Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Maharam of Padua: Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbollen Runs Into Anti-Semitism in 1312

Nadene Goldfoot
Here is Hesse-Nassau in red within the Kingdom of Prussia, within the German Empire Hesse was a state in Western Germany and Jews lived there from the late 1100s.  
The Maharam of Padua name was first used after the family of Meir Katzenellenbogen moved to Padua Italy.  It was a Rabbinical family descended from 12 Jews who settled in the town of Katzenelenbogen in Hesse-Nassau, Germany in 1312.   "Count Diether of Katzenelnbogen received permission from Emperor Henry VII. to keep twelve Jews at Katzenelnbogen; and Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330 permitted Count Wilhelm and his heirs to keep twenty-four Jews in their dominions (Böhmer, "Regesten," No. 501; Wiener, "Regesten," pp. 23, 33). "  To keep;  to allow them to live on their property, is what keep would mean.  In those days, Jews were a man's "Property."  

 "A 2016 pioneering research study conducted by Drs. Jeffrey Mark Paull, Neil Rosenstein, and Jeffrey Briskman, utilizes Y-DNA testing in conjunction with existent family pedigrees, oral histories, and historical migration patterns, to conclude that the Katzenellenbogen lineage is of Sephardic origin."

Wouldn't this mean that in 1312 the 12 Jews were coming from Spain to Germany to seek a better more friendly land to live in?  Events were starting in the Middle Ages  in Spain by then showing anti-Semitism.  " Jews in Islamic-occupied Spain, Al-Andalus, were designated as dhimmis, (2nd class with restrictions) and, despite occasional violent outbursts such as the 1066 Granada massacre, they were granted protection to profess their religion in exchange of abiding to certain conditions that limited their rights in relation to Muslims.   Although the good relations the Jews had with their Christian neighbors, especially in the 14th century antisemitism was rising. Blood libel accusations were spreading and decrees were imposed on the Jewish people.  
1492 was the climax in anti-Semitism with the edict that Jews had to convert to Christianity or leave the country.  This decision had really started long before with many acts.  The Katzenellenbollens had the foresight to get out and seek better pastures.   Thus they tried the other way, the way to the Rhineland, Germany.   "In 1492, via the Alhambra Decree, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordered the expulsion of a disputed number of Jews from the country, ranging from 45,000 to 200,000, and thus put an end to the largest and most distinguished Jewish community in Europe."                           
Barcelona, 1391 Massacre of Jews

 The situation peaked with the massacres of 1391, in which entire communities were murdered and a lot were forcibly converted.

They have had thousands of descendants and huge family connections throughout Europe and America.  

Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen was born in 1482, just 10 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  He died in 1565. He was a Talmudist that was born in Germany but studied in Poland.  He became the rabbi that officiated in Padua, Italy.  Rabbi Meir was an outstanding codifier and was extensively consulted on halakhic problems.  

What does a codifier do?  This refers to the Laws of Moses as found in the Torah.  The Talmud has been accepted as the code book for the regulation of Jewish life.  We have 2 Talmuds;  the Babylonian one and the Palestinian one.  The Talmuds are a collection of the records of academic discussion and of judicial administration of Jewish Law by generations of  scholars and jurists in many academies in more than one county.  Meir put them in a better filing system.  

  By 2 of the following generations, the family had moved into Poland, and probably then into Lithuania.  Lithuania then became an important center of Jewish learning.  

"Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen (1541–1617) was a wealthy and politically influential Polish Jew who is said to have briefly occupied the throne of Poland on 18 August 1587.   He has historically borne the nickname, Le roi d un jour (king for a day)."  He had a son, Meir Wahl.  Saul's father was Samuel Judah Katzenellenbogen.    Wahl had thirteen children, including the renowned Polish rabbi, Meir Wahl Katzenellenbogen

His being king for a day comes from our folklore as follows from the Jewish Encyclopedia:                            
"Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł (4 February 1515 – 28 May 1565), nicknamed The Black (Lithuanian: Juodasis), was a Polish-Lithuanian noble who held several administrative positions within the Grand Duchy of LithuaniaVoivode of Vilnius, Grand Lithuanian Chancellor, and Grand Hetman of Lithuania."

"At a point in his life, Lithuanian noble Nicholas Radziwill, wishing to do penance for the many atrocities he had committed while a young man, undertook a pilgrimage to Rome in order to consult the pope as to the best means for expiating his sins. The pope advised him to dismiss all his servants and to lead for a few years the life of a wandering beggar. After the expiration of the period prescribed, Radziwill found himself destitute and penniless in PaduaItaly. His appeals for help were heeded by nobody, and his story of being a prince was received with scorn and ridicule."

He finally decided to appeal to Samuel Judah Katzenellenbogen, the rabbi of Padua.  Katzenellenbogen received him with marked respect, treated him very kindly, and provided him with the means to return to Lithuania. When the time for departure came the prince asked the rabbi how he could repay him for his kindness. To allow Radziwill to repay the favour, Shmuel asked that he help find his son Saul, who years before had left to study in a yeshiva in Poland. Upon his return to Poland he inquired at all yeshivas until he found Saul in Brest-Litovsk. Radziwill was impressed with Saul's intellect and offered to board him in his own castle, where Saul could pursue his studies. Radziwill's court personnel were similarly impressed with Saul, and his reputation spread throughout Poland."  Wouldn't this be where the story, the Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain comes from?  
Jews of Lithuania who have to wear the star of David.
The Germans are inside the country already.  

We Jews from this part of Europe, where Poland and Lithuania were a part of Russia's Pale of Settlement, originally probably came from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Simeon.  Jews of the 2nd Temple period spoke of themselves as being either Kohanim, Levites and Israelites.  The Israelites were then made up of these 3 tribes as 9 of the rest of the 12 had been taken away by the attack on them by the Assyrians earlier.   The Tribe of Judah (from which the name "Jews" comes from, was of the southern  tribe remaining with part of Benjamin and  some of Simeon, and the Assyrians had taken the 9  others of the Northern kingdom of Israel.  

I wonder if all the people of the Katz surname are related to this line?  One of my 1st cousins is related to 118 Katz people.  

Research: Finding Our Fathers-A GUIDEBOOK TO JEWISH GENEALOGY, by Dan Rottenberg
(Böhmer, "Regesten," No. 501; Wiener, "Regesten," pp. 23, 33). in

How Padua, Italy Helped to Develop Jewish Doctors

Nadene Goldfoot
The scene is set.  In 70 CE Jerusalem was attacked and destroyed by the Roman army.  Jews were starved and slaughtered or taken as slaves to Rome.  There were Jewish businessmen already there and elsewhere.  Some Jews escaped by being taken as part of the Roman army and found themselves stationed in army outposts.  Some had made their way to what was later known as Spain.
German Jews of 1200s and how they were forced to dress
stand out from others

By the mid 1200s, an Italian city called Padua had a Jewish community within itself.  In this community were Jewish bankers from Rome of the southern part of Italy and from Germany to their north.  

By the 1300s the Jews found themselves doing business with the university students.  Some of the Jews were permitted to study medicine from this time to the 1600s and 1700s in Padua.   

It was in this period from about 1482 to 1565 that Rabbi Isaac Katzenellenbogen (the Maharam of Padua) lived and died.  

Padua was one of the few places in all of Europe where Jews were allowed to graduate as physicians.    Some of these students had come there from Germany and Poland.

Italy is known for starting the ghetto system, so one was started in Padua in 1602. Notice how close Padua is to Venice, where the ghetto originated. Jews were segregated  in Venice earlier in 1517.  
Ghetto in Venice in 1516

The ghetto meant Jewish quarter, set up by law to keep Jews in as they were locked in during night hours.  It was Pope Paul IV who ordered that Jews in the Papal States should be forced to live in separate quarters.  It was immediately carried into effect in Rome and became the rule throughout Italy in the course of the next generation  "Ghetto" was then universally applied.  It became common under the name Judengasse, and also in Germany, Prague where the Judenstadt was famous, and in some Polish cities.  It became a town within a town.  They were often victims of overcrowding as they were not allowed to expand their size and therefore suffered from fires.  Often they were subjected to forced baptisms as well.  They had to wear a Jewish badge and forced conversionist sermons and occupational restrictions.  This continued until in the French Revolutionar Period and reintroduced locally in the 1800s and came to an end when Rome united with the kingdom of Italy in 1870.  This record was similar in other countries.  One point to remember;  they could not leave.  It was a form of prison.  

This made the Jews easy victims of the plague of 1631. Dead bodies are seen carted off in carts in Milan's Melchiorre Gherardin Piazza S. Babila.   The Italian Plague of 1629–1631 was a series of outbreaks of bubonic plague which ravaged northern and central Italy. This epidemic, often referred to as the Great Plague of Milan, claimed possibly one million lives, or about 25% of the population. This episode is considered one of the later outbreaks of the centuries-long pandemic of bubonic plague which began with the Black Death.
German and French troops carried the plague to the city of Mantua in 1629, as a result of troop movements associated with the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Venetian troops, infected with the disease, retreated into northern and central Italy, spreading the infection.

 They had a narrow escape from massacre during the riots at the time of the siege of Buda, where Jews were alleged to be aiding the Turks in 1684.  The Siege of Buda (1686) was fought between the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire, as part of the follow-up campaign in Hungary after the Battle of Vienna. The Holy League took Buda (modern day Budapest) after a long siege.
Rabbi Sabbato Marini of Padua
This is Rabbi Dr. Shabbetai Aharon Chaim Marini (1685-1762), a rebbe (teacher) of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the Ramchal. He was a physician and מורה צדק Tzaddik of Padua.

In the 1700s, the Padua Jewish community was so reduced in wealth that it became bankrupt in 1761.  
From 1829 to 1871, the Italian Rabbinical College was situated at Padua.  The community members, however, numbered less than 200 by 1990.  

Only one of its former synagogues is still in use.  Padua is one of the stops on a Kosher Travel list.  

Resource:  The Y-DNA Genetic Signature and Ethnic Origin of the Katzenellenbogen Rabbinical Lineage
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Finding Our Fathers, By Dan Rottenberg

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Ninety Degree Turn of the Democrat Party

Nadene Goldfoot

Does anyone remember the following Democratic Senators ?  
                                b: February 4, 1942 in Connecticut       

                                       Known as Joe Lieberman
 Joseph Isador Lieberman was senator from 1989 to 2013, so you should
remember him.  He was also a vice president nominee.  "In 1994, Lieberman made history by winning by the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes. Like Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt, Lieberman served as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council from 1995–2001. In 1998, Lieberman was the first prominent Democrat to publicly challenge Clinton for the judgment exercised in his affair with Monica Lewinsky.However, he voted against removing Clinton from office by impeachment."  He's also the first Jewish candidate for vice president, and happens to be of the modern Orthodox persuasion.                                      
Today, many Democrats are for impeaching President Trump and for what?  What has he done to deserve such animosity but win the race against Hillary Clinton who Democrats thought was a shoe-in?  He's modern enough to communicate with tweeting.  That's not reason for impeachment.  

                                    b: September 8, 1938 in Georgia
                                         Known as Sam Nunn
Samuel Augustus Nunn Jr. was an Eagle Scout.  "Overall, Nunn was a moderate-to-conservative Democrat who often broke with his party on a host of social and economic issues. He opposed the budget bill of 1993, which included provisions to raise taxes in order to reduce the budget deficit. He neither supported nor opposed Hillary Clinton's attempt to establish universal health care, though he spoke out very strongly against the proposed insurance mandate."
b: May 31, 1912 in Washington, d: September 1, 1983

Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson, who was Senator from 1953 to 1983,
remembered for his National Environmental Policy Act, higher military spending,
against Russia, civil rights, etc. etc.  

b: March 16, 1927 in Oklahoma, d: March 26 2003
Washington DC 

Daniel Patrick Moynihan who was in politics from the 50s to the 70s?  He is remembered for his "War on Poverty."  

They were as different as can be in their issues in running the Democrat Party from today's 23 want-to-be presidential candidates .  Today's positions support the following issues;

1  Illegal immigrants receiving  expanding government-run insurance healthcare
2.  Border system changed to be open with Mexico and Canada, entering freely
3. College tuition dropped;  to be free like grade, junior high and high school 
4. Student debt forgiveness, of course

5. Reparations to Blacks for slavery  
      ....personal comment:
 One could think of the Civil War as making reparations that President Abraham Lincoln took, a horrid war where we lost more. "The Civil War was America's bloodiest and most divisive conflict, pitting the Union Army against the Confederate States of America. The war resulted in the deaths of more than 620,000 people, with millions more injured and the South left in ruins."  This occurred in days when the world had been accepting slavery as a way of economic life.   It took a bloody war to stop the process.   

6. Income redistribution increased
7. Monthly incomes guaranteed.  

Some even were promoting the idea that the holding facilities for these Mexican illegal immigrants were just like past Nazi concentration camps.  That went too far for Larry Penner of Great Neck, NY and myself as well as it should have for other American Jews.  The present USA government is not
planning on killing these immigrants as the Nazis were doing.  6 million Jews, some of which were our ancestors, certainly didn't voluntarily enter those Nazi concentration camps, either.  They didn't offer to dress themselves in rags, be starved to death, perform voluntary slave labor, and agree to be gassed to death in crematoriums.   

The Mexican immigrants illegally forcing themselves upon our borders know they were coming in illegally and most likely were fed a lot of directions on how to do it from some source;  maybe the Russians.  What better way to cause havoc on this country than a Russian invasion?  Or maybe it's China causing them to enter like the Genghis Khan invaders so long ago?  The violent and murderous gangs of Mexico who deal in drugs certainly will profit from the Mexicans leaving;  they can take over their villages and plant more poppies.  

Most illegals entering all speak Spanish, but may also be speaking  Zapotec, Nahuati, Arabic, Mixtec, Purepecha, English, Tzeltal, German, French, Chinese, Italian and other dialects spoken depending on the regions they are coming from in Mexico.  Chances are that very few speak English, though.  That's why colleges have a department to teach English to immigrants.  

They've been entering  illegally for some time now, but not on this grand scale of thousands at a crack.  I know, I've been an English teacher in a college and have been confronted, back in the early 90s with the question from one of my students, "What would you do if you could not find work and support your family?"  Most of my students were family oriented, wonderful people in eastern Oregon.  They were making the change from being field workers in the potato and beets industry to being truck drivers and cattle feeders using company computers.  Women were also shifting away from field work and into other positions as well, but not to the depth that men were doing.  That's when they were entering in dribs and drabs.  

Like Egypt with President Morsi who allowed so many immigrants in from Syria in hoping they would be future voters for him, you can be sure that these immigrants would be voters for the Democrats and not Republicans.  It's a way of tipping the scale.  
  Warren-Mass., Booker-NJ., Klobuchar-Minn.   

What were these many Democrat candidates not discussing that they should?

1. The $22 trillion dollar national debt-the whys and hows of reducing it
2. Social Security's Medicare and Medicaid's future and its facing insolvency
3. Defense and NATO allies'need to pay up their fair share for our mutual defense and not be the only ones paying the bill-a stand taken by Trump.
4. China's religious persecution using indoctrination camps for people of unapproved religion and Muslim countries persecution of other religions by such leaders as Qaradawi in Qatar and others with fatwas on Jews.  
5. Life, all life matters in the USA, not just Democrats. All races matter.  We do not give homage to one over the other.  To Life!!!  Is this being taught in homes and in schools?  

There were so many running that they had to hold two" separate debates"-
              I use the word debates loosely.  It not a real debate. 
1st Debate-10 Candidates
20 Candidates of 2nd Debate
"President Donald Trump (R) filed for re-election on January 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration. Sixteen U.S. presidents—approximately one-third—have won two consecutive elections. George H.W. Bush (R) was the last president to lose his re-election campaign in 1992."  President Donald Trump is our 45th president, following the two terms of Barack Hussein Obama II who presided from 2009 to 2016.  This means that less than half of our presidents have served two terms.  

The 23 Democrat candidates are running against President Donald Trump and Bill Weld a former governor of Massachusetts.  

1. Michael Bennet                            
2. Joe Biden, former vice president for President Barack Obama            
3. Bill de Blasio                               
4. Cory Booker                               
5. Steve Bullock
6. Pete Buttigieg
7. Julian Castro
8. John Delaney  
9. Jay Inslee
10. Wayne Messam
11. Seth Moulton
12. Beto O'Rourke
13. Tim Ryan
14. Bernie Sanders
15. Joe Sestak
16. Tom Steyer
17. Andrew Yang                                                 

1. Tulsi Gabbard
2. Kirsten Gillibrand
3. Kamala Harris
4. Amy Klobuchar
5. Elizabeth Warren
6. Marianne Williamson

Democrats today are not being led by the issues and values of these four previous Democratic leaders.  They've changed.  They've weakened following juniors with radical ideas or not standing up to them. They don't even seem to be the proud Americans anymore, doting on past errors instead of working on values that made America.   They haven't taken on Republican values, either.  I don't recognize them anymore. 

 I used to be one of them, leading my students into the flag salute every single day and singing our national anthem and in the 4th grade, teaching our Oregon history as well.  This is the country that by hook or by crook, did take Jews in when they had nowhere else to go, refused for lack of baptismal papers and  because of being Jewish.  Though strings were attached in 1939, some Jews were able to make it out of Europe and find freedom here.   

Resource: Jewish Press, Letter to Editor from Larry Penner, Great Neck, New York,_2020

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dennis Prager Agrees With My Position About Trump

Nadene Goldfoot                                           
Dennis Prager b: August 2, 1948 in New York
parents: Max and Hilda Prager
Dennis Prager is an Orthodox Jew who spent time worrying about the Soviet Jews.  "In 1969, while he was studying in England, he was recruited by a Jewish group to travel to the Soviet Union to interview Jews about their life there. When he returned the next year, he was in demand as a speaker on repression of Soviet Jews; he earned enough from lectures to travel, and visited around sixty countries. He became the national spokesman for the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry."  

 He teaches with his own videos, the PragerU videos.  One such is titled, 
"The Charlottesville Lie"   that proves that Trump never said the Nazis were fine 

I am so happy to report that I have found someone else, this  well-known man who is in agreement with me to be defending our present president, Donald Trump.  I come from a family quite similar to a few others of this historic period; father was Jewish and mother was Protestant.  My mother converted to Judaism and I was raised Jewish in Oregon, but that means that I had relatives of both persuasions and loved them all dearly.  They were all Democrats, so they had that in common.  Most Jews then were because of WWII and Franklin Delano Roosevelt being a Democrat.  They acknowledged Roosevelt as their savior in letting us be admitted into the USA at a perilous time.
1981 in my Safed ground-floor apartment
with bars on the windows to keep out terrorists
Being poor immigrants, this is a government housing
apartment and we paid $8 per month.  We lived
more sparsely than I had imagined we would.
My couch was a government supplied bed. 
Fast forward to 1948 when Israel was finally reestablished after praying for the day after 2,000 years, and I was 13 years old then.  I spent my high school years feeling a little bit of prejudice for being Jewish.  Time marches on and here I am, fully aware and even more so by making aliyah to Israel in 1980  with my Brooklyn-born Floridian Jewish husband and finally really leaving our Conservative-Jewish life and stepping into the Orthodox in Safed, Israel.  We stayed over 5 years, and I learned much there. 

Needless to say, I had become very sensitive to remarks about Israel that were inflammatory.  I had come to the point of even starting my "Israel" blog, the first of 3, and  tried to make my family aware of what was happening there.  This led to my 2nd one, jewishfactsfromportland and finally my 3rd, jewishbubba.  At my more elderly age, I had lots to say and after a life of teaching, wanted to teach people about what was going on.  The facts were involving the stand Republicans and Democrats had been taking, and with Obama a president who had strings attached to the Muslim persuasion of family,  friends, and decisions.   I was really paying attention all the time.  I was in the position to do this, like many were not; too busy with other things.  I was devoted to it and still am.

I would not be surprised if the Jewish population of the USA, which is about 2%, is at least 85% Democrats.  So my position is that of someone in the 2% category being outside of the political agreement of them and have joined the 15% of 2% of the people.   We have followed what the country has been using to attack Trump, who won the election like all other previous presidents have done.  The difference of late was that he was not an insider politician.  He came from the business force of New York as a builder of hotels with an angst against Obama, feeling that he may not even had been a proper citizen of the USA being his mother had been outside the country.  Her husband was not an American citizen.
Donald's parents decided to send him to
an academy, hoping for behavior to improve.
Sounds like he was hard to handle even then.  

He hadn't really looked into it to find that an American citizen living outside the USA and gave birth to a child still has produced another American citizen.  Her citizenship does this for the baby.  Being a well known gadabout in nightclubs and such being one of the very wealthy Americans, he gained a lot of publicity about his stand, even paying someone to find his birth certificate.  So he had established a poor reputation when he stepped into the political arena.  But being in business, he had sharpened skills that most politicians hadn't, though he didn't have those political skills now and was in an arena where he needed them. One of those skills was in keeping his mouth and his fingers still.  We all know what Donald is thinking about things moment by moment  with his twittering.  He's the most open of all our presidents, too open for those who are politicians, as they haven't been.  They have tried to create a facade for themselves that is electable.  
Democrats have been taken by such surprise, that they suffered a depression that manifested itself into such hatred that is quite shocking as they have tried to bump Trump out of office. and continue to try, even after several years of being in office.   In the meantime, ever since the very moment Trump was deemed president, he has been a slave to the job and has produced outstanding work.  Since the audio-visual world has stuck by the Democrats, he was only receiving negative reports, so he has had to toot his own horn about his work, and that too, has been damned by the press who are suffering in a climate of TV news and being faced with losing readers.  

Along comes one of the radio hosts who is on Trump's side, and to my surprise, comes from an Orthodox Jewish home.  Dennis Prager, born August 2, 1948 on my brother's birthday, is also a writer, a far better one than I,  6'4" tall, is in total agreement with me or I with him, and that is most pleasing.  He's one that has been paying attention, not only to Israel but to events in politics.  He's on the radio and TV.  

His background is superior, educated in a New York Yeshiva in Flatbush, Brooklyn and continuing in England.  He even majored in history of the Middle East.  Like me, he originally was a solid Democrat.  We both supported Jimmy Carter in 1976, and I have lived to regret it after reading what he has written since then about Israel, which in a way has turned me against a certain lack of Democratic values.  To me, he was a real disappointment.

What caught my eye today was Dennis Prager's article published in The Jewish Press Friday, August 9, 2019, entitled, AMERICA IS DROWNING IN LIES ABOUT TRUMP and I agree with it all.

Dennis has chutzpa where I am lacking.  He can tell it like it is.  For instance, his first line starts with,
"The president of the United States, Donald Trump, never said there were "fine" Nazis or Klu Klux Klansmen."  That is a preposterous assumption!   What happens is that in the press's frantic search for ammunition, they can mis-quote and mis-understand on purpose to lead readers into a position of feelings against this man, and they do it very skillfully.  I have argued with people about this very thing.  In watching a newscast on TV, I see and hear one thing, then read later where it was all misconstrued, thinking, how can they do this?   Dennis felt that this one report was one of the two worst against him.
The Jared Kushner familyJared is currently senior advisor to his father-in-law, Donald Trump, the president of the United States.
The other was that he was a racist.  Both of us feel this is ridiculous.  The man's daughter, whom he loves most dearly, has married a modern Orthodox man and has converted.  Their children are Jewish.  Trump loves them all.  He's not about to put them along with other Jews in jeopardy because of their religion.  He now has a connection to Jewish values.  I just hope that the Jews of the USA haven't forgotten them!  Too many are in the news for terrible reasons lately, a time of growing anti-Semitism again in the USA.  It's happening all over the world again, not just the USA.  It's been happening big time in England, for one example.  
USA Embassy in Jerusalem
The newest Kushner grandson
with his Grandpa Trump

Trump will go down in history being the president who not only said he would move the American embassy to Jerusalem, actually did it against all the static.  Remember that Truman also went against the popular static of not recognizing Israel in 1948!  Obama had promised and didn't follow through.  So did the George W. Bush.  So did Bill Clinton.  This goes back to promises made and broken since 1993 by Bush.  Trump kept his promise in a climate even worse than the previous presidents were in.