10 Oct Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of our Nation’s Leaders | Brady Carlson
2019: Book #32
After you read this, you’ll probably Google it to see if it’s true. It is.
It all started with a contest. The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. was the institution holding the contest. Whoever won the contest would have his or her drawing turned into a sculpture and it would forever reside in America’s National Cathedral.
The young man surveyed the area and noticed there were gargoyles and other “mean” looking things on the walls. So he decided to make a sculpture of the greatest villain ever. Seeing that the Cathedral had all these creepy faces and creatures, Christopher Rader submitted a drawing of Darth Vader. For Rader, Vader is scarier than any gargoyle that was already in the sanctuary.
The verdict? Rader won third place in the contest! Jay Hall Carpenter turned Rader’s drawing into a limestone sculpture and to this day, the great Star Wars villain is placed high atop the northwest tower.
If that isn’t odd enough…
The National Cathedral serves as the gravesite of Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th president. Yes…you got it…Darth Vader watches over the grave of an American President.
This is just one of many stories and oddities you’ll learn from Brady Carlson’s book, Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of our Nation’s Leaders.
This book is hilarious, creepy, eye-opening and sad. Why sad? Because you learn things like this…
“The Adams may have been buried together, but as families go they weren’t the most cheerful. John Adams was a demanding dad and set impossibly high expectations for his offspring. John Quincy was the only one who met them; the others weren’t so fortunate. Daughter Nabby, the first child born to a president, died relatively young after struggling for years with breast cancer; at one point she had to endure surgery without anesthesia. Son Charles had a drinking problem; as his alcoholism grew worse, he abandoned his law practice, left his family, and lost the life savings John Quincy had entrusted to him to invest. In 1798 John Adams disowned Charles, two years later; the president’s thirty-year-old son was dead, probably from cirrhosis.”
Gut wrenching stories but a great book.
It’s truly a 5 out of 5 stars read.
That’s book #32 for 2019.
20 more to go
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.