Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hall of Forgotten Presidents

The authors of the Hall of Forgotten Presidents state as their mission:

With the hope of according these overlooked yet decent men a small and fleeting modicom of recognition within the dust bin of history, the Paro-Dise website takes on the Herculean, curious and thankless task of raising the public's awareness about them.

Of course, I think this is a noble and important mission, so I thought I would include some of the facts from the three "forgotten" presidents that these authors are trying to raise awareness about. Of course, we at APB haven't forgotten them so I've included a few past posts as well!

Chester Arthur:
Specters of the tainted past greeted Arthur when he assumed office as the political pundits of the day predicted a flood of corruption and graft. However, that never occurred and Arthur ran the presidency in an honest and upright fashion. In fact, he showed great political courage by vetoing a graft-laden "rivers and harbors" bill, by breaking relations with his former New York political boss and by vigorously prosecuting fellow Republicans accused of defrauding the government.

For more information on Arthur, see EHT's earlier post on him.

John Tyler:
Clearly, Tyler was no "party animal", and believed in making decisions based on an idea's merit and impact on what he perceived to be the nation's best interests, without regard to politics. In fact, about the only thing Tyler and the Whigs agreed on was the annexation of Texas in 1845.

For more information on Tyler, see Michael's earlier post on him.

James Polk:
President James K. Polk remains one of those six Presidents crowded into the period between 1840 and 1860 which tend to become a hazy blur, rather than attaining the place of greater prominence he actually deserves. In fact, a leading historian called Polk "the one bright spot in the dull void between Jackson and Lincoln." Despite this, Polk, who "came out of nowhere" to become President in 1844 and accomplished all he set out to do during his administration, managed to return to obscurity and remain there....
It's hard to imagine the United States without the vast expanses of the Southwest and Far West - particularly the State of California. The taming of these areas became an important part of the country's folklore and national identity. Yet all this might not have been, had President James Knox Polk not pursued his principles with such vigor. Therefore, it's strange indeed that there is so little national remembrance of this man and the critical role his presidency played.

For more sources on Polk, see my earlier post on him.

So take some time today and learn about about a "forgotten" President!

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