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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | January 28, 2009

This is unusually early this week, primarily because I just starting reading my Christmas gift from the wife: “,” by Rick Beyer. I highly recommend it for history buffs, because some of its tales are unbelievable. And yet, they are completely true. To wit:

john-hansonJohn Hanson: America’s First President

George Washington is revered as the Father of Our Country. He was not, however, our first president.

Washington was the first president elected under the Constitution, taking office in 1789. But the United States came together as a nation several years before the Constitution was enacted. In 1781, when the last of the thirteen colonies ratified the Articles of Confederation, the new country was officially brought into being.

Shortly thereafter, Congress, by unanimous vote, made John Hanson the first man elected to a full term as president of the United States. His full title was actually “President of the United States in Congress Assembled.” He didn’t have all the powers of a modern chief executive, but make no mistake, he was the only president we had.

Hanson served only one year, and is now largely forgotten, but at the time, a colleague wrote: “I congratulate your Excellency on your appointment to fill the most important seat in the United States.”

That letter was signed by none other than George Washington.

And now you know. Feel free to use this information to appear smarter to your friends. I know I will.

Topics: HHH |

10 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. RT Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Now that was some cool information, that yes, I will keep in the back of my mind. It is amazing that we have never learned that tidbit. It is kind of important.

  2. Uncle Ray Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Fascinating! Thanks for the education. By the way, Hanson was revered by the brothers who named themselves after him…………..The Hanson Brothers. They felt that the “Washington Bro’s” might mislead liateners into thinking they were a Motown group. But I digress……….

  3. Alan B Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Well worth knowing.

    A popular feature in the W Midlands of the UK (and probably other area too) is the pub quiz where teams representing their own pub match other teams with a standard set of questions which are asked on the same night throughout a series of several league tables. I am the local questionmaster (I ask the questions) and this is just the kind of thing that might come up and cause trouble.

    My education in American history - on Wednesdays or earlier - grows apace.

  4. Doghouse Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    So why isn’t he on a coin?

  5. Sully Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Damm you, now I have Mmmmm Bop stuck in my head.

    Why couldn’t his name be Simpson, no…

    Manson,… nope, thats no good.
    Jackson…. might be worse… possibly too nasty.

  6. joemama Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Yeah, this is a great quizzo question

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    RT - I thought so, too. I guess Hanson didn’t have the PR firm that Washington had. Heh.

    Uncle Ray - The Slap Shot Hanson brothers? “I’m trying to listen to the f**king song!!!”

    Alan B - I aims to please! :) And we usually call that “Quizzo” here in the States. I am my groups’ history czar.

    Doghouse - Maybe he’s on the three-dollar bill?

    Sully - We don’t need another Jackson. Reminds me of Thriller.

    JoeMama - Agreed. Would almost have to be multiple choice, though. Or a true/false question similar to “George Washington was the first American president.”

  8. USA_Admiral Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Never knew that.

  9. Morgan Says:
    January 29th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Interesting bit of history, but it’s obvious why John Hanson is not as much a household name compared to George Washington. The Articles Of Confederation failed, and the Constitution did not.

    We’re living the second American experiment right now, while the first was a miserable failure. Does make me curious about who Hanson was, thanks to this bit of education.

  10. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 29th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Admiral - Neither did I. The book is one of the best I have ever read. I would highly recommend it.

    Morgan - You’re welcome. And the Articles failed for a reason. They stank.