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WITandWISDOM(tm) - March 20, 2002
You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
Source: Thought for Today, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thoughtfortoday
Subject s: Past, Fear
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Conflict was dividing our government in the wake of the United States Civil War. President Andrew Johnson was determined to follow Lincoln's policy of reconciliation toward the defeated South. Congress, however, wanted to rule the downtrodden Confederate states with an iron hand. Congress decided to strike first.
Edmund G. Ross had been elected as a United States Senator from Kansas. Shortly after Senator Ross was seated, the Senate introduced impeachment proceedings against the hated President. The radicals calculated that they needed thirty-six votes, and smiled as they concluded that the thirty-sixth was none other than Ross'. The new senator listened to the vigilante talk. But to the surprise of many, he declared that the president "deserved as fair a trial as any accused man has ever had on earth." The word immediately went out that his vote was "shaky." Ross received an avalanche of anti-Johnson telegrams from every section of the country. Radical senators badgered him to "come to his senses."
The fateful day of the vote arrived. The courtroom galleries were packed. Tickets for admission were at an enormous premium.
As a deathlike stillness fell over the Senate chamber, the vote began. By the time they reached Ross, twenty-four "guilties" had been announced. Eleven more were certain. Only Ross' vote was needed to impeach the President. Unable to conceal his emotion, the Chief Justice asked in a trembling voice, "Mr. Senator Ross, how vote you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty as charged?" Ross later explained, at that moment, "I looked into my open grave. Friendships, position, fortune, and everything that makes life desirable to an ambitions man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever."
Then, the answer came - unhesitating, unmistakable: "Not guilty!" With that, the trial was over. And the response was as predicted. A high public official from Kansas wired Ross to say: "Kansas repudiates you as she does all perjurers and skunks." The "open grave" vision had become a reality. Ross' political career was in ruins. Extreme ostracism and even physical attack awaited his family upon their return home.
One gloomy day Ross turned to his faithful wife and said, "Millions cursing me today will bless me tomorrow . . . though not but God can know the struggle it has cost me." It was a prophetic declaration. Twenty years later Congress and the Supreme Court verified the wisdom of his position, by changing the laws related to impeachment.
Ross was appointed Territorial Governor of New Mexico. Then, just prior to his death, he was awarded a special pension by Congress. The press and country took this opportunity to honor his courage which, they finally concluded, had saved our country from crisis and division.
Adapted from: Courage, By Johnston, Jon, Published by Cook Communications Ministries intl (Mar 1, 1990), ISBN: 0896937941, http://isbn.nu/0896937941
Subjects: Civil War, Character
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
To Change a Light Bulb . . .
The University of Chicago finally has its own answer to a vexing question: How many students does it take to change a light bulb?
Mary Ruth Yoe, the editor of the school's alumni magazine, decided students there had gone long enough without a good University of Chicago answer so she asked for contributions. Scores of responses followed.
"Change it to what?" answered Michael P. Richard. "We were taught to define terms."
Another entry argued that the answer depended on whether the students are undergrads or graduate students.
The answer for undergrads? "Four. One to change it and three to complain about how hard it was."
For graduate students, though, the answer was, "Just one. But it takes seven years."
The winning suggestion came from alumnus Paul L. Sandberg, whose answer, Yoe wrote, underscored the "true Chicago students."
"Quiet! We're studying in the dark."
Source: WhiteBoard News for February 25, 2002, http://www.joeha.com/whiteboard
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
"A Suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after." - Peter DeVries
Source: Heart Touchers, http://storiesfrommyheart.com/home_page
What's a Pulsar?
A pulsar is a small star made up of neutrons so densely packed together that if one the size of a silver dollar landed on Earth, it would weigh approximately 100 million tons.
Source: ArcaMax Trivia, http://www.arcamax.com
For more information regarding pulsars visit:
Subjects: Astronomy, Stars