Thursday, January 26, 2017

Remembering President Harry Truman

Sadly, President Harry Truman does not often receive the credit many people think he rightfully deserves. Below are some interesting facts about Harry Truman our 33rd President many people may not be aware of.










President Truman was a different kind of President for three primary reasons:

First - and foremost, he was not elected to his first term of office; he inherited the position of President after the death of President Franklin Roosevelt.

Second - While serving as President of the United States, he chose to pay all of his travel and living expenses such as the food his family ate out of his Presidential salary.

Third - he placed a sign on his desk in the Oval Office which read - ‘The Buck Stops Here

Ironically, President Truman probably made as many, if not more, important decisions regarding our nation as any as the other 32 Presidents who preceded him. Most notably on August 6th, 1945 he, and he alone, ordered the dropping of the 5 ton Atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

However, his true measure of greatness actually does not begin until after he left the White House in 1952.

After President - Elect Eisenhower was inaugurated into office as the new President of the United States, Harry and his wife Bess drove themselves back home to Independence Missouri in their personal automobile. There was no such thing as a Secret Service escort which followed them.

When they left Washington the only source of income they had was a small U.S. Army pension Harry earned and the only asset he and his wife Bess had to their name was a small house in Independence Missouri which Bess inherited from her parents. Other than the six years Harry and Bess spent in the White House, this was the only house the two of them ever knew during their entire married life.

Almost immediately upon returning to Missouri large corporations from across the county began to contact Harry Truman. They all wanted to offer his positions with huge salaries to come work for them. However Mr. Truman declined every offer he received saying "You don't want me, Gentlemen you want the office of the President, and that unfortunately doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and I am sorry but that office is not for sale."

Several Congressmen soon noticed the former President was paying for all the stationary and the stamps he was using to respond to letters her received from US citizens and people around the world who wrote him. Not only that, President Truman personally licked every stamp he placed on an envelope. Congress voted to grant President Truman the very first 'Retired Presidential Allowance. The following year, Congress voted to give him a retroactive Presidential pension of $25,000 per year.

In May 1971, Congress was preparing a bill to award President Truman the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday; however President Truman wrote a letter to Congress in which he stated he would refuse to accept any such medal. He said "I don't consider what I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise – all I did was my job."

The one Truman quote I will personally never forget was the one he gave during an interview with the New York Times. When asked why he had gotten into politics in the first place he said "My choices in life were simple, either become a piano player in a Missouri whore house or enter politics. And to tell the truth, the way I saw it there was hardly any difference – so I choose politics."

Many Presidents and numerous political figures that followed President Truman found new levels of success by cashing in on their time in Public Office. Many used creative ways to accumulate untold wealth as a result of their time serving in public office.

It might be wise for us to take a moment now and then to remember President Harry Truman.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Who The Heck Is Betty Crocker?





Betty Crocker is a household name that is pretty much known around the world today.  For over a century, Betty has created delicious recipes and proven baking methods that help even the most novice cooks and newlyweds can follow to easily bake scrumptious desserts and a variety of other baked goods.  Betty’s kitchen advice is trusted and followed by many.  But perhaps there is something you may not be aware of regarding Ms. Betty Crocker.

In 1880, the forerunner of the General Mills Company entered its newly milled flour in the International Miller’s Competition; surprisingly it won the ‘Gold Medal’. The small company was so proud to have won the gold medal; it changed the name of its flour to “Gold Medal Flour.”  Even though the original company changed hands several times, the name Gold Medal Flour has always remained the flagship flour; in fact it’s the largest selling flour in the U.S. today.

Back in 1921, one of the predecessors to today’s General Mills decided to run a special promotion regarding its Gold Medal Flour brand. The company asked housewives in America to submit any questions they had about Gold Medal Flour and it assured them everyone who submitted a question would receive a handwritten response from the company.  

Unbelievably, the company was soon overwhelmed with letters coming in from all across America from mothers and homemakers.  The company wanted to ensure continuity in responding to all the women who sent in questions so the company came up with the name Betty Crocker – because it just sounded like a good name to reply.  Every response to the questions submitted regarding Gold Medal Flour were answered by numerous women who all signed their replies - Betty Crocker.

Although Betty Crocker, was and always has been a fictionalized character, she became so popular with housewives and bakers around the world demanded to know what she actually looked like.  So back in 1936, after General Mills bought the company it commissioned a well known artist to create a likeness of what he thought Betty Crocker would look like if she were real - thus the first Betty Crocker image as we know today was created.

Over the years General Mills has continued to update Betty’s looks -  several times in fact. Each update provided Betty with a contemporary hair style and a modern, fashionable wardrobe. The last makeover Betty received was in 1996.  Betty however was initially portrayed as a matronly looking mother; today though she looks much younger, resourceful and confident.  In addition, Betty has always been committed to her family, her community and most of all she loves to bake.

What most people do not realize is that there is always a "Betty Crocker" on duty 24/7 at the General Mills Company headquarters in Golden Valley, Minnesota.  Betty is always there to answer any phone call and reply to any questions that arises regarding Gold Medal Flour.

What’s even more amazing is that according to AdWeek - one of the giant publications in the advertising industry,  has concluded that Betty Crocker reigned as “The Most Famous Fictional Female in the U.S." for almost a century.  She was recently bumped to second place by a younger upstart fictional character many of you might know.  According to AdWeek, the four most famous fictional females ever created by corporations in the U.S. are:


            1) Flo – The insurance spokeswoman from Progressive Insurance
            2) Betty Crocker – The wise baker/kitchen consultant 
            3) Mrs. {Joy} Butterworth – The syrup icon from Pinnacle Foods,
                                                           and

            4) Catalina – A beautiful, fun loving Chicken of the Sea mermaid 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What is Your Perspective as a Local Government Official?

Sometimes it takes the perspective of a child to remind us what’s really important. One person’s worthless object can easily be another’s prized possession. The quality of your life is based solely on your perspective.





One day a very wealthy businessman, the father of an eight year old boy, took his son for a trip to the country.   He thought it was time to teach his son the basic facts of life. 
The purpose of this trip was for the father to show his son how life would be if he were poor. Through a friend of a friend - the father arranged to spend a few days on the small farm owned a family that everyone considered very poor.  

So the father and son took off on a Thrusday afternoon and drove for about four hours to reach the farm.  They were warmly greeted by the farm family and decided to spend some time with them.  After three days and three nights they then jumped in the car to returned home.
On their return ride home, the father asked his son how he liked the visit at the farm.  “It was great, Dad,” the son replied. “Did you see how poor people can really be?” the son asked.  The father couldn’t help but crack a broad smile and said “Yes son”.
“So tell me what did you learn from our trip?” asked the father. Without hesitation the little boy said, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool in our back yard that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. Mom buys fancy us fancy imported lanterns to hang in our garden and they have the stars to look at each night.
Our patio almost reaches to the front yard but they have the whole horizon to look at everyday. We have a very small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they seem to serve each other.
We buy all our food in stores, but they grow and raise most of what they eat. You built that big fence around our property to protect us; but they have good friends and neighbors who protect them.”
The father was numb and speechless and needed to catch his breath.  Just then his son added, “Dad I really do want to thank you for showing me just how poor we really are.”