Monday, August 19, 2013


August 19, 2013


Hope, Arkansas (JFK+50) Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States was born William Jefferson Blythe III 67 years ago today, August 19, 1946, at the Julia Chester Hospital here in Hope.

Bill's widowed mother, Virginia, was a registered nurse.  Later she remarried Roger Clinton and when Bill started school he changed his name from Blythe to Clinton.

           Bill Clinton Boyhood Home
                    Hope, Arkansas
        Photo by Billy Hathorn (2008)

Bill Clinton spent the first 4 years of his life in a small frame home at 117 S. Hervey Street in Hope.  The family moved to 321 E. 13th Street in 1950 and once again in 1953 to Hot Springs where Bill graduated high school.

Bill Clinton was a delegate at Boys Nation when he shook hands with President Kennedy.  William Jefferson Clinton was inspired by the meeting to enter the political profession and in 1992 was elected 42nd President of the United States.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President, and thank you for your service to our nation.

                President Bill Clinton
                    Campaign Event
                      Civic Coliseum
                Knoxville, Tennessee
         Photo by John White (1996)


Moscow (JFK+50) American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers*, captured after being shot down over the Soviet Union on May 1, was sentenced here in Moscow 53 years ago today, August 19, 1960, to a prison term of 10 years for espionage.

                      Francis Gary Powers
                        Photo by Chernov
                       RIA Novosti Archive
                  Image #351721/Chernov/
                           CC-BY-SA 3.0

Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains.  Although able to eject before the crash and make it safely to the ground by parachute, Powers was quickly taken into custody by Soviet authorities.

Powers pleaded guilty but 18 months after his sentencing the U2 pilot was released in exchange for KGB spy Rudolf Abel.

Mr. Powers died in a helicopter crash in 1977.

*Francis Gary Powers was born in Jenkins, KY and grew up in Pound, VA.  After graduating from Milligan College in Tennessee in 1950, he joined the USAF as a 2nd Lt.  Powers was then recruited for reconnaissance missions by the CIA.


Halifax, Nova Scotia (JFK+50) The USS Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides," commanded by Captain Issac Hull, was victorious in battle with the British frigate HMS Guerriere 201 years ago today, August 19, 1812.

The battle, which took place off the coast of Nova Scotia, lasted 20 minutes.

         Painting by Anton Otto Fischer
               Department of the Navy
               Naval Historical Center

When the American frigate pulled up alongside the 49 gun Guerriere, Captain Hull shouted:

"Now, boys, pour it into them!"

The Guerriere lost sail and debris from her rigging fell into the water.

Sailors on both ships said that the cannon balls fired from the British ship "bounced off" the sides of the USS Constitution.

As the Guerriere was left a virtual wreck, British Captain James Richard Dacres, who was wounded by a musket ball in the back, struck his flag.

Dacres was taken aboard the Constitution where he offered his sword to 
Captain Hull who graciously declined to accept it.

SOURCE, research by Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette.


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy, a veteran of the United States Navy, was presented a pair of wooden bookends with working replica models of 24 pounder cannon carried by "Old Ironsides."

              USS Constitution Bookends
                     JFK Library Image

The bookends, made by Oscar Lee Richardson, were presented to the President by Lt. Commander Rutledge E. Barry.

The President displayed the bookends on his desk in the Oval Office.

JFK's office, decorated in a naval theme, also had a painting by Thomas Birch of the battle between the USS United States versus the HMS Macedonian.