mount rushmore, greatest american, reddit

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and oversaw the project's execution from 1927 to 1941. The sculptor also chose the four presidents who are carved into granite on the mountain’s face. He selected the four presidents to represent the nation's birth (George Washington), growth (Thomas Jefferson), development (Theodore Roosevelt) and preservation (Abraham Lincoln).

Since the faces on Mount Rushmore were first chiseled into granite there have been debates over which presidents also deserve to be on the monument. Two years ago, then-President Donald Trump floated the idea that he deserved to have his face carved in granite.

A Reddit user who goes by the name taint_licking_clown posed an interesting question to the online forum about the famous monument and it sparked a great conversation. “You get to add another American to Mt. Rushmore but it can’t be a president. Who do you choose?”


That’s a tough question to answer but a fun one to ponder. What criteria does one use to choose the greatest American that ever lived who wasn’t a president? More than 545 million people have lived in the country over the past 244 years. How do we choose one?

Do you select someone from the world of sports, science, the arts, literature, civil rights, religion, military or healthcare? What about someone who performed a heroic deed?

To rank the responses on the Reddit post, I looked at the number of upvotes each suggestion received and then ranked them. It’s not the most scientific way of doing things but it gives us a pretty good idea about who people think should make it to the monument.

Here are the top 20 most popular responses to the burning question: “Which non-president should be added to Mount Rushmore?”

1. 

"Dr. Jonas Salk. Saved us all from polio." — Barefoot_Alvin

2.

"There is already a non-president on Mt. Rushmore. John Cena." — zoqforpik

The Reddit user is clearly referencing the wrestler's catchphrase.

3.

"Dolly Parton." — Airos42

4.

"Mr. Rogers." — PitchforkJoe

5.

"Mark Twain. The quintessential American writer. We always put up statues of military and politicians across this country. It would be nice to see more of our creative side get honored. Put up Poe on the mountain. Attract goths to the site." — inksmudgedhands

6.


"Martin Luther King Jr." — bahamuto

7.

"How is Nicolas Cage not here yet?" — deus_vult

8.

"John Wilkes Booth but he's further back behind Lincoln." — Jakovosol0

9.

"Benjamin Franklin." — FinnbarMcBride

10.

"Sacagawea." — bivalve_connisseur

11.

"Homer Simpson." — EonClaw

12.

"Bob Ross." — j-oats

13.

"Weird Al." — OntarioLakeside

14.

"Frederick Douglass." — kade22

15.

"Betty White." — Diatrial

16.

The person who started the thread chimed in with their nominee.

"Neil Armstrong would be my number one." — taint_licking_clown

17.

"Harriet Tubman." — 44cksSake

18.

"Ronnie James Dio!" — kevinthegeek21

19.

"Maria Darlene Pearson or Hai-Mecha Eunka (lit. 'Running Moccasins') (July 12, 1932 – May 23, 2003) was an activist who successfully challenged the legal treatment of Native American human remains. A member of the Turtle Clan of the Yankton Sioux which is a federally recognized tribe of Yankton Dakota, she was one of the primary catalysts for the creation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Her actions led to her being called 'the Founding Mother of the modern Indian repatriation movement' and 'the Rosa Parks of NAGPRA." — CTeam19

20.

"Danny DeVito." — distantshadow






Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

Keep Reading Show less