Presidents’ (not all but 2) Day, the Canadian Flag and #SNL40

Happy Presidents’ Day! What better day to do my annual debunking of the “All but 2 US Presidents born after 1825…” myth.

Fraternity men who have served as President of the United States 

Rutherford B. Hayes, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Honorary member

James Garfield, Delta Upsilon, Williams College

Chester Arthur, Psi Upsilon, Union College

Grover Cleveland, Sigma Chi, Honorary member

Benjamin Harrison, Phi Delta Theta, Miami University and Delta Chi, University of Michigan

William McKinley, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Mount Union College

Theodore Roosevelt, Delta Kappa Epsilon and Alpha Delta Phi, Harvard University

William Howard Taft, Psi Upsilon, Yale University

Woodrow Wilson, Phi Kappa Psi, University of Virginia

Calvin Coolidge, Phi Gamma Delta, Amherst College

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Alpha Delta Phi, Harvard University*

Harry S Truman, Lambda Chi Alpha and Alpha Delta Gamma, Honorary member

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Tau Epsilon Phi, Honorary member

John F. Kennedy, Phi Kappa Theta, Honorary member

Gerald R. Ford, Delta Kappa Epsilon, University of Michigan

Ronald Reagan, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Eureka College

George H.W. Bush, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Yale University

Bill Clinton, Phi Beta Sigma, Honorary member**

George W. Bush, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Yale University

For the list of Vice Presidents see

For the list of First Ladies who are sorority women, see

Thomas Jefferson was a member of the Flat Hat Club (F.H.C. Society), College of William and Mary The Flat Hat Club was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1750.  It is believed to be the precursor of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, which was established at the same institution in 1776. The modern F.H.C. Society was revived at the College of William and Mary in May, 1972. The Flat Hat is also the name of the college’s student newspaper.

* Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Harvard University, also known as the “Dickey Club.” However, the national organization did not recognize the chapter because of the chapter’s stance on dual membership.

** Bill Clinton became a member of Phi Beta Sigma in 2009, in his post White House years. He became a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a now co-ed service fraternity while at Georgetown University. It was an all-male fraternity when he joined as a college student.


Last night Saturday Night Live celebrated its 40 anniversary. I recall the show’s birth. How can it be 40 years already? 

During those early years, John Belushi portrayed Samurai Futaba in a series of sketches. There was one that we who watched the program in the Pi Beta Phi chapter house television room called “Samurai Frat Man.” It featured Buck Henry as a dean of college and Samurai Futaba. They realize they both belong to Phi Delta Watashi. In searching for it, I found the script and that wasn’t the title. Nonetheless, if you want to read the script see

John Goodman

John Goodman

Actor John Goodman, shown above, grew up in the St. Louis area. He attended Southwest Missouri State University (Today it is Missouri State University) where he pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was not initiated in college. As I recall, from my reading of my husband’s SigEp Journal, Goodman was initiated as an alumnus at about the time he hosted this episode of SNL. In the closing credits he is wearing a Sig Ep sweatshirt. At the 2011 SigEp Grand Chapter Conclave, Goodman was the recipient of Sig Ep’s Citation Award. 

In recalling that those early SNL episodes, I abruptly remembered that the NBC station in Syracuse would sign off the air soon after the show finished. The American and Canadian anthems were played and then there was nothing on the station until the next morning. Makes me feel 105! Yesterday, when I read tweets from the Canadian Greeks celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, “O Canada! Our home and native land!” came ringing in my head.

The Maple Leaf flag was inaugurated on February 15, 1965. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, Delta Upsilon (University of Western Ontario), delivered on his campaign promise to seek a unifying flag for Canada. 


© Fran Becque,, 2015. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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