President’s day

Today is President’s day in the US. It is a holiday. Most companies observe it and the kids are not in school. We are celebrating the elected leaders of this country, but by no means all of them. We pick only a select few that we like.
The holiday started as Washington’s birthday and clearly, the first President is the celebrated main event of this holiday. Lincoln also gets a mention and Jefferson is also in there somewhere. So that would include the first, the sixteenth and the third President, respectively.
The US has had 43 Presidents and the 44th is in office right now. I have yet to see an inclusive President’s day that celebrates all of them. Most of them have sunken into the dark folds of forgotten history.
For example, how many people know anything about President John Tyler, who apparently left his party six months after he got elected and went on for three and a half years as President with no party affiliation whatsoever and no Vice President to boot?
Also, if I asked you who the 19th President of the US was, would you be able to tell me it was Rutherford B. Hayes without any hesitation?
Maybe you could tell me who the three Presidents before Theodore Roosevelt were? They were Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley.
It would impress me very much, if you knew any of those, because that would mean that you went out on your own to learn these names and facts.
The school system and popular culture only focusses on those Presidents who held office in the most turbulent times. There is a focus on Presidential highlights. The Presidents who just went to lead the country trough ordinary times do not get that much of a mention and are soon forgotten. I find that a tad unfair. There are some interesting dudes among them.


About scratchingcat

Writer, mother, friend.
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One Response to President’s day

  1. I think most schools taught about all the presidents… I learned about all the presidents. I know that John Tyler wasn’t initially voted to be President. He was the vice president and replaced William Henry Harrison, who died of pnuemonia a month into his term. James Buchanan was the only president to come from Pennsylvania was likely gay. Grover Cleveland is the only president to serve 2 terms non-consecutively.

    Most people just don’t retain what they learn about the presidents that has nothing to do with war or aren’t interesting stepping stones in history. It’s part of being an American. Do I want to remember random facts about my nation’s history and use those fact for pub quiz? Or do I want to remember the names and stats of all the members of the ’74/’75 Philadelphia Flyers and use that for pub quiz?

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