Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just in Time for the Holidays: Ham-some Frank

For reasons not entirely clear to me, the artist Bijijoo has produced a series of prints featuring U.S. Presidents holding hams. Now you know what to get for Christmas for the person who has everything.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coloring Pierce

What youngster wouldn't want to download his own Franklin Pierce coloring page in pdf format at the Free Kids Coloring web site?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pierce Coin and Medal Set

On June 24, the U.S. Mint introduced the new Franklin and Jane Pierce Presidential Dollar Coin and First Spouse Medal Set. I just ordered mine.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pierce a Loser Again

Franklin Pierce Dollar

From Coin Update News:
Franklin Pierce Presidential Dollar Rolls went on sale at the US Mint on May 20, 2010. In the debut period, sales of 23,960 of the Philadelphia Mint rolls and 24,160 of the Denver Mint rolls were recorded. These amounts are 2,048 and 1,261 behind the debut figures for the previously released rolls featuring Millard Fillmore, suggesting that collector's attention may have faded.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Franklin Pierce Gallery

Photo attribution:
I've gone trolling at and found 18 pictures relating to Franklin Pierce, which I've put in a gallery.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cut Fainting Frank Some Slack

Poor old Franklin Pierce took a lot of flack for fainting in battle during the Mexican War. His detractors failed to mention that a painful injury preceded his loss of consciousness.

To dismiss Pierce as a coward is unfair, in my humble opinion. In his campaign biography of Pierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne excerpted the journal Pierce kept during the war. On July 21, 1847, General Pierce wrote:
Colonel Bonham's horse was shot near me, and I received an escopette ball through the rim of my hat, but without other damage than leaving my head, for a short time, without protection from the sun. The balls spattered like hailstones around us, at the moment the column advanced; and it seems truly wonderful that so few took effect. A large portion of them passed over our heads, and struck between the rear of Colonel Bonham's command and the main body of the brigade, two or three hundred yards behind, with the train; thus verifying what has so often been said by our gallant fellows, within the last forty days, that the nearer you get to these people in fight, the safer.
So we see that Pierce came perilously close to being shot in the head, but took it in stride without fainting or otherwise chickening out.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents' Day

Drawing of Franklin Pierce from the book Original Acrostics on all the States and Presidents of the United States, and Various Other Subjects, Religious, Political, and Personal
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Well, I guess somewhere along the line, after we stopped celebrating Lincoln and Washington's birthdays separately, the melded holiday became a celebration of all US Presidents, good, bad, and indifferent.

So, Pierce fans, we find several references to the 14th President today:
1. Though not dedicated exclusively to the tonsorial splendor of Franklin Pierce, his famous hair appears in the illustrated New York Times opinion piece, "Heads of State".

2. The editors of the web site rank Franklin Pierce #5 in their list of "The Top 43 Sexiest US Presidents", stating "There's not much to say about this obscure president, except that he's gorgeous. He's like Johnny Depp, but without as much to show for himself." (Thanks to colleague and sometime reader Ed Yang for alerting me to this reference to Handsome Frank).

3. The New Hampshire Historical Society is releasing audio and text versions of a collection of essays titled "Revealing Relationships: The Family and Friends of Franklin Pierce" which appeared in Historical New Hampshire, Volume 59, No. 1, Spring 2005. These are available for free download in pdf or mp3 format at the NHHS web site.

4. And of course, there is the obligatory survey of presidential historians, wherein Pierce is cited as one of the least productive presidents.
That's it. Go forth and enjoy the holiday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Handsome Frank Is Coming to a Pocket Near You

In case you missed the announcement from the Federal Reserve Banks on the wildly popular web site, Fedflash, on December 15, 2009, the distribution schedule for the 2010 Franklin Pierce Dollar is:

Special order period: April 29, 2010 – June 3, 2010. Public release date: May 20, 2010
Can't you feel the anticipation building? I can--or maybe its the shredded wheat I had for breakfast.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Franklin Pierce in the Top Five!

Let's face it--trying to find new or interesting information about someone as obscure as Franklin Pierce is a Herculean task. Therefore, the author takes some topical license, and publishes the occasional post about Handsome Frank's namesake university. While President Pierce's name perpetually dwells near the bottom of any ranking of U.S. presidents, the women's basketball team at FPU continues to enjoy unbridled success. Led by English standout Johannah Leedham, the Lady Ravens are now 10-0 this season and are ranked number two in the USA Today ESPN Division II Coaches' Poll, behind the Michigan Tech Huskies (an unfortunate moniker for a women's team, don't you think?). When I went to the Michigan Tech web site, I had a pretty good idea the campus was on the upper pennisula when I saw the title of the lead news story on the home page: "Can Snowmobiles Adapt in the Age of Ethanol?"