Who Are the Most Forgotten US Presidents?1
5 Presidents You Might Forget!
This group of presidents from the World Book encyclopedia DVD set are sure to make you the most valuable player at your next trivia night!
“Martin Van Buren,
(1782-1862), ran for president three times but won only the first time. He served during the nation’s first great depression, the Panic of 1837. The panic brought financial ruin and misery to millions. Many turned to the government for aid. But Van Buren refused to help. He believed in Thomas Jefferson’s idea that government should play the smallest possible role. “The less government interferes,” Van Buren explained, “the better for general prosperity.””
(1804-1869), served as president during a period of increasing bitterness between North and South that later led to the American Civil War. He won the Democratic nomination for president in 1852 after the four strongest candidates had fought to a stalemate. Pierce gained support because he strongly favored the Compromise of 1850, which sought to settle the slavery dispute. “If the compromise measures are not … firmly maintained,” he said, “the Constitution will be trampled in the dust.” At 48, Pierce became the youngest president of the United States up to that time.”
(1833-1901), was the only grandson of a president who also became president. He defeated President Grover Cleveland in 1888, but Cleveland regained the presidency by beating Harrison in 1892. Harrison’s grandfather was William Henry Harrison, the hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe. William Henry Harrison had died of pneumonia in 1841 after only one month as president. Benjamin Harrison, like his grandfather, was an Army commander and a United States senator before being elected to the presidency.”
“Chester Alan Arthur,
(1829-1886), became president after James A. Garfield died from an assassin’s bullet. Arthur was the fourth vice president to succeed to the presidency upon the death of a chief executive. Arthur had risen rapidly in the Republican Party machine (organization) of New York City. In 1871, he became collector of the New York Custom House, then the largest single federal office in the United States. Widespread dishonesty in government occurred during this period, and Arthur used his office to reward Republicans and strengthen the party. These actions contributed to graft and waste in the custom house and led to his removal in 1878. As president, however, Arthur surprised the nation by the honesty and efficiency shown by his administration. Protests by reformers about the dishonesty of previous administrations in the appointment of government officials caused Congress to pass the Civil Service Act. Arthur signed the law and administered it faithfully.”
“Warren Gamaliel Harding,
(1865-1923), was elected president in 1920 by a people weary of wartime restraints and world problems. His supporters expected him to turn back the clock and restore the more carefree atmosphere of the days before World War I (1914-1918). Harding, an easygoing newspaper publisher and senator, encouraged this belief by campaigning on the slogan of “Back to Normalcy.” Actually, Americans would probably have elected any Republican candidate to the White House in 1920 in protest against the policies of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson. They opposed particularly Wilson’s definition of American ideals and his unwillingness to accept any changes in his plan for a League of Nations. They wished to reduce their responsibilities in world affairs and to resume their normal activities with as little bother as possible.”
All information was taken from the World Book Encyclopedia print set.