Wednesday, August 19, 2015



Hope, Arkansas (JFK+50)  William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, was born William Jefferson Blythe III sixty-nine 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 spent the first four 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 John F. 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.

According to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum...

"In the years since leaving office, President Clinton has dedicated his time to leading the development of global initiatives through his Foundation.  The staff and volunteers of the WJC Foundation focus on programs of community service, drug acquisition for HIV/AIDS treatment and fighting childhood obesity in the United States."


William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum,

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

President Bill Clinton
Knoxville, Tennessee
Photo by John White (1996)

I made this close-up photograph of the President when he and Vice-President Al Gore came to Knoxville during the re-election campaign in 1996.  I managed to work my way down to the rope line and took the picture just after having shaken his hand.  

I sent a couple of copies of the photo to the White House and asked President Clinton to sign one for me.  You can see part of his signature in the upper left hand corner.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!


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 fifty-five years ago today, August 19, 1960, to a prison term of ten years for espionage.

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.

*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.  FGP dies in a helicopter crash in 1977.

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