Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884. The man from Independence, Missouri rose from unlikely circumstances to become the 33rd President of the United States. Although he was one of […]
What Happens When You Declare War and Forget About It?
Robert E. Lee famously said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” Whether terrible or otherwise, war should be so significant that it […]
How a U.S. President Enabled a Soviet General’s Coke Addiction
Georgy Zhukov was a hero of the Soviet Union, but he had an embarrassing secret. He was an addict. What made it worse was that his addiction, if known, would be especially […]
Who Is Next In Line? Understanding the Order of Presidential Succession
When Secretary of State Alexander Haig attempted to calm the nation’s fears after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, it was one of those moments that made history. Unfortunately, it was […]
A Schoolboy Crush, a Teacher’s Kiss, and a Quest for Greatness
They certainly weren’t the first boys in history to develop a crush on their teacher. Who could blame them for their innocent preoccupation over Miss Brown? Matilda “Tillie” Brown was young, pretty, […]
The Path of Silencing Opposition
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until […]
Harry and Bess Truman: A Love Story
In an era of political scandals, it is refreshing and reassuring to see a couple whose love for each other was unscathed, even through the most tumultuous of times. Such is the […]
Just How Many Presidents Have There Been?
If you type the question “How many U.S. presidents have there been?” into any search engine, you will quickly get a flurry of answers that tell you Donald Trump is the 45th […]
Steve McQueen’s Less-Than-Cool Beginning with the Marines
Steve McQueen (1930-1980) may have been known as the “King of Cool” during the height of his Hollywood popularity, but before that, he had a less than stellar career with the U.S. […]
Warm Words About Man’s Best Friend
Of all the animals on earth, none has made the impact on the human heart quite as much as the dog. The following observations demonstrate why the dog has justifiably earned the […]
The Perplexing Problem of the Pickles that Wouldn’t Bounce
The year 1948 was monumental. Harry Truman won an upset victory over Thomas Dewey; Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated; the Marshall Plan was approved; and Alger Hiss was accused of spying for the […]
Harry Truman: the 33rd or the 32nd President?
Any official list of presidents will show Harry Truman as the 33rd President of the United States. Not everyone agrees with this, however. The most notable dissenter as to the number assigned […]
46 Fun Facts About the 46 Presidents
Updated January 20, 2021 to include the 46th President, Joe Biden. In honor of Presidents’ Day, here are some fun facts about the 45 men who served as the 46 Presidents of […]
Did One Wrong Word Cause the Hiroshima Bombing?
Readers of Commonplace will not be surprised to learn that one little mistranslation from one language to another can be embarrassing. Whether it is one misplaced letter when cheering General Douglas MacArthur, an incompetent […]
The Ultimate Rental House Fixer-Upper
As President Harry Truman’s daughter, Margaret, played the piano one day, she was startled as one leg of the piano suddenly dropped through the floor of the White House residential level. Engineers […]