Friday, April 6, 2012

How to memorise the Presidents of US ...

Well, I was seeing one page in which cramming info into one's head bit after bit was useless, because 8 (at least supposedly) is the maximum.

I wonder if some could do fourteen, as the genealogy of Our Lord from Abraham to King David, from King David to Babylonian Captivity and from Babylonian Captivity to Our Lord goes in fourteens.

Either way, here is my take on how to tackle the Presidents.

Washington was first. Not easy to forget him if you have ever come across US. Between Washington and Jimmy Carter - the first one I recall as contemporary to the news I was watching (did he beat Gerald Ford?) - there are some major landmarks: Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson (was he just after Teddy Roosevelt?), FDR and Truman just after him, JFK and Nixon. So break up the table into the parts:

  • a) Washington to Lincoln;
  • b) Lincoln to Wilson;
  • c) Wilson to Franklin Delano and Truman;
  • d) Franklin Delano and Truman to John F Kennedy and Nixon;
  • e) Nixon to Carter;
  • f) Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama. Check if there was a president between Carter and Reagan. Refer to this part as Carter to Obama, for short.

Break up Washington to Lincoln. I do not know them, but one landmark would be the President who made peace with England in 1813, and, if it was the same purchased Florida from Occupied Spain, i e Joseph Bonaparte and the Louisiana Purchase (much more than just the present state of Louisiana) from his brother Napoleon Bonaparte. Was it Alexander Hamilton (often a reference for Lyndon LaRouche in economic theory, but I cannot for the present remember for sure if he was a president) or one other? Then there is Polk of the fifty-four forty or fight incident. Why before Lincoln? Well, Lincoln dealt with Secession, and Secession invoked the precedent of fifty-four forty or fight about breach of agreement between slave states and non slave states. So Polk must be before Lincoln. Between Lincoln and Wilson you have the president who made the Spanish-American War and got Cuba and Philippines as protectorates.

Then fill in all of the spaces and make smaller lists. If need be make more landmarks.

Then learn each list separately until you know it as well as the list from Carter to Obama.

Or other possibility: start with the Carter to Obama list, ask your ma how many presidents she can remember before Carter in a row. Add those to the row. Then ask your oldest grandparents, add those presidents to the row. Then use lifelengths in your family as far back as your records of those go to figure out what presidents they knew or would have known if US American. And so on, till you reach Washington. For your own state, take care of Governors in same way, except that there are states that reach back before Washington or whenever they joined the union, to English Colonies, French Colonies, Spanish Colonies, and, if you like you can call Utah and Texas US Colonies as soon as Brigham Young or Alamo, since then they were no longer Spanish-Mexican or Amerindian controlled territory. But as for states getting back to Spanish times, even Texas, do not forget the Hispanic colonisers. Claro que no!

Note that in this venture I have not yet memorised more than I have mentioned here.

Hold Good Friday Holy, whatever remains of it where you are, and a Good Triduum of Easter 2012,

Hans-Georg Lundahl


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

I was wrong about Alexander Hamilton, who was US Secretary of the Treasury.

But, as such, he succeeded him who was also the first President: George Washington.

The President I was looking for would be Madison.

There was also one Lyndon Johnson between JFK and Nixon.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Actually, a blogger with a blog known as Modern Medievalism, under a post on St Edward the Confessor, as a side note added a list of US presidents:

Modern Medievalism : Saint Edward the Confessor: the death of a tradition

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

a) Washington to Lincoln:
George the Devourer.
John the Fat.
Thomas the Apostate.
James the Lawgiver.
James the Beloved
John the Abolitionist.
(Quincy Adams)
Andrew the Widowmaker.
Martin the Wrymouth.
(Van Buren)
William the Brief.
John the Virile.
James the Conqueror.
Zachary the Bold.
Milliard the Mediocre
Franklin the Handsome.
James the Chaste.
Abraham the Martyr

Let's see if it works ...