Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Shot of the Day – 33 – Vice President # 5 – Elbridge Gerry

Grave of Elbridge Gerrry, Congressional Cemetery, 
Washington, D.C. (19 July 2014)

Last week, the U.S Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding gerrymandering. I have a photograph of the namesake’s current residence. In a rare feat of timeliness, I can actually blog on a current event. Well, not really. Apart from wishing the Supremes well in deciding this one, this is another grave story.

Gerrymandering is that time-honored practice where politicians in power redraw the boundaries of election districts to strengthen their representation and/or weaken the voting power of the opposition parties. To be fair, the High Court is looking at Republican abuses in North Carolina and Democrat excesses in my home state of Maryland.

The practice dates back to 1812 when the majority party in Massachusetts created the first  imaginative districts. Elbridge Gerry was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later, James Madison’s second vice president. But in 1812, he was the governor who approved the plan. Because one of the new districts was so contorted, critics likened it to a salamander and created a new word by adding the governor’s name to it. The gerrymander was born, thus immortalizing an otherwise obscure governor and short-term vice president. He died twenty months into office.
Memorial Plaque near Elbridge Gerry Grave (19 July 2014)

Next consideration – should this be another ‘Shot of the Day’ or is it the start of the next grave quest? The presidents were done…until the list grew in November. We have had 48 vice presidents and they are all over the place. Many of them will make even the well-read among you say, “Who?”
As a photo quest, I’m not feeling it.

However, I already have a few VP’s in the can since fourteen of them became president. Also, a few others were captured in my travels. So, today’s title is a bit of both. We’ll count the vice presidents we have.

Mr. Gerry can be found in Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The place could be called our first national cemetery. Founded in 1807, its residents include many of the people who helped establish the federal government and capital city. For much of the 19th century, it was where congressman and senators who died in office were interred. Now, it’s a popular neighborhood park space where strollers, dog-walkers and history tours are common sights.


At 5:19 AM, Anonymous Jack Vest said...

We've got the data. We've got the computer power. Here's a straight-forward algorithm. Now we just need some representatives to get it RIGHT rather than getting REVENGE the next time around.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Ted Ringger said...

Jack, Jack,'s not about data or computing. It's not about fair or (especially) RIGHT. Don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen. It's about power and control and winning. Is this a great country or what? Thanks for dropping by.


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