Presidential History

None Dare Call It George Washington's Birthday


In olden times children would ask their parents, "How come there's a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, but no President's Day?" And their parents would answer, "Why, every day is President's Day." Then the admen and calendar-makers of America declared an actual President's Day and that beloved family tradition dragged to an end, though officially the holiday is still called George Washington's Birthday.

Here, to mark the occasion, is the Hit & Run President's Day Open Thread. Chime in to answer any, all, or none of the following questions:

1. Who was the best, or at least the most tolerable, American president? (Reason staffers, contributors, and friends gave their answers to that query here.)

2. Who was the worst American president? (House rule: You can't say Bush, and you can't say Clinton. Exercise those history muscles, people.)

3. Who was our greatest ex-president? (The conventional reply is Jimmy Carter. While that answer has the advantage of annoying Alan Dershowitz, you should feel free to vote for someone more interesting—Herbert Hoover, say.)

4. Who is your favorite vice-president? Alternately, what is your favorite vice?

5. In 1968, according to An American Melodrama, George Wallace asked Colonel Sanders to be his running mate. If the colonel had said yes, and if you were able to cast a ballot that year, would you have been tempted, if only for a moment, to vote for Wallace, just to get Sanders within a heartbeat of the presidency? Be honest.

6. Also in 1968, the Yippies nominated a hog named Pigasus to be president. Would you have liked to see Col. Sanders debate the pig? How about a pork-and-chicken taste test? Why isn't that in the Constitution?