The Shapell Manuscript Foundation Presents: THE MORTAL PRESIDENCY: Death, Disease and Disaster in the White House
On Exhibit At The Beverly Hills Public Library Spring and Summer 2010
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — THE FIRST MANUSCRIPT EXHIBIT, EVER, TO EXPLORE DEATH, DISEASE AND DISASTER IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Including These Rare and Exciting Manuscripts:
LINCOLN IGNORES WARNING OF ASSASSINATION: “I WILL TAKE CARE OF MYSELF”
LINCOLN’S PHYSICIAN’S BLOOD-STAINED ACCOUNT OF THE PRESIDENT’S DEATHBED AND AUTOPSY
GARFIELD’S TERRIBLE PREDICTION: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GUARD AGAINST ASSASSINATION
THE DETAILED AND REMORSELESS CONFESSION OF MCKINLEY’S ASSASSIN
TRUMAN ON APRIL 12, 1945: LETTER WRITTEN AS VICE-PRESIDENT BUT SIGNED AS PRESIDENT
The most dangerous job in America is not, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced, fishing. Nor is it logging, flying, steel manufacturing, or farming. The job with the worst mortality rate is, oddly, the hardest one to get: President of the United States.
The numbers aren’t good. 10% of American Presidents have been assassinated and 20%, the objects of assassination attempts. 20% have died in office, and another 10%, upon leaving the presidency, have died within four years; one, at 53, didn’t even last four months. Fully two-thirds of the presidents – despite wealth, education and medical care – have died before reaching their life expectancies. The job, simply, is a killer.
This exhibition focuses on death, disease, and the added disaster of assassination, in the White House, beginning with Andrew Jackson – upon whose life the first assassination attempt was made – and ending with Ronald Reagan, who was shot and almost killed, a scant 69 days into his term.
Featured are 32 letters and manuscripts focusing on these deadly aspects of the presidential experience:
- ASSASSINATIONS & DEATH IN OFFICE: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy, assassinated; attempts on Jackson, Truman, Ford and Reagan. WH Harrison, Taylor, Harding and FDR all die in office.
- THE 19TH CENTURY WHITE HOUSE AS AN INCUBUS OF DISEASE: Built on muggy bottomland, Presidents and their families suffered terribly in the White House, chiefly with waterborne diseases: typhoid was on tap.
- HIDDEN ILLNESSES & MEDICAL COVER-UPS IN THE WHITE HOUSE: When politic, Presidents have lied, outrageously, about their health.
- THE ZERO FACTOR: No president elected in a year ending in zero has, since 1840, left the presidency alive – until, that is, Reagan, who narrowly escaped assassination.
SOURCE Shapell Manuscript Foundation