February Monthly Gathering – Hail to the Chief! Saluting America’s First President, John Hanson!

Until the weather becomes more predictably amenable to meeting in person, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. Attendees need to pre-register by clicking on the following link: https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-0222-Gathering . The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will be sent to those who are pre-registered, about an hour before the presentation. The number of attendees may be limited, so please pre-register early. 

Quick! Who was the first president? George Washington right?…

Think about it. The ratification process for the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, was completed on March 1, 1781, but Washington wasn’t elected until 1789. So, who was our head of state during the 8 years in between? Enter John Hanson. It is a fact that on November 5, 1781, John Hanson of Maryland was elected the first “President of the United States in Congress Assembled”. And he was followed by eight more presidents PRIOR to George Washington.

But WHO was John Hanson? And WHY, despite his considerable accomplishments, was a person who played a vital part in founding the United States, almost totally forgotten by history, to the point where his burial place was lost, then obliterated, and remained unknown until rediscovered in 2011?

Peter Michael, our speaker this month, is the author of “Remembering John Hanson: A Biography of the First President of the Original United States Government”, which was awarded two national book prizes in biography. Mr. Michael has advised the federal and Maryland governments on John Hanson matters, and lectures widely on him. Peter Hanson Michael descends from President John Hanson’s immigrant grandfather, also
named John Hanson, and from William Stone, the third colonial governor of Maryland.

He also authored “Palace of Yawns: How the United Nations Failed Poor Nations in the Population Explosion”, which won a national book prize in foreign affairs; and “Running on Empty: Along an Epic 12,000 Mile Road Trip, America Has Its Say on Economic Inequality”, which was awarded national book prizes in political and economic affairs and in travel essays. He serves as publisher of “Underground Railroad Free Press”, North America’s top-circulation Underground Railroad news publication.

He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Berkeley and Princeton, and lives with his wife Vicki, a painter, at Cooling Springs Farm, a state historic landmark founded by the Michael family in 1768, near Adamstown, Maryland.

Please join us at 7pm, on Saturday, February 19 to learn more about the remarkable John Hanson, a Founding Father who was almost lost to history! The Zoom room opens at 6:30pm for mingling. The program starts at 7:00pm