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Bob Lind, Published February 12 2013

Neighbors: Poem of long ago taught children the presidents

Folks continue to write in about schools in the past having kids learn poetry.

Yesterday being Lincoln’s birthday, Neighbors is running a poem sent in by Rodger and Joy Berntson, of Sanborn, N.D.

It was written by Winifred Sackville Stone Jr., is titled “Our Presidents,” and lists all the presidents from Washington through Wilson when, it is presumed, the poem was written. By studying it, kids learned the order in which those presidents served.

George Washington, Adams and Jefferson three, first rulers of Uncle Sam’s land of the free;

Then Madison, Monroe and Adams again, all clever and upright and good honest men;

Then Jackson, Van Buren and Harrison (first), Tyler and Polk whose terms were so curst

By war with the Mexicans, who lost in the fray – then Taylor and Fillmore and Pierce held their sway;

Buchanan and Lincoln, Johnson and Grant, then Hayes, martyred Garfield, despiser of cant,

Arthur and Cleveland, Harrison (Ben), McKinley the martyr, beloved by all men;

Then most energetic and strenuous Teddy and plump William Taft for a second term ready,

When Wilson was placed in this nation’s great chair, and promised to always rule wisely and fair.

Neighbors will leave it up to you to put together more verses to cover Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and the rest, then let you decide which one was the best.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com

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