Monday, February 16, 2009

Paraguayans love U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes

When I arrived here in Paraguay, I was surprised by the many streets, buildings, a museum, even a state and a soccer team (nicknamed los Yanquis!), which are named after the US Pres. Hayes.

I had read some history on Paraguay so I was aware that he had been the one to negotiate the dispute in regards to territory claimed by both Paraguay and Argentina in 1878. Pres. Hayes was generous to the Paraguayans and his decision allowed the country to keep a great portion of the chaco land which is cattle territory. This area is now 60% of the national territory. What I had not realized was how much he was admired here, and for all of this, on February16th, the Paraguayans celebrate a holiday for President Rutherford B. Hayes

It seems that last year a young Paraguayan girl who had been in a coma awakened and the TV station granted her a wish. She chose to travel to Ohio to see the center there which honors Pres. Hayes.

I wonder how many Americans even recognize the name of Pres. Hayes, or know anything about this bit of history in regards to Paraguay. He is such a hero to the people here that they assume he is as revered in the US, right behind Washington and Lincoln!


A portrait of former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes hangs next to a portrait of Abraham Lincoln among other artifacts in the city museum in Villa Hayes, Paraguay, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. While Americans think of presidents such as Washington and Lincoln as they get ready to celebrate Presidents Day Feb. 16, Paraguayans would focus on Hayes, where the one-term U.S. president has a holiday, a province, a town, a museum and a soccer team all named in his honor, thanks to an 1878 arbitration in which he handed Paraguay 60 percent of its land. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

So...did you know that????

17 comments:

Harry said...

In the United States I'm worried about how much students even know about Washington and Lincoln.

Mrs. C said...

NOOOO!! I didn't know that! I at least recognized the Hayes name, but couldn't tell you much about him. At all.

You know, I'm on AOL and all the stupid welcome screens and sidebars have Presidents' Day stuff. Guess whose stupid picture is on everything?

Yep. Because he's done *so* much for America in the last... three weeks.

The Localmalcontent said...

No, I didn't know that interesting bit of history.
Good ole R.B. 'Bob' Hayes!
Thank you for sharing this, JMom.

Z said...

well, old Rutherford B, huh? WHO KNEW!
Fascinating, JM..thanks! xxxx
You feeling 100% by now, I hope!?

Thursday's Child said...

How neat!

Jungle Mom said...

Harry, At 16 yrs of age, my oldest daughter worked in a hospital (Records dept) They would have regular contests with historical questions which my daughter repeatedly won.
One question was,"Which President emancipated the slaves?" A lady answered,"Reagan". What is even more alarming is that she was black!

Humble wife said...

Neat. As I grew up in Ohio I am quite familiar with RB Hayes, but did not know this...

Debbie said...

I know embarrassingly little about most presidents. I probably shouldn't admit that.

Brenda said...

Its fascinating

Betty said...

I had a commenter on my blog writing about this same subject. And, no I did not know this. (Ashamed to say). History lessons were a long time ago.... :)

The Hermit said...

I know about the Chaco war from 32-35. Mainly because Mauser sold the same weapons to the two sides at the same time.

FJ said...

Rutherford who?

Findalis said...

Hayes is one of the forgotten Presidents. He is never taught and it is a shame. He really was a good one.

Rebecca said...

Isn't that interesting? Here he has been reduced to just another name in history.

Charles said...

American have such short memories. The good news is that maybe in a few years no one will remember much about the "Ultimate President" . Hopefully President Obama will fade quickly.

Gringo said...

There are also several towns in Paraguay named Presidente Hays. I knew of the one in the Chaco, but according to Google Maps there are also two east of the river in mainstream ( non-Chaco) Paraguay.

postalpagan said...

I was born and lived until 2007 in Fremont, OH where the home of R B Hayes, Speigel Grove is located as well as the Hayes Library. The house is preserved as it would have appeared circa 1880 and the library is an excellent historical and geneological source. The grounds come alive with history during the Hayes Civil War Weekend (Hayes was a general and wounded five times) the first weekend of every October.