De Immigrant Windmill

November 1, 2023

Fulton Historical Society November Program


Presidential Program on November 19th

The Fulton Historical Society will host a program at 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 19, at the Fulton Historical Museum, 707 10th Avenue.  Guest speaker Ronald H. Koehn will present a PowerPoint program titled “Presidential R & R:  From T. Roosevelt to Obama.”  The program is free and open to the public.

There are at least three dozen meanings given to the acronym “R and R.”  However, most folks think of it as an abbreviation for “rest and relaxation,” “rest and recreation,” or “rest and recuperation.”  Those who work hard physically, put in long hours, or are mentally fatigued or stressed out by their work need “R and R.”  They need some pleasant diversions to help “recharge their batteries” so that they can return to their work refreshed and with renewed vigor.

And Presidents of the United States are no exception.  Their powers are vast; their responsibilities are immeasurable; and their functions are many.  In reality they are saddled with too many roles to play, especially since the 19th Century.  In other countries, the roles assigned to the American President are split among several individuals.

It is no wonder that Presidents need respites from their grueling jobs and taxing work schedules like anyone else who needs “R & R” – farmers and factory workers, carpenters and masons, doctors and nurses, teachers and accountants, corporate CEOs and garbage men, just to name a few.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, and Franklin Pierce enjoyed horseback riding.  Martin Van Buren, Chester A. Arthur, and Grover Cleveland were enthusiastic anglers.  Hunting was a favorite activity of Franklin Pierce, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and Grover Cleveland.  Abraham Lincoln enjoyed pitching horseshoes, taking walks, and storytelling.

In “Presidential R & R:  From T. Roosevelt to Obama,” Koehn will review some of the hobbies, sports, or other recreational activities used by Presidents in the 20th and 21st Centuries as important outlets for stress relief, relaxation, and rejuvenation.  And some of those activities may surprise those in attendance.  

A resident of Fulton, Ron Koehn is a retired Fulton High School social studies instructor who earned both of his degrees at Illinois State University at Normal: a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a major in history and a minor in political science and a Master of Science degree in history. In addition to overseas travel and volunteer work in the community, Koehn keeps busy in retirement by presenting historical programs to various organizations and providing pulpit supply to several area churches.

Refreshments will be served.  The north door is easily accessible.

Published in Fulton News