Saturday, July 5, 2008

Franklin Pierce Runs Over Woman - Not!

One bit of probably false Franklin Pierce trivia promulgated around the internet is the story of him running over an old woman while driving a horse and carriage. One version says this occurred while he was President and that he was arrested.

OK, the guy's the President of the United States. I realize it's the 1850s, but do you think he's going to be driving himself around the streets of Washington? Don't you think it would be pretty big news if he did run over somebody?

David Holzel, in his "Five Amazing Facts About Franklin Pierce (In Honor of His 203rd Birthday)", quotes no less an authority than Peter Wallner, who wrote not one, but two Pierce biographies. Wallner said, "The fact that there are no newspaper stories about the accident and it wasn’t mentioned in any correspondence convinced me that it probably didn’t happen.”

That's good enough for me.

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