Tuesday, October 14, 2014



Ann Arbor, Michigan (JFK+50) Fifty-four years ago today, October 14, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy, coming from his third televised debate with Richard M. Nixon, was welcomed here in Ann Arbor at 2 o'clock in the morning.

The Democratic candidate was greeted by 10,000 students at the University of MichiganThe Massachusetts senator did not give a formal speech but spoke for three minutes.

JFK said...

"Thanks to you, as a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University.  How many of you who are going to be doctors are willing to spend your days in Ghana?  Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service? (Are you willing) to contribute part of your life to this country?"

This was the first public reference by JFK to his plans for a Peace Corps.

JFK Speaks at Ann Arbor
University of Michigan
Student Union
Photo by Ann Arbor News


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The White House released 51 years ago today, October 14, 1963, a letter from President John F. Kennedy to retiring West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

The President wrote...

"You have created in your own land a stable, free and democratic society which stands in sharp contrast to the repression still enforced on so many of your countrymen."

Konrad Adenauer
February 25, 1955
Photo by Rolf Unterberg
German Federal Archive


Milwaukee, Wisconsin (JFK+50) Former President of the United States and Progressive presidential nominee in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, was shot 102 years ago today, October 14, 1912, while greeting the public in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel here in Milwaukee.

TR was shot in the chest as a 32-caliber bullet passed through his glasses case and folded manuscript which were in his breast pocket.

Despite the wound, the former president went on to speak for 90 minutes and at one point pulled the bloody 50 page manuscript from his pocket, held it up for the audience to see, and  said...

 "It takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose*."

Doctors determined the bullet did not penetrate either TR's heart or lung, and therefore decided it would be better to not make an attempt to remove it.

TR, who had broken with Taft and the Republican Party, made only two more speeches during the 1912 campaign.  Woodrow Wilson, the Democrat, took advantage of the split in the Republican Party and won the Election of 1912.

The man who shot TR, John Schrank**,  was found insane and committed to the Central State Mental Hospital in Waupun, Wisconsin.

TR in Milwaukee
October 14, 1912

*TR often would say he was as fit as a Bull Moose.  The Progressive Party, accordingly, was often referred to as the Bull Moose Party.

**John Schrank (1876-1943) was born in Bavaria and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 9.  He turned to religion after the death of both parents and the aunt and uncle who had then cared for him as a youth.

After his attempt on TR's life, a note was discovered written by Schrank beforehand which indicated that he had been told by the ghost of President McKinley to "avenge" his death.

Schrank died of natural causes in Wisconsin.

John Schrank
Milwaukee (1912)