We had a Native American Vice President?

by phil on Sunday Feb 11, 2007 2:47 AM
wikipedia gem

This is news to me! Republican Charles Curtis was a quarter Kaw Indian, and vice president to Herbert Hoover during 1929-1933. Some ideas come to mind:

  • Barack Obama's potential ascendancy as the first African-American President seems a little less interesting or novel.
  • Only 70 years ago, Republicans were, in some ways, the "diversity party"?
  • Was America open-minded 70 years ago? (during the Jazz Age and Roaring Twenties)
  • If so, how did we lose that?
  • Does our collective amnesia of this factoid point to a property of the media that always seeks to exalt our current generation? i.e. Barack Obama's story is much more interesting if we forget about Charles Curtis.
  • "News" comes as much from discovering the past as it does from experiencing the present (or the FOXNews version of it)
My understanding of history between the end of the Civil War up until the Great Depression is totally blank save for a few random interesting tidbits, such as the prevalence of marijuana usage, Nietzsche, Freud, and the Titanic. What if we as a society we were more enlightened in 1907 than we are now?


lynda curtis-howard said on July 3, 2009 11:48 PM:

I have once heard about a story from relatives about charles curtis.
This is my favorite.
This was not put in history books but it should.
One day a child was touched by a stanger.
The peo-ple of the area did not put up with that kind of stuff. 3 men had strung this guy up in a harness.
Along comes Charles Curtis.
He does not hit anyone in anger.
All he did was look at the man in the harness and then he looks at the 3 men for a while.
one of the 3 men looks in Curtis' eyes and sees a look that meant business.
The one guy who saw the look in Charles' eyes then he walks to the guy in the harness and cuts him down.
Charles looks athe the 3 men. Then all of a sudden the 3 men go to the sherrif's office and turn themselves in.
The man who was strung up looks at curtis and puts his hands out towards him pleading for forgiveness.
Charles looks at him and all he did was point to the jail.
The guy goes and turns himself in for rape.
The next morning they found the man who died in his sleep from a heart attack. He must have fallen asleep writing a note asking for forgiveness for what he did to the child.
Charles had given the man a proper burial
and told the people to leave the plot and the body alone. He even tells them that God will do the Disiplining. He even said that he will get what is coming to him from God alone.
Charles loved his fellow country men.
He was not racist in any form.
He was loved but boy did he have a temper when someone did something wrong to anyone or anything.

Philip Dhingra said on July 4, 2009 12:03 AM:

Interesting story!

Andrews said on July 26, 2009 11:23 PM:

I think people would understand, yes we USED TO BE a lot more versatile than the hard line that candidates take now, Kansas used to be the state where "if is was going to happen; it was going to happen in Kansas first"
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