John Hanson didn’t get the props his successor did. But for eight years, Hanson led the Continental Congress — the organization that led the United States in the days before the Constitution was hashed out. Hanson didn’t have the executive powers of the leaders who followed him, but he took his job quite seriously. “The load of business which I have very unwillingly and very imprudently taken on me I am afraid will be more than my constitution will be able to bear,” he wrote to his son-in-law days before he took power. Ultimately, the Articles of Confederation, which gave him his position, proved to be too weak for the job, so the founding documents got rebooted — and Hanson didn’t receive much more than a footnote in the history books. It’s such a small footnote, however, that there have been rumors on the Interwebs that he was actually the first black president (he wasn’t, it was a case of mistaken identity). But for one day, let’s honor this guy and remember him as the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo Entertainment System that eventually became the engine for this country.
February 20, 2012 // 10:38 // 2 years ago