Before he became president, Theodore Roosevelt invited selected journalists in for exclusive face time, sometimes even while he shaved.
By BRIAN BURNES
The Kansas City Star
William Allen White was on Roosevelts list.
In 1899 Roosevelt asked the Emporia journalist to board his train as he traveled across Kansas. The friendship proved advantageous to Roosevelt after he became chief executive in 1901.
To get progressive legislation through a Congress dominated by old-guard conservatives, Roosevelt had to mobilize public sentiment, explained Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.
Roosevelt befriended many Eastern reporters, but White represented a unique asset to the new president. While White was the most-quoted columnist in the country, he also spoke as a beloved country editor, Goodwin said recently.
When White became a voice for progressives, that was a way for Roosevelt to reach the middle class.
Goodwin speaks at 7 p.m. Friday at at Unity Temple on the Plaza. Go to RainyDayBooks.com for details.
Its been 50 years since Clint Hill, Secret Service agent, climbed onto the back of the presidential limousine as it raced from Dealey Plaza.
Hill, now 81, knew the commemoration of the John F. Kennedy assassination was approaching. There was no need, he said recently, to steel himself for the nonstop media coverage.
Its something I live with every day, Hill said.
Hill, author of Five Days in November, spent this past Nov. 22 in Dealey Plaza, attending the ceremonies there.
It gave me an opportunity to be with thousands of others who had similar feelings of respect for President Kennedy, he said.
Hill first returned to Dallas in 1990. For years hed wondered whether he could have impeded the fatal bullets path.
I decided to face the situation, he said. By spending time on the street, going up to the sixth floor of the book depository building and looking out that window, I concluded that I had done everything that I could that day.
Hill, with co-author Lisa McCubbin, speaks at 7 p.m. Monday at Unity Temple on the Plaza. For details, go to rainydaybooks.com.