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Letters From Readers - August 2012 American History

Originally published by American History magazine. Published Online: May 29, 2012 
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Omnipresent Jefferson
The June 2012 "By the Numbers" section stated that Thomas Jefferson favored a single, seven-year term for the president. However, the article "Power Play" (April 2012), about the Constitutional Convention, made no mention of this. Because Jefferson was in France during the convention, it would have been impossible for him to participate in the debate about presidential terms. Am I missing something?
Rick Hundley
North Fork, Calif.

Jefferson was sent a copy of the Constitution after the convention adjourned. Annoyed that it did not spell out the president's term of office, he wrote to James Madison on December 20, 1787, "The first magistrate will always be re-elected if the Constitution permits it. He is then an officer for life." During Virginia's ratifying convention in 1788, Jefferson wrote that the president "should be elected for seven years, and incapable for ever after." In 1813, Jefferson admitted that "I prefer the Presidential term of four years, to that of seven years…annexing to it, however, ineligibility forever after." Ironically, Jefferson himself had already served two four-year terms.

Lucky Mickey
The April 2012 Gazette noted the rediscovery of the 1928 Disney cartoon Hungry Hoboes, starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. You also state that Walt Disney came up with Mickey Mouse after losing the rights to Oswald. You are correct that Disney's studio begat Mickey, but it was Ub Iwerks, animation's "forgotten man," who first drew him.
T. Alexander Nero
Hyde Park, N.Y.


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