AN AMAZING FACT: President Grover Cleveland personally answered the White House telephone.
In one of the United States’ most controversial presidential campaigns ever, Grover Cleveland narrowly won the 1884 election and became the first Democratic president after the Civil War.
Cleveland disliked showing special favor to any group. When a bill was passed granting aid to drought-stricken farmers in Texas, Cleveland vetoed it because he thought such aid fostered an expectation of “paternal care” by the government and “weakened our national character.” To criticism that his tough policies would work against his reelection, Cleveland retorted, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?” Sure enough, he lost in 1888, but won again in 1892, still the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
Despite his controversial campaign and tough reputation, New Jersey-born Cleveland was an ordinary man. A bachelor when he first entered office, Cleveland is one of only three presidents to marry while in office—and the only one to do so in the White House. His five children kept pet canaries, a mockingbird, and a dog. And Cleveland liked to answer the White House telephone himself.
President Cleveland had discovered a cancerous growth on the roof of his mouth. But in case the illness might cause the public to panic, Cleveland snuck aboard a boat over the Fourth of July holiday with several doctors, who surgically removed the cancer. For five days virtually no one knew where the President really was; the truth wasn’t revealed until nine years after his death.
Like President Cleveland, God answers anytime we call. In fact, He promises to hear and listen. (Jeremiah 29:12). And unlike President Cleveland could be, the Psalms promise that God is always on the job.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. - Psalm 91:15
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. - Psalm 121:3-4
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