I enjoy reading and studying unusual topics. One of my favorite subjects has been the cause of death of the US Presidents. Much that has been written is incorrect because it was based on archaic medical terminology and a limited understanding of disease in times past. Modern medicine didn’t come into being until the twentieth century. The germ theory of disease was not postulated until the end of the nineteenth century. Modern diagnostic medicine including; X-Ray, endoscopy and many laboratory test didn’t come into common usage until well into the twentieth century. Terms like dropsy and bilious fever are no longer used and are listed as causes of death for several Presidents.
We had several presidents die in office including; William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Franklin Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy. Four of these were assassinated and the medical care of one, James Garfield, was completely botched. The physicians killed Garfield with their unnecessary probing of his wound with their dirty hands in search of a bullet. Jack Kennedy’s autopsy was interesting. There is no doubt in my mind that he was struck by two bullets that came from behind by a lone gunman. The fatal bullet entered the back of his skull and exited on the right side in his parietal region with an explosive force that took much of his brain with it. The bullet that passed through the base of his neck is the same one that entered John Connally.
An interesting death is that of Warren G. Harding. He was a real womanizer. One affair took place in the White House right under the First Lady’s nose. He took a trip to San Francisco with the First Lady and died there of an apparent heart attack. She would not permit and autopsy and many believe that Harding was poisoned by the First Lady.
The interesting thing I found out about Warren G. Harding was that he was greatly concerned about his genealogy and that he might have been partially African-American. So, Barack Obama my not be our first Black or African-American President.
Now we are questioning the place of Obama’s birth. Many are claiming it was in Kenya and that he is not eligible to be President anymore than Arnold Swartzenager. Harding could end up as our only Black President.
As I sit on the porch and reflect about the births and deaths of the various Presidents I have a tremendous respect for the office. We have had some great ones but also some lousy ones like; Harding, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan. I just hope our current one doesn’t get added to this last bunch. With the way things are going he may wish that Kenya may prove to be his country of origin. The thing I can’t figure out is why anyone wants that job.