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Days of yore

It’s Herbert Clark Hoover’s birthday, born Aug. 10, 1874. A Republican, he was elected our 31st president in 1928, at age 54. He ran against New York Gov. Alfred E. Smith and won with 21 million popular votes to Smith’s 15 million and an electoral margin of 444 to 87. Hoover lived to be 90 and died in his suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.

On this day in 1949, the National Military Establishment was renamed the Department of Defense. It also is the 15th anniversary of the swearing in of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second female Supreme Court justice.

On Aug. 10, 1994, President Clinton claimed presidential immunity in asking a federal judge to dismiss a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Corbin Jones, a former Arkansas state employee. And on this day in 1995, Norma McCorvey- alias “Jane Roe” in the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion - announced she had joined the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.

Quotes of note

“I asked Barack what he wanted for his birthday. He said, ‘Just three things: Indiana, Colorado and Virginia.’” - Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, in Politicker.

“Why did I start running for president? I got hit on the head with a rock.” - Sen. Barack Obama, to a 7-year-old at a town-hall meeting in Indiana.

“Exxon John.” - New nickname for Sen. John McCain, courtesy of the Democratic National Committee.

“Not long ago a couple hundred thousand Berliners made a lot of noise for my opponent. I’ll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day.” - Sen. John McCain, during a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D.

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@ or 202/636-3085.