Yes, Missed a president

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In series G of QI we used our highest-profile klaxon of all-time when we forfeited President Obama's inaugural speech in which he claimed that "44 Americans have held this office." Our point is that while he is considered the 44th president, this is only because Grover Cleveland held the position twice with a break making him the twenty-second (1885-1889) AND twenty-fourth (1893-1897) President of the United States.


As Frances Cleveland left the White House (at the end of the first term), she told a staff member, "Now, Jerry, I want you to take good care of all the furniture and ornaments in the house, for I want to find everything just as it is now, when we come back again." When asked when she would return, she responded, "We are coming back four years from today."


However. Notwithstanding the fact that according to a previous question we have shown that George Washington wasn't necessarily #1 - there were "Presidents of the Continental Congress" that existed before 1789 when the title of "President of the United States" came into being - maybe we have overlooked one thing...


Technically, according to a correspondent whose name I have lost - if you're reading this then please write in and I'll give you your deserved recognition - the United States actually HAS had 44 presidents. During the time of the Civil War, the US had two presidents, both from Kentucky as it happens: Abraham Lincoln (of course), and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.

So it seems that there are 44 presidents after all and perhaps we should give President Obama his points back, I'm sure he loses sleep about that klaxon every night.


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-American-Presidents-Biography-Jefferson/dp/1559724625

http://uspresidency.com/

http://www.positivelycleveland.com/about_cleveland/cleveland_history/


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1 Comment

I doubt that any country would want to recognize a president of a rebellious section of the country as belonging on a list of presidents of said country.
Was not the question concerning the office of President of the United States? Surely Confederate States and Continental Congresses are not included.

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This page contains a single entry by eggshaped published on September 6, 2011 4:00 PM.

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