Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chapter Review: Grover Cleveland: The Mysterious Case of the DIsapearing President

Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America, Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Threshold Editions, Mercury Radio Arts, New York, 2014.

Grover Cleveland: The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing President.  I am sure if this is not the first time a president had lied about their health, and it definitely wasn’t the last time.  In this case, presumably President Cleveland wanted to keep his health out of the public eye to not interfere with his chances of negotiating through Congress legislation to change the silver standard.  He felt this was contributing to depression.  Of course it was also felt the president’s health was important so as not to instill panic or fear in the general populace. 
President Cleveland had cancer, a tumor in his jaw.  He went aboard a boat, and had surgery at sea.  He was basically overdue by four days, and people began to notice his absence.  He was out of touch with people for five days.  The story given is that he went on a fishing trip, had rheumatism, and had teeth extracted.  His health was fine.  Rumors abounded, but this was the official story and it stuck.
However a reporter uncovered the truth.  Two months later E.J. Edwards reported for the Philadelphia Press,  “The President a Very Sick Man.”  He had discovered the story from one of the doctors, an anesthesiologist.  However the president continued to deny, and none of the five doctors who attended the president came forward.  Instead of the reporter having a scoop, he became a fall guy as the president and his staff questioned his integrity. 
It wouldn’t be for twenty-five years, and after President Cleveland’s death, that the truth would finally come out.  E.J. Edwards was an honest man and reliable reporter, while it was President Cleveland who was not truthful. 

This is a very short version of this story.  The Glenn Beck version has many more details.  I also understand there is a book about the same story, “The President Is a Sick Man” by Matthew Algeo.

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