Bag of Randomness for Monday, July 1, 2019

  • Ronald Reagan was the first president to wear hearing aids while in office. The second sitting President to be fitted for hearing aids, Bill Clinton. They are the only two presidents to wear hearing aids while in office.
  • When George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States, he did so using a Bible loaned from St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 1, Ancient York Masons. That was only because no one thought to bring a Bible to the event. Jacob Morton, a Mason and the Master of nearby St. John’s Lodge, offered to run and grab the Bible from the altar at St. John’s. The Bible wasn’t closed but opened randomly due to haste. I would have thought the random section would have been in the middle portion of the Bible, but it was open to chapters 49-50 of Genesis (Jacob blesses his sons, Joseph dies). That Bible, as you would probably expect, was the King James Version. It also contained the Apocrypha, something most protestant Bibles omit. I like to refer to the Apocrypha as the Splenda or artificial sweetener of the Bible; they are “sacred” but not actually Sacred. The oath was administered by the Chancellor of New York, Robert R. Livingston, who was then the highest judicial officer in the state. John Jay did not become the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court until five months later. However, Chief Justice Jay did not administer the oath of office for Washington’s second inauguration, that was done by Supreme Court associate justice William Cushing for reasons in which I’m unclear. A nice tidbit of Cushing, he was the last judge in the United States to wear a full wig.
  • John Quincy Adams used a U.S. law book when administered the presidential oath of office. Theodore Roosevelt used nothing at all for his first inauguration.
  • The Yankees and Red Sox played a series in London. I strongly believe the only two teams to play in front of the British Royal Family should solely be the Angels and Mariners with our national anthem sung by Enrico Pallazzo.
  • To my handful of readers in Canada, Happy Canada Day!
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