Tuesday, February 16, 2016

President's Day

Did you enjoy President's Day yesterday?  I was in my office most of the day preparing for a President's Day presentation this Sunday [2/21] at Shore Pointe Assisted Living.

I always like to give the residents a treat when I go.  The red nylon bags have Hershey kisses in them since we just celebrated Valentine's Day.

President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, and one or two of their children were the only Presidential family to dine in evening clothes in the State Dining Room even when there were no guests... just like the Crawley family on Downton Abbey! The dates of his presidency coincides with the timeline of Downton Abbey too, 1923-1929. Just thought you'd like to know that tidbit of information!  :-)

I learned so much about presidents I didn't know before.  Did you know an attempt was made to poison James Buchanan [our 15th president] via his tea?

President Buchanan had reserved a table for himself and his friends in the dining room of the National Hotel in D.C.  The president was known to be a habitual tea drinker, and most northern men rarely drank anything but tea in the evening, while southern men preferred coffee. Arsenic was sprinkled into the bowls containing tea and lump sugar, and set on the table where he was to sit. The pulverized sugar in the bowls used for coffee on the other tables was kept free from the poison. Not a single southern man was affected, but about 38 northern men died from arsenic poison. President Buchanan [who was from Pennsylvania] was poisoned, but because of his knowledge of his symptoms, he was able to communicate to his physician that he may have been poisoned.  He was treated accordingly and his life was spared.  Yikes!  

President Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President spoke this famous quote:  "If this is coffee please bring me some tea.  But if this is tea, please bring me some coffee."

When traveling during the Civil War, good provisions were hard to come by.  At one rest stop, President Lincoln was served a hot beverage.  After a quick taste he expressed the above quote.  No one knows for sure if it was tea or coffee in the cup, but it's assumed it was tea.

Theodore Roosevelt loved Formosan Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, Caravan Tea [both are hearty, smoky teas], and Mint Tea.

The Franklin Roosevelt's loved round cookie-sized doughnuts without holes, rolled in sugar for their tea time.

To read about President Lyndon Johnson's and President Barack Obama's love for tea click here. To read about President George Washington's love for tea click here.  To read about the tea connection with President John F. Kennedy click here.


  1. Wow, you have found some interesting information. I certainly didn't know about the poisoning attempt. How awful to poison all those Northern men! (says this Southerner) I'm sure your presentation will be wonderful, as always.

  2. I had no idea of either of these president's drinking tea, nor of the poisonings! Gosh I am glad they don't use tactics like this today! I did not know President Obama likes tea either. Thank you for sharing : )

  3. I guess the poisoning episode just goes to show that nastiness in politics is nothing new!

  4. Very interesting. I am sure the residents will enjoy your talk.

  5. Interesting presidential tea info!


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