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Know Your Presidents! 9, 22, 24, 33

Okay, we now know presidents 1, 2, 3, 12, and 14 as well as numbers 16, 31, and 35. Know them like they're some viscous stew stuck in the folds of our brains, which no amount of scraping can possibly remove. It's time to move on.

22, 24. Grover Cleveland: His tenure as president was cleaved in two. That's TWO, TWO, TWO terms FOUR Grover!

9. William Henry Harrison: He died after serving only 30 days in office, having used up his NINE lives.

33. Harry Truman: Jesus Christ was reportedly crucified at the age of 33. TRUE MAN or son of God?

I should note that in writing this up I went through an interesting exploration. The crucifixion of Christ led me to look up the lyrics to Harry Chapin's There Only Was One Choice:

"When I started this song I was still thirty-three
The age that Mozart died and sweet Jesus was set free
Keats and Shelley too soon finished, Charley Parker would be
And I fantasized some tragedy'd be soon curtailing me"
Which of course it did, the tragedy, about four years later. From the lyrics I got to reading this 2004 interview with Big John Wallace. Which led to the information that--what I didn't know--Harry's posthumously released song Last Stand (it's on the CD The Last Protest Singer) was inspired by the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan: Harry actually wrote it that day. The wonders of the internet: Harry Truman to Jesus Christ to Harry Chapin to Ronald Reagan in a few clicks.

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The Grover Cleveland mnemonic works well, as does the Truman. I haven't been able to really retain the William Henry Harrison one. However, my complaints are useless because I can't come up with anything better myself!


It's true: you have to remember that he's the one who died in office to remember it. Hmmmm.

William Henry Harrison
Served a month and then was done

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Reading Herodotus: A Guided Tour through the Wild Boars, Dancing Suitors, and Crazy Tyrants of The History. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

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