Monday, February 18, 2008

Mr. Peanut for President

Today is Presidents' Day here in the U.S.A., a day when we think back on the great leaders that shaped our country's history. One name inevitably comes to mind on this day: Mr. Peanut. While he was never actually president (the closest we've come was peanut farmer Jimmy Carter, although we do have a different sort of nut in the White House now), Mr. Peanut holds an important place in U.S. history as the following coloring book demonstrates.

Presidents of the United States to Color - A History from Washington to Johnson was a 1965 premium from Planters Peanuts, then part of Standard Brands.

Click on each picture for a full size image to print out and color. Be sure to have your "peanut tan" crayon handy. A word of caution: the following images may be disturbing to those with a phobia of life-sized, top hat-wearing peanuts.

Let's skip to the third president, Thomas Jefferson, because nothing involving Mr. Peanut happened during the terms of Washington and John Adams. Here Mr. Peanut comes on the scene in a big way, obliterating much of the original 13 colonies, which hold little interest after the Louisiana Purchase:

Also during Jefferson's presidency, Robert Fulton built the first steamboat. This feat isn't nearly as interesting as the eleven-foot-tall peanut at the helm:

Our fifth president, James Monroe, purchased Florida from Spain. He hoped it could contain the huge peanut creature which had now grown to the size of Rhode Island. Here Mr. Peanut dangles his feet in the Gulf of Mexico:

The presidency of John Quincy Adams saw the opening of the Erie Canal. Here's Mr. Peanut standing near Lock 9 in Rotterdam:

Very little of interest happened for 20 years, then Zachary Taylor became the 12th president. While you may remember him as "Old Rough and Ready," his greatest achievent was being born in Virgina, whose warm, sandy soil is excellent for growing peanuts:

Also during the term of Zachary Taylor, gold was discovered in California. The "Gold Rush" sent thousands of men and peanut men to seek their fortunes:

Nothing of importance happened for another 20 years, but then, in 1869 Mr. Peanut single-handedly built the Union Pacific Railroad:

Next, in a complete non sequitur, farmers dig up the peanut vines for shells to harden and nuts to firm:

A bunch more presidents did some stuff, culminating in the 1906 introduction of Planters Peanuts:

Suddenly going back in time, Mr. Peanut was on hand for the 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk. Although the Wright Brothers made the first "man-carrying airplane flight," Mr. Peanut was an accomplished aviator by this point:

Then a few world wars happened, a depression, some things were shot into space, and president #35 was assassinated, all of which pale in comparison to our last page - nutritious peanut products and the places Mr. Peanut grows best (everything really is bigger in Texas):


Sparkle Plenty said...

WOW, Lushie! And here I was, confounded as to how to go about celebrating Presidents Day. I should have checked here earlier. Please check out my blog today if you get a chance! I've given you a shout-out because I dig your blog.

Lushie Peach said...

Sparkle, I'm blown away! Thanks so much!