The Quill

The Student News Site of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley

The Quill

The Quill

How to Memorize the Presidents in 46 Simple Steps Part 2


Step 16: Abraham Lincoln: His many wonderful and illustrious achievements include becoming a member of the Wrestling Hall of Fame, rolling down a hill in a barrel, and creating masterpieces like “Abraham Lincoln is my Name,” which declares that anyone who reads the poem is stupid (or something like that).

Step 17: Andrew Johnson: Escaped from indentured servitude at a young age, then turned around and backed slavery. Got impeached for that and survived by literally one vote in the Senate (possibly because that Senator was bribed. Also, that guy’s last name was Ross. Just wanted to mention that name again to keep the parallelism with part 1).

Step 18: Ulysses Grant: Was comrades with Robert E. Lee (that Confederate guy) when they were in school and when they went to bully Mexico in the 1840s. He tried to run for a third term in 1880, but got beaten by a certain Garfield. The nominating convention obviously didn’t happen on a Monday.

Step 19: Rutherford Hayes: The only president who didn’t know who his vice president was (apparently asked “who?” when he discovered his running mate was a guy named William Wheeler). Also won the presidency by literally one electoral vote while losing the popular vote and was so shell-shocked that he didn’t run for re-election.

Step 20: James Garfield: Was shot in the gut within weeks of becoming president. His presidency is probably one of the most depressing in American history because of its last 80 days, when he laid motionless and in extreme pain as doctors stuck their dirty, unsanitized hands into his body trying to find the bullet. That widened the wound so much that it gave him an infection that he later died of (after losing a full 80 lbs). Most experts today agree that if the doctors had just left the bullet in him and sewed him up, he probably would have been fine. 

Step 21: Chester Arthur: Arthur signed the first ever federal immigration law, which banned paupers, criminals, and lunatics. He also banned Chinese people. Subtle. 

Step 22: Grover Cleveland: First president since Buchanan (remember that idiot?) elected to the presidency as a Democrat. He adopted a girl when she was six and later married her. He also had an illegitimate child, which was used in a slogan against him (Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?). He won that election anyway (with his insane rizz).

Step 23: Benjamin Harrison: The grandson of president William Henry Harrison ( Elected in 1888! His VP John Tyler’s grandson is still alive today!) and one of four presidents to have never won the popular vote in an election. When he created the states of North and South Dakota, he purposefully mixed up their creation bills so he had no idea which one he signed first. So for the three people out there who need to know which Dakota came first, thank Harrison for eternally torturing your minds with that void of knowledge.

Step 24: Grover Cleveland (again): In this second term of his, Cleveland repealed the Sherman Free Silver Purchase Act, striking a blow to the Free Silver Movement and causing a split in his party. William Jennings Bryan, a powerful Free Silver Democrat, famously said in a speech at the 1896 Democratic nomination: “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!” Gee, so dramatic!

Step 25: William McKinley: Defeated our good friend Bryan two times. (Bryan must have been so depressed, ‘cause for almost every election between 1896-1912 that the Democrats lose, it’s him). McKinley is famous for beating the crap out of Spain and then getting assassinated by a Polish anarchist (whose name sounds eerily similar to Gacioch with the syllables flipped).

Step 26: Theodore Roosevelt: This guy was an absolute badass. Before becoming president, he led forces against the Spanish in Cuba and completely beat the crap out of them. After leaving office, he led an expedition in South America called “River of Doubt” (which, in my opinion, is a sick name). In 1912, while campaigning to be president again (under the Bull Moose Party), he got shot in the middle of a speech, was like, “Guys, I think I just got shot,” and then proceeded to finish his two hour speech anyways! Like I said, badass.

Step 29: William Taft: He could fit in a bathtub. He also could have tried harder to get re-elected. Instead, he got eight electoral votes and finished third in the election of 1912, marking the only time a sitting US president got third in a general election. 

Step 28: Woodrow Wilson: In 1916, he barely got re-elected by promising to “Keep America out of WW1.” He then proceeded to declare war on Germany and join the conflict. By the final year of his presidency, he got so sick that he physically couldn’t continue being president. However, because his administration didn’t want VP Thomas Marshall to become president, Wilson’s wife pretty much ran the White House during that time. #firstfemalepresident

Step 29: Warren Harding: Harding defeated a Democrat named Cox to become president. He also ran a super chill campaign, since he just sat on his front porch and had people go to Ohio (of all places) to ask him questions. Also, Teapot Dome happened when he was president. If you don’t know about it, you will at some point.

Step 30: Calvin Coolidge: Literally did nothing while he was president, which is why he was soooo popular. In fact, most Americans wanted him to run for a third term, which he refused, allowing his (*cough*) “highly competent” Secretary of Commerce (any guesses?) to become president.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *