Happy Birthday George Boole, James K. Polk and Marie Antoinette
So many birthdays. Such cakes (“let them eat cakes”). So many candles.
I know far too many mathematicians to dare to say anything about George Boole, born today in 1815.
It’s also the 221st birthday of James J. Polk, whose achievements have been so deftly summarised by They Might Be Giants – past masters of the important art of being able to combine melody with dense, well-researched factual detail.
Seek out this song and you’ll be singing it all day
In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Lewis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump
Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
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