HE Was President?



(Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/MCT)

By Vinny Kabat

Junior Vinny Kabat on President's Day.
Junior Vinny Kabat on President’s Day.

President’s Day is a time for our nation to reflect upon and appreciate the legacies and national improvements chief executives have left. The two-term policy would have likely never been the way it is had it not been for George Washington’s example. The declaration of independence would have lacked its elegance without the skilled penmanship of would-be president Thomas Jefferson.Who knows how long slavery would have dragged on had the 13th amendment not been catalyzed by Abraham Lincoln and his emancipation of southern slaves? The names I bring up are well-known names — but our nation has had 43 men take the oval office — some good, some bad, and some many Americans have never even heard of.

I find it funny how the individuals who were once leading a nation’s government can be so easily forgotten. So, as a self-proclaimed president enthusiast, I’ve made a list of, in my opinion, the top four presidents who are never talked about (for good and bad reasons) — with some fun facts about the former head-honchos. I know, everyone’s been waiting for weeks for this article — so here goes nothing!

1. James Buchanan. The fact that Buchanan let the nation grow exponentially more divided as it hurtled toward a civil war likely made his presidency one to forget. However, Buchanan is a unique president — he was never married, so his niece served as his first lady during his four year term. Many historians have suggested that Buchanan was the nation’s first homosexual president, though such a claim has never been, and will likely never be, proved.

2. Warren G. Harding. Harding wasn’t a very successful president by any stretch, but he did enjoy himself in the oval office quite a bit. Even though the nation was on the brink of entering the first world war during his presidency, Harding still found the time to be an avid poker player. In fact, he once gambled away coveted White House dishes that dated back to as early as 1890.

3. Herbert Hoover. USA Today ranked Hoover the seventh-richest president in the nation’s history, with a present-day net worth of $75 million. However, he evidently believed the rest of the nation had such economic comfort as he essentially accepted the great depression as bound to happen. Anyone who lets the nation fall into its greatest economic crash in history is bound to be wiped from citizens’ memories.

Can you name the four presidents that were assassinated? Lincoln and Kennedy are the one’s most folks remember. Many may also remember, though on a much smaller scale, that William McKinley was on that list as well. But can you name the fourth? It’s James A. Garfield — one of the most forgotten presidents of all time.

4. James Garfield. Although they are both cool-cats, James is not the Garfield with whom most Americans are familiar  today. After all, his term lasted only 200 days as a shot to the back put him out of commission. Interestingly enough, however, the shot to his back was not fatal. It was, instead, the dirty fingers and utensils of doctors who probed his wounded back that spread the infection that would take his life. So, the next time you complain about going to the dentist, be grateful they aren’t sticking dirty fingers in your mouth!