While Dwight Eisenhower worried over his state of the Union message, Dr. Howard Snyder, the new White House physician, worried over the state of a presidential cold. No more than a sniffle, without a temperature, it still called for three days of relative isolation. The Chief Executive spent a good part of his workaday hours in the study off his bedroom, pondering and polishing his address to Congress.

He was all right again and seeing callers by Friday, which happened to be his first payday. His first check from the Treasury, about $1,800, for the period from Jan. 20 through...

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