The President's Desk in the Oval Office (AP)
Who is John Tyler? Chester Arthur? Zachary Taylor? How about Franklin Pierce? A good guess would be perhaps the members of some British rock band from the 60’s. I would venture most people would have no idea that all four of them were once the President of the United States of America. Sure we all know plenty about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and, yes, obviously, Barack Obama. However, on this President’s Day why not show a little love to the lesser-known Commanders-in-chief?
If you’re like me, and have spent some quality time in Ohio, you know a lot of the more obscure presidents simply because there are famous football high schools named after them: James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and Warren G. Harding. But did you know that the term “Founding Fathers” was first used by Harding in 1916? And were you aware that during the presidency of McKinley, the United States obtained the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam? Nearly 75 years before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Garfield was a fervent supporter of civil rights for African Americans. He even appointed Frederick Douglass to a position in his government.
The names John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan are familiar and comfortable. But have you ever really thought about the fact that there are people in America today who were around when the President of the United States was named John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.?
President Obama and former President Bush at White House this past May (AP)
You know your brain is lovin’ this, which means you simply can’t miss another episode of LIBERTY TREEHOUSE at 3pmEST on TheBlaze TV. However, since right now you and I are here together, let me rattle off some more love for our less remembered leaders.
It was during the Presidency of Benjamin Harrison that electricity was installed in the White House.
How awesome is the Walt Disney World Resort? Where are you going with this one Raj? Well, we all have President James Monroe to thank for purchasing the state of Florida from Spain in 1819.
Presidential Seal (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Did you know that the general who fought against Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison, was the President of the United States for 32 days?
Appreciating the exciting and famous periods of this country isn’t any more important than understanding the historical context that led to them. So as you celebrate President’s Day, make a toast to Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Stephen Grover Cleveland and William Howard Taft. I don’t see Steven Spielberg making a film called “Van Buren” any time soon, so you will have to champion the forgotten POTUS this holiday.