By Georges!

The Missouri History Museum gets all presidential on ya

The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden

Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314- 746-4599)

Opens at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 12. Admission to the exhibit, which runs through January 8, 2006, is $4 to $8, but free on Tuesday.

Presidents, shmesidents. Everyone knows that in order to become President of the United States of America (actual political office PUSA, not semi-lousy band from the '90s PUSA), one has to be male, white, straight, middle-aged and boring. So boring.

But is that generalization true? Thanks to The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, the new, Smithsonian-created exhibit of presidential memorabilia at the Missouri History Museum, Mr. Night and Ms. Day have discovered that while every president has been white and middle-aged, they weren't all boring (or maybe even straight; wink-wink, Abe Lincoln!).

Mr. Night: Holy crap, look at Warren Harding's pajamas! Red silk with a vaguely Chinese styling to them? Question: Who was Hugh Hefner before there was a Hugh Hefner? Answer: Warren G. Harding, baby! No wonder he referred to the presidency as "a hell of a job." Throw your veto in the air if you're a true playa, Warren G.!

Ms. Day: True, Harding seems cool, but what about William Howard Taft? He not only ruled the White House from 1909 to 1913, but he also ruled the pies and was friendly with the bears, as is proven by this political cartoon.

Those clearly weren't metaphorical pies, either. Look at the girth on Taft; he knew his way around the pie pantry, didn't he?

Unlike Jacqueline Kennedy. From the looks of the gold gown that she wore to meet the boss of Tunisia, her trim waistline didn't know many pies.

Pity for her. Pie is good. But everybody knew she was stylish. Check out Dwight D. Eisenhower's dress! You'd think the prez would want to keep his cross-dressing a secret, but he went ahead and had "Ike" printed all over the thing so everyone would know who was the belle of the presidential ball. Salute, Ike. Although that scoop-neck probably didn't flatter his décolletage any.

Mr. Night, you are too silly! That dress was worn by campaign supporters, not by Ike himself. However, that top hat in the exhibit really was worn by the Grover Cleveland on his first inauguration day.

Whatever happened to the top hat as presidential accessory? The current president should consider wearing one. And if Cheney doesn't want to wear it, someone could talk G.W. into it pretty easy. "Dapper W., that's what they'll call you, sir...."

Speaking of, um, dapper, the Missouri Historical Society is in possession of one (1) box containing a lock of George Washington's hair, which is displayed alongside the Smithsonian's collection. Don'cha just wanna see that? Don'cha?

Hells, yeah! The only thing that would be more exciting is if they have one of Martin Van Buren's sideburns on display. Look at those chops. He's like the Wolverine of our presidents. No, Bill Clinton was the Wolverine: Surrounded by enemies, back to the wall, and yet he fought them all off. Clinton is definitely Wolverine, and Van Buren is more Sabretooth.

Yep, Clinton is Wolverine, sure, whatever. But getting back to the exhibit at hand, the historic gavel used during Clinton's impeachment trial is on display, as are more than 350 other artifacts. None of which really have anything to do with Wolverine. What's wrong with you?

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