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History Corner By Pat Ross & Fran Snead


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January 01, 2017

Sometimes when a family member passes away or when someone gets the "itch" to begin spring cleaning, the Bassett Historical Center is the recipient of the donations of items that in other cases may be thrown away.  These items include old family photographs, high school yearbooks, scrapbooks, family genealogy, and antique tools just to name a few.  It also seems very common for someone to bring in old newspapers and newspaper clippings that a family member saved because they meant something to them.  Articles may include Presidential inaugurations, space explorations, World War II, recognitions of family members, local happenings, advertisements, and the like.  It is almost like a treasure trove or Christmas in a box because you never know what you will find!  After being gone through, many of these newspapers and newspaper clippings find their home here at the Center and are added to the history and family files.

Recently someone brought in a box of local newspapers and clippings.  The following was printed in the Martinsville Bulletin and perhaps you may have read it.  Unfortunately, the date that it was published had been clipped off.

One of the most discussed items making the rounds in Martinsville these days is called "Does History Repeat itself?"  At least a half dozen people have called it to our attention.  It goes like this:  "Both Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy were concerned with the issue of Civil Rights.  Lincoln was elected in 1860; Kennedy was elected in 1960.  Both were slain on a Friday in the presence of their wives.  Both were shot from behind and in the head.  Their successors, both named Johnson, were Southern Democrats and came from the Senate.  Andrew Johnson was born in 1808; Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908.  John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839; Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939.  Both Booth and Oswald were assassinated before going to trial.  Both Presidents' wives lost children through death while in the White House.  Lincoln's Secretary, Kennedy by name, advised him not to go to the Theatre.  Kennedy's Secretary, Lincoln by name, advised him not to go to Dallas.  John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre and ran to a warehouse; Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy in a warehouse and ran to a theatre.  The names Kennedy and Lincoln each contain seven letters.  The names Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson each contain thirteen letters.  The names John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald each contain fifteen letters.  Now does history repeat itself?"

I thought that this was a very fitting article to share since Presidents' Day is recognized on Monday, February 20, 2017. 

Fran Snead

"Things do not happen.  Things are made to happen." - John F. Kennedy










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