RUSH: Last Monday, this past Monday, the new federal courthouse in my hometown, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, was dedicated to my grandfather, Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh, Sr., he’s now known as. It was an hour-and-a-half ceremony, and I have three sound bites from one of the speeches. This particular speech was made by my uncle, Steve Limbaugh, Sr. He is a retired federal judge, district judge, for the Eastern District of Missouri, and we had a great weekend. We had a dinner on Sunday night. Senator Kit Bond was there and the Congressman for that area, Jo Ann Emerson was there; and then the ceremony took place at 10:30 in front of the courthouse on Monday.
But I want to play these excerpts from the speech by my uncle for a host of reasons. One, it was one of the greatest tributes to my grandfather. We’ve spoken about him on this program throughout the years. He lived to be 104, as a lawyer, and worked up until the time he was 102. But in this first bite — and this really hit me, ’cause I always cringe when I hear people (and you heard me say this) talk about how tough times are. I’ve talked about how our parents and grandparents, they had it tough. They went through the Great Depression. They had to fight World War II and the Korean War. They had to fight the Cold War and take on the Soviets and so forth. Our lives have been pretty cushy by comparison. We’ve had to invent our traumas. So here’s the first of three. I appreciate your indulging me on this. This is my uncle, again, from Monday morning in Cape Girardeau.
LIMBAUGH: Dad grew up, was born in 1891 on a farm in Bollinger County about 25 miles west of here. There were seven members of the family, four boys and three girls. Two of the girls died of consumption — what it was called then — tuberculosis. The four boys and their sister remained. Their father died at age 47. Dad was the youngest. He was only seven years of age at that time. We talk about the hardships and difficulties, economically, that we have today. In 1891 and the latter part of that century and the early ten years of the next century, times on the farm in the country were difficult.
There was no electricity, no plumbing. There was really no refrigeration except what they might improvise on their own. The water came from on high into cisterns. The farm implements were simply muscle and a team of mules; and rather unusual, antiquated farm machinery. The ladies did all of the housework. They milked the cows. They rendered lard. They made all of the clothes. The men did the farming and all of the extremely hard work, with the help of the ladies. And they all managed to survive and make something of themselves. Life was frugal and Spartan and difficult in those days. We can’t imagine growing up in this kind of era.
RUSH: My uncle Steve Limbaugh, who is 82, by the way, just retired from the federal bench, at the dedication of the new United States Courthouse named after my grandfather in Cape Girardeau this Monday. Here’s more.
LIMBAUGH: One of the great virtues that dad possessed — some of which was just natural and some of which was acquired — was his memory. At 12, he recited the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural. I remember when I first started practicing law in the fifties with dad, one day he said, ‘What day is this?’ And I said, ‘It’s the 7th of March.’ ‘Of course!’ And with that, he began the recitation of the opening Daniel Webster Seventh of March speech before the Senate, (laughter) which was credited with postponing the Civil War for ten years. And you remember Webster approached his colleagues in the Senate, and he said something that is always plagiarized today by so many of us. ‘I come to you, my colleagues, not as a Bostonian, not as a Massachusetts man. I do not come to you as a New Englander. But I come to you as an American.’ And after hearing that, then dad went on for another five minutes reciting part of his speech. (laughter)
RUSH: Here’s the final bite. The speech went on for about 20 minutes. These are just a couple, three excerpts from it. Again, this is my uncle, Stephen Limbaugh, Sr., on Monday in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, at the courthouse dedication.
LIMBAUGH: Another time during the President Nixon debacle, I was talking with dad about it, and he said, ‘Yes, that reminds me of the great impeachment trial of Warren Hastings and Sir Edmund Burke. Warren Hastings was the Governor General of India, and he was impeached before the House of Commons for high crimes and misdemeanors. And at the end of the impeachment trial, Sir Edmund Burke — one of the most magnificent lawyers of the time — gave an hour-and-a half summation at the impeachment trial, and, lo and behold, dad began to recite it. (laughter)
RUSH: All this is true. When we were growing up, we’d be over at his house and he would recite these things and give us history lessons and so forth. He was just a dedicated lawyer. He worked all the time, day and night, six days a week. Sunday was for church. He was absorbed with the law. He loved it. It defined him, along with his family and his wife and my grandmother. He just had this love and absorption with history that… I think it’s probably ’cause of him that I really didn’t need to do well in school, because by the time I got to school I knew more history than I was going to be taught in five or six years.