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Debates Forum

  1. 13 Jan '11 18:09 / 1 edit
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_of_Fame_for_Great_Americans

    From 1900 to 1976, distinguished Americans met every five (or latterly, every three) years to choose the names of even more distinguished, dead Americans to include in a national Hall of Fame for Great Americans (located in New York University's Bronx campus). The nominees had to have been dead for twenty-five years and to have made a major contribution to the economic, political or cultural life of the nation.

    The 25-year limit, coupled with the cessation of new nominations in 1976, means that no one is in the Hall of Fame who died after 1950.

    So, for American posters: who would you nominate to join the Hall of Fame if it was revived? They need to have died before 1986 (of course, it's fine to nominate people who died before 1950, as long as they weren't in the original Hall of Fame, a list of whose members can be found on the Wikipedia page above).

    For posters from other countries, who would you nominate from your country's history to join your own national hall of fame? I suggest choosing a maximum of ten names in the first instance.
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    13 Jan '11 18:30 / 1 edit
    Benjamin Cardozo
    Robert H. Jackson
    Jackie Robinson
    Babe Ruth
    Chester Nimitz
    Dwight Eisenhower
    William Jennings Bryan
    Alfred E. Smith
    John Wayne
    Humphrey Bogart



    (Einstein doesn't count; does he?)
    Note: Jonas Salk, when he's eligible in a few years
  3. 13 Jan '11 18:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Benjamin Cardozo
    Robert H. Jackson
    Jackie Robinson
    Babe Ruth
    Chester Nimitz
    Dwight Eisenhower
    William Jennings Bryan
    Alfred E. Smith
    John Wayne
    Humphrey Bogart



    (Einstein doesn't count; does he?)
    Note: Jonas Salk, when he's eligible in a few years
    Wow, that was prompt! And interesting choices. Conceivably you could get away with Einstein on the grounds that he was a naturalised citizen, but on the other hand, his major work was done in Europe, so that might invalidate him. I take it you are nominating Smith for the Empire State Building, not for his political career? Or was his term as Governor more significant than I realised?

    Your choice of actors is probably right, even though Jimmy Stewart is a much better actor than either - less iconic though.

    I'll think about my British nominees over dinner.
  4. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    13 Jan '11 18:45
    First ten that popped into my head, no order.

    Bartolomeu Dias
    Vasco da Gama
    Fernando Pessoa
    Luiz de Camoes
    Pedro Alvares Cabral
    Egas Moniz
    Infante D. Henrique
    Florbela Espanca
    Marquis of Pombal (Sebastiao Carvalho e Melo)
    Zeca Afonso
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    13 Jan '11 18:48 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Wow, that was prompt! And interesting choices. Conceivably you could get away with Einstein on the grounds that he was a naturalised citizen, but on the other hand, his major work was done in Europe, so that might invalidate him. I take it you are nominating Smith for the Empire State Building, not for his political career? Or was his term as Governor more ...[text shortened]... er actor than either - less iconic though.

    I'll think about my British nominees over dinner.
    Maybe my parochial New York view is causing me to take an outsize view of Smith, but he was probably the most beloved politician in NY history and was the person who really brought down the Tammany Hall corrupt dominance of city politics. Nationally, in garnering the 1928 Dem nomination, he represented the rise of progressive urban interests in the United States (this was back when those were good things). He symbolized the rise from nothingness that was and is the "American dream" and without Smith blazing the trail, there's no telling whether FDR could have succeeded.

    As for John Wayne, yes, he was a terrible actor (IMHO), but he was the symbol of American cinema and the face of an entire genre for a long time.
  6. 13 Jan '11 20:03
    Let's see...

    Johan Rudolph Thorbecke
    Hendrik Lorentz
    Jan Akkerman
    Jan Tinbergen
    Max Euwe
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
    Willem Drees
    Anton Philips
    Edward van Halen
    and of course myself.
  7. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    13 Jan '11 20:08
    Originally posted by sh76
    Benjamin Cardozo
    Just curious, given the (tenuous) link to Portugal, why did you chose him?
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    13 Jan '11 20:20
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Just curious, given the (tenuous) link to Portugal, why did you chose him?
    Enormous contributions to legal jurisprudence in the US, both as a member of the NY Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

    I don't have stats on this, but it felt like we read more Cardozo opinions in law school than of any other justice.
  9. 13 Jan '11 20:27
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Let's see...

    Johan Rudolph Thorbecke
    Hendrik Lorentz
    Jan Akkerman
    Jan Tinbergen
    Max Euwe
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
    Willem Drees
    Anton Philips
    Edward van Halen
    and of course myself.
    You haven't been dead for 25 years. Also violating the spirit of things are the still living van Halen and Akkerman, plus Drees (d. 1988) and Tinbergen (d.1994). So I put it to you that you have another five places to fill.

    I take it you were counting only those who date from after the foundation of the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands - which is a shame given that indisputably the most famous Dutchmen on a world scale are its great painters, Vermeer and Rembrandt (Van Gogh I suppose could be excluded at the basis that his great works were executed in France). And of course there's Erasmus - surely one of the post-classical world's first truly enlightened minds, and a pan-European hero.
  10. 13 Jan '11 20:31
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    You haven't been dead for 25 years. Also violating the spirit of things are the still living van Halen and Akkerman, plus Drees (d. 1988) and Tinbergen (d.1994). So I put it to you that you have another five places to fill.
    Come to think of it, I may let you off with Drees, as he played the statistical trick of living to be nearly 102; if he'd died at a normal age, he would have easily been eligible by now.
  11. 13 Jan '11 20:36
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    You haven't been dead for 25 years. Also violating the spirit of things are the still living van Halen and Akkerman, plus Drees (d. 1988) and Tinbergen (d.1994). So I put it to you that you have another five places to fill.

    I take it you were counting only those who date from after the foundation of the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands - which is a sha ...[text shortened]... ely one of the post-classical world's first truly enlightened minds, and a pan-European hero.
    Well, it would be hard to include great Dutchmen with such a limit considering there are few. I don't care about painting and Erasmus wasn't really Dutch as there was no Netherlands at the time.
  12. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    13 Jan '11 21:10
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Well, it would be hard to include great Dutchmen with such a limit considering there are few. I don't care about painting and Erasmus wasn't really Dutch as there was no Netherlands at the time.
    I'm sure you can name 10... It's less than a football team.
  13. 13 Jan '11 21:25 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I'll think about my British nominees over dinner.
    OK - I'm going to cheat. British history is longer than that of the US, so I'm going to supply two lists. The first is of people who would already have been eligible in 1900, when the US Hall of Fame began, ie, who died before 1875. The second is of people who died since 1875.

    Historical list (excluding monarchs):

    Geoffrey Chaucer
    William Shakespeare
    William Tyndale
    Oliver Cromwell
    Isaac Newton
    Captain Cook
    William Wilberforce
    Horatio Nelson and the Duke of Wellington
    Isambard Kingdom Brunel
    Charles Dickens

    List of those who died since 1875

    George Eliot
    Charles Darwin
    Florence Nightingale
    Robert Falcon Scott
    Alexander Graham Bell
    John Maynard Keynes
    Alexander Fleming
    Winston Churchill
    Charles Chaplin
    Francis Crick

    Admittedly, I'm breaking the 25-year rule myself with the last one. Chaplin arguably could be disqualified on the grounds that his career was almost entirely an American one, but for a poor boy from South London to become, arguably, the most famous man in the world is too impressive to omit.
  14. 13 Jan '11 21:31
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Well, it would be hard to include great Dutchmen with such a limit considering there are few. I don't care about painting and Erasmus wasn't really Dutch as there was no Netherlands at the time.
    Of course that assumes that the list is supposed to be of your favourite people, rather than acknowledging those who have had a broad impact in their respective field. I included Chaplin although I don't find him funny, for instance. Also, if I was being strict with the term "Britain", I'd probably have to exclude some of my earlier nominees who date from before the foundation of the United Kingdom. However, I took it to mean natives of Great Britain.
  15. 13 Jan '11 21:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    As for John Wayne, yes, he was a terrible actor (IMHO), but he was the symbol of American cinema and the face of an entire genre for a long time.
    To do justice to the Duke, he's very good in Red River and The Searchers.