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
Bill Keane (1922-2011), Cartoonist
Laughter was a part of the church services I attended as a child. I believe that Jesus must’ve had a sense of humor. I like to think of him as a guy who got people to listen to him by leaving them laughing and chuckling with one another.
William Aloysius Keane was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in October 1922. He attended parochial school at St. William Parish and Northeast Catholic High School. While a schoolboy, he taught himself to draw by mimicking the style of cartoons published in The New Yorker.
Keane served in the U.S. Army during World War II, drawing for Yank and creating the “At Ease with the Japanese” feature for the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes. While stationed in Australia, he met Thelma, whom he married. They settled in Roslyn, Pennsylvania. They had five children.
Keane worked for the Philadelphia Bulletin as a staff artist. His first syndicated strip, Channel Chuckles, was a series of jokes related to television. The Keane family moved to Paradise Valley, Arizona, in 1959, and his daily newspaper panel, The Family Circus, premiered in February 1960.
Keane died at his Paradise Valley home in November 2011.
An oft-quoted tribute that needs to be remembered as his is, “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”
Presidential Quote of the Week
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973), 36th President of the United States
Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope – some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity. Poverty is a national problem, requiring improved national organization and support. But this attack, to be effective, must also be organized at the State and local level and must be supported and directed by State and local efforts. For the war against poverty will not be won here in Washington. It must be won in the field, in every private home, in every public office, from the courthouse to the White House. – From State of the Union Address, January 8, 1964
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born near Stonewall, Texas in August 1908, in a small farmhouse on the Pedernales River. He graduated from Johnson City High School (the city named for his ancestors). He enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College (now Texas State University – San Marcos), and worked his way through school. He dropped out a year later, but returned and ultimately graduated. He became a teacher in both grammar and high schools, focused on public speaking. His debating skills ultimately brought him to the attention of aides to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice President John Nance Garner. He became a surrogate son to Sam Rayburn.
He successfully contended for Texas’s 10th Congressional District, running on a New Deal platform. At the onset of World War II, he became a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve, and although still in Congress, requested a combat assignment. Instead he was sent to inspect shipyard facilities in Texas and on the West Coast. Later he would be assigned to a three-man survey team in the Southwest Pacific, where he reported to General Douglas MacArthur.
After the war, Johnson ran for the Senate and won. Within a few years, he was chosen as Senate Majority Whip. Johnson’s success in the Senate and his “favorite son” status in Texas helped him secure the nomination to be John F. Kennedy’s Vice President. After the assassination of Kennedy, Johnson was sworn in as President on Air Force One at Love Field Airport in Dallas, only two hours after the death of President Kennedy. He is the only President to have been sworn in on Texas soil, and the first president sworn in by a woman, Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, a family friend.
In 1964, he was elected by a popular vote margin of more than 22 percentage points – a record that stands to this day. Accomplishments during his term include passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Great Society, the “War on Poverty,” establishment of Medicare and Medicaid, public funding for education, and the space race. His term also saw urban riots in Harlem, Watts, Newark and Detroit, the Vietnam War, and the Six Day War in Israel. He did not run for a second term.
Following his presidency, he returned to his ranch in Johnson City, Texas, where he died at age 64 from a heart attack. He is buried in his family cemetery, which is now part of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Park in Stonewall, Texas.
Johnson was married to Lady Bird Taylor, and they had two daughters. He listed his religion as Disciples of Christ.