Today we celebrate the birth of our first president, George Washington, (even though it’s not his birthday.) For some, we are also celebrating our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, (though it’s not his birthday either). Of course, thanks to our 36th president, Richard Nixon, we actually do have Presidents Day (no apostrophe) where we actually celebrate all presidents.

In honor of all the great men who have led our country, I thought I would offer a quick summation about the presidents born in the great state of North Carolina. (Though interestingly enough, all three reached the White House from Tennessee.)

presidents from nc

Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837       I’m not a fan of the 7th president, a man who graces our $20 bill. By all accounts, he seemed to be a man who did what he wanted, whenever he wanted. He fought and killed in duels, lived with a woman who was married to another, owned slaves, and forced the removal of nearly 60,000 (from 5 tribes) from lands their people had lived on for 1000s of years.

James K Polk, 1845-1849   Also a slave holder, our 11th president expanded the country’s border to include present day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming. Polk also declared war on Mexico in order to acquire what is now California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.

Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869  Vic-President to Lincoln for 6 weeks, Johnson (yes, a slave-holder) became the 17th President of the US after Lincoln’s assassination. Johnson is labeled one of the most “unfortunate presidents” in the nation’s history, (though I’m sure Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy would disagree with that), as he was charge to leading the country through “reconstruction” post-Civil War.

 

So, whether you celebrate President Washington, Lincoln, or Jackson, Polk and Johnson, I hope you enjoy your Presidents Day. I am thankful to all the men and woman who serve our country, at all levels of government… (though sometimes would rather use this day as a pre-Fat Tuesday Holiday.) Happy Presidents Day!