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And That Ain’t Hay

April 21, 2015

Kennedy was elected in 1960.
Lincoln was elected in 1860.

Kennedy had a Vice President named Johnson who was born in 1908.
Lincoln had a Vice President named Johnson who was born in 1808.

Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln.
Lincoln had a secretary named… well actually he had two secretaries, John George Nicolay and John Milton Hay.

Hay, as his full name might suggest, was a poet, but his best known literary effort is the massive authorized biography of Lincoln he co-authored with Nicolay.

President Garfield also asked Hay to be his secretary, but he respectfully declined. President McKinley later asked Hay to be his Secretary… of State. After McKinley’s assassination Hay continued in that office under President Theodore Roosevelt.

Perhaps Hay’s most consequential solo writings are the notes he sent to the major powers regarding America’s Open Door trade policy with China.

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