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Sunday, February 19, 2012

And The Nominees Are...

OK, we all know the two US Presidents honored this month and I'm guessing most also know the other two enshrined on Mt. Rushmore. I suspect fewer people can easily recall the two other early presidents that have State capitols named after them. Drilling down to those honored on coins or currency or further still to the ones with airports named after them and the general consensus about historical greatness gets even muddier.

This blog is not written by a presidential scholar (surprise!) But in this month when we celebrate our leaders of the past I'm curious to know which of the 44 (if we count Grover Cleveland twice) you would say deserves no celebration. And just to be sure I don't ignite a flame I'm uninterested in extinguishing, I'll ask no one nominates any President still living (Jimmy Carter, George Bush elder or junior, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama). That way all of us non-presidential scholars can have a little fun with this and be free to defame whichever dead president we choose. Last, offer the reason you think the President you nominate deserves no celebration; keep it simple and as non-flammatory as possible, please.

Based on what I got from James Loewen's 1995 book called "Lies My History Teacher Told Me", I nominate Democrat Woodrow Wilson who did not effectively use his powers to curtail the terror wrought by the Ku Klux Klan in the early twentieth century. Your nomination?

2 comments:

  1. Andrew Johnson is my nominee. He vetoed the Civil Rights Bill and blocked the extension of the Freeman's Bureau, both of which were meant to protect the lives of freed slaves. I have read that Johnson severely set back much of the progress that Lincoln had set in motion. After almost being impeached for his efforts against reconstruction, he issued more than 13,000 pardons to people connected with the rebellion including the President of the Confederacy. It was unfortunate for the country that Johnson happened to ascend to the Presidency.

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  2. Great choice, Jimmy. I knew less about Johnson's backpedaling on Lincoln's legacy than you so thanks for the education.

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