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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.

This Week in History

October 21, 1879 – First Electric Incandescent Lamp

Thomas Edison successfully tested an electric incandescent lamp with a carbonized filament at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, on October 21, 1879. It stayed lit for over 13 hours.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company ran special trains to Menlo Park on the day of the demonstration in response to public enthusiasm over the event.

Although the first incandescent lamp had been produced 40 years earlier, no inventor had been able to come up with a practical design until Edison embraced the challenge in the late 1870s. After countless tests, he developed a high-resistance carbon-threat filament that burned steadily and an electric generator sophisticated enough to power a large lighting system.

    Presidential Quote of the Week

    PresidentialQouteBill Clinton (1946 – ), 42nd President of the United States

    Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America, and so today we pledge an end to the era of deadlock and drift, and a new season of American renewal has begun. To renew America, we must be bold. We must do what no generation has had to do before. We must invest more in our own people, in their jobs, and in their future, and at the same time cut our massive debt. And we must do so in a world in which we must compete for every opportunity. It will not be easy. It will require sacrifice, but it can be done and done fairly, not choosing sacrifice for its own sake but for our own sake. We must provide for our Nation the way a family provides for its children.

    – From First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1993

    William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III in August 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. His father died in an automobile accident three months before Bill was born. When he was a child, his mother married Roger Clinton, and the family moved to Hot Springs. There, Clinton attended St. John’s Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School and Hot Springs High School. With the aid of scholarships, Clinton attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., receiving a B.S. in Foreign Service. He spent the summer before his senior year working for Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright.

    Upon graduation, he won a Rhodes scholarship to University College, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics. He left Oxford early, to attend Yale Law School where he obtained his juris doctor degree. During his time at Yale, Clinton worked with the McGovern presidential campaign, and led the effort in Texas.

    Following his law school graduation, Clinton returned to Arkansas and became a professor at the University of Arkansas. A year later, he ran for the House of Representatives, where he was defeated by a close margin. Two years later he ran without opposition for Arkansas Attorney General. Two years later he was elected Governor of Arkansas, becoming the youngest governor in the country at age 32. He served two years, and then went into the private practice of law in Arkansas.

    In 1992, Clinton ran against incumbent George H. W. Bush and won the election to become the 42nd President of the United States. He served two terms, despite an assassination attempt, political controversies, the Lewinsky scandal and an impeachment trial in which he was acquitted.

    Clinton has been a very active past-president, including having a hand in foreign affairs. He is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was for a time Senator from New York and Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. She may soon officially declare her candidacy for president in 2016. They have one daughter, Chelsea. President Clinton lists his religion as Baptist.