Plymouth Notch, Vermont (JFK+50) 92 years ago this morning, August 3, 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge, visiting his family home here at Plymouth Notch, was awakened by a knock on his bedroom door. The Vice President's father, John Coolidge, had some bad news. President Warren G. Harding had died.
From that point on, things happened quickly. A special telephone line was set up so that the new president could speak with Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes. Hughes told Coolidge that his swearing-in ceremony must be witnessed by a notary^.
Calvin's father, a notary public, would do the job. Amity Shlaes writes...
"By kerosene lamplight, before a small group that included his wife and Porter Dale, a congressman...a new United States president was sworn in by his father."
Coolidge appeared on the front porch of his house at 7:20 a.m. prepared for travel. He first paid a visit to his mother's (Victoria Josephine Moor Coolidge, 1846-1885) grave, and then took the regularly scheduled 9:35 train out of town.
"Coolidge," by Amity Shlaes, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2013.
Solomon Islands (JFK+50) The survivors of the PT 109 waited for rescue seventy two years ago today, August 3, 1943, after having been struck by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in the early morning hours of August 2nd.
Australian coast watcher Reginald Evans reported sighting the sinking of PT109 and there was little hope that any of the crew were still alive.
Having failed in an attempt to flag down a rescue ship, 109's commander, Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy, swam back to the island where his surviving crew waited.
When JFK arrived...
"he looked skinny, bedraggled and exhausted. He had a beard. His hair was matted over his forehead. His circled eyes were bloodshot."
"PT109, John F. Kennedy in WWII," by Robert J. Donovan*, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1961.
*Bob Donovan was with President and Mrs. Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 covering the trip as a political story. Ironically, he had previously written a book on presidential assassins.