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Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Radio Stations and Spreading the Ignorance
Today, I was listening to the radio as I often do on my way to work when they asked that extra special trivia question that you hear once or twice a year. "Who was the first President to be born in the USA?"
The answer of course is Martin Van Buren. He was born December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook New York. Interestingly, the President after him was not born in the USA.
This of course, got the DJ's talking ignorantly about the constitution and about how it says in there that all Presidents must be born in the USA so how was it possible that up until Van Buren, they weren't and the one after Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, also was not. So, they ignorantly conjectured that these guys had been born in Europe somewhere and had come to the USA prior to the creation of the USA.
All the Presidents of the USA were born in the USA or in a territory that would eventually become part of the USA. William Henry Harrison was born February 9, 1773 in Charles City County, Colony of Virginia. George Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, British America.
Anyway, I don't know why this is interesting to me. I think I would have been a lot better at history if they would have personolized it rather than made it all about dates and number. I like people. I like knowing when they were born and where they lived. I've been reading lots of historical fiction lately. It gives history a personality. I did a blog a while back about birthdays and Presidents.
I also got hit a few times with a civics quiz I was asked to take. I finally broke down and took it. Is civics based on history or math or common sense? Some of the questions were obviously historical. Others seem rather mathematical or logical. The historical ones I surprisingly got mostly right. The mathematical and logical ones I missed. I assume the correct answers were based on history rather than logic. I scored a 77 . I'm not telling anyone else. I'd be the lowest scoring Libertarian. Very embarassing.