Of Cleveland, Caldwell, and “The Presidents Song”

Tomorrow I venture to Caldwell, NJ, to investigate Grover Cleveland’s 1837 birthplace, and perhaps even the Grover Cleveland Senior Center (though I certainly wouldn’t want to interfere with the center’s monthly blood pressure clinic). (We’ll see.)

Did you know that Grover Cleveland is the only president to have served two nonconsecutive terms? Of course you did. Because it’s the only thing anyone remembers about Cleveland, despite the fact that he

I know about Cleveland’s nonconsecutive terms because my eighth grade social studies teacher required us to memorize the presidents, in order—full names, years in office, and one significant event during each administration. Eight presidents at a time, one (cumulative) test per quarter, Washington through Bush (the second one). I think I aced them, though I may have misspelled “Millard Fillmore” once.

But not everyone has Mr. K. for eighth grade social studies. And not everyone grows up with a placemat adorned with presidential portraits. (“I have strong memories of my parents trying to educate me through placemats,” Rebecca tells me. “I remember being confused about Cleveland’s portrait appearing twice.”)

That’s where “The Presidents Song” comes in, courtesy of BusinessFlannel, a Princeton-based sketch comedy group. Seriously. You’ll have the list memorized in no time. (I’ve met Dan, the star of this video, through my friend Will. He’s funny! And doesn’t always sing about presidents.)

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2 Comments on “Of Cleveland, Caldwell, and “The Presidents Song””

  1. Mr. K says:

    Be careful, Mr. K has all those old grades in his book. It does look like it was misspellings adn you truely did ace three out of four with 1/2 off for spelling on the first 11, so it wasn’t Fillmore. I was more impressed that you aced the vocab project on the Cold War! Best of luck with the rest of the trip and your studies!
    Mr. K


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