Could You Pick Rutherford B. Hayes Out in a Line Up?
Over the last couple of days I have brought up both the intersection of pop culture and history and my perceived lack of an American historical consciousness. The majority of the comments have led me to believe that many of my friends and colleagues think times are troubled indeed. I think it is safe to say that most would recognize Abraham Lincoln - after all, he is very distinctive looking. And as one commenter suggested, events like the Boston Tea Party sort of conjure up the notion of "freedom" in ways that allow modern political parties to hop on the historical train. While images of both Lincoln and the Tea Party are iconic and invoke something Americany, I am not convinced that many have any idea at all about the history surrounding the person and event. When it comes to lesser known figures and events, I suspect that many would simply draw a blank. For example, could the average citizen pick Rutherford B. Hayes out in a line up? Probably not...and he was a pretty important guy - the events surrounding his political career are worth knowing about, I guess. What if I made things easier?
Now could you do it? These are all important people (and frogs) in their own way...including Hayes. Let's talk about them.