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PvP Presidential challenge.
In today's PvP Comic, Cole tells a complaining employee "Name the last twelve presidents and you can have the rest of the day off".

I got to 14 before I faltered. How far can you go back?

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I'm nowhere near as much of a history buff as you are, and memorizing lists has always been my least favorite part of the way "history" is taught. I simply started with the most recently elected President, and went back as far as my own personal memories would take me. I was five years old when Eisenhower took office, and, while I don't remember any details, I do remember that it was an Event. Only Truman and FDR were dredged up out of "factual" memory, rather than actual experience.

There's no learning with just memorizing lists. I much prefer to recall the narrative which includes the important people and/or battles, so there is a context other than "Hoover,FDR,Truman,Eisenhower,JFK,LBJ,Nixon,Ford,Carter,Reagan,Bush I,Clinton,Bush II,Obama". Telling the story "Hoover was a pro-business president elected just in time to preside over the 1929 stock-market crash and bungled the recovery. He lost re-election to FDR who help pull us out of the Great Depression up through the beginning of WWII, which helped finish the job. He died before the end of the war, leaving it to Truman to drop the bomb on Japan and manage the immediate post-war. He was followed by Eisenhower, a popular general from WWII. He got us into and out of the Korean war, but was unable and unwilling to run in 1960. His vice president (Richard Nixon) ran against JFK, lost, and vowed to drop out of politics. JFK was popular, got involved in Cuba, Viet Nam, and was assassinated, to be replaced by his VP LBJ. LBJ got mired in Vietnam, and declined to run in 1968, allowing Nixon to renig on his vow and win the Presidency. After getting caught cheating in his re-election, he resigned in 1975, giving the office to his replacement VP Gerald Ford (his elected VP, Spiro Agnew, had resigned due to tax issues). Ford, tainted by the Nixon scandal, lost in 1976 to Carter, who's handling of the Iranian Hostage crisis lead to his defeat in 1980 to Reagan. Reagan's popularity allowed his VP, George HW Bush, to succeed him in 1988, but Bush was unable to keep a tax-based campaign promise in a faltering economy, and lost out to Clinton. Clinton faced a Republican base unwilling to accept Bush's loss and spent his 8 years in office under investigation leading to a failed impeachment. Clinton's VP lost a close election to Bush's son, George W Bush, who managed to hold on for 8 years, mainly parlaying anger over terrorist attacks on the US. When it came time to replace him, the Republicans failed to find anyone that could appeal to the entire fractured Republican base, while the Democrats found their best two choices were minorities: a highly charismatic black Senator from Illinois, and an experienced, well known (and reviled by the Republican base) former First Lady. In the end, they chose Obama over Clinton, and that's where we are now."

I describe the way they usually teach history in schools as "memorize this list of which king won which war in what year". BO-ring!

I just started with a distant childhood memory of seeing Eisenhower on TV, playing golf, and then ran it forward, then tacked on Truman and FDR out of book-knowledge. (I guess that's one of the advantages of being old: stuff that you remember as "current events" has become "history", and you can fake it from there.)

Benjamin *Harrison*, not Harris.

I was just reading about the longest-running European dynasty (that of France, up to at least 1789). It gets easier after it became tradition to name the heirs "Louis".

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