Tuesday, August 28, 2012
It was one of those instances where too much information causes a problem. I was trying to prepare a workshop proposal on hope and motivation, so I searched for an appropriate quote. I found one that delighted me, not for the workshop, but for this blog . It was a quote to US president Rutherford Hayes. Now I don’t claim to know much about US presidents, but there was something that bothered me. This quote was dated 1876. Only a few months ago I read a novel by Gore Vidal called 1876. If Vidal had it right, President Ulysses Grant was in power. So I did a little more investigating and found that I was not the first person to smell a rat. Current wisdom has it that this quote first appeared in print in 1939, attributed to Grant. From then on, it continued to appear with slight modifications, until its attribution was changed entirely. it wasn't a flattering quote, but Grant was long dead by 1939, and there seems to have been no evidence that he or Hayes said it. All of this leaves me disappointed because I wanted to blog about that quote, and now I have nothing to blog about.