Our February Presidents and Their Service
February 19, 2017 Veterans Corner by Ronald Verini
This month honors our Commander-in-Chiefs that were born in the month of February. Well we had a bit of a guessing game sitting around the ‘coffee & talk table’ these last few days, that if someone could name ALL those Presidents born in this month, then they could buy us all lunch! So happens that nobody won!!! (Not quite sure if no one actually knew them all or just didn’t have ‘lunch money’.) There were 4 Presidents born in February; George Washington on February 22, 1732, William Henry Harrison on February 9, 1773, Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 1809, and Ronald Regan on February 6, 1911.
Now who knows what military service before becoming President these men had?
Most of us are quite aware of the military service of Pres. George Washington. Born into a prosperous family in Colonial Virginia, he became a ‘Senior-Officer’ in the Colonial Militia during the early stages of the French and Indian War. Then in 1775 he was commissioned by the 2nd Continental Congress as the ‘Commander-in-Chief’ of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He had an illustrious career and resigned to preside over the Constitutional Convention of 1887, which devised a ‘new’ form of ‘federal Government’ for the United States. He was then elected the First President in 1789.
William Henry Harrison Sr., was born a ‘British subject’, and was the last President so born. Before being elected the 9th President he gained national fame for leading US Forces against Native Americans at the ‘Battle of Tippecanoe’ in 1811. He also was a ‘general officer’ during the ‘War of 1812’ and the ‘Battle of the Thames’ in 1813 defeating ‘Tecumseh’ and the Indian coalition he led. At age 18 he joined the US Army, 1st Infantry Regiment, and was commissioned an Ensign. He rose in rank to Major General, during a service of about 11 years. As President he was sworn in on March 4, 1841 and died from pneumonia on April 4, 1841. He was also the Great Grandfather of the 23rd US President, Benjamin Harrison.
Our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was a Captain in the Illinois Militia during the 1832 ‘Black Hawk War’ in Illinois. This conflict resulted in a great portion of land along the Mississippi River between Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, being ceded to the US from the Sauk and Meskwaki Tribes. (Years before, then Territorial Governor and future 9th President negotiated a Treaty with the Tribes).
Ronald Regan, our 40th President, enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve in 1937, and was appointed Second Lt. in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry later that same year. The Army Air Forces (AAF) requested he be assigned to them for Public Relations to promote the Unit Show “This Is The Army”. In 1943 he was promoted to Captain, and worked on the “War Loan Drive”. By the end of the war he had produced over 400 training films for the Army Air Forces. He became Commander-in-Chief as our President.
On a local note and about the Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida move into temporary quarters at 180 W. Idaho Ave (Ontario) to the front building due to a failure of the roof in the back building, a result of the latest snow/rain event. As always all military families, active duty and veterans’ welcome, no strings attached, just walk in and enjoy our coffee and smiles.
“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m here from the Government and I’m here to help”. Ronald Regan