Administration policies seem to tacitly encourage those who live below sea level in New Orleans to relocate permanently, to leave the dangerous water’s edge for more prosperous inland cities such as Shreveport or Baton Rouge.
Although Cronkite had once crash landed in a Dutch potato field under enemy fire, he chose instead to focus on celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands at the hands of the Free Dutch.
Animals interest me more than anything else.
As a composer, Dylan now fits comfortably alongside George Gershwin or Irving Berlin, though he grumpily refuses to wear any man’s collar.
Broadcast radio was entering its own golden age during the Depression, with live programming on stations all through the day. Local stations needed singers, musicians, announcers, and whipcord personalities, along with Christian clergy to give prayers and pundits to speak on world affairs.
Demeanor-wise, Reagan was a conservative, but a pragmatic conservative, and he found silver linings in things. He liked to be a mediator. He didn’t like to have enemies around him.
Ever since Willie Nelson brought rednecks into an alliance with hippies back in the psychedelic ’70s, Austin has milked its quirky libertarian spirit for a worldwide bonanza of free publicity.
Everybody trusted Cronkite because he reminded them of their favorite uncle or trusted family physician. Being square in the age of the Beatles made Cronkite retro cool.
February was always the cruelest month for Hunter Stockton Thompson. An avid NFL fan, Hunter traditionally embraced the Super Bowl in January as the high-water mark of his year.
For Dylan, it seems, life is always the next gig. Changing pace and location are essential to his survival as an artist.
For years, I longed to hear Armstrong describe what it was like to contemplate Earth from 238,900 miles away. Former Space Center director George Abbey once told me that many NASA astronauts felt that looking at Earth was akin to a religious experience.
Having recorded his first album, ‘Tapestry,’ in 1969, in Berkeley, California, during the student riots, McLean, a native New Yorker, became a kind of weather vane for what he called the ‘generation lost in space.’
Her continuity – you know, if you connect Harriet Tubman, who died in 1913, to Rosa Parks, born in 1913, you get this extraordinary spectrum of the African-American experience.
History chalks up Mr. McKinley’s War as a U.S. win, and he also polls favorably as a ‘near great’ president.
How one deals with the death of a loved one is a highly personalized affair. Some people weep for days; others take a hike in the woods or count rosary beads.
I feel like I’m always learning from people.
I have a lot of books I want to write.
I think there’s a green side to John Kerry, if you like, that he’s an environmental activist. His record on the environment is as best as you have on a pro-environment record of anybody in the U.S. Senate.
I think, along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks will go down as one of the two most well-known and remembered figures out of the Civil Rights Movement.
I was only 8 years old on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong, 38-year-old commander of ‘Apollo 11,’ descended the cramped lunar module Eagle’s ladder with hefty backpack and bulky spacesuit to become the first human on the moon.
I was stunned to find out there had never been a serious, scholarly biography ever written on Rosa Parks.
I’m not a historian who thinks Confederate memorials should be boarded up.
I’m not a partisan.
If D-Day – the greatest amphibious operation ever undertaken – failed, there would be no going back to the drawing board for the Allies. Regrouping and attempting another massive invasion of German-occupied France even a few months later in 1944 wasn’t an option.
If Reagan had intelligence information that showed that the upheaval in Egypt is actually Democratic in spirit, then he would have, I believe, turned his back on Mubarak, even though there’s a long friendship between the United States and Egypt.
If you’re a Kennedy and you go to Italy or you go to Argentina, you’re treated as royalty. And in the United States, we’re endlessly fascinated by the family.
In 1971, near the middle of Nixon’s first term, he approved a plan to install a White House taping system as a way of preserving an accurate chronicle of important discussions and decisions. Except for Nixon, three aides, and the Secret Service, no one knew about the listening devices.
In 2012, the city of Austin erected an eight-foot-tall bronze statue of Willie Nelson in the heart of the business district. Schoolchildren, churchgoers, tourists, slackers, conventioneers, tech geeks – everybody, it seems – now congregate around this ponytailed shrine to outlaw country.
In Austin, the eco-capital of Texas, residents tend to favor native plants and wildflowers to the sculpted lawns of the Palm Springs variety.
Influenced by Pete Seeger and the Weavers, McLean proudly wore the mantle of troubadour in the early 1970s, when ‘American Pie’ topped the Billboard charts, and has never shed the cape.
It is a long revisionist road up from the bottom for George W. Bush. He is ranked toward the bottom rung of presidents.
It’s Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency. Clean Air and Water Acts. Endangered Species Act. Promoted affirmative action. One could go on and on with Nixon as a New Deal liberal on domestic policy and a hawk, but one with great geo-political skills.
It’s very important that we keep these special, wild places. It defines the United States. Imagine our country without our national parks and our monuments. Here in California, imagine if you didn’t have in Southern Cal the Channel Islands or the great Highway 1, Big Sur up to Point Reyes up to the Redwood country.
John Kerry can be absolutely ruthless. I would not want to be on his enemies list when he’s ready to go after you.
John Kerry doesn’t think in terms of black-and-white. He’s all gray, and he looks at all sides of the issues. That makes people think he likes to be devil’s advocate. Whatever you say, he’ll challenge you on.
John Kerry had a very vivid imagination as a young person. I mean, he actually did go and take his bicycle from Norway to go camp in Sherwood Forest to be around the ghost of Robin Hood.
John Kerry only went to prep schools because he had an aunt who had the money to pay for his way into those prep schools.
John Kerry wants to be the hero in his own drama. He likes King Arthur and the Round Table. He likes the young swashbuckling Churchill, and he loved the early antics of Theodore Roosevelt.
Knievel seemed braver and more brazen – and more unhinged – than any other athlete-cum-thrill-seeker of his era.
New Orleans is just a microcosm of Newark and Detroit and hundreds of other troubled urban locales.
Nixon was always willing to be bipartisan, so there are a lot of surprises in the man.
Nobody has trusted the Iranian government from day one, but the idea of just refusing to have any kind of talks is dangerous in the extreme. Every administration says at least that we’re trying to have talks between Israel and Palestine and solve the Middle East peace problem.
Now I’m the father of three children; I’m not able to go live on a bus and do semesters around the country like I did when I was young.
One of the things I learned in editing ‘The Reagan Diaries’ is to never say what Reagan would do, because he surprised people.
One thing ‘not right’ on the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches is the sad fact that the Edmund Pettus Bridge hasn’t been renamed the John Lewis Bridge.
Politicians wanted to mine the Grand Canyon for zinc and copper, and Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘No.’
President Abraham Lincoln never lost his ardor for the United States to remain united during the Civil War.
President Obama had a few historians at the White House for a couple of dinners. I was lucky enough to be one of those asked, and he was very interested in Ronald Reagan, and I came away feeling that.
Reagan never cottoned to dictators. He was pure in this notion in a true belief that democracy was the best solution in the world because it spoke to people’s hopes and dreams and aspirations, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.
Reagan was a pure liberation, free-and-fair election American.
Richard Kerry not only was a pilot in World War II, but was a civil servant. He did not come from money.
Rosa Parks’ entire career has been one as working as a civil rights activist.
Some presidents, such as Bill Clinton and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, are political sailors – they tack with the wind, reaching difficult policy objectives through bipartisan maneuvering and pulse-taking.
Stubbornness is a positive quality of presidential leadership – if you’re right about what you’re stubborn about.
The answer to New Orleans’s levee woes is painfully obvious: money and willpower.
The D-Day moniker wasn’t invented for the Allied invasion. The same name had been attached to the date of every planned offensive of World War II. It was first coined during World War I, at the U.S. attack at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, in France in 1918.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge – which in 2013 was declared a National Historic Landmark – isn’t symbolic of the Civil War in a meaningful way. It is, however, the modern-day battlefield where the voting rights movement was born.
The Middle East is the tinder box of the world, and to be able to remove a nuclear threat of any kind out of Iran, that would have been a big deal, very positive step forward.
The myth-making about Appomattox started from the moment Lee left the courthouse on his horse to travel to Richmond.
The Rough Riders brought honor to San Antonio by winning battles in Cuba throughout the summer of 1898, and Roosevelt became a Texas folk hero overnight.
The superhighway of celebrity and showmanship is filled with debris.
The very fact that Barack Obama – an African-American – was twice elected to the presidency will always be the lead line in that hard-to-meld, gold-plated paragraph.
The world of high-stakes international diplomacy can be rough and tumble, but it’s more often than not a procession of suits and summits, protocol sessions and photo ops.
Theodore Roosevelt had been enthralled with the idea of Texas since 1883, when he arrived in the Dakota Territory to ranch cattle.
There is no real way to categorize McLean’s ‘American Pie’ for its hybrid of modern poetry and folk ballad, beer-hall chant and high-art rock.
There is nobody that’s ever going to fill Ted Kennedy’s shoes, and that’s a tall order for somebody in the family to try to live up to.
There were three Selma-to-Montgomery marches in March 1965, and Rosa Parks had missed the first one. Parks, whose act of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, moved to Detroit two years later for safety reasons.
To Armstrong, constantly speaking about ‘Apollo 11’ only diminished the magic. That’s why he worked overtime to avoid notice, living a quiet life in Indian Hill, Ohio.
Truman has become the patron saint of failed presidents because he left office with a 27 percent approval rating, and people were saying, ‘To err is Truman,’ yet look at what he did: the Marshall Plan, the creation of NATO, the Truman Doctrine.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest misperceptions the American public harbors is that Katrina was a week-long catastrophe. In truth, it’s better to view it as an era.
Usually, one day in a century rises above the others as an accepted turning point or historic milestone. It becomes the climactic day, or ‘the day,’ of that century.
Walter Cronkite had a golden rule for all wartime reporters: never self-aggrandize.
We can only imagine the history of the free world today if, at the end of the Civil War, there had been two countries: the United States and the Confederate States of America.
What I was most curious about was why Armstrong, a top U.S. Navy test pilot, flying the most advanced aircraft in the world, would want to join the astronaut corps in 1962, which included chimpanzees and monkeys.
What makes ‘American Pie’ so unusual is that it isn’t a relic from the counterculture but a talisman, which, like a sacred river, keeps bringing joy to listeners everywhere. When ‘American Pie’ suddenly is played on a jukebox or radio, it’s almost impossible not to sing along.
When I was 8 years old, I made my own encyclopedia of American biography – Johnny Appleseed, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Charles Lindbergh, my pantheon of favorite heroes. Then I would write my own things and sew them together and try to make my own book.
When terrorists blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon, Reagan was frustrated and furious, as Bush was after 9/11. But he didn’t stick us in a war in the Middle East with no exit.
When we settled our country, the dark forest was considered in some ways evil and something that you needed to plow or, later, bulldoze. We now have a new understanding of the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the need for bird flyways and why all species matter.
While the old spiritual ‘Slavery Chain Done Broke at Last’ was sung by blacks in the hours following the Appomattox surrender, racism sadly continues to be a crippling national scourge.
While the scars of the monstrous Civil War still remain, the wounds have closed since 1865, in large part, because of the civility of Grant and Lee.
With the newspapers cheering, Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt chose a top-notch regiment of more than 1,250 men. They were first called Teddy’s Texas Tarantulas and went through three or four other monikers until Roosevelt’s Rough Riders stuck.