"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." - President Ronald Reagan
Guest: Fernando Hernandez, author of "The Cubans". We discussed the life and times of Martin Dihigo, Cuban baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.......... Click to listen.............
Truman served as president for two terms from 1945 to 1953, when he and his wife Bess happily retired to Independence, Missouri, where he referred to himself jokingly as “Mr. Citizen.” He was hospitalized on December 4, 1972, with lung congestion, heart irregularity, kidney blockages and failure of the digestive system. He died on December 26. A very subdued and private funeral, fitting for the down-to-earth Truman, was held in Independence according to his and his family’s wishes.
I remember the day that he died. I recall the news flash on the radio. It was not a surprise since Mr. Truman had been very ill for days.
President Ford died in 2006 very late in the day in California. Most of his obituaries were actually published on December 27. Like me, most people I did not hear about it until the next day:
Thrust by Mr. Nixon’s resignation into an office he had never sought, Mr. Ford occupied the White House for just 896 days.
But they were pivotal days of national introspection, involving America’s first definitive failure in a war and the first resignation of a president.
It was Mr. Ford’s uncommon virtue to have presided with a common touch.
Mr. Ford had been out of the public view for a long time. I do remember him at the 2000 GOP convention. In 2004, President Bush paid him a visit during the campaign.
As we mentioned above, VP Truman became president when President FDR died in 1945. He was not well known and it must have been quite a task to follow a political giant of the 20th century.
VP Ford became president when President Nixon resigned in 1974. He is the only man never elected to the office.
In 1976, Governor Carter ran as the outsider in "a change election". We must point out that Mr. Ford made quite a comeback that year and it ended up a lot closer than anyone predicted that summer during the conventions.
President Ford served about 30 months but did much to restore confidence in the presidency after Watergate.
His pardon of Nixon was vindicated over time, a profile in courage! It was the right thing to do as he always said when asked about it.
They were both Midwestern men, of great integrity and character.
They also did not aspire to be president but rather took over and performed to the best of their abilities.
And I say often, I was very proud to cast my first vote for president for President Ford in 1976.
GUEST: Fernando Hernandez, author of "The Cubans". We will discuss the story of Roberto Goizueta, President, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Financial Officer of Coca Cola.......... Click to listen.........
Phil Spector was born in the Bronx, NY, on this day in 1939 and died in prison in January 2021. A few years ago, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the 2003 fatal shooting of actress Lana Clarkson. From "Be my baby" "You've lost that loving feeling" to the excessively produced Beatles "Let it Be" LP to a great "Christmas album", Spector was regarded as a master of production.
My generation remembers that President Ford took over for President Nixon that historic day of 1974. Nixon resigned and VP Ford moved to the presidency. Who can ever forget President Nixon's farewell statement at The White House? Or President Ford's brief inauguration speech? The 38th President served for a short time because he lost the 1976 election to Governor Carter. Nevertheless, he is remembered as a man of integrity and exactly the right man that the country needed at the time.
Many years ago, my father took my brother and I to see “Marcelino pan y vino” in Cuba. I don’t remember when we saw it but it should have been around 1962. The movie was shown at a church. My guess is that it was not a public event because the Catholic schools had already been shut down.
“Marcelino is an orphan who grows up in a monastery. One day when he eats his small meal in a room full of old things he gives a piece of his bread to an old wooden Jesus figure – and indeed it takes the bread and eats it. Getting a wish granted for his donation Marcelino wishes to see his mother…”
Years later, I found the movie in the US and watched it with my parents again. It brought back a lot of memories to all of us.
The Spanish version came out in 1955. The English version, known as “The Miracle of Marcelino” came out in 1956.
It is not a Christmas movie but a good one to enjoy with family at this time:
We remember Clara Barton who was born in Massachusetts on this day in 1821. She died in 1912. During her travels to Europe, she saw the work of the Swiss Red Cross over there. She was inspired to start the organization in the US.
Many years ago, I heard a great song on the radio. It was performed in a Spanish flamenco style. The announcer said "Paco de Lucia" and I stopped by a local classical music store and got me a copy. I became a big fan instantly. Paco Lucia was born on this day in 1947. We were very heartbroken to hear that Paco de Lucia died during a vacation in Mexico in 2014. Everyone should listen to his version of "Concierto de Aranjuez".
We remember Carl Wilson, one of the Wilson brothers, who formed The Beach Boys. Carl was born on this day in 1946 and died in 1998. Carl was the lead vocalist in "God only knows", one of the greatest love songs ever.
We remember Walt Williams who was born on this day in 1943. He died in 2016. In the early 1970s, it was a treat to watch the Chicago White Sox play the Milwaukee Brewers at the old County Stadium. During that time, the White Sox had a stocky outfielder (5'6" & 165 lbs) with one of the greatest nicknames in baseball, or "No neck" Williams. His wife said that he got the nickname in his first year of baseball. "No neck" played for several years with Chicago, Cleveland and New York Yankees. His best season was 1969 when he hit .304 with 133 hits. Overall, he retired with a very respectable .270 career batting average. Walt "No neck" Williams. I loved the nickname and very aggressive style on the field.
Christmas is too commercial, too material. There is not enough Christ in Christmas. For years, I have objected to the excessive commercialization of Christmas. I don't like it at all. I hate hearing Christmas music on the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, some of our radio stations go 24/7 Christmas after Thanksgiving. I don't like it. However, the attack on Christmas is just as crazy. The US is a Christian majority nation. We were founded under Judeo-Christian traditions. No one should be offended by "Merry Christmas" or nativity symbols. I am not upset when I see Jewish symbols related to holidays. I think that it's great that everyone can practice their religion freely. "Seculars" have gone crazy, from "Under God" in the pledge to this massive attack on Christian symbols. I am happy that Bill O'Reilly has made a big issue of this. I am happier that Americans are putting pressure on stores to display Christmas symbols. Again, thanks to Bill O'Reilly for his work.
Like so many others, my father learned of the attack on the radio. He was 15 and probably did not know where the island was. However, he quickly figured out that things would get very complicated and very soon. We remember the 3,000 who were killed that day and the brave ones who went to war after.