I began the day with my second presidential library. This one of course built for John F. Kennedy.
I had two minor issues with the library. First, it was small. Of course he was president for less than three years, but still. Second, it focused solely on his time in the White House. At the beginning of the museum there’s a short movie on his life leading up to his nomination at the 1960 Democratic National Convention. I would have like that information incorporated into exhibits rather than the film.
I next went to the Edward Kennedy Institute of the Senate. This was also rather small. But they have a replica of the Senate chamber and host different events throughout each day. They did a debate on the censure of Joseph McCarthy, a live vote of everyone in attendance on a real bill currently under consideration by the real Senate, and hearings on a fake real world problem we created. It was interesting and really interactive.
I followed that with a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art. It’s currently under renovation. Extremeley small. If I’d had to pay for entry I’d have wanted my money back. Also, I was a little baffled by what qualifies as art. But I’m no artist.
Lastly, I finished up with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I discovered during the ride over that it’s the fourth largest museum in the country. An absolute behemoth. I got there around 6:30 and left around 9:30 and still didn’t cone close to getting all the way through. There were so many great exhibits and pieces. I’m most likely going back on Tuesday.
FOUR museums in one day is a new record for me. Though it was really 3.25.
I’ve been using Lyft to get around. Last night I hailed a driver with my phone at 12%. He called me probably 20 minutes later saying that the app gave him the wrong address and he was in Cambridge, nowhere near me. I explained that my phone was going to die (2% by this time) and that I’d just keep waiting, but he kept blaming the app. Over and over again. I hung up and canceled the trip. Phone died. Again. But this time it was 10:00 at night and raining. I started walking. I had my charger with me. I just needed somewhere to actually charge. I walked for 10 minutes before realizing I’d walked in a circle. I changed directions and started looking for outlets on the outside of buildings. Nothing. I finally found a Mexican restaurant open and decided to eat and then figure out what to do. Found an outlet by the restrooms. Charged up. Good to go. End of a long day.
Happy Presidents Day! Hopefully you’re off of work or school or whatever you have going on.
In honor of the holiday I took it upon myself to look into the history of U.S. presidents who have written books. The practice is fairly common today for outgoing presidents to write books about their presidencies. These often become mega bestsellers. I’m certain that President Obama will be writing about killing Bin Laden, the Affordable Care Act, and being the first African-American president in our nation’s history once he’s out of office. But that’s not happened yet, so let’s look at the books already written by former presidents.
The current president has written a few books already, one of which was released during his presidency. I think most people know that he was a New York Times bestselling author before reaching the Oval Office. His books are The Audacity of Hope, Dreams from my Father, and Of Thee I Sing. The third title on that list is a letter to his daughters in which Obama writes tributes to great Americans and discloses that he sees their traits in his daughters. I haven’t read the book, but I definitely will at some point.
George W. Bush
Bush wrote the memoir Decision Points shortly after leaving office in 2009. It’s hard not to want to log into your Amazon account and order this book if you haven’t already done so. We had the September 11th attacks, wars started in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the start of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression during his presidency. It doesn’t matter what you think of Bush the president, I’d recommend this book so you can gain a new perspective of the realities of American presidency.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Before becoming president, Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. If you know nothing about the war, just know that there weren’t too many people with more important jobs during the war than his. He wrote Crusade in Europe in the years between the end of the war in 1945 and him taking office in 1953. The book tells the story of the war from his eyes. This man was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of France and Germany, which is reason enough for you to read it.
John F. Kennedy
We all know the story of Kennedy’s assassination and we’ve heard the conspiracy theories surrounding that dreadful day. But JFK also wrote Profiles in Courage in which he profiled the heroic acts of eight Americans during different time periods in our nation’s history. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
There have been many more presidents who have written books including Calvin Coolidge, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and more. This list on Goodreads has plenty to pick from.