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The History Of The Presidential Limousine

"Ron Fiorillo" (2019-10-08)

The Presidential Limousine may seem like a recent invention, something that came about within the past few Presidential terms. This, however, is a misconception. Officially, the first President to ride in what has become known as the Presidential Limousine was Woodrow Wilson. Taking the streets during a parade celebrating the US victory in World War I, he was honoring the end of the war and, unknowingly, starting the beginning of a transportation tradition. Following Wilson, Calvin Coolidge used a 1928 Cadillac town car during his administration, but proceeding presidents had something even better. In 1938, the US government received two Cadillac Convertibles, which stretched 21.5 feet long and weighed nearly eight thousand pounds. They were named after ocean liners and called the "Queen Elizabeth" and the "Queen Mary." These vehicles included nearly failsafe generators, two way radios, and a full arsenal or ammunition. Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, using these two Cadillacs during their respective reigns, were the first Presidents to ride in both style and heightened safety.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the heightened safety got even taller and an armored limousine that was originally owned by Al Capone was used. The Department of Treasury took possession of this limo after Capone was found guilty of tax evasion and placed it in an impound lot. Amid the horror of the Harbor attacks, it was believed to be the safest mode to take FDR to congress, allowing him to deliver his "Date that will live in infamy" speech to the thousands of Americans listening at home. Once Al Capone's limousine was put to rest, a 1939 Lincoln V12 convertible named the "Sunshine Special" was built for Roosevelt. Used until 1950, it is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum. Another specially designed limo, named the "Bubble Top" was used by Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. After fifteen years, it was retired in 1965 and - following in the tire tracks of the "Sunshine Special"- is now also on display at the Henry Ford Museum.

While the limos were increasingly becoming more secure, they were certainly fallible, especially when the roof was removed. This brings us to JFK. Arguably the most famous Presidential limousine was John F. Kennedy's. During Lyndon Johnson's term, a trio of 1965 Lincoln Continental Executive Limousines was used and Richard Nixon rode in a modified X-100 as well as a 1969 Lincoln limousine with a sunroof, which he requested. Reagan was also given a Cadillac Fleetwood limousine during his presidency and Bill Clinton was given a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Presidential series during his. The Cadillac Fleetwood given to Reagan is now in the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California and Clinton's 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham is located in the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas. These are the last of the Presidential Limousines that will ever be put on display. The rest will be destroyed by the Secret Service.

At least every group will adhere to the simple principle that among all things considered, there is no doubt and no skepticism for the right to life. Even though conservatives may enact or support regulation that inhibits the rights of African-Americans or Hispanics, they will never outrightly argue for their deaths. There are some ultra-conservatives, among the Nazis and other White Pride groups, who will argue for this, but they are simply the dying vestiges of a culture that never meant anything to begin with. Even religion can be used to back this assertion. The Bible, the Qur'an, the Vedas, the ancient texts of Sumerians and early civilizations, all of these condemn the murder of innocents, regardless of their many exceptions. In this one point where it seems that the right to life is secured, we are then presented with the attitude that the world has held for animals. Though it is admittedly by all that they are capable of suffering, they are not granted any rights that would protect them from living lives full of misery.

Why is it that only humans should be granted the right to life, and that all other beings should be excluded from this right? I can already hear a thousand arguments. The practice of killing animals for food must stop, if there is to be any genuine respect for the ethic of justice and truth. Yes, the argument for the rights of animals ultimately leads to the politics of diet. If we allow others to slaughter animals for food, the way our enemies allowed their people to torture and annoy minorities, then we are very guilty of committing the same crimes. In admitting this to ourselves, we are given the same chance to change our behaviors that have been granted to the people of any era and any culture. Like those we honor as heroes, we ought to take the path that holds the greatest reverence to individual rights. Therefore, we acknowledge that the revolution in the politics of diet is Vegetarianism, abstaining from the consumption of the flesh of our fellow earth kin.