+
upworthy
Democracy

People are sharing the one American non-president they’d add to Mount Rushmore

Who would you choose?

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






Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

Keep ReadingShow less
Representative Image from Canva

Wondering where she got that rested glow? She hurkle-durkled.

Hurkle-durkle might be the silliest word ever, but it could be the missing step in your self-care.

Hurkle-durkling simply means to linger in bed long past the time when you “should” already be up. It’s a Scottish term dating back to the 1800s—-originally having more to do with sitting in a crouching position either for warmth or secrecy, but eventually taking on a more relaxed and positive connotation.

It’s a word that only the biggest etymology enthusiast would know, had it not been plucked from obscurity thanks to TikTok.
Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Woman shares the powerful impact of a 'hardcore' gym bro's words of encouragement

Previous experience had her feeling nervous when the man approached her at the gym, but what he said brought her to tears.

Steph shares how a few simple words made all the difference.

Going to the gym can be a daunting prospect for a lot of people. It shouldn't be—the whole point of going to the gym is to exercise, which is something that should universally be applauded—but sometimes it can feel like there's pressure to be at a certain fitness level or have a certain physique before stepping foot in the door.

For people who are heavier, gym culture can be especially intimidating. Unfortunately, not everyone remembers to practice kindness and fatphobia appears to remain a fairly tolerated prejudice. That shouldn't stop people with big bodies from enjoying all that fitness centers have to offer, but all too often, it does.

It hasn't stopped a woman named Steph from working out regularly at her gym, albeit with some trepidation. As she shared in a hugely viral TikTok, she's experienced some unkind behavior at the gym that made her nervous when a man approached her recently. But her description of the encounter ultimately demonstrated how powerful a few positive words can be.

In a video made from her car just after leaving the gym, Steph explained that a "hardcore" gym-goer who is "super tough" and covered in tattoos had came up to talk to her. Her initial response was to be afraid of what he was going to say to her, based on previous experience. She shared in the video how hard it's been to stay steady with her workouts, especially with medications she's on making her body hold onto weight, but she's been working hard to be consistent. She steeled herself for whatever he might say.

She didn't expect it to be this: "I've seen you in here every week, almost every day. I've seen you in here every week—and I'm proud of you." Nor did she expect that such simple words of encouragement could make such a huge impact.

Watch her tell the story:

@steph5468

#gymprogress #workputjourney #keepgoing #healingjourney

People had a lot to say about the interchange and Steph's emotional response to it.

"People do not realize, how one person can change everything," wrote one commenter.

"Girl you are CRUSHING IT," wrote another. "That man you encountered is what real men do. Encourage. Support. Be human! It isn’t hard! ❤️"

"No one knows your story, your struggles. You're doing the dang thing and that takes courage and strength. You. Keep. Going. I'm proud of you too!" shared another.

More and more words of encouragement flooded Steph's comment section, and people on Upworthy's Instagram page weighed in as well.

"I'm a fitness coach and this made me cry 😢 just having someone say they are proud of you can move mountains for so many of us who didn’t/ don’t get the praise growing up," wrote one person.

"Who knows? He may be going through something too and saw a determined, consistent, fellow traveler," wrote another. "You share your Truth so powerfully. You may not know how many people will see this and be encouraged by your honesty. I’m in awe that you show up for YOURSELF every day. And as for the rude and ill-mannered? Well they struggle too—just to be decent kind human beings. Some people have not been shown Empathy and therefore do not know how to use that muscle. You are beautiful, smart, articulate, wise and a woman who knows where she’s headed. Keep walking, head up knowing there are many many more who do empathize, who see you and are on your side❤️"

"It’s amazing to think about how this man’s single act of kindness, spread through you to affect us all in a positive way," shared another. "This made all of our days, and I’m crying tears of joy while I write this. Please thank him from all of us the next time you see him, if you’re comfortable with that. And thank you for sharing! ❤️"

Indeed, thanks to both Steph and the hardcore, tattooed gym bro for being wonderful examples for us all. We never know what a small act of kindness or a few words of encouragement will do to make someone's life significantly better, but it's always worth trying.


This article originally appeared on 9.5.23

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Things new parents think they need but don't.

There's nothing like preparing for a new baby. The excitement and anticipation take hold and before you know what's happening, your baby registry is five pages long full of things you've probably never heard of. I've been there before, and now, four kids later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are tons of things you actually don't need. It's easy to get carried away when everything is so tiny and cute, especially 'cause marketing around baby stuff is bananas. The following offers some alternative items to the ones you'll likely only use a limited number of times before practicality takes over.

Keep ReadingShow less