Who is Carl Anthony?

The school tower,

The school tower.

Writing and History.

Old Bell Mansion.

Old Bell Mansion.

Oakland Lake

Oakland Lake.

Bayside's Alley Creek

Bayside’s Alley Creek.

Though a half hour by rail to New York City, when Carl Anthony grew up in Bayside life there was similar to many other towns across the country: Memorial Day parades down Bell Boulevard, July 4th band concerts and fireworks in Crocheron Park and winter ice-skating and sledding across the street at Golden Pond, swinging out over Oakland Lake in a tire hung from an old elm tree in summertime, and exploring the abandoned Victorian Bell Mansion on Halloween.

Skating at Golden Pond.

Skating at Golden Pond.

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade.

Beyond his neighborhood and school friends, Carl Anthony got to observe a variety of adults through his mother’s activities with the Bayside Women’s Club and his father’s work with the Bayside Historical Society and Bayside Boys’ Club.

Listening in on conversations helped develop his ear for a good story, and inspired his natural urge to write, research and interview.

Veronica

Veronica.

St. Robert's School.

St. Robert’s School.

The school paper he helped start while in Catholic grammar school, however, never saw its second issue.

The principal discovered that his skeptical story about “Veronica,” controversial for her claim of getting “messages” from saints on the church lawn (where hundreds of her followers chanted), was based on his interviewing her. Student contact with her was forbidden.

Grandparents, Walker Valley in the Hudson Rivery Valley, New York.

He was influenced by stories told by his grandparents (at Walker Valley, New York).

With a childhood book on Presidents.

With a childhood book on Presidents.

Influenced by factors like vacations to historic sites and family stories of World War I and the Jazz Age, American History captured his attention.

With presidential families frequently in the news during his high school years, the topic gradually became his focus.

Philadelphia

Visiting Philadelphia.

Earning his history and journalism B.A. from George Washington University, he began researching general family influences on Presidents to quickly discover that their wives’ roles were often crucial to their success and a central element to their presidencies.

Until his own work began to appear, all but Eleanor Roosevelt and Abigail Adams, however, were ever consistently assessed in a political context.

A previously ignored topic, it led to his writing the two-volume First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives and Their Power, 1789-1990.

Presidents and First Ladies.

In conducting his research, Carl Anthony began requesting interviews with the living former First Ladies.

The author and Betty Ford, 2001.

In Mrs. Ford’s home, 2001.

Although he had only a few published clips at the time he approached her, Betty Ford expressed an interest in his work. She was the first to grant him an interview and vouched for his intentions to several other former First Ladies.

Mrs,. Ford's funeral; the author at upper-right.

Mrs,. Ford’s funeral; the author at upper-right corner.

They remained friendly for years afterwards and she gave him a place of honor at her funeral, among members of presidential families and the group of former First Ladies who attended.

He went on to know and interview President Ford for several smaller projects, and a ghostwritten effort with Mrs. Ford.

Concurrently, he was greatly assisted by presidential daughter Julie Nixon and her husband David Eisenhower, the grandson of the late President Dwight Eisenhower and Mamie Eisenhower.

With Julie Nixon &  David Eisenhower, 2010.

With Julie Nixon & David Eisenhower, 2010.

Through their daughter, he soon after began a correspondence with Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon, and he was invited to attend their presidential library dedication. He also wrote the last profile of Nixon with which he cooperated.

With Mrs, Johnson in her Austin office, 1989.

With Mrs. Johnson in her Austin office, 1989.

He went on to know and interview Lady Bird Johnson and her daughters, and also had the chance to see much of the former First Lady through her former aide and confidante Liz Carpenter, who became a good friend of his.

He would also interview Rosalynn Carter on multiple occasions as well as Barbara Bush, and joined Jimmy Carter in a symposium on the presidency. Former President Bush helped him on an overview about President Reagan, focusing on their weekly lunch conversations.

With President Carter at a conference.

With President Carter at a conference.

With the Bushes at a White House reception, 1992.

With the Bushes at a White House reception, 1992.

Interviewing Mrs. Carter in a live forum.

Interviewing Mrs. Carter in a live forum.

With Mrs. Reagan on Marine One.

With Mrs. Reagan on Marine One.

Rather than conduct a traditional interview with Nancy Reagan, he accepted the offer to become her speechwriter for a time, and traveled with her when she had remarks or addresses to make, from an international summit at the United Nations to a Boy Scout camp jamboree in an open field.

Occurring at a time when her role was enlarging, the opportunity provided him with a rare first-hand glimpse of what a First Lady’s real life encompassed, and the relationship between East and West Wings.

The author (far right) at the time he first met Mrs. Onassis.

The author (far right) at the time he first met Mrs. Onassis.

A “tour de force,” is how Jacqueline Kennedy described First Ladies.

As an editor she hand-wrote clarifications and new information on his pages about herself as First Lady, concluding after the book’s publication, “Perhaps now people will realize there was something beneath the pillbox hat.”

Editor Jackie Onassis made handwritten changes about First Lady Jackie Kennedy in Anthony's 2-volume book First Ladies.

Editor Jackie Onassis made handwritten changes about her life as First Lady in Anthony’s 2-volume book First Ladies.

Throughout his books, he seeks to recover neglected figures  or deconstruct mythology of others.

Newspapers and Magazines.

Interviewing the President and Mrs. Bush, Oval Office.

Interviewing the President and Mrs. Bush, Oval Office.

While working on his first book, he frequently wrote articles for the Washington Post, placing contemporary presidential news into larger historical context. He has written extensively for a wide variety of national and regional publications including Newsweek, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian, Town & Country, Details and Reader’s Digest.

Among the variety of people he has interviewed for print interviews, ranging from Elie Wiesel to Cindy Crawford to John Glenn.

Interviewing Clinton

Interviewing President Clinton.

He conducted a joint Oval Office interview with George W. Bush and Laura Bush in 2004 for American Heritage’s 50th anniversary issue, and a joint Oval Office interview with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in the magazine’s 40th anniversary issue.

With the President and Mrs. Obama, 2011

With the President and Mrs. Obama, 2011.

A George magazine contributing editor, he was a colleague of its co-founder and editor John Kennedy, Jr., and they shared a passion for the pop culture of presidential history.

He also contributes to the Huffington Post, with some articles providing historical context for the current activities of the President and Mrs. Obama.

Lecturer, Host, Moderator.

With Mrs. Clinton after his White House lecture.

With Mrs. Clinton after his White House lecture.

Anthony has lectured at the White House, in the East Room, on three occasions, including an April 1997 book party hosted for him there by Hillary Clinton.

Speaking at the White House.

Speaking at the White House.

He has also given speeches at universities, museums and historical sites, and before corporate and spousal programs around the nation.

Of all the presidential couples, Carl Anthony spent the most time with the Clintons, interviewing them apart and together on several occasions and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff observed that he’d had more interviews (for print, broadcast, and for “background”) with her than any other journalist.

He also wrote the introduction to one of her books.

Speaking at the JFK Presidential Library.

Speaking at the JFK Presidential Library.

Besides another live-audience interview she gave to him at the Kentucky’s Author Forum, Clinton also participated in several live-audience forums with him, including one evening that was part of his 1994 twelve-week symposium, The President’s Spouse.

Hillary Clinton being interviewed by the author, 1997

Hillary Clinton being interviewed by the author, 1997.

He acted as host, introducing the night’s topic with a film he narrated, then moderated expert panels which included past White House staff, political and cultural observers, and members of the national press corps. Like Clinton, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush headlined the symposium, joining Anthony on stage in live interviews before an audience of about 1,000.

The series was filmed by ABC News and C-Span, which continues to air the series. He has also served as host and moderator for panel discussions and one-on-one interviews around the country and televised on local broadcasts.

Media Commentator.

Providing news commentary, 2004.

Providing news commentary, 2004.

As a regular commentator on presidential political history and popular culture, Carl Anthony has appeared on the full range of national network, cable and public television programming, including the ABC, CBS and NBC Nightly News and morning shows, from Charlie Rose and Nightline to Entertainment Tonight and E!

Whether wedding or funeral or any other event in the lives of presidential families, he has given hundreds of live and pre-recorded national and regional radio and television interviews.

During the 2009 Inauguration, for example, he provided all-day ABC News commentary.

He has also worked as exhibit consultant and guest curator at museums including the Smithsonian and Nixon Presidential Library, and as historian for the National First Ladies Library.

Screenwriter.

Anthony moved to Los Angeles to enlarge his writing to screenplays.

Becoming Mrs. Claus.

Becoming Mrs. Claus.

In 2003, he worked with Dreamworks Television in developing FLOTUS, a television series about a fictitious First Lady, based on an original pilot script he wrote. He is currently writing several feature scripts including Becoming Mrs. Claus, a retro holiday love story, and Jackie on the Job and Poisoning the President, based on two of his books.

He wrote a treatment and outline for a series based on several chapters from First Ladies, Volume II, showing the growth of Nancy Reagan’s role. The original idea was sold to ABC, although the project was then sold elsewhere with a story that was neither his nor which he developed.

He has also branched into documentary-styled television, developing  series such as HolidayUSA and President’s Residence.

Hybrid.

The Hardings on their 1923 National tour, which the author re-traced 75 years to the day during the 1998 tour for his book about them.

The Hardings on their 1923 National tour, which the author re-traced 75 years to the day during the 1998 tour for his book about them.

In the various venues he’s tried, Carl Anthony attempts to make history accessible, compelling and relevant, blending traditional genres to achieve this. He used anecdotes in America’s First Families to underline the psychological impact of different family relationships (parent, sibling, etc.) on Presidents. The Presidents’ Residence considers cherished objects which reveal private clues to presidential personality.

To promote his critically acclaimed 1998 biography Florence Harding about President Warren Harding’s activist wife, he retraced their 1923 cross-country trip and Alaska voyage 75 years to each day, ending in the San Francisco hotel where Harding died. Lecturing to crowds along the way, he screened 1923 newsreels of the various locales to show what had changed in each place, or what hadn’t.

For him, history isn’t only academic data but a discovery of how the arc of the individual lives of Presidents and First Lady affected those of millions of others. In emphasizing the human attributes and deficiencies of these couples, he finds the balance of marital power consequential and the wives inherently conflicted by the mythology and expectations attached to their symbolic role as they strive to stay real.

The 1964 PicturePhone anticipated Skype and Facetime on the iPhone.

The 1964 PicturePhone anticipated Skype and Facetime on the iPhone.

Beyond presidential families, another area of his curiosity is how the smallest changes in technology continue to alter life as we know it, whether these evolutions match “the future” as imagined in the past, and how 21st century life shifts the “reality” of how the past is perceived.

Behind California's Orange Meringue Pie is an unexpected story.

Behind California’s Orange Meringue Pie is an unexpected story.

Another way he finds the evidences of history living among people today is the personalities of the nation’s regions. Having explored all but four states, Anthony enjoys tracking down how regional American customs, accents, and cultures have evolved. The most common currency he finds this expressed through is the specialty foods unique to different areas. In looking at traditionally popular pies of each state, for example, he has found a regional history encapsulated in each story.

The story of food and the presidency offers windows into politics and popular culture.

The story of food and the presidency offers windows into politics and popular culture.

Within the realm of  literally tasting American culture through regional food is another hybrid of his interests – the impact of Presidential Food, an often humorous but not politically and culturally insignificant sub-genre that might be best labeled “Hail the the Chef.”

St. Patrick's Day Parade New York in 1860

St. Patrick’s Day Parade New York in 1860

Dovetailing with his study and sampling of regional food is the sub-genre of national holiday celebrations and its derivations from other countries and how these have a history of their own evolution, shaped by determined individuals, politics, the nation’s always-changing population demographics, advertising and marketing – and how these have been tangibly reflected in Pop Americana.

A romantic idea of the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.

An idealization of Pocahontas marrying John Rolfe.

As a natural outgrowth of his research into the lives of the Presidents and First Ladies, he also has given some focus to the persistent mythologies about many of them and come to further research the broader context of American mythologies, specifically how various individuals have captured the nation’s imaginations and found value more for what others wanted them to symbolize than who they might really have been.

Caring for his old dog provided remarkable discoveries.

Caring for his old dog provided remarkable discoveries.

Finally, from his experiences with his old dog, now gone, he began a new research pursuit, seeking to understand the evolution of a uniquely American perspective on its favorite companion – the dog, and the industry growing around it.

From experiences which proved personal yet are ultimately universal which he continues to determine how best to express, he has come to recognize that the life a human shares with a dog can encompass far greater importance than meets the eye.

He is listed in Who’s Who, and a past member of the Author’s Guild, American Historical Association, and Organization of American Historians. He is a political Independent.


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32 replies »

  1. I so admire you and all you’ve accomplished. I’m glad this website’s still here too. Continued good wishes, Carl! 🙂

    • Val – thank you for that vote of support., I am going to be spending the next few months upgrading the quality of the website so that many stories done over the last two years can be more instantly accessed.

      • Carl, if there’s any place we can go and make a contribution to the upkeep of your website, please let us know. We would be more than happy to donate for it’s updating and continuation.

      • Enjoyed reading your bio and watched “The Kennedy Files tonight. Very well done. I was interested because your middle name is the same as my father’s. He was Gaetano Sferrazza, who came to New York from Serradifalco, Sicily in 1909 when he was sixteen. Did your family originate from that town? When he went through Ellis island, the officials misspelled his name to Sperrazza. No one argued with them. The immigrants were just thrilled to come to America.

        • Thank you so much for writing Rosalie….and that was my great-grandmother’s name, but she was not the Sferrazza – my grandfather’s family was from Sicily, Italy but the town you mention is not familiar as being where they originated.By the way sorry for the delayed posting – I only just realized that all reader comments were getting lost in the spam trapper and those from before 15 days have been lost. But – luckily I caught yours!

    • hi Carl –i find this website so fascinating–thank you for making it so 🙂 i have a question–is there a video available of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s speech at the albany hearings? i’d love to see it if possible and you seem like the guy to ask.
      best regards,
      joe coffey

      • I’ve certainly never seen one – although there were microphones and cameras there in front of her when she testified. Perhaps if you check with some of the local Albany television stations and see if they have a clip in their archives, or even a New York State audio-visual archives. Good luck – let me know if you come up with anything. And thanks for the good word on the website.

  2. Wow, you’ve had quite a life so far, Carl. Now I and the rest of your readers know, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story. It’s always quite interesting to know what influenced authors and other professionals As someone new to your writings, I’ll have to Google some of your past works but look forward to your future endeavors. Thanks for sharing your biography with us. Wishing you continued success in all your research, writing, documentaries, etc. Namaste….

  3. I hope you kept a copy of that grammar school paper! Even though Veronica is off-topic here, I’d love to read that story.

    • How great to hear from you – and thanks for the vote of confidence on that. Haha. What a story and what a person. One of these days, yes, I will write it all out. Before that appears, however, I will surely be doing a larger piece on Hillary CLinton – so that may be of interest to you.

  4. Dear Mr. Anthony –
    In the photograph of Mrs. Ford’s funeral service – Mrs. Obama and the other former First Ladies are dressed in black, however, Mrs. Reagan is wearing what appears to be winter white – I noticed she wore the same color at Mrs. Johnson’s funeral service. Does Mrs. Reagan wear this color so she stands out from the others? I read somewhere that some of the royal families consider white to be a color of mourning (the Japanese Royal family?) – could this be her reasoning?

    Thanks –

    David

    • I’m not sure David. That may very well be. Also, it could also be due to the intense (*but dry) heat in July in Palm Springs – and Mrs. Johnson’s funeral was in the very intense humid heat of Texas, also in July.

      • Hi Carl, I read, many years ago, that the Kennedy family dress in white for funerals; as they feel it is a more “positive” statement on life, and it’s ending, than black, which is associated with morbidity. While many Kennedy funerals are well publicized, I can’t say I have noticed this feature. Perhaps your well stocked vault of Kennedy photographs might answer that question. Thanks.

        ps: while I find Nancy Reagan to be a rather controversial figure, she seems to embrace good taste in formal matters like funerals. I can’t imagine her attending a funeral with thoughts of being insensitive or provocative.

        • Hi S. Now this is just by memory but I believe the reference here is to the memorial service marking the fifth anniversary of the death of Robert Kennedy, held at Arlington National Cemetery, where all of the women in attendance wore white.Hope that helps. I’d certainly agree with you about Mrs. Reagan.

  5. I had a special affinity for both President and Mrs. Ford since I am from Michigan. I have a framed photo of the President and First Lady with their autographs that I greatly treasure. My mother attended the 1976 convention and brought back a hat I keep atop a bust of Grover Cleveland from 1888. My mother came home in August of 1974 and said that Tom Ford, who was working the the legislative audit office in the Michigan legislature was in the mail room beneath the capital building and she had heard that someone had rushed in and grabbed him and hustled him away. Later I learned that it was the Secret Service. My mother’s friend was a good friend of Tom’s and I had been promised a visit to the Oval Office. Once Jerry Ford became President, however, as so often happens friendships are forgotten. Apparently the accidental Presidency was quite shocking because it was the talk of Lansing and most of Michigan for months. I wrote Ford a few times and received back a autopenned response. I still have one of those somewhere I think. What didn’t shock many but saddened us was when President and Mrs. Ford retired to Palm Springs and left Michigan behind. Unlike Truman, Johnson and later the Bushes – the Fords left the state and really never returned. When he was in office we visited a fairly well known and good restaurant in Grand Rapids known as “Granny’s” – it’s gone now. They proudly posted their guest book and photos of the President and Mrs. Ford, autographed of course in their little gift shop. Grand Rapids was then a growing but still sleepy town. Now it rivals Detroit in terms of power, prestige and frankly quality of life. Along with President George H. W. Bush, Presidents Ford and Nixon were among the last to have served in the US military along, of course, with President Carter.

    • Thanks for writing Kevin – I always find it so interesting to see how many different ways people feel a connection to a particular President, often out of regional identity. I had such a strong affinity for the Fords as well. I think that when he lost the 1976 election, that Mrs. Ford was depressed and needed a complete break with the past and also suffered from a really virulent arthritis and it was urged that she live in a dry warm climate. Also when they left their children were no longer living with them at home, all being grown adults by 1977. And the President was really eager to play golf all year round. I know they returned for events at the Ford Library in Ann Arbor and the museum in Grand Rapids but from then on really thought of Palm Springs as home. The sad thing is that there will be no restored house where they lived to serve as an historic site for future generations to visit. I think these homes more than anything preserve a sense of who once lived there.

  6. Dear Carl Anthony,
    I am working on a book about Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, and was delighted to discover the photograph of the two of them in Eleanor’s Ford roadster on your site. I suspect this was taken during the two women’s 1933 trip through New England and into Quebec and the Gaspe Peninsula–an important and very happy time for them. Could you point me to a source for this photo? I would love to use it in my book, with credit where due of course.

    Thanks so much,

    Sue Quinn

    • Dear Sue Congratulations on your project. The photo credit should be listed there with it but I am certain it is from the Bettman Archives online. I hope this helps in tracking it down for publication. Keep me posted on the book – I’m sure other readers here will also be interested in it. Cheers.

  7. Wow! Carl , how do you do, do ? You once told me to write a book about “Martha and Me”! Almost done!…Richard Harrison Lawson

  8. Hi Carl: Season’s greetings as we pull closer to Christmas. I got your update re the renovation of your web site, U R truly a work-a-hol-ic! This is the first time I am seeing your post on Bastille Days, as well as your own biography. Both very impressive. I am a Milwaukee native, born & raised there from 1947-1966. Had to return for a spell in late 70’s, left there 20 yrs ago when I went into retirement (early), hoping NEVER to return. Milwaukee is not for me, it’s a beautiful city geographically. While it has no ocean coast, it has a gorgeous shore on Lake Michigan, plus a river waiting to be gentrified someday. It is also a heavy duty mfg. city, changing & struggling to keep out of “rust belt” category.

    You did a beautiful presentation of Bastille Days. My apartment was downtown, just a block from the heart of this festival:). Would U believe, as awesome as Bastille Days appeared to you, it is the smallest and first of the Summer Festivals that continue celebrating throughout the summer. All of Milwaukee’s ethnic groups (or most of them) take a 3 day week-end at the lake front, in SummerFest Park where a family famed for spectacular pyrotechnics light up the sky, while the music plays and the beer flows. Milwaukee must have 4 taverns on ea. corner!! The food at all the festivals, be it Italian, German, Polish,even the Frog Legs at Bastille days, is just awesomely good. Many of the groups seem to share a penchant for underground broiling of pork & lamb. My favorite festival was Irish Fest as I collect Harp Music. It’s a real mellow event, with wonderful dancing and gallic folk singing. I was in a “new age” phase when I came there in the ’80s.

  9. Mr. Anthony, In the coming year, the US Mint will be issuing commemorative gold coins for Florence Harding and Grace Coolidge as part of its First Ladies series. You can find the proposed designs for these coins at this site: http://www.coinnews.net/2013/11/25/design-candidates-for-2014-first-spouse-gold-coins/ What you think of them? Personally, I am not impressed. The present status is that design recommendations for the coins have been forwarded to Secretary of the Treasury Lew and now await his final decision.

    • Thank you for writing – and also for providing the link to those proposed designs. I would certainly support the back of some of the coins which manage to crystallise the substantive rather than superficial legacies of each of these four substantive women. Certainly I see one of Mrs. Coolidge that transforms her into a stylised version of herself, but the second and last one seem to work. One of the images proposed of Mrs. Harding seems most realistic but it is the same old image of her seen for so many years. I will give it some further thought and register my view but I appreciate you writing and hope many others who see your comment will also do so by following the link which you thoughtfully provide. Cheers – and thanks again.

  10. Dear Mr. Anthony,

    I am a great admirer of your work, and a fan of your website to share your wonderful experiences with all of us who love the presidency, White House, and details on the First Families.

    I do have a question which has always perplexed me, and, as another poster wrote, it seemed you might be the fellow to help find out more about it.

    As a presidential admirer, as well as classic car enthusiast, I’ve always appreciated JFK’s fantastic Lincoln parade car which suited him and his style so fantastically. I know that it resides now in the Ford Museum, as it well should, yet, I always wondered why that vehicle was put back into White House service after the Dallas tragedy. Surely, no future president could have been eager to ride in the car, and, I know I have read that both President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson always disliked using the car for the obvious reasons.

    I know it was expensive, and also completely refitted and armored before being returned to Johnson. I saw him in the car as a child when he visited Omaha, Nebraska in late 1964. My dad stood me on a car trunk for a better view and I’ll always remember the glass top and that beautiful blue interior.

    I appreciate your time and hope you might find this subject of interest to others; if you do, it would add greatly to the history of those days.

    I know the car remained in WH service through President Carter; I just have never understood how any president would accept it in their fleet of vehicles.

    As I said, I love classics and once owned a similar Lincoln as a collector car to satisfy a childhood dream. I drove it often while I lived in Dallas, Texas; once to the Sixth Floor museum where it attracted a bit of a crowd in the parking lot. It seemed to add something to the memories one feels when at that site as many told me when they saw it.

    Thank you for ‘talking’ with those of us who are fascinated by your writings and access to such a wonderful institution as the White House and it’s First Families!

    Absolute best wishes and appreciation!

    David Harris
    Lake Norman/Mooresville NC 28115

    • Dear David –

      Thanks so much for your detailed and interesting commentary. I’ve always been interested in the balance of grandeur and simplicity in the vehicles used to convey Presidents, especially their private train cars actually – and of course by the time photography had truly progressed to the point of excellent interior images, the era of Presidential train travel was largely over. As to the Kennedy car – well, I do think that the tremendous expense is the only reason the car he was killed in was refurbished. Imagine if a President had decided to trash it and the media reported the wasted expense? I’m not at all an expert on the topic, but from what I recall there was little to no media coverage whenever LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter appeared in it. As for classics – well, I keep threatening to sell that money pit I love called “Muriel,” my “creme de menthe” 1967 Ford Fairlane convertible but somehow keep postponing that. In any event, I appreciate the generosity of your words and hope to figure a way to keep generation new material here – I really do wish people only needed two hours of sleep a night! Anyway, thanks – cheers to you David.

      • Mr. Anthony, ( Carl ),

        Wow, thank you for such a fast response. Other than seeing LBJ in the car as I mentioned when I was 11, the only time I saw it after JFK was a photo of LBJ with Lady Bird riding in it. Both of them had very dour expressions; one imagines it was because they were in a ‘murder’ vehicle when in reality, it was most likely just an unposed photo.

        I suspect the expense was the factor, but, still one can’t imagine the disrespect of it’s history by slapping armor and new paint on it and putting it back on the road. Johnson had it painted black instead of JFK’s superior dark blue, and, he also had 1965 taillights installed; to me the cape cod expression of ‘dressing up a pig’ applies to both efforts! Lord knows no one would have wondered where the car went back in those days, especially the public. I do know the Johnson’s found it distasteful; I have not read elsewhere of any comments from subsequent presidents about using the car. I do remember now see a photo of Nixon in it in a motorcade; just creepy, really.

        Keep that ’67! My first car was a 1966 Galaxie XL convertible, no a/c but it had a console with built in 8 track player; so totally cool. Traded it later and got $250 for it; now they’re in the $30K range restored.

        Oh well, can’t keep everything but some things just take us back to what seem to have been better or at least, more decent, days.

        Love what you do, and write. What a thrill it has to be to know the people you have met and known; we in the GP ( General Public in Lady Bird’s words) truly love, love reading about it all through your eyes and words.

        Please stay a real person for those of us who love your work, and, great thanks for your reply which is pretty cool in itself!

        very best,

        David Harris

  11. Hello Mr. Anthony,

    Love your work so much and subscribe to your blog. I have been dipping into my copy of your Florence Harding magnum opus (my bible on the subject) and wondered if you weren’t even more shaken by the results of the recent dna test between descendants of Warren Harding and Nan Britton. Apparently he in fact did sire her daughter which I steadfastly always refused to believe. I know there was much about the man that contemporaries did like but the final assessment has to be that he had a child with a girl young enough to be his granddaughter and he never did the right thing either by her or his daughter. I think I have to cast him adrift and disown him for that. I had long been partial to him for a number of attributes in his “character” and accomplishments of his administration. I now also wonder if it wasn’t intense worry and supreme guilt over Nan’s child that wore him down and eventually killed him, as opposed to the scandals that were marinating all about him. How do you now feel about all this. Thank you for your wonderful work.

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