No one will remember you because society doesn’t care

3 Dec

“Two studies examined how U.S. presidents are forgotten. “


A few years ago I was in Washington DC and, being a bit of a tourist, I randomly picked up a fact card about one of our exciting presidents. Obviously the excitement mounted: who did I get? My best buddy LBJ? The notoriously rotund Taft? The Ur-President Washington? Nope, I got mighty Chester. A. Arthur! Wait, who?

I come from a family where History is important. Some of the first fatherly I got was that I should set my PIN number to something like the year of the Battle of Hastings because obviously that is easy to remember. He also likes to declaim that every educated person must surely know the year of the Norman Invasion. I can recite the Presidents back to Cleveland (though I sometimes forget Harding). I’m pretty sure my father can recite every president from Washington to the present day, in order.

And I had not the slightest idea that…

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