Notes from the White House-birthplaces

The US Presidency has run in an unbroken chain since 1789. Here we look at the birthplaces of all the US Presidents from Washington to Biden.

This may be useful for the state codes:

Note that states joined the US at different times. After the original 13 states, the newcomers joined steadily and the last 5 to join were OK (1907), NM and AZ (1912), AK and HI (1959).

Some notes:

Biden was the second President (after Buchanan) to be born in PA state. Buchanan is generally considered to be one of the worst Presidents.

If Trump had suddenly ceased to be President, Mike Pence would have been the first President to be born in Indiana state.

If this eventuality occurs now, Kamala Harris will be the second President born in California and the first from Northern California (Oakland). The only other President born in California is Richard Nixon, in Yorba Linda near Los Angeles.

There are several large states where no President has been born.

By population, these would include Florida (#3), Michigan (10), New Jersey (11), Washington (13) and Arizona (14). At the other end of the scale, #50 (Wyoming) and #48 (Alaska) have had no representatives, although Vermont (#49) does have Calvin Coolidge.

In many cases, a person may have largely grown up in a state which is not the state of his/her birth. This is more likely to happen in the US than India and most European countries.

The World Turned Upside Down (Cricket)

This is an old English ballad dating back to their civil war in the 17th century. It is however significant in US history as it was played at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781, which marked one of the major victories of the Americans in their revolution.

Cornwallis did not suffer too badly, and went on to be Governor-General and top military commander in India in 1786-1792. Perhaps his victory against Tipu Sultan made up for his losses in the American colonies

This is a famous painting of that occasion named “The World Turned Upside Down”:

Now, cricket fans would appreciate this ballad after the events on June 18:

1) Bangladesh beat India in an ODI.

2) Scotland beat Ireland in a T-20

3) and Papua New Guinea beat Netherlands in a first-class match (in the Intercontinental Cup).

There have been great upsets in cricket before, but perhaps never this many on a single day.

Escaping from the impregnable prisons of the US

The US media has really gone to town with the escape of two long-term criminals from the Clinton Correctional Center near Dannemora in northern New York state. This is said to be first successful escape from the facility since it started functioning in 1865. This NY Times article sums up what is known today:

(Tail piece: see how small errors in the report have been corrected in the end. This is quite rare in the Indian print media)

In case you are wondering, the facility is named after George Clinton, the first Governor of New York State (and later Vice-President of the US) and NOT Bill and Hillary.

Anyway, there have been other impregnable prisons in the US, the best known being Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.,-122.4228235,13z

At the time it was closed in 1963, this was its “scorecard”:

During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as “missing and presumed drowned”.

There is some belief that one of the last attempts in 1962 might have been successful but this has never been proved conclusively. For more on this:

Today, of course, it is on the main tourist circuit at San Francisco. It has figured in a number of well-known movies, including

It remains to be seen if the recent CCC escape is successful. The facility is not too far from the Canadian border which might make things more complicated.,-73.737376,11z