Page 4-Thursday, March 27, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. XC, No. 139
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
The Fishbowl: Part II
HEWi IT LOOKS as if a rather
fishy Michigan Student Assem-
bly (MSA) plan has been thrown back
into the pond of poor ideas.
Unfortunately, however, MSA mem-
bers may only have paused to search
for a different lure.
Late Tuesday night, Assembly
members decided not to spend $15,000
in student money (in part raised from
the mandatory $2.92 student gover-
nment fee assessment) on renovation
of the Angell Hall Fishbowl - at least
for the time being.
Instead, the Assembly voted to sup-
port "an improvement of the Fish-
bowl" (which could include in-
stallation of benches, dividing walls,
and glass display cases) and to con-
tinue discussions with the University
on funding for the project. According-
to MSA supporters of the improvemen-
ts, University Vice-President and
Chief Financial Officer James
Brinkerhoff has already promised
University . support amounting to
$15,000, or half of the estimated project
While MSA is to be congratulated for
delaying a decision on expenditure of
student funds for a gratuitous project,
any praise must be tempered.
Something still smells fishy.
By continuing their endorsement of
the Fishbowl plan, Assembly members
have refused to address its three fun-
First, improvements to University
buildings should not be funded with
student government monies. A portion
of our ever-rising tuitions is designated
for capital improvements on the cam-
pus. If MSA spends student money on
renovations of a University building -
money which could be used for in-
creased allocations to student groups,
or directed toward student projects,
such as course evaluations - students
are effectively paying twice for capital
Second, even if the University were
to assume the full cost of the Fishbowl
improvements, the $30,000 expenditure
could not be justified. "In a time of
severe budget cutbacks, not to mention
rapidly deteriorating University
facilities (e.g., the Chemistry
Building), a few ,tables, chairs, and
display cases are quite expendable.
Finally, thousands' of University
students rarely come near the Fish-
bowl. Medical school students,
engineering students, law students,
music students - the list continues.
For MSA to consider spending student
funds - collected from all students on
this cam pus- on a project that would
chiefly benefit LSA students is
Let's press our MSA representatives
- some of whom seem overly concer-
ned with political image-building
projects - to cancel this fishing ex-
pedition. Or let's vote them out of of-
fice on April 8 and 9.
I wish I were getting a piece of the action instead of being a piece of it!"
Is the. next president cursed?
Kennedy, Bush could force
rivals todeawith issues
As election day approaches, prominent
candidates of both parties are jockeying for
position in the race to unseat incumbent
Jimmy Carter. ,
It is clearly evident that none of the can-
didates puts much faith in superstition or the
inevitability of certain types of coincidence.
Any candidate who did would withdraw from
THE REASON IS a 140 year-old "curse" that
the man elected to office of president of the
United States in a year that begins a decade.
(i.e., 1840, 1860) will not live to see the end of
his term of office.
It began back in 1840, when William Henry
Harrison, a Whig from Ohio, defeated Martin
Van Buren of New York to become the ninth
president. At the presidential inauguration,
March 4, 1841, Harrison refused to wear a hat
or coat and caught cold during the ceremony.
The cold soon became pneumonia and just 32
days into his term, he died. He thus became
the first victim of this unusual series of
Nearly twenty years later, in the election of
1860, a 52-year-old Republican from the state
of Illinois was elected president. His name
was Abraham Lincolm and he survived :his.
first four years in office. However, shortly af-
ter defeating Democrat George McClellan fora
reelection in 1864, Lincoln's life came to a
tragic end. On April 14, 1865, just 42 days into
his second term, he was shot to death in the
Ford Theatere by actor John Wilkes Booth.
OF ALL THE Presidents elected in these
decade-beginning years, Lincoln would en-
dure the greatest interval before succumbing
to the curse-4 years and 42 days.
In 1880, when incumbent Rutherford B.
Hayes decided' not to ,run again, the
Republicans nominated James Garfield, a 49-
year-old Ohioan, to take his place. The
Democrats chose Winfield Scott Hancock, '
and after a very close race, Garfield was elec-
ted the 20th President.
He began his term on March 4, 1881, but did
not live to see it through. On July 2, 1881, after
199 days in office, Garfield was shot while
boarding a train at the Baltimore and
Potomic Railway Depot in Washington, D.C.
The assassin was Charles Julius Guiteau, a
snubbed office-seekert, who had wanted to be
appointed United States Consul to Paris.
By Mark Wilson
GARFIELD BEGAN TO recover, but later
developed blood poisoning and died on Sep-
The next decade-beginning election year
began the 20th century. The victor in the 1900
election was William McKinley, a 54-year-old
Republican, again from the state of Ohio.
was serving in his state's senate. Like Garfeld.
and McKinley, Harding was a Republican
from Ohio and in 1920 he became the 29th
President by defeating Democrat James
Cox. Harding lasted 2 years and 151 days (un-
til Aug. 2, 1923) before he died of apoplexy
(rupture of the brain artery), pneumonia,
enlargement of the heart, and high blood
pressure. The curse carried on.
.The next year was 1940 and the man in
power was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He
began serving as President in 1933 and wa
reelected in 1936 and 1940. He lived through
that term and was subsequently re-elected to
an unprecedented fourth term in 1944.
By then, Roosevelt, a Democrat from' New
York, was 78 years old and had been president
for 12 years. After his fourth inauguration on
March 4, 1945, he lived only 39 days into the
next term. F.D.R., who died of a cerebral
hemorrhage, had lived four years and 39 days
after his 1940 re-election term began-just
three days short of Lincoln's record.
Finally, there was John F. Kennedy, the
35th President. He was a 43-year-old
Massachusetts Democrat when he defeated
Republican Richard Nixon in the 1960 election
by slightly more than 100,000 votes.
KENNEDY, LIKE THE rest, diedin office.
On November 22, 1963, while in an automobile
procession through the streets of Dallas,
Texas, Kennedy was shot and killed by (most
believe) Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald himself
was shot two days later by strip joint owner
Kennedy had occupied the White House for
two years and 306 days, from January 20, 1961
until November 22, 1963. The "curse" con-
Of the eight presidents who have died in of-
fice, seven were elected in decade-beginning
years. The eighth, Zachary Taylor (elected in
1848), died in the decade-beginning year of
As for 1980, it is interesting to note that the
likely Republican nominee, Ronald Reagan,.,
would be the oldest 'president ever, if elec
ted. Upon his inauguration, he would be 69,
years old, surpassing William H. Harrison's
mark of 68 years, 23 days.
Does history hold the key to the future?
Mark Wilson is a Daily general assign-
- BASIC PRINCIPLE of the free
market economy-that com-
petition breeds quality and produc-
tivity-has other applications too.
National politics is one area where
competition could do quite a bit of
Until Tuesday, it looked as if the
remaining primaries would be idle
exercise. The press, pundits, and a
large part of the public had all but con-
ceded the Democratic and
Republican primaries to Jimmy Car-
ter and Ronald Reagan, respectively.
But the New York and Connecticut
primaries have brought new interest
into the picture-if not real danger to
the frontrunners. Ted Kennedy's cam-
paign, which since Massachusetts had
hardly been mentioned without the
modifier "faltering," was revived by
his victory in Connecticut, and
especially in the crucial Empire State.
George Bush took his home state, and an
uncommitted "Stop Reagan" slate did
surprisingly well in New York.
The upsets can only have a positive
effect on the campaign rhetoric. The
president's loss in New York has been
attributed to the doubts of the Jewish
electorate about Carter's commitment
to Israel (owing to the U.N. vote) and
about his competence in general. The
impact of Carter's inflation programs
on the welfare of New York City was
another consideration that lent
credence to Kennedy's criticisms of his
On the Republican side, Reagan
might be forced by the renewed threat
from Bush to assess and defend some
of his more extreme positions, such as
his militaristic leanings and support of
drastic tax cuts. For quite a while, the
ex-governor has been sliding by with
only his popularity counting as an im-
portant campaign issue.
The frontrunners' opponents are
still too far behind to be regarded as
serious threats to the current status
quo, but the indication that they have
any chance, however small, to over-
come their deficits will probably lead
the campaign rhetoric onto loftier
Perhaps Bush's momentum,
Reagan's age, and Kennedy's love life
will recede asamajor points of con-
troversy in favor of substantive
questions about the direction the
nation will take for the next decade.
McKinley began his second term on March 4,
1901, but he too was felled by an assassin s
bullet in September of that same year. This
time it was at the Pan American Exposition in
Buffalo, New York, and the assassin was an
anarchist factory worker named Leon
McKinley died on September 14 and
Czolgosz was electrocuted on October 29, 1901.
DURING THIS TIME, Warren G. Harding
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Israeli denial of human rights hit
To the Daily:
Two West Bank mayors were
scheduled to speak in Ann Arbor
Thursday night, but Mayors
Bassam Shaka of Nablus and
Muhammad Milhem of Halhul
were denied permission by the
Israeli military government to
leave the occupied West Bank in
order to participate in a series of
scheduled public forums in the
United States which were to
begin March 17.
This action constitutes a most
flagrant violation of human
rights and clearly exemplifies the
systematic intimidation and per-
secution of the Israeli military
government against the elected
leadership of the Palestinians in
the West Bank and Gaza. This
persecution is not directed
towards the mayors only but
towards all the Palestinians in
the West Bank and Gaza through
continuous denial of their
national identity and basic
human rights-a denial which is
clearly exemplified by the con-
fiscation of lands owned by
Palestinians in Jerusalem last
week. All of this continuous
persecution is a pianed policy of
the Israeli government intended
to destroy the Palestinian
Henceforth, we, as Americans,
condemn all attempts by Israel to
restrict the travel of Palestinian
leaders and we condemn Israeli's
denying the Palestinians their
We urge all to come hear Dr.
Israel Shahak, president of the
Israeli League for Civil Rights,
speak Thursday night on this
issue..Initially he was scheduled
to speak on the same platform as
the mayors, but the Israeli
military government cancelled,
in effect, the mayors' appearan-
ce in AnnArbor.
Evaluations are serious
To the Daily;
In response to your past ar-
ticles concerning course
evaluations, I feel that there is a
definite need for evaluations to be
taken more seriously. Course
evaluations, in a more personal
form, can be helpful in improving
University education. The
problem, however, is that few
seem to recognize the positive ef-
fect that course evaluations can
I have inferred from the article
(Daily, March 20) that many
professors and administrators
doubt the integrity of the student
highly concerned with the quality
of their education and in turn,
would try to promote those
classes they find valuable as well
as try to improve the classes that
lack the charisma essential form
motivating students to learn.
Student opinions should be
considered more sincerely. When
this occurs, students will
recognize their position and the
responsibility they have. It is im-
portant for students to see them-
selves as capable, honest, and
serious individuals and not just
one massive body existing solely
for the attainment of a degree.
Peace celebration set
h'' ',< y 1
K WI t .
To the Daily:
March 26 marks the first an-
niversary of the signing of the
Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.
For the nast twelve mnnths hoth
committed to a peaceful alter-
native to further war and terror.
On Thursday, March 27 at 9:00
p.m. in the Conference Room 1 in