My wife and I decided to share her list of top U.S. Presidents live on national TV. Okay, we were eating pizza in my office while watching reruns of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. She came up with her list on her own. I didn’t try to influence her at all. Here it is.
1. Abraham Lincoln: I feel a connection with him because he named my Mom’s grandfather. It was rare in that day for triplets to survive after birth. President Lincoln named him, Simon Cameron, after his Secretary of War. Abraham Lincoln, like me, is from Illinois. I have visited his historic sites throughout Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was a very brave man.
2. George Washington: He has to be at the top of my list. He was there when it all happened. He was tall. I like tall men. He looked good on a horse.
3. Thomas Jefferson: I’m impressed by the man who could speak, read and write in a number of languages. That’s quite an accomplishment. He wrote much of the Declaration of Independence and I live its benefits every day. But most of all, Thomas Jefferson is credited as the creator of the swivel chair and I love swivel chairs.
4. Zachary Taylor: He was a descendant of Elder William Brewster, a Pilgrim leader of the Plymouth Colony, a Mayflower immigrant, and a signer of the Mayflower Compact.
5. Andrew Jackson: On January 1, 1835, Jackson paid off the entire national debt, the only time in U.S. history that has been accomplished. I wish more of our presidents were as concerned about our debts.
6. Ulysses Grant: I’ve been to Galena, Illinois. Its a nice historic town. Also, in March 1872, Grant signed legislation that established our first national park, Yellowstone National Park. I have visited several of our national parks.
7. John Adams: He never owned a slave. This is a good thing. I think I visited his home, too.
8. Rutherford B. Hayes: He believed education was important. He said, “free government cannot long endure if property is largely in a few hands and large masses of people are unable to earn homes, education, and a support in old age.” Also, he was a supporter of prison reform.
9. Dwight D. Eisenhower: He was president when I was born. He authorized the Interstate Highway System which I have used a lot to travel around the country.
10. Ronald Reagan: He grew up in Illinois. He was a movie star before he became president which proves that only in America can the unthinkable happen.
These did not make my top ten list but I am impressed with them. William Henry Harrison because he delivered the longest inaugural address in American history. It took him nearly two hours to read it. That requires determination. James Buchanan because he kept an elephant at the White House. I’m surprised they let him do that. Theodore Roosevelt because he spent ninety minutes giving a speech after he had been shot. That shows stamina.
I read her list, and though I agree with some choices, I am flabbergasted by her decision to totally ignore our greatest president of all time. Millard Fillmore. I can only assumes she did it as a joke, but then what do I know. I am the most apolitical person she knows.