963 he was shot in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of the assassination by the Warren Commission. Many still believe that Oswald was just a scapegoat for one of the most infamous conspiracies of the 20th century.
The first president who might have broken the curse was Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980. But opinions about this case differ. John Hinckley shot him 69 days after he took up office. The wound was severe and doctors said it was touch-and-go. Many say credit for this went to his wife Nancy who was, as it was widely known, obsessed by the curse. It was a known secret around the White House that Reagan's commitments and protocols were ruled by the stars and astrology, about which Nancy was fanatic. Official trips, protocols and receptions were organized according to astrological charts. Nancy organized public prayers for the life of her husband which a significant number of Americans attended, including Native Americans. It is believed that this probably broke the Curse of Tippencanoe. Others believe that the curse caught up with him when he died from Alzheimer's disease that was caused by his being wounded.
If the curse has indeed been broken, it will be known on January 20, 2009 when president George W. Bush (elected in 2000) hands over his seat to another president. On May 10, 2005, he survived an assassination attempt during his speech at Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia. Vladimir Arutinian threw a hand grenade at 20 metres, but because it was faulty, did not explode. Doctors say that the president is of good health, so the chances of him dying from a health problem in the next two years are slim. But even those who have never heard of the President's Curse, are aware of the fact that the possibility of Bush being the target of another assassination is rather high.
Astrologist Mark Dodich analyzed the Tippencanoe curse and came to the conclusion that the election of president coincided with the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn that happens every 20 years. He believes that Reagan was saved by the alignment of these two planets under an air sign, while until then they were aligned under an earth sign. When Bush was elected in 2000, the alignment took place under the earth sign of Taurus. This will happen again only in 600 years. Dodich believes that this alignment marked the end of the deadly cycle.
My name is Frisbee Jackson. I have never successfully tried cocaine, never completed an extra-marital affair, never not known how to use a computer and as far as I knew, no one I call "friend" is a domestic terrorist. I am a woman, an Asian American and hopefully, your next president.
I was born to immigrant parents who escaped tyrannic regimes on a vessel called the Siren’s Song. Seeking a better education and life for themselves and their children, I was welcomed into this world at a hospital with both running water and electricity. My father worked tirelessly to earn a scholarship in order to study here in the United States. The value of American democracy and capitalism soon became ingrained in him and into our family. I feel an immense gratitude towards this great nation and its principals, without whom I would not have had the discipline I earned through my long hours of detention. I understand these are the very sacrifices that many of our ancestors made in order to bring us this land of prosperity and preferable plumbing. Our country stands as a shining bacon of hope, liberty, where every person has a voice and may be given a chance to sing as a contestant on American Idol. I will maintain these traditions.
As an adolescent, I took full advantage of every opportunity that presented itself to me except for one. In addition to my early literary contributions to the Society for the Blind, I was heavily involved in journalism, debate, speech, politics, trivial bowl & pursuit, theater, tutoring, cancer research, orphan-organizing and other various volunteer services within my community. It is through these after school activities that I quickly emerged as a true leader and role model.
After the after school activities, one would often find myself tutoring ESL (English as a Second Language) students, many of whom are refugees from war-torn Africa. More specifically the Basso Giuba district of Somalia. Viewing their struggled attempts to assimilate into American culture was both heart-warmingly wonderful and wonderfully heart-breaking. Ferasta, fluent in three languages: Somali, Swahili and English, had hoped one day to become a translator or teacher. She took studies in Arabic at the local Muslim temple on the weekends and rented Bollywood classics such as Disco Dancer & Adhisaya Piravi from the local library. Hers was a love for language and culture beyond the norm. But the barrage of standardized tests, brought on by No Child Left Behind and its lack of funding, really took its toll on Ferasta. She was labeled as someone incompetent and beneath her fellow classmates. I really forgot where I was going with this but Furby sure was smart girl.
Being a proud member of the Teen Council, I realize the importance of tactical civic engagement and national surveillance. Last year, I put in over 8000 independent hours of community service, teaching kids in the classroom about body image, unhealthy relationships and incomprehensible sex education. Our goal was to decrease the skyrocketing level of sexually perverted diseases, teen pregnancies and controversial late-term abortions. We thought education was the answer, but now we're not so sure.
Affordable housing is another hot topic I've dwelled on. I addressed it while writing a letter to Habitat for Humanity: Youth United. Thousands of Americans cannot afford decent 2 to 4-story condos for their grandparents and/or other loved ones. They are either left out in the cold dry weather or in a subterranean basement somewhere. As a part of Habitat, I worked carelessly to build homes for needy families and suggested more legislation for expensive housing projects.
Protecting the environment is an unusually high priority. As a stand-in member of the Environmental Conservation Operation, I helped short sell hundreds of compact fluorescent bulbs for only $1. This year our project is even more ambitious: we raised enough money to put solar panels over every square inch of our school with more left over to finance personal pet projects like figuring out how to make money recyclable.
One other important but often overlooked issue is the technological event horizon. With the recent discovery of the internet and other frontiers, a President must be knowledgeable enough in these departments to govern reasonably over what will surely be thought about next. I am so well-versed in the computer internet and electrical mail that I will be virtually reality compatible within the six months or so. Additionally as President, I will run on an open source platform that will ensure all people, Croatian or Ethiopian; female or gay; will all have the same access to the wonder that is Uncyclopedia and EweTube.
I know what it’s like to come from humbug beginnings, to grow up in the hustle and bustle of the suburbs. I know what it’s like to see your savings dwindle; and also your checking account frozen due to identity theft. I know what it’s like to leave your Jaguar XK Victory Edition convertible in a Walmart parking lot only to come back to a huge dent in the passenger side door. I know that the shining image of the United States has tarnished among our foreign colleagues in recent years; the eagle is balding. I will strive hard to rid not only America, but the world of these grave injustices. Be assured that as your President, I will make the United States a better place for all, so that its citizens can once again be proud of themselves, for choosing me.
Frisbee Jackson ’32 - Why Don't You Look In The Mirror?
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.
A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.
Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.
I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady Michelle Obama.
Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the new White House.
And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.
And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.
To my chief strategist David Axelrod who's been a partner with me every step of the way.
To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.
It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.
It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.
This is your victory.
And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.
You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.
Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.
There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.
There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
I promise you, we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.
But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.
In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.
Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.
To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.
That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.
And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.
Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain and became the first African American to be elected President of the United States. Born in Hawaii, Obama will also be the first U.S. President born outside the contiguous United States.
The Seal of the President of the United States is almost identical to the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States.
The first President known to have used a presidential seal is Rutherford B. Hayes, who had one designed for use on White House invitations in 1880. From the start, the design had the head of the eagle turned to sinister, i.e., to the viewer's right, toward the talon holding the arrows of war. No one knows why that choice was made; it may have been intended to differentiate the seal from that of the United States, or simply an error. President Roosevelt decided to update the design in the winter of 1944. George M. Elsey, a naval aide, was assigned the task to sketch a new design. He called on Arthur E. DuBois, Chief Heraldic Consultant of the Office of the Quartermaster General of the Army, who pointed out the incorrect position of the eagle's head and convinced Truman to have the eagle turned to dexter, which is the normal position for heraldic eagles in general, and also the same position as in the Seal of the United States. The change was implemented by President Truman, on October 26, 1945. The design has not changed since.
This one-time change has given rise to the myth that the eagle's head changes position to indicate wartime or peacetime, but that is obviously not true. The eagle faced right from 1880 to 1945, and has faced left ever since. It is nevertheless true that, when the change was made in 1945, the announcement referred to the symbolism of the eagle facing peace instead of war, and this symbolism has been alluded to many times since, although it was not the motivation for the change.
The presidential seal is not used to seal documents, but as a presidential insignia on White House documents, objects and staff clothing. A copy in plaster or papier-mache always adorns the lecterns from which the President makes public addresses.