April 13, 2012
Happy Birthday, Mr. Davis!
Few Americans will know -- or care -- that April 13 is the 139th anniversary of the birth of John W. Davis, the 1924 Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Though David has earned some share of praise -- columnist Walter Lippmann believed that Davis was "one of the finest men ever nominated for President" -- most Americans have doubtless forgotten completely about the man, if they ever knew him at all. Yet an age like ours -- where the political mudslinging disgusts and repels all but the most ardent news-followers -- could stand to learn a lesson or two from John Davis's sterling example. Even if they seem sadly outdated to modern ears, the two qualities most often applied to Davis during his lifetime -- namely, graciousness and civility -- are bound to resonate. There appears never to have been even a trace of self-promotion in Davis's long career, for he was always put forward for office by his friends who knew him well. As the...(Read Full Article)