Remembering the Country's Forgotten Presidents

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The White House (Daquella Manera/flickr)

Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt: The names and legacies of our country’s greatest presidents are ingrained in the minds of every American. Even presidents whose administrations were marked by massive failures, like LBJ or Herbert Hoover, live on in infamy. But what of the forgotten presidents? The Van Burens, the Fillmores and the Coolidges of American history? What’s their legacy? According to Micheal J. Gerhardt, even our least-remembered presidents have left their own indelible mark on the country’s history.

Gerhardt is a professor of constitutional law of at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He reflects on the history of American presidents in his new book "The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy."


Michael Gerhardt

Produced by:

Joseph Capriglione

Comments [5]

Kevin Raab from Denton, TX

The song is "The Presidents" by Jonathan Coulton. It can be found on YouTube.

Also, a small correction to this story - Marty van Buren was the 8th president, not the 7th. Let's not forget Andrew Jackson!

Apr. 04 2013 12:00 AM
Lisa Rowan from Portland, OR

I'd like to know about that President song as well. Seemed like a great way to memorize all of them even the obscure ones!

Apr. 03 2013 09:07 PM
matt from New YOrk

Anybody know who was singing the song about presidents at the end of this segment?

Apr. 03 2013 04:42 PM
Paul Henley from Pflugerville, Texas

A better interview may have been William Hild, the author of "He Was a President, Wasn't He?" It would have been a more fun conversation.

Apr. 03 2013 12:47 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

When I look at forgotten Presidents like Millard Filmore,John Tyler,William Henry Harrison, and Zackary Taylor, I just look at these guys and think they were actors who played different Dr. Who's in the sixties British television show.
If you don't believe me, just do a comparison between these Presidents and Dr. Who from the sixties and seventies

Apr. 03 2013 12:14 PM

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