Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Two legislators from India’s ruling party were set to be disciplined for fighting with a shoe after video of the incident was widely shared on social media. The shoe spat has caused embarrassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shoes are considered unclean in the country, and using footwear to attack another person is seen as very offensive. Both lawmakers have apologised, but they were expected to face “strict disciplinary action” as they were summoned to Lucknow, the capital of India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Monday, March 18, 2019
The President of the United States has big feet to fill. No question. However, little is known of the shoe sizes of the first 15 Presidents other than George Washington (1732-1799) wore a size 13, and Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) a size 12.5. Washington’s shoes were the established, low-cut style with ornate buckles and he did import his black leather dress shoes from England.
Thomas Jefferson at his inauguration in 1801, wore laced-up ankle booties made by John Michin, a Washington DC shoemaker. The booties cost $6.00 (today's equivalent of $US 116) and the pair of silk strings, 25 cents. This set a fashion for “Jefferson Shoes.” The term continued to mean laced shoes until the early twentieth century. Jefferson much admired the French Revolution and the plight of the proletariat. In France the fashion for highly adorned shoes was associated with the privileged class and became passe after the Revolution. Jefferson abandoned buckles for silk laces and chose to support the ideology attached to practical footwear adopted from laboring classes. His preference for unadorned shoes were taken as a clear indication of his republicanism and did not go without comment from his critics. He was 6 feet 2.5 inches in height which was six inches taller than the average height for men in his day. Thomas Jefferson was known as “Long Tom.”
Shoes then, were straight lasted (no right or left fitting), and so custom-made shoes were likely to be more comfortable. He once bought a pair of “ready-made” shoes from a shoemaker in Lynn, Massachusetts for $US2.75 ($53 today). Unfortunately, they didn’t fit, so he had to return them. ‘Ready made ‘footwear was a new concept then, and component parts of the shoe were cut and prepared elsewhere, then eventually crafted into shoes by a shoe maker in a small workshop. Fit was always a problem but the cost of shoes meant most people had to break them in. Away from public gaze he relaxed wearing soft leather, “Morocco slippers”, tied at the ankles with “shoe strings.” On the farm he wore tall, low-heeled leather riding boots.
James Monroe (1758–1831) was the fifth President and dressed like an 18th century gentlemen, well into the 19th century. He habitually wore clothes that were decades out of date.
His successor, John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) was the first sitting President to wear long pants for any presidential occasion in 1925. To his inauguration he broke with tradition and wore a black homespun suit with long trousers. Until then long trousers were worn by common labourers.
The French Revolution (1789) was an enduring symbol for the passion, idealism and patriotism of the common man. The sans-culottes movement (without breeches) was taken up by many public figures and revolutionaries who were themselves not strictly working class, but styled themselves as ‘citoyens sans-culottes.’ in solidarity and recognition. The most fundamental political ideals of the sans-culottes were social equality, economic equality, and popular democracy. They supported the abolition of all the authority and privileges of the monarchy, nobility, and Roman Catholic clergy, the establishment of fixed wages, the implementation of price controls to ensure affordable food and other essentials, and vigilance against counter-revolutionaries. John Quincy Adams was no fashion leader, but rather an advocate of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité.’
Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson (1767–1845) was the 7th president of the United States. Former soldier, he became the leader of the new Democratic Party and was a supporter of states’ rights and slavery’s extension into the new western territories. He was the nation’s first frontier president and a complete autocrat. Jackson was ultimately responsible for the relocation of the Cherokee Indians and the Trail of Tears, which resulted in deaths of thousands of Native Americans.
Martin Van Bruin (1782 - 1862) was the 8th President of the United States and one of the founders of the Democratic Party. His dress sense was conservative and for very good reason because at this time public distaste for male effeminacy was at its peak.
At the end of the 18th century men stopped using brilliant or refined forms in their dress, which were left to women's clothing. The peacock style of the Dandy became passé as respectable men were forced to accept mainstream conservatism in their dress habits. “The great masculine renunciation" removed any suggestion of female clothing features, and replaced it with a heteronormative male dress code and hygiene habits. Serious men garnered respect by being sensibly dressed in suits, thereafter. During a political speech given in the US House of Representatives by Charles Ogle , 1840, he reviled the luxurious lifestyle in the White House, including Martin Van Bruin used toilet products, similar it was claimed to a fop or dandy. As a result, The Gold Spoon Oration, helped prevent Van Buren from being re-elected.
William Henry Harrison Sr. (1773 – 1841) was the ninth president of the United States in 1841. At age sixty-eight, Harrison was the oldest President elected in his century but his tenure was short and he died of typhoid fever 31 days into his term. Harrison came from an established Virginia family, was a learned student of classics, and a man who enjoyed luxurious living to the point that he was continually in debt. In 1840, he ran for president, pretending to be a backwoods frontiersman and sometimes dressed in fringed leather hunting shirts and moccasins. He was promoted as a down-home "log cabin and hard cider" war hero of Tippecanoe. On the campaign trail he entertained the public with impressions of Native American war whoops (loud calls), and freely swigged cider from a clay jug during speeches. The crowds were also treated to free hard cider.
The Whigs mass-marketed Harrison’s campaign, flooding the eltorate with cups, plates, flags, badges, posters, and sewing boxes with his picture dressed as a working-class man. He was referred to as ‘Old Tip,’ and many popular campaign songs were written to highlight his humble, and simple status, this starkly contrasted with his opponent Van Buren, who was invariably painted as a decadent snob who ate off expensive dinnerware and liked to perfume himself.
Old Tip he wears a homespun coat
He has no ruffled shirt-wirt-wirt
But Mat has the golden plate
And he's a little squirt-wirt-wirt.
Harrison won a landslide victory, but dropped dead a month after taking office.
The congress boot (or Congress Gaiter) was very popular in the 19th and early 20th century. These below ankle boots became available circa 1840, and were probably a version of the Balmoral boot, reputedly designed by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. Once the potential of elastic was realised new boot designs incorporated elastic gussets. The boot’s upper was made from soft kid leather and resembled modern wrestling boots. Some authorities reckoned them to be the most comfortable shoes ever designed. The elasticated sides provided both easy access and neat fit ably assisted by a cloth tab at the back of the heel of the boot. These were to prove so popular with politicians in the US, they were known as Congress boots or gaiters.
19th century sea captains bought them in bulk and kept them on board in the ship’s store. At that time many crew members were recruited or Shanghai’ed barefoot and were then sold a pair of sturdy boots once on deck with the cost deducted from their wages. By law once a sailor signed on board a vessel for a voyage, it was illegal for him to leave the ship before the voyage's end. The boots became coveted throughout the western world and were sometimes used as bribes to customs men by unscrupulous smugglers eager to have them turn a blind eye whilst illegal cargoes were being unloaded.
In 1850, William Dudley, of the William J Dudley Shoe Company from Newark, NJ. became so well known for his craft he was given the opportunity to create a pair of shoes for Millard Fillmore, America’s 13th president. After Dudley died in 1881, the company later became Johnston & Murphy Company and continued to produce hand made shoes for 27 Commander in Chiefs, regardless of their party affiliation. The cost of the hand made shoes would vary in today's prices from between $500 to $2,000 a pair. Some of the presidents accepted the handmade shoes as gifts and others paid "depending on their administration's policy,"
James Buchanan Jr. (1791 – 1868) was the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He never married and remains the only bachelor president. While Buchanan was a senator, he shared lodgings with another bachelor, Sen. William Rufus King of Alabama, for 15 years. What remained of his private correspondence suggests the relationship was more than fraternal causing some tongues in Washington to wag, but, in conformity with the mores of the time, the relationship was not a public matter. The bachelor was called 'ten cent Jimmy.' after he said that 10 cents a day was a fair wage for manual laborers.
Johnston & Murphy made a pair of ankle boots for the 16th POTUS , Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) in 1861. Abraham Lincoln was 6'4" tall (1.93 m) and wore size 14 shoes (the largest feet among presidents). It is thought his distinctive physical appearance as tall and thin is consistent with suffering from an endocrine disorder called Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2B) , as he presented with a marfan-like body shape, large, bumpy lips, and suffered constipation, and hypotonia ( low muscle tone ).
Lincoln suffered from painful corns and had his own personal corn cutter called Dr. Issachar Zacharie. He became a regular visitor to the White House and was the President’s close friend political confidante, and special Jewish emissary. Zacharie helped Abraham Lincoln secure the influential Jewish vote from the Jewish community of New Orleans.
Andrew Johnson (1808 – 1875) was the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. He stepped into the position after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He was a tailor by trade and continued to make his own clothes while president. Tall and painfully lean, Jackson knew to dress for his shape. With his slim, dark clothes, flowing capes, and a wild mane, 'Old Hickory' looked like some kind of superhero avenger for the common man. He had a vicious temper and was dubbed "The Veto President", because he vetoed so many of the Bills passed by Congress. Eventually the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach him, but after a trial the Senate decided he could stay on as president.
Born Hiram Ulysses Grant, he took the name Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885) was the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. The initial S stood for nothing. During the Reconstruction Era, President Grant led the Republicans in their efforts to remove the vestiges of Confederate nationalism, racism, and slavery. He was not a snappy dresser and received numerous demerits for his unkempt uniforms during his days at West Point. As the supreme commander of the Union Army during the Civil War, he took to the field dressed in a civilian hat, knee-high riding boots in size 9 (made by Johnston & Murphy) and usually covered in mud with an ordinary private’s coat with his rank stitched onto it.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822 – 1893) was the 19th president of the United States from 1877 to 1881. He stood 1.74 m tall (5 foot 7 inches) and had size 7 in shoes, making him the President with the smallest feet. His feet might have been small but he left a big footprint as the President who ended, the era of Reconstruction (1865–77). His promise not to interfere with elections in the former Confederacy which unfortunately led to the return of traditional white Democratic supremacy.
James Abram Garfield (1831 – 1881) was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March, 1881 until his death by assassination, six and a half months later. During his short spell as President, Garfield wore size 11 boots.
Chester Alan Arthur (1829 – 1886) was the 21st president of the United States from 1881 to 1885. Arthur acceded to the presidency after the assassination of President James A. Garfield. He soon became known for his sartorial style and taste for fine furnishings.
Nicknamed the Gentleman Boss and Elegant Arthur, he reportedly owned 33 suits of clothes, 21 pairs of shoes, and 165 pairs of pants, at the same time”. Dubbed the Dude President, he preferred black ankle boots. Arthur enjoyed the finer things in life and had inherited a run-down White House. He set to making it the residence fit for a President. More than a dozen wagons of outdated “junk” from past administrations was carted off and disposed. The house was cleaned and decorated from top to bottom. He put his gourmand stamp on the presidential table, and oysters, pheasant and sumptuous cuisine was standard fare with only the best of wines, liquors and champagne served. Temperance lobbyists were politely but firmly advised to mind their own business. To silence his critics further much of his lavish life style was at his own expense.
The term ‘dude’ had come to prominence in early 1883, after it appeared in Robert Sale-Hill’s poem, The History and Origin of the “Dude,” Its etymology may come from several sources. The extinct bird, ‘dodo’ was thought to be stupid, and the term was commonly used to describe a stupid young man, and later fashion-conscious young men dressed like peacocks. The song “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” was sang by the British military to mock the dishevelled, disorganized colonial "Yankees". Although the tune predates the lyrics, honours go to Dr. Richard Shuckburgh a British Surgeon, who wrote the song in 1755. By 1781, Yankee Doodle had turned from being an insult to being a song of national pride. Doodle was from low German meaning "fool" or "simpleton", and the phrase "stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni" implied the backwoods bumpkins could put a feather in their coonskin hats and think they were as elegant as European in the latest Italian style the "macaroni." Fops and Dandies of the 18th century placed high importance upon their physical appearance, refined language, and leisure hobbies. In the original version of the song the British were insinuating colonists were low-class men lacking masculinity, inferring they were effeminate. Some argue ‘dude,’ was an abbreviation for ‘doodle.’
In any event during the “Dude” craze, political cartoonists lampooned the Dude President's fancy dressing habits.
Benjamin "Little Ben" Harrison (1833 – 1901) served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He stood 1.9 m (5 foot 6 inches) tall and wore handmade shoes. Benjamin Harrison was the last Civil War general to serve as president of the United States.
Grover ‘Uncle Jumbo’ Cleveland (1837–1908) was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office (1885–1889 and 1893–1897). He stood 1.8m (5 feet 11 inches) took size 9 shoes and weighed 250 pounds. He was the second-heaviest President after William Howard Taft. Fitness Magazine named him as the least-healthiest President, because of his penchant for beer drinking and cigar smoking.
William McKinley (1843–1901) was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897. He stood 1.7 m (5 feet 7 inches) tall. At a time when men's clothing was becoming sober and standardized, McKinley's suits stood out as especially dull. He was assassinated in 1901 whilst shaking hands with the public. McKinley died eight days later of gangrene caused by the gunshot wounds.
Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt Jnr (1858–1919) was the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He was 1.78 m (5 feet 10 inches) tall and particular about his attire. Teddy Roosevelt took a shoe size 9.5 US and wore dress boots (chukka boots). Whilst in New York as a younger man, he and his friends were known as ‘the dude outfit,’ for their sharp dress. He was born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but overcame his physical health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle. Before entering politics, for recreation, he spent time with his friends, the Eaton Brothers, at their “Dude Ranch” in Medora, North Dakota. He enjoyed the Bad Lands where went hunting dressed accordingly.
During the Spanish–American War in 1898, he valiantly led Roosevelt's Rough Riders Rough Riders (the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry ) and became a war hero, The Rough Rider uniform was a slouch hat, blue flannel shirt, brown trousers, leggings, and boots, with handkerchiefs knotted loosely around the neck. In appearance, they looked exactly as a body of cowboy cavalry. The Frye Company established by John A. Frye in 1863, became one of the one of the largest and most successful footwear companies in North America. during this time and outfitted the Roosevelt Rough Riders.
In 1902, President Roosevelt was invited to a hunting trip in Mississippi by Andrew H. Longino the Governor of Mississippi Governor. After Roosevelt failed to bag a bear, the hunt guides tracked down an old black bear, weakened by dog attacks the bear was tethered to a tree and the President was invited to put an end to the animal’s misery. He refused on the grounds it would be unsportsmanlike, but ordered the animal be put down to end its pain. The story caught on and political cartoonists were quick to use Roosevelt and the bear to satirical effect. Meantime Morris Michtom a candy shop owner from Brooklyn, NY, thought it would be a good idea to put two stuffed toy bears his wife had made in his shop window. After asking permission from the White House, he called the toy bears "Teddy's bears". The rapid popularity of these bears which followed led Michtom to mass-produce them, eventually forming the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.
William Howard Taft (1857–1930) was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913). Remembered mostly for being fat, Taft was 1.52m (5 feet, 11.5 inches tall) and weighed between 335 and 340 pounds toward the end of his Presidency. He dressed well for his size and wore three-piece suits to camouflage his growing corporation, and grew a beard to hide his chins.
His bulk made it difficult for him to get in and out of the White House bathtub, so had a 7-foot (2.1 m) long, 41-inch (1.04 m) wide tub installed. The tub could accommodate four normal-sized people. It was replaced in 1952 with a modern tub of similar size.
Taft often fell asleep during social engagements. Mid conversation fell asleep for about 10 to 15 minutes before waking to resume his conversation again. Nellie, his wife called him the ‘sleeping beauty’.
Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) was the 28th President from 1913 to 1921. He and his wife travelled extensively and more than any of their predecessors. It was in the full glare of the then paparazzi, so as well he was an uomo ben vestito and Mrs Wilson too, enjoyed wearing sumptuous fashionable clothing.
In 1918, international travel required multiple modes of transport via ship, rail, and motorcar and the President and his wife had to be always dressed for the occasion. Their overseas trips set the sartorial precedent for future Presidential visitations.
Wilson marched in step with men’s fashion at a time when the world was changing. Not since the 18th century sans-culottes movement had men’s fashion seen such change. He bridged the Edwardian Frock coat and top hat era to the English look. gentleman suit. At their wedding the groom wore a blue sack coat, white flannel trousers, with white shoes and a straw boater hat. He shirts had rounded “wing collars,” and were fastened with mother of pearl buttons in the centre front and attached to a collarless shirt. For men, the necktie was now universal, and his socks were worn to midcalf, held up with suspenders. He took a size 9 shoe and liked to wear white buckskin shoes to match his linen suits and stylish hats.
Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865 – 1923) was the 29th President of the United States from 1921 until his death in 1923. Coming after the First World War, he was a popular President until after his death it was discovered the many scandals that took place under his administration. While president, Harding played golf, and poker at least twice a week. He was an ardent follower of professional baseball and boxing, and sneaked off to burlesque shows, whenever he could. His gathered together a group of advisors most of which were his friends and were known as the "Poker Cabinet" because they all played poker together. Many of these friends caused issues for him and a few scandals arose. The most famous was the Teapot Dome scandal. Albert Fall, Harding's Secretary of the Interior, secretly sold the rights to oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming in exchange for money and cattle. He was caught and sentenced to jail. Harding wore size fourteen shoes like Lincoln, but there the similarity ends. The President kept several mistresses and had a least one illegitimate daughter which he maintained.
Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933) was the 30th President of the United States from 1923 to 1929. He primarily restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration. His Presidential years covered the Roaring Twenties, when many Americans lived boisterously and spent extravagantly. During this era of societal transformation, Coolidge served as a father figure to the Nation. He was quiet, respectable and had a very dry sense of humour. He was a man of few words, which earned him the nickname, "Silent Cal." He is rated as one of the best-dressed presidents to ever live in the White House. He wore well cut suits sometimes with double breasted jackets and wide, peak lapels to frame his face. His trousers were slim cut. He preferred dress shoes and well-cut hand-made boots.
When not engaged in Matters of State, Coolidge would rest his feet in the bottom drawer of his Oval Office desk and count the cars passing by on Pennsylvania Avenue.
He often sported a hat sometimes a bucket hat (fedora) and at other times a ten-gallon hat. Coolidge liked to wear his cowboy hat when astride his mechanical horse which he used for exercise.
Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) was the 31st President of the United States from 1929 to 1933. He held office during the onset of the Great Depression (1929), and the end of Prohibition across the United States (1920 to 1933.). He was blamed for the former and disagreed with the latter. Rather ironically, Hoover was one of the wealthiest POTUS, at a time when most Americans faced real hardships.
During the Great Depression, hundreds of shanty towns to house the homeless popped up across America. The homeless in there thousands clustered into the ‘Hooverville,’ and existing on public charities for food in the form of free soup kitchens. Hoover’s name was regularly used derisively to the daily life of the homeless. Old newspaper used for blanketing, became “Hoover blankets, " a "Hoover flag" was an empty pocket (no coins) turned inside out and "Hoover leather" was cardboard used to line a shoe when the sole wore through. A “Hoover wagon" was an automobile with horses hitched to it, often with the engine removed.
Herbert Hoover was 1.82 m (5 foot 111/2 inches tall, weighed 220 lbs with a Body Mass index of 27.7, and had a bad posture. He took no interest on his clothing and took a narrow shoe fitting 11.5 AA.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945) served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. Referred to as FDR, he directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. Roosevelt is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves.
Young Franklin grew up at a time when it was common place to dress little boys in girls’ clothing, complete with patent leather party shoes. Considered gender-neutral clothing at the time, boys wore dresses until age 6 or 7, about the same time they had their first haircut.
Franklin D. Roosevelt stood 1.88m (6 ft 2 in) tall and took size 12 shoes.
In 1921. When FDR was 39, he contracted poliomyelitis and was left with incomplete motor paralysis from the waist down, Despite trying numerous therapies he had to spent much of his adult life in a wheelchair. With the help and encouragement of his wife, Eleanor and others he worked to improve his physical and political image. He wore leg braces and taught himself to walk short distances always careful not to be seen in public using his wheelchair. FDR served four terms as President and in 1951, the 22nd Amendment was passed, which limited future presidents to only two terms.
His calm charisma was all the more impressive considering he was wearing heavy metal braces under his clothes to help him cope. He sometimes wore a blue-black cape made of a fine heavyweight wool with a satin lining and velvet-trimmed collar by Lewis & Thos. Saltz of Washington. The stylish cape was less restrictive than a regular dress overcoat, allowing him extra upper arm mobility to support himself.
Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). Truman's administration engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism.
Truman was a dapper president and dressed in impeccably tailored suits. He also owned a total of 96 pairs of size 10 1/2 C fitting shoes. His shoe closet contained many wingtip brogues, spectators as well as classic 7 eyelet, oxford shoes, often cross laced and lined. He got his shoes from several US companies, including Nettleton Syracuse, NY, and Ike Kempner and Brothers Shoe store, as well as from abroad. Always dressed for the occasion the POTUS had colourful canvas sneakers for the beach and patent leather pumps for formal occasions. He was often photographed wearing buckskin white shoes and had five pairs of boots including cowboy boots made by the Athletic Shoe Company of Chicago, and Tony Lama Boots .
By far his most favourite shoes were his house shoes (slippers), and he owned 21 pairs, including a pair of monogrammed (upside down) blue velvet house slippers with leather sole.
Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower (1890–1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. A former five-star general in the United States Army, he never saw a single day of active combat, yet led the Allies to Victory during the Second World War.
During his election campaign he ran against Democratic presidential candidate and Illinois Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson. After the wealthy Stevenson was uncharacteristically photographed wearing shoes with holes in the soles, the image was skilfully used to promote Eisenhower’s campaign.
He stood 1.79 m tall (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in) and wore size 10 D shoes. He preferred to wear conservative (Oxfords) straight tips, although he did own a pair of "El Presidente" style cowboy boot.
Ike became one of the most popular U.S. presidents in history, and he loved golf which made the game so popular, many Americans started to play. Gerald Ford presented President Dwight Eisenhower with a pair of Hush Puppies golf shoes.
Nikita Khrushchev President of the USSR, became the most celebrated shoe banger of the 20th century. He was poorly educated and easily intimidated by intellectual superiority which frequently showed in his uncouth animation during debate. The alleged infamous shoe banging incident occurred at the UN General Assembly meeting in October of 1960. After he was shown U2 "spy plane” photographs implicating USSR “duplicity” in Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev was supposed to have banged his shoe against his desk, with indignation.
The shoe banging incident was reported widely across the globe but ironically did more to avoid global conflict, than the frantic diplomatic arrangements held behind the scene as Kennedy and Khrushchev faced off each other. The shoe banging episode deeply embarrassed the Soviet Union and inevitably led to Khrushchev’s downfall as its leader in 1964. However, his popularity in the West as a character more than likely saved his life and he spent his remaining years in retirement tending his garden like the Godfather.
History can now reveal Khrushchev wore sandals on the eventful day. It was a hot day in New York and he changed his footwear for comfort. During debate in frustration Khrushchev started pounding the table angrily with his fist when his watch fell off. He picked up his shoe and carried on shoe banging. There was no photographic evidence of the event although a fake image of Khrushchev waving a shoe (above) did quickly circulate.
John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) was the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. At age 43, he became the second-youngest man to serve as president (after Theodore Roosevelt), the youngest man to be elected as U.S. president. Unlike his predecessors, Kennedy enjoyed an open relationship with the media, and JFK and Jackie Kennedy became very popular influencing fashion trends and becoming the subjects of numerous photo spreads in popular magazines. The Presidential couple invited a range of artists, writers and intellectuals to rounds of White House dinners, raising the profile of the arts in America. With a core focus on economic growth, civil liberties and equality, as well as space policy and the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy had significant hurdles to overcome in his short tenure as President.
John F. Kennedy was officially 1.83 m (6'1".) tall and weighed approx. 172 pounds. Privately he was obsessed with his weight and always travelled with his own bathroom scales. Kennedy’s height too is not so clear. When he was 18, he stated on his passport he was 5’11” tall, then later he became 6’ until eventually as President, he became 6’1”. Although it has never been confirmed, President Kennedy may have worn elevator shoes to look taller.
Kennedy was also the first President not to wear a dress hat, His jackets were slim cut single breasted, with two-button fastening, ventless, and sometimes with a little shoulder padding, slim notched lapels and flapped jacket pockets. His jackets often had four cuff buttons. Best described as dapper Jack, he was often outfitted by Brook Brothers, Kennedy had two lives, as the serious politician and privately as the fun loving father and rebel rouser. During his time in office, he wore only states manly, dark blue of grey suits Usually sold colours but occasionally with a pinstripe. He wore slim cut trousers without pleats or turn-ups. His shorts were plain and always worn with slim line silk ties.
He wore size 10 D shoes and preferred classic wingtips for public duties, and off duty, he wore more fashionable casual styles. According to Rossi (1976), JFK had an affinity for smartly styled shoes and owned more than thirty-five (35) pairs. Senator Kennedy ponce confided to his Massachusetts’s shoe maker “At times I find myself in a hell of a dilemma. I like fashionable shoes, sexy looking shoes, but, in my position, I have to worry about my dammed image.”
Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–1973) served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969. He assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. LBJ was 1.92 m (6 ft 3 1⁄2 in) tall and had different sized feet. His left foot measured 11D; and his right was 11.5 D. He required specially designed shoes to accommodate the difference and walked with a slight a pigeon-toed gait. LBJ owned at least three pairs of shoes made by Johnston & Murphy.
The President came from Texas and maintained a genuine love of the rural hill country. Sometimes he was photographed wearing cowboy hat and boots made by bootmakers, Lucchese . The company supplied him with several pairs of handmade boots over his lifetime, and so too his wife, “Lady Bird” Johnson. He also gave Lucchese boots to JFK’s three-year-old daughter, Caroline. In 1966, LBJ invited Sam and his son Cosimo Lucchese to the LBJ Ranch for a private boot fitting. He was also supplied with "El Presidente" boots by the Tony Lama Company . Johnson wore his boots at his ranch in Texas as well as around the world from Vietnam to Australia but never in the Oval Office. There he preferred his black calfskin slip-ons.
Over the years Sam and LBJ became good friends and when in 1972, former President was in the hospital, Sam Lucchese sent him a get-well message encouraging the president to “get back in the saddle.” Johnston replied, “I trust that you know that when I am able to do that, it will be in a pair of Lucchese boots.”
Socially LBJ liked to put on his dancing shoes and was equally adept at the waltz, polka, samba, rhumba or even the Watusi and Frug. The tall, Texan moved gracefully when it was on the polished East Room parquet floor. There was even a dance named after this POTUS called the “Johnson Jump.” In 1964, his oldest daughter Luci Baines Johnson, shared her father’s love for dancing and danced the Watusi with Steve McQueen.
Behind closed doors, Lyndon B. Johnson was also a course man and liked to dominate his White House subordinates. Anyone who came into contact with him was at risk of encountering a spectacle of burping, farting, nose-picking and crotch-scratching. Johnson had no sense of personal space and treated conversation particularly with female colleagues as a creepy hands-on affair. He frequently used folksy aphorisms that were crude, sometimes racist, and often weird. In the end, his inability to control the Vietnam War destroyed his administration and wrecked his legacy. In mid-1965, Johnson was seen and over heard, moodily strolling on the grounds of the White House, cursing: “I don’t know what the fuck to do about Vietnam.”
Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) was the 37th President of the United States from 1969 to 1974. Nixon ended American involvement in the war in Vietnam in 1973 and brought the American POWs home, and ended the military draft. Nixon's visit to China in 1972 eventually led to diplomatic relations between the two nations and he initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union the same year. His administration generally transferred power from Washington D.C. to the states. Nixon is one of only three U.S. presidents against whom articles of impeachment have been reported to the full House for consideration. With his political support completely eroded, Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974. The impeachment process against Nixon is the only one resulting in the departure from office of its target.
As President, he assumed the worst in people and brought out the worst in them. Privately, Nixon was a complex character very secretive, shy and found small talk difficult. He distanced himself from people and was formal in all aspects, wearing a coat and tie even when home alone.
Richard Nixon was 1.8 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in) tall and took size 11.5 D shoes and wore traditional black wingtip until they wore out. He had them sent back to the shoe maker to have them repaired and they always sent him a brand-new pair. During the 1960s The Frye Company made him a pair of cusstom boots.
For recreation Nixon, used the bowling alley originally installed in the White House by Harry Truman. That alley was moved in 1955, and Nixon ordered a new lane be built underground under the North Portico entrance and favored the new location because it was more private than the lanes that were open to other staffers. Nixon reportedly bowled a respectable 232.
Gerald Ford Jnr (1913–2006) was the 38th President of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. After the resignation of Richard Nixon, Ford as Vice President, immediately assumed the presidency. His 895 day-long presidency is the shortest in U.S. history for any president who did not die in office. Ford may not be remembered for sweeping changes during his presidency, but assumed the office at a time when the last thing America needed more unrest. In the wake of Watergate, Ford's quiet, calm presence was perhaps the best thing for the U.S. And his pardon of Nixon, while unpopular at the time, helped put the nation back on the road to recovery.
As an undergraduate he excelled at football and could have become a professional player. Ford’s first love was a fashion model called Phyllis Brown. She persuaded Ford to invest in a modelling agency and to do some modelling himself. Together they appeared in ski resort spread of Look magazine (1940) and on a cover of Cosmopolitan (1942). Ultimately, the pair broke up.and Ford gave up modelling to pursue a law career. When he eventually proposed to his wife, Betty (nee Bloomer), he was wearing one brown & one black shoe.
Gerald Ford stood 1.8m (6 ft 0 in) tall and took size 9 1/2 D shoes . He liked wearing chukka boots and loafers with tassels.
James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was viewed as a sincere, honest, and well-meaning Southerner and aspired to make Government “competent and compassionate,” and responsive to the expectations of the American people. Continuing difficult relationships with Congress meant he was unable to convert his plans into legislation, despite his initial popularity.
As president, Carter sought to portray himself as a man of the people, dressing informally and adopting a folksy speaking style. He stands 1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in) tall and takes size 11 shoe and when in office, unlike some Presidents who accepted gifts from shoe makers President Jimmy Carter, always paid for his shoes.
After he retired and returned to his own farm, has continues to live in a modest life style, compared to other former Presidents. Recently, he auctioned off a pair of size 10 Rockport sneakers, among other items, to raise money for The Carter Centre, the global non-profit organization he founded in 1982. Jimmy Carter was given the white running shoes in 1999 by former Reebok International CEO Paul Fireman. Carter, was an avid runner, wore them until 2004. The sneakers were signed on the top and came written a short note describing their history. The sneakers are mounted in a wooden shadowbox and accompanied by a framed and autographed colour photograph of Carter jogging in a pair of navy-blue kicks. According to the Carter Centre auction catalogue, this lot was valued at $1,500.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to this , the former screen idol was and union leader was the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Despite the continuing debate surrounding his legacy, many conservative and liberal scholars agree Reagan became the most influential president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, leaving his imprint on American politics, diplomacy, culture, and economics through his effective communication and pragmatic compromising. He rehabilitated conservatism, turned the nation to the right, practiced a considerably pragmatic conservatism that balanced ideology and the constraints of politics, revived faith in the presidency and in American exceptionalism, and contributed to victory in the Cold War.
He stood 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) tall and took a shoe size 10.5 B US. Ronald Reagan's father was at one time a shoe salesman for Allen Edmonds . The shoemakers made his shoes for his inauguration and he wore black oxford-style shoes made in stylish quality leather with stacked heels and a flash of blue on the sole,
The former actor liked to wear cowboy boots and accepted four pairs of 14-karat gold inlaid cowboy boots made by Tony Lama Jr. The boots were worth $1,000-a-pair, and caused much consternation among his critics at the time. He was also gifted a pair by his friend and fellow actor. Rex Allen .
These boots were made from American black quill ostrich, cowhide and, had the the Seal of the President of the United States, hand-tooled in 14-karat gold and American bullfrog skin. They were later auctioned to benefit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute. The boots were estimated to sell between for $10,000 to $20,000. His boots were sold for $199,500.
At his funeral procession., a riderless horse ("Sergeant York") with his personal boots reversed in the stirrups followed the caisson carrying Reagan's flag-draped casket. . Traditionally, the reversed boots in the stirrups, represent a fallen commander looking back on his troops for the last time. Abraham Lincoln was the first President of the United States to be officially honoured by the inclusion of the riderless horse in his funeral cortege,
George H. W. Bush, (1924 - 2018) was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. When he turned 18, he was supposed to enrol at Yale, but instead, pulled strings to join the Naval Reserve and became the youngest navy pilot in history. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, and flew 58 combat missions. Against most expectations, he climbed to the top of the greasy political pole, and made a real impact on international politics at a moment of dangerous transition. As a major public figure whose style exuded gentlemanly values, and steered the US and its allies successfully through the collapse of communism and coordinated support for the reunification of Germany. Then he organised a triumphant international response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. George Bush lost his bid for a second term to, Bill Clinton. He was widely seen as a "pragmatic caretaker" president who lacked a unified and compelling long-term theme in his efforts.
He stood 1.88m (6′ 2″) tall and took size 11 shoes. Ronald Reagan convinced him to wear Allen Edmonds’ shoes, at his 1989 Inauguration. George Bush chose oxford-style shoes with black cap toes.
In recognition of President George H. W. Bush's inauguration in 1989, the Lucchese Boot Company of El Paso made the President a pair of goatskin boots.
He also received boots made by Loveless boots . He was given six pairs of custom cowboy boots from 1990. One pair, had nicotine full quill ostrich bottoms, and dark brown smooth ostrich tops with the Presidential Seal stitched in the tops.
As a young man he was a particularly good tennis player and could have taken it up professionally but his main love was golf, and like his father, Prescott Bush, he was a good golfer.
Whilst a preppy dresser in office, George Bush continued to set fashion standards into his retirement with an array of fancy colourful socks. Latterly he was confined to a wheelchair, but during his many public outings gave an ideal photo opportunity to show off his fancy hose. He always professed to be a self-proclaimed sock man and wrote, ‘the louder, the brighter, the crazier the pattern - the better.’
The former President’s love for looney socks was not lost and led a friendship with an entrepreneur with Down syndrome who started his own sock company. John Cronin, the co-founder of John's Crazy Socks , sent the former president 41 pairs, and received a lovely thank you note and a pair of his own socks in return. George H W Bush also joined many others and wore a pair of John's Crazy Socks to support World Down Syndrome Day.
When Barbara Bush died, his office contacted John's Crazy Socks to ask if they had anything suitable to pay homage to the former first lady. The company returned 20 pairs of socks for him and his family that would honour Barbara Bush’s commitment to literacy. The now famous book socks sold out and 100 percent of the profits went to the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation.
George H W Bush died aged 94 in 2018 and was sent on his final resting place wearing socks that paid tribute to his lifetime of service.
William Jefferson Clinton (born 1946) served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. At age 46, he became the third-youngest president and the first from the Baby Boomer generation. Although he was a Democrat, Clinton was more moderate in his policies than other Democrats have been in the past. He ran two terms but after the 1998 elections, the House impeached Clinton, alleging perjury and obstruction of justice related to the Lewinsky scandal. Bill Clinton was the second president in US history to be impeached. The Senate later acquitted Clinton on both charges.
Like his two predecessors, he wore black cap toe, oxford-style shoes made by Allen Edmonds, to his inauguration. Bill Clinton is 1.88 m (6ft 2 inches) tall and takes size 13 shoes.
Along with his classic shoes, Bill Clinton ordered a pair of blue suede shoes from Johnston & Murphy to practice his saxophone. Although he is not wearing them here, he can play the saxophone.
The "Comeback Kid" liked his cowboy boots and had several pairs made for him while in office. Like Reagan, he had a pair of "El Presidente" boots, and in 1995, Rocky Carroll, owner the legendary RJ's Boot Company in Houston, prior to his recent demise, custom made cowboy boots for President Bill Clinton, Carroll made cowboy boots for seven United States Presidents
In office , Bill Clinton kept himself fit and enjoyed running for recreation.
He wore two kinds of running shoes: New Balance model 1500 athletic shoes, size 12EE, made in Maine with the words “Mr. President” stitched in them; and Asics GT-2 sneakers, which were made in Asia and retail for about $50. The manufacturers gifted these to the POTUS.
After leaving office in 2001, Bill Clinton has remained in the background and quietly involved himself in many causes, including fighting global warming, childhood obesity, and the AIDS epidemic. He teamed up with former President George H. W. Bush to raise money for victims of the 2004 tsunami that hit South Asia, as well as victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
After his heart surgery in 20014, Larry King gave Bill Clinton a pair of cowboy boots.
George Walker Bush (born, 1946) was the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. He became the fourth person to be elected president while receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent. George W Bush was both one of the most popular and unpopular U.S. presidents in history, having received the highest recorded presidential approval ratings in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, as well as one of the lowest approval ratings during the 2008 financial crisis. policy, and treatment of terrorist detainees. Over an eight-year period, his high approval ratings steadily declined, while his disapproval numbers increased significantly. Despite the Bush administration frequently and vigorously denied that the United States practiced torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross (2004) found significant numbers of prisoners at Guantánamo were interrogated by means of techniques that were “tantamount to torture.” His Vice President was Richard ‘Dick’ Cheney (born 1941) and served from 2001 to 2009. Cheney was a Machiavellian character often cited as the most powerful vice president in American history and among the least favoured politicians in the history of the US. American politics reverberates still from the Bush Cheney era footprint and has has been ranked among the worst in surveys of presidential scholars published in the late 2000s and 2010s.
George W. Bush was a wild child born into a wealthy family and he enjoyed drinking as a young man. It was Laura, his wife who he credits, brought his life back into order. He gave up drinking and became a devoted Christian. George W Bush succeeded in coming across to his supporters as a down home Texas boy, a born-again Christian at ease in cowboy boots and speaking with an authentic twang. He rose to become the Governor of Texas, but never quite lost his larrikin spirit. He once attended a White House reception sporting an elegant pair of cowboy boots made from black eel skin with the state seal, Texas flag, as well as his initials clearly visible. Her Royal Highness, The Queen was also at the reception and so impressed with his finery it is reported she gave the him a knowing wink.
Bush was elected Governor of Texas in 1994 and served as Governor until 2000. When he became the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers he had hand-made boots with their logo made, by the late Rocky Carroll. He was comfortable wearing cowboy boot whilst in office and had pairs made for him by several boot makers, including Loveless.
Like his father before him, George Bush wore oxford style shoes made by Allen Edmonds to his Inauguration. He is 1.8m (5ft 11” ) tall and takes size 10 -10.5 shoe.
George W. Bush enjoyed running and wore Nike Air Challenge Pro Lows when he was younger days, but also wore Adidas, Asics and Mizunos trainers.
George W Bush was a shoe watcher and when he met Pope Benedict XVI, he was impressed with the Pope’s shoes, the Pontiff ordered a pair for him as a present from his shoemaker Adriano Stefanelli .
The main and lasting association between, President George W Bush and shoes relates not to those he wore on his feet, but instead to the shoes he dodged , when people stood up and throw theirs at him. In Arab tradition, shoes were used to protect feet from the environments and are considered unclean. Hence shoes are removed before entering a place of worship. Shoe banging (or shoe intifada) represents violation and demonstratively shows deep insult. To point a shoe at someone or hit them (or their image) means to direct impurity and pollution in their direction. The action is not to do physical harm to the individual but to remind all there is a greater judgment and the object of scorn should suffer the indignity of the most demeaning punishment possible. The shoe as an insult is used in other cultures too for instance in India and Pakistan unpopular politicians are regularly garlanded with shoes and paraded down the streets. The term “Jooté maro!" (hit him with shoes) is common enough parlance.
In recent years shoe throwing (or shoeing) has become a trend in protest. Since former US president George W Bush was pelted in Iraq in December 2008, shoe protests have been reported. Little did the Iraq journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi know his shoe throwing protest would become such a powerful political gesture such as to match the hunger strike (Gandhi) or blanket protests (Northern Ireland) of previous decades. The exit from the Whitehouse by George W Bush was commemorated by a giant shoe-throwing extravaganza by anti-Bush rallyists who gathered in front of a nearly two-story-tall effigy of Bush. Just below the inflatable Bush’s belt was a sign reading “Give Bush the Boot!” Shoes of all denomination rebounded from the blow up trampoline like figure. Shoe-throwing protesters also pelted the street near the British prime minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London. Between 12 and 60,000 angry demonstrators marched and hurled footwear across barriers chanting "Shame on you, have my shoe," as a mark of protest against Israel’s bombing of the Palestinians in Gaza.
Barack Obama (born, 1961) served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He was the first African American to be elected to the presidency and during his term in office, America's reputation in global polling significantly improved. The Congressional Republicans vowed to block his entire agenda whch made it difficult for Barack Obama to achieve all he set out to do but independent evaluations of his presidency among historians and the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. In 2009 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
He is 1.85 m. (6' 1'' ) tall and takes size 12 shoes and at his 2009 inauguration, he broke the Reagan tradition and wore Cole-Haan’s dress shoes. Allen’s had hoped he would choose their shoes and in anticipation, sent the White House two pairs, but the New Commander in Chief chose not to wear them. Cole - Haan was owned by Nike founder, Phil Knight.
Barack Obama was the epitome of conservative style as President and wore well-tailored, slim-line suits in grey or blue. He kept himself fit in office and training daily in the White House Work Out Room.
On the one occasion in 2014, when Barack Obama wore a beige suit, he was heavily criticized by the conservative media for braking his own dress code.
Barack Obama was particular about his feet and knew what was comfortable. When campaigning, he regularly wore his favourite dress shoes until they had holes in the soles. Shoemakers, Johnston & Murphy made him a pair of square-toed oxford shoes and a pair of handmade boots similar in a similar style to Abraham Lincoln.
As part of his regular exercise, the Commander in Chief regularly played in a pickup basketball game with former pros. For play he seemed to prefer Nike and ASICS. Several sneaker companies gave him cool kicks, including New Balance with personalised M990s. Under Armor, and Allbirds.
Steph Curry honoured Barack Obama’s last days in office by playing in UA Curry 3 shoes with the official Presidential seal on the tongue and the number ’44’ stitched into the inner tongue lining, and the President’s signature on the red outsole
Barack Obama is the only President to have inspired custom designed sneakers. Van Taylor Monroe, III, is a custom designer and fashioned custom designed sneakers.
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