Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thursday 13 Version 7: Top Influential Americans

Thirteen Things about The Top Thirteen Influential Americans
Atlantic Magazine has published the 100 most influential Americans compiled by ten eminent historians. Here are the top 13 for your viewing pleasure. The entire list can be seen here. While there might be some people who could be added here and there, I was pleased with the list overall. The authors covered all aspects of American life from politics, business, education, science, and religion.

Taken directly from the Atlantic Monthly site:

1. Abraham Lincoln-He saved the Union, freed the slaves, and presided over America’s second founding
2. George Washington-He made the United States possible---not only by defeating a king, but by declining to become one himself.
3. Thomas Jefferson-The author if the five most important words in American history: “All men are created equal.”
4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt-He said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and then he proved it.
5. Alexander Hamilton-Soldier, banker, and political scientist, he set in motion an agrarian nation’s transformation into an industrial power.
6. Benjamin Franklin-The founder-of-all-trades----scientists, printer, writer, diplomat, inventor, and more; like his country, he contained multitudes.
7. John Marshall-the defining chief justice, he established the Supreme Court as the equal of the other two federal branches.
8. Martin Luther King, Jr.-His dream of racial equality is still elusive, but no one did more to make it real
9. Thomas Edison-It wasn’t just the lightbulb; the Wizard of Menlo Park was the most prolific inventor in American history.
10. Woodrow Wilson-He made the world safe for U.S. inverventionism, if not for democracy.
11. John D. Rockefeller-The man behind Standard Oil set the mold for our tycoons---first by making money, then by giving it away
12. Ulysses S. Grant-He was a poor president, but he was the general Lincoln needed; he also wrote the greatest political memoir in American history
13. James Madison-He fathered the Constituition and wrote the Bill of Rights.

American Presidents has created a mini-list from the Atlantic list compiling just the presidents on the list. It can be seen here. The most amazing find at the Atlantic site is the list of links to articles written by some of the famous Americans on the list. These writings were actually published in Atlantic Magazine. They include a ballad written by Abraham Lincoln, a letter written by Harry Truman which gives his justification for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, a nuanced portrait of Churchill by Eleanor Roosevelt, an essay authored by W.E.B. Dubois urging members of his race to achieve “self-respect” and “self-realization”, and an essay written by J. Robert Oppenheimer, inventor of the atomic bomb in which he encourages Americans to take responsibility for the world’s fate. These writings and many more can be found at the Atlantic site here.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!





27 comments:

Skittles said...

Unique and informative TT! Thanks for dropping by mine :)

Mike said...

A good list. Out of them I think my favorite was Thomas Edison. I've seen his menlo park lab at Henry Ford Museum. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Bellezza said...

I never cease to be amazed at the things I learn on your blog. This is a great idea for your TT. I wonder where Gerald Ford falls, as they were singing his praises yesterday all over Yahoo!

Happy Thursday. Happier New Year!

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Thanks for visiting Skittles and Mike!

Bellezza, that's my goal here. We all can learn something even when we are having fun. I clicked over to the American Presidents blog. M posted over there about the list and pulled out all of the presidents who are on it. Unfortunately Ford is not there, but Nixon is.......

Gabrielle said...

I like Mr. Roosevelt's quote... Thanks for stopping by!

Chickadee said...

Roosevelt indeed was an influential person over America.

Have you read any of Sarah Vowell's books? I just started reading Assassination Vacation. She's funny, but provides interesting tidbits about America's history.

My 13 are up. I moved my blog so this is my first 13 in my new digs.

Ms. Q said...

I love these kinds of lists. They give students a chance to look at who others think are the most influential and often give the reasons why. Great for beginning biographies, debates, or critical thinking activities. I also point out the number of presidents on the list and we discuss the role of the president then and now. Great post!

Uisce said...

Great list... but somebody's missing, don't you know... ME! HA! :)

she said...

I love coming to your blog because I inevitable learn something from you. As a non-American, it's always interesting to learn a bit more about your culture and history.

teachergirl said...

Love your list. How do you find the time to find all the things you post? I'm working on next month's plans......

Di said...

I just read in Bookmarks magazine that Andrew Carnegie was only 4'11"

N. Mallory said...

What always amazes me about Abe Lincoln which so few people fail to mention when commenting on all he accomplished is that he did all of those things while suffering from undiagnosed mental illness -- probably he was bipolar; at the very least he was chronically depressed. Yet, he is considered one of the greatest presidents this country has every had and that is indeed a great accomplishment in itself.

Christine said...

A great and informative list.
I knew Grant was a General, and a President, but I didn't know about his memoirs. Would make a very interesting read!

Thanks for sharing.

Happy TT!

Stacy said...

Really cute idea- love the thoughts...

ms-teacher said...

As always you provide a list that is wonderfully informative. Thanks for posting this!

Kim Priestap said...

Very interesting list. Thanks for sharing it.

My TT is up too, but I'm afraid it's not nearly as interesting as yours. :(

MissWrite said...

Wonderful list. After so many years out of school, the greatness of these men often becomes obscured, and that should never be.

Tink said...

I love to come to this blog, I always learn something. Interesting list again!
Thanks for visiting my TT. The Mayan calendar could be used, but it's rather complicated. I stick to the Wheel of the Year, which is very much in touch with nature too. :-)
All the best to you and yours for the new year!

bernie said...

Throughout history solitary men rise to greatness but once a century; but in America we have dozens of great men coming together at one time when we need them. It is something about American soil that makes it easy for great men to grow.

I linked to you from TT 13 Ways Terrorists Can Avoid Arrest

Dennis Fermoyle said...

Another great post, EHT. About a month ago I finished a great book about Abraham Lincoln and his administration by Doris Kearns, and I agree with his number one rating. I think you'd love the book, but you're probably too busy writing. Having lived my entire life in Minnesota, I've always wondered how the Civil War is taught in the South.

Teena said...

A very patriotic list!

My TT13 is up too :)

dawn said...

great list and great people on it! I love to learn new things

Happy TT

Thanks for visiting my TT

Polski3 said...

I'd have put Teddy Roosevelt on the list..... ( yeah, I could make my own list, but am currently too lazy and near brain dead to do so....), for (in a short, nut-shell), his winning of Nobel Peace Prize for helping negotiate end of Russo-Japanese War, for his active involvement in government and for overcoming his childhood physical illnesses.

Good Post (as usual) :-)

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I agree polski......he is on the list. I only posted the top 13. Atlantic Magazine has "Teddy" on the list along with several others that I'm sure we'd agree are worthy.

Susie said...

I'm not joking when I say this is *the coolest* T13 I have ever seen. My husband and I love American history.

I couldn't find your email address on here anywhere, and I have a question I'd like to ask you. Would you mind emailing me at susiepie@gmail.com when you get a chance? :)

Duchess said...

I think since Tuesday is now a National Holiday, schools should be closed as well! Lets keep these important people, important.

Jenny Ryan said...

Great list!

Thanks so much for stopping by :)