Happy birthday, Ben Harrison

August 20, 2008
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Today marks the 175th birthday of our homegrown pres, Benjamin Harrison. The BH home at 1230 N. Delaware is celebrating with free tours today from 10-3:30.

I'm celebrating by trying to think of a list of Best Performance by an Actor as an Actual U.S. President. (Time will tell if Josh Brolin in the upcoming "W" will make the list.)

Here's what I've got for starters. Feel free to add your favorites.

--Brian Keith as Teddy Roosevelt in "The Wind and the Lion."
--James Whitmore as Harry Truman in "Give 'em Hell, Harry."
--Raymond Massey as Abraham Lincoln in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois."
--William Daniels as John Adams in "1776."
--Edward Herrmann as FDR in "Annie." (Yes, the rest of the movie was pretty bad, but Herrmann did fine.)
--Pat McCormick as Grover Cleveland in "Buffalo Bill and the Indians."

--Keene Curtis as Eisenhower in "IQ."
--Henry Fonda as Abe Lincoln in "Young Mr. Lincoln."

Care to add to the list?
  • I would like to add a TV President...Martin Sheen in West Wing, one of my favorite shows of all time because of the writing. Martin may have not looked presidential (what is he...five foot 2 or something?), but I thoroughly enjoyed watching President Bartlett's moments of humor, sharp wit and tenderness (at least until the show jumped the shark when Rob Lowe's character left and CJ became chief of staff).
  • Okay...I know he's not an Actual President...but what the heck.
  • Well, Martin Sheen did play Kennedy in a TV mini-series. (He also played Bobby Kennedy in a different project.)

    If we're getting into fictional presidents, well, then we'd have to include Kevin Kline's Dave, Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, Harrison Ford in Air Force One...
  • Paul Giamatti (sp?) in HBO's John Adams. I would also give props to the actor that played Thomas Jefferson, though I don't know his name. Excellent mini series...
  • I nominate Ronald Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo.

    Oh, I though this was Best Performance by an Actual U.S. President.

    Can we nominate a performance for a very thinly veiled portrayal of a fictional character who's a proxy for an actual President? If so, I'd say John Travolta's Jack Stanton in Primary Colors deserves a look. He does a pretty spot-on Bill Clinton.
  • Hah! I am loving this conversation.

    I do like the West Wing TV series. I own all of it on DVD and watch it over and over again.

    However, when I start trying to have conversations with my co-workers while powering through the halls at my day job, then I know it's time to put the West Wing DVDs away for a while.

    'Not sure who to name in answer to Lou's original question... But I have been meaning to visit the President Benjamin Harrison Home now for years. It's nice they are offering free admission today. I won't get there today, but soon....

    Hope Baugh
  • BTW, the only actor who ever portrayed Benjamin Harrison on the silver screen was Roy Gordon, in a 1952 John Philip Sousa biopic Stars and Stripes Forever.

    And Ms. Baugh: Drop by any Saturday at the Harrison House, and ask for me. The tour is on me.
  • Hey, thanks, Gary! (I am procrastinating doing my own writing on this Saturday morning by going back through Lou's posts to see if there are any new comments anywhere. I only just now saw yours.)

    Hope Baugh

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  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.