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Title: Stupid History Posted: August 29, 2007 (01:12 PM)
So, I got this book called Stupid History the other day. It's very interesting and odd, as it chronicles all the misconceptions and myths of our incredibly strange world. As an example, George Washington (who was never our first president, but more on that later), in a popular urban legend, threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River. This is actually wrong, as the silver dollar coin was minted in 1794; Washington died in 1799. And by the way, I don't think anyone can throw a a silver dollar across the Potomac, as the river, at its most narrow point, is a half-mile wide.
Washington, as I mentioned earlier, was never our first president. Remember when the Declaration of Independence, making America a country, was signed, class? That's right; 1776. And when was the start of 'ol George's presidential term? 1789! So who was in charge of the country for those thirteen years? John Hanson! In a congressional meeting, the Congress voted him president in 1781. After him came Elias Boudinot, Thomas Mifflin, Richard Henry Lee, Nathan Gorman, Arthur St. Claire, Cyrus Griffin, and... the eighth pres, George Washington.
These, along with many wierd occurences, basically make up Stupid History. If you want to impress your friends, baffle your history teacher, or simply learn some stuff you never knew while having a good laugh, pick this book up. Trust me, you won't regret it.
User: espiga Title: Posted: August 29, 2007 (01:41 PM)
Actually, John Hanson was the president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation. This took place before the United States were the United States we know today. The current constitution of the United States of America wasn't ratified until 1787, thus "1776" being the birthday of the United States is inaccurate. That was only when the thirteen colonies declared independence. So yes, George Washington was in fact the first president of the country known as the United States of America.
User: wayne_steed Title: Posted: August 30, 2007 (03:27 PM)
Yeah, but that's if you get all technical. ;)
Anyway, yeah, I found that out afterwards, and since the US wasn't a country yet, you can't really call Hanson the US's first pres. But here's a little history snack for you to chew on:
In 1977, a dining hall was built and dubbed "The Alferd Packer Memorial Dining Facility" by the Department of Agriculture. And it was Al-ferd, not Al-fred. Robert Bergland, the Agricultural Secretary at the time, said that Alferd Packer "exemplifies the spirit of fare that this Agricultural Department cafeteria will provide." Well, guess what? Alferd Packer was famous for killing prospectors in the late 1800s. And he didn't just kill 'em, either. HE ATE THEM.
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