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Tag: cooper union

Facial Hair Fridays: Free education and facial hair for all

If you’re planning to travel this Columbus Day holiday (and it was, like, 1835), you might thank this guy for building the first steam locomotive in the US: Peter Cooper—inventor, industrialist, and one-time Presidential candidate.

But, most important for our purposes, Cooper was the owner of a truly remarkable beard. Impressive facial hair is an asset to any Presidential candidate, but we are sorry to report that Peter Cooper’s beard did not win him the 1876 election, when he ran for the Greenback Party. Still, at the age of 85, Cooper is the oldest person to be nominated for the Presidential office.

Cooper was an active player in the anti-slavery movement and a firm believer that practical education in mechanical arts in sciences should be free. In 1853, he founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a private college in New York that offered night classes to both men and women. Today, Cooper Union is still seen as one of the leading American colleges in the fields of architecture, engineering, and art. It continues Cooper’s belief that college education should be free: all its students attend with a full scholarship.… [ Read all ]

Do presidents age more rapidly?

Today in 1923, President Warren G. Harding died suddenly of a stroke in San Francisco. Just after midnight, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President by his father on the other side of the country in Vermont.

Harding was the sixth president to die in office, and the second in a row to have a stroke. Woodrow Wilson has suffered a massive stroke in Colorado in October 1919, and sequestered himself in the White House (with rare exception) until the end of his presidential term.

Being president, it seems, is a dangerous business. Harding was the twenty-eighth president of the United States. Statistically speaking, the odds of dying in office back then were one in four.

These days, being the president is slightly less risky (two in eleven), but the stresses are the same. A doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, Michael Roizan, MD, has done the math: it seems presidents age two years for every year they are in office, due to the stress of the position.

Few presidents had more stress than Abraham Lincoln. Take a look at the two photos below. One was taken in 1860, before Lincoln became president, the other is the last known portrait of Lincoln in 1865.… [ Read all ]