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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Veep Of All Trades

In 1927, Charles G. Dawes was the vice-president of the United States. (That's the man there on the right.) Now, Dawes made many great contributions to society in the first half of the twentieth century, none of which should be degraded. (Brigadier General-yessir! Nobel Peace Prize-indeed! Vice President, Banker, Ambassador, Author, etc..., etc...) In that vein, you really ought to skip on over here to read more about Charles Dawes's life. I, however, am going to regale you with one or two of the more interesting incidents.

While flipping through Deep'n as it Come: The 1927 Mississippi River Flood, I came across a fascinating picture and blurb:

This train was travelling from Greenville, MS on July 28, 1927. Flood waters had damaged the trestles and tracks; when the train tried to negotiate them, it plunged into a bayou near Head, MS. Thankfully, it was only travelling at 5 mph. Vice President Dawes was sleeping in the last car (in the picture) to remain entirely on the ground. An engineer was killed instantly, but Dawes slept through the entire incident. I guess he was exhausted, having given a speech in Greenville the night before.

My other choice nugget involving Mr. Vice President, Charles Gates Dawes? This politician had the ultimate one-hit wonder which he titled Melody in A Major. He played it for a friend, the friend showed it to a publisher, and Dawes's ditty was an instant hit. Forty years later, the tune was reinvented with lyrics by Carl Sigman, who called it It's All in the Game. Since then, it has been covered by Tommy Edwards (who made it a #1 song on Billboard), The Four Tops, Van Morrison, and more. You can listen to Tommy Edwards's version here.

Doesn't that just go to show that there's more to a book than its cover?

Charles G. Dawes - Biography". 17 May 2011
Daniel, Pete. Deep'n as it Come: The 1927 Mississippi River Flood. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. Print.
Kauffman, Bill. "The Melodious Veep." American Enterprise 15.4 (2004): 47. MAGNOLIA. Web. 17 May 2011.

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