So I was reading the LA Times endorsement of Obama which mentions he was born in the 1960s and thought, hm, if he’s elected, we’ll have skipped the 1950s.  Not that the gap couldn’t be filled in later, of course; but is it the first skipped decade for presidential births?

No. We missed the 1810s (Lincoln was born 1809, Grant 1822) and the 1930s (G. Bush and Carter both 1924, G. W. Bush and Clinton both 1946). By analogy with the what-is-the-first-year-of-the-century argument, you can dispute when decades begin and end: I perversely claim “the third decade of the twentieth century” was 1921-1930, but “the nineteen twenties” was 1920-1929. Defined that way, the last decade of the nineteenth century also lacks a Presidential birth — Eisenhower was the last of that century, born 1890.

Most presidential decades: Tie between 1800s (Fillmore, Pierce, Johnson, and Lincoln) and 1910s (Reagan, Nixon, Ford, Kennedy).

One thought on “Presidecade

  1. Just as well. People born in the 50’s who went to college did it in the ’70s – probably the maximal hedonistic decade. The peak of the sexual revolution, between Roe v Wade and AIDS; the most relaxed attitude towards drugs, after the acid hangover of ’68 but before crack and Just Say No; the most liberal drinking laws and highway speed limits of all time. So those folks are probably the most likely to disrespect authority. Hmmm. Maybe that’s a good thing.


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