Day 266 – The Herbert Hoover Spoon

We took a bit of a break to celebrate the end of summer, but we’re back, with quite possibly the weirdest amalgam of spoon features I’ve ever seen. 

At the top of the spoon there’s a portrait of our 31st President, Herbert Hoover, glaring down at me. Just below the portait is a bright, cheery blue charm in the shape of Iowa, where Hoover was born, with the state flower and bird (the prairie rose and the American Goldfinch). The bowl of the spoon is engraved with a few trees, a pig, and Iowa’s motto: Tall Corn State. 

The contrast of the Great Depression-era portait and the Sanrio-like charm gives this spoon an “F” for design, but an “A+” for hilarity. 

Day 192 – The John Quincy Adams Spoon

Writing a new post every day is hard, especially when dealing with prominent political figures, so I’m calling in the big guns for today’s post: my eldest daughter, Zoey:

Happy Birthday, John Quincy Adams! 

There are many events that could have been chosen to represent today in history, but when you have a president spoon you really must choose it. So I choo choo choose you for today’s spoon, John Quincy Adams.

Although they were both old white guys in the highest position of power for the United States, John Quincy Adams should not be confused with his father, John Adams. John Adams was the first vice president and the second president. John Quincy Adams tried to live up to that legacy as the 6th president of the United States serving one term between 1825 and 1829. 

Unfortunately John Quincy Adams did not have a super successful presidency, most of his legacy comes from other positions he held. After being defeated in the 1828 election, Adams did not attend the inauguration of his successor Andrew Jackson (SCANDAL!!)

John Quincy Adams was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. Both John Adams and John Quincy Adams were born in Quincy Massachusetts. And no the name is not just a coincidence, Quincy Massachusetts was named after John Quincy Adams’ maternal great grandfather. 

John Quincy Adams attempted to out-do his father in number of positions held in his lifetime. He was not only the 6th president but also United States Minister to the Netherlands, United States Minister to Prussia, United States Senator from Massachusetts, United States Envoy to the United Kingdom, 8th United States Secretary of State, and US House of Representatives member.

John Quincy Adams was a longtime opponent of slavery, but the gag rule in congress immediately tabled any petitions about slavery (yay for politics). Adams was also a leading force for the promotion of science, he was a supporter and helped start the process for a national observatory and the Smithsonian museum. (Science rules!)

John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke in 1846 that left him partially paralyzed, but he made a full recovery and returned to congress after a few months. In 1848 he collapsed during a House of Representatives discussion suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage, two days later he died. His last words were “This is the last of earth. I am content.” So poetic.

FUN FACT: John Quincy Adams sat for the earliest confirmed photograph still in existence of a U.S. President

This has been your random history with Zoey. My facts may not be quite as fun or short as Emma’s, but you can learn a lot!

Day 190 – The President Taylor Spoon

“Old Rough and Ready” Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States. On July 9, 1850, after several days of battling an unknown illness, Taylor died. His last words were: “I regret nothing, but am sorry I am about to leave my friends.”

This spoon—part of the WM Rogers Silverplate Presidential Spoon Collection—bears Taylor’s likeness at the top. Like all of the Rogers spoons, the bowl states what the president was known for during his term(s) in office. In the case of Taylor, he was the “Hero of Battle of Buena Vista.”

The official medical records state that Taylor died of “cholera morbus” but some believed (and still do) that he was murdered. 

In fact, in 1991, with the permission of his 3rd great grandson, Taylor’s body was exhumed and tested for arsenic poisoning, but the results were negative and the original cause still officially stands.

The spoon doesn’t appear to be haunted, but more tests are still needed.