Today’s post is by Duke Blackwood, Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Follow them on their Facebook page.
One normally doesn’t associate turkeys with flying. However, in 1966 they became synonymous with flight during Ronald Reagan’s first race for political office—Governor of California. Covering such a large state was advance man Curtis Patrick’s nightmare, as Reagan was reticent to fly and preferred to drive. But it soon became a necessity for the candidate to fly.
Enter Mervin Amerine, a former B-29 Superfortress pilot turned turkey farmer who had three DC-3 aircraft capable of ferrying up to 48,000 live baby turkeys per plane to various destinations.
The DC-3 was a workhorse in World War II, which made it well suited for flying to remote campaign locations that often did not have paved runways. Being a huge fan of Mr. Reagan, Amerine offered one of his planes to the campaign. Of course, only after he had cleaned it up and added 28 seats.
On a bright and beautiful day in the idyllic town of Calistoga, California, Patrick introduced Ronald Reagan to Amerine on a weed-infested gravel runway. With the press corps in tow, they all boarded this now-glistening aircraft for the inaugural flight to Angel’s Camp. Adding an air of sophistication was Mrs. Amerine, who served as the plane’s stewardess.
Buckled in for safety, all … [ Read all ]
With Super Bowl Sunday just two days away, we’ve decided to call an audible and make today’s “Facial Hair Friday” into a “Football Friday.”
When the New England Patriots and New York Giants collide in this year’s Super Bowl, the two teams will be competing for more than just a National Football League championship. The winner will also receive a trip to the White House, a place that many gridiron greats have called home.
Football has a rich history at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
President Eisenhower was a standout halfback at West Point. Similarly, President Ford was a star at the University of Michigan, ultimately earning contract offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. As for President Reagan, he earned the nickname “the Gipper” after staring as Notre Dame’s George Gipp in the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American.
Several Presidents have also remained loyal fans even after their playing days.
President Kennedy, who went out for the team at Harvard, once called legendary coach Vince Lombardi to ask if he would “come back to Army and coach again.” President Nixon, who played for Whittier College, was known for sending diagrammed plays to the Washington Redskins coaching staff during his Presidency.
Posted by Gregory Marose on February 3, 2012, under - Presidents, Uncategorized.
Tags: Bush, Eisenhower, Ford, Kennedy, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Nixon, Pennsylvania Avenue, Reagan, Super Bowl, Vince Lombardi, washington Redskins, White House