Saturday, March 17, 2012

Don't Mess with Rutherford

Don't know if you caught it, but President Obama took a shot at ol' Rutherford B. Hayes, our 19th president and the the guy with the most impressive beard of all the bearded presidents. Our President said:

"One of my predecessors, President Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone: 'It’s a great invention but who would ever want to use one?'" Obama said. "That's why he's not on Mt. Rushmore."

"He's looking backwards, he's not looking forward. He's explaining why we can't do something instead of why we can do something," Obama said. 
Of course, like many things Our President says, it wasn't necessarily true. Cue New York Magazine:

We thought it was a bit unsporting of Obama to attack President Hayes, who is quite unable to respond. So we called up the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, where Nan Card, the curator of manuscripts, was plenty willing to correct Obama's ignorance of White House history. Just as soon as she finished chuckling.

"I've heard that before, and no one ever knows where it came from," Card said of Hayes's alleged phone remark, "but people just keep repeating it and repeating it, so it's out there."

Wait, so Hayes didn't even say the quote that Obama is mocking him for? "No, no," Card confirmed.

So what did Hayes actually say?

She then read aloud a newspaper article from June 29, 1877, which describes Hayes's delight upon first experiencing the magic of the telephone. The Providence Journal story reported that as Hayes listened on the phone, "a gradually increasing smile wreathe[d] his lips and wonder shone in his eyes more and more.” Hayes took the phone from his ear, "looked at it a moment in surprise and remarked, 'That is wonderful.'"

And there's more:

In fact, Card noted, Hayes was not only the first president to have a telephone in the White House, but he was also the first to use the typewriter, and he had Thomas Edison come to the White House to demonstrate the phonograph. "So I think he was pretty much cutting edge," Card insisted, "maybe just the opposite of what President Obama had to say there."

Other than that, nice job, Mr. President. These pictures are from the Rutherford B. Hayes Meme Generator, and there's a bunch more that I found quite amusing. And some that make important points:

Of course, I fully expect that the jokes our president tells in 2152 about Barack Obama will be pretty darned funny, too.


Gino said...

yer free.

Mr. D said...

Yes. Yes I am.

Bike Bubba said...

Hopefully the republic will survive to 2052. If Mr. "Let's cut gas prices by making it economically impractical to drill" gets a second term, count me pessimistic.

redsquirrel said...

Has anyone checked out or, and the new conservative pastime/game of mocking Obama and his historical 'facts'?

I've come up with these:
1. John Adam's wife was named Morticia.
2. Franklin Pierce invented the nipple ring
3. 'Old Hickory' Andrew Jackson sang and danced professionally with his brothers, Marlon and Tito.

Jack Smith said...

Do you know where I can find good deals on Golf Courses? I am looking to plan something early 2012.