As our nation’s Founders designed their plan for a more perfect union, they understood that the success of a modern republic would require more than a political document like the Constitution. From their study of history, the Founders had learned of the pitfalls of republics before this one. They concluded that even the Constitution alone could not curb individual selfishness. They believed that virtues were necessary for sustaining the American experiment. Their fervent prayers were an integral part of the birth of our nation.
Our Nation’s Godly Heritage
Tom Campbell Clark (1899-1977), U.S. Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice
The Founding Fathers believed devoutly that there was a God and that the inalienable rights of man were rooted – not in the state, nor the legislature, nor in any other human power – but in God alone.
Tom Campbell Clark was born in September 1899 in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from Dallas High School, he served as a Texas National Guard infantryman, and afterward studied law, receiving his degree from the University of Texas School of Law. After 15 years of private practice, he became civil district Attorney for Dallas, serving six years.
He joined the Justice Department as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General and in 1945 President Harry S. Truman selected him to become Attorney General of the United States. Four years later, Truman would nominate him as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Clark assumed senior status, effectively retiring from the Supreme Court in 1967. He did so to avoid a conflict of interest when his son, Ramsey Clark, was appointed Attorney General by President Lyndon Johnson. Clark died in New York City in his son’s apartment home, and is interred in Restland Memorial Park, Dallas.
He was married to Mary Jane Ramsey Clark, and they had two sons. Clark was a Presbyterian.
Presidential Quote of the Week
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1993), 37th President of the United States
I will offer a far-reaching set of proposals for improving America’s health care and making it available more fairly to more people. I will propose: –A program to insure that no American family will be prevented from obtaining basic medical care by inability to pay. –I will propose a major increase in and redirection of aid to medical schools, to greatly increase the number of doctors and other health personnel. –Incentives to improve the delivery of health services, to get more medical care resources into those areas that have not been adequately served, to make greater use of medical assistants, and to slow the alarming rise in the costs of medical care. –New programs to encourage better preventive medicine, by attacking the causes of disease and injury, and by providing incentives to doctors to keep people well rather than just to treat them when they are sick. I will also ask for an appropriation of an extra $100 million to launch an intensive campaign to find a cure for cancer, and I will ask later for whatever additional funds can effectively be used. The time has come in America when the same kind of concentrated effort that split the atom and took man to the moon should be turned toward conquering this dread disease. Let us make a total national commitment to achieve this goal. America has long been the wealthiest nation in the world. Now it is time we became the healthiest nation in the world. – State of the Union Address, January 22, 1971
Richard Milhous Nixon was born in January 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. Both of his parents were Quakers. Nixon had four brothers, and four out of the five Nixon children were named after early English kings – Richard was named after Richard the Lionheart.
Nixon’s early life was marked by hardship, and he would later quote a saying describing his boyhood, “We were poor, but the glory of it was, we didn’t know it.” Nixon attended Fullerton High School and later transferred to Whittier High School. After graduating second in his class, he was offered a scholarship to Harvard, but his family lacked the money for him to travel and live in the East. Instead he lived at home and went to Whittier College. He received a full scholarship to Duke University School of Law from which he graduated with a law degree.
He returned to California and practiced commercial litigation law for local petroleum companies. During World War II, Nixon was eligible for an exemption from military service, both because he was a Quaker and had worked at the Office of Price Administration, but he did not seek deferment, and was commissioned to the United States Navy. When he resigned his commission at the end of the war, he was a Lieutenant Commander.
Shortly after the war, Nixon was elected to the United States House of Representatives from California’s 12th Congressional District. He served there four years. He then ran for and was elected to the Senate, where he served until selected by presidential candidate Eisenhower to take the position of Vice President.
Nearing the ending of the Eisenhower Administration, Nixon launched his own campaign for President. He lost the election by a narrow margin to John F. Kennedy. Following his loss, Nixon and his family returned to California where he practiced law.
In 1968, Nixon waged a prominent campaign and handily won against Hubert Humphrey, with the Vietnam issue a large part of the campaign controversies. During his first term, one of his accomplishments was the opening of China to western trade, while the Cold War with the Soviet Union continued. He won a second term. That victory made him the first former Vice President since Thomas Jefferson to win two terms as President. His second term was marred by a scandal later known as “Watergate,” which caused the House of Representatives to file impeachment charges against him. Nixon resigned from the presidency in August 1974.
Following his resignation, the Nixons returned to their home in San Clemente, California. He went into seclusion, experiencing shock, persistent sadness and depression. Within a month, his successor, President Gerald Ford, issued him a “full, free and absolute pardon.” In his later years, Nixon became a valued “elder statesman” to presidents of both political parties.
In April 1994, he suffered a stroke and slipped into a deep coma. He died four days later with his daughters at his bedside. He was 81. He is buried on the grounds of the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.
Richard Nixon was married to Thelma Catherine “Pat” Ryan; they had two daughters. He was a life-long Quaker.