Footnotes from the library

Nancy Smith

Do you remember the first time you voted? I do. It was in my small rural hometown, in the school basement. Paper ballots. My parents were not of the same political persuasion and it made for some interesting discussions.

February 15 is President’s Day, a national holiday. It should prompt all of us to stop and appreciate the awesome and difficult job of running the United States of America.

Fortunately, we Americans love to write about our presidents. We analyze and document and separate the events and dig into their pasts. Long after a president has passed into history, he will still be accounted for, good or bad.

Many gifted writers have made a career of telling us who they really were and what really happened. Our library has a good selection of government/presidential books in the non-fiction section.

The renowned duo Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have combined their talents to give us The Final Days of Nixon and Plan of Attack Bush. If you’re a Bill O’Reilly fan you can read Pinhead Patriots or A Fresh Piece of Humanity. Also, O’Reilly’s bestseller series, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy are worth reading.

If you’re an analyst, you might check our Dan Rather, Andrew Rooney, Tom Brokaw or Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. And if you like to read about our government in its early days, read David McCullough’s 1776. Earning the Pulitzer Prize, you will be amazed to read what these patriots and presidents endured. McCullough also wrote John Adams, an up-close understanding of the founding of our country.

So why not spend February reading about what makes America work? What does her history give us? What are you grateful for?