Presidents: America’s first superheroes
Before Superman and Batman, America had its tales of the amazing feats of our Presidents’ incredible honesty and physical prowess.
We honor them by putting their pictures on our money, which we hope to save by going to sales on President’s Day.
Some amazing unknown tales of American Presidents
Everyone knows the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. Little George Washington chops down the cherry tree and tells his father, “I cannot tell a lie, it was I who chopped down the cherry tree.” His father cannot bear to punish him.
Abraham Lincoln had a similar experience. He is splitting rails in the hot sun and accidentally chops down a small persimmon tree. Abe runs into the log cabin and tells his father, “Father I cannot tell a lie, it was I who chopped down a persimmon tree.” And his father says, “Yeah, so what, they grow all over the place around here. Now get back out there and split some more rails.”
Every school child knows that George Washington threw a dollar over the Potomac river. This begins an American tradition of politicians throwing money, but usually at night, much of which does not get over the beltway. Here’s a twist: Some of the money gets thrown back!
Not many people know this part. The next day Washington’s silver dollar is found next to a dead squirrel. This begins a local belief in the “dead squirrel fairy,” with a subsequent drastic reduction in the squirrel population in that region of Virginia. To this day, youngsters in rural Virginia put dead squirrels under their pillows. True story.
Abraham Lincoln also tried to copy Washington and throw a dollar across the Kentucky River. But it is a paper dollar and gets only about five feet before it falls into the water. As Abe watches the soggy dollar floating down the river, he baffles his companions with the remark, “Darn it, a paper dollar is much like a persimmon tree.”
Lincoln would later get his face on the five dollar bill and the penny, while Washington is on the dollar bill and the quarter. If you add $5.01 plus $1.25, it equals $6.26 which today just happens to be the price of a cup of coffee. Coincidence? Probably, but pretty amazing that anyone pays that much for a cup of coffee.
Of course, other Presidents achieved less publicized but equally amazing feats. As we know, Superman can crush a lump of coal into a valuable diamond. If a lump of coal was hidden in his chair, President Howard Taft reportedly could squeeze it into finely crushed coal.
President Grover Cleveland, who is on the $1,000 bill, was once mayor of Buffalo, the animal on the old 5¢ piece. Coincidence?
Ben Franklin who was not President but is on the $100 bill and was once on the 50¢ piece, printed Poor Richard’s Almanac on a printing press, which also is used to make money. Poor Richard Nixon is not on any money and was the only President to resign from office. “Almanac” spelled backwards is “canamla,” a meaningless term. Coincidence? Not really. Lots of words don’t make sense when spelled backwards.
Amazing fact: Did you know that if you reverse the second and third letters of “Romney for President,” you get “R money for President”?
Fun fact: The Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations are people and money is free speech, were all appointed by Presidents!
Money and Presidents just keep showing up together!
So happy Presidents’ Day, the day we celebrate spending money and America’s first superheroes.
Cherries photo credit from freedigitalphotos.net