Friday, February 14, 2020

A Day for Presidents

James A. Garfield
Ryder Studio/Cleveland Memory Project
Ohio is known as the “Mother of Presidents.” The Buckeye State can claim the seven presidents who were born here, but it sometimes quarrels with Virginia over William Henry Harrison. Our ninth president was born in Virginia, but he was a congressman and senator from Ohio. It’s probably not worth arguing about. Harrison died of pneumonia after only 30 days in office.

Anyway, Monday is Presidents Day and some of you have the day off and might be looking for something to do. In Greater Cleveland, you can visit a presidential home. The James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor will be open for a fee-free day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will include tours, presidential trivia, activities for kids and visits from presidents Washington, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and first ladies Edith Roosevelt and Lucretia Garfield. President Garfield apparently has other plans.

I visited this site about 20 years ago and really enjoyed it. I didn’t know much about Garfield other than that he was assassinated. Among the things I learned was that he died after just 6½ months in office. 

Normally tours of the home are $10 per person age 16 or older, so the free day is a good deal. (Anyone younger than 16 always gets in free.)

By the way, Garfield is buried in Cleveland. The James A. Garfield Memorial and Wade Chapel at Lakeview Cemetery closed in November and will reopen April 1.

Here’s a trivia question for you: Which seven presidents were born in Ohio? You should be able to name at least one. Hint: Grover Cleveland isn’t one of them.

The answer is below:

Ulysses S. Grant (18th president), Rutherford B. Hayes (19th), James A. Garfield (20th), Benjamin Harrison (23rd and William Henry Harrison’s grandson), William McKinley (25th) William H. Taft (27th) and Warren G. Harding (29th)


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