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Here in the United States it’s President’s Day. Although one could wax poetic about our leaders past and present, for most of us this is just a day the kids have off from school and the post office is closed.
I would like to take this moment though, to encourage those of you living in the US, or planning on traveling to the US, to memorize the list of presidents.
In January, I was at the The National NeedleArts Association trade show in Phoenix, AZ. Phoenix, like many US cities, has streets named after the past presidents of the United States. As I walked through the convention center area, something about the street order seemed off. However, I wasn’t quite sure. In fact, my roommate and I both admitted to each other that we could not recall the long list of presidents that we had likely memorized in elementary school. (My mother is a history professor, and I have no doubt that when I admitted my inability to list the presidents, she experienced a strange stabbing pain in her heart even though she was miles away.)
We continued on, slightly confused by the street order, and ashamed of our inability to recall who was president after Van Buren. Later in the day, a fellow yarny exclaimed that, in fact, the streets were not in chronological order and many presidents were missing. (She could recite the presidents, in order, on the spot. Somewhere, at that moment, a history teacher got her wings.)
The bottom line here is that knowing the order of the presidents can help you navigate many cities- just not Phoenix.