When I was a kid, I sometimes took things a little more literally then I should have. Imagine that you're 5 years old, are in a hotel for the first time, and find a little plaque on the wall in your room that says "Chester Arthur, 21st President of the United States, was born here." Now, imagine yourself in my place... what would you immediately think?

Of course, the first thing that occured to me was that Misses Arthur must have been mighty uncomfortable giving birth half-way up the damned wall. I asked my parents about it, and they all had a good laugh while I kept feeling sorry for Misses Arthur, and also began worrying about our country, the fact that the President had been dropped about 3 feet immediately after birth. I knew you weren't supposed to do that to babies. Especially president babies. Or baby presidents, even.

Of course, they didn't explain things to me, and I eventually figured out for myself that it was highly unlikely Chester Arthur was born in that room. And, even if he was, it wouldn't be half-way up the wall. Much, much later I figured out that it didn't really matter who had or had not been born there; as long as it was quiet and the sheets were clean, I was happy with the room. Birthing places of dead white guys is pretty far down on my priorities list.

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