Tag Archives: Grover Cleveland

An Ode to Lester Strode

26 Oct

The Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, and they have chance to do it again over the next couple of weeks. Around the country, people are celebrating the return of the Cubs to the pinnacle of baseball achievement, but, around here, we are celebrating something else.

Lester Strode, the bullpen coach for the Chicago Cubs, played baseball for Cumberland University, the school where I teach. In honor of Coach Strode, he are some other things that happened in 1908.woody-strode

A long-distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

The first major commercial oil discovery in the Middle East was made.

Robert Peary set sail for the North Pole.

The Hoover Company acquired manufacturing rights to the upright portable bathroom cleaner.

Emile Cohl made the first fully animated film – Fantasmagorie.

Henry Ford produced his first Model T automobile.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in Bolivia.

Louis L’Amour was born.

Bette Davis was born.

Ian Fleming was born.

Estee Lauder was born.

Lyndon Johnson was born.

Grover Cleveland died.



Cumberland’s Grover Cleveland

28 Aug

This week, Cumberland University, my place of employment, announced the appointment of a new president. It was a great day of celebration and hope for a bright future. In my opinion, the search committee and the Board of Trust made an inspired choice to lead our institution.

Last night, I was reading news reports about the announcement and decided to see if our Wikipedia page had been updated. While skimming over the Wiki information, I noticed a discrepancy. When the new president was introduced, we were told that he is the 26th president of Cumberland University. However, Wikipedia listed him as the 27th.

I jumped on Twitter with the question of which is correct and was told that Nathan Green, Jr. served two nonconsecutive terms. In the view of the university, he counts as one president. That is when I mentioned that Grover Cleveland served as president of the United States for two nonconsecutive terms and counts as two presidents.

Apparently, we count presidents differently that United States counts presidents. That is when my colleague chimed in with “Nathan Green, Jr. = Cumberland’s Grover Cleveland.”Nathan Green

We still have not figured out why Cumberland University counts presidents differently than the United States counts presidents, but, since Nathan Green, Jr. caused this mess, I feel the need to tell you more about him.

Green was born into a prominent family on February 19, 1827 and followed his father, who served on the Tennessee Supreme Court, into law. He was one of the founders of the Cumberland School of Law  and taught for over sixty years. This included stints as president from 1873 to 1902 and from 1906 to 1909.

Some people credit Green with ushering the university through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and others blame his adherence to outdated legal training as weakening the law school, which would eventually be sold to Samford University.

Green lived a long life and died on February 17, 1919. His life was interesting and full of achievement but wait until I write about his brother Tom Green. It is a wild and wooly story.

Brought to You By the Number 1,000

12 Mar

Over the weekend, the “Surrounded by Imbeciles” world hit another historic milestone – 1,000 page views. It took a while, but four figures was finally hit. As has been done with past milestones, I will mark the occasion with a celebration of the number 1,000. To assist in this endeavor, I will bring in my old friend, Count von Count.

Me: Count, make the introduction.

Count: Without further adieu, I present to you the number 1,000 HA HA HA HA!

1,000 Meters – the length of the course for women’s Olympic rowing events. For us non-metric Americans, this equals .6 miles.

1,000 AD – Hungary was established as a Christian state; Leif Ericson became the first European to land in North America; the Aztec migrate to Tenochtitlan, which will become one of the world’s largest cities; Oslo, Norway is supposedly founded; gunpowder is invented in China; and Abu Rayhan al-Biruni publishes The Book of Healing.

$1,000 Bill – With Grover Cleveland depicted on the front, this bill, along with other large denominations, was taken out of circulation in 1969. It is estimated that 165,372 remain in private hands. One of the largest collections can be seen at the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona (the same Tombstone that saw the Gunfight at the OK Corral).

1,000 Meere – Performed by Tokio Hotel, this song is about long distance love and the struggles that come along with it.

1,00o Places to See Before You Die – The travelogue with the cool title has become a popular phenomenon. I haven’t read the book, but I have skimmed the Table of Contents to see how many of the places I have been. I have a long way to go with the world version but have taken a good chunk out of the American one.

Land of a Thousand Dances – Written and first recorded by Chris Kenner, the song busted out when it was recorded by Wilson Pickett. Despite the title, the original version mentions sixteen dances, including the Pony, the Chicken, the Tango and the Popeye.

Thousand Island Dressing – I have to admit that this is my favorite. I can eat this stuff on anything. Stories of its creation vary, but most believe it is named for the number of islands between the United States and Canada in the St. Lawrence River. It can include a lot of ingredients but always has mayonnaise.

A Thousand Faces – Ok, this is a little publicity for a cool store in Nashville. Located in Hillsboro Village, one of my favorite areas, it is filled with different kinds of art and, as the website says, “a plethora of neat stuff”.

1,000 BC – The world’s population is estimated to be 50,000,000; the Assyrians began an era of expansion; ancient Iranians first enter Persia; and Priene, in western Turkey, is founded.

So goes my ode to the number 1,000. I am sure there are more interesting facts out there, but I must admit that finding them was tougher than I first imagined. Next time, I am going to have to put Count von Count to better use.