Great American Stories: Three Presidents
She named him William Jefferson Blythe III, after her husband, who had died in an auto accident before the child was born. The boy grew up being called Billy Blythe, although by the time he went into politics, he was known as Bill Clinton. Yes, that's right, the "Comeback Kid". Tweet
On the 19th day of August in 1814, British warships docked at the Maryland town of Benedict, on the shores of the Patuxent River, and prepared to invade Washington. Although the British eventually left, that visit didn’t turn out well for the fledgling nation’s new capital city, which was put to the torch.
On Aug. 19, 1953, the Central Intelligence Agency helped facilitate a coup in Iran, replacing the fiercely nationalist Premier Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstating Reza Pahlavi as shah.
Widely seen as a foreign policy victory for the United States at the time, it turned out to be misguided scheme that planted toxic seeds Americans are reaping to this day.
It was on Aug. 19, 1976, when Ronald Reagan gave an evocative and impromptu speech at the Republican National Convention, which solidified his place in the GOP while foreshadowing the nuclear arms race de-escalation that became a defining achievement of Reagan’s presidency.
And on this date in 1946, an Arkansan named Virginia Cassidy Blythe gave birth to a son. She named him William Jefferson Blythe III, after her husband, who had died in an auto accident before the child was born. The boy grew up being called Billy Blythe, although by the time he went into politics, he was known as Bill Clinton. Yes, that’s right, the “Comeback Kid” turns 75 today. He is no kid anymore. Neither is George W. Bush, also born in the summer of 1946, nor Donald Trump, who arrived in mid-June that year.
All three of these U.S. presidents were in the first crop of the baby boom generation. Hillary Clinton, who turns 74 in October, was a little more than a year behind them. This quartet, all born while Harry Truman was in the White House, made their arrival, sequentially, in New York City; New Haven, Conn.; Hope, Ark., and Chicago, Ill. One more historical footnote: All four of these boomers are younger than the current occupant of the Oval Office.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.